Honored (Lk 14:10-14:10)

“But when you are invited,

Go!

Sit down

At the lowest place!

Thus,

When your host

Comes,

He may say

To you.

‘Friend!

Move up higher!’

Then you will be honored

In the presence

Of all

Who are sitting

At table

With you.”

 

ἀλλ’ ὅταν κληθῇς, πορευθεὶς ἀνάπεσε εἰς τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον, ἵνα ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ κεκληκώς σε ἐρεῖ σοι Φίλε, προσανάβηθι ἀνώτερον· τότε ἔσται σοι δόξα ἐνώπιον πάντων τῶν συνανακειμένων σοι.

 

Next Luke uniquely continued with this Jesus parable.  Jesus said that when you are invited to someplace (ἀλλ’ ὅταν κληθῇς), you should go and sit down or recline at the lowest place (πορευθεὶς ἀνάπεσε εἰς τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον).  Then when your host who had invited you comes and sees you (ἵνα ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ κεκληκώς σε) he might say to you (ἐρεῖ σοι), “Friend (Φίλε)! Move or come up higher (προσανάβηθι ἀνώτερον)!”  This προσανάβηθι is another unique word of Luke.  Then you will be honored or glorified (τότε ἔσται σοι δόξα) in the presence of all those (ἐνώπιον πάντων) sitting or reclining at the table with you (τῶν συνανακειμένων σοι).  In other words, take the lower seat so that you would be honored when the host noticed who you were.  That assumes that the host knows who you are, otherwise, why would he have invited you?  Have you ever been invited some place where you hardly knew anyone?

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Who is the greatest? (Lk 9:46-9:46)

“And an argument arose

Among the disciples

As to which one

Of them

Was the greatest.”

 

Εἰσῆλθεν δὲ διαλογισμὸς ἐν αὐτοῖς, τὸ τίς ἂν εἴη μείζων αὐτῶν.

 

Luke said that an argument arose among the disciples of Jesus (Εἰσῆλθεν δὲ διαλογισμὸς ἐν αὐτοῖς) as to which one of them was the greatest (τὸ τίς ἂν εἴη μείζων αὐτῶν).  This question about the greatest can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:1, Mark, chapter 9:33-34, and here, with some changes.  Mark said that Jesus asked them what they were discussing or arguing about on the way there.  Jesus knew that they had been talking about something that was a little heated.  Instead of coming to Jesus, as in Matthew, Mark had Jesus go to the disciples.  They were silent when Jesus asked them what they were talking about on their travels.  In fact, they had been arguing or discussing among themselves on the way there, who was the greatest.  Mark never mentioned the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, but just the greatest in general.  The late Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) always proclaimed that he was the greatest, without indicating what he was the greatest at.  They were looking for some sort of status.  Matthew said that the disciples came to Jesus with this question, instead of arguing among themselves.  They asked him who was the greatest in the kingdom of the heaven?  They were looking for some sort of status in a gnostic concept of a higher and lower status people.  After all, they were the important disciples of Jesus.  Who do you think is the greatest disciple of Jesus?

They were righteous (Lk 1:6-1:6)

“Both of them

Were righteous

Before God.

They lived

Blamelessly

According to

All the commandments

And regulations

Of the Lord.”

 

ἦσαν δὲ δίκαιοι ἀμφότεροι ἐναντίον τοῦ Θεοῦ, πορευόμενοι ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ἐντολαῖς καὶ δικαιώμασιν τοῦ Κυρίου ἄμεμπτοι

 

Luke continued his unique portrayal of Zechariah and Elizabeth as righteous people (ἦσαν δὲ δίκαιοι ἀμφότεροι) before God (ἐναντίον τοῦ Θεοῦ).  As they were descendants of Aaron, the expectations for their behavior were higher than other Israelites.  They were blameless (ἄμεμπτοι).  They walked or followed all the commandments, statutes, ordinances and regulations of the Lord (πορευόμενοι ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ἐντολαῖς καὶ δικαιώμασιν τοῦ Κυρίου).  They were upright people, pillars of the community.  They were faithful followers of the Jewish Law.  Who could ask for anything more?

Who is the greatest? (Mt 18:1-18:1)

“At that time,

The disciples came to Jesus.

They asked.

‘Who is the greatest

In the kingdom of heaven?’”

 

Ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ προσῆλθον οἱ μαθηταὶ τῷ Ἰησοῦ λέγοντες Τίς ἄρα μείζων ἐστὶν ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν;

 

This question about the greatest in heaven can also be found in Mark, chapter 9:34, and Luke, chapter 9:46, with some minor changes.  There the disciples seemed to be arguing among themselves about who would be the greatest in heaven.  Here they came to Jesus with the question.  After the transition phrase, “At that time” (Ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ), these disciples came to Jesus (προσῆλθον οἱ μαθηταὶ τῷ Ἰησοῦ).  They asked him who is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens (λέγοντες Τίς ἄρα μείζων ἐστὶν ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν)?  They were looking for some sort of status in a gnostic concept of a higher and lower status people.  After all, they were the disciples of Jesus.

The altar table or hearth (Ezek 43:15-43:17)

“The altar hearth was

Four cubits.

From the altar hearth

Projecting upward were

Four horns,

One cubit high.

The altar hearth

Shall be square.

Twelve cubits long

By twelve cubits wide.

The ledge also

Shall be square,

Fourteen cubits long

By fourteen cubits wide,

With a rim around it,

Half a cubit wide.

Its surrounding base was

One cubit wide.

Its steps

Shall face east.”

Ezekiel continued with his description of the altar hearth or the altar table where the sacrifices would be laid. This was much bigger and higher. This altar hearth or table was 4 cubits or nearly 8 feet high. It had 4 horns that were on it, each one cubit or nearly 2 feet high. This was a huge square altar table or hearth of 12 cubits. Thus, it was nearly 24 feet long by 24 feet wide. There was a square ledge with a rim around it that was even larger, 14 cubits square or nearly 28 feet square. Thus, there were 3 square layers on top of each other. This altar also had a surrounding base with steps that faced east.

The passage way of the chambers (Ezek 42:4-42:6)

“In front of the chambers

Was a passage way.

On the inside,

It was

Ten cubits wide,

One hundred cubits deep.

Its entrance was

On the north.

Now the upper chambers

Were narrower.

The galleries

Took more away                              

From them

Than from the lower

Or the middle chambers

In the building.

They were

In three stories.

They had no pillars

Like the pillars

Of the outer court.

The upper chambers

Were set back

From the ground

More than the lower

Or the middle ones.”

This is another description of the passage way around the small chamber rooms that followed up on explanations of the preceding chapter. This passage way was on the inside with an odd rectangular shape, 10 cubits wide by 100 cubits deep, 17 feet by 170 feet, with a north side entrance. The upper chambers were narrower than the lower or middle story rooms. There were more galleries on this higher 3rd story than on the middle and lower 1st and 2nd stories. These 3 story chambers had no pillars, like those in the outer court. Thus, the upper chambers were set back more from the ground than the lower or middle story chambers.

The high thoughts of Yahweh (Isa 55:8-55:9)

“‘My thoughts are not your thoughts.

Neither are your ways my ways.’

Says Yahweh.

‘As the heavens are higher

Than the earth,

So are my ways higher

Than your ways.

My thoughts are higher

Than your thoughts.’”

Yahweh’s thoughts are not the thoughts of humans, neither are his ways. Yahweh says that just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so too are his ways and thoughts higher than those of human ways and thoughts.