Your eye (Lk 11:34-11:34)

“Your eye

Is the lamp

Of your body.

If your eye

Is sound,

Your whole body

Is full of light.

But if it is evil,

Your body

Is full of darkness.”

 

ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου. ὅταν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς ᾖ, καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινόν ἐστιν· ἐπὰν δὲ πονηρὸς ᾖ, καὶ τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινόν

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that their eye (ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου) was the lamp of their body (ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν).  If their eye was clear, sound, or healthy (ὅταν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς ᾖ), their whole body would be full of light (καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινόν ἐστιν).  But if it was evil (ἐπὰν δὲ πονηρὸς ᾖ), their body was then full of darkness (καὶ τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινόν).  This saying of Jesus is similar to what was in Matthew, chapter 6:22-23, so that it may be from the Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the eye was the lamp of the body (Ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός).  If there was a healthy clear sound eye (ἐὰν οὖν ᾖ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς), then you would have a whole body full of light (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινὸν ἔσται).  This is the only time that the word “ἁπλοῦς” is used in the New Testament literature.  Both Luke and Matthew used it here, since it means simple, sound, clear, or perfect.  If, on the other hand, your eye was not healthy or evil (ἐὰν δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρὸς ᾖ), your whole body would be full of darkness (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινὸν ἔσται).  Notice that Matthew and Luke did not use the opposite of clear, but chose the more common word for evil, “πονηρὸς.”  Thus, you had an evil eye.  On the other hand, both Luke and Matthew used a word that appears only here, “σκοτεινὸν,” to talk about a full total darkness.  If the light that is in you is dark (εἰ οὖν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἐν σοὶ σκότος ἐστίν), that is a really great darkness (τὸ σκότος πόσον).  Light and darkness was a common theme among the early Christians.  Light was good, but darkness was evil.  The connection of light to the eye was natural, since the sense of blindness and darkness centered around the eyes.  The good-eyed person, like the good-hearted person, was compassionate, while the evil-eyed person, like a hard-hearted person, was selfish and miserly.  Do you have good eyes or evil eyes?

Proclaim the kingdom! (Lk 9:60-9:60)

“But Jesus

Said to him.

‘Let the dead

Bury

Their own dead!

But as for you!

Go!

Proclaim

The kingdom of God!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ Ἄφες τοὺς νεκροὺς θάψαι τοὺς ἑαυτῶν νεκρούς, σὺ δὲ ἀπελθὼν διάγγελλε τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus responded to this man (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ) who wanted to bury his father.  He told him to let the dead (Ἄφες τοὺς νεκροὺς) bury their own dead (θάψαι τοὺς ἑαυτῶν νεκρούς).  He wanted him to go forth and proclaim (σὺ δὲ ἀπελθὼν διάγγελλε) the kingdom of God (τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This saying of Jesus is almost the same as in Matthew, chapter 8:22, indicating a possible Q source.  Once again, this is a harsh saying about the discipleship of Jesus.  Matthew indicated that Jesus’ response was not very compassionate.  Quite the opposite, Jesus told his follower to follow him.  Jesus added, that the dead should bury their own dead.  This seems to deny any mourning period.  Although the burying of a dead father was a sacred filial duty, Jesus put the role of discipleship above that.  Is proclaiming the message of Jesus more important than the funeral of your father?

Compassion for Jerusalem (Zech 1:15-1:17)

“‘I am extremely angry

With the nations

That are at ease.

While only a little angry,

They made the disaster worse.’

Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh.

‘I have returned to Jerusalem

With compassion.

My house shall be built in it.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘The measuring lines

Shall be stretched out

Over Jerusalem.

Proclaim further!

Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

My cities

Shall again overflow

With prosperity.

Yahweh will again comfort Zion.

He will again choose Jerusalem.’”

While Yahweh was angry at the various easy-going nations, he was going to be compassionate to Jerusalem.  The other countries had made matters worse.  Now Yahweh was going to return to Jerusalem with compassion for its people.  Yahweh of hosts was going to spread out his measuring lines over Jerusalem.  He wanted them to proclaim that the cities of Yahweh would again overflow with prosperity.  Yahweh has chosen Jerusalem and Zion as his home.

Yahweh has second thoughts (Hos 11:8-11:9)

“How can I give you up?

O Ephraim!

How can I hand you over?

O Israel!

How can I make you

Like Admah?

How can I treat you

Like Zeboiim?

My heart recoils

Within me.

My compassion

Grows warm.

My compassion

Grows tender.

I will not execute

My fierce anger.

I will not again

Destroy Ephraim.

I am God!

I am not a mortal!

I am the Holy One

In your midst.

I will not come

In wrath.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, had second thoughts about the destruction of Israel. How could he give Ephraim up? How could he hand over Israel? He could not make them like Admah and Zeboiim, two of the five cities destroyed with Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis, chapter 19. His heart was compassionate with warm tenderness. He decided not to execute his fierce anger against Ephraim. Yahweh was God, not a mere mortal. He was the Holy One in their midst. He was not going to come in anger.

Jerusalem did not remember (Ezek 16:43-16:43)

“‘You have not remembered

The days of your youth.

But you have enraged me

With all these things.

Therefore,

I have returned

Your deeds

Upon your head.’

Says Yahweh God.

‘Have you not

Committed lewdness

Beyond all

Your abominations?’”

Jerusalem did not remember the days of her youth when Yahweh was kind and compassionate towards her. Instead Jerusalem enraged Yahweh with her wicked actions. Thus Yahweh has returned these deeds back on her. Jerusalem has committed many lewd deeds, beyond all her abominations. Yahweh is portrayed as ungrateful man because his lover Jerusalem has left him for other lovers.

The kindness of God (Bar 2:27-2:28)

“Yet you have dealt

With us!

O Lord!

Our God!

In all your kindness!

In all your great compassion!

You spoke

By your servant Moses

On the day

When you commanded him

To write

Your law

In the presence

Of the people

Of Israel.”

Baruch pointed out that God was kind and compassionate. God had spoken with Moses when he gave the commandments to his people. Baruch seemed to imply that Moses wrote the commandments in the presence of all the people with a vague reference to Leviticus, chapter 26, and Deuteronomy, chapters 27-28.

The drunkards (Jer 13:13-13:14)

“Then you shall say to them.

‘Thus says Yahweh.

I am about to fill

All the inhabitants of this land

With drunkenness.

This includes

The kings who sit on David’s throne,

The priests,

The prophets,

All the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

I will dash them

One against another.

There will be

Parents and children together.

Says Yahweh.

I will not pity them.

I will not have compassion

When I destroy them.’”

Yahweh explained to Jeremiah that all the wine jars were filled so that everybody in Judah and Jerusalem would get drunk. This would include the kings, priests, prophets, as well as all the individuals in Judah and Jerusalem. Then Yahweh would have them bash each other around, including parents with their children. Yahweh was not going to have any pity on them. He was not going to be compassionate, when he destroyed them. This was a strange way to get rid of them. They would get drunk, so that they would then kill each other.