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 Lord needs it (Lk 19:31-19:31)

“If anyone asks you.

‘Why are you untying it?’

Just say this!

‘The Lord needs it.’”

 

καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμᾶς ἐρωτᾷ Διὰ τί λύετε; οὕτως ἐρεῖτε ὅτι Ὁ Κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told them if anyone asked them (καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμᾶς ἐρωτᾷ) why they were untying this colt (Διὰ τί λύετε), they were to simply say to them (οὕτως ἐρεῖτε) that the Lord needs it (ὅτι Ὁ Κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει).  Both Matthew, chapter 21:3, and Mark, chapter 11:3, are similar with slight differences.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that if anyone asked them (καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ) about what they were doing (Τί ποιεῖτε τοῦτο), in this stealing of a young tied up colt, they were to say (εἴπατε) that the Lord needs to have this animal (Ὁ Κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει).  Mark indicated that they also were to say that Jesus would immediately send it back (αὐτὸν ἀποστέλλει πάλιν ὧδε), which was not in the other two gospel accounts.  In Matthew, Jesus said that if anyone said anything to them about this donkey stealing (καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ τι), they were to say (ἐρεῖτε) to that person that the Lord needs these animals (Ὁ Κύριος αὐτῶν χρείαν ἔχει), as if that was some sort of clandestine password.  Was this a secret disciple of Jesus in this village? According to Jesus, they would immediately let them take both the donkey and the young colt (εὐθὺς δὲ ἀποστελεῖ αὐτούς), even though they had been tied up and belonged to someone else.  Matthew was the only one with a donkey besides the colt.  Do you have a friend with a secret password?

The colt (Lk 19:30-19:30)

“Jesus said.

‘Go into the village

Ahead of you!

As you enter it,

You will find

A colt tied there,

That has never

Been ridden.

Untie it!

Bring it here!’”

 

λέγων Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν κατέναντι κώμην, ἐν ᾗ εἰσπορευόμενοι εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον, ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς πώποτε ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν, καὶ λύσαντες αὐτὸν ἀγάγετε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told (λέγων) these two disciples to go into the village ahead of them (Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν κατέναντι κώμην).  They were to enter the village (ἐν ᾗ εἰσπορευόμενοι) and find a colt tied there (εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον), that had never been ridden or that no man had ever sat on (ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς πώποτε ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν).  They were to untie it (καὶ λύσαντες αὐτὸν) and then bring it back (ἀγάγετε) to Jesus.  Jesus wanted these two unnamed disciples to go into the village in front of them to get a tied up unbroken colt and bring it back to him.  This sounded simple enough.  Both Matthew, chapter 21:2, and Mark, chapter 11:2 are similar, but Matthew had a colt and a donkey, while Luke and Mark had merely a colt.  Mark said that Jesus told the two unnamed disciples (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) to go into the village that was just ahead of them (Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν κώμην τὴν κατέναντι ὑμῶν).  There immediately on entering the village (καὶ εὐθὺς εἰσπορευόμενοι εἰς αὐτὴν), they would find a colt tied up (εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον).  This was a colt that no person had ever ridden on before (ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς οὔπω ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν).  Jesus told these two unnamed disciples to untie it (λύσατε αὐτὸν) and bring it back to him (καὶ φέρετε).  In Matthew, Jesus told the two disciples (λέγων αὐτοῖς) to travel into the village that was just ahead of them (Πορεύεσθε εἰς τὴν κώμην τὴν κατέναντι ὑμῶν).  There they would immediately find a donkey tied up (καὶ εὐθὺς εὑρήσετε ὄνον δεδεμένην) with a young colt next to it (καὶ πῶλον μετ’ αὐτῆς) also tied up.  Jesus told these two disciples to untie (λύσαντες) both of them.  Then they were to bring or guide them back to him (ἀγάγετέ μοι).  Matthew alone spoke about the donkey and the colt, not just the colt.  Otherwise, everything was pretty much the same in all three synoptic gospels.  Apparently, Jesus and his disciples always traveled on foot or by boat, but never riding animals.  Have you ever ridden on a donkey?

Gave his slaves money (Lk 19:13-19:13)

“This nobleman

Summoned

Ten of his slaves.

He gave them

Ten minas.

He said to them.

‘Do business

With these

Until I come back.’”

 

