A worthy man (Lk 7:4-7:4)

“These Jewish elders

Came to Jesus.

They appealed to him

Earnestly.

They said.

‘He is worthy

Of having you

Do this for him,’”

 

οἱ δὲ παραγενόμενοι πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν σπουδαίως, λέγοντες ὅτι ἄξιός ἐστιν ᾧ παρέξῃ τοῦτο·

 

Luke uniquely said that these Jewish elders came to Jesus (οἱ δὲ παραγενόμενοι πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν).  They appealed or begged Jesus earnestly (παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν σπουδαίως).  They said (λέγοντες) that this centurion was worthy of having Jesus grant this for him (λέγοντες ὅτι ἄξιός ἐστιν ᾧ παρέξῃ τοῦτο).  Luke was the only one who had these elders recommend this Roman non-Jewish centurion for his consideration.  Have you ever recommended someone as being worthy of a position?

Simon’s house (Lk 4:38-4:38)

“Jesus left

The synagogue.

He entered

Simon’s house.

Now Simon’s mother-in-law

Was suffering

From a high fever.

They asked him

About her.”

 

Ἀναστὰς δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς συναγωγῆς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Σίμωνος. πενθερὰ δὲ τοῦ Σίμωνος ἦν συνεχομένη πυρετῷ μεγάλῳ, καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν περὶ αὐτῆς.

 

Luke said that Jesus left the synagogue (Ἀναστὰς δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς συναγωγῆς) in Capernaum.  He then entered Simon’s house (εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Σίμωνος) that was probably in Capernaum also.  Simon’s mother-in-law (πενθερὰ δὲ τοῦ Σίμωνος) was suffering from a high fever (ἦν συνεχομένη πυρετῷ μεγάλῳ).  They asked or appealed to Jesus about her (καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν περὶ αὐτῆς).  Matthew, chapter 8:14, and Mark, chapter 1:29-30, both have something similar, as well.  Mark said that as soon as Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon and Andrew, his brother, nor just Simon’s house.  Thus, this may have been a family residence.  Matthew said clearly it was Peter’s house, using his Greek name that Jesus gave him.  Only Mark mentioned James and John being there also.  In Luke and Mark, Jesus was leaving the synagogue, so that this would be the second healing on the Sabbath.  However, Matthew had them coming here after curing the centurion’s servant.  Anyway, Jesus and his disciples were in a place that Simon or Peter stayed or lived in Capernaum.  This residence of Simon may have become the headquarters for Jesus’ ministry in Galilee.  In Matthew, Jesus saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed sick with a fever, so that no one had to tell him about it, as in Mark and Luke.  In all three gospel stories, she was sick with a fever, lying in bed.  There is no indication of what kind of illness this was or whether it was chronic or severe.  No one explained why Peter’s mother-in-law was living in this house.  Was this a permanent arrangement?  There were no indications of where Simon’s wife was, even if she was there, since there was no mention whatsoever of Peter’s wife in any of these stories.

The centurion at Capernaum (Mt 8:5-8:5)

“When Jesus entered

Capernaum,

A centurion

Came to him.

He appealed to Jesus.”

 

Εἰσελθόντος δὲ αὐτοῦ εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ ἑκατόνταρχος παρακαλῶν αὐτὸν

 

This story about Jesus going into Capernaum can be found in Luke, chapter 7:1-2, and Mark chapter 2:1.  Jesus went back to Capernaum (Εἰσελθόντος δὲ αὐτοῦ εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ) that was now his home, as indicated in chapter 4:13 of this work.  Capernaum (Καφαρναοὺμ) was a fishing village of about 1.500 people, on the northwest seaside corner of the Sea of Galilee.  This non-Jewish Roman centurion came to him (προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ ἑκατόνταρχος) beseeching, imploring, asking, or appealing to Jesus (παρακαλῶν αὐτὸν).  Thus, this centurion (ἑκατόνταρχος) was a Roman soldier in charge of 100 men, who also may have had more authority, as part of the Roman occupying troops of Galilee.

