Send Lazarus to warn my brothers (Lk 16:27-16:28)

“The rich man said.

‘Then Father!

I beg you!

Send Lazarus

To my father’s house!

I have five brothers.

Let him warn them!

Thus,

They might not

Also come

Into this place

Of torment.’”

 

εἶπεν δέ Ἐρωτῶ σε οὖν, πάτερ, ἵνα πέμψῃς αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ πατρός μου·

ἔχω γὰρ πέντε ἀδελφούς· ὅπως διαμαρτύρηται αὐτοῖς, ἵνα μὴ καὶ αὐτοὶ ἔλθωσιν εἰς τὸν τόπον τοῦτον τῆς βασάνου.

 

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 the rich man responded to Abraham (εἶπεν δέ), calling him father (πάτερ).  He begged Abraham (Ἐρωτῶ σε οὖν) to send Lazarus (ἵνα πέμψῃς αὐτὸν) to his father’s house (εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ πατρός μου).  This rich man said that he had five brothers (ἔχω γὰρ πέντε ἀδελφούς).  He wanted Lazarus to warn them (ὅπως διαμαρτύρηται αὐτοῖς).  Thus, they might not also come into this toremented place (ἵνα μὴ καὶ αὐτοὶ ἔλθωσιν εἰς τὸν τόπον τοῦτον τῆς βασάνου).  The rich man wanted Abraham to send Lazarus back to his family home to warn his 5 brothers, since he could not himself warn them.  This was an act of kindness on his part to care about his 5 brothers.  Would Lazarus be able to do this?  Would you want to warn your family members if you were in hell?

Your mother and brothers want to see you (Lk 8:20-8:20)

“Jesus was told.

‘Your mother

And your brothers

Are standing outside,

Wanting to see you.’”

 

ἀπηγγέλη δὲ αὐτῷ Ἡ μήτηρ σου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου ἑστήκασιν ἔξω ἰδεῖν θέλοντές σε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus was told (ἀπηγγέλη δὲ αὐτῷ) that his mother (Ἡ μήτηρ σου) and his brothers (καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου) were standing outside (ἑστήκασιν ἔξω), wanting to see him (ἰδεῖν θέλοντές σε).  Mark, chapter 3:32, and Matthew, chapter 12:47, have something similar, almost word for word, so that Mark might be the source of this saying.  Mark indicated that someone from the crowd sitting around Jesus said that he should look because his mother, his brothers, and his sisters were outside wanting to talk to him.  Matthew and Luke never mentioned anything about his sisters, only his brothers, who were all unnamed.  Matthew said that his relatives sent for Jesus, as someone told him that his mother and brothers were outside wanting to talk to him.  Were they not allowed to come into where he was talking?  Would you stop what you were doing to talk to your close family members?

You did not treat the least or lowly people well (Mt 25:45-25:45)

“Then he will answer them.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

Just as you did

Not do it

To one of the least

Of these people,

You did not

Do it to me.’”

 

τότε ἀποκριθήσεται αὐτοῖς λέγων Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐφ’ ὅσον οὐκ ἐποιήσατε ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν ἐλαχίστων, οὐδὲ ἐμοὶ ἐποιήσατε.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that the king or the Son of Man would answer them (τότε ἀποκριθήσεται αὐτοῖς) with a solemn proclamation (λέγων Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  They had not helped the least of these people or the small ones as he called them (ἐφ’ ὅσον οὐκ ἐποιήσατε ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν ἐλαχίστων).  No longer is this just about family members or brothers, they were neglecting or not helping him (οὐδὲ ἐμοὶ ἐποιήσατε) these not important people.  The weak or the lesser people were part of God’s family.  Failure to treat them correctly was a failure to treat Jesus correctly.

What is better? (Sir 40:21-40:25)

“The flute makes

A sweet melody.

The harp makes

A sweet melody,

But a pleasant voice is

Better than either.

The eye desires grace.

The eye desires beauty.

But the eye desires

Green shoots of grain

More than either.

A friend is always welcome

A companion is always welcome.

But a sensible wife is

Better than either.

Kindred are for a time of trouble.

Helpers are for a time of trouble.

But almsgiving rescues

Better than either.

Gold makes one stand firm.

Silver makes one stand firm.

But good counsel is

Esteemed more than either.”

Sirach continues with his questions about what is better. However, here the answer is not wisdom. While wine and music gladden the heart, the love of friends is actually better for a happy heart. While the flute and the harp make sweet melodies, a pleasant singing voice is sweeter than both. While the eye desires grace and beauty, the eye, especially of a farmer, prefers to see the green sprouts of grain in the fields. Everyone welcomes a friend or companion in their house, but a sensible wife in the house is much better. In troubled times, family members and helpers can be supportive, but actually almsgiving helps you better than both family and friends. While gold and silver can help you stand firm, good counsel is better than both gold and silver.