Treasures in heaven (Lk 12:33-12:33)

“Sell your possessions!

Give alms!

Make purses

For yourselves

That do not wear out!

Have an unfailing treasure

In heaven!

There,

No thief

Comes near!

No moth

Destroys!”

 

Πωλήσατε τὰ ὑπάρχοντα ὑμῶν καὶ δότε ἐλεημοσύνην· ποιήσατε ἑαυτοῖς βαλλάντια μὴ παλαιούμενα, θησαυρὸν ἀνέκλειπτον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, ὅπου κλέπτης οὐκ ἐγγίζει οὐδὲ σὴς διαφθείρει·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told them to sell their possessions (Πωλήσατε τὰ ὑπάρχοντα ὑμῶν) and then give alms to charity (καὶ δότε ἐλεημοσύνην).  They were to make their own purses (ποιήσατε ἑαυτοῖς βαλλάντια) that did not wear out (ὴ παλαιούμενα).  Their unfailing treasure (θησαυρὸν ἀνέκλειπτον) should be in heaven (ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς), where no thief could get near it (ὅπου κλέπτης οὐκ ἐγγίζει) and no moth would destroy it (οὐδὲ σὴς διαφθείρει).  This is the only time that the word ἀνέκλειπτον appears in the New Testament literature, meaning unfailing, not giving up.  The same idea but in different words can be found in Matthew, chapter 6:19-20.  Matthew had Jesus say that they should not store up treasures (Μὴ θησαυρίζετε ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς) here on earth (ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς), because it was too much trouble to store things.  Either moths (ὅπου σὴς) would eat up the garments or rust would consume them.  This is one of the 3 times that moths are mentioned in the biblical New Testament.  The other was the Luke comparative and later in Matthew.  Garments were often considered treasures.  Rust was a more common term and applied to other goods.  Otherwise, thieves might break in and steal it anyhow (καὶ ὅπου κλέπται διορύσσουσιν καὶ κλέπτουσιν).  The opposite of the earthly treasures were the heavenly treasures (θησαυρίζετε δὲ ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς ἐν οὐρανῷ) that you should store up.  Moths and rust could not consume them (ὅπου οὔτε σὴς οὔτε βρῶσις ἀφανίζει).  Thieves could not break in and steal them either (καὶ ὅπου κλέπται οὐ διορύσσουσιν οὐδὲ κλέπτουσιν).  Clearly, heaven was a better place to store up treasures than the dangerous earth.

Your Father (Lk 12:32-12:32)

“Do not be afraid!

Little flock!

Your Father’s

Good pleasure

Will give you

The kingdom.”

 

Μὴ φοβοῦ, τὸ μικρὸν ποίμνιον· ὅτι εὐδόκησεν ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν δοῦναι ὑμῖν τὴν βασιλείαν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus concluded these sayings about not worrying.  Jesus told them, his little flock (τὸ μικρὸν ποίμνιον), not to be afraid (Μὴ φοβοῦ).  Their Father’s good pleasure (ὅτι εὐδόκησεν ὁ Πατὴρ) would give them (δοῦναι ὑμῖν) the kingdom (τὴν βασιλείαν).  There was no exact equivalent in Matthew, but chapter 6:34 is close.  Matthew had Jesus utter this great philosophical saying at the conclusion to this section.  Just worry about today, not tomorrow!  This certainly fits in with all the indications about not worrying, because the heavenly Father would take care of things.  However, there is no mention of God or Father here.  Do not be anxious about tomorrow (μὴ οὖν μεριμνήσητε εἰς τὴν αὔριον)!  Tomorrow will be anxious by itself (ἡ γὰρ αὔριον μεριμνήσει ἑαυτῆς).  There are enough problems today (ἀρκετὸν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἡ κακία αὐτῆς).  Pure and simple, be happy!  Don’t worry!  Tomorrow is another day.  Are you willing to accept tomorrow without worrying?

Alms make you clean (Lk 11:41-11:41)

“Give for alms

Those things

That are within!

See!

Everything will be clean

For you!”

 

πλὴν τὰ ἐνόντα δότε ἐλεημοσύνην, καὶ ἰδοὺ πάντα καθαρὰ ὑμῖν ἐστιν.

 

Luke uniquely had Jesus turn to alms.  The Lord Jesus told the Pharisee that they should give alms (δότε ἐλεημοσύνην) with things that are from within them (λὴν τὰ ἐνόντα), so that everything would be clean for them (καὶ ἰδοὺ πάντα καθαρὰ ὑμῖν ἐστιν).  Giving alms would help them, since this was already part of the Mosaic and Pharisaic law, but it had to be interior and and not exterior.  It is hard to figure out what an interior almsgiving would be.  Are you generous in your gift giving to others?

