Five cities (Lk 19:19-19:19)

“The nobleman

Said to the second slave.

‘You!

Rule over five cities!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ καὶ τούτῳ Καὶ σὺ ἐπάνω γίνου πέντε πόλεων.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said the nobleman told the second slave (ἶπεν δὲ καὶ τούτῳ) that he was going to rule over 5 cities (Καὶ σὺ ἐπάνω γίνου πέντε πόλεων).  Since this second trader slave had done well, he was put in charge of 5 cities.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 25:23, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus said that this master said to this second diligent trader slave (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) that he done a good job (Εὖ).  He was a good trustworthy slave (δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ).  As he had been trustworthy or faithful in a few things (ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός), this master was going to put him in charge or appoint him over many things (ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω), without being specific.  This second slave was to enter into the joy of his master or lord (εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου).  Notice that the Greek wording in Matthew, was exactly the same, word for word, as it was for the first slave with the 5 talents.  They both belonged in the same category as good trustworthy faithful slaves.  Meanwhile, Luke was giving both these slave earthly responsibilities, being in charge of 5 and 10 cities.  What is the best reward you ever got?

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Authority over ten cities (Lk 19:17-19:17)

“The nobleman

Said to the first slave.

‘Well done!

Good slave!

Because you have been

Trustworthy

In a very small thing,

Take charge

Of ten cities!’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Εὖγε, ἀγαθὲ δοῦλε, ὅτι ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ πιστὸς ἐγένου, ἴσθι ἐξουσίαν ἔχων ἐπάνω δέκα πόλεων.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the nobleman told the first slave (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he had done well as a good slave (Εὖγε, ἀγαθὲ δοῦλε).  He had been trustworthy in a very small thing (ὅτι ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ πιστὸς ἐγένου), he was now going to be put in charge of 10 cities (ἴσθι ἐξουσίαν ἔχων ἐπάνω δέκα πόλεων).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 25:21, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus said that this master or lord said to this diligent trader slave (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) that he done a good job (Εὖ).  He was a good trustworthy slave (δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ).  As he had been trustworthy or faithful in a few things (ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός), this master was going to put him in charge or appoint him over many things (ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω), without being specific.  This first slave was to enter into the joy of his master or lord (εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου).  This idea of being in the presence of his master was similar to the idea of being in the presence of God.  However, Luke had a more specific earthly reward.  Have you ever received a reward for some work that you did?

The narrow door (Lk 13:23-13:24)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Strive to enter

Through the narrow door!

I tell you!

Many will try

To enter

And will not be able.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς

Ἀγωνίζεσθε εἰσελθεῖν διὰ τῆς στενῆς θύρας, ὅτι πολλοί, λέγω ὑμῖν, ζητήσουσιν εἰσελθεῖν καὶ οὐκ ἰσχύσουσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) that they were to strive (Ἀγωνίζεσθε) to enter (εἰσελθεῖν) through the narrow door (διὰ τῆς στενῆς θύρας).  With a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν), Jesus said that many people (ὅτι πολλοί) would try to enter (ζητήσουσιν εἰσελθεῖν), but not be able to do so (καὶ οὐκ ἰσχύσουσιν).  This saying of Jesus is somewhat similar to Matthew, chapter 7:13-14, where it was part of the Sermon on the Mount, not a response to a question.  Matthew had Jesus go into great detail about the narrow gate and not a door.  Jesus wanted them to enter the narrow gate (ἰσέλθατε διὰ τῆς στενῆς πύλης).  Matthew in his description of the wide or spacious gate (ὅτι πλατεῖα ἡ πύλη καὶ εὐρύχωρος) used two words for wide and spacious, “πλατεῖα” and “εὐρύχωρος,” that never appear elsewhere in the New Testament.  The easy way of the wide gate led to destruction (ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ἀπώλειαν).  Many people were entering through this wide destructive easy gate (καὶ πολλοί εἰσιν οἱ εἰσερχόμενοι δι’ αὐτῆς).  On the other hand, the narrow gate (ὅτι στενὴ ἡ πύλη) had a difficult way, leading to life (καὶ τεθλιμμένη ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ζωήν).  Only a few people were able to find their way through this difficult hard narrow life filled gate (καὶ ὀλίγοι εἰσὶν οἱ εὑρίσκοντες αὐτήν).  This idea of two ways can be found also in Deuteronomy, chapter 30:15-20, and among other religions with the way of death and the way of life.  The early Christian teachings of the Didache used this concept, as did many other dualistic religions that pointed to the choice of life or death, good or bad.  As you had basic choices in life, God was giving you this choice, life and prosperity with the narrow gate or death and adversity with the wide gate.  You had a choice between two gates.  The choice of path was yours.  Do you prefer the wide or the narrow door?

