Father Abraham (Lk 16:24-16:24)

“The rich man

Called out.

‘Father Abraham!

Have mercy on me!

Send Lazarus

To dip

The tip

Of his finger

In water,

To cool my tongue!

I am in agony

In these flames.’”

 

καὶ αὐτὸς φωνήσας εἶπεν Πάτερ Ἀβραάμ, ἐλέησόν με καὶ πέμψον Λάζαρον ἵνα βάψῃ τὸ ἄκρον τοῦ δακτύλου αὐτοῦ ὕδατος καὶ καταψύξῃ τὴν γλῶσσάν μου, ὅτι ὀδυνῶμαι ἐν τῇ φλογὶ ταύτῃ

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, but not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the rich man called out (καὶ αὐτὸς φωνήσας εἶπεν) to Abraham, calling him father (Πάτερ Ἀβραάμ).  He wanted Abraham to have mercy on him (ἐλέησόν με).  He wanted him to send Lazarus (καὶ πέμψον Λάζαρον) to dip the tip of his finger (ἵνα βάψῃ τὸ ἄκρον τοῦ δακτύλου αὐτοῦ) in water (ὕδατος) to cool his tongue (καὶ καταψύξῃ τὴν γλῶσσάν μου) because he was suffering in agony (ὅτι ὀδυνῶμαι) from all those flames (ἐν τῇ φλογὶ ταύτῃ).  Once again, Luke has a unique use among the biblical writers of the Greek word καταψύξῃ, meaning to cool or refresh.  This rich man was suffering in a burning hell.  He wanted Abraham to send Lazarus to make life easier for him.  Are you afraid of a burning hell?

 

Advertisements

The power of the law (Lk 16:17-16:17)

“It is easier

For heaven

And earth

To pass away,

Than for one stroke

Of a letter

Of the law

To be dropped.”

 

εὐκοπώτερον δέ ἐστιν τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν παρελθεῖν ἢ τοῦ νόμου μίαν κεραίαν πεσεῖν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that it was easier (εὐκοπώτερον δέ ἐστιν) for heaven (τὸν οὐρανὸν) and earth (καὶ τὴν γῆν) to pass away (παρελθεῖν), than for one stroke of a letter of the law to be dropped (ἢ τοῦ νόμου μίαν κεραίαν πεσεῖν).  Nothing in the Law or the Torah could be changed or dropped, plain and simple.  This saying is similar to Mark, chapter 13:31, and Matthew, chapter 5:18, with a few exceptions.  Matthew has this as a great Jesus solemn pronouncement for his disciples (ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν).  The next phrase is the same in Luke and Mark.  Heaven and earth would not pass away (ἕως ἂν παρέλθῃ ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ) until the law was fully accomplished (ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου, ἕως ἂν πάντα γένηται).  Matthew, like Luke here, is even more specific with a detailed remark about the fact that not even an iota of the Law or not one stroke of a letter would go away (ἰῶτα ἓν ἢ μία κεραία οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου), before the Law was fully accomplished.  Iota was the Greek word for the Hebrew yod, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  Mark indicated that it was the words of Jesus, and not the Law, that would not change.  Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, chapter 3:31, would further expand on this idea of upholding the law.  In Matthew, chapter 24:35, and in Luke, chapter 21:33, Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away (ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ παρελεύσονται), but his words would not pass away (οἱ δὲ λόγοι μου οὐ μὴ παρελεύσονται).  This was a simple statement about the enduring quality of the words of Jesus.  Here, however, it is the words of the law that would not pass away, not the words of Jesus.  Which is more important for you, the law or the words of Jesus?

The camel and the eye of the needle (Mk 10:25-10:25)

“It is easier

For a camel

To go through

The eye of a needle

Than for a rich person

To enter

The kingdom of God.”

 

εὐκοπώτερόν ἐστιν κάμηλον διὰ τῆς τρυμαλιᾶς τῆς ῥαφίδος διελθεῖν ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν.

 

This saying about the camel and the eye of a needle can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:24, and Luke, chapter 18:25, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that it would be easier (εὐκοπώτερόν ἐστιν) for a camel to go or pass through the eye of a needle (κάμηλον διὰ τῆς τρυμαλιᾶς τῆς ῥαφίδος διελθεῖν), that was used for sewing, than for a wealthy rich man to enter the kingdom of God (ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν).  This was a follow up to the obstacles of wealth.  Everyone knew that it would be impossible for a camel to go through a sewing needle eye or a needle opening.  There was no needle gate in Jerusalem, since this was about a sewing needle.

