Wrapped in cloth (Lk 19:20-19:20)

“Then another slave

Came.

He said.

‘Lord!

Here is your mina!

I wrapped it up

In a piece of cloth.’”

 

καὶ ὁ ἕτερος ἦλθεν λέγων Κύριε, ἰδοὺ ἡ μνᾶ σου, ἣν εἶχον ἀποκειμένην ἐν σουδαρίῳ·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that another slave came in (καὶ ὁ ἕτερος ἦλθεν) and said to this lord, nobleman (λέγων Κύριε), that he had saved his mina (ἰδοὺ ἡ μνᾶ σου).  He had wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, a handkerchief or a napkin (ἣν εἶχον ἀποκειμένην ἐν σουδαρίῳ).  Instead of trading with this money, he simply wrapped it up to keep it safe.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 25:25, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Unlike the first 2 slaves, this third slave did something else with his one talent.  Jesus said this slave who had received one talent came forward to his master (προσελθὼν δὲ καὶ ὁ τὸ ἓν τάλαντον εἰληφὼς).  However, this slave said that he was afraid (καὶ φοβηθεὶς), so he went and hid his talent in the ground (ἀπελθὼν ἔκρυψα τὸ τάλαντόν σου ἐν τῇ γῇ).  Then he seemed happy to return this one talent back to his master.  He said “Look! here it is (ἴδε ἔχεις τὸ σόν)!”  He was glad to be rid of this burden of protecting this money from possible thieves or robbers.  Sometimes people are too cautious, as they fear that they will lose something, as here in this parable story.  Are you too cautious with your money?

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Diner invitations (Lk 14:12-14:12)

“Jesus said

To the one

Who had invited him.

‘When you give

A luncheon

Or a dinner,

Do not invite

Your friends!

Do not invite

Your brothers!

Do not invite

Your relatives!

Do not invite

Rich neighbors!

Otherwise,

They may invite you

In return.

You would then

Be repaid.’”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τῷ κεκληκότι αὐτόν Ὅταν ποιῇς ἄριστον ἢ δεῖπνον, μὴ φώνει τοὺς φίλους σου μηδὲ τοὺς ἀδελφούς σου μηδὲ τοὺς συγγενεῖς σου μηδὲ γείτονας πλουσίους, μή ποτε καὶ αὐτοὶ ἀντικαλέσωσίν σε καὶ γένηται ἀνταπόδομά σοι.

 

Finally, Luke uniquely had Jesus turn to his Pharisee host.  Jesus spoke to the one who had invited him (Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τῷ κεκληκότι αὐτόν).  He told him that when he would give a luncheon or dinner (Ὅταν ποιῇς ἄριστον ἢ δεῖπνον), he should not invite (μὴ φώνει) his friends (τοὺς φίλους σου), his brothers (μηδὲ τοὺς ἀδελφούς σου), his relatives (μηδὲ τοὺς συγγενεῖς σου), nor rich neighbors (μηδὲ γείτονας πλουσίους).  Otherwise, they might invite him back in return (μή ποτε καὶ αὐτοὶ ἀντικαλέσωσίν σε), in order to repay him (καὶ γένηται ἀνταπόδομά σοι).  In other words, do not invite your friends or relatives because they would probably invite you back again as a repayment.  That actually is the normal course of things.  Dinner parties usually circulate so that there is no undue burden on any one person.  But Jesus, via Luke, did not like that way of doing things.  Who do you invite to your parties?

What is written in the law? (Lk 10:26-10:26)

“Jesus said

To this lawyer.

‘What is written

In the law?

What do you read there?’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν Ἐν τῷ νόμῳ τί γέγραπται; πῶς ἀναγινώσκεις;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked this lawyer (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν) what was written in the law (Ἐν τῷ νόμῳ τί γέγραπται)?  What did he read there (πῶς ἀναγινώσκεις)?  In the other 2 synoptics, Mark and Matthew, Jesus immediately responded, instead of asking the lawyer what was written in the Mosaic law.  Thus, this unique passage of Luke put the burden on the well-versed lawyer.  What do you know about the laws of God?

The first hired are upset (Mt 20:10-20:12)

“Now when the first group came,

They thought that

They would receive more.

But each of them

Also received a denarius.

When they received it,

They grumbled

Against the landowner.

They said.

‘These last laborers worked

Only one hour.

