‘I have bought
Five yoke of oxen.
I am going
To try them out.
I pray you,
Accept my regrets!’”
καὶ ἕτερος εἶπεν Ζεύγη βοῶν ἠγόρασα πέντε, καὶ πορεύομαι δοκιμάσαι αὐτά· ἐρωτῶ σε, ἔχε με παρῃτημένον.
Luke uniquely had Jesus talk about another excuse. Jesus said that another person told the inviting slave (καὶ ἕτερος εἶπεν) that he had just purchased or bought 5 pair of oxen (Ζεύγη βοῶν ἠγόρασα πέντε). Luke was the only biblical writer to use the term Ζεύγη, meaning a pair, yoke, or team. This man was going to try them out (καὶ πορεύομαι δοκιμάσαι αὐτά). He too, politely (ἐρωτῶ σε) asked to be excused (ἔχε με παρῃτημένον). Matthew, chapter 22:6-7, instead of these individual excuses, had the king’s servants beat up. Thus, this king destroyed the original invited people. However, there was nothing like that here in Luke. Have you ever beat up people inviting you to a dinner or have you been respectful?
“Now by chance,
Was going down
When he saw him,
He passed by
On the other side.”
κατὰ συγκυρίαν δὲ ἱερεύς τις κατέβαινεν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν ἀντιπαρῆλθεν.
Luke uniquely continued this story or parable about who is my neighbor. Jesus said that by chance (κατὰ συγκυρίαν), a certain Jewish priest (δὲ ἱερεύς τις) was going down (κατέβαινεν) this same road (ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐκείνῃ). He saw the badly wounded man (καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν), but he passed by on the other side of the road (ἀντιπαρῆλθεν). There is a lot of speculation on why this priest did not help this man. Was it because of ritual purity? Was he in a hurry, so that he did not have time to stop? Did he simply not care? Was it too much of a bother? Certainly, a Jewish priest had standing in the Jewish community. Other than the high priest, he represented the most important level of Jewish society. What is certain is that this high-ranking religious leader did not engage in any way with the afflicted man on the other side of the road. He clearly saw him, as he specifically crossed over to the other side, so as not to be bothered by him. The ritual purity argument has been raised since a priest could not touch a corpse. However, there was no mention of a dead body. Do you always have an excuse on why you do not help other wounded people?
“If you hold back from rescuing
Those taken away to death,
Those who go staggering to the slaughter,
What are the consequences?
If you say.
We did not know this.’
Does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it?
Will he not repay all according to their deeds?”
If you do not try to rescue someone from death, what are the consequences? They were staggering to their slaughter, what were you to do? Can you say that I did not know what was going on? This was the case at the time of the holocaust roundup. The excuse for non-action was I didn’t know. However, it is important to note that God, who weighs the heart, perceives this. He watches over your soul and knows it. He will repay you according to your deeds.