The mustard seed (Lk 13:19-13:19)

“The kingdom of God

Is like

A mustard seed

That someone took.

He sowed it

In his garden.

It grew.

It became a tree.

The birds of the air

Made nests

In its branches.”

 

ὁμοία ἐστὶν κόκκῳ σινάπεως, ὃν λαβὼν ἄνθρωπος ἔβαλεν εἰς κῆπον ἑαυτοῦ, καὶ ηὔξησεν καὶ ἐγένετο εἰς δένδρον, καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατεσκήνωσεν ἐν τοῖς κλάδοις αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the kingdom of God was like a mustard seed (ὁμοία ἐστὶν κόκκῳ σινάπεως) that someone took (ὃν λαβὼν ἄνθρωπος) and sowed in his garden (ἔβαλεν εἰς κῆπον ἑαυτοῦ).  Then it grew (καὶ ηὔξησεν) and became a tree (καὶ ἐγένετο εἰς δένδρον).  The birds of the air (καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ) made nests (κατεσκήνωσεν) in its branches (ἐν τοῖς κλάδοις αὐτοῦ).  Luke did not explicitly say that this mustard seed was the smallest seed, but implied it symbolically.  However, this seed could grow to become a tree or shrub where birds could nest.  There was no explanation of this parable, except the clear indication that the kingdom of God might start out small but would grow to hold many people.  This parable of the mustard seed can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:31-32, and Mark, chapter 4:31-32, plus here.  Jesus, via Mark, said that the kingdom of God was like a mustard seed or a grain of mustard.  When planted in the ground, it is the smallest of all seeds on earth.  But when it has grown after being planted, it becomes greater than all the garden plants or shrubs.  It then produced great branches.  Thus, the birds of the air would be able to come and perch or build nests in the shade of its branches.  What started out small can become quite large.  Jesus, via Matthew, explicitly presented them with another short parable.  He said that the kingdom of heaven, not the kingdom of God, was like a mustard seed.  A man planted this seed in his field.  When planted, it was the smallest of all seeds.  But when it was grown, it was the greatest of garden plants or shrubs.  It then became a tree.  Thus, the birds of the air could come and perch or build nests in its branches.  What started out small can become quite large. Do you know something small that became large?

Advertisements

Interpreting the present time (Lk 12:56-12:56)

“You hypocrites!

You know how

To interpret

The appearance of earth

And the sky.

But why do you not know

How to interpret

This present time?”

 

ὑποκριταί, τὸ πρόσωπον τῆς γῆς καὶ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ οἴδατε δοκιμάζειν, τὸν καιρὸν δὲ τοῦτον πῶς οὐ δοκιμάζετε;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus called these people hypocrites (ὑποκριταί).  They were able to know how to interpret (οἴδατε δοκιμάζειν) the appearances of the earth (τὸ πρόσωπον τῆς γῆς) and the sky (καὶ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  However, they did not know how to interpret (πῶς οὐ δοκιμάζετε) this present time (τὸν καιρὸν δὲ τοῦτον).  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 16:3, perhaps indicating a Q source, where Jesus asked them how come they were so good at discerning the overcast stormy weather signs in the heavens (τὸ μὲν πρόσωπον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ γινώσκετε διακρίνειν), but they were unable to interpret the signs of the times (τὰ δὲ σημεῖα τῶν καιρῶν οὐ δύνασθε), since the weather signs were in the heavenly skies also.  In other words, they were very good at predicting the weather, but had no idea about other heavenly things to come.  Are you good at predicting the weather?

Division not peace (Lk 12:51-12:51)

“Do you think

That I have come

To bring peace

To the earth?

No!

I tell you!

But rather discord!”

 

δοκεῖτε ὅτι εἰρήνην παρεγενόμην δοῦναι ἐν τῇ γῇ; οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀλλ’ ἢ διαμερισμόν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should not think (δοκεῖτε) that he came to bring peace to the earth (ὅτι εἰρήνην παρεγενόμην δοῦναι ἐν τῇ γῇ).  With a solemn pronouncement (οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν), he said the opposite.  He had come to bring discord or divisions (ἀλλ’ ἢ διαμερισμόν).  This διαμερισμόν is a unique word of Luke that means breaking up, discord, or hostility.  Luke used this word instead of the normal word of Matthew, “the sword μάχαιραν”.  This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:34, indicating a Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that he had come to bring divisions because he was a disrupter.  They should not think (Μὴ νομίσητε) that Jesus had come to bring peace on earth (ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν).  He had not come to bring peace (οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην), but quite the opposite, to bring the sword (ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν), much like the ancient Hebrew prophets, especially Ezekiel, chapter 38:21.  The sword meant war not peace.  Jesus was not a peacemaker, but a sign of contradiction.  Well, there goes the prince of peace.  Have you ever thought about Jesus as a disrupter?

