A plan (Lk 16:4-16:4)

“I have decided

What to do.

When I am

Dismissed

As a house manager,

People

Will welcome me

Into their homes.”

 

ἔγνων τί ποιήσω, ἵνα ὅταν μετασταθῶ ἐκ τῆς οἰκονομίας δέξωνταί με εἰς τοὺς οἴκους ἑαυτῶν

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this fired household manager came up with a plan.  He decided what to do (ἔγνων τί ποιήσω).  After he was dismissed as a house manager (ἵνα ὅταν μετασταθῶ ἐκ τῆς οἰκονομίας), he wanted people to welcome him into their homes (δέξωνταί με εἰς τοὺς οἴκους ἑαυτῶν).  It is always a good idea to make plans before you leave a job.  This dishonest house manager was no exception.  He had a plan to survive.  Do you have any plans in case you lose your job?

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Secrecy (Jer 38:24-38:26)

“Then Zedekiah said

To Jeremiah.

‘Do not let anyone else

Know of this conversation!

Otherwise you will die!

If the officials should hear

That I have spoken

With you,

They would come to you.

They would say to you.

‘Just Tell us

What you said

To the king!

Do not conceal it from us!

Otherwise we will put you

To death!

What did the king say to you?

Then you shall say to them.

‘I was presenting my plea

To the king

Not to send me back

To the house of Jonathan

To die there.’”

Once again, the wishy-washy King Zedekiah wanted Jeremiah to keep this conversation with him a secret. If Jeremiah told anyone about this exchange of views, he would be killed. The problem was that the king’s officials might come to Jeremiah and force him to talk under the same threat of death. They would want to know all of what they said to each other. The king had a plan for Jeremiah to tell anyone who asked what they talked about.   Jeremiah was to say that he just did not want to go back to the dungeon prison at the house of Jonathan, mentioned early in the preceding chapter during his arrest by the king’s officials. In other words, the whole conversation was about what prison Jeremiah should be in. No one seemed to worry about how Jeremiah got out of the cistern well.

The call to repent for Judah and Jerusalem (Jer 18:11-18:11)

“Now,

Therefore,

Say to the people of Judah!

Say to the inhabitants of Jerusalem!

‘Thus says Yahweh!

Look!

I am a potter

Shaping evil against you.

I am devising a plan against you.

Turn now!

All of you!

From your evil way!

Amend your ways!

Amend your doings!’”

Yahweh then told Jeremiah to tell the people of Judah and Jerusalem what he wanted done. He said that he was a potter that was shaping evil against them. He was devising a plan against them. All of them had to turn from their evil ways. They had to amend their life styles and what they were doing. The choice was theirs. Change or suffer!

Timothy and the other gentiles (1 Macc 5:37-5:41)

“After these things, Timothy gathered another army and encamped opposite Raphon, on the other side of the stream. Judas sent men to spy out the camp. They reported to him.

‘All the gentiles around us have gathered to him.

It is a very large force.

They also have hired Arabs to help them.

They are encamped across the stream,

They are ready to come and fight against you.’

Judas went to meet them. Now as Judas and his army drew near to the stream of water, Timothy said to the officers of his forces.

‘If he crosses over to us first,

We will not be able to resist him.

He will surely defeat us.

However, if he shows fear,

If he camps on the other side of the river,

We will cross over to him.

We will defeat him.’”

Timothy and his army gathered near a stream of the Yarmouk River, a tributary of the Jordan River called Raphon. Judas Maccabeus sent spies to figure out what he was up to. The spies came back to say that he had a large force. In fact, a number of Arab mercenaries had joined forces with Timothy. Timothy had a plan. If the troops of Judas rested on the other side of the stream in a camp, they would attack him. Otherwise, they might have a bit of a problem.