καλέσας δὲ δέκα δούλους ἑαυτοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δέκα μνᾶς, καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Πραγματεύσασθε ἐν ᾧ ἔρχομαι.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this nobleman summoned 10 of his slaves (λέσας δὲ δέκα δούλους ἑαυτοῦ).  He gave them each 10 minas (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δέκα μνᾶς).  Luke had this nobleman give 10 minas to 10 slaves.  Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term μνᾶς, that means a mina, a Greek monetary unit equal to 100 drachmas.  He used this word 9 times, mostly in this parable.  A rough equivalent would be $20.00 USA.  In ancient times, it was worth about a quarter of a year’s salary.  This nobleman told them (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) to do business (Πραγματεύσασθε) with these minas until he came back (ἐν ᾧ ἔρχομαι).  Once again, Luke used a word that is not found in any of the other Greek biblical writers, Πραγματεύσασθε, that means to busy oneself, or transact business trades.  Matthew, chapter 25:15, has something similar, perhaps this is a Q source.  In Matthew, the rich owner was dealing with talents, which was even more valuable.  There were 3,600 shekels in a talent.  There were 60 minas to a talent.  Thus, these talents were a lot of money.  This very trusting rich person gave to one of his slaves 5 talents (καὶ ᾧ μὲν ἔδωκεν πέντε τάλαντα).  He gave 2 talents (ᾧ δὲ δύο) to the 2nd slave and one talent (ᾧ δὲ ἕν) to the 3rd slave.  They received this according to their ability (ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὴν ἰδίαν δύναμιν).  Then he went away immediately (καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν Εὐθέως).  In each case, money was given to slaves in the household.  Luke had 10 slaves, but Matthew only had 3.  In Luke, there was an explicit saying to do business, while it was only implicit in Matthew, where some received more than others.  Luke had all of them receive the same amount, with a greater emphasis on equality.  Has someone ever entrusted you with some money?

A parable near Jerusalem (Lk 19:11-19:11)

“As they were listening

To these things,

Jesus proceeded

To tell a parable.

He was near Jerusalem.

Thus,

They supposed

That the kingdom of God

Was to appear

Immediately.”

 

Ἀκουόντων δὲ αὐτῶν ταῦτα προσθεὶς εἶπεν παραβολὴν, διὰ τὸ ἐγγὺς εἶναι Ἱερουσαλὴμ αὐτὸν καὶ δοκεῖν αὐτοὺς ὅτι παραχρῆμα μέλλει ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀναφαίνεσθαι·

 

Only Luke had this unique introduction to this parable.  He said that as the disciples were listening to these things (Ἀκουόντων δὲ αὐτῶν ταῦτα), presumably the story about Zacchaeus, Jesus proceeded to tell another parable (προσθεὶς εἶπεν παραβολὴν).  He was near his Jerusalem goal (διὰ τὸ ἐγγὺς εἶναι Ἱερουσαλὴμ αὐτὸν), which meant that he was in Jericho or between Jericho and Jerusalem.  The disciples supposed or thought (καὶ δοκεῖν αὐτοὺς) that the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) was about to appear immediately or soon (ὅτι παραχρῆμα μέλλει…ἀναφαίνεσθαι).  Somehow the disciples assumed that if they got to Jerusalem, the kingdom of God would be revealed to them.  They anticipated that the messianic age would happen.  Some more revolutionary followers may have even expected a political earthly kingdom to be established, in opposition to the Roman occupation.  This parable was meant to tone down their expectations about an earthly kingdom and the immediacy of this new heavenly kingdom.  Do you expect the the kingdom of God to come soon?

He could see (Lk 18:43-18:43)

“Immediately,

The blind beggar

Regained his sight.

He followed Jesus,

Glorifying God.

All the people,

When they saw it,

Praised God.”

 

καὶ παραχρῆμα ἀνέβλεψεν, καὶ ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ δοξάζων τὸν Θεόν. καὶ πᾶς ὁ λαὸς ἰδὼν ἔδωκεν αἶνον τῷ Θεῷ.

 

Luke said that immediately (καὶ παραχρῆμα), the blind beggar regained his sight (ἀνέβλεψεν).  He followed Jesus (καὶ ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ), glorifying God (δοξάζων τὸν Θεόν).  All the people (καὶ πᾶς ὁ λαὸς), when they saw it (ἰδὼν), gave praise to God (ἔδωκεν αἶνον τῷ Θεῷ).  Mark, chapter 10:52, and Matthew, chapter 20:34, had something similar, but without anything about praise or glory.  Mark said that immediately (καὶ εὐθὺς), Bartimaeus regained his sight (ἀνέβλεψεν) and followed Jesus on his way (καὶ ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ), as Bartimaeus became a disciple of Jesus.  There was no physical contact in this healing of the blind man in Luke and Mark.  The two blind men in Matthew also became disciples of Jesus.  However, Matthew did not mention their faith explicitly as in Mark and Luke.  Do you wear corrective lenses to improve your eyesight?

Sit at the table (Lk 17:7-17:7)

“Who among you

Would say

To your slave,

Who had just come in

From plowing

Or tending sheep

In the field.

‘Come here at once!

Take your place

At the table’?”

 

Τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν δοῦλον ἔχων ἀροτριῶντα ἢ ποιμαίνοντα, ὃς εἰσελθόντι ἐκ τοῦ ἀγροῦ ἐρεῖ αὐτῷ Εὐθέως παρελθὼν ἀνάπεσε,

 

Once again, Luke uniquely has a saying of Jesus that is not in the other synoptic gospels.  Jesus asked who among them would say to their slave (Τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν δοῦλον), who had just come in from the field (ὃς εἰσελθόντι ἐκ τοῦ ἀγροῦ), after plowing (ἔχων ἀροτριῶντα) or tending the sheep (ἢ ποιμαίνοντα), to immediately take his place reclining at the table with them (ἐρεῖ αὐτῷ Εὐθέως παρελθὼν ἀνάπεσε).  Obviously, slavery was considered okay.  Slaves were in a separate category from the land owners.  No one would invite his slave to share a meal with them.  Does that sound harsh to you?