Joy over a repentant sinner (Lk 15:7-15:7)

“Just so,

I tell you!

There will be more joy

In heaven

Over one sinner

Who repents

Than over ninety-nine

Righteous persons

Who need no repentance.”

 

λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὕτως χαρὰ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ἔσται ἐπὶ ἑνὶ ἁμαρτωλῷ μετανοοῦντι ἢ ἐπὶ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα δικαίοις οἵτινες οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν μετανοίας.

 

Luke had Jesus conclude this parable about the lost sheep.  Jesus said with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν) that there would be more joy in heaven (ὅτι οὕτως χαρὰ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ἔσται) over one repentant sinner (ἐπὶ ἑνὶ ἁμαρτωλῷ μετανοοῦντι) than over the 99 righteous people (ἢ ἐπὶ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα δικαίοις) who do not need repentance (οἵτινες οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν μετανοίας).  This explanation of the lost sheep parable can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:14, with some minor changes, indicating a Q source.  Luke compared this lost sheep to a repentant sinner.  In Matthew, Jesus explained that it was not the will of his heavenly Father (οὕτως οὐκ ἔστιν θέλημα ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς) that these little ones should be lost or perish (ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν τῶν μικρῶν τούτων).  The heavenly Father did not want to lose anyone, just like the good shepherd did not want to lose any one of his wandering sheep.  Have you ever lost someone close to you?

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?

Everybody needs food and clothing (Lk 12:30-12:30)

“The nations

Of the world

Seek after

All these things.

Your Father knows

That you need them.”

 

ταῦτα γὰρ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τοῦ κόσμου ἐπιζητοῦσιν· ὑμῶν δὲ ὁ Πατὴρ οἶδεν ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the nations of the world (τὰ ἔθνη τοῦ κόσμου) seek after (ἐπιζητοῦσιν) all these things (ταῦτα γὰρ πάντα).  However, your Father (ὑμῶν δὲ ὁ Πατὴρ) knows (οἶδεν) that you need them (ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων).  Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:32, had a similar Jesus saying, indicating a common Q source, as the same theme continued.  Matthew attacked the gentile, non-Jewish people, what Luke called “the nations of the world”.  Matthew had Jesus say that those were the kinds of questions that gentiles sought or asked about (πάντα γὰρ ταῦτα τὰ ἔθνη ἐπιζητοῦσιν).  Their heavenly Father knew about everything that they needed (οἶδεν γὰρ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων ἁπάντων).   They should not be worried, since their heavenly Father would take care of them, unlike all the other gentile, non-Jewish countries who needed to worry.  Do you worry a lot?

You are more valuable than birds (Lk 12:24-12:24)

“Consider the ravens!

They neither sow

Nor reap.

They have neither

A storehouse

Nor a barn.

Yet God feeds them.

Of how much more

Value are you

Than the birds!”

 

κατανοήσατε τοὺς κόρακας, ὅτι οὔτε σπείρουσιν οὔτε θερίζουσιν, οἷς οὐκ ἔστιν ταμεῖον οὐδὲ ἀποθήκη, καὶ ὁ Θεὸς τρέφει αὐτούς· πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμεῖς διαφέρετε τῶν πετεινῶν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told his disciples to think about the ravens (κατανοήσατε τοὺς κόρακας).  They neither sow (ὅτι οὔτε σπείρουσιν) nor reap (οὔτε θερίζουσιν).  They have neither a storehouse (οἷς οὐκ ἔστιν ταμεῖον) nor a barn (οὐδὲ ἀποθήκη).  Yet God feeds them (καὶ ὁ Θεὸς τρέφει αὐτούς).  Of how much more value are you than the birds (πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμεῖς διαφέρετε τῶν πετεινῶν).  Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:26, has a similar Jesus saying, almost word for word, indicating a common Q source.  Luke called the birds ravens, but Matthew did not.  Matthew had Jesus tell his disciples to look and see the birds of the heavenly skies (ἐμβλέψατε εἰς τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  These birds did not sow or scatter (ὅτι οὐ σπείρουσιν) or gather crops (οὐδὲ συνάγουσιν) into a granary or barn (εἰς ἀποθήκας).  They were freeloaders.  Yet they were able to eat off the land, because the heavenly Father fed them (καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τρέφει αὐτά).  Are the disciples or followers of Jesus not more valuable than these birds (οὐχ ὑμεῖς μᾶλλον διαφέρετε αὐτῶν)?  Matthew said the Father fed the birds, but Luke said that it was God who fed them.  Birds did not do any farm work, yet they did not have to worry about food.  Are you worried about where your next meal is coming from?

The value of sparrows (Lk 12:6-12:6)

“Are not five sparrows

Sold for two pennies?

Yet not one of them

Is forgotten

In God’s sight.”

