Those who rise from the dead (Lk 16:31-16:31)

“Abraham

Said to him.

‘If they do not listen

To Moses

And the prophets,

Neither will they

Be convinced,

Even if someone

Rises

From the dead.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ Εἰ Μωϋσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀκούουσιν, οὐδὲ ἐάν τις ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ πεισθήσονται.

 

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 concluded that Abraham said to the rich man (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ) that if his brothers had not listened to Moses and the prophets (Εἰ Μωϋσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀκούουσιν), neither would they be convinced or persuaded (πεισθήσονται), if someone rose from the dead (οὐδὲ ἐάν τις ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ).  Abraham was clear.  They had the Torah of Moses and the written teachings of the prophets.  What else did they need?  Thus, they would not be moved to repentance even if a dead man appeared to them.  This is of course was an indication of what would happen with Jesus in his resurrection.  Would you change your mind if a dead person appeared to you?

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Someone from the dead (Lk 16:30-16:30)

“The rich man said.

‘No!

Father Abraham!

If someone

Goes to them

From the dead,

They will repent.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Οὐχί, πάτερ Ἀβραάμ, ἀλλ’ ἐάν τις ἀπὸ νεκρῶν πορευθῇ πρὸς αὐτοὺς, μετανοήσουσιν.

 

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 the rich man said no (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) to Abraham, calling him father (Οὐχί, πάτερ Ἀβραάμ), that if someone from the dead went to them (ἀλλ’ ἐάν τις ἀπὸ νεκρῶν πορευθῇ πρὸς αὐτοὺς), they would repent or change their ways, have a metanoia (μετανοήσουσιν).  This rich man thought that a miraculous showing of a dead man would make his brothers change their minds and their lifestyles.  What would make you change your lifestyle?

The widow’s dead son (Lk 7:12-7:12)

“As Jesus approached

The gate of the town,

He saw

A dead man

Being carried out.

He was his mother’s

Only son.

She was also a widow.

A large crowd

From the town

Was with her.”

 

ὡς δὲ ἤγγισεν τῇ πύλῃ τῆς πόλεως, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐξεκομίζετο τεθνηκὼς μονογενὴς υἱὸς τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ αὐτὴ ἦν χήρα, καὶ ὄχλος τῆς πόλεως ἱκανὸς ἦν σὺν αὐτῇ.

 

Luke has this unique story about the widow at Nain, since he had a soft spot for widows.  Luke said that as Jesus approached (ὡς δὲ ἤγγισεν) the gate of the town of Nain (ῇ πύλῃ τῆς πόλεως), he saw a dead man being carried out (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐξεκομίζετο τεθνηκὼς).  He was his mother’s only son (μονογενὴς υἱὸς τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ).  She was also a widow (καὶ αὐτὴ ἦν χήρα).  There was a large crowd of mourners from the town with her (καὶ ὄχλος τῆς πόλεως ἱκανὸς ἦν σὺν αὐτῇ).  They would bury people in cemeteries outside the town gates.  Thus, Jesus and his entourage saw this take place outside the town.  There were many people with his poor widow, mourning his death, as they prepared to bury him.  They must have learned somehow that she was a widow burying her only son.  Is losing an only child that difficult?  Or is losing a husband more difficult?

Elisha (Sir 48:12-48:14)

“When Elijah was enveloped

In the whirlwind,

Elisha was filled

With his spirit.

He performed

Twice as many signs.

He performed marvels

With every utterance of his mouth.

Never in his lifetime

Did he tremble before any ruler.

No one could intimidate him at all.

Nothing was too hard for him.

When he was dead,

His body prophesied.

In his life,

He did wonders.

So in death

His deeds were marvelous.”

The story of this prophet Elisha takes up 13 chapters in 2 Kings, 1-13. He follows in the spirit of Elijah with many miracles and confrontations with the various Israelite kings. However, he died a natural death. Nevertheless, he performed twice as many miracles as Elijah. Also he spoke quite a lot to the various rulers. He was never intimidated, as Elijah had occasionally been. Nothing was too hard for him. Even in his death, he was able to perform a miracle. When a dead man was thrown into his grave, the dead man came alive by touching his dead body in 2 Kings, chapter 13. Thus he continued in the spirit of his spiritual father, Elijah.

The meeting of Tobit and Raphael (Tob 5:10-5:10)

“Then Tobias went out and called him. He said.

‘Young man, my father is calling for you.’

So he went in to him. Tobit greeted him first. He replied.

‘Joyous greetings to you!’

However Tobit retorted.

‘What joy is left for me anymore?

I am a man without eyesight.

I cannot see the light of heaven.

I live in darkness like the dead who no longer see the light.

Although still alive,

I am among the dead.

I hear people but I cannot see them.’

However, the young man said.

‘Take courage!

The time is near for God to heal you.

Take courage!’

Then Tobit said to him.

‘My son Tobias wishes to go to Media.

Can you accompany him and guide him?

I will pay you wages, brother.’

He answered.

‘I can go with him.

I know all the roads.

I have often gone to Media.

I have crossed all its plains.

I am familiar with its mountains and all of its roads.’”

Tobit wanted to meet the man who would lead his son to Media. Tobias went out to get him, saying that his father wanted to talk to him. When they met, Tobit greeted Raphael first. Then when Raphael responded with a joyful greeting, Tobit took offence. He wanted to know how he could be joyful since he was blind. He could not see the light of heaven. He was like a dead man, living in darkness. He could hear but he could not see. Raphael tells him to have courage.   Soon God would heal him. Then Tobit wanted to know if he would accompany his son Tobias to Media. Once again, like he had just told Tobias, he maintained he knew all the roads to Media and that he had been there often. So far so good, except for the joyful greeting.