The nobleman (Lk 19:12-19:12)

 

“Thus,

Jesus said.

‘A nobleman

Went

To a distant country

To get royal power

For himself.

Then he would return.’”

 

εἶπεν οὖν Ἄνθρωπός τις εὐγενὴς ἐπορεύθη εἰς χώραν μακρὰν λαβεῖν ἑαυτῷ βασιλείαν καὶ ὑποστρέψαι.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (εἶπεν οὖν) that a nobleman (Ἄνθρωπός τις εὐγενὴς) went to a distant country (ἐπορεύθη εἰς χώραν μακρὰν) to get royal power for himself (λαβεῖν ἑαυτῷ βασιλείαν).  After that, he would return later (καὶ ὑποστρέψαι).  This might have been a hint about the local leaders going to Rome to get their royal powers.  It may also be about Jesus going to heaven and then returning at the last judgment or the Second Coming.  However, there was the overriding theme of the need for responsibility, productivity, and not laziness.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 25:14, where the story is about a man with a household of slaves and not a nobleman as here.  The slaves were given money to take care of things while the rich man was gone.  In Matthew, Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven would be like a man going on a journey (Ὥσπερ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ἀποδημῶν).  This very generous man called or summoned his slaves (ἐκάλεσεν τοὺς ἰδίους δούλους) to entrust them or give them his property and possessions, while he was gone (καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτοῖς τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ).  In Mark, 13:34, Jesus said that the end times would be like a man going on a journey (ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος).  He left his house (ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ).  He gave his slaves the authority (καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν) to perform their own individual tasks (ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ).  He commanded a doorkeeper to stand watch over this whole situation (καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ).  However, the story for Mark ended there, unlike Luke and Matthew that have more details about the slaves in this household.  What do you do when you go on a long journey?

Make friends (Lk 16:9-16:9)

“I tell you!

Make friends

For yourselves

By means

Of dishonest wealth!

Thus,

When it is gone,

They may welcome you

Into the eternal homes.”

 

Καὶ ἐγὼ ὑμῖν λέγω, ἑαυτοῖς ποιήσατε φίλους ἐκ τοῦ μαμωνᾶ τῆς ἀδικίας, ἵνα ὅταν ἐκλίπῃ δέξωνται ὑμᾶς εἰς τὰς αἰωνίους σκηνάς.

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said with a solemn pronouncement (Καὶ ἐγὼ ὑμῖν λέγω) that they should make friends for themselves (ἑαυτοῖς ποιήσατε φίλους) by means of dishonest wealth (ἐκ τοῦ μαμωνᾶ τῆς ἀδικίας).  Actually, this Greek word μαμωνᾶ is a transliteration of the Aramaic word mammon that means money or wealth.  Then, when it was gone or failed (ἵνα ὅταν ἐκλίπῃ), they would be welcomed or received (δέξωνται ὑμᾶς) into their eternal homes (εἰς τὰς αἰωνίους σκηνάς).  What did this mean?  They had nothing with their dishonest wealth and money, if it did not get them into eternal life.  Would you choose wealth or eternal heaven?

Men of little faith (Lk 12:28-12:28)

“But if God

Clothes

The grass

Of the field,

That is alive today

Yet tomorrow

Is thrown

Into the oven,

How much more

Will he clothe you.

You!

Of little faith!”

 

εἰ δὲ ἐν ἀγρῷ τὸν χόρτον ὄντα σήμερον καὶ αὔριον εἰς κλίβανον βαλλόμενον ὁ Θεὸς οὕτως ἀμφιέζει, πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμᾶς, ὀλιγόπιστοι.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if God clothed (ὁ Θεὸς οὕτως ἀμφιέζει) the grass of the field (εἰ δὲ ἐν ἀγρῷ τὸν χόρτον), that is alive today (ὄντα σήμερον) yet tomorrow (καὶ αὔριον) is thrown into the oven or furnace (εἰς κλίβανον βαλλόμενον), how much more will he clothe them (πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμᾶς) of little faith (ὀλιγόπιστοι).  Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:30, had a similar Jesus saying, almost word for word, indicating a common Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the Father, and not God as here, clothed the field grass that is here today (εἰ δὲ τὸν χόρτον τοῦ ἀγροῦ σήμερον ὄντα) and gone tomorrow (καὶ αὔριον), by being thrown into the furnace or oven (εἰς κλίβανον βαλλόμενον).  This use of “κλίβανον,” oven or furnace, is unique to Matthew and Luke here.  Would God, not the Father, also take care of their clothing needs (ὁ Θεὸς οὕτως ἀμφιέννυσιν, οὐ πολλῷ μᾶλλον)?  Obviously, he rebuked them as were men of little faith (ὀλιγόπιστοι).  This word about little faith was a favorite term for Matthew, since he used it 5 times more, with this Luke parallel here the only other usage in the New Testament literature.  Are you a person of little faith?

