Dress him up! (Lk 15:22-15:22)

“But the father

Said to his slaves.

‘Quickly!

Bring out

The best robe!

Put it on him!

Put a ring

On his finger!

Put sandals

On his feet!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ ὁ πατὴρ πρὸς τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ Ταχὺ ἐξενέγκατε στολὴν τὴν πρώτην καὶ ἐνδύσατε αὐτόν, καὶ δότε δακτύλιον εἰς τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ καὶ ὑποδήματα εἰς τοὺς πόδας,

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the father said to his slaves (εἶπεν δὲ ὁ πατὴρ πρὸς τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ) that they were to quickly bring out the best robe (Ταχὺ ἐξενέγκατε στολὴν τὴν πρώτην).  They were to dress him with it (καὶ ἐνδύσατε αὐτόν).  Then they were to put a ring on his hand or finger (καὶ δότε δακτύλιον εἰς τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ) and sandals on his feet (καὶ ὑποδήματα εἰς τοὺς πόδας).  Apparently, there were some slaves (δούλους) on this farm, besides the hired hands.  The prodigal’s son father wanted him dressed up with a new robe, ring, and sandals.  He no longer would be the poor prodigal lost sinner.  Do you like to dress up?

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Be on watch (Mk 13:34-13:34)

“The end times

Is like a man

Going on a journey.

When he leaves home,

He puts his slaves

In charge,

Each with

Their own work tasks.

He commands

The doorkeeper

To be on the watch.”

 

ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν, ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ, καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ.

 

This parable is similar to Matthew, chapter 25:14 and to Luke, chapter 19:12-27, where the story is about the power of a nobleman with 10 slaves, but the basic concept is the same.  Mark indicated that 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).

The rewards and punishments (Mt 25:29-25:30)

“To all those who have,

More will be given.

They will have

An abundance.

But those who have nothing,

Even what they have

Will be taken away.

As for this worthless slave,

Throw him into

The outer darkness!

Where there will be

Weeping

And gnashing of teeth.”

 

τῷ γὰρ ἔχοντι παντὶ δοθήσεται καὶ περισσευθήσεται· τοῦ δὲ μὴ ἔχοντος καὶ ὃ ἔχει ἀρθήσεται ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ.

καὶ τὸν ἀχρεῖον δοῦλον ἐκβάλετε εἰς τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον· ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 19:26.  Jesus said that this master slave owner rewarded and punished his slaves.  He told them that all those who have, will be given more (τῷ γὰρ ἔχοντι παντὶ δοθήσεται), so that they will have an abundance or overflow of goods (καὶ περισσευθήσεται).  But those who have nothing (τοῦ δὲ μὴ ἔχοντος), even what little they have will be taken away from them (καὶ ὃ ἔχει ἀρθήσεται ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ).  As for this worthless slave (καὶ τὸν ἀχρεῖον δοῦλον), he was to be thrown into the outer darkness (ἐκβάλετε εἰς τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον), where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth (ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων), the common terms for sadness and mourning.  Thus, the kingdom of heaven will have rewards and punishments.

A man entrusts his assets to his slaves (Mt 25:14-25:14)

“The kingdom of heaven

Will be like

As if a man,

Going on a journey,

Summoned his slaves.

He entrusted

His property

To them.”

 

Ὥσπερ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ἀποδημῶν ἐκάλεσεν τοὺς ἰδίους δούλους καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτοῖς τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ,

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is a somewhat similar parable in Luke, chapter 19:12-27, where the story is about the power of a nobleman with 10 slaves, but the basic concept is the same.  Some of the slaves were able to get more money, while the others were not.  Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven would be like a man going on a journey (Ὥσπερ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ἀποδημῶν).  He called or summoned his slaves (ἐκάλεσεν τοὺς ἰδίους δούλους) to entrust them or gave them his property and possessions while he was gone (καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτοῖς τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ).  This was a very generous man.