Ask for an egg! (Lk 11:12-11:12)

“If the child asks

For an egg,

Will the father

Give him

A scorpion?”

 

ἢ καὶ αἰτήσει ᾠόν, ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ σκορπίον;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if the son or the child asked for an egg (ἢ καὶ αἰτήσει ᾠόν), would the father give him a scorpion (ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ σκορπίον)?  Of course not.  Matthew, chapter 7:10, was not quite the same.  There Jesus wanted to know if any man among them (ἢ τίς ἐστιν ἐξ ὑμῶν ἄνθρωπος) would be foolish enough to give a round stone (μὴ λίθον ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ) instead of a loaf of bread (ἄρτον) to his son who was asking for bread (ὃν αἰτήσει ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ).  Luke did not have the son ask for bread and get a stone, but he asked for an egg but got a scorpion.  In either case, it would not happen.  So too, the same can be said about the heavenly Father.  Have you ever asked for an egg?

Ask for a fish (Lk 11:11-11:11)

“Is there anyone

Among you

Who is a father?

If your son

Asks for a fish,

Will you give

A snake

Instead of a fish?”

 

τίνα δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν τὸν πατέρα αἰτήσει ὁ υἱὸς ἰχθύν, μὴ ἀντὶ ἰχθύος ὄφιν αὐτῷ ἐπιδώσει;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked them if there was anyone among them who was a father (τίνα δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν τὸν πατέρα).  If their son asked for a fish (αἰτήσει ὁ υἱὸς ἰχθύν), would they give their son (αὐτῷ ἐπιδώσει) a snake (ὄφιν), instead of a fish (μὴ ἀντὶ ἰχθύος)?  The answer was obvious, of course not.  Matthew, chapter 7:10, had a similar saying of Jesus, indicating a common Q source.  If the son asked for a fish (ἢ καὶ ἰχθὺν αἰτήσει), would be give him a snake or a serpent (μὴ ὄφιν ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ)?  The answer was that no father would be that cruel to his son.  Thus, the heavenly Father will listen to their requests.  What do you ask God the Father for?

He will get up (Lk 11:8-11:8)

“I tell you!

Even though

He will not get up

And give him anything,

Because he is his friend,

At least,

Because of his persistence,

He will get up.

He will give him

Whatever he needs.”

 

λέγω ὑμῖν, εἰ καὶ οὐ δώσει αὐτῷ ἀναστὰς διὰ τὸ εἶναι φίλον αὐτοῦ, διά γε τὴν ἀναιδίαν αὐτοῦ ἐγερθεὶς δώσει αὐτῷ ὅσων χρῄζει.

 

Luke uniquely brought this parable story about waking up a friend at midnight to a surprise ending.  In this conclusion, Jesus proclaimed solemnly (λέγω ὑμῖν), that even though this friend will not get up and give him anything (εἰ καὶ οὐ δώσει αὐτῷ ἀναστὰς), because he was his friend (διὰ τὸ εἶναι φίλον αὐτοῦ), at least, because of his persistence (διά γε τὴν ἀναιδίαν αὐτοῦ), he will get up (ἐγερθεὶς) and give him whatever he needed (δώσει αὐτῷ ὅσων χρῄζει).  Problem solved, as persistence was better than friendship.  In a complete turnaround, this friend offered his requesting persistent neighbor friend whatever he wanted.  That’s what friends are for.  However, it was the persistence rather than the friendship that led him to act.  So that is the moral of this story.  Perseverance in prayer to the Father will lead to success.  Do you persist in prayer to God?

The door is locked (Lk 11:7-11:7)

He answered

From within.

‘Do not bother me!

The door has already

Been locked.

My children

And I are

In bed.

I cannot get up

And give you anything.’”

 

κἀκεῖνος ἔσωθεν ἀποκριθεὶς εἴπῃ Μή μοι κόπους πάρεχε· ἤδη ἡ θύρα κέκλεισται, καὶ τὰ παιδία μου μετ’ ἐμοῦ εἰς τὴν κοίτην εἰσίν· οὐ δύναμαι ἀναστὰς δοῦναί σοι

 

Luke uniquely had this parable story about waking up a friend at midnight. The answer of this friend, who was just woken up in the middle of the night, was what you might expect.  He responded from within his house (κἀκεῖνος ἔσωθεν ἀποκριθεὶς εἴπῃ).  He told his friend not to bother or trouble him (Μή μοι κόπους πάρεχε).  His door has already been locked (ἤδη ἡ θύρα κέκλεισται).  His children (καὶ τὰ παιδία μου), as well as himself (μετ’ ἐμοῦ), were already in bed (εἰς τὴν κοίτην εἰσίν).  He was not able to get up (οὐ δύναμαι ἀναστὰς) and give him anything (δοῦναί σοι).  What did he expect?  Just go away!  This neighbor friend was quite direct, nothing doing.  Just go home and leave him alone.  He had settled down for the night.  Maybe they could talk tomorrow.  Has anybody ever woken you up at midnight?