The cured demoniac wanted to follow Jesus (Lk 8:38-8:38)

“The man,

From whom

The demons had gone,

Begged

That he might be

With Jesus.

However,

|Jesus sent him away.”

 

ἐδεῖτο δὲ αὐτοῦ ὁ ἀνὴρ ἀφ’ οὗ ἐξεληλύθει τὰ δαιμόνια εἶναι σὺν αὐτῷ· ἀπέλυσεν δὲ αὐτὸν λέγων

 

Luke said that the man, from whom the demons had gone out (ὁ ἀνὴρ ἀφ’ οὗ ἐξεληλύθει τὰ δαιμόνια), begged Jesus (ἐδεῖτο δὲ αὐτοῦ) that he might be with him (εἶναι σὺν αὐτῷ).  However, |Jesus sent him away (ἀπέλυσεν δὲ αὐτὸν λέγων).  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 5:38, while there is nothing like this in MatthewMark said that as Jesus was getting into his boat, the man, who had been possessed by demons begged or entreated Jesus to let him go with him.  This formerly possessed man wanted to be a follower of Jesus, which seems like a reasonable request.  However, Mark said that Jesus refused this former demoniac.  Do you think that Jesus would refuse some people from being his follower?

The possessed man was fine (Lk 8:35-8:35)

“Then people came out

To see

What had happened.

When they came to Jesus,

They found the man,

From whom

The demons had gone,

Sitting

At the feet of Jesus.

He was clothed

And in his right mind.

They were afraid.”

 

ἐξῆλθον δὲ ἰδεῖν τὸ γεγονὸς, καὶ ἦλθον πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν, καὶ εὗρον καθήμενον τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἀφ’ οὗ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐξῆλθεν ἱματισμένον καὶ σωφρονοῦντα παρὰ τοὺς πόδας τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν.

 

Luke said that the people went out to see (ἐξῆλθον δὲ ἰδεῖν) what had happened (τὸ γεγονὸς).  When they came to Jesus (καὶ ἦλθον πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν), they found the man (καὶ εὗρον τὸν ἄνθρωπον), from whom all the demons had gone (ἀφ’ οὗ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐξῆλθεν).  He was sitting (καθήμενον) at the feet of Jesus (παρὰ τοὺς πόδας τοῦ Ἰησοῦ), as if he were a disciple of Jesus.  He was clothed (ἱματισμένον) and in his right mind (καὶ σωφρονοῦντα).  They were afraid (καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν).  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 5:15, while there is nothing like this in MatthewMark said that the people came to Jesus.  They saw the demoniac sitting there clothed, and in his right mind or sober minded.  This was the very same violent man, whom the legion or thousands of evil spirits had possessed.  However, the people were afraid, because of all that happened.  Do some stories make you afraid of God?

Fasting in the future (Lk 5:35-5:35)

“The days will come

When the bridegroom

Will be taken away

From them.

Then they will fast

In those days.’”

 

ἐλεύσονται δὲ ἡμέραι, καὶ ὅταν ἀπαρθῇ ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ὁ νυμφίος, τότε νηστεύσουσιν ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the days were coming (ἐλεύσονται δὲ ἡμέραι) when the bridegroom would be taken away from them (καὶ ὅταν ἀπαρθῇ ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ὁ νυμφίος).  Then, they would fast in those days (τότε νηστεύσουσιν ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις).  Mark, chapter 2:35, and Matthew, chapter 9:15, are word for word similar to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this saying of Jesus.  They remarked that Jesus said that the days were coming when the bridegroom, Jesus, would be taken away from them.  Thus, after his death, then they would fast, since fasting would come when Jesus was gone.

The ruin of the powerful trees (Zech 11:1-11:3)

“Open your doors!

O Lebanon!

Thus,

The fire may devour

Your cedars!

Wail!

O cypress!

The cedar has fallen.

The glorious trees

Are ruined!

Wail!

Oaks of Bashan!

The thick forest

Has been felled!

Listen!

To the wail of the shepherds!

Their glory is despoiled!

Listen!

To the roar of the lions!

The tickets of the Jordan

Are destroyed!”

This oracle shows various strong trees as symbols of power.  Lebanon with its great cedar trees would be devoured by fire.  The glorious cypress trees would be ruined.  The oak tree forests of Bashan would be cut down.  The glory of the shepherds would be gone.  The roaring lions in the brush tickets of the Jordan River would be destroyed.  The powerful people better look out or they would become like these trees.