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?

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The demons submit to us (Lk 10:17-10:17)

“The seventy disciples

Returned with joy,

Saying.

‘Lord!

Even the demons

Submit to us

In your name!’”

 

Ὑπέστρεψαν δὲ οἱ ἑβδομήκοντα μετὰ χαρᾶς λέγοντες Κύριε, καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ὑποτάσσεται ἡμῖν ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου.

 

Luke uniquely said that the seventy disciples returned (Ὑπέστρεψαν δὲ οἱ ἑβδομήκοντα) with joy or grace (μετὰ χαρᾶς).  They said to Jesus, calling him Lord (λέγοντες Κύριε), the demons (καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια) had submitted to them (ὑποτάσσεται ἡμῖν) in Jesus’ name (ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου).  Only Luke had anything to say about these 70 disciples.  Like the 12 apostles when they returned, these disciples were happy.  They pointed out to Jesus that even the evil spirit demons were submitting to them when they mentioned Jesus’ name.  Thus, the power of Jesus would continue.  These apostles and disciples would carry on his work. Do you think that today’s disciples of Jesus can make evil spirits submit to them?

 

The seeds on the rock have no roots (Lk 8:13-8:13)

“The seeds

On the rock

Are those who,

When they hear

The word,

Receive it with joy.

But they have no roots.

They believe

Only for a while.

In a time of temptation,

They fall away.”

 

οἱ δὲ ἐπὶ τῆς πέτρας οἳ ὅταν ἀκούσωσιν μετὰ χαρᾶς δέχονται τὸν λόγον, καὶ οὗτοι ῥίζαν οὐκ ἔχουσιν, οἳ πρὸς καιρὸν πιστεύουσιν καὶ ἐν καιρῷ πειρασμοῦ ἀφίστανται.

 

Luke said that that the seeds on the rock (οἱ δὲ ἐπὶ τῆς πέτρας) are like those who, when they heard (οἳ ὅταν ἀκούσωσιν) the word (τὸν λόγον), received it with joy (μετὰ χαρᾶς δέχονται).  However, they did not have any roots (καὶ οὗτοι ῥίζαν οὐκ ἔχουσιν).  They believed, but only for a while (οἳ πρὸς καιρὸν πιστεύουσιν).  In a time of temptation or testing (καὶ ἐν καιρῷ πειρασμοῦ), they would fall away (ἀφίστανται).  This explanation of the seeds sown on the rocky ground can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:20-21, Mark, chapter 4:16-17, and here, almost word for word.  Mark and Matthew said that Jesus explained that the seeds sown on the rocky ground were like the people who heard the word and immediately received it with joy.  Yet these seedlings did not have their own roots, but only temporary roots.  When trouble, tribulation, or persecution arose, because of the word, they immediately stumbled and fell away.  Once again, the seeds were the word.  Listening to the word was not enough, if it did not resonate or take root.  Due to this rocky ground, the early excitement of receiving the word was not good enough to sustain a continual adherence to the word.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.  How deep are your believing roots?

Rejoice! (Lk 6:23-6:23)

“Rejoice in that day!

Leap for joy!

Surely!

Your reward

Is great

In heaven!

That is what

Their ancestors

Did to the prophets.”

 

χάρητε ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ καὶ σκιρτήσατε· ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολὺς ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ· κατὰ αὐτὰ γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς προφήταις οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should rejoice that day (χάρητε ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ).  They were to leap for joy (καὶ σκιρτήσατε) because their reward would be great in heaven (ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολὺς ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ), This persecution is precisely what (κατὰ αὐτὰ) their ancestors (οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν) had done to the ancient prophets (γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς προφήταις).  This passage is very similar to Matthew, chapter 6:11, so this may be from the Q source.  Matthew also indicated that Jesus told them to rejoice and be glad because there would be a future great reward for them in heaven.  In a certain sense, they were a continuation of the Old Testament persecuted prophets who had gone before them.  This saying was like a pep talk.

Great rejoicing (Lk 1:14-1:14)

“You will have

Joy

And gladness.

Many people

Will rejoice

At his birth.”

 

καὶ ἔσται χαρά σοι καὶ ἀγαλλίασις, καὶ πολλοὶ ἐπὶ τῇ γενέσει αὐτοῦ χαρήσονται

 

Luke had the angel state the obvious.  Zechariah would have joy and gladness (καὶ ἔσται χαρά σοι καὶ ἀγαλλίασις).  The Greek word χαρά for joy can also mean grace.  Many people would rejoice at this birth of John (καὶ πολλοὶ ἐπὶ τῇ γενέσει αὐτοῦ χαρήσονται).  This would be a happy graced moment for him and many others.  The birth of a child in any family is very happy moment.

They were astonished and afraid (Mk 16:8-16:8)

“Thus,

The women went out.

They fled

From the tomb.

Terror

And amazement

Had seized them.

They said nothing

To anyone.

They were afraid.”

 

καὶ ἐξελθοῦσαι ἔφυγον ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου, εἶχεν γὰρ αὐτὰς τρόμος καὶ ἔκστασις· καὶ οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπαν· ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ.

 

This text is similar to Matthew, chapter 28:8, but there they left with joy and fear and told the other disciples.  Luke, chapter 24:10, had Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, the mother of James, and the other women tell the apostles about the resurrection.  In John, chapter 20:2, Mary Magdalene told Peter and the other beloved disciple about Jesus’ resurrection.  Here Mark said that these 3 women, left or fled from the tomb (καὶ ἐξελθοῦσαι ἔφυγον ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου) with both terror and amazement (εἶχεν γὰρ αὐτὰς τρόμος καὶ ἔκστασις).  However, they did not tell anyone (καὶ οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπαν) because they were so afraid (ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ).  This seems to be in contradiction with the other 3 gospel stories.

Explaining the seeds on rocky ground (Mk 4:16-4:17)

“These are the seeds sown

On rocky ground.

When they hear

The word,

Immediately,

They receive it

With joy.

But they did not have

Their own roots,

Only temporary ones.

Then,

When trouble

Or persecution

Arises

On account of the word,

Immediately,

They fall away.”

 

καὶ οὗτοί εἰσιν ὁμοίως οἱ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπειρόμενοι, οἳ ὅταν ἀκούσωσιν τὸν λόγον εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνουσιν αὐτόν,

καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιροί εἰσιν, εἶτα γενομένης θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ διὰ τὸν λόγον εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζονται.

 

This explanation of the seeds sown on the rocky ground can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:20-21, and Luke, chapter 8:13, almost word for word to here.  Mark said that Jesus explained that the seeds sown on the rocky ground (καὶ οὗτοί εἰσιν ὁμοίως οἱ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπειρόμενοι) were like the people who heard the word (οἳ ὅταν ἀκούσωσιν τὸν λόγον), and immediately received it with joy (εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνουσιν αὐτόν).  Yet these seedlings did not have their own roots (καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς), but only temporary roots (ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιροί εἰσιν).  When trouble, tribulation, or persecution arose (εἶτα γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ), because of the word (διὰ τὸν λόγον), they immediately stumbled and fell away (εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζεται).  Once again, the seeds are the word.  Listening to the word was not enough if it did not resonate or take root.  Due to this rocky ground, the early excitement of receiving the word was not good enough to sustain a continual adherence to the word.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.