The wrong treasure (Lk 12:21-12:21)

“Thus,

It is with those

Who store up treasures

For themselves,

But are not rich

Toward God.”

 

οὕτως ὁ θησαυρίζων αὑτῷ καὶ μὴ εἰς Θεὸν πλουτῶν

 

Luke uniquely brought this little parable of Jesus to an end.  Jesus said this was the problem with those who store up treasures for themselves (οὕτως ὁ θησαυρίζων αὑτῷ), but are not rich towards God (καὶ μὴ εἰς Θεὸν πλουτῶν) in divine treasures.  Thus, this parable of the rich foolish man comes to an end.  He had stored up treasures here on earth, instead of heavenly treasures with God.  He had misplaced priorities.  His plans did not include death.  Do you have misplaced priorities?

What happens when you deny Jesus? (Lk 12:9-12:9)

“But whoever denies me

Before others,

Will be denied

Before the angels of God.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀρνησάμενός με ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἀπαρνηθήσεται ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀγγέλων τοῦ Θεοῦ

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that whoever denied him before other people (ὁ δὲ ἀρνησάμενός με ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀνθρώπων), they would be denied before (ἀπαρνηθήσεται ἐνώπιον) the angels of God (τῶν ἀγγέλων τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:34, indicating a Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that anyone who denied or repudiated him before other men, he was going to deny or repudiate them before his Father in heaven also.  Once again, there was a difference between the angels of God and the Father in heaven.  Jesus wanted loyalty to him, no matter what the circumstances.  If they were loyal here on earth, he would intercede with his Father for them in heaven, as their mediator.  Would you ever deny Jesus?

Pray to the Father (Lk 11:2-11:2)

“Jesus said to them.

‘When you pray,

Say!

‘Father,

Hallowed be

Your name!

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?

Rejoice in the Holy Spirit (Lk 10:21-10:21)

“At that same hour,

Jesus rejoiced

In the Holy Spirit.

He said.

‘I thank you!

Father!

Lord of heaven

And earth!

Because you have

Hidden these things

From the wise

And the intelligent.

You have revealed them

To infants.

Yes!

Father!

It was pleasing in your sight.”

 

Ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἠγαλλιάσατο τῷ Πνεύματι τῷ Ἁγίῳ καὶ εἶπεν Ἐξομολογοῦμαί σοι, Πάτερ, Κύριε τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῆς γῆς, ὅτι ἀπέκρυψας ταῦτα ἀπὸ σοφῶν καὶ συνετῶν, καὶ ἀπεκάλυψας αὐτὰ νηπίοις· ναί, ὁ Πατήρ, ὅτι οὕτως εὐδοκία ἐγένετο ἔμπροσθέν σου.

 

Luke said that at the same time or hour (Ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ), Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit (ἠγαλλιάσατο τῷ Πνεύματι τῷ Ἁγίῳ).  Jesus said (καὶ εἶπεν) that he acknowledged and thanked (Ἐξομολογοῦμαί σοι) his Father (Πάτερ,), the Lord of heaven and earth (Κύριε τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῆς γῆς), using the second person singular.  This was a strong personal Trinitarian theological statement about the relationship between God, the Father, and the Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  This was like eavesdropping on a conversation between Jesus and his heavenly Father, who had hidden these things (ὅτι ἀπέκρυψας ταῦτα) from the wise (ἀπὸ σοφῶν) and the intelligent (καὶ συνετῶν).  However, he had revealed them to the infants (καὶ ἀπεκάλυψας αὐτὰ νηπίοις).  Yes (ναί, ὁ Πατήρ), this was the gracious will of the Father, well pleasing in his sight (ὅτι οὕτως εὐδοκία ἐγένετο ἔμπροσθέν σου).  This theological statement about the relationship between Jesus and his heavenly Father was also found in Matthew, chapter 11:25, indicating a possible common Q source.  Matthew also indicated that Jesus said that the unlearned little one had received revelation, but the wise and intelligent ones did not understand it.  Jesus said thank you to his Father, the Lord of heaven and earth, because he had hidden these things from the wise and intelligent ones.  However, he revealed them to the unlearned little ones.  Somehow, the unwise ones were the ones who got God’s revelation, while the wise and intelligent ones did not understand it, because God had hidden it from them.  Both Luke and Matthew are in agreement on that.  They also agreed that Jesus had a special relationship to God, the Father, and the Holy Spirit.  Do you understand the Trinity?