Full of light (Lk 11:36-11:36)

“If then your whole body

Is full of light,

With no part

In darkness,

It will be

As full of light

As when a lamp

Gives you light

With its rays.”

 

εἰ οὖν τὸ σῶμά σου ὅλον φωτεινόν, μὴ ἔχον μέρος τι σκοτεινόν, ἔσται φωτεινὸν ὅλον ὡς ὅταν ὁ λύχνος τῇ ἀστραπῇ φωτίζῃ σε.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that if their whole body (εἰ οὖν τὸ σῶμά σου) was full of light (ὅλον φωτεινόν), with no part in total darkness (μὴ ἔχον μέρος τι σκοτεινόν), it will be full of light (ἔσται φωτεινὸν ὅλον).  Thus, it will be like a lamp (ὡς ὅταν ὁ λύχνος) that shines or gives light with its rays (τῇ ἀστραπῇ φωτίζῃ σε).  Many ancient societies believed that the eye was the source of the light for seeing.  If there was no darkness in a person, they would be like a bright light.  Notice, that throughout history, holy people were usually portrayed with a halo light around them, emphasizing light and goodness.  This was an inner light that would shine with its bright light.  Your body would be like a lampstand shining light on the whole world.  Do you light up a room when you arrive?

 

The disciples of Jesus (Mt 10:42-10:42)

“Whoever gives

Even a cup of cold water

To one of these little ones,

In the name of a disciple,

Truly,

I say to you,

None of these

Will lose their reward.”

 

καὶ ὃς ἐὰν ποτίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων ποτήριον ψυχροῦ μόνον εἰς ὄνομα μαθητοῦ, ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐ μὴ ἀπολέσῃ τὸν μισθὸν αὐτοῦ.

 

This verse of Matthew is similar to Mark, chapter 9:41.  Jesus said that whoever gave a cup of cold water to drink to these small or little ones (καὶ ὃς ἐὰν ποτίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων ποτήριον ψυχροῦ), if only in the name of his disciples (μόνον εἰς ὄνομα μαθητοῦ,), they would not lose their reward (οὐ μὴ ἀπολέσῃ τὸν μισθὸν αὐτοῦ).  Once again, Jesus spoke with authority (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  They would not lose anything by giving this small gesture of cold water to his disciples or the little ones or the less important in society.  These least important in society might be his disciples themselves.

The beautiful prayer of Daniel (Dan 2:20-2:23)

“Daniel said.

‘Blessed be the name

Of God

From age to age!

Wisdom

With power

Is his.

He changes times.

He changes seasons.

He deposes kings.

He sets up kings.

He gives wisdom

To the wise.

He gives knowledge

To those who have understanding.

He reveals deep things.

He reveals hidden things.

He knows

What is in the darkness.

The light dwells

With him.

To you!

O God of my ancestors!

I give thanks!

I give praise!

You have given me

Wisdom.

You have given me

Power.

You have revealed

To me

What we asked of you.

You have revealed

To us

What the king ordered.’”

Daniel has this beautiful prayer to the name of the eternal God, who has wisdom and power. God changes times and seasons. He sets up and deposes kings. He gives wisdom to the wise. He gives knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and hidden things. He is the light in the darkness. Daniel then gave thanks and praise to the God of his ancestors, who has given him wisdom and power, when he revealed what the king had asked for.

The good son of the unrighteous man (Ezek 18:14-18:17)

“But if this man

Has a son

Who sees all the sins

That his father

Has done,

Then considers it,

But does not do likewise,

Should he live?

This son does not

Eat upon the mountains

Or lift up his eyes

To the idols

Of the house of Israel.

He does not

Defile his neighbor’s wife

Or wrong any one.

He does not

Exact pledges

Or commit robbery.

But he gives his bread

To the hungry.

He covers the naked

With a garment.

He withholds his hand

From iniquity.

He takes no advance

Or accrues interest.

He observes

My ordinances.

He follows

My statutes.

He shall not die

For his father’s iniquity.

He shall surely live.”

What happens to the son of an unrighteous person? What if the son sees all the sins that his father has done, but decides to not follow in his father’s footsteps? This son does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor’s wife or wrong any one. He does not exact pledges for loans or commit any robberies. However, he gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment. He stays away from iniquity. He does not take any advances or accrue interest. He observes Yahweh’s ordinances and statutes. He is not going to die because of his father’s iniquity. Rather he will live.

The weak idols compared to the heavenly bodies (Bar 6:66-6:67)

“These weak idols

Can neither curse

Nor bless kings.

They cannot show signs

In the heavens

For the nations.

They cannot shine

Like the sun.

They cannot give light

Like the moon.”

Once again, this shows the weakness of these false idols, since they can neither curse nor bless kings. They cannot show signs in the heavens for the various nations. They cannot shine like the sun. They cannot give light like the moon. Instead of berating the nature gods of the sun or the moon, this author praises them. His emphasis was on those weak wooden man made false idols. Notice that this author believes that the moon gives light. In fact, we often still speak of moonlight. When in fact, the light from the moon is really a reflection of the sun.

Covenant and the law (Sir 24:23-24:23)

“All this is

In the book of the covenant

Of the Most High God.

This is the law

That Moses commanded us.

It is an inheritance

For the congregations of Jacob.

Do not cease to be strong

In the Lord!

Cling to him!

Thus he may strengthen you.

The Lord Almighty alone is God.

Besides him,

There is no savior.”

Sirach emphasizes the Law of Moses in the book of the covenant for the descendants of Jacob. You should cling to the Lord, the one and only God and savior who gives you strength.

The will of God (Wis 9:13-9:18)

“Who can learn the counsel of God?

Who can discern what the Lord wills?

The reasoning of mortals is worthless.

Our designs are likely to fail.

A perishable body weighs down the soul.

This earthy tent burdens the thoughtful mind.

We can hardly guess at what is on earth.

What is at hand

We find with labor.

But who has traced out

What is in the heavens?

Who has learned your counsel,

Unless you have given wisdom?

You sent your Holy Spirit from on high.

Thus the paths of those on earth

Were set right.

People were taught

What pleases you.

They were saved by wisdom.”

What is the will of the Lord (θέλει ὁ Κύριος)? How can you have counsel with God (βουλὴν Θεοῦ)? What man is able to know (ἄνθρωπος γνώσετα) these things because human reasoning is worthless? By our own designs we are likely to fail. Then we have the Platonic thought about how our perishable body (σῶμα) weighs down our souls (ψυχήν) as our earthly tent holds back our minds. We can only guess what is going on even when we work hard here on earth (γῆς). We have no idea what is going on in heaven (οὐρανοῖς). The only way that we know anything is with the counsel and the wisdom (σοφίαν) that your Holy Spirit (τὸ ἅγιόν σου πνεῦμα) gives to us. Here is a clear rare explicit mention of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament books. This is the only way that we can stay on the right path. We are saved by wisdom (τῇ σοφίᾳ).