The tax collector prayer (Lk 18:13-18:13)

“But the tax collector,

Standing far off,

Would not even

Look up to heaven.

But he was beating

His breast.

Saying.

‘God!

Be merciful to me

A sinner!’”

 

ὁ δὲ τελώνης μακρόθεν ἑστὼς οὐκ ἤθελεν οὐδὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἐπᾶραι εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν, ἀλλ’ ἔτυπτεν τὸ στῆθος αὐτοῦ λέγων Ὁ Θεός, ἱλάσθητί μοι τῷ ἁμαρτωλῷ

 

Luke has Jesus continue with this parable about a Pharisee and this tax collector that is only found in this gospel.  Luke indicated that Jesus then turned to the tax collector (ὁ δὲ τελώνης), who was standing far off or a distance away (μακρόθεν ἑστὼς).  He would not even look up or lift his eyes to heaven (οὐκ ἤθελεν οὐδὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἐπᾶραι εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν).  He was beating his breast (ἀλλ’ ἔτυπτεν τὸ στῆθος αὐτοῦ), a common form of penance.  He prayed to God (λέγων Ὁ Θεός) that God would be merciful to him (ἱλάσθητί μοι) a sinner (τῷ ἁμαρτωλῷ).  Instead of thanking God for being good, this tax collector admitted his guilt, not looking up, but striking his breast, asking God to be merciful to him because he was a sinner.  We have two different regular activities, and two different attitudes.  The Pharisee was a better actor in doing the right thing, but had a bad attitude.  The tax collector was not doing the right thing, but had a better attitude.  Are you a good doer or do you have a good attitude?

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The storm on the lake (Lk 8:23-8:23)

“While they were sailing,

Jesus fell asleep.

A windstorm

Swept down

On the lake.

The boat

Was filling

With water.

So that

They were in danger.”

 

πλεόντων δὲ αὐτῶν ἀφύπνωσεν. καὶ κατέβη λαῖλαψ ἀνέμου εἰς τὴν λίμνην, καὶ συνεπληροῦντο καὶ ἐκινδύνευον.

 

Luke said that while they were sailing (πλεόντων δὲ αὐτῶν), Jesus fell asleep (ἀφύπνωσεν).  Then a windstorm swept down on the lake (καὶ κατέβη λαῖλαψ ἀνέμου εἰς τὴν λίμνην).  The boat was filling with water (καὶ συνεπληροῦντο), so that they were in danger (καὶ ἐκινδύνευον).  This stormy boat ride episode can be found in Matthew, chapter 8:24, and Mark, chapter 4:37, somewhat the same as here.  Matthew said that a great severe storm arouse, almost like an earthquake, while they were at sea.  Their boat was being swamped with surging waves.  However, Jesus was asleep, while this storm was hitting their boat.  Mark said that a great severe windstorm came upon them, but there was no mention of an earthquake, as in Matthew.  The waves of the sea were beating into the boat.  Thus, the water was already filling up the boat, so that they were in real danger.  Jesus was asleep as this great windstorm arouse on the Sea of Galilee.  Have you ever been on a stormy boat ride?

They wound another slave (Mk 12:4-12:4)

“Again,

He sent

Another slave

To them.

They beat him

Over the head.

They insulted him.”

 

καὶ πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἄλλον δοῦλον· κἀκεῖνον ἐκεφαλίωσαν καὶ ἠτίμασαν.

 

This beating of the second slave can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:36, and Luke, chapter 20:11, but there were multiple slaves in MatthewMark said that this landowner again sent another slave to them (καὶ πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἄλλον δοῦλον) in another attempt to get his share of the crop.  This time, they beat or struck this 2nd slave over the head (κἀκεῖνον ἐκεφαλίωσαν) and insulted or shamed him (καὶ ἠτίμασαν).  These wicked tenants did the same thing to him that they had done to the first slave.  There definitely was a pattern developing here.

The tenants beat the slave (Mk 12:3 -12:3)

“But they seized

The slave.

They beat him.

They sent him away

Empty-handed.”

 

καὶ λαβόντες αὐτὸν ἔδειραν καὶ ἀπέστειλαν κενόν.

 

This beating of the slave by the wicked tenants can be found somewhat similar in Matthew, chapter 21:35, and Luke, chapter 20:10, but there was only one slave here and in Luke, instead of the 3 different slaves, as in MatthewMark said that these tenant farmers seized this slave (καὶ λαβόντες αὐτὸν).  They beat him (ἔδειραν).  Then they sent him away empty-handed (καὶ ἀπέστειλαν κενόν).  These tenant farmers were not very nice.

The lamentation over this sudden disaster (Jer 4:19-4:22)

“My anguish!

My anguish!

I writhe in pain!

O!

The walls of my heart!

My heart is beating wildly!

I cannot keep silent!

I hear the sound of the trumpet.

I hear the alarm of war.

Disaster overtakes disaster.

The whole land is laid waste.

Suddenly my tents are destroyed.

My curtains are destroyed in a moment.

How long must

I see the standard?

How long must

I hear the sound of the trumpet?

‘My people are foolish.

They do not know me.

They are stupid children.

They have no understanding.

They are skilled in doing evil.

But they do not know

How to do good.’”

Jeremiah laments the actions that are taking place. He is pained and in anguish. His heart is beating wildly as he hears the sound of the war trumpet. There was disaster after disaster in the land, as their tents and curtains were also destroyed quickly. He wondered how long this was going to last. He realized that his people were foolish, acting like stupid children, not listening to him. They had no understanding of what was happening. The only thing that they knew was evil, since they did not know how to do good things.