“Yet because this widow
Keeps bothering me,
I will grant her justice.
She may not
Wear me out
By her continual harassment.”
διά γε τὸ παρέχειν μοι κόπον τὴν χήραν ταύτην ἐκδικήσω αὐτήν, ἵνα μὴ εἰς τέλος ἐρχομένη ὑπωπιάζῃ με.
Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge. Luke indicated that Jesus said that because this widow (τὴν χήραν ταύτην) kept bothering or causing trouble (διά γε τὸ παρέχειν μοι κόπον) to this bad judge, he was going to grant her justice (ἐκδικήσω αὐτήν). Thus, she would not wear him out by her continual exhausting harassment (ἵνα μὴ εἰς τέλος ἐρχομένη ὑπωπιάζῃ με) anymore. In other words, this bad judge just wanted to get rid of this widow, because she was exhausting him with all her supplications and demands. Thus, he granted her a verdict of vengeance against her enemy. Have you ever had a favorable court ruling?
“Jesus said to them.
‘When you pray,
Your kingdom come!’”
εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς Ὅταν προσεύχησθε, λέγετε Πάτερ, ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου· ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου
Luke indicated that Jesus responded to his disciples (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς). He told them how to pray (Ὅταν προσεύχησθε). They were to say Father (λέγετε Πάτερ)! Hallowed or holy be your name (ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά)! Your kingdom come (σου· ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου)! Matthew, chapter 6:9, also had the “Lord’s Prayer,” “The Our Father,” with slightly different variations, perhaps indicating a Q source. However, the text here in Luke is shorter than Matthew, since Matthew had 7 demands or requests of God, but Luke had only 5. The first part of the prayer was about the glory of God himself, the Father. Jesus simply tells them to pray this way. The Greek word for praying προσεύχεσθε means an exchange of wishes. Jesus opened this prayer with a call to their common “our” Father (Πάτερ ἡμῶν) who was in the heavens (ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς). Luke did not have “Our Father who was in heaven,” since that only appeared in the later Byzantine text of Luke, but simply “Father”. The heavenly father was a major theme throughout Matthew. His name should be holy (Ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου), just as in the Hebrew scriptures where the name of Yahweh was holy, especially Psalm 105:1-5. His kingdom should come (ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου). Then Matthew had the unique statement about the will of the Father should be done (γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου) here on earth (καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς), just as it is done in heaven (ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ). Obviously following the will of God, Yahweh, was a common theme of Judaic life. The followers of Jesus would not be exempt from following the will of their heavenly Father. However, Luke did not mention this in his prayer to the Father, except that it was in the later Byzantine text also. Do you know the Lord’s prayer by heart?
Appointed seventy others.
He sent them
On ahead of him,
Into every town
Where he himself
Intended to go.”
Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ἀνέδειξεν ὁ Κύριος ἑτέρους ἑβδομήκοντα, καὶ ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς ἀνὰ δύο πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ εἰς πᾶσαν πόλιν καὶ τόπον οὗ ἤμελλεν αὐτὸς ἔρχεσθαι.
Luke uniquely spoke about these 70 disciples. He said that after these comments (Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα) about the demands of discipleship, the Lord (ὁ Κύριος), not Jesus, appointed 70 others disciples (ἀνέδειξεν ἑτέρους ἑβδομήκοντα), who were not the 12 apostles. He sent them on ahead of him or his face (πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ), in pairs (καὶ ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς ἀνὰ δύο), into every town and place (εἰς πᾶσαν πόλιν καὶ τόπον) where he himself intended to go (οὗ ἤμελλεν αὐτὸς ἔρχεσθαι). They were to be his front men or advance people. There was no mention of these 70 disciples in the other gospel stories, only here in Luke. This group of 70 was reminiscent of the elders with Moses in Numbers, chapter 11:24-25, where Moses gathered the 70 elders of the people around the tent. Then Yahweh took some of the Spirit that was upon him and put it upon the 70 elders. These elders temporarily prophesied. This sharing of power may have helped Moses, since God gave some of the power of his spirit to these 70 elders. Thus, the Jerusalem Jewish Sanhedrin had 70 members. These 70 missionaries of Jesus went out in pairs, two by two, a common practice in the early Church. Mark, chapter 6:7, said that Jesus sent out his 12 apostles in pairs, two by two, also. Interesting enough, the activities of these 70 missionaries seem to be much like the 12 apostles as described earlier in chapter 9:2-4. Have you ever been on a missionary expedition?
“As they were going along
‘I will follow you
Wherever you go!’”
Καὶ πορευομένων αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ εἶπέν τις πρὸς αὐτόν Ἀκολουθήσω σοι ὅπου ἐὰν ἀπέρχῃ.
