The parable (Lk 21:29-21:29)

“Then he told them

A parable.

‘Look at the fig tree!

Look at all the trees!’”

 

Καὶ εἶπεν παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς Ἴδετε τὴν συκῆν καὶ πάντα τὰ δένδρα

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that he was going to tell them another parable (Καὶ εἶπεν παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς).  They were to look at the fig tree (Ἴδετε τὴν συκῆν), in fact, all the trees (καὶ πάντα τὰ δένδρα).  This is similar to Matthew, chapter 24:32, and Mark, chapter 13:28, who are word for word the same as each other.  Mark indicated that Jesus said they were to learn a lesson or parable (μάθετε τὴν παραβολήν) about the fig tree (Ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς συκῆς).  Earlier in Matthew, chapter 21:19-20, Jesus had cursed a fig tree for not having fruit, but here there was a lesson or a little parable to be learned (μάθετε τὴν παραβολήν) from the fig tree (Ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς συκῆς).  These fig trees play an important role in these stories or parables.  Have you ever seen a fig tree?

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Next year cut it down (Lk 13:9-13:9)

“If it bears fruit

Next year,

Well and good!

But if not,

You can cut it down.”

 

κἂν μὲν ποιήσῃ καρπὸν εἰς τὸ μέλλον· εἰ δὲ μήγε, ἐκκόψεις αὐτήν.

 

Luke concluded this unique parable story.  This gardener told his owner that if this fig tree would bear fruit during this time (κἂν μὲν ποιήσῃ καρπὸν εἰς τὸ), then well and good (μέλλον).  However, if it did not (εἰ δὲ μήγε), that they would cut it down (ἐκκόψεις αὐτήν).  There was one more chance, but only one more.  Have you ever given anyone an extra chance?

Wait a year (Lk 13:8-13:8)

“The gardener replied.

‘Sir!

Let it alone

For one more year,

Until I dig

Around it.

I will put

Manure on it.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς λέγει αὐτῷ Κύριε, ἄφες αὐτὴν καὶ τοῦτο τὸ ἔτος, ἕως ὅτου σκάψω περὶ αὐτὴν καὶ βάλω κόπρια,

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus continued with his parable of the fig tree with no fruit.  Jesus said that the gardener replied respectfully (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς λέγει αὐτῷ), calling him lord (Κύριε).  He wanted the owner to let the tree alone for one more year (ἄφες αὐτὴν καὶ τοῦτο τὸ ἔτος).  He was going to dig around it (ἕως ὅτου σκάψω περὶ αὐτὴν) and put manure on it (καὶ βάλω κόπρια).  There would be one more chance.  Maybe a little fertilizer would help.  Have you ever used fertilizers?

Cut the tree down (Lk 13:7-13:7)

“Thus,

He said

To the gardener.

‘See!

For three years,

I have come

Looking for fruit

On this fig tree.

Still,

I find none.

Cut it down!

Why should it

Be wasting the soil?’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τὸν ἀμπελουργόν Ἰδοὺ τρία ἔτη ἀφ’ οὗ ἔρχομαι ζητῶν καρπὸν ἐν τῇ συκῇ ταύτῃ καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκω· ἔκκοψον αὐτήν· ἵνα τί καὶ τὴν γῆν καταργεῖ;

 

Luke uniquely had Jesus continue with this parable story of the fig tree.  Jesus said that this fig tree owner spoke to his gardener (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τὸν ἀμπελουργόν).  He told him that for 3 years (Ἰδοὺ τρία ἔτη ἀφ’ οὗ), he had come looking for fruit on this fig tree (ἔρχομαι ζητῶν καρπὸν ἐν τῇ συκῇ ταύτῃ).  However, he did not find any (καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκω).  He told the gardener to cut it down (ἔκκοψον αὐτήν) because it was only wasting the soil (ἵνα τί καὶ τὴν γῆν καταργεῖ).  In other words, this fig tree did not have any fruit for 3 years.  Why not get rid of it?  The 3 years may represent the 3 years that Jesus was preaching and teaching with little results.  Have you ever been disappointed for 3 straight years?

