The kingdom of God is near (Lk 17:21-17:21)

“They will not say.

‘Look!

Here it is!

Or

‘There it is!

In fact,

The kingdom of God

Is among you.’”

 

οὐδὲ ἐροῦσιν Ἰδοὺ ὧδε ἤ Ἐκεῖ· ἰδοὺ γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐντὸς ὑμῶν ἐστιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that people would not say (οὐδὲ ἐροῦσιν), “Look!  Here it is (Ἰδοὺ ὧδε)!” Or “Look!  There it is (ἤ Ἐκεῖ· ἰδοὺ)!”  Jesus emphasized that in fact, the kingdom of God (γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) was among them (ἐντὸς ὑμῶν ἐστιν).  This is somewhat similar to Mark, chapter 13:21, and Matthew, chapter 24:23.  However, they were concerned about the coming of the Messiah rather than the coming of the kingdom of God.  Matthew said that Jesus warned his disciples that if anyone said to them to look because the Messiah Christ was there (τότε ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ Ἰδοὺ ὧδε ὁ Χριστός, ἤ Ὧδε), they were not to believe it (μὴ πιστεύσητε).  Mark said that Jesus warned his disciples that if anyone said to them to look because the Messiah Christ was there (καὶ τότε ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ Ἴδε ὧδε ὁ Χριστός), or if they said look, there he is (Ἴδε ἐκεῖ), they were not to believe it (μὴ πιστεύετε).  They were not to be misled by rumors about the Christ Messiah.  Here in Luke, it was about the kingdom of God and the not the Messiah.  More importantly, Jesus insisted here in Luke that the kingdom of God was with them already.  Is the kingdom of God among you?

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See you later! (Lk 13:35-13:35)

“See!

Your house is forsaken!

I tell you!

You will not see me

Until the time comes

When you say.

‘Blessed is the one

Who comes

In the name

Of the Lord!’”

 

ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν. λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν, οὐ μὴ ἴδητέ με ἕως ἥξει ὅτε εἴπητε Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to Jerusalem that nothing of their house was left for them as it will be forsaken (ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν), using the second person singular.  With a solemn pronouncement (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν), Jesus said that they would not see him, Jesus (οὐ μὴ ἴδητέ με) until the time came when they said (ἕως ἥξει ὅτε εἴπητε) the Hallel Psalm 118:26, “Blessed is the one who comes (Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος) in the name of the Lord (ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου)!”  Both Luke and Matthew, chapter 23:38-39, have this desolation of Jerusalem, almost word for word, so that this may be a Q source.  Matthew was more detailed.  He indicated that Jesus said that their house of worship would be left desolate at its destruction (ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν), because Yahweh God would abandon the Temple of Jerusalem.  In a solemn pronouncement (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν), they would not see him again (οὐ μή με ἴδητε ἀπ’ ἄρτι), until they would say the Hallel Psalm 118:26 about blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord (ἕως ἂν εἴπητε Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου).  This was a warning against the powerless Temple of Jerusalem, perhaps indicating that Temple had already been destroyed by the time of this writing.  Does the destruction of the church Notre Dame de Paris sound like the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple to you?

Wisdom and incarnation (Bar 3:35-3:37)

“This is our God!

No other can be

Compared to him!

He found the whole way

To knowledge.

He gave her

To his servant

Jacob.

He gave her

To Israel

Whom he loved.

Afterward she appeared

On earth.

She lived

With humans.”

This section of Baruch indicates that wisdom became human in some sense, like an incarnation. Surely God, and not Yahweh, was the creator of the world. Thus no other god or person could compare with him. He had full knowledge of everything. He was omniscient. Thus he gave wisdom to his servant Jacob. He also gave wisdom to Israel, whom he loved. The use of both Jacob and Israel is interesting, since it implies that Jacob was a person and Israel was a name of all his descendants. Then there is the final intriguing comment about how she, wisdom, appeared on earth and lived with humans. Some Christians see this as a hint about the incarnation of Jesus. However, it should be noted that the reference is to a she, a female. Wisdom was generally seen as feminine, not masculine like Jesus. Finally, she has already appeared, so that this is not a future aspirational comment. Wisdom is already living among humans. You just have to find this personification of wisdom here on earth.

God’s role (Eccl 3:14-3:15)

“I know that whatever God does,

Endures forever.

Nothing can be added to it.

Nothing can be taken from it.

God has done this,

Thus all should stand in awe before him.

That which is,

Already has been.

That which is to be,

Already is.

God seeks out

What has gone by.”

Whatever God does, it will last forever. Nothing can be added or taken away from his creation. God has done all this. All us humans can do is stand in awe before him. The things of the past exist today, while the future things already exist for God. He seeks out everything that has happened.

Do not use your property as collateral (Prov 6:1-6:5)

“My child!

If you have given your pledge to your neighbor,

If you have bound yourself to another,

You are snared by the utterance of your lips.

You are caught by the words of your mouth.

Do this!

My child!

Save yourself!

You have come into your neighbor’s power.

Go!

Hurry!

Plead with your neighbor!

Give your eyes no sleep.

Give your eyelids no slumber.

Save yourself

Like a gazelle from the hunter!

Save yourself

Like a bird from the hand of the fowler!”

This paternal advice continues with a strange admonition. It seems that there was an ancient custom of pledging your house to help a neighbor. However, here the father warns his children against doing this. If you have already pledged to help, then you are stuck with your own words. However, then it is time to negotiate a resolution with your neighbor since you are under his power. Plead with him until you get this resolved. Do not get any sleep until this is straightened out. You have to save yourself because you are being hunted like a hunter after an animal or a bird that is already caught in a trap.

Treat other people well (Prov 3:27-3:35)

“Do not withhold goods

From those to whom it is due,

When it is in your power to do it.

Do not say to your neighbor.

‘Go!

Come again!

Tomorrow I will give it.’

If you have it with you.

Do not plan harm against your neighbor.

He lives trustingly beside you.

Do not quarrel with anyone without cause,

When no harm has been done to you.

Do not envy the violent!

Do not choose any of their ways!

The perverse are an abomination to Yahweh.

But the upright are in his confidence.

Yahweh’s curse is on the house of the wicked.

But he blesses the abode of the righteous.

Toward the scorners

He is scornful.

But to the humble

He shows favor.

The wise will inherit honor.

But stubborn fools will inherit disgrace.”

When you owe someone something, you should repay it if you are able. Do not tell your neighbor to come back tomorrow, if you already have it. Do not plan any harm against your trusting neighbor. Do not quarrel with anyone without cause if they have not done anything to you. Do not envy the violent or follow any of their ways. While the perverse are an abomination to Yahweh, the upright are in the confidence of God. Yahweh curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. To scorners, he is scornful. However, to the humble, he shows his favor. The wise will inherit honor but the stubborn fools will only find disgrace.