This unique parable in Luke continues the theme of lost things that are found. First, it was the sheep, then the coin, but now it is a lost son. Luke has this lovely long story about finding oneself and mending lost relationships. He indicated that then Jesus said (Εἶπεν δέ) that there was a certain man (Ἄνθρωπός) who had 2 sons (τις εἶχεν δύο υἱούς). This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories. Have you ever been estranged from a family member?
Once again, Luke, chapter 12:29-31, has a similar Jesus saying, indicating a common Q source. The same theme continues. They should not be worried or anxious (μὴ οὖν μεριμνήσητε λέγοντες). Why are they anxious about what to eat (Τί φάγωμεν), to drink (ἤ Τί πίωμεν), or to wear (ἤ·Τί περιβαλώμεθα)? Those are the kind of questions that gentiles ask about (πάντα γὰρ ταῦτα τὰ ἔθνη ἐπιζητοῦσιν). Matthew continued his attack on the gentile, non-Jewish people. Their heavenly Father knew about everything that they needed (οἶδεν γὰρ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων ἁπάντων). Thus, they should seek or strive first (ζητεῖτε δὲ πρῶτον) for the kingdom (τὴν βασιλείαν) and his righteousness (καὶ τὴν δικαιοσύνην αὐτοῦ). Then all these other things would be taken care of for them (καὶ ταῦτα πάντα προστεθήσεται ὑμῖν). A couple of manuscripts say kingdom of God (βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ), instead of just the kingdom, but that is not in the main manuscripts. Matthew always used the kingdom of heaven, not the kingdom of God.
For Christian Catholics there is a formation of conscience that is a lifelong task. This development of a moral sense of right and wrong starts in the family with your parents. This conscience formation continues as you have contacts with Church leaders and teachers. Finally, the role of peers leads to a personal synthesis. What should I do in this particular case? I will act based on what my conscience has decided. If it is poorly formed, I must still follow it. If I differ from the teachings of the Church, I must try to figure out why I differ from the group. We always need an informed conscience.
This oracle of Yahweh continues with the theme of the dead in Jerusalem. Using the earlier proverb about the meat in the pot, Yahweh explains that the dead people are the meat and the pot is the city. They will be taken out of the pot or the city. However, the sword or death would come upon them anyway. Cleary Yahweh God has spoken.
This author’s diatribe against the false idols continues with an accusation that these idols have no feelings. They wear gold for beauty, but it will not shine unless someone else wipes off its tarnish. As these idols were cast in an iron furnace, they had no feelings while this was going on. However, money is not a problem with creating these idols. Even so, these expensive idol images have no breath and no feet. They have to be carried on the shoulders of others. Thus they reveal to everyone that they are worthless.
This prayer of Baruch continues by asking God to look down from his heavenly holy dwelling. He should consider their situation. God should incline his ear and listen. He should open his eyes and see. The dead in Hades or Sheol have no spirit. They cannot give glory or justice to the Lord. On the other hand, those who are still living, but grieving, bent over, and feeble with poor eye sight can still declare the glory and righteousness of the Lord. Thus it is better to be alive and weak than dead.
This personalized lamentation approach continues with a complaint against his enemies who taunt him. They plot against him with whispers and murmurs all day long. Whether they are sitting around or moving about, they continue to make him the object of their taunting songs. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Shin in this acrostic poem.
This personalized lament continues with a prayer from the bottom of the pit. This author called out to Yahweh. Yahweh then heard his plea as he did not close his ears. He responded to his cry for relief as he came near to him. Yahweh told him not to fear. There may be a happy ending after all this lamentation. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Qoph in this acrostic poem.
This personal story continues. The author’s enemies have hunted him down like a bird, even though there was no reason to do so. They have flung him alive into a pit and threw stones over him. Then water closed over his head in this pit. He finally said that he was lost with no way out. This is reminiscent of Jeremiah in the cistern well under King Zedekiah in Jeremiah, chapter 38. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Cade in this acrostic poem.
The personal lament of this author continues. He was full of flowing, unceasing, and unstoppable tears. He wanted Yahweh to look down from heaven to see him crying. His eyes were causing him grief at what was happening to the young girls of his city. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Ayin in this acrostic poem.