Will God delay? (Lk 18:7-18:7)

“Will not God

Grant justice

To his chosen ones

Who cry to him

Day and night?

Will he delay long

In helping them?”

 

ὁ δὲ Θεὸς οὐ μὴ ποιήσῃ τὴν ἐκδίκησιν τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν αὐτοῦ τῶν βοώντων αὐτῷ ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός, καὶ μακροθυμεῖ ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς;

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge.  Luke had Jesus bring this parable to a conclusion with a comment about God.  He wondered whether God (ὁ δὲ Θεὸς) would grant justice (οὐ μὴ ποιήσῃ τὴν ἐκδίκησιν) to his chosen ones (τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν αὐτοῦ) who cried to him (τῶν βοώντων αὐτῷ) day and night (ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός)?  Would God delay long in helping them (καὶ μακροθυμεῖ ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς)?  The comparison was explicit.  Jesus said that God would grant justice to his chosen ones who petitioned him day and night.  Their persistence prayer would pay off.  God would not delay in helping them and answering their prayers for justice.  Has God answered your persistent prayers?

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Gather the elect (Mk 13:27-13:27)

“Then the Son of Man

Will send out

The angels.

He will gather

His elect

From the four winds,

From the ends of the earth

To the ends of heaven.”

 

καὶ τότε ἀποστελεῖ τοὺς ἀγγέλους καὶ ἐπισυνάξει τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς αὐτοῦ ἐκ τῶν τεσσάρων ἀνέμων ἀπ’ ἄκρου γῆς ἕως ἄκρου οὐρανοῦ.

 

This is almost word for word, in Matthew, chapter 24:31.  Mark said that the Son of Man would send out angels (καὶ τότε ἀποστελεῖ τοὺς ἀγγέλους).  Thus, the angels were the apostles or sent ones for gathering the chosen ones.  There was no mention of a trumpet call here, as in Matthew.  These angels would gather his elect or chosen ones (καὶ ἐπισυνάξει τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς αὐτοῦ) from the four winds (ἐκ τῶν τεσσάρων ἀνέμων), from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven (ἀπ’ ἄκρου γῆς ἕως ἄκρου οὐρανοῦ).  The Son of Man would send his apostolic angels to gather the chosen ones from all over the place.

 

False Christs (Mk 13:22-13:22)

“False Messiah Christs

Will appear!

False prophets

Will appear!

They will produce

Signs!

They will produce

Omens

To lead astray,

If possible,

The elect.”

 

ἐγερθήσονται δὲ ψευδόχριστοι καὶ ψευδοπροφῆται καὶ ποιήσουσιν σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα πρὸς τὸ ἀποπλανᾶν εἰ δυνατὸν τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς·

 

This is almost word for word, in Matthew, chapter 24:24.  Mark said that both false or pseudo-Christs and false and pseudo-prophets would appear (ἐγερθήσονται δὲ ψευδόχριστοι καὶ ψευδοπροφῆται).  They would give signs and wonders (καὶ ποιήσουσιν σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα), in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect or the chosen ones (πρὸς τὸ ἀποπλανᾶν εἰ δυνατὸν τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς).  The 3 synoptic gospels often warned against people who might lead them astray.  Some people would come saying that they were the Messiah Christ in order to deceive them.  Apparently, there were quite a few deceptive Jewish messianic leaders who were saying that they were the Christ Messiah.  John the Baptist was an example of a messianic leader in the 1st century CE.  Other political Jewish leaders had messianic ambitions also, especially those who led the revolt against the Romans in the 2nd half of the 1st century.  Jesus was warning against all of them.

 

Shortened days (Mk 13:20-13:20)

“If the Lord

Had not cut short

Those days,

No one

Would be saved.

But for the sake

Of the elect,

Whom he chose,

He has cut short

Those days.”

 

καὶ εἰ μὴ ἐκολόβωσεν Κύριος τὰς ἡμέρας, οὐκ ἂν ἐσώθη πᾶσα σάρξ· ἀλλὰ διὰ τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς οὓς ἐξελέξατο ἐκολόβωσεν τὰς ἡμέρας.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:22, but not in Luke.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that if the Lord had not cut short those days (καὶ εἰ μὴ ἐκολόβωσεν Κύριος τὰς ἡμέρας), no one or any flesh would be saved (οὐκ ἂν ἐσώθη πᾶσα σάρξ).  However, for the sake of the elect or the chosen ones (ἀλλὰ διὰ τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς οὓς ἐξελέξατο), the Lord cut short those days (ἐκολόβωσεν τὰς ἡμέρας).  Thus, there will be less suffering at the end times because God does not want his chosen elected ones to suffer too much.

