Prepare supper (Lk 17:8-17:8)

“Would you not rather say

To him.

‘Prepare supper

For me!

Put on your apron!

Serve me

While I eat

And drink!

Later,

You shall eat

And drink’?”

 

ἀλλ’ οὐχὶ ἐρεῖ αὐτῷ Ἑτοίμασον τί δειπνήσω, καὶ περιζωσάμενος διακόνει μοι ἕως φάγω καὶ πίω, καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα φάγεσαι καὶ πίεσαι σύ;

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that they would say to their slave (ἀλλ’ οὐχὶ ἐρεῖ αὐτῷ), who was returning from the field, that he should prepare the supper for him (Ἑτοίμασον τί δειπνήσω).  Instead, this land owner would tell the slave to put on his apron or gird himself (καὶ περιζωσάμενος), so that this slave might serve him (διακόνει μοι), while he ate and drank (ἕως φάγω καὶ πίω).  Then later after all this had been taken care when the owner had eaten and drank (καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα), then the slave would be allowed to eat and drink (φάγεσαι καὶ πίεσαι σύ).  There clearly was a caste system.  The slaves did not eat with their land owners.  They would have to serve their master, before they could eat their own food.  What do you think about this kind of system?

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Feed the pigs (Lk 15:15-15:15)

“Thus,

He went

And hired himself out

To one of the citizens

Of that country.

He sent him

To his fields

To feed the pigs.”

 

καὶ πορευθεὶς ἐκολλήθη ἑνὶ τῶν πολιτῶν τῆς χώρας ἐκείνης, καὶ ἔπεμψεν αὐτὸν εἰς τοὺς ἀγροὺς αὐτοῦ βόσκειν χοίρους·

 

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 this young prodigal son went and hired himself out (καὶ πορευθεὶς ἐκολλήθη) to one of the citizens of that country (ἑνὶ τῶν πολιτῶν τῆς χώρας ἐκείνης), where he was living.  This land owner sent him to his fields (καὶ ἔπεμψεν αὐτὸν εἰς τοὺς ἀγροὺς αὐτοῦ) to feed the pigs (βόσκειν χοίρους).  Obvious, this was a non-Jewish country where pigs were raised for food, not a Jewish country where there would be no pork eaten.  What could be more humiliating for a Jewish person than taking care of unclean swine or pigs?  Have you ever had a job that you felt was degrading to you?

The parable of the rich man (Lk 12:16-12:16)

“Then he told them

A parable.

He said.

‘The land

Of a rich man

Produced abundantly.”

 

Εἶπεν δὲ παραβολὴν πρὸς αὐτοὺς λέγων Ἀνθρώπου τινὸς πλουσίου εὐφόρησεν ἡ χώρα

 

Next Luke uniquely had Jesus say that he was going to tell them a parable (Εἶπεν δὲ παραβολὴν πρὸς αὐτοὺς λέγων) about a certain rich man (Ἀνθρώπου τινὸς πλουσίου) who had land that produced abundantly (εὐφόρησεν ἡ χώρα).  Luke was the strongest synoptic against wealth and reliance on it.  Here the story is about a rich land owner with a fertile farm.  What do you know about farms?

You could be asleep (Mk 13:36-13:36)

“Otherwise,

He may find you

Asleep,

When he comes

Suddenly.”

 

 μὴ ἐλθὼν ἐξαίφνης εὕρῃ ὑμᾶς καθεύδοντας.

 

This saying is unique to Mark.  Jesus warned that the land owner might find them asleep (εὕρῃ ὑμᾶς καθεύδοντας), if he returned or came back suddenly (μὴ ἐλθὼν ἐξαίφνης).  You had to be vigilant all the time, including night time.

 

The first laborers hired (Mt 20:2-20:2)

“He agreed

With the laborers

For the usual daily wage.

He sent them

Into his vineyard.”

 

συμφωνήσας δὲ μετὰ τῶν ἐργατῶν ἐκ δηναρίου τὴν ἡμέραν ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew.  Jesus continued with his parable.  This land owner hired the first group of day laborers.  They came to a mutual understanding.  This land owner agreed and the day laborers also agreed to accept one denarius as payment for that day, the usual or common wage for a day’s work (συμφωνήσας δὲ μετὰ τῶν ἐργατῶν ἐκ δηναρίου τὴν ἡμέραν).  This Roman silver coin was worth about $.15 USA.  They would work all day for about 15 cents.  Then he sent them into his vineyard to pick the grapes (ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ).  So far, so good, nothing unusual here.  A land owner and some workers agreed on a day’s pay that was not extravagant, without any middle man.