Follow me (Lk 9:23-9:23)

“Then Jesus said

To them all.

‘If anyone

Wants to become

My followers,

Let them deny themselves!

Let them

Take up

Their cross daily!

Let them

Follow me!’”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς πάντας Εἴ τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἔρχεσθαι, ἀρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ καθ’ ἡμέραν, καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to all of them (Ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς πάντα) that if anyone wanted to become his followers (Εἴ τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἔρχεσθαι), they would have to deny or repudiate themselves (ἀρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν).  They would have to take up their daily cross (καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ καθ’ ἡμέραν) to follow Jesus (καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι).  Jesus told his disciples and the crowd that followed him that they would have to deny themselves if they wanted to follow him.  Something similar can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:24, Mark, chapter 8:34, and here, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus called his disciples and the whole crowd of people.  He said to them that if anyone desired or wanted to become his follower or come after him, they would have to deny or repudiate themselves.  They would have to take up their cross, but not on a daily basis, in order to accompany him or follow him.  Following Jesus was not going to be easy.  There would be difficulties and a danger in this personal decision to follow Jesus.  Matthew said that Jesus told his disciples, with no mention of a crowd, that if anyone desired or wanted to become a follower of Jesus or come after him, they would have to deny or repudiate themselves.  They would have to take up their crosses, but no mention of a daily crosses, in order to accompany him or follow him.  Following Jesus was not going to be easy.  Are you willing to take up your daily cross for Jesus?

The storm on the lake (Lk 8:23-8:23)

“While they were sailing,

Jesus fell asleep.

A windstorm

Swept down

On the lake.

The boat

Was filling

With water.

So that

They were in danger.”

 

πλεόντων δὲ αὐτῶν ἀφύπνωσεν. καὶ κατέβη λαῖλαψ ἀνέμου εἰς τὴν λίμνην, καὶ συνεπληροῦντο καὶ ἐκινδύνευον.

 

Luke said that while they were sailing (πλεόντων δὲ αὐτῶν), Jesus fell asleep (ἀφύπνωσεν).  Then a windstorm swept down on the lake (καὶ κατέβη λαῖλαψ ἀνέμου εἰς τὴν λίμνην).  The boat was filling with water (καὶ συνεπληροῦντο), so that they were in danger (καὶ ἐκινδύνευον).  This stormy boat ride episode can be found in Matthew, chapter 8:24, and Mark, chapter 4:37, somewhat the same as here.  Matthew said that a great severe storm arouse, almost like an earthquake, while they were at sea.  Their boat was being swamped with surging waves.  However, Jesus was asleep, while this storm was hitting their boat.  Mark said that a great severe windstorm came upon them, but there was no mention of an earthquake, as in Matthew.  The waves of the sea were beating into the boat.  Thus, the water was already filling up the boat, so that they were in real danger.  Jesus was asleep as this great windstorm arouse on the Sea of Galilee.  Have you ever been on a stormy boat ride?

Take up your cross (Mk 8:34-8:34)

“Jesus called

The crowd,

With his disciples.

He said to them.

‘If anyone

Wants to become

My followers,

Let them

Deny themselves!

Take up their cross!

Follow me!’”

 

Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τὸν ὄχλον σὺν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Εἴ τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἐλθεῖν, ἀπαρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι.

 

Jesus told his disciples and the crowd that followed him that they would have to deny themselves if they wanted to follow him.  Something similar can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:24, Luke, chapter 9:23, and here, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus called his disciples and the whole crowd of people (Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τὸν ὄχλον σὺν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ).  He said to them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that if anyone desired or wanted to become his follower or come after him (Εἴ τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἐλθεῖν), they would have to deny themselves (ἀπαρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν).  They would have to take up their cross (καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ) in order to accompany him or follow him (καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι).  Following Jesus was not going to be easy.  There would be difficulties and a danger in this personal decision to follow Jesus.

Be careful with strangers (Sir 11:29-11:34)

“Do not invite everyone

Into your home.

Many are the tricks

Of the crafty.

Like a decoy partridge

In a cage,

So is the mind

Of the proud.

Like spies

They observe your weakness.

They lie in wait.

They turn good into evil.

To worthy actions,

They attach blame.

From a spark of fire,

Many coals are kindled.

A sinner lies in wait

To shed blood.

Beware of scoundrels!

They devise evil.

They may ruin

Your reputation forever.

If you receive strangers

Into your home,

They will stir up trouble

For you.

They will make you

A stranger

To your own family.”

Sirach warns that you should be suspicious and careful about whom you let into your home. Some people are tricky and crafty. These proud spies are like a partridge bird in a cage observing everything, especially your weaknesses. Even back then they had spying devices. They will turn good into evil. They will blame you for the good things that you have done. They are like a spark that starts a roaring fire. These sinners want to hurt you. These evil doers are trying to ruin your reputation. If you let strangers into your house, they will stir up trouble. In the end, you will be like a stranger in your own family. Beware of stranger danger!

Wise and clever (Prov 27:11-27:12)

“Be wise!

My child!

Make my heart glad!

Thus I may answer whoever reproaches me.

The clever see danger.

They hide.

But the simple go on.

They suffer for it.”

Young people should be wise so that the heart of a parent will be happy. Thus the parent may respond to those who reproach him. The clever and wise ones see danger and hide. However, the simpletons go out and suffer. This is a repetition of the same proverb in chapter 22.

Riches (Prov 22:1-22:4)

“A good name is to be chosen

Rather than great riches.

Favor is better than silver or gold.

The rich and the poor have this in common.

Yahweh is the maker of them all.

The clever see danger.

They hide.

But the simple go on.

They suffer for it.

The reward for humility is

Riches,

Honor,

Life.

The reward for fear of Yahweh is

Riches,

Honor,

Life.”

Interesting enough, a good name is better than riches. But then these proverbs go on to explain that richness and wealth is a reward for a good life. Favor with God is better than gold and silver. Both the rich and the poor have one thing in common. God made both of them. Now the clever or prudent ones see danger and they hide. However, the simple ones see the same danger, but they keep going on. Thus they suffer this danger. If you are humble, you will have a life of riches and honor. The same goes for those who fear Yahweh. They too will have a rich and honorable life.

The senseless (Prov 17:18-17:20)

“It is senseless

To give a pledge.

It is senseless

To becomes surety for a neighbor.

Whoever loves transgression

Loves strife.

Whoever builds a high threshold

Invites broken bones.

The crooked of mind do not prosper.

The perverse of tongue fall into calamity.”

Do not give a pledge for your neighbor. If you love transgressions, then get ready to love strife. If you build a high threshold, you are inviting danger because some tall strong people might come into your house to hurt you. This might also be a sign that you are showing pride. The crooked and the perverse do not prosper, but fall into calamity or danger.