Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus // The Parables of Jesus

One of the most common ways Jesus ends parables is by saying that his listeners need to have "eyes to see" or "ears to hear" the truth in his message. If you think about these phrases—"ears to hear" and "eyes to see"—it would appear that Jesus' goal is to engage our senses as human beings for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Why is this the case? It's because our senses, when they are fully developed, help us react and respond appropriately to the world around us. This means, in a way, Jesus taught in parables to help us develop our "spiritual senses" so that we can respond appropriately to the truth of God. And if this is a goal of the parables, then the parable in Luke 16:19-31 does the best job of accomplishing this purpose. In "The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus," Jesus uses vivid language that engages the full range of human senses. Again, his purpose in doing so is to help us develop our spiritual senses in order that we might respond appropriately to the truth. It's as Peter Rollins says: "The parable is heard only when it changes one's social standing to the current reality, not one's mere reflection of it." This is because we've only truly heard the truth of Scripture when we respond appropriately by living out the will of God.