Be like a child (Lk 18:17-18:17)

“Truly!

I say to you!

Whoever does not receive

The kingdom of God

As a little child

Will never enter it.”

 

ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ ὡς παιδίον, οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς αὐτήν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them with a solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that whoever did not receive (ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται) the kingdom of God (τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) as a little child (ὡς παιδίον) would never enter it (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς αὐτήν).  This Jesus saying put an emphasis on becoming a child to enter the kingdom.  Similar comments can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:15, as well as Matthew, chapters 18:3, with some minor changes.  Mark said that Jesus made a solemn proclamation “Truly! I say to you!’ (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).”  They had to receive the kingdom of God (ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) like a little child (ὡς παιδίον).  Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of God (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς αὐτήν).  Pure and simple, they had to have the attitude of a young child to enter the kingdom of God, just Luke mentioned here, almost word for word.  Matthew indicated that Jesus called or summoned a little child (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος παιδίον).  He placed this little child in the middle of his disciples (ἔστησεν αὐτὸ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν).  Then he made a solemn proclamation ‘Truly! I say to you!’ (καὶ εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  They had to change or convert to become like little children (ἐὰν μὴ στραφῆτε καὶ γένησθε ὡς τὰ παιδία).  Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of heaven (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν).  Whoever became humble like this little child in their midst (ὅστις οὖν ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὡς τὸ παιδίον τοῦτο), would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ μείζων ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν).  The greatest in heaven would be the simple humble little children or those who acted like children, without power and dependent on other people.  Luke and Mark did not have a long explanation about being humble like this little child to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Notice also that once again, Matthew emphasized the kingdom of heaven and not the kingdom of God.  Are you humble like a little child?

 

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The unwise slave (Lk 12:45-12:45)

“However,

If this slave

Says to himself.

‘My master is delayed

In coming.’

He then begins

To beat

The other male

And female slaves.

He begins

To eat

And drink.

He gets drunk.”

 

ἐὰν δὲ εἴπῃ ὁ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ Χρονίζει ὁ κύριός μου ἔρχεσθαι, καὶ ἄρξηται τύπτειν τοὺς παῖδας καὶ τὰς παιδίσκας, ἐσθίειν τε καὶ πίνειν καὶ μεθύσκεσθαι,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with the good slave becoming wicked or unwise.  Jesus said that if this good slave said to himself in his heart (ἐὰν δὲ εἴπῃ ὁ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ) that his lord or master was delayed in returning (Χρονίζει ὁ κύριός μου ἔρχεσθαι), then he would begin to beat the other male and female slaves (καὶ ἄρξηται τύπτειν τοὺς παῖδας καὶ τὰς παιδίσκας).  He would begin to eat and drink (ἐσθίειν τε καὶ πίνειν) and get drunk (καὶ μεθύσκεσθαι).  This parable about the wicked slave is similar to Matthew, chapter 24:48-49, with a little more elaboration here in Luke, where the good slave became the wicked slave.  Perhaps this shows a Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that this wicked slave thought in his heart (ἐὰν δὲ εἴπῃ ὁ κακὸς δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ) that his master was delayed (Χρονίζει μου ὁ κύριος).  Then he began to beat up his fellow slaves (καὶ ἄρξηται τύπτειν τοὺς συνδούλους αὐτοῦ).  He ate and drank with the drunkards (ἐσθίῃ δὲ καὶ πίνῃ μετὰ τῶν μεθυόντων).  There is trouble brewing here.  This will not end well.  Mistreating others and over indulging will not help you.  Have you ever treated others badly?

The little child (Lk 9:47-9:47)

“But Jesus

Became aware

Of their inner thoughts.

He took

A little child.