 

οὐχὶ πέντε στρουθία πωλοῦνται ἀσσαρίων δύο; καὶ ἓν ἐξ αὐτῶν οὐκ ἔστιν ἐπιλελησμένον ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked them about the value of 5 sparrows.  Jesus said these sparrows were sold for two pennies or assarions (οὐχὶ πέντε στρουθία πωλοῦνται ἀσσαρίων δύο).  This Roman Empire Greek “assarion” coin (ἀσσαρίων) was worth about 2 cents.  So, this total would have been about 4 cents.  Yet none of them are forgotten or neglected (καὶ ἓν ἐξ αὐτῶν οὐκ ἔστιν ἐπιλελησμένον) in God’s sight (ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:29, indicating a Q source.  Jesus, via Matthew, compared human life to 2 sparrows, not 5 sparrows as here.  He asked whether these 2 sparrows (οὐχὶ δύο στρουθία) that sold for a penny or a Greek “assarion” (ἀσσαρίου πωλεῖται), were more valuable than humans.  Not one of these sparrows would fall to the ground without the heavenly Father (καὶ ἓν ἐξ αὐτῶν οὐ πεσεῖται ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ἄνευ τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν).  Thus, if God was worried about these somewhat valueless sparrows, how much more would he be concerned about humans.  Do you worry about sparrows?

The lit lamp (Lk 11:33-11:33)

“No one,

After lighting

A lamp,

Puts it

In a cellar.

Nor do they

Put it

Under a basket.

But they put it

On a lampstand.

Thus,

Those who enter

May see the light.”

 

Οὐδεὶς λύχνον ἅψας εἰς κρύπτην τίθησιν οὐδὲ ὑπὸ τὸν μόδιον, ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ τὴν λυχνίαν, ἵνα οἱ εἰσπορευόμενοι τὸ φέγγος βλέπωσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that no one (Οὐδεὶς), after lighting a lamp (λύχνον ἅψας), puts it in a cellar (εἰς κρύπτην τίθησιν).  Nor do they put it under a basket (οὐδὲ ὑπὸ τὸν μόδιον).  Rather, they put it on a lampstand (ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ τὴν λυχνίαν).  Thus, those who enter may see the light (ἵνα οἱ εἰσπορευόμενοι τὸ φέγγος βλέπωσιν).  A similar saying of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 5:15, and Mark, chapter 4:21, and earlier in Luke, chapter 8:16.  There Luke indicated that Jesus said that no one (Οὐδεὶς), after lighting a lamp (δὲ λύχνον ἅψας), would hide it under a jar or a vessel (καλύπτει αὐτὸν σκεύει).  No one puts a lamp under a bed (ἢ ὑποκάτω κλίνης τίθησιν).  But they put it on a lampstand (ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ λυχνίας τίθησιν).  Thus, those who enter the house (ἵνα οἱ εἰσπορευόμενοι) may see the light (βλέπωσιν τὸ φῶς).  Mark indicated that Jesus said to his disciples that a lamp should not be brought into a house to be put under a bushel basket or under a bed.  Rather it is better to put it on a lampstand.  Thus, the light from the lit candle lamp would shine on everyone and everything in the house.  Matthew was more expansive compared to Luke.  He indicated that Jesus said that after lighting a lamp, no one puts it under a bushel, but rather on a lampstand.  Thus, the light from the lit candle lamp would shine on everyone in the house.  Matthew, instead of leaving it generic, applied this to his disciples.  Their light should shine before other men.  Thus, others would see their good works, since it was not about faith alone.  The ultimate result would be that others would glorify their heavenly father.  Where do you put your lit lamp of your life?

 

Evil people give good gifts (Lk 11:13-11:13)

“If you then,

Who are evil,

Know how

To give good gifts

To your children,

How much more

Will the heavenly Father

Give the Holy Spirit

To those

Who ask him!”

 

εἰ οὖν ὑμεῖς πονηροὶ ὑπάρχοντες οἴδατε δόματα ἀγαθὰ διδόναι τοῖς τέκνοις ὑμῶν, πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὁ Πατὴρ ὁ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ δώσει Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον τοῖς αἰτοῦσιν αὐτόν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if they, who are evil (εἰ οὖν ὑμεῖς πονηροὶ ὑπάρχοντες), know how to give good gifts (οἴδατε δόματα ἀγαθὰ διδόναι) to their children (τοῖς τέκνοις ὑμῶν), how much more (πόσῳ μᾶλλον) will the heavenly Father (ὁ Πατὴρ ὁ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ) give the Holy Spirit (δώσει Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον) to those who ask him (τοῖς αἰτοῦσιν αὐτόν).  This saying of Jesus is almost the same as in Matthew, chapter 7:11, indicating a common Q source.  Luke alone mentioned giving the Holy Spirit instead of just giving good things, as in Matthew, who said that even the evil humans (εἰ οὖν ὑμεῖς πονηροὶ ὄντες), know how to give good gifts to their children (οἴδατε δόματα ἀγαθὰ διδόναι τοῖς τέκνοις ὑμῶν).  How much more will your heavenly Father (πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς) give you good things (δώσει ἀγαθὰ), if you were to ask for them (τοῖς αἰτοῦσιν αὐτόν).  Ask, and it will be granted.  Prayer to the heavenly Father is easy.  The Holy Spirit and good things are simply awaiting your request.  What kind of requests do you make to God, the Father?