Build new storage sheds (Lk 12:18-12:18)

“Then he said.

‘I will do this!

I will pull down

My barns.

I will build

Larger ones.

There I will store

All my grain

And my goods.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν Τοῦτο ποιήσω· καθελῶ μου τὰς ἀποθήκας καὶ μείζονας οἰκοδομήσω, καὶ συνάξω ἐκεῖ πάντα τὸν σῖτον καὶ τὰ ἀγαθά μου,

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that this rich farmer made a decision.  He said to himself that he knew what he was going to do (καὶ εἶπεν Τοῦτο ποιήσω).  He would tear down his barns (καθελῶ μου τὰς ἀποθήκας).  Then he would build larger ones (καὶ μείζονας οἰκοδομήσω).  Thus, he would be able to store all his grain and goods there (καὶ συνάξω ἐκεῖ πάντα τὸν σῖτον καὶ τὰ ἀγαθά μου).  This rich man made a decision to build a bigger barn, but also tear down his old barn and buildings.  He would remodel all his farm buildings.  Then he would have a good place to store his grain and all his possessions.  Have you thought about building a bigger house?

Jesus at prayer (Lk 6:12-6:12)

“Now during those days,

Jesus went out

To the mountain

To pray.

He spent the night

In prayer

To God.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις ἐξελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι, καὶ ἦν διανυκτερεύων ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke said that during those days (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις), Jesus went out to the mountain to pray (ἐξελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι).  He spent the night (καὶ ἦν διανυκτερεύων) in prayer to God (ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Mark, chapter 3:13, also said that Jesus went up a mountain, much like Moses.  Going to a mountain was a way of getting closer to God in the high heavens.  Here Luke emphasized the prayerful solitary preparation of Jesus before his decision about the 12 apostles, as he spent the night praying to God.  This also brings up the separation between Jesus and God,the Father.

They condemn Jesus to death (Mk 14:64-14:64)

“You have heard

His blasphemy!

What is your decision?’

All of them

Condemned him

As deserving death.”

 

ἠκούσατε τῆς βλασφημίας· τί ὑμῖν φαίνεται; οἱ δὲ πάντες κατέκριναν αὐτὸν ἔνοχον εἶναι θανάτου.

 

This is something similar in Matthew, chapter 26:65-66.  There is nothing like this in Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 18.  Mark said that the high priest said that they had heard his blasphemy (ἠκούσατε τὴν βλασφημίαν).  Technically, it might not have been a blasphemy, since someone had to utter the divine name or profane sacred things, but it was close enough.  Thus, this high priest asked for a decision or verdict.  What did it appear to them (τί ὑμῖν φαίνεται;)?  All the members of the council that included the chief priests, the priests, the presbyters, the elders, and the Scribes condemned Jesus (οἱ δὲ πάντες κατέκριναν αὐτὸν), that he deserved to die (ἔνοχον εἶναι θανάτου).  Technically, they could not condemn Jesus to death, since only the Roman authorities could impose a death penalty.

 

They plan to kill Jesus (Mt 27:1-27:1)

“When morning came,

All the chief priests

And the elders

Of the people

Conferred together

Against Jesus,

To bring about

His death.”

 

Πρωΐας δὲ γενομένης συμβούλιον ἔλαβον πάντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τοῦ λαοῦ κατὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ὥστε θανατῶσαι αὐτόν·

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:1, except that Mark did not mention the conclusion about the decision to bring Jesus to death.  In Luke, chapter 23:1, everybody agreed about the death of Jesus.  When morning came (Πρωΐας δὲ γενομένης), after the all-nighter evening meeting at the house of Caiaphas, the high priest of Jerusalem, all the chief priests (πάντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) and the elders of the people (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τοῦ λαοῦ) conferred together or took counsel (συμβούλιον ἔλαβον) against Jesus (κατὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ).  They decided to bring about the death of Jesus (ὥστε θανατῶσαι αὐτόν).  Whether this was an official meeting or not, they did come up with a conclusion that Jesus should die.

The non-writing Jesus

Jesus did not write anything because he lived in a predominant oral society.  The apostles of Jesus followed suit and transmitted the living oral tradition to their disciples and the new followers of Jesus the Christ.  The apostles did not need to write anything, since they could explain everything.  However, once Christianity moved out of Jerusalem there was a need to write things down in a more permanent form.  The early Pauline letters to the new Christian Churches show how Christianity spread.  Increasing time and distance from the place of Jerusalem and the time of Jesus led to a decision to write things down.  In order to prevent heresy or diverse views, while at the same time encouraging the early Christians, the need for a written record became evident.

Oracle after the defeat (Jer 40:1-40:1)

“The word

That came

To Jeremiah

From Yahweh

After Nebuzaradan,

The captain of the guard,

Had let him go

From Ramah.

He had taken him

Bound in fetters

Along with all the captives

Of Jerusalem and Judah.

They were being exiled

To Babylon.”

According to this account, Jeremiah was sent in chains along with all the other captives of Jerusalem and Judah that were about to be exiled to Babylon. While there, Jeremiah had this oracle of Yahweh about leaving Ramah, which was about 6 miles north of Jerusalem in the Benjamin territory. Apparently this Ramah camp was where they made the final disposition of the various prisoners. Perhaps it was here that the captain of the guard, Nebuzaradan, made his final decision about Jeremiah. Like the preceding chapter, this is a different numbered chapter in the Greek translation of the Septuagint, chapters 47 and 48, not chapter 40 as here.

The treatment of slaves (Sir 33:24-33:29)

“Fodder is for a donkey.

A stick is for a donkey.

A burden is for a donkey.

Bread is for a slave.

Discipline is for a slave.

Work is for a slave.

Set your slave to work.

You will find rest.

If you leave his hands idle,

He will seek liberty.

A yoke will bow his neck.

A thong will bow his neck.

A wicked servant should have

Rack and tortures.

Put him to work.

Thus he may not be idle.

Idleness teaches much evil.

Set him to work,

As is fitting for him.

If he does not obey,

Make his fetters heavy.

Do not be overbearing

Toward anybody.

Do nothing unjust.”

Sirach accepts slavery as a fact of life, not to be disputed. This was a common biblical theme, so that the slave owners who cited the Bible could not be faulted. Slaves were slaves, so what? There was no sense of the idea of an equal fellow human being. In fact, it was clear that they should work hard as there was a comparison of a slave to a donkey. Just as the donkey was fed, whipped, and burdened, so too the slave should be fed with bread, disciplined, and worked hard. If your slave worked hard, you could get some restful idleness time for yourself. You should put a yoke and thong around your slave’s neck. If he was bad, you could beat him up. The slave should never be idle because that would lead to evil and his possible escape. If the slave did not obey, he should be punished. However, there was a limit to this brutality. You should not be overbearing or unjust. Of course, it was your decision to evaluate the situation.