No stones untouched (Lk 21:5-21:6)

“Jesus said.

‘As for these things

That you see,

The days will come

When not one stone

Will be left upon another.

All will be thrown down.’”

 

εἶπεν Ταῦτα ἃ θεωρεῖτε, ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι ἐν αἷς οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθῳ ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (εἶπεν) that these things that they saw or were looking at (Ταῦτα ἃ θεωρεῖτε,) would be different in the days to come (ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι).  Not one stone would be left upon another (ἐν αἷς οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθῳ ὃς οὐ).  All would be thrown down (καταλυθήσεται).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:2, almost word for word, with Mark, chapter 13:2.  Mark said that Jesus asked this disciple (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) if he saw all these great buildings (Βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς)?  Jesus told him that not one stone would be left on another stone of the Temple buildings (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον).  All of the Temple buildings would be torn down, thrown down, or destroyed (ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ).  Matthew said that Jesus answered them (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς).  He asked them if they had not seen all these buildings (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Οὐ βλέπετε ταῦτα πάντα).  Then in a solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), that was not in Luke or Mark, he told them that not one stone would be left on another stone here at the Temple (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον).  All of the Temple buildings would be torn down or thrown down (ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται).  In fact, in 70 CE, within 40 years after the time of Jesus, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by the Romans in their war with Israel.  However, threats against the Jerusalem Temple had been common among the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures, especially before the Exile in the 7th and 6th century BCE.  Have you ever seen a church or temple destroyed?

Surrounded on every side (Lk 19:43-19:43)

“Indeed,

The days

Will come upon you,

When your enemies

Will set up ramparts

Around you.

They will hem you in

On every side.”

 

ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακά σοι καὶ περικυκλώσουσίν σε καὶ συνέξουσίν σε πάντοθεν,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus remarked that bad days were coming to Jerusalem (ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ).  Jesus said that it would come to them when their enemies would put up a barricade against them (καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακά σοι).  They would surround them (καὶ περικυκλώσουσίν σε) so that they would be hemmed in on every side (καὶ συνέξουσίν σε πάντοθεν).  This is the only Greek biblical use of the word περικυκλώσουσίν that means to hem them in on every side, encircle, surround, or encompass.  Jesus was using the words and images of the ancient Israelite prophets against Jerusalem.  Isaiah, chapter 29:1-3, called Jerusalem Ariel, a symbolic name for Jerusalem and its altar.  Isaiah, warned Jerusalem about what was going to happen to it.  Yahweh was going to encamp against it and set up siege works against it.  They would be able to speak only from below the earth and the dust.  Their voices would be reduced to a whisper, like a ghost in the middle of this dust pile.  Jeremiah, chapter 6:6-8, warned Jerusalem that its enemies were going to cut down trees in order to make a ramp siege against Jerusalem, because this city needed to be punished.  There was nothing but oppression and wickedness within her.  Jerusalem was a place of violence and destruction with sickness and wounded people all around.  Yahweh was going to turn away in disgust against Jerusalem. Thus, it would become a desolate uninhabited land, if it did not heed his warning.  Ezekiel, chapter 4:1-3, also condemned Jerusalem with Ezekiel’s symbolic action.  A voice told Ezekiel to be an expert model Lego builder of the siege of Jerusalem.  Ezekiel, the son of man, was to take a brick and portray the city of Jerusalem.  He was to put the siege works with a siege wall against this city.  He was to put a ramp and camps against this city with battering rams all around it.  Then he was to take an iron plate and make an iron wall between himself and the city, looking at it.  Thus, there was a state of siege, a sign for the house of Israel.  Ezekiel was part of the exiles from 598 BCE before the taking of Jerusalem and the second captivity in 587 BCE.  Of course, here this was allusion to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE by the Roman soldiers putting down a revolution in Judea.  Luke would have known about this at the time of his writing.  Have you ever seen a city destroyed?

Just like Lot (Lk 17:28-17:28)

“Likewise,

Just as it was

In the days

Of Lot.

They were eating.

They were drinking.

They were buying.

They were selling.

They were planting.

They were building.”

 

ὁμοίως καθὼς ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Λώτ· ἤσθιον, ἔπινον, ἠγόραζον, ἐπώλουν, ἐφύτευον, ᾠκοδόμουν

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus also mentioned Lot from Genesis, chapter 19.  Jesus said likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot (ὁμοίως καθὼς ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Λώτ), they were eating (ἤσθιον), drinking (ἔπινον), buying (ἠγόραζον), selling (ἐπώλουν), planting (ἐφύτευον), and building (ἐφύτευον).  This was much the same as the statement about Noah.  At the time of Lot, the nephew of Abraham, they too were carrying on normal activities.  In other words, people assume that nothing will happen to them.  What do you know about Lot?

Just like Noah (Lk 17:26-17:26)

“Just as it was

In the days

Of Noah,

So too

It will be

In the days

Of the Son of Man.”

