The kingdom of God (Lk 14:15-14:15)

“One of the dinner guests,

On hearing this,

Said to Jesus.

‘Blessed is anyone

Who will eat bread

In the kingdom of God!’”

 

Ἀκούσας δέ τις τῶν συνανακειμένων ταῦτα εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μακάριος ὅστις φάγεται ἄρτον ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke uniquely continued with this dinner party among the Pharisees.  Luke indicated that one of the dinner guests reclining at table with Jesus heard Jesus talk about the end times (Ἀκούσας δέ τις τῶν συνανακειμένων ταῦτα).  He said to Jesus (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that anyone would be blessed, fortunate or happy (Μακάριος) if they could eat bread (ὅστις φάγεται ἄρτον) in the kingdom of God (ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This Pharisee seemed to appreciate that the end times were coming when they would eat bread in the kingdom of God.  Would you like an earthly reward or a heavenly reward?

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The resurrection of the just (Lk 14:14-14:14)

“You will be blessed!

Because they cannot

Repay you.

You will be repaid

At the resurrection

Of the righteous!”

 

καὶ μακάριος ἔσῃ, ὅτι οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἀνταποδοῦναί σοι· ἀνταποδοθήσεται γάρ σοι ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει τῶν δικαίων.

 

Luke uniquely has Jesus explain why inviting the poor, the lame, the crippled, and the blind was a good thing to do.  Jesus said that they would be blessed, happy, and fortunate (καὶ μακάριος ἔσῃ).  These unfortunate people would not be able to repay them with another reciprocal dinner party, (ὅτι οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἀνταποδοῦναί σοι).  However, they would be repaid (ἀνταποδοθήσεται γάρ σοι) at the resurrection of the righteous (ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει τῶν δικαίων).  In other words, they would receive a heavenly reward at the end times.  They should not be that concerned about getting an earthly reward of another dinner invitation, when an eternal reward was available.  Will you be blessed now or at the resurrection of the righteous?

See you later! (Lk 13:35-13:35)

“See!

Your house is forsaken!

I tell you!

You will not see me

Until the time comes

When you say.

‘Blessed is the one

Who comes

In the name

Of the Lord!’”

 

ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν. λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν, οὐ μὴ ἴδητέ με ἕως ἥξει ὅτε εἴπητε Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to Jerusalem that nothing of their house was left for them as it will be forsaken (ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν), using the second person singular.  With a solemn pronouncement (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν), Jesus said that they would not see him, Jesus (οὐ μὴ ἴδητέ με) until the time came when they said (ἕως ἥξει ὅτε εἴπητε) the Hallel Psalm 118:26, “Blessed is the one who comes (Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος) in the name of the Lord (ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου)!”  Both Luke and Matthew, chapter 23:38-39, have this desolation of Jerusalem, almost word for word, so that this may be a Q source.  Matthew was more detailed.  He indicated that Jesus said that their house of worship would be left desolate at its destruction (ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν), because Yahweh God would abandon the Temple of Jerusalem.  In a solemn pronouncement (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν), they would not see him again (οὐ μή με ἴδητε ἀπ’ ἄρτι), until they would say the Hallel Psalm 118:26 about blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord (ἕως ἂν εἴπητε Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου).  This was a warning against the powerless Temple of Jerusalem, perhaps indicating that Temple had already been destroyed by the time of this writing.  Does the destruction of the church Notre Dame de Paris sound like the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple to you?

The lord will be pleased (Lk 12:37-12:37)

“Blessed are those slaves

Whom the lord

Finds alert

When he comes!

Truly!

I say to you!

He will fasten

His belt.

He will have them

Sit down to eat.

He will come

And serve them.”

 

μακάριοι οἱ δοῦλοι ἐκεῖνοι, οὓς ἐλθὼν ὁ κύριος εὑρήσει γρηγοροῦντας· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι περιζώσεται καὶ ἀνακλινεῖ αὐτοὺς καὶ παρελθὼν διακονήσει αὐτοῖς.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said blessed, happy, or fortunate (μακάριοι) would be those slaves (οἱ δοῦλοι ἐκεῖνοι) whom the lord or master (ὁ κύριος) found alert or watching (εὑρήσει γρηγοροῦντας) when he came (οὓς ἐλθὼν).  With a solemn declaration (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), Jesus said this lord would fasten his belt (ὅτι περιζώσεται) and have them sit down or recline at table (καὶ ἀνακλινεῖ αὐτοὺς).  Thus, he would come (καὶ παρελθὼν) and serve them (διακονήσει αὐτοῖς).  Jesus stated that these alert watchful servants would be happy or blessed.  The lord (ὁ κύριος) would then serve them at table.  The motto was to be always alert.  Are you always alert to what is going on around you?

 

Keep the word of God (Lk 11:28-11:28)

“But Jesus said.

‘Blessed rather are

Those who

Hear the word

Of God

And obey it!’”

 

αὐτὸς δὲ εἶπεν Μενοῦν μακάριοι οἱ ἀκούοντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ φυλάσσοντες.

