The Lord needs it (Lk 19:31-19:31)

“If anyone asks you.

‘Why are you untying it?’

Just say this!

‘The Lord needs it.’”

 

καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμᾶς ἐρωτᾷ Διὰ τί λύετε; οὕτως ἐρεῖτε ὅτι Ὁ Κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told them if anyone asked them (καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμᾶς ἐρωτᾷ) why they were untying this colt (Διὰ τί λύετε), they were to simply say to them (οὕτως ἐρεῖτε) that the Lord needs it (ὅτι Ὁ Κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει).  Both Matthew, chapter 21:3, and Mark, chapter 11:3, are similar with slight differences.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that if anyone asked them (καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ) about what they were doing (Τί ποιεῖτε τοῦτο), in this stealing of a young tied up colt, they were to say (εἴπατε) that the Lord needs to have this animal (Ὁ Κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει).  Mark indicated that they also were to say that Jesus would immediately send it back (αὐτὸν ἀποστέλλει πάλιν ὧδε), which was not in the other two gospel accounts.  In Matthew, Jesus said that if anyone said anything to them about this donkey stealing (καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ τι), they were to say (ἐρεῖτε) to that person that the Lord needs these animals (Ὁ Κύριος αὐτῶν χρείαν ἔχει), as if that was some sort of clandestine password.  Was this a secret disciple of Jesus in this village? According to Jesus, they would immediately let them take both the donkey and the young colt (εὐθὺς δὲ ἀποστελεῖ αὐτούς), even though they had been tied up and belonged to someone else.  Matthew was the only one with a donkey besides the colt.  Do you have a friend with a secret password?

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The sign of Jonah (Lk 11:29-11:29)

“When the crowds

Were increasing,

Jesus began to say.

‘This generation

Is an evil generation.

It asks for a sign.

But no sign

Will be given to it,

Except the sign of Jonah.’”

 

Τῶν δὲ ὄχλων ἐπαθροιζομένων ἤρξατο λέγειν Ἡ γενεὰ αὕτη γενεὰ πονηρά ἐστιν· σημεῖον ζητεῖ, καὶ σημεῖον οὐ δοθήσεται αὐτῇ εἰ μὴ τὸ σημεῖον Ἰωνᾶ.

 

Luke said that the crowds were increasingly pressing (Τῶν δὲ ὄχλων ἐπαθροιζομένων) around Jesus.  Thus, he began to talk (ἤρξατο λέγειν).  He said that this generation was an evil generation (Ἡ γενεὰ αὕτη γενεὰ πονηρά ἐστιν).  They seek signs (σημεῖον ζητεῖ), but no sign will be given to them (καὶ σημεῖον οὐ δοθήσεται αὐτῇ), except the sign of Jonah (εἰ μὴ τὸ σημεῖον Ἰωνᾶ).  This seeking of signs was common among all the synoptic gospel writers, Matthew, chapter 12:38-39, Mark, chapter 8:11-12, and Luke, here.  Matthew said that the Scribes and Pharisees wanted a sign rather than the vague “they” here in Luke.  They called Jesus a teacher or rabbi (Διδάσκαλε).  They wanted to see a sign from Jesus (θέλομεν ἀπὸ σοῦ σημεῖον ἰδεῖν).  Mark said that Jesus was not going to give them any sign at all.  He said that Jesus sighed deeply in his spirit.  He asked them why was this generation seeking a sign?  With a rare solemn proclamation in Mark, Jesus told them point blank that no sign would be given to this generation.  Sometimes miracles were considered heavenly signs, but Mark continued to call miracles works of power and not signs, as other gospel writers sometimes referred to them.  Are you always looking for signs from heaven on what to do?

You will receive (Lk 11:10-11:10)

“Everyone who asks,

Receives.

Everyone who seeks,

Finds.

Everyone who knocks,

The door will be opened.”

 

πᾶς γὰρ ὁ αἰτῶν λαμβάνει, καὶ ὁ ζητῶν εὑρίσκει, καὶ τῷ κρούοντι ἀνοιγήσεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that everyone who asks for things (πᾶς γὰρ ὁ αἰτῶν), receives them (λαμβάνει).  Everyone who seeks things (καὶ ὁ ζητῶν), finds them (εὑρίσκει).  Everyone who knocks (καὶ τῷ κρούοντι), that door will be opened for him (ἀνοιγήσεται).  This almost seems like a repeat of the preceding verse, but it is really an elaboration of the same concepts.  Matthew, chapter 7:8, has a similar saying of Jesus, almost word for word, indicating a common Q source.  Everyone who asked, would receive (πᾶς γὰρ ὁ αἰτῶν λαμβάνει) what he asked for.  The seeker will find (καὶ ὁ ζητῶν εὑρίσκει), what he is looking for.  The one knocking will see it open (καὶ τῷ κρούοντι ἀνοιγήσεται).  All is well that ends well.  You just need a little effort in your prayer to the heavenly Father.  Do you ask thing from God the Father?

Find the guest room (Mk 14:14-14:14)

“Wherever he enters,

Say to the owner

Of the house.

‘The Teacher asks.

‘Where is my guest room?

Where may I eat

The Passover

With my disciples?’”

