Gain the whole world (Lk 9:25-9:25)

“What does it

Profit a man,

If he gains

The whole world,

But loses

Or forfeits himself?”

 

τί γὰρ ὠφελεῖται ἄνθρωπος κερδήσας τὸν κόσμον ὅλον ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἀπολέσας ἢ ζημιωθείς;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked what would it profit a man (τί γὰρ ὠφελεῖται ἄνθρωπος), if he gained (κερδήσας) the whole world (τὸν κόσμον ὅλον), but lost, forfeited, or destroyed himself (ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἀπολέσας ἢ ζημιωθείς)?  This famous saying can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:26, Mark, chapter 8:36, and here, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus asked what was the profit or benefit for a person to gain the whole world, if they lost their life or soul?  Jesus asked what would a person give up in exchange for his life or soul?  Matthew also had the question about gaining the whole world.  What is the profit or benefit for a person to gain the whole world, if they lose their life or soul?  What will a person give in exchange for his life or soul?  Give up your life to Jesus, and you will live.  How important is profit or gain in your life?

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What is the value of the whole world? (Mk 8:36-8:37)

“What will

It profit them

To gain

The whole world

And forfeit

Their life?

Indeed,

What can they give

In return

For their life?”

 

τί γὰρ ὠφελεῖ ἄνθρωπον κερδῆσαι τὸν κόσμον ὅλον καὶ ζημιωθῆναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ;

τί γὰρ δοῖ ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ

 

Something similar can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:26, Luke, chapter 9:25, and here, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus asked what was the profit or benefit for a person (τί γὰρ ὠφελεῖ ἄνθρωπον) to gain the whole world (κερδῆσαι τὸν κόσμον ὅλον) if they lost their life or soul (καὶ ζημιωθῆναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ)?  What will a person give up in exchange for his life or soul (τί γὰρ δοῖ ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ)?  Give up your life to Jesus, and you will live.

The happy people in Jerusalem (Isa 65:21-65:23)

“They shall build houses.

They shall inhabit them.

They shall plant vineyards.

They shall eat their fruit.

They shall not build

With another inhabit it.

They shall not plant

With another eat it.

Like the days of a tree

Shall the days of my people be.

My chosen ones shall long enjoy

The work of their hands.

They shall not labor in vain.

They shall not bear children for calamity.

They shall be offspring

Blessed by Yahweh.

Their descendants shall be blessed

With them.”

Everyone will be happy in this new Jerusalem. When they build a house, they will live there, since no one else will live there. If they plant vineyards, they will enjoy their fruit, since no one else will enjoy their crop. Their lives will be long like the days of a large tree. They will benefit from their own work. They will not labor in vain. Their children will not have misfortunes because they and their children will be blessed by Yahweh.

Be firm (Sir 5:8-5:12)

“Do not depend on dishonest wealth.

It will not benefit you

In the day of calamity.

Do not winnow with every wind.

Do not follow every path.

Stand firm for what you know.

Let your speech be consistent.

Be quick to hear.

But be deliberate in answering.

If you know what to say,

Answer your neighbor.

But if you do not know,

Put your hand on your mouth.”

Now the righteous person is asked to stand firm. They should not depend on dishonest wealth to benefit them in the days of their trouble. They were not to follow every wind and every path. They should stand firm for what they know. Their speech should be consistent. They should be quick to listen, but deliberate in answering. If they know what to say, say so. However, if they do not know what to say, they should put their hand over their mouth and be silent.

The condensed story (2 Macc 2:23-2:28)

“All of this has been set forth by Jason of Cyrene in five volumes. We shall attempt to condense it into a single book. There is a considerable flood of statistics involved. The difficulty is that those who wish to enter upon the narratives of history find a mass of material. We have aimed to please those who wish to read it by making it easier for those who are inclined to memorize, and thus profit all readers. For us who have undertaken the toil of abbreviating, it is no light matter but calls for sweat and loss of sleep. It is not easy for one who prepares a banquet and seeks the benefit of others. Nevertheless, to secure the gratitude of many we will gladly endure the uncomfortable toil. We leave the responsibility for exact details to the compiler, while devoting our effort to arriving at the outlines of the condensation.”

Apparently there was a 5 volume work on the history of the Maccabees by a Jason of Cyrene. That work is now lost. This anonymous biblical author wanted to condense it down into 1 volume. This might be called the “Reader’s Digest” of the Maccabees story. He claimed that there was a lot of statistics and material about Judas Maccabeus and his brothers. He was going to make it easy to read and memorize in his abbreviated version. However, doing so was not easy, but like an uncomfortable task, like preparing a banquet. He was not going to sweat the details since he was more concerned with the outline in his condensation.