The demand for wisdom (Wis 8:17-8:21)

“When I considered these things inwardly,

I pondered in my heart.

In kinship with wisdom

There is immortality.

In friendship with her,

There is pure delight.

In the labors of her hands,

There is unfailing wealth.

In the experience of her company,

There is understanding.

There is renown in sharing her words.

I went about seeking

How to get her for myself.

As a child

I was naturally gifted.

A good soul fell to my lot.

Rather being good,

I entered an undefiled body.

But I perceived

That I would not possess wisdom

Unless God gave her to me.

It was a mark of insight

To know whose gift she was.

So I appealed to the Lord.

I implored him.

With my whole heart,

I said.”

This author considered these things in his heart. When you are related to wisdom you have immortality (ἀθανασία ἐν συγγενείᾳ σοφίας). There is delight in her friendship and her laboring hands. There is wealth and understanding in her company. You will become famous by sharing her words. He wanted wisdom for himself. He had been a gifted child. Interesting enough there is the Platonic thought of the pre-existent soul (ψυχῆς) that was united to a wonderful body (εἰς σῶμα ἀμίαντον). He realized that he could not possess wisdom unless God gave (ὁ Θεὸς δῷ) him this gift (χάρις) to him. Thus he appealed and implored the Lord (τῷ Κυρίῳ) with his whole heart (ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας μου). This is reminiscent of the story in 1 Kings, chapter 3, when King Solomon asked Yahweh for the gift of wisdom.

The death of Andronicus (2 Macc 4:35-4:38)

“For this reason, not only Jews, but many also of other nations, were grieved and displeased at the unjust murder of Onias. When the king returned from the region of Cilicia, the Jews in the city appealed to him with regard to the unreasonable murder of Onias. The Greeks shared their hatred of the crime. Therefore King Antiochus was grieved at heart and filled with pity. He wept because of the moderation and good conduct of the deceased. Inflamed with anger, he immediately stripped off the purple robe from Andronicus. He tore off his garments. He led him around the whole city to that very place where he had committed the outrage against Onias. There he dispatched the bloodthirsty fellow. The Lord thus repaid him with the punishment he deserved.”

The killing of the deposed high priest Onias was a semi-official act of the king. The Jews and many other nations were upset about this murder of Onias. After all, Andronicus had tricked Onias into coming out of a pagan sanctuary Temple. When King Antiochus IV returned from Cilicia, the southern coastal region of Asia Minor, he was upset and angry. He too wept for the good man. He immediately stripped Andronicus of his purple robes, the robes of authority. He tore his garments and brought him to the place where the outrage had taken place. Then he killed him so that he was given the punishment that the Lord said that he deserved. Here the king of Syria implements the will of God and brings justice to the death of the former Jerusalem high priest.

Simon and Onias (2 Macc 4:1-4:6)

“The previously mentioned Simon, who had informed about the money against his own country, slandered Onias. Simon said that it was Onias who had incited Heliodorus. Onias had been the real cause of the misfortune. Simon dared to designate as a plotter against the government the man who was the benefactor of the city, the protector of his fellow countrymen, and a zealot for the laws. His hatred progressed to such a degree that even murders were committed by one of Simon’s approved agents. Onias recognized that the rivalry was serious. Apollonius son of Menestheus, and governor of Coele-syria and Phoenicia, was intensifying the malice of Simon. So he appealed to the king, not accusing his compatriots but having in view the welfare, both public and private, of all the people. He saw that without the king’s attention public affairs could not again reach a peaceful settlement. Simon would not stop his folly.”

Simon, the one who complained about the money in the Temple treasury, then slandered Onias. He said the Onias was the cause of the problem when he incited Heliodorus to look for the money. Simon was calling the kettle black. He was the one who started the investigation, but he was saying the Onias was the one who started the problem. Some of Simon’s men committed murder. Onias realized that Apollonius, the governor of the area, was siding with Simon. He decided that he would go directly to the king. Otherwise, there was no way to stop Simon. By this time Onias and Heliodorus were good friends, which bothered Simon also.