“People will faint
About what was coming
Upon the world.
Of the heavens
Will be shaken.”
ἀποψυχόντων ἀνθρώπων ἀπὸ φόβου καὶ προσδοκίας τῶν ἐπερχομένων τῇ οἰκουμένῃ· αἱ γὰρ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται.
Luke had a section of this warning from Jesus that was unique, yet the last phrase was similar to the other synoptics. Jesus said that people would faint (ἀποψυχόντων ἀνθρώπων) from fear (ἀπὸ φόβου) and expectations (καὶ προσδοκίας) over what was coming upon the world (τῶν ἐπερχομένων τῇ οἰκουμένῃ). Luke was the only one to use this Greek term ἀποψυχόντων, meaning to leave off breathing, fainting, breathing out of life, dying, or dismayed. The powers of the heavens would be shaken (γὰρ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται). Thus, this last phrase is like Mark, chapter 13:25, and Matthew, chapter 24:29, who were word for word the same. Mark indicated that Jesus said that the powers of the heavens would be shaken or stirred up (καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς σαλευθήσονται), while Matthew said precisely the same thing. The powers of the heavens would be shaken or stirred up (καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται). They were going to experience big time problems, in this time of complete darkness, during this celestial disturbance. Do you worry about the sky above you?
“As they were listening
To these things,
To tell a parable.
He was near Jerusalem.
That the kingdom of God
Was to appear
Ἀκουόντων δὲ αὐτῶν ταῦτα προσθεὶς εἶπεν παραβολὴν, διὰ τὸ ἐγγὺς εἶναι Ἱερουσαλὴμ αὐτὸν καὶ δοκεῖν αὐτοὺς ὅτι παραχρῆμα μέλλει ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀναφαίνεσθαι·
Only Luke had this unique introduction to this parable. He said that as the disciples were listening to these things (Ἀκουόντων δὲ αὐτῶν ταῦτα), presumably the story about Zacchaeus, Jesus proceeded to tell another parable (προσθεὶς εἶπεν παραβολὴν). He was near his Jerusalem goal (διὰ τὸ ἐγγὺς εἶναι Ἱερουσαλὴμ αὐτὸν), which meant that he was in Jericho or between Jericho and Jerusalem. The disciples supposed or thought (καὶ δοκεῖν αὐτοὺς) that the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) was about to appear immediately or soon (ὅτι παραχρῆμα μέλλει…ἀναφαίνεσθαι). Somehow the disciples assumed that if they got to Jerusalem, the kingdom of God would be revealed to them. They anticipated that the messianic age would happen. Some more revolutionary followers may have even expected a political earthly kingdom to be established, in opposition to the Roman occupation. This parable was meant to tone down their expectations about an earthly kingdom and the immediacy of this new heavenly kingdom. Do you expect the the kingdom of God to come soon?
“The poor man,
He was carried away
By the angels
To be with Abraham.
The rich man
He was buried.”
ἐγένετο δὲ ἀποθανεῖν τὸν πτωχὸν καὶ ἀπενεχθῆναι αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀγγέλων εἰς τὸν κόλπον Ἀβραάμ· ἀπέθανεν δὲ καὶ ὁ πλούσιος καὶ ἐτάφη.
This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels. Luke indicated that Jesus said that this poor man, Lazarus, died (ἐγένετο δὲ ἀποθανεῖν τὸν πτωχὸν). He was carried away by the angels (καὶ ἀπενεχθῆναι αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀγγέλων) to be in the bosom of Abraham (εἰς τὸν κόλπον Ἀβραάμ). The rich man also died (ἀπέθανεν δὲ καὶ ὁ πλούσιος) and he was buried (καὶ ἐτάφη). Both men died, the rich and the poor man. However, the poor man, Lazarus went to be with Abraham in his bosom, while the rich man just plain old died and was buried. This is a clear acknowledgement of an afterlife, rarely mentioned elsewhere. What are your expectations after your earthly death?
“The queen of the South
At the judgment
Against the people
Of this generation.
She will condemn them.
Because she came
From the ends of the earth
To listen to
The wisdom of Solomon.