 

καὶ ὅπου ἐὰν εἰσέλθῃ εἴπατε τῷ οἰκοδεσπότῃ ὅτι Ὁ Διδάσκαλος λέγει Ποῦ ἐστιν τὸ κατάλυμά μου, ὅπου τὸ πάσχα μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν μου φάγω;

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:18, and Luke, chapter 22:11.  Mark indicated that Jesus told his 2 unnamed disciples what to say to the proprietor or the owner of the house, as he entered it (καὶ ὅπου ἐὰν εἰσέλθῃ εἴπατε τῷ οἰκοδεσπότῃ).  They were to say that the teacher asked him where his guest room was (ὅτι Ὁ Διδάσκαλος λέγει Ποῦ ἐστιν τὸ κατάλυμά μου).  Jesus wanted to eat the Passover at this house with his disciples (ὅπου τὸ πάσχα μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν μου φάγω).  This Passover was the remembrance of the Israelites fleeing Egypt by eating special foods.  There is no indication of whose house this was or who the owner of the house was.  Certainly, it was someone who knew Jesus.

The evil generation gets the sign of Jonah (Mt 16:4-16:4)

“An evil

And adulterous generation

Asks for a sign.

But no sign

Will be given to it,

Except the sign of Jonah.’

Then he left them.

He went away.”

 

γενεὰ πονηρὰ καὶ μοιχαλὶς σημεῖον ἐπιζητεῖ, καὶ σημεῖον οὐ δοθήσεται αὐτῇ εἰ μὴ τὸ σημεῖον Ἰωνᾶ. καὶ καταλιπὼν αὐτοὺς ἀπῆλθεν.

 

This saying about the evil generation and the sign of Jonah can be found in Mark, chapter 8:12-13, and Luke, chapter 11:29, and earlier in Matthew, chapter 12:38, plus here, but there are slight differences.  Jesus said that they were an evil and adulterous generation (γενεὰ πονηρὰ καὶ μοιχαλὶς) because they were asking for a sign (σημεῖον ἐπιζητεῖ).  However, no sign would be given to them (καὶ σημεῖον οὐ δοθήσεται αὐτῇ), except the sign of Jonah (εἰ μὴ τὸ σημεῖον Ἰωνᾶ).  There was no further explanation as earlier in chapter 8:12-13, but Matthew used exactly the same words as in the earlier saying.  Here, he simply went away and left them there (καὶ καταλιπὼν αὐτοὺς ἀπῆλθεν.) to figure things out.  Jonah, chapter 1:17, was where the prophet was in the belly of the whale or the sea monster for 3 days and 3 nights.  The obvious comparison between the 3 days and the 3 nights in the belly of the fish and Jesus in the tomb was not lost on the early Christians.  This was a clear allusion to the death of Jesus in the tomb for 3 days and 3 nights before his resurrection.  But there was no attempt to make it clear here.

The sign of Jonah (Mt 12:39-12:40)

“But Jesus answered them.

‘An evil

And adulterous generation

Asks for a sign.

But no sign shall be given

To it,

Except the sign

Of the prophet Jonah.

Just as Jonah was three days

And three nights

In the belly of the sea monster,

Thus,

For three days

And three nights

The Son of man

Will be

In the heart of the earth.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Γενεὰ πονηρὰ καὶ μοιχαλὶς σημεῖον ἐπιζητεῖ, καὶ σημεῖον οὐ δοθήσεται αὐτῇ εἰ μὴ τὸ σημεῖον Ἰωνᾶ τοῦ προφήτου.

ὥσπερ γὰρ ἦν Ἰωνᾶς ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ τοῦ κήτους τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας, οὕτως ἔσται ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ τῆς γῆς τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας.

 

This saying about the sign of Jonah can also be found in Luke, chapter 11:29-30, so that perhaps this is a Q source.  Once again, Q and Matthew went back to their Old Testament roots, using the story of the prophet Jonah, chapter 1:17, where he was in the belly of the whale or the sea monster for 3 days and 3 nights.  The obvious comparison between the 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the fish and Jesus in the tomb was not lost on the early Christians.  Jesus answered the Pharisees (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).  He called them an evil and adulterous generation (Γενεὰ πονηρὰ καὶ μοιχαλὶς).  Why were they asking for or seeking signs (σημεῖον ἐπιζητεῖ)?  The only sign they were going to get was the sign of the prophet Jonah (καὶ σημεῖον οὐ δοθήσεται αὐτῇ εἰ μὴ τὸ σημεῖον Ἰωνᾶ τοῦ προφήτου).  He had been in the belly of the sea monster or whale that swallowed him for 3 days and 3 nights (ὥσπερ γὰρ ἦν Ἰωνᾶς ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ τοῦ κήτους τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας).  Thus, the Son of Man would be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth (οὕτως ἔσται ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ τῆς γῆς τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας).  This was a clear allusion to the death of Jesus in the tomb for 3 days and 3 nights before his resurrection.

The calamity to come (Jer 14:17-14:18)

“You shall say to them this word.

‘Let my eyes run down with tears

Night and day!

Let them not cease!

The virgin daughter!

My people!

Is struck down

With a crushing blow,

With a very grievous wound.

If I go out into the field,

Look!

Those were killed by the sword!

If I enter the city,

Look!

Those are sick with famine!

Both the prophet with the priest

Ply their trade through the land.

But they have no knowledge.’”

Yahweh once again asks Jeremiah to speak about the coming devastation. Yahweh was going to cry both night and day with tears rolling down his face all the time. His virgin daughter, his people, has been struck a crushing blow so that they were grievously wounded. If you looked in the field, you could see the people killed by the sword. If you went into the city, you could see people sick with the famine. Both the priest and the prophet were plying their trade, but they did not know what they were doing.