Preparing for war (Lk 14:31-14:31)

“What king,

Going to wage war,

Against another king

Will not sit down

First.

Will he not consider

Whether he is able

With ten thousand

To oppose the one

Who comes

Against him

With twenty thousand?”

 

Ἢ τίς βασιλεὺς πορευόμενος ἑτέρῳ βασιλεῖ συμβαλεῖν εἰς πόλεμον οὐχὶ καθίσας πρῶτον βουλεύσεται εἰ δυνατός ἐστιν ἐν δέκα χιλιάσιν ὑπαντῆσαι τῷ μετὰ εἴκοσι χιλιάδων ἐρχομένῳ ἐπ’ αὐτόν;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told another unique story about a king (Ἢ τίς βασιλεὺς), who was planning to go to wage war (συμβαλεῖν εἰς πόλεμον) against another king (πορευόμενος ἑτέρῳ βασιλεῖ).  Would he not first sit down (οὐχὶ καθίσας πρῶτον) and consider or take counsel (βουλεύσεται) whether he was able (εἰ δυνατός ἐστιν) with ten thousand troops (ἐν δέκα χιλιάσιν) to oppose the other king who came (ὑπαντῆσαι) against him with twenty thousand troops (τῷ μετὰ εἴκοσι χιλιάδων ἐρχομένῳ ἐπ’ αὐτόν)?  Once again, Jesus was pointing out the importance of planning before any action.  Are you a good planner?

 

Be ready! (Lk 12:35-12:35)

“Be dressed

For action!

Have your lamps

Lit!”

 

Ἔστωσαν ὑμῶν αἱ ὀσφύες περιεζωσμέναι καὶ οἱ λύχνοι καιόμενοι·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them that they should have their clothes dressed for action (Ἔστωσαν ὑμῶν αἱ ὀσφύες περιεζωσμέναι).  They should have their lamps burning with light (καὶ οἱ λύχνοι καιόμενοι).  There was something similar in Matthew chapter 25:1, about having lamps lit.  There Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven would be like 10 bridesmaids, having lamps with them, waiting to meet the bridegroom.  They were to be an escort in a procession to the bride’s house and then to the wedding banquet with their lit candles.  However, there was nothing in Matthew about being dressed for action.  Are you always dressed and ready for action?

Zechariah on duty (Lk 1:8-1:8)

“Zechariah

Was serving

As a priest

Before God,

Because his section

Was on duty.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ ἱερατεύειν αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ τάξει τῆς ἐφημερίας αὐτοῦ ἔναντι τοῦ Θεοῦ,

 

Having described Zechariah and his wife, Luke turned to the action around Zechariah.  This happened (Ἐγένετο) as he was serving as the priest (δὲ ἐν τῷ ἱερατεύειν αὐτὸν) before God (ἔναντι τοῦ Θεοῦ).  His section or division of Levite priests were on duty (ἐν τῇ τάξει τῆς ἐφημερίας αὐτοῦ).  Apparently, his group of Abijah priests served for 2 weeks at the Temple each year.  Not bad, instead of 2 weeks off for vacation, they served for only 2 weeks a year, since there were 24 groups of priests with various tasks.

She has done a good thing (Mk 14:6-14:6)

“But Jesus said.

‘Let her alone!

Why do you trouble her?

She has performed

A good service

For me.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἄφετε αὐτήν· τί αὐτῇ κόπους παρέχετε; καλὸν ἔργον ἠργάσατο ἐν ἐμοί.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:10, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:7.  Mark said that Jesus told them (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν) to leave her alone (Ἄφετε αὐτήν).  Why were they bringing her problems or troubles (τί αὐτῇ κόπους παρέχετε)?  She had performed a good, worthy, and honorable service or action for him (καλὸν ἔργον ἠργάσατο ἐν ἐμοί).  Thus, Jesus defended this woman, who may have been Mary, the sister of Lazarus, for anointing his head with precious oil.

 

She has done a good thing (Mt 26:10-26:10)

“But Jesus,

Aware of this,

Said to them.

‘Why do you trouble

The woman?

She has performed

A good service

For me.’”

 

γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Τί κόπους παρέχετε τῇ γυναικί; ἔργον γὰρ καλὸν ἠργάσατο εἰς ἐμέ·

 

This is almost word for word to Mark, chapter 14:6, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:7.  Matthew said that Jesus was aware of their grumbling (γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  He said to them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) why were they causing problems for this woman (Τί κόπους παρέχετε τῇ γυναικί).  She had performed a good, worthy, and honorable service or action for him (ἔργον γὰρ καλὸν ἠργάσατο εἰς ἐμέ).  Thus, Jesus defended this woman, who may have been Mary, the sister of Lazarus, for anointing his head with precious oil.

 

Great crowds (Mt 8:1-8:1)

“When Jesus came down

From the mountain,

Great crowds

Followed him.”

 

Καταβάντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί.

 

Just like Moses went up the mountain and came down from the mountain, Jesus went up the mountain in chapter 5:1, now he came down from the mountain (Καταβάντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους).  Matthew continued to use the phrase great crowds followed or accompanied him (ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί).  A new phase in the life of Jesus was to begin.  The time of mountain teaching had ended.  It was time for action.

Experiential Faith

Christianity is an encounter within human experience.  We push out towards the horizon, the boundary between earth and sky, the mystery of God.  We seem to get to that horizon, but then it eludes us.  We get glimpses of God in this horizon experience.  You always know that there is more, and so it is with the friendship of Jesus.  This is an active faith that goes beyond understanding, feeling and experience to a way of life.  Experience is at the heart of all belief.  We all have had a personal development to our faith.  We live our discipleship of Jesus in justice, love, and healing, as our faith springs into action.