 

Jesus poses a question (Mk 2:9-2:9)

“Which is easier,

To say to the paralytic?

‘Your sins are forgiven!’

Or to say?

‘Rise!

Take up your pallet!

Walk!’”

 

τί ἐστιν εὐκοπώτερον, εἰπεῖν τῷ παραλυτικῷ Ἀφίενταί σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι, ἢ εἰπεῖν Ἔγειρε καὶ ἆρον τὸν κράβαττόν σου καὶ περιπάτει;

 

Luke, chapter 5:23, and Matthew, chapter 9:8, are almost word for word to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this saying.  Mark said that Jesus posed the question which was it easier to do, (τί ἐστιν εὐκοπώτερον) to say to the paralytic (εἰπεῖν τῷ παραλυτικῷ) that your sins are forgiven (Ἀφίενταί σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι) or to say (ἢ εἰπεῖν) rise up or get up, take your pallet, and walk (Ἔγειρε καὶ ἆρον τὸν κράβαττόν σου καὶ περιπάτει)?  Jesus seems to make an equivalence between the two optional sayings.

The camel and the eye of a needle (Mt 19:24-19:24)

“Again!

I tell you!

It is easier for a camel

To go through

The eye of a needle

Than for a rich man

To enter

The kingdom of God.”

 

πάλιν δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, εὐκοπώτερόν ἐστιν κάμηλον διὰ τρήματος ῥαφίδος εἰσελθεῖν ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

This saying about the camel and the eye of a needle can be found in Mark, chapter 10:25, and Luke, chapter 18:25, word for word.  Once again, this is a solemn proclamation of Jesus (πάλιν δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν).  He said that it would be easier (εὐκοπώτερόν ἐστιν) for a camel to go through the eye of a needle (κάμηλον διὰ τρήματος ῥαφίδος εἰσελθεῖν) that was used for sewing than for a wealthy rich man to enter the kingdom of God (ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This was a follow up to the obstacles of wealth.  Everyone knew that it would be impossible for a camel to go through a sewing needle eye or opening.  Notice that Matthew followed the other two gospels by using kingdom of God (τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) rather than his usual kingdom of heaven (τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν), as in the preceding verses.

Sin and sickness (Mt 9:5-9:7)

“Which is easier

To say?

‘Your sins are forgiven!’

Or to say?

‘Stand up!

Walk!’

But that you may know

That the Son of man

Has authority on earth

To forgive sins,

He then said

To the paralytic.

‘Stand up!

Take your bed!

Go home!’

He stood up.

He went to his home.”

 

τί γάρ ἐστιν εὐκοπώτερον, εἰπεῖν Ἀφίενταί σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι, ἢ εἰπεῖν Ἔγειρε καὶ περιπάτει;

ἵνα δὲ εἰδῆτε ὅτι ἐξουσίαν ἔχει ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἀφιέναι ἁμαρτίας — τότε λέγει τῷ παραλυτικῷ Ἔγειρε ἆρόν σου τὴν κλίνην καὶ ὕπαγε εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου.

καὶ ἐγερθεὶς ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ.

 

This is exactly the same as in Mark, chapter 2:9-12, and Luke, chapter 5:22-25, about the healing and forgiving of sins for the paralytic.  Jesus posed the question which was it easier to do (τί γάρ ἐστιν εὐκοπώτερον) to say that your sins are forgiven (εἰπεῖν Ἀφίενταί σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι) or to say get up and walk (ἢ εἰπεῖν Ἔγειρε καὶ περιπάτει).  Jesus said that they should know that the Son of Man had the power and authority on earth (ἵνα δὲ εἰδῆτε ὅτι ἐξουσίαν ἔχει ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς) to forgive sins (ἀφιέναι ἁμαρτίας).  He then told the paralytic to stand up (τότε λέγει τῷ παραλυτικῷ Ἔγειρε), take his bed (ἆρόν σου τὴν κλίνην), and go home (καὶ ὕπαγε εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου).  Thus, that is exactly what the paralyzed man did.  He got up and went to his home (καὶ ἐγερθεὶς ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ).  Jesus forgave this man his sins and cured him of paralysis.  Normally, the power to forgive sins was what only God could do.  How were these powers related?

The division of the land by tribes (Ezek 47:21-47:21)

“Thus,

You shall divide

This land

Among you,

According

To the tribes

Of Israel.”

Now that the boundaries of the country of Israel were established, it remained to distribute the land to the various tribes of Israel. Like the boundaries of the country, it sounded easier in theory than in reality. Much of this had been laid out in Numbers, chapter 34, and Joshua, chapters 13-19.