Do not be afraid! (Lk 21:9-21:9)

“When you hear

Of wars

And insurrections,

Do not be terrified!

These things

Must take place first.

The end will not

Follow immediately.”

 

ὅταν δὲ ἀκούσητε πολέμους καὶ ἀκαταστασίας, μὴ πτοηθῆτε· δεῖ γὰρ ταῦτα γενέσθαι πρῶτον, ἀλλ’ οὐκ εὐθέως τὸ τέλος.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that when they heard of wars (ὅταν δὲ ἀκούσητε πολέμους) and insurrections (καὶ ἀκαταστασίας), they were not to be terrified (μὴ πτοηθῆτε).  These things had to take place first (δεῖ γὰρ ταῦτα γενέσθαι πρῶτον).  The end times would not follow immediately (ἀλλ’ οὐκ εὐθέως τὸ τέλος).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:6, and in Mark, chapter 13:7, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus told them that they would hear about wars or battles (ὅταν δὲ ἀκούσητε πολέμους) and rumors of wars (καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων).  They should not be alarmed (μὴ θροεῖσθε).  This was going to happen (δεῖ γενέσθαι).  However, this was not the end, since it was not near (ἀλλ’ οὔπω τὸ τέλος).  Matthew indicated that Jesus told them that they would hear about wars or battles (μελλήσετε δὲ ἀκούειν πολέμους) and rumors of wars (καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων).  They should not be alarmed (ὁρᾶτε, μὴ θροεῖσθε).  This was going to happen (δεῖ γὰρ γενέσθαι), but the end was not near (ἀλλ’ οὔπω ἐστὶν τὸ τέλος).  The idea of strife and rumors of violence and wars was a great prophetic theme with Isaiah, chapter 19:1-4, and Jeremiah, chapter 51:46.  Do you often hear about wars and revolutions?

The good news (Lk 16:16-16:16)

“The law

And the prophets

Were in effect

Until John came.

Since then,

The good news

Of the kingdom of God

Is proclaimed.

Everyone

Tries to enter it

By force.”

 

Ὁ νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται μέχρι Ἰωάνου· ἀπὸ τότε ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ εὐαγγελίζεται καὶ πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the law (Ὁ νόμος) and the prophets (καὶ οἱ προφῆται) were in effect until John came (μέχρι Ἰωάνου).  Since then (ἀπὸ τότε), the good news has been proclaimed (εὐαγγελίζεται) about the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Everyone tries to enter it by force (καὶ πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται).  The law and the prophets were the two major parts of the Hebrew Bible.  John the Baptist represented some sort of turning point.  His preaching about the kingdom of God meant that the days of the law and prophets were numbered.  There is something similar, but in a different context with a different meaning in Matthew, chapter 11:12-13.  There Jesus talked about the days of John the Baptist until the present (ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ ἕως ἄρτι), not a very long time.  The kingdom of heaven has suffered violence (ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται).  What kind of violence was taking place in the heavenly kingdom?  Did this mean that so many people were violently seeking the kingdom of heaven that John was talking about?  Is this some kind of violence within the kingdom of heaven?  Were these violent people trying to get into the kingdom of heaven?  The next sentence seems to support this idea that violent people wanted to seize the kingdom of heaven by force (καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν).  In Matthew, chapter 17:11-13, Jesus compared John to Elijah.  Like here in Luke, all the prophets and the law had prophesied until the time of John the Baptist (πάντες γὰρ οἱ προφῆται καὶ ὁ νόμος ἕως Ἰωάνου ἐπροφήτευσαν).  Then Jesus said that John was the new Elijah (αὐτός ἐστιν Ἡλείας), the one who was to come (ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι).  However, they had to be willing to accept this (καὶ εἰ θέλετε δέξασθαι).  Anyone who had ears to hear should listen to this (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω).  Clearly, something fundamental changed with John the Baptist and his proclamation of the kingdom of God.  How were John and Jesus connected in their preaching?  What is your opinion about John the Baptist?

No longer a manager (Lk 16:2-16:2)

“The rich man

Summoned

This house manager.

He said to him.

‘What is this

That I hear

About you?

Give me

An accounting

Of your management,

Because you cannot be

My manager

Any longer.’”

 

καὶ φωνήσας αὐτὸν εἶπεν αὐτῷ Τί τοῦτο ἀκούω περὶ σοῦ; ἀπόδος τὸν λόγον τῆς οἰκονομίας σου· οὐ γὰρ δύνῃ ἔτι οἰκονομεῖν.

 

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 continued with this story.  He said that the rich man summoned or called his house manager (καὶ φωνήσας αὐτὸν).  He asked him (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) about what he had heard about him (ἀκούω περὶ σοῦ).  He wanted him to give an accounting of his management (ἀπόδος τὸν λόγον τῆς οἰκονομίας σου), because he was not going to be his house manager any longer (ὐ γὰρ δύνῃ ἔτι οἰκονομεῖν).  Once again, Luke used this unique Greek word οἰκονομεῖν, meaning household manager throughout this parable.  This rich man did not do any investigation.  He just simply heard a report and acted on it.  There is no indication who rendered this report to him.  Nevertheless, the house manager was fired.  Have you ever been fired or let go?

