Poor widow gave more (Lk 21:3-21:3)

“Jesus said.

‘Truly!

I tell you!

This poor widow

Has put in

More than

All of them.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν Ἀληθῶς λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἡ χήρα αὕτη ἡ πτωχὴ πλεῖον πάντων ἔβαλεν·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (καὶ εἶπεν) with a solemn pronouncement (Ἀληθῶς λέγω ὑμῖν) that this poor widow (ὅτι ἡ χήρα αὕτη ἡ πτωχὴ) had put in more than all of them (πλεῖον πάντων ἔβαλεν).  This sounded a little strange, since her gift was so miniscule.  Only Mark, chapter 12:43, has something similar, while Matthew did not mention this incident at all.  Mark said that Jesus called his disciples together (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  He told them with a solemn pronouncement (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that this poor widow had put in more money than all those rich people who were contributing to the treasury (ὅτι ἡ χήρα αὕτη ἡ πτωχὴ πλεῖον πάντων ἔβαλεν τῶν βαλλόντων εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον).  In plain numerical terms, that was not correct, but proportionally it was true.  She had given the smallest amount of Greek or Roman money as possible.  There was nothing smaller than her contribution of two copper lepton coins.  However, she had so little to begin with, so that this was a large contribution for her.  What is the largest donation that you ever made?

The bad manager wasting things (Lk 16:1-16:1)

“Jesus said

To the disciples.

‘There was a rich man

Who had a house manager.

Charges were brought

To the rich man

That this manager

Was squandering

His property.’”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητάς Ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν πλούσιος ὃς εἶχεν οἰκονόμον, καὶ οὗτος διεβλήθη αὐτῷ ὡς διασκορπίζων τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ.

 

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 said to his disciples (Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητάς) that there was a rich man (Ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν πλούσιος).  He had a manager of his affairs, a household manager, a steward, or a guardian (ὃς εἶχεν οἰκονόμον).  Luke used this unique Greek word οἰκονομεῖν, meaning household manager.  Although traditionally, he has been called a steward in English, household manager seems more correct.  However, charges were brought to the rich man (καὶ οὗτος διεβλήθη αὐτῷ).  This Greek word διεβλήθη is found once in the New Testament literature, only here in this story or parable of Luke.  The word διεβλήθη means slander, complaint, or accusation.  Someone had accused this manager of squandering or wasting this rich man’s property or possessions (ὡς διασκορπίζων τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ).  This rich man had a house manager taking care of his possessions.  Apparently, it was reported to him, that his manager was not doing a good job and may have been taking some of his property.  It is not exactly clear, but there were some problems.  Have you ever had a problem with someone who was to manage something for you?

Lost brother is found (Lk 15:32-15:32)

“But we had

To celebrate

And rejoice

Because this brother

Of yours

Was dead.

He has come to life.

He was lost.

But he has been found.”

 

εὐφρανθῆναι δὲ καὶ χαρῆναι ἔδει, ὅτι ὁ ἀδελφός σου οὗτος νεκρὸς ἦν καὶ ἔζησεν, καὶ ἀπολωλὼς καὶ εὑρέθη.

 

This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  It finally comes to an end with Luke indicating that Jesus said that the father told his son that they were correct.  It was fitting to celebrate and rejoice (εὐφρανθῆναι δὲ καὶ χαρῆναι ἔδει), because his brother who had been dead (ὅτι ὁ ἀδελφός σου οὗτος νεκρὸς ἦν), had now come to life (καὶ ἔζησεν).  He had been lost (καὶ ἀπολωλὼς), but now he has been found (καὶ εὑρέθη).  The dead brother, the sinning brother, had come to life.  The lost brother, like the lost sheep and the lost coin, has been found.  Therefore, let us rejoice and celebrate.  Do you celebrate over finding anything?

Eats with sinners (Lk 15:2-15:2)

“Both the Pharisees

And the Scribes

Were grumbling.

They said.

‘This Jesus fellow

Welcomes sinners.

He eats with them.’”

 

καὶ διεγόγγυζον οἵ τε Φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς λέγοντες ὅτι Οὗτος ἁμαρτωλοὺς προσδέχεται καὶ συνεσθίει αὐτοῖς

 

Luke uniquely talked about Jesus and his coziness with sinners that upset the Pharisees and the Scribes.  Luke said that both the Pharisees (οἵ τε Φαρισαῖοι) and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) were grumbling (καὶ διεγόγγυζον), saying (λέγοντες), that this fellow, Jesus, welcomes sinners (ὅτι Οὗτος ἁμαρτωλοὺς προσδέχεται) and eats with them (καὶ συνεσθίει αὐτοῖς).  Eating with sinners and tax collectors was a form of fellowship.  Perhaps the Pharisees and Scribes were correct in indicating that Jesus was approving their lifestyle.  He was giving tacit acceptance to these sinners and their deeds, scandalizing the people of Israel.  Listening to sinners was one thing.  Eating with them was another thing.  Would you welcome and eat with a public sinner?

The right answer (Lk 10:28-10:28)

“Jesus said to him.

‘You have given

The right answer.

Do this!