 

Daily bread (Lk 11:3-11:3)

“Give us

Our daily bread

Each day!

 

τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δίδου ἡμῖν τὸ καθ’ ἡμέραν·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to the Father to give us (δίδου ἡμῖν) our daily bread (τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον) each day (τὸ καθ’ ἡμέραν).  In the second part of the “Lord’s Prayer,” “The Our Father,” Matthew, chapter 6:11, and Luke, had 4 human petitions, perhaps indicating a common Q source.  We should ask the Father to give us (δὸς ἡμῖν) our daily bread or sustenance to sustain our human life (Τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον) today (σήμερον).  Every day, even today, we need our daily nutrition to live.  The hope is that God the Father will provide for us.  The Father will provide our daily nutritional needs, since we are dependant upon him.  Do you thank God for your daily bread?

Not enough food (Lk 9:13-9:13)

“But Jesus said to them.

‘You give them

Something to eat.’

They said.

‘We have no more

Than five loaves

And two fish.

Otherwise,

We will have to go

To buy food

For all these people.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς Δότε αὐτοῖς φαγεῖν ὑμεῖς. οἱ δὲ εἶπαν Οὐκ εἰσὶν ἡμῖν πλεῖον ἢ ἄρτοι πέντε καὶ ἰχθύες δύο, εἰ μήτι πορευθέντες ἡμεῖς ἀγοράσωμεν εἰς πάντα τὸν λαὸν τοῦτον βρώματα.

 

Luke said that Jesus told the apostles and disciples (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς) to give this crowd something to eat (Δότε αὐτοῖς φαγεῖν ὑμεῖς.).  However, they responded (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν) that they only had (Οὐκ εἰσὶν ἡμῖν πλεῖον) 5 loaves (ἢ ἄρτοι πέντε) and 2 fish (καὶ ἰχθύες δύο).  Otherwise, they would have to go to buy (εἰ μήτι πορευθέντες ἡμεῖς ἀγοράσωμεν) some food (βρώματα) for all these people (εἰς πάντα τὸν λαὸν τοῦτον).  The fact that Jesus wanted to feed everyone was recorded in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:16, Mark, chapter 6:37, and John, chapter 6:5-7, plus here in Luke.  Despite the fact that the disciples wanted to send the crowds home, Jesus wanted to feed them there.  Mark indicated that Jesus answered his disciples, telling them to give the people something to eat.  Only Mark has this response of the disciples explaining the problem of buying food.  The disciples said to Jesus if they were to go to buy food, that it would cost about 200 denarii to buy enough bread for all these people to eat.  A denarius was worth one day’s pay, so that that 200 denarii would be over a half year’s pay, a large amount of money.  The disciples thought that Jesus wanted them to buy some bread for the crowd.  In John, there was a conversation between Jesus and Philip about this.  Mark indicated that Jesus told his disciples to go and see how many loaves of bread they had.  Once the apostles found out, they said to Jesus that they only had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.  Matthew said that despite the fact that the disciples wanted to send the crowds home, Jesus wanted to feed them there.  Jesus said to his disciples that the crowds did need not to go away, because Jesus and his disciples were going to give them something to eat.  The disciples replied to Jesus that they had practically no food to eat, only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.  How much food do you need to eat well?

Give! (Lk 6:38-6:38)

“Give!

Then it will be given

To you.

A good measure,

Pressed down,

Shaken together,

Running over,

Will be put

Into your lap.

The measure

That you give

Will be the measure

That you get back.”

 

δίδοτε, καὶ δοθήσεται ὑμῖν· μέτρον καλὸν πεπιεσμένον σεσαλευμένον ὑπερεκχυννόμενον δώσουσιν εἰς τὸν κόλπον ὑμῶν· ᾧ γὰρ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε ἀντιμετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if they gave (δίδοτε), it would be given back to them (καὶ δοθήσεται ὑμῖν).  If they used a good measure (μέτρον καλὸν), one that was pressed down (πεπιεσμένον), shaken together (σεσαλευμένον), and running over (ὑπερεκχυννόμενον), it would be put into their lap (ώσουσιν εἰς τὸν κόλπον ὑμῶν).  The measure that they give (ᾧ γὰρ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε) would be the measure that would be given back to them (ἀντιμετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν).  This last phrase is the same as Matthew, chapter 7:2, and Mark, chapter 4:24, who said whatever they used as a measuring tool or rod, it would be the same measuring stick used on them.  The use of a pouch formed from the cloak that they wore would carry things as a measure.  If the grain was shaken and pressed down, they were able to get a fair amount of grain that overflowed their pouch.  Are you good at giving a fair portion or measure?