You have made them

Equal to us.

We have borne

The burden of the day

And the scorching heat.’”

 

καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ πρῶτοι ἐνόμισαν ὅτι πλεῖον λήμψονται· καὶ ἔλαβον τὸ ἀνὰ δηνάριον καὶ αὐτοί.

λαβόντες δὲ ἐγόγγυζον κατὰ τοῦ οἰκοδεσπότου

λέγοντες Οὗτοι οἱ ἔσχατοι μίαν ὥραν ἐποίησαν, καὶ ἴσους αὐτοὺς ἡμῖν ἐποίησας τοῖς βαστάσασι τὸ βάρος τῆς ἡμέρας καὶ τὸν καύσωνα.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, as Jesus continued his parable story.  When the first group of hired laborers came (καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ πρῶτοι) to get their pay as the last ones, they thought that they would receive more than the one denarius that all the later hired laborers had received (ἐνόμισαν ὅτι πλεῖον λήμψονται).  However, each of them received one denarius (καὶ ἔλαβον τὸ ἀνὰ δηνάριον καὶ αὐτοί), what they had agreed to in the early morning.  When they got this pay (λαβόντες δὲ), they grumbled against the landowner (ἐγόγγυζον κατὰ τοῦ οἰκοδεσπότου).  They complained that the last hired laborers had worked only 1 hour (λέγοντες Οὗτοι οἱ ἔσχατοι μίαν ὥραν ἐποίησαν).  This land owner had made them equal to those who had worked 12 hours (καὶ ἴσους αὐτοὺς ἡμῖν).  They had been picking grapes all day long in the scorching heat (ἐποίησας τοῖς βαστάσασι τὸ βάρος τῆς ἡμέρας καὶ τὸν καύσωνα).  This seemed grossly unfair.  If the last hired got one denarius (15 cents) for 1 hour of work, why were they not paid 12 denarii ($1.80) for 12 hours of work.  They seemed to have a good argument.  However, so did those who started at 9 AM, noon, and 3 PM.  They all got one denarius but did not grumble.  Remember it is a story or parable.

Assyria will be erased (Isa 14:24-14:27)

“Yahweh of hosts has sworn.

‘As I have designed,

So shall it be.

As I have planned,

So shall it come to pass.

I will break the Assyrian

In my land.

On my mountains

I will trample him under foot.

His yoke shall be removed

From them.

His burden shall be removed

From their shoulders.’

This is the plan that is planned

Concerning the whole earth.

This is the hand that is stretched out

Over all the nations.

Yahweh of hosts has planned.

Who will annul it?

His hand is stretched out.

Who will turn it back?”

Having dealt with Babylon and its city, Yahweh turned to the Assyrians themselves. He says that the Assyrians would be wiped out. Around 610 BCE, they were wiped out by the Persians. The Assyrian Empire went back a couple of millennium BCE. However, the so-called neo-Assyrian Empire went from about 911-610 BCE. This large neo-Assyrian Empire is what the Israelites faced during this time frame. Isaiah has Yahweh clearly plan the destruction of the Assyrian Empire. The theme here is that whatever Yahweh has planned, it will come to pass. He was going to break the Assyrians and trample them underfoot. Yahweh said that the Assyrians would no longer be in his land and his mountains. The Assyrian yoke and burden would be removed from the Israelites. However, Yahweh’s plan was also for the whole world. He had planned it and stretched out his hand. It was going to happen. Who was going to stop Yahweh? Thus it came to pass that the Persians attacked and destroyed the Assyrian Empire in the 7th century BCE, because of the plan of Yahweh.

The good wife (Sir 26:1-26:4)

“Happy is the husband

Of a good wife.

The number of his days

Will be doubled.

A loyal wife brings joy

To her husband.

He will complete

His years in peace.

A good wife is

A great blessing.

She will be granted

Among the blessings

Of the man who fears the Lord.

Whether rich or poor,

His heart is content.

At all times,

His face is cheerful.”

Now we see the opposite, the good wife.   Sirach says that a husband will be happy if he has a good loyal wife. She will bring joy to her husband. He will live twice as long, and complete his years in peace. This good wife is a great blessing, especially for those who fear the Lord. Whether rich or poor, he will be content at all times with the cheerful face of his good wife. It seems that the burden of any marriage falls on the wife rather than the husband.