The good and bad things (Lk 16:25-16:25)

“But Abraham said.

‘Son!

Remember

That during

Your lifetime,

You received

Your good things!

Lazarus,

In like manner,

Received

His evil things.

But now he is

Comforted here.

You are in agony!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ Ἀβραάμ Τέκνον, μνήσθητι ὅτι ἀπέλαβες τὰ ἀγαθά σου ἐν τῇ ζωῇ σου, καὶ Λάζαρος ὁμοίως τὰ κακά· νῦν δὲ ὧδε παρακαλεῖται σὺ δὲ ὀδυνᾶσαι.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus remarked that Abraham said (εἶπεν δὲ Ἀβραάμ) to the rich man, calling him son (Τέκνον) that he should remember (μνήσθητι) that during his lifetime he had received good things (ὅτι ἀπέλαβες τὰ ἀγαθά σου ἐν τῇ ζωῇ σου).  Lazarus, however, had received evil things (καὶ Λάζαρος ὁμοίως τὰ κακά).  Thus, now he was being comforted here (νῦν δὲ ὧδε παρακαλεῖται) with Abraham, while he, the rich man, was in agony (σὺ δὲ ὀδυνᾶσαι).  Abraham spoke to the rich man telling him that he had a good time during his lifetime, while Lazarus had not.  Now the tables were turned, Lazarus would live in comfort, but he would be tormented.  This was a clear sign of an afterlife with consequences based on current lifestyles.  Which lifestyle would you prefer?

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Father Abraham (Lk 16:24-16:24)

“The rich man

Called out.

‘Father Abraham!

Have mercy on me!

Send Lazarus

To dip

The tip

Of his finger

In water,

To cool my tongue!

I am in agony

In these flames.’”

 

καὶ αὐτὸς φωνήσας εἶπεν Πάτερ Ἀβραάμ, ἐλέησόν με καὶ πέμψον Λάζαρον ἵνα βάψῃ τὸ ἄκρον τοῦ δακτύλου αὐτοῦ ὕδατος καὶ καταψύξῃ τὴν γλῶσσάν μου, ὅτι ὀδυνῶμαι ἐν τῇ φλογὶ ταύτῃ

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, but not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the rich man called out (καὶ αὐτὸς φωνήσας εἶπεν) to Abraham, calling him father (Πάτερ Ἀβραάμ).  He wanted Abraham to have mercy on him (ἐλέησόν με).  He wanted him to send Lazarus (καὶ πέμψον Λάζαρον) to dip the tip of his finger (ἵνα βάψῃ τὸ ἄκρον τοῦ δακτύλου αὐτοῦ) in water (ὕδατος) to cool his tongue (καὶ καταψύξῃ τὴν γλῶσσάν μου) because he was suffering in agony (ὅτι ὀδυνῶμαι) from all those flames (ἐν τῇ φλογὶ ταύτῃ).  Once again, Luke has a unique use among the biblical writers of the Greek word καταψύξῃ, meaning to cool or refresh.  This rich man was suffering in a burning hell.  He wanted Abraham to send Lazarus to make life easier for him.  Are you afraid of a burning hell?

 

Jesus was sorrowful (Mk 14:34-14:34)

“Jesus said to them.

‘I am deeply grieved,

Even to death.

Remain here!

Keep awake!’”

 

καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Περίλυπός ἐστιν ἡ ψυχή μου ἕως θανάτου· μείνατε ὧδε καὶ γρηγορεῖτε

 

This is almost exactly word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:38.  Mark indicated that Jesus said to his 3 favorite apostles (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) that he was very sorrowful or deeply grieved (Περίλυπός ἐστιν ἡ ψυχή μου), even unto death (ἕως θανάτου).  He wanted them to stay there (μείνατε ὧδε) to watch, and remain awake or vigilant (καὶ γρηγορεῖτε).  Thus, began the so-called agony of Jesus in the garden.

The day of destruction is near (Isa 13:6-13:8)

“Wail!

The day of Yahweh is near!

It will come

Like destruction

From the Almighty Shaddai!

Therefore all hands

Will be feeble.

Every human heart

Will melt.

They will be dismayed.

Pangs will seize them.

Agony will seize them.

They will be in anguish

Like a woman in labor.

They will look aghast

At one another.

Their faces will be aflame.”

It is hard to tell from the text itself if this is a reference to the destruction of Babylon or some general end of the world destruction. The context, however, leans towards the fall of Babylon. This destructive day of Yahweh, the Lord, is near since there is a mention of God as the almighty Shaddai. Everyone’s hands will be weak as their hearts will melt. They will be dismayed with pangs and agony. They will be in anguish like a woman in labor at childbirth. They will get no comfort from each other as they will have fiery faces. This does not sound good.

The final plea to Yahweh (Ps 88:13-88:18)

“I cry out to you!

Yahweh!

In the morning

My prayer comes before you.

Yahweh!

Why do you cast me off?

Why do you hide your face from me?

Wretched and close to death from my youth on,

I suffer your terrors.

I am desperate.

Your wrath has swept over me.

Your dread assaults destroy me.

They surround me

Like a flood

All day long.

From all sides,

They close in on me.

You have caused friends

To shun me.

You have caused neighbors

To shun me.  

My companions are in darkness.”

Just like Job, the psalmist remains faithful despite all his sufferings. Thus this psalm ends with a direct appeal to Yahweh, over and over again. He cried out in the morning to God. Why was he cast off? Why couldn’t he see the face of God? He believed that his physical suffering was related to his spiritual sufferings. His whole life he has been close to death with his physical afflictions. He felt like he was surrounded with waves of water all around him. More than that was the fact that his friends and neighbors were now shunning him. The only friend that he had left was darkness itself. Wow! This is a dreary bleak psalm of agony.