 

Fifth narrative

Jesus traveled toward Jerusalem and taught in the Temple there, debating with the chief priests and religious leaders.  Then he spoke about the coming kingdom of heaven and the future end times.

Jesus finally went to Judea, where he cured large crowds of people.  The Pharisees questioned him about divorce.  Jesus reiterated the importance of marriage, as he spoke about Moses and divorce.  After hearing the response of Jesus about divorce, his disciples wondered why they should marry at all.  Jesus explained about different kind of eunuchs.

The children came forward to Jesus and he blessed them.  He warned against wealth.  To gain eternal life you had to keep the commandments.  They wanted to know which commandments?  The great commandment was not a problem.  However, Jesus asked them to give up their possessions, so that the rich young man walked away.  It was hard for rich people to enter the kingdom like a camel going through the eye of a needle.  Who could be saved?  The response was that all things are possible with God.  Peter wanted to know about the disciples and the eternal life reward, so that Jesus told them that the first shall be last and vice versa.

Then Jesus presented the parable of the laborers in the vineyard.  He hired the first laborers, and then late in the day a second group, a third group and finally a fourth group of laborers.  The last group hired got a full day’s pay.  The first group hired were upset when they got the same as the last group hired.  This brought up the problem of generosity versus fairness, as Jesus explained the parable.

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus predicted what was going to happen to him in Jerusalem.  The mother of the sons of Zebedee wanted to know if her two sons, James and John, could be the greatest, on either side of Jesus.  Jesus pointed out the difficulties and said that only the Father set up the seating arrangements.  This led to ten angry men as they resented the two trying to be first.  Jesus reminded them about servant leadership, as the Son of Man was going to give up his life.

There were great crowds at Jericho where Jesus found two blind men asking for mercy, so he healed them.  Then began the final ministry in Jerusalem with a triumphal entry.  Jesus sent two disciples from Bethpage to get a donkey and a colt because he needed them.  Thus, the prophecy of Zechariah might be fulfilled.  They brought the donkey and the colt to Jesus.  Then crowds welcomed the Son of David into Jerusalem as they began to wonder who this man was?

Jesus went into the Temple and chased out the money changers to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah.  When he cured people in the Temple, the chief priests were angry, but the little children praised him.

Then Jesus went to Bethany.  The next morning, he was hungry.  He saw a fig tree, but it had no figs, so he cursed the fig tree as it withered because of his faith.

People began to question where did Jesus get his authority?  Jesus responded with a question for a question.  He asked them about the value of the baptism of John.  They gave a timid response.  Then he told the parable about the two sons.  The first son said no at first, and then did the work, while the second son said yes and did not do the work.  Which son did the will of his father?  Thus, they did not believe John the Baptist.

Then Jesus told the parable about the wicked tenants.  This absentee land owner of the vineyard sent people to collect his rent.  Instead, the tenants beat and killed the landowner’s slaves.  He sent a second group that was also killed.  Then the tenants killed the landowner’s son.  Finally, the landowner came to take back his vineyard, citing Psalm 118 about the kingdom of God and the falling cornerstone.  The Pharisees understood this parable and tried to arrest Jesus.

Jesus continued to speak in parables.  This parable was about the king who gave a great wedding banquet.  However, the invited guests refused to come to the wedding banquet.  He sent out a second invitation to the wedding banquet, but they refused the second invitation also.  They treated his slaves badly.  The king was angry and sent out new invitations to the wedding feast.  Finally, a man without a wedding garment showed up, but he threw him out of the feast.  The explanation of this parable was that many are called, but few are chosen.

Next the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus by flattering him.  They asked him a question about taxes.  Jesus gave a harsh response as he had a dialogue about the Roman coin about whose image was on it.  Give Caesar his due.  The Pharisees and their disciples left.

However, the Sadducees asked a question about the resurrection.  There was a law about marrying the brother of a dead man.  There was a woman who married seven brothers, who was her husband in the resurrection?  Jesus responded that there was no marriage in the resurrection.  The living God of their ancestors would show them the way.  The crowd was astonished.

The Pharisees regrouped and wanted to know what is the greatest commandment?  Jesus responded about the two great commandments to love God and your neighbor.  Then Jesus asked the Pharisees a question.  Was the Christ the son of David?  Then who was the Lord for David?  After that there were no more questions for Jesus.

Jesus then cursed the Scribes and Pharisees.  He told his disciples to do what they say, but not what they do.  They tied up heavy burdens on the people.  They wore special clothing and sought the places of honor.  They want to be called Rabbis.  No one was your father or master.  Greatness comes with humility.  They tried to lock people out of heaven as they shut it off.  Even when they tried to make converts, they are like blind guides and fools.  They swore by the altar or the gift of the altar.  They swore by heaven, but they had forgotten the law.  They wanted the gnat out your eye but had a camel in their own eye.  They worried about the outside of the cup instead of the inside.  They were like whitewashed tombs.  They proclaimed reverence for the tombs of the prophets, but they were like their sinning ancestors. They were like serpents.  They would kill the prophets.  They spread innocent blood.  Soon the house of Jerusalem would be desolate.

