Gave his slaves money (Lk 19:13-19:13)

“This nobleman

Summoned

Ten of his slaves.

He gave them

Ten minas.

He said to them.

‘Do business

With these

Until I come back.’”

 

καλέσας δὲ δέκα δούλους ἑαυτοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δέκα μνᾶς, καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Πραγματεύσασθε ἐν ᾧ ἔρχομαι.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this nobleman summoned 10 of his slaves (λέσας δὲ δέκα δούλους ἑαυτοῦ).  He gave them each 10 minas (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δέκα μνᾶς).  Luke had this nobleman give 10 minas to 10 slaves.  Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term μνᾶς, that means a mina, a Greek monetary unit equal to 100 drachmas.  He used this word 9 times, mostly in this parable.  A rough equivalent would be $20.00 USA.  In ancient times, it was worth about a quarter of a year’s salary.  This nobleman told them (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) to do business (Πραγματεύσασθε) with these minas until he came back (ἐν ᾧ ἔρχομαι).  Once again, Luke used a word that is not found in any of the other Greek biblical writers, Πραγματεύσασθε, that means to busy oneself, or transact business trades.  Matthew, chapter 25:15, has something similar, perhaps this is a Q source.  In Matthew, the rich owner was dealing with talents, which was even more valuable.  There were 3,600 shekels in a talent.  There were 60 minas to a talent.  Thus, these talents were a lot of money.  This very trusting rich person gave to one of his slaves 5 talents (καὶ ᾧ μὲν ἔδωκεν πέντε τάλαντα).  He gave 2 talents (ᾧ δὲ δύο) to the 2nd slave and one talent (ᾧ δὲ ἕν) to the 3rd slave.  They received this according to their ability (ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὴν ἰδίαν δύναμιν).  Then he went away immediately (καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν Εὐθέως).  In each case, money was given to slaves in the household.  Luke had 10 slaves, but Matthew only had 3.  In Luke, there was an explicit saying to do business, while it was only implicit in Matthew, where some received more than others.  Luke had all of them receive the same amount, with a greater emphasis on equality.  Has someone ever entrusted you with some money?

The disciples could not cast out the evil spirit (Lk 9:40-9:40)

“‘I begged

Your disciples

To cast it out,

But they could not.’”

 

καὶ ἐδεήθην τῶν μαθητῶν σου ἵνα ἐκβάλωσιν αὐτό, καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνήθησαν.

 

Luke said that this man had begged (καὶ ἐδεήθην) the disciples of Jesus (τῶν μαθητῶν σου) to cast out the evil spirit (ἵνα ἐκβάλωσιν αὐτό), but they could not (καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνήθησαν).  This story about the disciples of Jesus unable to cure the incurable epileptic son can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:16, Mark, chapter 9:18, and here in LukeMark, like the other gospel writers, indicated that this man had asked Jesus’s disciples to cast out this spirit from his son, but they did not have the ability to do so.  Matthew also said that the disciples of Jesus were not able to cure him, just like Luke and Mark.  Why were the disciples of Jesus unable to cure this man’s son?  Have you ever been unable to do something?

The failure of the disciples to heal him (Mk 9:18-9:18)

“I asked

Your disciples

To cast it out.

But they were

Not able

To do so.”

 

καὶ εἶπα τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου ἵνα αὐτὸ ἐκβάλωσιν, καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν.

 

The story of the man with the incurable son can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:16, Luke, chapter 9:40, and here in Mark.  Then there was the kicker, Mark, like the other gospel writers, indicated that this man had asked Jesus’s disciples (καὶ εἶπα τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου) to cast out this spirit from his son (ἵνα αὐτὸ ἐκβάλωσιν), but they did not have the ability to do so (καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν).  Why were the disciples of Jesus unable to cure his son?

Yahweh controls the future (Isa 46:8-46:10)

“Remember this!

Consider this!

Recall it to mind!

You transgressors!

Remember the former things of old!

I am God!

There is no other!

I am God!

There is no one like me!

I declare the end

From the beginning,

From ancient times,

Things not yet done.”

Second Isaiah has Yahweh remind people about his ability to see the future. He wants them to remember and consider that they are transgressors. He is God and there is no other like him. He has declared from the beginning, in ancient times, things that had not yet happened. He knew the future.

Be happy (Eccl 3:12-3:13)

“I know that there is nothing better

For humans

Than to be happy.

They enjoy themselves

As long as they live.

Moreover,

It is God’s gift

That all should eat and drink.

They should take pleasure

In all their toil.”

Humans should be happy as long as they live. This gift from God is the ability to eat and drink. Notice that the name ‘God’ is used and not ‘Yahweh’ or ‘Lord.’ Humans should also take pleasure from their work.

The futility of other gods (Ps 115:4-115:8)

“Their idols are silver and gold.

They are the work of human hands.

They have mouths,

But do not speak.

They have eyes,

But do not see.

They have ears,

But do not hear.

They have noses,

But do not smell.

They have hands,

But do not feel.

They have feet,

But do not walk.

They make no sound in their throat.

Those who make them are like them.

So are all who trust in them.”

The contrast of Yahweh with these gold and silver idols is stark. These idol gods are the works of human hands. They have mouths, eyes, ears, noses, hands, and feet. However, they cannot speak, hear, see, smell, feel, or walk. Thus these impotent idols could not utter any sound. The idols were like those who had made them. They were trusting in themselves. The implication here was that Yahweh, whose name was in the Temple, had the anthropomorphic ability to speak, hear, see, smell, feel, and walk among his people. Many of the Israelite prayers assume this ability as they often pray that Yahweh might speak, hear, and see them.

Yahweh is David’s rock (Ps 18:31-18:42)

“Who is God except Yahweh?

Who is a rock, besides our God?

This is the God who girded me with strength.

He made my way safe.

He made my feet

Like the feet of a deer.

He set me secure on the heights.

He trains my hands for war.

Thus my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You have given me

The shield of your salvation.

Your right hand has supported me.

Your help has made me great.

You gave me a wide place for my steps under me.

My feet did not slip.

I pursued my enemies.

I overtook them.

I did not turn back

Until they were consumed.

I struck them down.

Thus they were not able to rise.

They fell under my feet.

You girded me with strength for the battle.

You made my assailants sink under me.

You made my enemies turn their backs to me.

Those who hated me

I destroyed.

They cried for help.

However, there was no one to save them.

They cried to Yahweh,

However he did not answer them.

I beat them fine.

They were like dust before the wind.

I cast them out

Like the mire of the streets.”

Once again, like 2 Samuel, chapter 22, Yahweh was the strength and rock for David. His feet were like the hoofs of a deer in their ability to run fast. Yahweh made his arms so strong that he could even use a bronze bow. Yahweh made his feet steady so that he would never slip. When the battle raged, he was faster and stronger than his enemy. He crushed his enemies. They were utterly destroyed as they were struck down and fled. No one was there to save them, even when they cried out to Yahweh. David beat them like the dust of the earth. As usual, there was no indication of any empathy for enemies. He just wiped them out completely.