Pray (Lk 18:1-18:1)

“Then Jesus told them

A parable

About the need

To pray always.

Do not grow weary!”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς πρὸς τὸ δεῖν πάντοτε προσεύχεσθαι αὐτοὺς καὶ μὴ ἐνκακεῖν,

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the judge to emphasize the importance of prayer.  Right from the beginning, he had Jesus tell them the purpose of the parable, rather than a secret that they would have to figure out.  Then Jesus told them a parable (Ἔλεγεν δὲ παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς) about the need or duty to always pray (πρὸς τὸ δεῖν πάντοτε προσεύχεσθαι αὐτοὺς).  They were not to lose heart or grow weary (καὶ μὴ ἐνκακεῖν).  Do you remember to always pray?

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Preparing for war (Lk 14:31-14:31)

“What king,

Going to wage war,

Against another king

Will not sit down

First.

Will he not consider

Whether he is able

With ten thousand

To oppose the one

Who comes

Against him

With twenty thousand?”

 

Ἢ τίς βασιλεὺς πορευόμενος ἑτέρῳ βασιλεῖ συμβαλεῖν εἰς πόλεμον οὐχὶ καθίσας πρῶτον βουλεύσεται εἰ δυνατός ἐστιν ἐν δέκα χιλιάσιν ὑπαντῆσαι τῷ μετὰ εἴκοσι χιλιάδων ἐρχομένῳ ἐπ’ αὐτόν;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told another unique story about a king (Ἢ τίς βασιλεὺς), who was planning to go to wage war (συμβαλεῖν εἰς πόλεμον) against another king (πορευόμενος ἑτέρῳ βασιλεῖ).  Would he not first sit down (οὐχὶ καθίσας πρῶτον) and consider or take counsel (βουλεύσεται) whether he was able (εἰ δυνατός ἐστιν) with ten thousand troops (ἐν δέκα χιλιάσιν) to oppose the other king who came (ὑπαντῆσαι) against him with twenty thousand troops (τῷ μετὰ εἴκοσι χιλιάδων ἐρχομένῳ ἐπ’ αὐτόν)?  Once again, Jesus was pointing out the importance of planning before any action.  Are you a good planner?

 

Listen if you have ears! (Lk 8:8-8:8)

“As he said this,

Jesus called out.

‘Let anyone

With ears

To hear,

Listen!’”

 

ταῦτα λέγων ἐφώνει Ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν ἀκουέτω.

 

This warning at the end of the sower parable can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, in Matthew, chapter 13:8, Mark, chapter 4:9, and here.  Luke ended this parable by having Jesus call out (ταῦτα λέγων ἐφώνει).  Anyone with ears to hear (Ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν), should listen (ἀκουέτω) to this parable, the same in all 3 gospel stories.  Jesus warned them.  He often mentioned the importance of hearing and listening to what he was saying.  Are you a good listener?

Baptized by John (Lk 7:29-7:29)

“All the people

Who heard this,

Including the tax collectors,

Acknowledged

The justice of God.

They had been baptized

With John’s baptism.”

 

καὶ πᾶς ὁ λαὸς ἀκούσας καὶ οἱ τελῶναι ἐδικαίωσαν τὸν Θεόν, βαπτισθέντες τὸ βάπτισμα Ἰωάνου·

 

Luke has a unique statement about everybody being baptized by John the Baptist.  He said that all the people who heard John (καὶ πᾶς ὁ λαὸς ἀκούσας), even including the tax collectors (καὶ οἱ τελῶναι), acknowledged the justice of God (ἐδικαίωσαν τὸν Θεόν).  They had been baptized with John’s baptism (βαπτισθέντες τὸ βάπτισμα Ἰωάνου).  Jesus noted that even the tax collectors listened to John the Baptist and recognized the justice or righteousness of God.  This saying of Luke indicated the importance and reach of John the Baptist and his baptism.  Do you as a sinner recognize the value of Baptism?

Faith can move mountains (Mk 11:23-11:23)

“‘Truly!

I say to you!

If you say

To this mountain.

‘Be taken up!

Be thrown

Into the sea!’

If you do not doubt

In your heart,

But believe

What you say

It will come to pass,

It will be done

For you.’”

 

ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ὃς ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ Ἄρθητι καὶ βλήθητι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, καὶ μὴ διακριθῇ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ ἀλλὰ πιστεύῃ ὅτι ὃ λαλεῖ γίνεται, ἔσται αὐτῷ.

 

This Jesus saying about faith can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:21, somewhat similar to this in Mark.  Mark said that Jesus answered with a solemn pronouncement (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) about the importance of faith.  If they had faith, they could move mountains.  They could tell a mountain (ὅτι ὃς ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ) to be lifted up or taken away (Ἄρθητι) and thrown into the sea (καὶ βλήθητι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν).  If they did not doubt it in their hearts (καὶ μὴ διακριθῇ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ), but believed what they said (ἀλλὰ πιστεύῃ ὅτι ὃ λαλεῖ γίνεται), it would happen or take place or come to pass for them (ἔσται αὐτῷ).

God has joined together (Mk 10:9-10:9)

“Therefore,

What God

Has joined together,

Let no one

Separate.”

 

ὃ οὖν ὁ Θεὸς συνέζευξεν, ἄνθρωπος μὴ χωριζέτω.

 

This concluding statement of Jesus points to the importance and indissolubility of marriage.  Matthew, chapter 19:6, has this exact same statement word for word.  The conclusion was that what God has joined together (ὃ οὖν ὁ Θεὸς συνέζευξεν), let no one separate them (ἄνθρωπος μὴ χωριζέτω).  Obviously, this saying is also often used in marriage ceremonies.

Male and female become one flesh (Mk 10:6-10:8)

“But from the beginning

Of creation,

‘God made them

Male

And female.

For this reason,

A man shall leave

His father

And his mother.

He shall be joined

To his wife.

The two shall become

One flesh.’

Thus,

They are no longer two,

But one flesh.”

 

ἀπὸ δὲ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτούς·

ἕνεκεν τούτου καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν μητέρα,

καὶ ἔσονται οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν· ὥστε οὐκέτι εἰσὶν δύο ἀλλὰ μία σάρξ.

 

This saying of Jesus that points to the importance and indissolubility of marriage can also be found in Matthew, chapter 19:4-6.  Mark indicates that Jesus used the creation story of Genesis, chapters 1:27 and 2:24, to emphasize his point.  He noted that from the beginning of creation (ἀπὸ δὲ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως) God had made humans male and female (ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτοὺς).  At the pinnacle of creation, God created humans in his image, as both men and women were created equal in God’s image.  Jesus continued that a man leaves his father and mother (ἕνεκεν τούτου καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν μητέρα).  Some Orthodox texts have the phrase about being joined to his wife (καὶ προσκολληθήσεται πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ).  The two of them then will become one flesh (καὶ ἔσονται οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν), so that they are no longer two but one flesh (ὥστε οὐκέτι εἰσὶν δύο ἀλλὰ μία σὰρξ).  Obviously, this has become part of many marriage ceremonial rituals.