 

καὶ καθὼς ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Νῶε, οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου

 

Next Luke indicated that Jesus said that just as it was in the days of Noah (καὶ καθὼς ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Νῶε), so too it would be (οὕτως ἔσται) in the days (καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις) of the Son of Man (τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  There is something similar, almost word for word, in Matthew, chapter 24:37, but nothing about Noah in Mark, thus indicating a Q source.  Jesus said via Matthew that the days of Noah in Genesis, chapters 6-11, (ὥσπερ γὰρ αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ Νῶε) were considered to be the days of sinfulness.  The Parousia or second coming of the Son of Man (οὕτως ἔσται ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) would be similar to the end of the sinning days with the flood (ὡς γὰρ ἦσαν ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ταῖς πρὸ τοῦ κατακλυσμοῦ).  Luke, unlike Matthew, did not use the word Parousia (ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου), just the days of the Son of Man (ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  However, they both had the comparison with the time of Noah.  What influence does Noah have in your life?

Not see the Son of Man (Lk 17:22-17:22)

“Then Jesus

Said to the disciples.

‘The days are coming

When you will long

To see one of the days

Of the Son of Man.

You will not experience it.’”

 

Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητάς Ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι ὅτε ἐπιθυμήσετε μίαν τῶν ἡμερῶν τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἰδεῖν καὶ οὐκ ὄψεσθε.

 

Luke indicated that that Jesus said to the disciples (Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητάς) that the days were coming (Ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι) when they would long to see (ὅτε ἐπιθυμήσετε…ἰδεῖν) one of the days of the Son of Man (μίαν τῶν ἡμερῶν τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  However, they would not experience it (καὶ οὐκ ὄψεσθε).  This hints at something that Mark, chapter 13:19, had Jesus say that there would be rough period before the end times arrived.  His wording had 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 that there would be such suffering or tribulation (ἐκεῖναι θλῖψις) that no one had ever seen anything like it since the beginning of the world 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.  Luke was not as foreboding here.  What do you expect the end times to be like?

The good news (Lk 16:16-16:16)

“The law

And the prophets

Were in effect

Until John came.

Since then,

The good news

Of the kingdom of God

Is proclaimed.

Everyone

Tries to enter it

By force.”

 

Ὁ νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται μέχρι Ἰωάνου· ἀπὸ τότε ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ εὐαγγελίζεται καὶ πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the law (Ὁ νόμος) and the prophets (καὶ οἱ προφῆται) were in effect until John came (μέχρι Ἰωάνου).  Since then (ἀπὸ τότε), the good news has been proclaimed (εὐαγγελίζεται) about the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Everyone tries to enter it by force (καὶ πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται).  The law and the prophets were the two major parts of the Hebrew Bible.  John the Baptist represented some sort of turning point.  His preaching about the kingdom of God meant that the days of the law and prophets were numbered.  There is something similar, but in a different context with a different meaning in Matthew, chapter 11:12-13.  There Jesus talked about the days of John the Baptist until the present (ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ ἕως ἄρτι), not a very long time.  The kingdom of heaven has suffered violence (ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται).  What kind of violence was taking place in the heavenly kingdom?  Did this mean that so many people were violently seeking the kingdom of heaven that John was talking about?  Is this some kind of violence within the kingdom of heaven?  Were these violent people trying to get into the kingdom of heaven?  The next sentence seems to support this idea that violent people wanted to seize the kingdom of heaven by force (καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν).  In Matthew, chapter 17:11-13, Jesus compared John to Elijah.  Like here in Luke, all the prophets and the law had prophesied until the time of John the Baptist (πάντες γὰρ οἱ προφῆται καὶ ὁ νόμος ἕως Ἰωάνου ἐπροφήτευσαν).  Then Jesus said that John was the new Elijah (αὐτός ἐστιν Ἡλείας), the one who was to come (ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι).  However, they had to be willing to accept this (καὶ εἰ θέλετε δέξασθαι).  Anyone who had ears to hear should listen to this (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω).  Clearly, something fundamental changed with John the Baptist and his proclamation of the kingdom of God.  How were John and Jesus connected in their preaching?  What is your opinion about John the Baptist?

The younger son squanders his property (Lk 15:13-15:13)

“A few days later,

The younger son

Gathered all he had.

He traveled

To a distant country.

There he squandered

His property

In dissolute living.”

 

καὶ μετ’ οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας συναγαγὼν πάντα ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς χώραν μακράν, καὶ ἐκεῖ διεσκόρπισεν τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ ζῶν ἀσώτως.

 

This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that a few days later or not too many days later (καὶ μετ’ οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας), this younger son gathered all that he had (συναγαγὼν πάντα ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς), without any indication of how much stuff he actually had.  He then traveled or went away to a distant country (ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς χώραν μακράν), since he did not stay close to home.  There he squandered his property in dissolute living (καὶ ἐκεῖ διεσκόρπισεν τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ ζῶν ἀσώτως).  Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term ἀσώτως that means prodigal or extravagantly wasteful, because of loose living in a debauched, profligate lifestyle.  Thus, this story came to be known as the prodigal son.  In other words, this young son took off for a Las Vegas kind of city in a faraway place.  There he spent his new-found inheritance very quickly in a number of stupid ways.  It is not clear how he was able to convert his inheritance property into cash, but presumably he did.  Have you ever thought about running away and spending a lot of money foolishly?