Finally, there were the predictions about the end times.  Jesus left the Temple as he predicted its destruction.  What are the signs of the Parousia?  There would be the beginning of the great suffering so that they should not be lead astray.  There would be rumors of wars in those troubled times.  They would be persecuted for the sake of Jesus.  There would be betrayals and false prophets.  Love would grow cold.  Endurance would be necessary.  The importance of Daniel the prophet was emphasized.  In Judea, they would flee to the housetops.  It would be too late for the people in the fields.  This would be the wrong time to be pregnant or nursing.  There would be great tribulation, but the days would be short.

The end was coming because there would be false Christs and people looking for the Messiah.  The Son of Man would come on the clouds as the darkness in the skies appeared.  There would be a gathering of the chosen ones.  Using the parable of the fig tree, they could tell that the end was near.  This generation would pass away, but Jesus’ words would not pass away.  No one knew the day, since it would be like in the days of Noah.  Only one would be taken and the other left, so be ready.  Be a wise and faithful slave, not a wicked slave.

Jesus told the parable of the ten bridesmaids where half were wise and half foolish.  They all fell asleep.  When the bridegroom came, they all got up.  However, the foolish ones had no oil and wise ones said that there was not enough oil for both of them.  When the foolish left to get oil, they shut the door.  When they came back, the bridegroom said that he did not know them.  Thus, you do not know the day.

Next Jesus told the parable of the talents.  A man entrusted his assets to his slaves.  He gave them money.  One slave added five more talents, another added two more talents, but the third slave dug a hole and buried his money.  The master settled their accounts.  The slave with five talents got five more talents.  The slave with two talents got two more talents.  The slave with one talent was rebuked and punished.  Thus, there will be rewards and punishments at the end times.

In the last judgment, the Son of Man would appear in glory.  There would be sheep and goats, with the sheep on the right hand.  They had taken care of him.  They wondered when they had done this.  The Son of Man replied that they took care of him when they cared for the least of his brothers.  Then he told the goats on his left side to depart from him because they had not taken care of him when they did not care for the lowly people.  Thus, there would be eternal punishment or eternal reward.

The gathering of the chosen ones (Mt 24:31-24:31)

“The Son of Man

Will send out

His angels

With a loud trumpet call.

They will gather

His elect

From the four winds,

From one end

Of heaven

To the other end.”

 

καὶ ἀποστελεῖ τοὺς ἀγγέλους αὐτοῦ μετὰ σάλπιγγος μεγάλης, καὶ ἐπισυνάξουσιν τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς αὐτοῦ ἐκ τῶν τεσσάρων ἀνέμων ἀπ’ ἄκρων οὐρανῶν ἕως ἄκρων αὐτῶν

 

This is almost word for word, in Mark, chapter 13:27.  The Son of Man would send out his angels (καὶ ἀποστελεῖ τοὺς ἀγγέλους αὐτοῦ) with a loud or great trumpet call (μετὰ σάλπιγγος μεγάλης).  Thus, the angels were the apostles or sent ones for gathering the chosen ones.  The trumpet call was another great traditional Israelite idea to gather the people for one reason or another. These angels would gather his elect or chosen ones (μετὰ σάλπιγγος μεγάλης) from the four winds (ἐκ τῶν τεσσάρων ἀνέμων), from one end of the heavens to the other end (ἀπ’ ἄκρων οὐρανῶν ἕως ἄκρων αὐτῶν).  The Son of Man would send his apostolic angels to gather the chosen ones from all over the place.

Short days (Mt 24:22-24:22)

“If those days

Had not been

Cut short,

No one

Would be saved.

But for the sake

Of the elect,

Those days

Will be cut short.”

 

καὶ εἰ μὴ ἐκολοβώθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι ἐκεῖναι, οὐκ ἂν ἐσώθη πᾶσα σάρξ· διὰ δὲ τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς κολοβωθήσονται αἱ ἡμέραι ἐκεῖναι.

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 13:20, but not in Luke.  Jesus said that if those days had not been cut short (καὶ εἰ μὴ ἐκολοβώθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι ἐκεῖναι), no one would be saved (οὐκ ἂν ἐσώθη πᾶσα σάρξ).  However, for the sake of the elect or chosen ones (διὰ δὲ τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς), those days will be cut short (κολοβωθήσονται αἱ ἡμέραι ἐκεῖναι).  There will be less suffering at the end times because God does not want his chosen elected ones to suffer too much.