Luke and Matthew are similar about the demands that Jesus puts on his followers, so that this might be a Q source, since it was not in Mark. Luke said that as they were going along the road (Καὶ πορευομένων αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ), someone said to Jesus (εἶπέν τις πρὸς αὐτόν) that he would follow him wherever he went (Ἀκολουθήσω σοι ὅπου ἐὰν ἀπέρχῃ). This is similar to Matthew, chapter 8:19, but Luke did not call this man a Scribe, as Matthew did. Matthew said that this one Scribe came to Jesus, calling him a rabbi or a teacher (Διδάσκαλε). This scribe or man of letters, was willing to follow Jesus wherever he went. The Scribes were religious experts who determined the traditions to be followed. They were professional copiers of manuscript documents, although they had a wider role in Jewish society. They might have been the fore-runners of the rabbinic class that was developing at that time. Notice that he called Jesus a teacher or a rabbi. He was willing to go wherever Jesus went. Perhaps, the author of Matthew might have been a Jewish Scribe himself, since he was very familiar with Hebrew scriptures. What is clear is that this man or Scribe wanted to follow Jesus, a good thing. Do you want to follow Jesus Christ?
“Pray then in this way!
Holy be your name!
Let your kingdom come!
Your will be done,
As it is in heaven.’”
οὕτως οὖν προσεύχεσθε ὑμεῖς Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς· Ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου·
ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου· γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου, ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς·
Matthew, as well as Luke, chapter 11:2-3, both have the “Lord’s Prayer,” “The Our Father,” with only slightly different versions, perhaps indicating a Q source. The text in Luke is shorter than here, since Matthew has 7 demands of God, one of his favorite numbers. The first part of the prayer is about the glory of God himself, the Father. Jesus simply tells them to pray like this (οὕτως οὖν προσεύχεσθε ὑμεῖς). The Greek word for praying “προσεύχεσθε” means an exchange of wishes. Jesus opened this prayer with a call to their common “our” Father (Πάτερ ἡμῶν) who is in the heavens (ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς). The heavenly father was a major theme throughout Matthew. His name should be holy (Ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου), just as in the Hebrew scriptures where the name of Yahweh was holy, especially Psalm 105:1-5. His kingdom should come (ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου). His will should be done (γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου) on earth (καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς), just as it is done in heaven (ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ). Obviously following the will of God, Yahweh, was a common theme of Judaic life. The followers of Jesus would not be exempt from following the will of their heavenly Father.
Christian sacraments have the power to enact what they symbolize. These are outward signs instituted by Christ to be efficacious, to do what they symbolize. The power of a ritual is more than the actual physical baptismal or sharing of the bread and wine event. We remember and enact the experience of Jesus Christ. This is not magic. We do not need to be like a sports fan (fanatic) at a sporting event that goes crazy into the event. Yet our involvement demands an expressing and deepening of the sense and experience of the mystery of God, as expressed in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the sacrament of God. His Christian Church is the sacrament of Jesus. The individual Christian sacraments are the expression of Jesus and his Christian community. The sacramental symbols of the Christian churches effect what they symbolize. They do what they say they are doing in a special graced filled moment.
“With all your soul
Fear the Lord!
Revere his priests!
With all your might,
Love your Maker!
Do not neglect his ministers!
Fear the Lord!
Honor the priest!
Give him his portion,
As you have been commanded.
The first fruits,
The guilt offering,
The gift of the shoulders,
The sacrifice of sanctification,
The first fruits of the holy things.”
Once again, Sirach is absolute in his demands about the Israelite Levitical priests. Listening to them was like listening to God. Obviously, you were to fear the Lord and love your Maker. You also were to revere God’s priests. Thus you should not neglect God’s ministers. They should have their portion as commanded by the law. In case there was any confusion, he specifically listed what the priests were to get, the first fruits, the guilt offerings, the shoulders, the sanctification sacrifice, and the first fruits of the holy things. I am not sure about the shoulders, but the others were common in the Torah.
She will walk with them on tortuous paths.
She will bring fear upon them.
She will bring dread upon them.
She will torment them by her discipline,
Until she trusts them.
She will test them with her ordinances.
She will come straight back to them again.
She will gladden them.
She will reveal her secrets to them.
If they go astray,
She will forsake them.
She will hand them over to their ruin.”
Wisdom does not come easy. There are problems and demands. She will walk with them on dangerous paths as they will be filled with fear and dread. Her discipline will torment them until she finally trusts them. She will test them with various rules. In the end, she will return to them and gladden them, as she reveals her secrets to them. On the other hand, if they go astray and give up on her, she will bring ruin to them.