He put this child

By his side.”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἰδὼς τὸν διαλογισμὸν τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν, ἐπιλαβόμενος παιδίον ἔστησεν αὐτὸ παρ’ ἑαυτῷ,

 

Luke said that Jesus became aware of their inner heart thoughts (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἰδὼς τὸν διαλογισμὸν τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν).  He took a little child (ἐπιλαβόμενος παιδίον).  He put this child by his side (ἔστησεν αὐτὸ παρ’ ἑαυτῷ).  This talk about Jesus and the little child can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:2, as well as Mark, chapters 9:36, with some changes.  Mark said that Jesus took a little child.  He then placed this little child in the middle or among his disciples.  He held the child in his arms and then he spoke to his apostles.  Matthew indicated that Jesus put an emphasis on becoming like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Jesus called or summoned a little child.  He placed this little child in the middle of his disciples.  Then he made a solemn proclamation that they had to change or convert to become like little children.  Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of heaven   Whoever became humble like this little child in their midst, would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  The greatest in heaven would be the simple humble little children or those who acted like children, without power and depending on other people.  What do you think the role of children should be?

Jesus took a little child (Mk 9:36-9:36)

“Then Jesus took

A little child.

He put the child

Among them.

He held the child

In his arms.

He spoke to them.”

 

καὶ λαβὼν παιδίον ἔστησεν αὐτὸ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν, καὶ ἐναγκαλισάμενος αὐτὸ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς

 

This talk about Jesus and the little child can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:2, as well as Luke, chapters 9:47, with some minor changes.  Jesus put an emphasis on becoming like little children.  Mark said that Jesus took a little child (καὶ λαβὼν παιδίον).  He then placed this little child in the middle or among his disciples (ἔστησεν αὐτὸ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν).  He held the child in his arms (καὶ ἐναγκαλισάμενος αὐτὸ) and then he spoke to his apostles (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).

 

Friends (Sir 6:5-6:13)

“Peasant speech multiplies friends.

A gracious tongue multiplies courtesies.

Let those who are friendly with you be many.

But let your advisers be one in a thousand.

When you gain friends,

Gain him through testing.

Do not trust them hastily.

There are friends,

Who are such,

When it suits them.

But they will not stand by you

In time of trouble.

There are friends

Who changes into enemies.

They disclose a quarrel to your disgrace.

There are friends

Who sit at your table.

But they will not stand by you

In time of trouble.

When you are prosperous,

They become your second self.

They lord it over your servants.

But if you are brought low,

They will turn against you.

They will hide themselves from you.

Keep away from your enemies.

Be on guard with your friends.”

Sirach has a warning about friends. They come and go. Pleasant speech and a gracious tongue will get you many friends. However, your advisors should be few, 1 in 1,000. Test people who are becoming your friends. Some will be friends when it suits them. They will not stand by you when there is trouble. Some will change into enemies. Even some who eat at your table will not stay with you when problems arise. Some like to be your friends when you are prosperous. They lord it over your servants. However, if you are brought low, they will hide themselves from you. Sirach’s final advice was to stay away from your enemies, but be on guard with your friends.

The vanity of greatness (Eccl 2:9-2:11)

“So I became great.

I surpassed all

Who were before me in Jerusalem.

However,

My wisdom remained with me.

Whatever my eyes desired,

I did not keep from them.

I kept my heart from no pleasure.

My heart found pleasure in all my toil.

This was my reward for all my toil.

Then I considered

All that my hands had done.

I considered the toil

I had spent in doing it.

Again,

All was vanity.

It was like chasing after wind.

There was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

Qoheleth became great as he surpassed all those that had gone before him. Yet he still had his wisdom. There was no pleasure denied to him. Whatever his eyes or heart desired, he got. He was the great playboy of the ancient world. Everything was his because of his wealth. In fact, he felt that he deserved this because of his hard work, which is true about most rich people. They feel that they deserve all their wealth because of their hard work. They forget about all the other hard working people who never achieve great wealth because of their circumstances. Qoheleth considered how much time he had spent becoming rich and great. Then it all kicked in. This was useless and in vain. He was once again out there chasing a wind that could never be caught. Rarely does one ever get rich enough to feel that they have enough. Like the super rich, suddenly Qoheleth felt that he had enough, because nothing was to be gained under the sun. He practically had everything. He was the richest man in Jerusalem.