The door is locked (Lk 11:7-11:7)

He answered

From within.

‘Do not bother me!

The door has already

Been locked.

My children

And I are

In bed.

I cannot get up

And give you anything.’”

 

κἀκεῖνος ἔσωθεν ἀποκριθεὶς εἴπῃ Μή μοι κόπους πάρεχε· ἤδη ἡ θύρα κέκλεισται, καὶ τὰ παιδία μου μετ’ ἐμοῦ εἰς τὴν κοίτην εἰσίν· οὐ δύναμαι ἀναστὰς δοῦναί σοι

 

Luke uniquely had this parable story about waking up a friend at midnight. The answer of this friend, who was just woken up in the middle of the night, was what you might expect.  He responded from within his house (κἀκεῖνος ἔσωθεν ἀποκριθεὶς εἴπῃ).  He told his friend not to bother or trouble him (Μή μοι κόπους πάρεχε).  His door has already been locked (ἤδη ἡ θύρα κέκλεισται).  His children (καὶ τὰ παιδία μου), as well as himself (μετ’ ἐμοῦ), were already in bed (εἰς τὴν κοίτην εἰσίν).  He was not able to get up (οὐ δύναμαι ἀναστὰς) and give him anything (δοῦναί σοι).  What did he expect?  Just go away!  This neighbor friend was quite direct, nothing doing.  Just go home and leave him alone.  He had settled down for the night.  Maybe they could talk tomorrow.  Has anybody ever woken you up at midnight?

 

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The Levite passed by (Lk 10:32-10:32)

“Thus,

Likewise

A Levite,

When he came

To the place

Saw him.

He passed by

On the other side.”

 

ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Λευείτης κατὰ τὸν τόπον ἐλθὼν καὶ ἰδὼν ἀντιπαρῆλθεν

 

Luke continued his unique story.  Jesus said that a Levite also (ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Λευείτης) came to this same place (κατὰ τὸν τόπον ἐλθὼν) on the road.  He saw the wounded man (καὶ ἰδὼν).  Then he too crossed over to the other side of the road (ἀντιπαρῆλθεν), so as not to engage with this man.  The same questions can be asked of this Jewish Levite that were asked about the priest.  Was it because of ritual purity?  Was he in a hurry, so that he did not have time to stop?  Did he simply not care?  Was it too much of a bother?  Normally, the Levites do not come in for much criticism in the gospel narratives.  Levites were sons of Levi, and tied to ritualistic practice at the Temple.  For instance, the father of John the Baptist was Zechariah and his mother Elizabeth, both of them were descendants of Aaron.  Zechariah was a priest in the Jerusalem Temple, while Elizabeth was from a Levite family.  These Levites had Temple duties.  Thus, they were religious ritual leaders in the Jewish community.  Both the priest and the Levite represented the upper religious strata of the Jewish community.  Do you think that religious leaders should set an example by their lifestyle?

The priest went by (Lk 10:31-10:31)

“Now by chance,

A priest

Was going down

That road.

When he saw him,

He passed by

On the other side.”

 

κατὰ συγκυρίαν δὲ ἱερεύς τις κατέβαινεν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν ἀντιπαρῆλθεν.

 

Luke uniquely continued this story or parable about who is my neighbor.  Jesus said that by chance (κατὰ συγκυρίαν), a certain Jewish priest (δὲ ἱερεύς τις) was going down (κατέβαινεν) this same road (ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐκείνῃ).  He saw the badly wounded man (καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν), but he passed by on the other side of the road (ἀντιπαρῆλθεν).  There is a lot of speculation on why this priest did not help this man.  Was it because of ritual purity?  Was he in a hurry, so that he did not have time to stop?  Did he simply not care?  Was it too much of a bother?  Certainly, a Jewish priest had standing in the Jewish community.  Other than the high priest, he represented the most important level of Jewish society.  What is certain is that this high-ranking religious leader did not engage in any way with the afflicted man on the other side of the road.  He clearly saw him, as he specifically crossed over to the other side, so as not to be bothered by him.  The ritual purity argument has been raised since a priest could not touch a corpse.  However, there was no mention of a dead body.  Do you always have an excuse on why you do not help other wounded people?

Take care of your father (Sir 3:10-3:16)

“Do not glorify yourself

By dishonoring your father.

Your father’s dishonor

Is no glory to you.

The glory of one’ father

Is one’s own glory.

It is a disgrace for children

Not to respect their mother.

My child!

Help your father in his old age!

Do not grieve him

As long as he lives.

Even if his mind fails,

Be patient with him!

Because you have all your faculties

Do not despise him!

Kindness to a father

Will not be forgotten.

Kindness to a father

Will be credited to you against yours sins.

In the day of your distress

It will be remembered in your favor.

Like frost in fair weather,

Your sins will melt away.

Whoever forsakes his father

Is like a blasphemer.

Whoever angers his mother

Is cursed by the Lord.”

Continuing the theme of taking care of parents, you should not consider dishonoring your father as a glory to you. It is a disgrace not to honor your mother also. You should help your father in his old age. You should not bother him. Be patient with him, even if his mind fails and you have all your faculties. The kindness to a father will be credited against your sins. When you are in trouble, it will be remembered in your favor. Like frost melting in sunny weather, your sins will melt away. However, if you forsake your father, that is like a blasphemy. If you anger your mother, you will be cursed by God.

Fleeting wealth (Prov 23:4-23:5)

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich.

Be wise enough to desist.

When your eyes light upon it,

It is gone.

Suddenly it takes wings to itself.

It flies like an eagle toward heaven.”

Don’t bother working hard to get rich. Be smart enough not to try. If you do get rich, it will be gone right before your eyes. This wealth takes wings and flies like an eagle toward the skies. Bye-bye money!

The wicked see no profit in God (Job 21:14-21:16)

“They say to God.

‘Leave us alone!

We do not desire to know your ways.

What is the Almighty Shaddai?

Why should we serve him?

What profit do we get?

Why pray to him?’

Is not their prosperity indeed their own achievement?

The plans of the wicked are repugnant to me.”

Job said that the wicked wanted God to leave them alone. They did not want to know his ways. Why should they bother with the almighty Shaddai? Why serve or pray to him since he would not bring them profit or prosperity? After all, does not prosperity come from their achievements and their own initiative? Job maintained that all the plans of the wicked were repulsive to him.