Be ready

“Be on guard!

Thus,

Your hearts

Will not be weighed down

With dissipation,

Drunkenness,

And the worries

Of this life.

Then that day

Will not catch you

Unexpectedly.”

 

Προσέχετε δὲ ἑαυτοῖς μή ποτε βαρηθῶσιν ὑμῶν αἱ καρδίαι ἐν κραιπάλῃ καὶ μέθῃ καὶ μερίμναις βιωτικαῖς, καὶ ἐπιστῇ ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς αἰφνίδιος ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείνη

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to be on guard or aware (Προσέχετε δὲ ἑαυτοῖς), so that their hearts should not be weighed down (μή ποτε βαρηθῶσιν ὑμῶν αἱ καρδίαι) with dissipation (ἐν κραιπάλῃ), drunkenness (καὶ μέθῃ), and the daily worries of this life (καὶ μερίμναις βιωτικαῖς).  Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use this term κραιπάλῃ, that means drunken nausea or drunken dissipation.  Thus, the day of the end times would not suddenly catch you unexpectedly (καὶ ἐπιστῇ ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς αἰφνίδιος ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείνη).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:43 and Mark, chapter 13:35.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that they were to be aware (Βλέπετε) and alert all the time (ἀγρυπνεῖτε), because they did not know (οὐκ οἴδατε) when the end times (γὰρ πότε ὁ καιρός ἐστιν) would come.  Luke, chapter 12:39-40, also had something similar about the thief at night.  Jesus warned his disciples to be vigilant.  They were to stay awake (γρηγορεῖτε οὖν), because they did not know on what day (ὅτι οὐκ οἴδατε ποίᾳ ἡμέρᾳ) the Lord was coming (ὁ κύριος ὑμῶν ἔρχεται).  Therefore, they had to be ready or prepared (διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ὑμεῖς γίνεσθε ἕτοιμοι) for the coming of the Son of Man (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἔρχεται) because he would be coming at an unexpected hour (ὅτι ᾗ οὐ δοκεῖτε ὥρᾳ).  This is also similar to the parable ending in Matthew, chapter 25:13, about the virgins at the wedding being vigilant.  This was a simple message to be vigilant all the time, because your end or the end of the world could happen at any time.  Are you ready to go?

Settle your case (Lk 12:58-12:58)

“Thus,

When you go

Before a magistrate,

With your accuser,

On the way there,

Make an effort

To settle the case.

Otherwise,

You may be dragged

Before the judge.

The judge

Might hand you over

To the officer.

The officer might

Throw you in prison.”

 

ὡς γὰρ ὑπάγεις μετὰ τοῦ ἀντιδίκου σου ἐπ’ ἄρχοντα, ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ δὸς ἐργασίαν ἀπηλλάχθαι ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ, μή ποτε κατασύρῃ σε πρὸς τὸν κριτήν, καὶ ὁ κριτής σε παραδώσει τῷ πράκτορι, καὶ ὁ πράκτωρ σε βαλεῖ εἰς φυλακήν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if they were to go (ὡς γὰρ ὑπάγεις) before a magistrate (π’ ἄρχοντα), with their accuser or advisory (μετὰ τοῦ ἀντιδίκου σου), they should make an effort to settle the case (δὸς ἐργασίαν ἀπηλλάχθαι ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ) on the way there (ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ).  Otherwise, they may be dragged before the judge (μή ποτε κατασύρῃ σε πρὸς τὸν κριτήν).  Then the judge might hand them over to the officer (καὶ ὁ κριτής σε παραδώσει τῷ πράκτορι), who might throw them in prison (καὶ ὁ πράκτωρ σε βαλεῖ εἰς φυλακήν).  Matthew, chapter 5:25, had some similar common-sense advice that seems to come from the common Q source.  Jesus said that if they had a court case, try to settle it quickly before they got to court with the person that they owed money to.  They should be agreeable to their accuser (ἴσθι εὐνοῶν τῷ ἀντιδίκῳ σου).  They should try to solve this case with their accuser on the way to court (ἕως ὅτου εἶ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ).  Otherwise, this accuser would turn them over to a judge (μή ποτέ σε παραδῷ ὁ ἀντίδικος τῷ κριτῇ), who would in turn send them to a guard (καὶ ὁ κριτὴς τῷ ὑπηρέτῃ), who would throw them into jail or a prison (καὶ εἰς φυλακὴν βληθήσῃ).  Try to settle your cases out of court, because you could lose in court.  Have you ever had a court case that was difficult?

