Endurance (Lk 21:19-21:19)

“By your patient endurance,

You will gain

Your lives.”

 

ἐν τῇ ὑπομονῇ ὑμῶν κτήσεσθε τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that by their patient endurance (ἐν τῇ ὑπομονῇ ὑμῶν), they would gain or acquire (κτήσεσθε) their lives (τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν).  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 13:13, and Matthew, chapter 10:22, and chapter 24:13.  Mark indicated that endurance was important.  Jesus said that the one who endured or stayed firm to the end would be saved (ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος, οὗτος σωθήσεται).  Matthew had the same idea in chapter 10:22.  If they were able to be endure to the end (ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος), they would be saved, rescued, or healed (οὗτος σωθήσεται).  Jesus said that the one who endured or stayed firm to the end would be saved (ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος, οὗτος σωθήσεται).  Luke did not use the word saved (σωθήσεται) but gained or acquired (κτήσεσθε) their lives.  Are you good at endurance?

Do likewise (Lk 10:37-10:37)

“The lawyer said.

The one

Who showed him

Mercy.’

Jesus said to him.

‘Go!

Do likewise!’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ὁ ποιήσας τὸ ἔλεος μετ’ αὐτοῦ. εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Πορεύου καὶ σὺ ποίει ὁμοίως.

 

Luke finished his unique story.  The lawyer responded to Jesus (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν).  He said that the one who showed the wounded man mercy and compassion (Ὁ ποιήσας τὸ ἔλεος μετ’ αὐτοῦ) was the good neighbor.  Then Jesus remarked (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) that he should go on his way and do likewise (Πορεύου καὶ σὺ ποίει ὁμοίως).  There was a very satisfying ending to this story of the Good Samaritan.  Both the lawyer and Jesus were satisfied.  The lawyer gave the right answer by saying that the true neighbor was the merciful and compassionate Samaritan.  He did not in fact use the term Samaritan.  He merely called him the compassionate one.  Jesus then came back to the original question that this lawyer had posed about what he needed to gain eternal life.  He told this lawyer to act just like the Good Samaritan had if he wanted to inherit eternal life, the path to eternal life.  Are you willing to follow it?

What is the value of the whole world? (Mk 8:36-8:37)

“What will

It profit them

To gain

The whole world

And forfeit

Their life?

Indeed,

What can they give

In return

For their life?”

 

τί γὰρ ὠφελεῖ ἄνθρωπον κερδῆσαι τὸν κόσμον ὅλον καὶ ζημιωθῆναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ;

τί γὰρ δοῖ ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ

 

Something similar can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:26, Luke, chapter 9:25, and here, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus asked what was the profit or benefit for a person (τί γὰρ ὠφελεῖ ἄνθρωπον) to gain the whole world (κερδῆσαι τὸν κόσμον ὅλον) if they lost their life or soul (καὶ ζημιωθῆναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ)?  What will a person give up in exchange for his life or soul (τί γὰρ δοῖ ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ)?  Give up your life to Jesus, and you will live.

What is the greatest commandment? (Mt 22:35-22:36)

“One of the Pharisees,

A lawyer,

Asked Jesus a question,

To test him.

‘Teacher!

Which commandment

In the law

Is the greatest?’”

 

καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν εἷς ἐξ” αὐτῶν νομικὸς πειράζων αὐτόν

Διδάσκαλε, ποία ἐντολὴ μεγάλη ἐν τῷ νόμῳ;

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 12:28, but there the question was presented by a Scribe, not a Pharisee lawyer.  However, in Luke, chapter 10:25, there was an unnamed lawyer who wanted to know how to gain eternal life.  Here, Matthew has a lawyer (νομικὸς), who was a Pharisee, question Jesus (καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν εἷς ἐξ” αὐτῶν) to test him (πειράζων αὐτόν).  He probably was someone skilled in the Mosaic law.  He addressed Jesus in a very respectful tone calling him “Teacher” or rabbi (Διδάσκαλε).  He wanted to know which commandment of the law was the greatest (ποία ἐντολὴ μεγάλη ἐν τῷ νόμῳ), since there were 613 commandments in late Judaism.  Thus, it would seem like a legitimate question with so many commandments or laws.

How to save your life (Mt 16:25-16:26)

“Whoever wants

To save

Their life

Will lose it.

Whoever loses their life

For my sake

Will find it.

What will it profit them?

If they gain

The whole world,

But forfeit their life.

What will they give

In return

For their life?”

 

ὃς γὰρ ἐὰν θέλῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ σῶσαι, ἀπολέσει αὐτήν· ὃς δ’ ἂν ἀπολέσῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ, εὑρήσει αὐτήν.