Then you will live!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ Ὀρθῶς ἀπεκρίθης· τοῦτο ποίει καὶ ζήσῃ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to the lawyer (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ) that he had given the correct right answer (Ὀρθῶς ἀπεκρίθης).  Jesus told him to do that (τοῦτο ποίει) and then he would live (καὶ ζήσῃ).  Mark, chapter 12:32-33, indicated that this Scribe said to Jesus, rather than the other way around, that Jesus was right.  He, in fact, respectfully called Jesus Teacher (Διδάσκαλε).  This Scribe agreed that Jesus had spoken according to the truth.  God was one, so that there was no other God but him alone. Thus, the Scribe and Jesus were on the same page as regards God and his commandments.  Then the Scribe pointed out that these 2 commandments were more important than all the Temple sacrifices.  He said that to love God with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, as well as to love your neighbor as yourself was much more important than all the various sacrificial burnt offerings.  This Scribe recognized the value of love of God and neighbor.  Do you love God with your whole being and your neighbor as yourself?

The speck and the log (Lk 6:41-6:41)

“Why do you see

The speck

In your neighbor’s eye?

But you do not

Notice the log

In your own eye?”

 

Τί δὲ βλέπεις τὸ κάρφος τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου, τὴν δὲ δοκὸν τὴν ἐν τῷ ἰδίῳ ὀφθαλμῷ οὐ κατανοεῖς;

 

Luke had this saying of Jesus that is almost exactly the same as in Matthew, chapter 7:3, indicating a common Q source.  Jesus wanted to know why they saw the speck, the splinter, or the chip (τί δὲ βλέπεις τὸ κάρφος) in their brother’s eye (τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου), but they did not notice the log or beam in their own eye (τὴν δὲ δοκὸν ἐν τῷ ἰδίῳ ὀφθαλμῷ οὐ κατανοεῖς)?  This indicated how foolish it was to correct others when you were doing worse things yourself.  Are you a nag with others, while overlooking your own bad habits?

The widow contributed more (Mk 12:43-12:43)

“Then Jesus called

His disciples.

He said to them.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

This poor widow

Has put in more

Than all those

Who are contributing

To the treasury.”

 

καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἡ χήρα αὕτη ἡ πτωχὴ πλεῖον πάντων ἔβαλεν τῶν βαλλόντων εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον·

 

Only Luke, chapter 21:3, has something similar, while Matthew did not mention this incident.  Mark said that Jesus called his disciples (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  He told them with a solemn pronouncement (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that this poor widow had put in more money than all those rich people who were contributing to the treasury (ὅτι ἡ χήρα αὕτη ἡ πτωχὴ πλεῖον πάντων ἔβαλεν τῶν βαλλόντων εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον).  In plain numerical terms, that was not correct, but proportionally it was true.  She had given the smallest amount of Greek or Roman money as possible.  There was nothing smaller than her contribution of 2 copper coins.  However, she had so little to begin with, so that this was a large contribution for her.

John does not want to baptize Jesus (Mt 3:14-3:14)

“John

Would have prevented Jesus.

Saying.

‘I need to be baptized

By you.

Do you come to me?’”

 

ὁ δὲ διεκώλυεν αὐτὸν λέγων Ἐγὼ χρείαν ἔχω ὑπὸ σοῦ βαπτισθῆναι, καὶ σὺ ἔρχῃ πρός με;

 

However, John the Baptist was reluctant to baptize Jesus.  Here in Matthew, John immediately recognized Jesus.  He then questioned his own worthiness to baptize Jesus.  He thought that it should be the other way around since he recognized the superiority of Jesus.  In fact, John tried to prevent Jesus from getting baptized by him (ὁ δὲ διεκώλυεν αὐτὸν).  John said that he needed to be baptized by Jesus (λέγων Ἐγὼ χρείαν ἔχω ὑπὸ σοῦ βαπτισθῆναι).  He wanted to know why Jesus was coming to him (καὶ σὺ ἔρχῃ πρός με).  This is a question that many Christian followers ask.  Why did Jesus have to be baptized since he had no sins?  Was John not correct?  Jesus should have baptized John, not the other way around.

Daniel answered King Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 2:27-2:27)

“Daniel answered the king.

‘No wise men,

No enchanters,

No magicians,

No diviners

Can show

To the king

The mystery

That the king

Is asking.’”

Daniel responded to the king that no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or diviners could show the king the answer to the mystery that the king was asking. In other words, there was no human answer. The Chaldean wise men were correct that it was humanly impossible to answer this question, no matter what powers or skills a human had.

Just measurements (Ezek 45:10-45:12)

“You shall have

Honest balances.

There must be

An honest ephah,

There must be

An honest bath.

The ephah

With the bath

Shall be

Of the same measure.

The bath

Contains one tenth

Of a homer.

The ephah contains

One tenth

Of a homer.

The homer shall be

The standard measure.

The shekel shall be

Twenty gerahs.

Twenty shekels,

Twenty-five shekels,

Shall make a mina

For you.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was going to tell them how to keep their measurements just and correct. What are all these measurements? Ezekiel loved to be exact. First, a homer was a measure for liquids, about 60 gallons or 6 bushels of grain. The bath was about 6 gallons. The ephah was a measurement for grains about 2/3rd of a bushel or about 6 gallons. The gerah was the smallest size coin, about 1/50th of ounce. The shekel coin was 2/5th of an ounce. The mina was the largest coin, about 1.25 pounds. Thus, these were to be the standard measurements.