 

Luke continued with this unique incident.  Luke indicated that Jesus responded to this woman who had shouted out from the crowd.  He said (αὐτὸς δὲ εἶπεν) that blessed rather (Μενοῦν μακάριοι) are those who hear (οἱ ἀκούοντες) the word of God (τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ) and obey it (καὶ φυλάσσοντες).  Thus, the really happy, fortunate, or blessed ones (μακάριοι) are not his mother, but rather those who hear and keep or observe the word of God.  Jesus seemed to point out that his true followers were happier or more blessed than his mother.  Listening and following the word of God was more important than anything else.  Spiritual ties were more important than biological ties.  Who do you think are the blessed ones?

Peter responds (Lk 9:20-9:20)

“Jesus said to them.

‘But who do you say

That I am?’

Peter answered.

‘The Messiah,

The Christ

Of God.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς Ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα με λέγετε εἶναι; Πέτρος δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked his disciples (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς) who did they say that he was (Ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα με λέγετε εἶναι)?  Peter answered (Πέτρος δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς) that he was the Messiah, the Christ of God (εἶπεν Τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This same question and response of Peter can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:15-17, Mark, chapter 6:29 and John, 6:69, but all slightly different.  Mark said that Jesus was questioning his disciples who was it that they thought or said that he was.  Jesus thus put them to the test.  This was not about what others said or thought, but about their understanding of Jesus.  Who did they think Jesus was?  Mark said that Peter replied to the generic question of Jesus immediately.  He said that Jesus was the Christ or the Messiah that they were expecting in Israel.  Matthew indicated that Jesus asked his disciples who they thought or said that he was.  Was he the Son of Man or someone else?  Simon Peter replied to the question of Jesus immediately.  He said that Jesus was the Christ or the Messiah that they were expecting in Israel.  Jesus was the son of the living God, not just merely the son of God.  Peter, as the leader of this new group of Jesus followers, asserted this important belief about Jesus.  For the first time, Jesus was called the Christ, the Messiah.  Here Peter, in the name of the nascent Christian community, proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ.  Are the Greek “Christ” and the Hebrew “Messiah” the same?  Matthew was the only one who had Peter say that Jesus was the son of the living God.  Matthew was also the only one that mentioned the special relationship that Peter had with his Father in heaven.  However, Peter gave a strong positive response in all four versions.  Matthew also had Jesus respond to Peter, but that was not in Mark or Luke.  Jesus said that Simon was blessed, because flesh and blood or humans had not revealed this saying of his, but Jesus’ heavenly Father had done so.  Thus, Peter had a special relationship with the Father in heaven.  Peter, as the leader of this new group of Jesus followers, asserted this important belief about Jesus.  Matthew, more than any of the other gospel writers, emphasized the role of Peter as the leader of the early Christian community, the disciples, and the apostles of Jesus.  Who is your human Christian leader?

Jesus blessed the loaves and fishes (Lk 9:16-9:16)

“Taking

The five loaves

And the two fish,

Jesus looked up

To heaven.

He blessed them.

He broke them.

He gave them

To the disciples

To set before

The crowd.”

 

λαβὼν δὲ τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας, ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς καὶ κατέκλασεν, καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς παραθεῖναι τῷ ὄχλῳ.

 

Luke said that Jesus took (λαβὼν) the 5 loaves (δὲ τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους) and the 2 fish (καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας).  He looked up to heaven (ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν).  He blessed them (εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς).  He broke them (καὶ κατέκλασεν).  He gave them to his disciples (αὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς) to set before the crowd (παραθεῖναι τῷ ὄχλῳ).  This is the only blessing miracle that is recorded in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:18-19, Mark, chapter 6:41, and John, chapter 6:12, plus here.  The blessing of the bread and the fish was exactly the same in all the synoptic gospels, but merely summarized in John.  This feeding of a large group of people harkens back to the Exodus story, chapter 16:1-36, about the manna and the quails in the wilderness.  Yet the blessing itself has almost a foretaste of the Eucharistic Last Supper of Jesus, when Jesus blessed and broke the bread.  Mark said that Jesus took the 5 loaves and the 2 fish.  He looked up to heaven.  He blessed them.  Then he broke up the loaves of bread into pieces.  He gave the loaves of bread to his disciples.  They, in turn, set the broken pieces of bread or served them to the crowd.  Jesus also divided or shared the 2 fish among them all, something that Luke did not mention explicitly.  Matthew indicated that Jesus told his disciples to bring him the food, the 5 loaves of bread and the 2 fish.  Then he ordered or directed the crowd to sit down on the grass.  He took the 5 loaves and the 2 fish.  He looked up to heaven.  He blessed them.  Then he broke the loaves of bread and the fishes into pieces.  He gave the loaves of bread to his disciples.  They, in turn, gave them to the crowd.  This almost sounds like a large later distribution of Holy Communion.  Have you ever been to a large communion service?