Do not plan ahead (Lk 21:14-21:14)

“Make up your minds!

Do not prepare

Your defense

In advance!”

 

θέτε οὖν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν μὴ προμελετᾶν ἀπολογηθῆναι·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told them to make up or settle their minds or hearts (θέτε οὖν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν), so that they did not have to prepare their defense ahead of time (μὴ προμελετᾶν ἀπολογηθῆναι).  This is unique use by Luke of the term προμελετᾶν, that means to premeditate, meditate beforehand, or prepare.  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:19, and Mark, chapter 13:11.  Mark indicated that Jesus told his disciples not to worry beforehand or be anxious about what to say (μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε τί λαλήσητε), when they were handed over and brought to trial (καὶ ὅταν ἄγωσιν ὑμᾶς παραδιδόντες).  Matthew indicated that Jesus told his disciples not to worry or be anxious (μὴ μεριμνήσητε), when they were handed over (ὅταν δὲ παραδῶσιν ὑμᾶς) to these courts or tribunals.  They should not worry about how or what they should say (πῶς ἢ τί λαλήσητε).  It will be given to them (δοθήσεται γὰρ ὑμῖν) in that hour at that time (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ) what they should say (τί λαλήσητε).  Luke simply said that they were not to make any preparations for their defense.  Would you like to be prepared before you went to court?

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Don’t worry (Lk 12:11-12:11)

“When they bring you

Before the synagogues,

The rulers,

And the authorities,

Do not worry

About how you are

To defend yourselves

Or what you are to say!”

 

ὅταν δὲ εἰσφέρωσιν ὑμᾶς ἐπὶ τὰς συναγωγὰς καὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰς ἐξουσίας, μὴ μεριμνήσητε πῶς ἢ τί ἀπολογήσησθε ἢ τί εἴπητε

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told his disciples that when they were brought before the synagogues (ὅταν δὲ εἰσφέρωσιν ὑμᾶς ἐπὶ τὰς συναγωγὰς), the rulers or the people in charge (καὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς), and the authorities (καὶ τὰς ἐξουσίας), they were not to worry or be anxious (μὴ μεριμνήσητε) about how they were to defend themselves (πῶς ἢ τί ἀπολογήσησθε) or what they would say (ἢ τί εἴπητε).  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Mark, chapter 13:11, and Matthew, chapter 10:19.  Matthew indicated that Jesus told his disciples not to worry or be anxious (μὴ μεριμνήσητε), when they were handed over (ὅταν δὲ παραδῶσιν ὑμᾶς) to these courts or tribunals.  They should not worry about how or what they should say (πῶς ἢ τί λαλήσητε).  Mark indicated that Jesus told his disciples not to worry beforehand or be anxious about what to say (μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε τί λαλήσητε), when they were handed over and brought to trial (καὶ ὅταν ἄγωσιν ὑμᾶς παραδιδόντες).  Luke was more detailed in pointing out who and where they would be tried, both in the religious synagogues and before the Roman civic rulers and authorities.  Are you open to listening to the Holy Spirit?

You will suffer (Mk 13:9-13:9)

“Beware!

For yourselves!

They will hand you over

To councils.

You will be beaten

In synagogues.

You will stand

Before governors

And kings

Because of me,

As a testimony

To them.”

 

Βλέπετε δὲ ὑμεῖς ἑαυτούς· παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς συνέδρια καὶ εἰς συναγωγὰς δαρήσεσθε καὶ ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνων καὶ βασιλέων σταθήσεσθε ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ, εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 10:17-18 and chapter 24:9, and in Luke, chapter 21:12-13, but there is nothing about death here in Mark.  Jesus said that his followers were going to be persecuted or distressed.  Mark indicated that the followers of Jesus should be aware about themselves (Βλέπετε δὲ ὑμεῖς ἑαυτούς).  They would be handed over (παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς) to courts, councils, or synods (εἰς συνέδρια) and synagogues (καὶ εἰς συναγωγὰς), since some of the Jewish Christians were still part of Jewish social, political, and religious life.  They would also be beaten (δαρήσεσθε).  On the other hand, they would also have to stand before gentile governors and gentile kings (καὶ ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνων καὶ βασιλέων σταθήσεσθε) to give testimony as a witness to them about Jesus (ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ, εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς).  This was tough talk, because it was not going to be easy to be a disciple follower of Jesus after he was gone.

You will be persecuted (Mt 10:17-10:18)

“Beware of those men!

They will hand you over

To tribunals.

They will flog you

In their synagogues.

You will be dragged

Before governors

And before kings,

Because of me.

You will be

A testimony

Before them

And the gentiles.”

 

Προσέχετε δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων· παραδώσουσιν γὰρ ὑμᾶς εἰς συνέδρια, καὶ ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν μαστιγώσουσιν ὑμᾶς·

καὶ ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνας δὲ καὶ βασιλεῖς ἀχθήσεσθε ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ, εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς καὶ τοῖς ἔθνεσιν.