βασίλισσα νότου ἐγερθήσεται ἐν τῇ κρίσει μετὰ τῶν ἀνδρῶν τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης καὶ κατακρινεῖ αὐτούς· ὅτι ἦλθεν ἐκ τῶν περάτων τῆς γῆς ἀκοῦσαι τὴν σοφίαν Σολομῶνος, καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Σολομῶνος ὧδε.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that the queen of the South (βασίλισσα νότου) would rise (ἐγερθήσεται) at the judgment time (ἐν τῇ κρίσει) against the men or people of this generation. She will condemn them (καὶ κατακρινεῖ αὐτούς), because she came from the ends of the earth (ὅτι ἦλθεν ἐκ τῶν περάτων τῆς γῆς) to listen to the wisdom of Solomon (ἀκοῦσαι τὴν σοφίαν Σολομῶνος). However, someone greater than Solomon is here (καὶ ἰδοὺ πλεῖον Σολομῶνος ὧδε). This saying about the Queen of Sheba can also be found in Matthew, chapter 12:42, so that perhaps this is a Q source. However, in Luke here, it preceded the comments about the men of Nineveh, while it was the reverse in Matthew. Why was this unnamed Queen of Sheba able to give a judgment on this generation? She was not even Jewish. However, she visited King Solomon in 1 Kings, chapter 10:1-13, with the same story repeated in 2 Chronicles, chapter 9:1-12. This mythical mysterious woman came from Sheba, but no one knows exactly where that was or her specific name. She might have been from around the gold mines at Ophir, wherever that might be. This might explain her wealth in spices, gold, and precious stones. Anyway, King Solomon answered all her questions with great wisdom. She observed all his wisdom, plus his house, his food, his clothing, and his servants. She praised King Solomon, the son of King David, because his wisdom exceeded what she had anticipated and his prosperity exceeded her expectations. Matthew and Luke both called her the Queen of the South (βασίλισσα νότου). Matthew also said that she would rise up at the judgment time against this generation and condemn them. She had come from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now, Matthew reminded them that someone greater than King Solomon was there among them, Jesus himself. Do you recognize greatness when you see it?
All were wondering
In their hearts
Was he perhaps
Προσδοκῶντος δὲ τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ διαλογιζομένων πάντων ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν περὶ τοῦ Ἰωάνου, μή ποτε αὐτὸς εἴη ὁ Χριστός,
This question about John the Baptist being the Messiah can be found in John, chapter 1:25, where the Pharisees asked this question. Here Luke said that the people were full of expectations (Προσδοκῶντος δὲ τοῦ λαοῦ). All were questioning or wondering in their hearts concerning John (καὶ διαλογιζομένων πάντων ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν περὶ τοῦ Ἰωάνου). Was he perhaps the Christ, the Messiah (μή ποτε αὐτὸς εἴη ὁ Χριστός)? In other words, the question was not explicitly stated, but only thought about. They were wondering if John the Baptist, the son of Zechariah, was the expected Messiah or Christ.
The standard collection of twenty-seven books of the New Testament, centers on the good news about Jesus the “Christ,” literally “the anointed one,” and his followers. The collected canon of biblical books during the first four centuries is in itself an indication of how the value of these texts developed slowly and emerged over time. These diverse inspired authors of the second half of the first century of the Christian era provide a basic insight into the thought and practices of the primitive Christian communities. Our shared sacred documents also reveal information about the perceived role of the Holy Spirit in the activities and expectations of the newly forming Christian communities.
“The righteousness of the blameless keeps their ways straight.
But the wicked fall by their own wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright saves them.
But the treacherous are taken captive by their schemes.
When the wicked die,
Their hope perishes.
The expectation of the godless comes to nothing.
The righteous are delivered from trouble.
The wicked gets into trouble instead.
With their mouths
The godless would destroy their neighbors.
But by knowledge
The righteous are delivered.”
The blameless keep the straight ways because of their righteousness. The wicked fall by their own wickedness. The upright are saved because of their righteousness, while the treacherous fall captive to their own schemes. When the wicked die, all their hopes perish, since the expectations of the godless come to nothing. While the righteous are delivered from trouble, the wicked get into trouble. The godless destroy their neighbors with their mouths, but the righteous are saved by their knowledge.