Adam (Lk 3:38-3:38)

“The son of Enos,

The son of Seth,

The son of Adam,

The son of God.”

 

τοῦ Ἐνὼς τοῦ Σὴθ τοῦ Ἀδὰμ τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

These names are listed in 1 Chronicles 1:2-1:3, and Genesis, chapter 5:1-8.  Luke concluded his genealogy with Adam, whom he called the son of God.  This terminology was not part of the Jewish tradition.  Of course, this term was applied to Jesus, the Son of God.  Luke said that Cainan was the son of Enos (τοῦ Ἐνὼς), the son of Seth (τοῦ Σὴθ), the son of Adam (τοῦ Ἀδὰμ), the son of God (τοῦ Θεοῦ).  The grouping has the so-called first man Adam, with his son, and grandson.  His son, besides Cain and Abel who are not even mentioned here, was Seth who lived to be 912 years old.  Seth’s son was Enosh who lived to be 905 years old.  Obviously, there were other brothers and sisters, but they are not mentioned.  This genealogy repeats the theme of Genesis, chapter 1.  God created humans in the image of God, male and female.  When Adam had lived 130 years, he became the father of a son in his likeness, according to his image.  He named this son Seth.  Adam had other sons and daughters.  Thus, all the days that Adam lived were 930 years.  The offspring of Seth, and not Cain, were to lead to Noah.  Most of these patriarchs began having children in old age, but they all had other sons and daughters.  Seth became the father of Enosh.  Enosh was the son of Seth, but also the father of Kenan or Cainan.  Thus, Luke completed his genealogy by going from Jesus to Adam, while Matthew went from Abraham to Jesus.  These 77 names of Luke represented a lucky completion or fullness of time.  Jesus would not only be a Jewish leader of the tribe of Abraham, but a worldwide universal leader.

Great tribulation (Mk 13:19-13:19)

“In those days,

There will be suffering,

Such as has not been

From the beginning

Of the creation

That God created

Until now,

And never will be.”

 

ἔσονται γὰρ αἱ ἡμέραι ἐκεῖναι θλῖψις, οἵα οὐ γέγονεν τοιαύτη ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως ἣν ἔκτισεν ὁ Θεὸς ἕως τοῦ νῦν καὶ οὐ μὴ γένηται.

 

There is something similar, almost word for word, in Matthew, chapter 24:21, but not in Luke.  This wording has a hint of Daniel, chapter 12:1 and Joel, chapter 2:2, who talked about the Day of Yahweh.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that at the end times, in those days (ἔσονται γὰρ αἱ ἡμέραι), there will be such suffering or tribulation (ἐκεῖναι θλῖψις) that no one has ever seen anything like it since the beginning of the world that God created until now (οἵα οὐ γέγονεν τοιαύτη ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως ἣν ἔκτισεν ὁ Θεὸς ἕως τοῦ νῦν).  In fact, there never will be any kind of suffering like this at any time (καὶ οὐ μὴ γένηται).  This was going to be bad, nothing like it had ever happened before.  This would be the unique end times.

 

Male and female become one flesh (Mk 10:6-10:8)

“But from the beginning

Of creation,

‘God made them

Male

And female.

For this reason,

A man shall leave

His father

And his mother.

He shall be joined

To his wife.

The two shall become

One flesh.’

Thus,

They are no longer two,

But one flesh.”

 

ἀπὸ δὲ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτούς·

ἕνεκεν τούτου καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν μητέρα,

καὶ ἔσονται οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν· ὥστε οὐκέτι εἰσὶν δύο ἀλλὰ μία σάρξ.

 

This saying of Jesus that points to the importance and indissolubility of marriage can also be found in Matthew, chapter 19:4-6.  Mark indicates that Jesus used the creation story of Genesis, chapters 1:27 and 2:24, to emphasize his point.  He noted that from the beginning of creation (ἀπὸ δὲ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως) God had made humans male and female (ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτοὺς).  At the pinnacle of creation, God created humans in his image, as both men and women were created equal in God’s image.  Jesus continued that a man leaves his father and mother (ἕνεκεν τούτου καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν μητέρα).  Some Orthodox texts have the phrase about being joined to his wife (καὶ προσκολληθήσεται πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ).  The two of them then will become one flesh (καὶ ἔσονται οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν), so that they are no longer two but one flesh (ὥστε οὐκέτι εἰσὶν δύο ἀλλὰ μία σὰρξ).  Obviously, this has become part of many marriage ceremonial rituals.

Arius (256-336)

One of the earliest protesters in Christianity was Arius (256-336 CE), the fourth century priest in Alexandria, Egypt.  He believed that God the Father created the universe through the divinely created Christ, but that Jesus was a creature.  Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria disagreed.  The Roman Emperor Constantine called a general council at Nicaea in 325 to settle this dispute.  The result was the definition that Christ was the Son of the Father begotten of the same substance – homousious.  Jesus was truly divine.

A Community of Believers

No man is an island.  We exist in a society, in a community.  We grow up in a family, in a community of people.  As a Christian, we must live in a Christian community.  The Christian religious experience is always lived within a community.  Individual spirituality leads to a commitment not merely as an individual, but to the larger community of Christian believers.  Even the hermits understood that they shared in the larger Christian community.  Just as there is no religious practice without a religion, there cannot be any Christian belief except within a Christian community, a Christian Church.  An individual and communal faith goes hand in hand, not face to face.  God created us out of love, so faith is within a community.  If faith is not communal it is not complete.  Nevertheless, nearly half of American Christian believers are not affiliated with a church, because we live in a highly individualist country.  There is a certain hypocrisy that allows each of us to define our morality as what we would like to do.  We have lost the sense of personal and social responsibility for the common good as “me” and my individual personal experience becomes more important.  We are social by nature and need the common experience of worship.

A description of the day of Yahweh (Joel 2:2-2:2)

“The day of Yahweh

Will be

A day of darkness,

A day of gloom,

A day of clouds,

A day of

Thick darkness!

It will be

Like blackness

Spread

Upon the mountains.

A great,

Powerful army

Comes.

Their like has never been

From of old,

Nor will be again,

After them,

In ages to come.”

Joel described the day of Yahweh. It would be a cloudy day of darkness and gloom. There would be a thick black darkness spread over the mountains. A great powerful army would come. They would be like no other army before or afterwards. This day of Yahweh bears a resemblance to the large swarm of locusts that created the impression of a dark day because of their huge numbers.

The final punishment (Ezek 21:29-21:32)

“They offer false visions

For you.

They divine lies

For you.

They place you

Over the necks

Of the vile wicked ones.

Their day has come.

The time of final punishment

Has come.

Return it to its sheath!

In the place

Where you were created,

In the land of your origin,

I will judge you.

I will pour out

My indignation

Upon you,

With the fire

Of my wrath.

I will blow

Upon you.

I will deliver you

Into brutish hands,

Those skilful to destroy.

You shall be fuel

For the fire.

Your blood

Shall enter the earth.

You shall be remembered

No more.

I,

Yahweh,

Have spoken.”

These unfaithful ones offer false visions and lies. The vile wicked ones will be over their necks. The day of final punishment has come. They have returned their swords to their sheaths. Yahweh was going to judge them in the place where they were created, the land of their origins. Yahweh was going to pour out his indignation upon them with the fire of his wrath. He was going to blow upon them. He was going to deliver them into skilful brutish hands that would destroy them, so that they would become fuel for the fire. Their blood would fall on the earth. No one would remember them. Yahweh has spoken clearly.