No longer a manager (Lk 16:2-16:2)

“The rich man

Summoned

This house manager.

He said to him.

‘What is this

That I hear

About you?

Give me

An accounting

Of your management,

Because you cannot be

My manager

Any longer.’”

 

καὶ φωνήσας αὐτὸν εἶπεν αὐτῷ Τί τοῦτο ἀκούω περὶ σοῦ; ἀπόδος τὸν λόγον τῆς οἰκονομίας σου· οὐ γὰρ δύνῃ ἔτι οἰκονομεῖν.

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus continued with this story.  He said that the rich man summoned or called his house manager (καὶ φωνήσας αὐτὸν).  He asked him (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) about what he had heard about him (ἀκούω περὶ σοῦ).  He wanted him to give an accounting of his management (ἀπόδος τὸν λόγον τῆς οἰκονομίας σου), because he was not going to be his house manager any longer (ὐ γὰρ δύνῃ ἔτι οἰκονομεῖν).  Once again, Luke used this unique Greek word οἰκονομεῖν, meaning household manager throughout this parable.  This rich man did not do any investigation.  He just simply heard a report and acted on it.  There is no indication who rendered this report to him.  Nevertheless, the house manager was fired.  Have you ever been fired or let go?

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He lived with prostitutes (Lk 15:30-15:30)

“But when this son

Of yours

Came back,

Who has devoured

Your property

With prostitutes,

You killed

The fatted calf

For him!”

 

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?

Rejoicing over the found coin (Lk 15:9-15:9)

“When she has found it,

She calls together

Her friends

And neighbors,

Saying.

‘Rejoice with me!

I have found

The coin

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?

Terms of peace (Lk 14:32-14:32)

“If he cannot,

Then,

While the other king

Is still far away,

He would send

A delegation,

Asking for

Peace terms.”

 

εἰ δὲ μήγε, ἔτι αὐτοῦ πόρρω ὄντος πρεσβείαν ἀποστείλας ἐρωτᾷ τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his unique story about the king planning a war.  Jesus said that if this king realized that he could not defeat the other king (εἰ δὲ μήγε), then, while this other king was still far away (ἔτι αὐτοῦ πόρρω ὄντος), he would send a delegation (πρεσβείαν ἀποστείλας), asking for peace terms (ἐρωτᾷ τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην).  Make peace instead of war, if you are outmanned and have no realistic hope of success.  Would you rather fight or make peace?

Get somebody in here (Lk 14:21-14:21)

“Thus,

The slave returned.

He reported this

To his master.

Then the owner

Of the house

Became angry.

He said

To his slave.

‘Go out at once

Into the streets

And into the lanes

Of the town!

Bring in

The poor,

The crippled,

The blind,

And the lame!’”

 

καὶ παραγενόμενος ὁ δοῦλος ἀπήγγειλεν τῷ κυρίῳ αὐτοῦ ταῦτα. τότε ὀργισθεὶς ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης εἶπεν τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ Ἔξελθε ταχέως εἰς τὰς πλατείας καὶ ῥύμας τῆς πόλεως, καὶ τοὺς πτωχοὺς καὶ ἀναπήρους καὶ τυφλοὺς καὶ χωλοὺς εἰσάγαγε ὧδε.

 

Luke continued this parable.  Jesus said that this slave returned (καὶ παραγενόμενος ὁ δοῦλος).  Then he reported (ἀπήγγειλεν) to his master, the lord (τῷ κυρίῳ), all these things (ταῦτα).  The owner of the house (ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης) then became very angry (τότε ὀργισθεὶς).  He told his slave (εἶπεν τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ) to go out at once (Ἔξελθε ταχέως) into the streets (εἰς τὰς πλατείας) and the lanes of the town (καὶ ῥύμας τῆς πόλεως,).  He was to bring in the poor (καὶ τοὺς πτωχοὺς), the crippled (καὶ ἀναπήρους), the blind (καὶ τυφλοὺς), and the lame (καὶ χωλοὺς) in there (ὧδε).  Once again, there are some differences with Matthew, chapter 22:8-9, who was less descriptive of those who were invited this time.  Jesus said that this king told his slaves (τότε λέγει τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ) that the wedding feast was ready (Ὁ μὲν γάμος ἕτοιμός ἐστιν).  Those originally invited were not worthy or deserving of his invitation (οἱ δὲ κεκλημένοι οὐκ ἦσαν ἄξιοι).  Therefore, they were to go into the main streets or the meeting places on the roads (πορεύεσθε οὖν ἐπὶ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὁδῶν).  Then they should invite everyone or as many as they could find to this wedding banquet (καὶ ὅσους ἐὰν εὕρητε καλέσατε εἰς τοὺς γάμους).  This king was intent on having this wedding dinner.  However, Luke extended the new invitations to the vulnerable in our society, the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame, a slightly different perspective.  Who would you invite to a dinner feast?

I have married a wife (Lk 14:20-14:20)

“Another said.

‘I have just

Been married.

Therefore,

I cannot come.’”

 

καὶ ἕτερος εἶπεν Γυναῖκα ἔγημα, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο οὐ δύναμαι ἐλθεῖν.

 

Luke uniquely continued with another excuse.  Jesus said that another person told the slave (καὶ ἕτερος εἶπεν) that he had just been married (Γυναῖκα ἔγημα).  He had a new wife.  Therefore, because of his new wife (καὶ διὰ τοῦτο). he was not able to come to the feast (οὐ δύναμαι ἐλθεῖν).  This man did not ask to be politely excused, like the earlier two men.  Maybe, he thought that this was a good excuse.  Would you go to a wedding dining feast if you were just married?

 

The kingdom of God (Lk 14:15-14:15)

“One of the dinner guests,

On hearing this,

Said to Jesus.

‘Blessed is anyone

Who will eat bread

In the kingdom of God!’”

 

Ἀκούσας δέ τις τῶν συνανακειμένων ταῦτα εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μακάριος ὅστις φάγεται ἄρτον ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke uniquely continued with this dinner party among the Pharisees.  Luke indicated that one of the dinner guests reclining at table with Jesus heard Jesus talk about the end times (Ἀκούσας δέ τις τῶν συνανακειμένων ταῦτα).  He said to Jesus (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that anyone would be blessed, fortunate or happy (Μακάριος) if they could eat bread (ὅστις φάγεται ἄρτον) in the kingdom of God (ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This Pharisee seemed to appreciate that the end times were coming when they would eat bread in the kingdom of God.  Would you like an earthly reward or a heavenly reward?