The parable of the fig tree (Lk 13:6-13:6)

“Then Jesus

Told this parable.

‘A man had a fig tree

Planted in his vineyard.

He came

Looking for fruit

On it.

But he found none.’”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ ταύτην τὴν παραβολήν. συκῆν εἶχέν τις πεφυτευμένην ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἦλθεν ζητῶν καρπὸν ἐν αὐτῇ καὶ οὐχ εὗρεν.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus told this parable (Ἔλεγεν δὲ ταύτην τὴν παραβολήν) about a barren fig tree.  Although, Matthew, chapter 21:18-20, and Mark, chapter 11:12-14, had Jesus find a barren fig tree and curse it, they did not have this barren fig tree parable.  Jesus said that a man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard (συκῆν εἶχέν τις πεφυτευμένην ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι αὐτοῦ).  He came looking for fruit on it (καὶ ἦλθεν ζητῶν καρπὸν ἐν αὐτῇ).  However, it did not have any (καὶ οὐχ εὗρεν), because it was barren.  Pure and simple, this fig tree did not have any figs on it, when the owner tried to get some figs.  Have you ever looked for fruit on a tree and found none?

The seeds among the thorns choked (Lk 8:14-8:14)

“As for what fell

Among the thorns,

They are the ones

Who hear.

But as they go

On their way,

They are choked

By the cares,

By the riches,

And by the pleasures

Of life.

Their fruit

Does not mature.”

 

τὸ δὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας πεσόν, οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες, καὶ ὑπὸ μεριμνῶν καὶ πλούτου καὶ ἡδονῶν τοῦ βίου πορευόμενοι συνπνίγονται καὶ οὐ τελεσφοροῦσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that those seeds that fell among the thorns (τὸ δὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας πεσόν) were like the ones who hear the word (οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες), but as they go on their way (πορευόμενοι), they are choked or crowded out (συνπνίγονται) by the cares (καὶ ὑπὸ μεριμνῶν), the riches (καὶ πλούτου), and the pleasures of life (καὶ ἡδονῶν τοῦ βίου).  Their fruit does not mature (καὶ οὐ τελεσφοροῦσιν).  This explanation about the seeds among the thorns can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:18-19, Matthew, chapter 13:22, and here, with Matthew closer to Mark.  Both Matthew and Mark said that the seeds sown among the thorns were the ones who heard the words of the kingdom, but the cares and anxiety of this present age, as well as the allure or deceit of material wealth, choked or crowded out the words.  Thus, it yielded nothing, because it was barren.  The thorns were the cares about physical riches that choked off the growth of the seeds or the words of the kingdom.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.  There had to be follow up or acting out on the word for it to mature into a full mature faith belief in Jesus Christ.  Have the seeds of the word of God matured in you?

The exclamation prayer of Elizabeth (Lk 1:42-1:42)

“Elizabeth exclaimed

With a loud cry.

‘Blessed are you

Among women!

Blessed is the fruit

Of your womb!’”

 

καὶ ἀνεφώνησεν κραυγῇ μεγάλῃ καὶ εἶπεν Εὐλογημένη σὺ ἐν γυναιξίν, καὶ εὐλογημένος ὁ καρπὸς τῆς κοιλίας σου.

 

Luke then had Elizabeth shout out, as if speaking for the baby in her womb.  Elizabeth exclaimed with a loud cry (καὶ ἀνεφώνησεν κραυγῇ μεγάλῃ).  She said that Mary was blessed among all women (καὶ εἶπεν Εὐλογημένη σὺ ἐν γυναιξίν).  Blessed would be the fruit of her womb (καὶ εὐλογημένος ὁ καρπὸς τῆς κοιλίας σου)!  Thus, Elizabeth, without a word spoken, knew that Mary was pregnant with an important child.  These words of Elizabeth then became the second part of the “Ave Maria,” prayer.  “Hail Mary!  Full of Grace!  The Lord is with you!  Blessed are you among women!  Blessed is the fruit of your womb!  Jesus!”  Thus, Elizabeth, via Luke, is the biblical originator of this Marian prayer that became popular in the middle ages down to the present time.