“But when this son
Who has devoured
The fatted calf
ὅτε δὲ ὁ υἱός σου οὗτος ὁ καταφαγών σου τὸν βίον μετὰ πορνῶν ἦλθεν, ἔθυσας αὐτῷ τὸν σιτευτὸν μόσχον.
This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories. Luke indicated that Jesus said that this older son continued his complaint to his father. He said that when his brother, his father’s son (ὅτε δὲ ὁ υἱός σου οὗτος), came back (ἦλθεν), after having devoured his property (ὁ καταφαγών σου τὸν βίον) with prostitutes (μετὰ πορνῶν), he went and killed or sacrificed the fatted calf for him (ἔθυσας αὐτῷ τὸν σιτευτὸν μόσχον). Luke is the only biblical writer who used this term σιτευτόν, that means fattened calf, 3 times in this story. This upset son pointed out to his father that his brother had squandered all his hard-earned property on prostitutes. Yet he was rewarding him with a special meal celebration. Does this seem fair to you?
“Then the older brother
To go in.
His father came out.
To plead with him.”
ὠργίσθη δὲ καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν εἰσελθεῖν· ὁ δὲ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ ἐξελθὼν παρεκάλει αὐτόν.
This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories. Luke indicated that Jesus said that the older brother became angry (ὠργίσθη). He refused to go in to the celebration (δὲ καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν εἰσελθεῖν). His father came out of the celebration (ὁ δὲ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ ἐξελθὼν). He began to plead with him (παρεκάλει αὐτόν). Now the conflict begins. This seemed like such a nice happy story about a sinner who repented and was taken back by his father. But now there was the other son who really did not want to go along with this plan. He had been a hard-working farmer, while his brother went away carousing and wasting money. Do you feel closer to the hard-working brother or the loose living brother?
“When she has found it,
She calls together
‘Rejoice with me!
I have found
That I had lost.’”
καὶ εὑροῦσα συνκαλεῖ τὰς φίλας καὶ γείτονας λέγουσα Συνχάρητέ μοι, ὅτι εὗρον τὴν δραχμὴν ἣν ἀπώλεσα.
Luke indicated that Jesus continued with this parable story. He said that when this woman had found the lost drachma (καὶ εὑροῦσα), she would call together (συνκαλεῖ) her friends (τὰς φίλας) and her neighbors (καὶ γείτονας). She would say to them (λέγουσα) that they should rejoice with her (Συνχάρητέ μοι) because she had found her lost coin (ὅτι εὗρον τὴν δραχμὴν ἣν ἀπώλεσα). This is almost word for word the same as the celebration at the finding of the lost sheep. There the shepherd called together (συνκαλεῖ) his friends (τοὺς φίλους) and neighbors (καὶ τοὺς γείτονας). He said to them (λέγων αὐτοῖς) to come rejoice with him (Συνχάρητέ μοι) because he had found his lost sheep (ὅτι εὗρον τὸ πρόβατόν μου τὸ ἀπολωλός). Search diligently until you find it. Then rejoice over your good fortune in finding it with friends and neighbors. Have you ever celebrated when you found something that was lost?
To the city.
They found everything
Had told them.
The Passover meal.”
καὶ ἐξῆλθον οἱ μαθηταὶ καὶ ἦλθον εἰς τὴν πόλιν καὶ εὗρον καθὼς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἡτοίμασαν τὸ πάσχα.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:19, and Luke, chapter 22:13, with Luke closer to Mark. Jesus’ 2 unnamed disciples went away (καὶ ἐξῆλθον οἱ μαθηταὶ). They then entered into the city (καὶ ἦλθον εἰς τὴν πόλιν). They found everything just as Jesus had told them (καὶ εὗρον καθὼς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς). They prepared the Passover meal (καὶ ἡτοίμασαν τὸ πάσχα). Nothing unusual here, the disciples followed the orders of Jesus. Things happened as he said that they would. Thus, they had this room ready for the Passover celebration.
“The disciples did
Had directed them.
The Passover meal.”
καὶ ἐποίησαν οἱ μαθηταὶ ὡς συνέταξεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς, καὶ ἡτοίμασαν τὸ πάσχα.
This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:16, and Luke, chapter 22:13, but with a little more elaboration there. These disciples did (καὶ ἐποίησαν οἱ μαθηταὶ) as Jesus had directed them to do (ὡς συνέταξεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς). They prepared the Passover meal (καὶ ἡτοίμασαν τὸ πάσχα). Nothing unusual here, the disciples followed the orders of Jesus and had this room ready for the Passover celebration.