Throw the bad salt away (Lk 14:35-14:35)

“This salt is fit

Neither

For the soil,

Nor for the manure pile.

Throw it away!

Let anyone

With ears

To hear,

Listen!”

 

οὔτε εἰς γῆν οὔτε εἰς κοπρίαν εὔθετόν ἐστιν· ἔξω βάλλουσιν αὐτό. ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν ἀκουέτω

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this salt was fit (εὔθετόν ἐστιν) neither for the soil (οὔτε εἰς γῆν), nor for the manure pile (οὔτε εἰς κοπρίαν).  It should be thrown away (ἔξω βάλλουσιν αὐτό).  Let anyone with ears to hear (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν), listen (ἀκουέτω)!  This saying of Jesus can be found somewhat similar in Matthew, chapter 5:13, and Mark, chapter 9:50.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that tasteless salt was now useless, impotent, and not good for anything (εἰς οὐδὲν ἰσχύει ἔτι).  The end result of this insipid salt was that it should either be thrown away (εἰ μὴ βληθὲν ἔξω) or have people trample it down (καταπατεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων).  Mark indicated that Jesus then turned to his followers.  He told them that they should have salt within themselves (ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἅλα), not exactly the salt of the earth, but close enough.  They should be at peace with one another (καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις).  There was no indication here about throwing salt away because it had become useless, as in Matthew and Luke.  Salt would bring about brotherly peace or love.  Only Luke had the admonition to listen to what Jesus was saying.  How much salt do you use?

Keep the word of God (Lk 11:28-11:28)

“But Jesus said.

‘Blessed rather are

Those who

Hear the word

Of God

And obey it!’”

 

αὐτὸς δὲ εἶπεν Μενοῦν μακάριοι οἱ ἀκούοντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ φυλάσσοντες.

 

Luke continued with this unique incident.  Luke indicated that Jesus responded to this woman who had shouted out from the crowd.  He said (αὐτὸς δὲ εἶπεν) that blessed rather (Μενοῦν μακάριοι) are those who hear (οἱ ἀκούοντες) the word of God (τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ) and obey it (καὶ φυλάσσοντες).  Thus, the really happy, fortunate, or blessed ones (μακάριοι) are not his mother, but rather those who hear and keep or observe the word of God.  Jesus seemed to point out that his true followers were happier or more blessed than his mother.  Listening and following the word of God was more important than anything else.  Spiritual ties were more important than biological ties.  Who do you think are the blessed ones?

Many people want to hear and see what you do (Lk 10:24-10:24)

“I tell you!

Many prophets

And kings

Desired to see

What you see,

But they did not

See it.

They wanted to hear

What you heard,

But they did not hear it.”

 

λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι πολλοὶ προφῆται καὶ βασιλεῖς ἠθέλησαν ἰδεῖν ἃ ὑμεῖς βλέπετε καὶ οὐκ εἶδαν, καὶ ἀκοῦσαι ἃ ἀκούετε καὶ οὐκ ἤκουσαν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his disciples with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν) that many prophets (ὅτι πολλοὶ προφῆται) and kings (καὶ βασιλεῖς) desired to see (ἠθέλησαν ἰδεῖν) what they see (ἃ ὑμεῖς βλέπετε), but they did not see it (καὶ οὐκ εἶδαν).  They wanted to hear (καὶ ἀκοῦσαι) what they had heard (ἃ ἀκούετε), but they did not hear it (καὶ οὐκ ἤκουσαν).  Matthew, chapter 13:17 had something similar, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus said that his disciples had heard and seen what other prophets and righteous ones had wanted to see and hear, but never did.  Matthew did not mention kings, but righteous people instead.  Jesus then issued a solemn declaration.  Many prophets and righteous people had longed for what they had seen and heard, but they never saw or heard these things, like they have.  The disciples of Jesus should realize how fortunate they were to be with Jesus.  Many people were less fortunate than them.  Do you feel fortunate or unfortunate?

Herod wants to see Jesus (Lk 9:9-9:9)

“Herod said.

‘I beheaded John!

Who is this

About whom

I hear such things?’

He tried

To see him.”

 

εἶπεν δὲ Ἡρῴδης Ἰωάνην ἐγὼ ἀπεκεφάλισα· τίς δέ ἐστιν οὗτος περὶ οὗ ἀκούω τοιαῦτα; καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν αὐτόν.

 

Luke indicated that Herod said (εἶπεν δὲ Ἡρῴδης) that he had beheaded John (Ἰωάνην ἐγὼ ἀπεκεφάλισα).  Who then was this Jesus (τίς δέ ἐστιν οὗτος) about whom he had heard such things (περὶ οὗ ἀκούω τοιαῦτα)?  He wanted to see Jesus (καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν αὐτόν).  There is nothing like this in Matthew, but in Mark, chapter 6:16, there was something similar.  King Herod had his own opinion.  He believed that Jesus was John resurrected.  Mark said that when Herod heard about this, he had no doubt.  He said that it was John, whom he beheaded, that was raised up in Jesus.  Herod saw an equivalence between John the Baptist and Jesus.  Thus, here in Luke, he wanted to see Jesus, which was not in the other gospel stories.  How would you compare John the Baptist to Jesus?