New invitations to the wedding feast (Mt 22:8-22:9)

“Then he said

To his slaves.

‘The wedding is ready.

But those invited

Were not worthy.

Therefore,

Go into the main streets!

Invite

Everyone you find

To the wedding banquet!”

 

τότε λέγει τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ Ὁ μὲν γάμος ἕτοιμός ἐστιν, οἱ δὲ κεκλημένοι οὐκ ἦσαν ἄξιοι·

πορεύεσθε οὖν ἐπὶ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὁδῶν, καὶ ὅσους ἐὰν εὕρητε καλέσατε εἰς τοὺς γάμους.

 

Once again, there are some differences with Luke, chapter 14:21-24, who was more descriptive of those who were invited this time.  Finally, we have a third invitation.  Jesus said that this king told his slaves (τότε λέγει τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ) that the wedding feast was ready (Ὁ μὲν γάμος ἕτοιμός ἐστιν).  Those originally invited were not worthy or deserving of his invitation (οἱ δὲ κεκλημένοι οὐκ ἦσαν ἄξιοι).  Therefore, they were to go into the main streets or the meeting places on the roads (πορεύεσθε οὖν ἐπὶ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὁδῶν).  Then they should invite everyone or as many as they could find to this wedding banquet (καὶ ὅσους ἐὰν εὕρητε καλέσατε εἰς τοὺς γάμους).  This king was intent on having this wedding dinner.  Notice the original chosen ones, the Israelites, were not considered worthy.  Now the invitation went out to all people to come to the banquet feast of the son, Jesus.

Invited guests refuse to come to the wedding banquet (Mt 22:3-22:3)

“The king sent

His slaves

To call those

Who had been invited

To the wedding banquet.

But they would not come.”

 

καὶ ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ καλέσαι τοὺς κεκλημένους εἰς τοὺς γάμους, καὶ οὐκ ἤθελον ἐλθεῖν.

 

This is somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 14:17.  Jesus continued with this parable.  The king sent his slaves (καὶ ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ) to call the invited guests (καλέσαι τοὺς κεκλημένους) to the wedding feast or banquet (εἰς τοὺς γάμους).  However, they would not come or did not wish to come (καὶ οὐκ ἤθελον ἐλθεῖν).  Now, this was a problem.  They have refused an invitation to the wedding banquet of God, the Father, the king.  He had sent his slaves, the prophets or the apostles, to call them, but they still did not want to come to the wedding feast.

The tenants beat and kill the landowner’s slaves (Mt 21:34-21:35)

“When the harvest time

Had come,

The landowner sent his slaves

To the tenants,

To collect his produce.

But the tenants

Seized his slaves.

They beat one slave.

They killed another slave.

They stoned still another slave.”

 

ὅτε δὲ ἤγγισεν ὁ καιρὸς τῶν καρπῶν, ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ πρὸς τοὺς γεωργοὺς λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ.

καὶ λαβόντες οἱ γεωργοὶ τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ ὃν μὲν ἔδειραν, ὃν δὲ ἀπέκτειναν, ὃν δὲ ἐλιθοβόλησαν.

 

This parable of the wicked tenants can be found in Mark, chapter 12:2-3, and Luke, chapter 20:10, but there was only one slave in both these accounts, instead of the 3 different slaves here.  When the harvest time came, the time when the grapes would be ripe for picking (ὅτε δὲ ἤγγισεν ὁ καιρὸς τῶν καρπῶν), the landowner sent his slaves (ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ) to these tenants or renters (τοὺς γεωργοὺς) to collect his fruit produce (λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ).  However, his tenant farmers seized his slaves (καὶ λαβόντες οἱ γεωργοὶ τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ).  They beat one slave (ὃν μὲν ἔδειραν).  Then they killed another slave (ὃν δὲ ἀπέκτειναν) and stoned still another slave (ὃν δὲ ἐλιθοβόλησαν).  These tenant farmers were not very nice.