Abraham and Lazarus (Lk 16:23-16:23)

“In Hades,

Where the rich man

Was being tormented,

He looked up.

He saw Abraham

Far away,

With Lazarus

By his side.”

 

καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἅιδῃ ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ, ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις, ὁρᾷ Ἀβραὰμ ἀπὸ μακρόθεν καὶ Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ.

 

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 said that the rich man was living in torment (ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις) in Hades (καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἅιδῃ), the Greek name for hell, a permanent place of damnation as opposed to the vague Hebrew afterlife Sheol, the place of the dead.  This rich man looked up or lifted up his eyes (ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ).  He saw Abraham (ὁρᾷ Ἀβραὰμ), far away (ἀπὸ μακρόθεν), with Lazarus in his bosom (καὶ Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ).  Both Abraham and Lazarus were together, but far away since there was a clear difference between where the rich man and Lazarus with Abraham were.  Just as in life, there was a difference between the rich man and Lazarus, so too in death.  Do you believe that there will be options in the afterlife?

Your faith has made you well (Mk 10:52-10:52)

“Jesus said to him.

‘Go!

Your faith

Has made you well!’

Immediately,

He regained

His sight.

He followed Jesus

On the way.”

 

καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ὕπαγε, ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε. καὶ εὐθὺς ἀνέβλεψεν, καὶ ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ.

 

Both Matthew, chapter 20:34, and Luke, chapter 18:42-43, are similar, but Mark did not mention compassion or pity.  Neither did he touch his eyes.  Instead, Mark indicated that Jesus told him to go (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ὕπαγε) because his faith had healed him (ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε).  Immediately (καὶ εὐθὺς), he regained his sight (ἀνέβλεψεν) and followed Jesus on his way (καὶ ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ), as Bartimaeus became a disciple of Jesus.  There was no physical contact in this healing of the blind man.

The man could see clearly (Mk 8:25-8:25)

“Then Jesus

Laid his hands

On his eyes again.

He looked intently.

His sight was restored.

He saw everything clearly.”

 

εἶτα πάλιν ἐπέθηκεν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ, καὶ διέβλεψεν καὶ ἀπεκατέστη, καὶ ἐνέβλεπεν τηλαυγῶς ἅπαντα.

 

This story of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida was unique to Mark. Then Jesus laid his hands on the blind man’s eyes again (εἶτα πάλιν ἐπέθηκεν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ).  This time the blind man opened his eyes intently (καὶ διέβλεψεν).  His sight was fully restored (καὶ ἀπεκατέστη).  Now he began to see everything clearly (καὶ ἐνέβλεπεν τηλαυγῶς ἅπαντα).  Thus, this second stage of clear vision needed another physical act to complete the healing of this blind man.  Perhaps, that is why Matthew and Luke did not include this story in their gospels.

The cure with spit (Mk 8:23-8:23)

“Jesus took

The blind man

By the hand.

He led him

Out of the village.

He put spit

On his eyes.

He laid his hands

On him.

He asked him.

‘Can you see anything?’”

 

καὶ ἐπιλαβόμενος τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ τυφλοῦ ἐξήνεγκεν αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς κώμης, καὶ πτύσας εἰς τὰ ὄμματα αὐτοῦ, ἐπιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῷ, ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν Εἴ τι βλέπεις;

 

This story of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida was unique to Mark, who said that Jesus took the blind man by the hand (καὶ ἐπιλαβόμενος τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ τυφλοῦ).  He then led him out of the village (ἐξήνεγκεν αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς κώμης).  There he put spit on his eyes (καὶ πτύσας εἰς τὰ ὄμματα αὐτοῦ).  He also laid his hands on him (ἐπιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῷ,).  He questioned the blind man (ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν) whether he could see anything (Εἴ τι βλέπεις)?  Thus, this healing took place with very physical elements, saliva and a hand laying on his eyes.

The punishment for the idol worshippers (Am 9:2-9:4)

“Though they dig

Into Sheol,

From there,

Shall my hand take them.

Though they climb up

To heaven,

From there,

I will bring them down.

Though they hide themselves

On the top of Carmel,

From there,

I will search out.

I will take them.

Though they hide

From my sight

At the bottom of the sea,

From there,

I will command

The sea serpent.

It shall bite them.

Though they go into captivity,

In front of their enemies,

From there,

I will command the sword.

It shall kill them.

I will fix my eyes

Upon them,

For harm,

Not for good.”

The punishment for these northern idol worshippers would be severe.  They might try to hide in Sheol, the afterlife shadowy existence, but Yahweh would find them.  If they tried to get to heaven, he would take them out of there.  If they tried to hide on Mount Carmel, Yahweh would still find them.  If they went to the bottom of the sea, a sea monster would get them.  Even if they went into captivity, their captives would kill them with the sword.  No matter what, Yahweh was going to keep his eyes on them, so that nothing good would happen to them.  Quite the opposite, something harmful would happen to them.

Death and Sheol (Hos 13:14-13:14)

“Shall I ransom them

From the power

Of Sheol?

Shall I redeem them

From Death?

O Death!

Where are your plagues?

O Sheol!

Where is your destruction?

Compassion is hidden

From my eyes.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, wanted to know if he should ransom Israel from the power of Sheol, the shadowy afterlife experience. Should Yahweh redeem them from death. Then, he like Paul later in his description of death in I Corinthians, chapter 15, wondered where was the sting or the power of death. Where were the plagues and destruction of Death and Sheol? Yahweh would not have compassion on them, because it was hidden from his eyes.