Possessions (Lk 12:15-12:15)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Take care!

Be on your guard

Against all kinds of greed!

One’s life

Does not consist

In the abundance

Of possessions.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς Ὁρᾶτε καὶ φυλάσσεσθε ἀπὸ πάσης πλεονεξίας, ὅτι οὐκ ἐν τῷ περισσεύειν τινὶ ἡ ζωὴ αὐτοῦ ἐστιν ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐτῷ.

 

Luke had another unique saying of Jesus about worldly possessions.  Jesus said to them (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς) to take care (Ὁρᾶτε) and guard against all kinds of greed (καὶ φυλάσσεσθε ἀπὸ πάσης πλεονεξίας).  Their life did not consist of merely an abundance of possessions (ὅτι οὐκ ἐν τῷ περισσεύειν τινὶ ἡ ζωὴ αὐτοῦ ἐστιν ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐτῷ).  Jesus warned them about a life of greed that was only measured by how many things they owned.  This is a particularly good message for a highly technological society where access to wealth is reasonably easy.  Do you judge your life by where you live and what you own?

False prophets (Mt 7:15-7:15)

“Beware of false prophets!

They come to you

In sheep’s clothing.

But inwardly they are

Ravenous wolves.”

 

Προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῶν ψευδοπροφητῶν, οἵτινες ἔρχονται πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν ἐνδύμασιν προβάτων ἔσωθεν δέ εἰσιν λύκοι ἅρπαγες.

 

Another great Old Testament theme was the warning against false prophets, as can be found in Jeremiah, chapters 5:6, 5:31, and 6:12-15, Ezekiel, chapter 22:27-28, Zechariah, chapter 13:2, and Micah, chapter 3:5-8.  Mark, chapter 13:22 had a similar warning from Jesus.  The followers of Jesus should be on guard, should pay attention, and be aware (Προσέχετε) of these false or pseudo prophets (ἀπὸ τῶν ψευδοπροφητῶν).  They come to them with their sheep’s clothing (οἵτινες ἔρχονται πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν ἐνδύμασιν προβάτων), but inwardly they are ravenous wolves (ἔσωθεν δέ εἰσιν λύκοι ἅρπαγες).  These false prophets look like meek sheep, but they are really like veracious wolves.

Get ready for the battle (Nah 2:1-2:1)

“The one who shatters

Has come up

Against you.

Guard the ramparts!

Watch the road!

Gird your loins!

Collect all your strength.”

Nahum warned that they should get ready for the battle in very descriptive language.  A shattering foe was to come up against them.  They were to guard the ramparts leading up to their town.  They were to watch the road.  They were to gird their loins, that meant that they would tuck in their robes around their waist for better leg movement.  Today’s equivalent would be roll up your selves.  They were to collect all their strength for the battle to come.

The ten-day test (Dan 1:14-1:16)

“Thus,

The guard agreed

To this proposal.

He tested them

For ten days.

At the end of ten days,

It was observed

That they appeared better,

As well as fatter,

Than all the young men

Who had been eating

The royal rations.

Thus,

The guard continued

To withdraw

Their royal rations.

He took away

Their wine

That they were to drink.

Instead,

He gave them vegetables.”

The guard agreed to Daniel’s request for 10 days. Then after 10 days, he observed that they were fatter and in better shape than the other young men who had been eating and drinking the royal food and wine. Thus, the guard continued to give them only vegetables instead of the rich royal food and wine.