 

Equivalent passages to this can be found in Mark, chapter 13:9, and Luke, chapter 21:12.  Jesus, via Matthew warned his apostles and disciples that they would be persecuted because of him.  They should realize or be aware of what other men were going to do to them (Προσέχετε δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων).  They would be handed over to the local councils, courts, tribunals, or local Jewish Sanhedrin (παραδώσουσιν γὰρ ὑμᾶς εἰς συνέδρια).  These were local gatherings called “συνέδρια.”  They would be flogged or scourged in the synagogues (καὶ ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν μαστιγώσουσιν ὑμᾶς).  This “μαστιγώσουσιν” would be a whipping that one would endure after being tied to a pole.  They would also be dragged before governors and kings (καὶ ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνας δὲ καὶ βασιλεῖς ἀχθήσεσθε).  All this would happen to them (ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ) because they were going to give testimony or witness about Jesus before other people even the gentiles (εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς καὶ τοῖς ἔθνεσιν).  They were warned about how difficult the task of being a follower or apostle of Jesus might be.

Servant of Yahweh (Ps 116:16-116:19)

“Yahweh!

I am your servant.

I am your servant.

I am the child of your servant girl.

You have loosed my bonds.

I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice.

I will call on the name of Yahweh.

I will pay my vows to Yahweh

In the presence of all his people,

In the courts of the house of Yahweh,

In your midst,

O Jerusalem!

Praise Yahweh!”

The psalmist is a servant for Yahweh. He was the child of a servant. However, Yahweh set him free. Therefore he was going to offer a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of Yahweh. He, like he said earlier, was going to pay his vows to Yahweh in the presence of all the people, in the courts of the house of Yahweh. He would be there in the midst of Jerusalem. He ended this psalm with the rousing, “Praise Yahweh” or the alleluia refrain, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.”

Yahweh is my shield (Ps 84:9-84:12)

“Behold our shield!

O God!

Look on the face of your anointed!

A day in your courts is better

Than a thousand elsewhere.

I would rather be a doorkeeper

In the house of my God

Than live in the tents of wickedness.

Yahweh God is a sun.

Yahweh God is a shield.

He bestows favor.

He bestows honor.

No good thing does Yahweh withhold

From those who walk uprightly.

Yahweh of hosts!

Happy is everyone who trusts in you!”

This psalm ends with the psalmist reminding people on how to be happy, trust in Yahweh. Yahweh is his shield and protector. The psalmist wants God to look at his anointed one. He believes that one day in the courts of the Temple was better than 1,000 days elsewhere. He was happy to be a Temple door keeper than live in the tents of the wicked. Yahweh was his sun and shield at the same time. Yahweh had bestowed favors and honors on him. Yahweh does not hold back anything from the upright. Everyone who trusts in Yahweh is happy. How to be happy, trust in Yahweh.

Study of the law of Yahweh with Ezra (Neh 8:13-8:18)

“On the second day, the heads of the ancestral houses of all the people, with the priests and the Levites, came together with the scribe Ezra in order to study the words of the law. They found it written in the law that Yahweh had commanded by Moses that the people of Israel should live in booths during the feast of the seventh month. They should publish and proclaim in all their towns and in Jerusalem as follows. ‘Go out to the hills! Bring branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees to make booths, as it is written.’ So the people went out and brought them. They made booths for themselves, each on the roofs of their houses. They made booths in their courts, in the courts of the house of God, in the square at the Water Gate, and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim. All the assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in the booths. From the days of Jeshua son of Nun to that day, the people of Israel had not done so. There was very great rejoicing. Day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read from the book of the law of God. They kept the festival seven days. On the eighth day there was a solemn assembly, according to the ordinance.”

Ezra the scholar wanted everyone to study the Law of Yahweh. The heads of the ancestral families, as well as the priests and Levites gathered around him. They found a passage in the Law of Yahweh as commanded by Moses about the feast of Tabernacles, booths, or tents. This could be based on Leviticus, chapter 23, Exodus, chapter 23, Numbers, chapter 29, and Deuteronomy, chapter 16, where there is a fall festival of ingathering, or the festival of booths, with a lot of sacrifices like a harvest festival. Usually, it followed the Yom Kippur or reparation day. Although there is nothing specific about the olive branches in Leviticus or the other books, it would be easy to make tents out of them. The original purpose of this feast day was to remember the time that they had lived in tents in the desert on the way from Egypt, but there is no mention of that here. Here they put the tents on top of houses, and in the court yards. Today, some Jews observe this feast with tents in their backyards. It could be an individual family or a communal tent gathering. During the 7 days of this festival they read from the book of the Law of God. Then on the 8th day, they had a solemn assembly. The reference to Jeshua son of Nun is probably Joshua son of Nun, which means that this festival of booths had fallen out of favor with the Jewish people.