We experience God in our community in the celebration of the story of Jesus Christ. The coherent story of Jesus overcomes self-deception. Jesus showed us how to be faithful to others and provides a model for constancy. The Jesus narrative story transforms and empowers us. Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the anointed one, the suffering servant. For many the scandal of death by crucifixion was too much. Christ’s resurrection defies scientific verification. This is not just about Jesus of Nazareth, but Jesus, the Lord and Savior. Jesus speaks to our hearts and minds. Jesus lives on with his Holy Spirit in our community when we gather together. There is a personal and social transformation that continually takes place with a deeper and richer understanding of the human person and authentic community. We all have a personal development of our faith. We live our discipleship of Jesus in justice, love and healing as our faith springs into action.
“In the first month,
On the fourteenth day
Of the month,
You shall celebrate
Of the Passover.
For seven days
Shall be eaten.
On that day
The prince shall provide
As well as for all the people
Of the land,
A young bull
For a sin offering.”
Yahweh, via Ezekiel, reiterated the time of Passover celebration, the 14th day of the 1st month. During 7 days, they would eat only unleavened bread, the traditional Passover celebration food. On the day of Passover itself, the prince would offer a young bull for a sin offering for himself and all the people of the land.
“Cursed be the day
On which I was born!
When my mother bore me,
Let it not be blessed!
Cursed be the man
Who brought the news to my father!
‘A child is born to you,
This made him very glad.
Let that man be
Like the cities
That Yahweh overthrew without pity!
Let him hear a cry in the morning!
Let him hear an alarm at noon!
Because he did not kill me
In the womb.
Thus my mother would have been
Her womb would be forever great.
Why did I come forth
From the womb?
To see toil?
To see sorrow?
Why do I spend my days in shame?”
It is an unusual idea to curse one’s own existence. The only comparable thought would have been in Job, chapter 3, where he cursed the day he was conceived and the day he was born. This is a lament about the personal problems in the life of the prophet Jeremiah. He wanted the day of his birth not to be a celebration or blessing, but a cursed day. He even wanted the man who told his father about the birth of his son to be cursed also. Jeremiah wanted that man to be like Yahweh’s destroyed cities. He wanted him to hear cries in the morning and at noon. They should have killed him in the womb so that his mother’s womb would have been his grave. This is an interesting thought for many anti-abortionists. Jeremiah wondered why he had come forth from the womb only to have a life of toils and sorrow, filled with shame. This is a very depressing idea, much like the poor depressed Job.
“It was also made clear
That being possessed of wisdom,
Solomon offered sacrifice for the dedication
And completion of the temple.
Just as Moses prayed to the Lord,
Fire came down from heaven
And devoured the sacrifices.
So also Solomon prayed,
And the fire came down
The fire consumed the whole burnt offerings.
‘They were consumed
Because the sin offering had not been eaten.’
Likewise Solomon also kept the eight days.”
There is no question that the wise King Solomon offered a great sacrifice for the dedication and completion of the Temple in 1 Kings, chapters 5-9. When Moses prayed, the Lord sent fire from heaven to devour the sacrifices as in Leviticus, chapter 10. The same thing happened to King Solomon who also had an 8 day celebration.
“Then Tobias called Raphael and said to him.
Take four servants and two camels with you!
Travel to Rages!
Go to the home of Gabael!
Give him the bond!
Get the money!
Then bring him with you to the wedding celebration.
You know that my father must be counting the days.
If I delay even one day I upset him.
You are a witness to the oath that Raguel has sworn.
I cannot violate his oath.’
So Raphael with the four servants and two camels went to Rages in Media. He stayed with Gabael. Raphael gave him the bond. He informed him that Tobit’s son Tobias had married, so that he was inviting him to the marriage celebration. So Gabael got up and counted out to him the money bags, with their seals intact. They loaded them on the camels. In the morning they both got up early and came to the wedding celebration. When they came into Raguel’s house, they found Tobias reclining at table. He sprang up and greeted Gabael, who wept and blessed them.”
The time between Ecbatana and Reges was about 11 days one way. It would have been difficult to get him back for the wedding celebration. I do not understand why Tobias did not send Raphael back to Nineveh to get his parents to come to the wedding celebration. Where did Raphael get the 4 servants since he and Tobias were alone? Probably Raguel gave them to him with the camels. Anyway, the trip was very quick. Raphael stayed overnight and then set out the next day. Gabael gave the money to Raphael after counting it out. He accepted the invitation to the wedding. Gabael wept when he saw and greeted Tobias.