The laborers for the harvest (Lk 10:2-10:2)

“Jesus said to them.

‘The harvest is plentiful.

But the laborers

Are few.

Therefore,

Pray earnestly to

The Lord of the harvest

To send out

Laborers

Into his harvest.’”

 

ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς, οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι· δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ Κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ ὅπως ἐργάτας ἐκβάλῃ εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to these 70 disciples (ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς) that the harvest was plentiful (Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς), but the work men or laborers were few (οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι).  Therefore, they should pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest (δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ Κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ) to send out more laborers or work men into his harvest (ὅπως ἐργάτας ἐκβάλῃ εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ).  This saying about the laborers for the harvest is nearly the same, as in Matthew, chapter 9:37-38, indicating a probable Q source.  However, there Jesus spoke to his disciples, right before he appointed and commissioned his 12 apostles.  He told them that the harvest was plentiful, but there were few field laborers.  He wanted them to request or pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out more field laborers into his harvest field.  The Father is the Lord of the harvest.  Are you willing to work for the Lord of the harvest?

Laborers for the harvest (Mt 9:37-9:38)

“Then he said

To his disciples.

‘The harvest is plentiful.

But the laborers are few.

Therefore,

Ask the Lord

Of the harvest

To send out laborers

Into his harvest.’”

 

τότε λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς, οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι·

 δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ Κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ ὅπως ἐκβάλῃ ἐργάτας εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ.

 

This saying about the laborers for the harvest is exactly the same, word for word, as in Luke, chapter 10:2, indicating a probable Q source.  This time, Jesus spoke to his disciples (τότε λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ), not the crowds.  He told them that the harvest was plentiful or full (Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς), but there were few field laborers or few workers (οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι).  He wanted them to request, beseech, or pray to the Lord of the harvest (δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ Κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ) to send out more field laborers or workers into his harvest field (ἐκβάλῃ ἐργάτας εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ).  Who is the Lord of the harvest?  Is this the Father?

Yahweh will scatter the exiles (Ezek 12:14-12:16)

“I will scatter

To every wind

All who are around him,

His helpers,

All his troops.

I will unsheathe

The sword

Behind them.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.

When I disperse them

Among the nations

I will scatter them

Through the countries.

But I will let

A few of them escape

From the sword,

From famine,

From pestilence.

Thus they may tell

Of all their abominations

Among the nations

Where they go.

Then they may know

That I am Yahweh.”

In this exile, not everyone will go to the same place. Yahweh indicated that he was going to scatter the helpers and the soldiers of the king to the wind. He certainly was going to make sure that some died by the sword. They should know that he was Yahweh. He was going to disperse them among the various nations and scatter them among different countries. He was going to let a few of them escape from the 3 ways of dying, the sword, famine, or pestilence. Those who survived would talk about all their abominations among the diverse nations, wherever they went. Thus everyone would know that Yahweh was the God of Israel.

The sinners pray (Bar 2:12-2:15)

“We have sinned!

We have been ungodly!

We have done wrong!

O Lord!

Our God!

Against all your ordinances!

Let your anger

Turn away

From us!

We are left,

Few in number,

Among the nations

Where you have

Scattered us.

Hear!

O Lord!

Our prayer!

Hear

Our supplication!

For your own sake

Deliver us!

Grant us favor

In the sight of those

Who have carried us

Into exile!

Thus all the earth

May know

That you are

The Lord our God!

For Israel

With his descendants,

You are

Called by your name.”

These sinners admit that they have been ungodly, doing wrong since they had disobeyed the ordinances of their Lord and God. They wanted him to turn his anger away from them, because they were only a few of them left. They had been scattered among the various nations, not just in one country. They wanted the Lord to hear their prayers and grant them favors among the people who carried them away into exile. Then the whole world would know what the God of Israel had done for his people and their descendants. They will call out his name to all.