τί γὰρ ὠφεληθήσεται ἄνθρωπος ἐὰν τὸν κόσμον ὅλον κερδήσῃ, τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ζημιωθῇ; ἢ τί δώσει ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ;

 

Jesus told his disciples how to save their lives.  Something similar can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 8:35-37, Luke, chapter 9:24-25, and here, almost word for word.  Jesus said that whoever wished, desired, or wanted to save their life (ὃς γὰρ ἐὰν θέλῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ σῶσαι), they would lose it (ἀπολέσει αὐτήν).  However, anyone who lost their life for the sake of Jesus (ὃς δ’ ἂν ἀπολέσῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ), they would find their life (εὑρήσει αὐτήν).  What is the profit or benefit for a person (τί γὰρ ὠφεληθήσεται ἄνθρωπος) to gain the whole world (ἐὰν τὸν κόσμον ὅλον κερδήσῃ) if they lose their life or soul (τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ζημιωθῇ).  What will a person give in exchange for his life or soul (ἢ τί δώσει ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ)?  Give up your life to Jesus, and you will live.

Lose your life to find it (Mt 10:39-10:39)

“Those who find

Their life

Will lose it.

Those who lose

Their life

For my sake

Will find it.”

 

ὁ εὑρὼν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἀπολέσει αὐτήν, καὶ ὁ ἀπολέσας τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ εὑρήσει αὐτήν.

 

This verse of Matthew is similar to Luke, chapters 9:24 and 17:33, Mark, chapter 8:35, and John 12:25.  In order to gain your eternal life, you have to lose your life for the sake of Jesus.  Anyone who thinks that he has found his life or soul (ὁ εὑρὼν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ) will lose it (ἀπολέσει αὐτήν).  On the other hand, anyone who loses their life or soul (καὶ ὁ ἀπολέσας τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ) for the sake of Jesus (ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ) will find their life or soul (εὑρήσει αὐτήν).  Thus, you have to lose your life or soul in Jesus, in order to truly live.

The useless worship of God (Mal 3:14-3:15)

“You have said.

‘It is vain

To serve God.

What do we profit

By keeping his commands?

What do we profit

By walking

As mourning

Before Yahweh of hosts?

Now we count the arrogant

Happy.

Evildoers not only prosper,

But when they put God

To the test,

They escape.’”

The people of Israel were saying that it was useless to worship God.  What did they gain by keeping his commandments?  How did it help them by walking around mourning before Yahweh?  The arrogant ones were the happy ones.  The evildoers not only prospered, but when they defied God, they escaped.  What was the value of their Yahweh worship?

Ephraim has become a rich trader (Hos 12:7-12:8)

“Ephraim was a trader.

His hands

Have false balances.

He loves to oppress people.

Ephraim has said.

‘O!

I am rich.

I have gained wealth

For myself.

In all of my gain,

No offense

Has been found

In me

That would be a sin.’”

Ephraim was a trader, which is the same word as Canaanite. In other words, Ephraim had become like a common Canaanite trader with false balances in his trades. He loved to oppress the people. However, he justified his wealth and gain by saying that that in becoming wealthy, he had not sinned. No one could find anything wrong with him.

The great conversion to Yahweh (Jer 16:19-16:20)

“Yahweh!

My strength!

My stronghold!

My refuge in the day of trouble!

The nations shall come to you

From the ends of the earth.

They will say.

‘Our fathers have inherited

Nothing but lies,

Worthless things,

In which there is no profit.

Can mortals make for themselves gods?

Such are not gods!’”

Jeremiah in this passage, which is probably from the exilic time, talks about Yahweh being his strength and stronghold, his refuge in the time of trouble. All the countries of the world would come from the ends of the flat earth to Yahweh. They were going to say that their fathers inherited nothing but useless lies that did not lead to any gain. How could mortals make gods for themselves? Truly, they were not gods at all. This is the universal appeal of Yahweh that does not appear until the exilic times.

The lament about the desolation (Jer 12:10-12:13)

“Many shepherds have destroyed

My vineyard.

They have trampled down my portion.

They have made my pleasant portion

A desolate wilderness.

They have made it a desolation.

Desolate!

It mourns to me.

The whole land is made desolate.

But no one lays it to heart.

Upon all the bare heights

In the desert,

Spoilers have come.

The sword of Yahweh devours

From one end of the land

To the other.

No one shall be safe.

They have sown wheat.

They have reaped thorns.

They have tired themselves out

But they profit nothing.

They shall be ashamed of their harvests

Because of the fierce anger of Yahweh.”

Jeremiah continues with Yahweh’s lament about the desolation of his land. The shepherd leaders destroyed his vineyards. They have trampled his land from one end to the other end until it is a desolate wilderness, but no one seems to care. The spoilers have come from all over to devour the land. No one was safe from Yahweh’s sword. After they had sown wheat, they only harvested thorns. They worked hard, but without any gain. They were going to be ashamed of their harvests, because of the fierce anger of Yahweh.