Rejection (Lk 10:16-10:16)

“Whoever listens

To you,

Listens

To me.

Whoever rejects you,

Rejects me.

Whoever rejects me,

Rejects the one

Who sent me.”

 

Ὁ ἀκούων ὑμῶν ἐμοῦ ἀκούει, καὶ ὁ ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς ἐμὲ ἀθετεῖ· ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν ἀθετεῖ τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that whoever listened to his disciples (Ὁ ἀκούων ὑμῶν), listened to him (ἐμοῦ ἀκούει).  Whoever rejected them (καὶ ὁ ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς), rejected him (ἐμὲ ἀθετεῖ).  Whoever rejected Jesus (ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν), rejected the one who sent him (ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν).  This is somewhat similar to Matthew, chapter 18:5, Luke, chapter 9:48, and Mark, chapter 9:37.  However, there the story was about welcoming, receiving, or accepting a little child.  Then they would welcome Jesus and then the one who sent him.  Anyone who accepted this little child in Jesus’ name, welcomed Jesus and his Father, the one who sent him.  Here, there is no mention of a child.  They were to listen to Jesus and his disciples.  If they listened to the disciples, they listened to him.  However, if they rejected his disciples, they were rejecting him and the one who sent him.  The emphasis here was on rejection, not acceptance.  Do you accept and listen to the representatives of Jesus?

The sinning brother (Mt 18:15-18:15)

“If your brother sins

Against you,

Go!

Point out the fault,

When the two of you

Are alone.

If he listens to you,

You have regained

Your brother.”

 

Ἐὰν δὲ ἁμαρτήσῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου, ὕπαγε ἔλεγξον αὐτὸν μεταξὺ σοῦ καὶ αὐτοῦ μόνου. ἐάν σου ἀκούσῃ, ἐκέρδησας τὸν ἀδελφόν σου·

 

This saying about the sinning brother has something similar in Luke, chapter 17:3, with some minor changes because Luke wanted the one offended to forgive the original offense.  Jesus said that if one of your brothers has sinned against you (Ἐὰν δὲ ἁμαρτήσῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου), point out that fault or rebuke him (ὕπαγε ἔλεγξον αὐτὸν), when the two of you are alone (μεταξὺ σοῦ καὶ αὐτοῦ μόνου).  If he listens to you (ἐάν σου ἀκούσῃ), you have regained your brother (ἐκέρδησας τὸν ἀδελφόν σου).  There was no mention of any forgiveness here.  Is this a blood brother or a fellow disciple of Jesus brother?  It appears to be a fellow follower of Jesus.

The walled in situation (Lam 3:7-3:9)

Gimel

“Yahweh has walled me about

So that I cannot escape.

He has put heavy chains

On me.

Although I call,

Although I cry for help,

He shuts out

My prayer.

He has blocked

My ways

With hewn stones.

He has made

My paths crooked.”

This author feels walled in. He cannot escape, because he has heavy chains on him. When he calls for help, no one listens to him. Yahweh has blocked his way with carved stone walls. He can no longer walk a straight path, since all his paths are crooked, like a maze. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Gimel in this acrostic poem.

Divine justice (Sir 35:13-35:21)

“The Lord is the one

Who repays.

He will repay you sevenfold.

Do not offer him a bribe!

He will not accept it.

Do not rely

On a dishonest sacrifice!

The Lord is the judge.

There is no partiality

With him.

He will not show partiality

To the poor.

He will listen to the prayer

Of one who is wronged.

He will not ignore

The supplication of the orphan.

He will not ignore

The widow

When she pours out her complains.

Do not the tears of the widow

Run down her cheek?

She cries out against those

Who have caused her to fall.

The one whose service

Is pleasing to the Lord

Will be accepted.

His prayer will reach

To the clouds.

The prayer of the humble

Pierces the clouds.

It will not rest

Until it reaches its goal.

It will not desist

Until the Most High responds.

He does justice

For the righteous.

He executes judgment.”

Sirach reminds us that the Lord repays us justly. No bribe or dishonest sacrifice will change his mind. The Lord is a judge without partiality. He listens to the prayer of those who have been wronged. He does not ignore orphans and especially crying widows who are complaining. He does accept the pleasing service of those whose prayers will go up to heaven. The prayers of the humble will pierce the clouds. They will not rest until they reach the Most High God who will respond with a righteous just judgment.

The good and the bad king (Prov 29:12-29:14)

“If a ruler listens to falsehood,

All his officials will be wicked.

The poor and the oppressor

Have this in common.

Yahweh gives light to the eyes of both of them.

If a king judges the poor with equity,

His throne will be established forever.”

If a king listens to false things, all his officials will be wicked. The poor and the oppressor have one thing in common. Yahweh gives life and light to their eyes. If a good king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will be established forever.

Shared wealth (Prov 17:1-17:5)

“Better is a dry morsel with quiet

Than a house full of feasting with strife.

A slave who deals wisely

Will rule over a child who acts shamefully.

The slave will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.

The crucible is for silver.

The furnace is for gold.

Yahweh tests the heart.

An evildoer listens to wicked lips.

A liar gives heed to a mischievous tongue.

Those who mock the poor

Insult their maker.

Those who are glad at calamity

Will not go unpunished.”

You are better off with a dry morsel of bread in quiet peaceful solitude than having a house full of feasting and strife at the same time. A slave who is wise will rule over a child who acts shamefully. In fact, this slave will gain the inheritance as if he was one of the brothers. Both silver and gold have to go through a crucible furnace. So too, Yahweh tests the human heart. An evildoer listens to wicked lips, while a liar follows mischievous tongues. Anyone who mocks poor people actually insults their maker, the creator. Those who are happy about bad news will not go unpunished.

God has the power (Ps 62:11-62:12)

“Once God has spoken.

Twice have I heard this.

That power belongs to God.

Yahweh!

Steadfast love belongs to you!

You repay to all

According to their work.”

This psalm ends with the stress on the power of God. There is a two part conversation with God. First David speaks and then he listens. David had learned that power belonged to God. Once again, there is an emphasis on the steadfast love of Yahweh. However, Yahweh is a fair God since he repays all according to their work with the concept of retribution.