This author said that he would see them soon, because he did not like to write letters. He preferred face to face talks. Until then he sent greetings. Do you like to write letters?
Paul mentioned that he wanted to visit Philemon. He hoped that Philemon would prepare a guest room for him. Paul sent greetings from five of his co-workers, Epaphras, Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke. He then concluded this letter with a blessing of grace for all of them. Do you send greetings to people?
Paul ended this letter with the hope that the Lord of peace would give them peace in every way and at all times. He wanted the Lord to be with them. Then Paul said that he was using his own hand or signature to send this greeting to indicate that this was his letter. He wanted the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to be with all of them. Do you have the grace of Christ with you?
Paul wanted the God of peace to sanctify them, body and soul. They should remain spotless and blameless until the coming of Jesus Christ, who was the faithful one that called them. Then Paul asked them to pray for him. They were to greet all the Christian brothers with a holy kiss. They were to solemnly swear to read this letter to everyone. Finally, he asked that the grace of our Lord be with them. Is the grace of God with you?
Paul said that he was writing this with his own handwriting. He said that the circumcised ones wanted to have the gentile Christians circumcised, to avoid not being prosecuted for the cross of Jesus Christ. They do not even obey their own law. They want to glory in your flesh. However, you should only boast about the cross. Circumcision is useless and has no value. Only the new creation of Jesus Christ counts.
“Will not God
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?
“But on the day
All of them.
It will be like that
On the day
That the Son of Man
ᾗ δὲ ἡμέρᾳ ἐξῆλθεν Λὼτ ἀπὸ Σοδόμων, ἔβρεξεν πῦρ καὶ θεῖον ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἀπώλεσεν πάντας
κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ ἔσται ᾗ ἡμέρᾳ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἀποκαλύπτεται.
Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus also mentioned Lot from Genesis, chapter 19:24. Jesus said that on the day when Lot left Sodom (ᾗ δὲ ἡμέρᾳ ἐξῆλθεν Λὼτ ἀπὸ Σοδόμων), it rained fire (ἔβρεξεν πῦρ) and sulphur or brimstone (καὶ θεῖον) from heaven (ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ). It destroyed all of them (καὶ ἀπώλεσεν πάντας). It would be like those days on the day (κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ ἔσται ᾗ ἡμέρᾳ) that the Son of Man would be revealed (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἀποκαλύπτεται). In other words, the destruction of the world at the time of Noah and the destruction of the town of Sodom at the time of Lot were a foretaste of the end times. It would come unexpectedly. However, the conclusion was to be expected. The comparison was explicit. The Son of Man would come like in the olden days of destruction. Are you prepared for the coming of the Son of Man at the end times?
“No household servant
He will love
He will be devoted
To the one.
He will despise
You cannot serve
Οὐδεὶς οἰκέτης δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν· ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει, ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει. οὐ δύνασθε Θεῷ δουλεύειν καὶ μαμωνᾷ.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that no household servant (Οὐδεὶς οἰκέτης) is able to serve 2 masters or lords (δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν). This household servant will hate one (ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει) and love the other (καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει). He will be devoted to one (ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται) and despise the other (καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει). They cannot serve (οὐ δύνασθε… δουλεύειν) both God (Θεῷ) and wealth (καὶ μαμωνᾷ). This μαμωνᾷ referred to an old Semitic word for treasures. It is often translated as “mammon,” but means wealth, riches, money, or possessions. This saying of Jesus can also be found in Matthew, chapter 6:24, almost word for word, perhaps indicating a common Q source. Matthew indicated that Jesus said that no one was able to slavishly serve two masters or lords (Οὐδεὶς δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν). The word κυρίοις was used for lord, as in Luke. You will hate one (ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει) and love the other (καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει). You will be devoted to one (ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται) and despise the other one (καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει). Therefore, the conclusion was that you could not slavishly serve both God (οὐ δύνασθε Θεῷ δουλεύειν) and money or wealth (καὶ μαμωνᾷ). The choice was yours. The options were clear. You cannot serve both. Would you serve God or wealth?
“They will say.
‘This man began
To build it,
But was not able
To finish it.’”
λέγοντες ὅτι Οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἤρξατο οἰκοδομεῖν καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἐκτελέσαι.
Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that the other people would say (λέγοντες) that this man began to build it (ὅτι Οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἤρξατο οἰκοδομεῖν), but was not able to finish it (καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἐκτελέσαι). This conclusion was simple. Do not start what you cannot finish! Have you ever starting something without finishing it?
“I tell you!
He will not get up
And give him anything,
Because he is his friend,
Because of his persistence,
He will get up.
He will give him
Whatever he needs.”
λέγω ὑμῖν, εἰ καὶ οὐ δώσει αὐτῷ ἀναστὰς διὰ τὸ εἶναι φίλον αὐτοῦ, διά γε τὴν ἀναιδίαν αὐτοῦ ἐγερθεὶς δώσει αὐτῷ ὅσων χρῄζει.
Luke uniquely brought this parable story about waking up a friend at midnight to a surprise ending. In this conclusion, Jesus proclaimed solemnly (λέγω ὑμῖν), that even though this friend will not get up and give him anything (εἰ καὶ οὐ δώσει αὐτῷ ἀναστὰς), because he was his friend (διὰ τὸ εἶναι φίλον αὐτοῦ), at least, because of his persistence (διά γε τὴν ἀναιδίαν αὐτοῦ), he will get up (ἐγερθεὶς) and give him whatever he needed (δώσει αὐτῷ ὅσων χρῄζει). Problem solved, as persistence was better than friendship. In a complete turnaround, this friend offered his requesting persistent neighbor friend whatever he wanted. That’s what friends are for. However, it was the persistence rather than the friendship that led him to act. So that is the moral of this story. Perseverance in prayer to the Father will lead to success. Do you persist in prayer to God?