Redemption is coming (Lk 21:28-21:28)

“When these things

Begin to take place,

Look up!

Raise your heads!

Your redemption

Is drawing near.”

 

ἀρχομένων δὲ τούτων γίνεσθαι ἀνακύψατε καὶ ἐπάρατε τὰς κεφαλὰς ὑμῶν, διότι ἐγγίζει ἡ ἀπολύτρωσις ὑμῶν.

 

Among all the common elements, Luke has this unique comment of Jesus, that is not in Mark or Matthew.  Jesus said that when these things begin to take place (ἀρχομένων δὲ τούτων γίνεσθαι), they were to look up (ἀνακύψατε) and raise their heads (καὶ ἐπάρατε τὰς κεφαλὰς ὑμῶν), because their redemption was drawing near (διότι ἐγγίζει ἡ ἀπολύτρωσις ὑμῶν).  Only Luke concluded that their redemption or ransom was coming soon.  Do you expect to be saved or redeemed?

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The tax collector prayer (Lk 18:13-18:13)

“But the tax collector,

Standing far off,

Would not even

Look up to heaven.

But he was beating

His breast.

Saying.

‘God!

Be merciful to me

A sinner!’”

 

ὁ δὲ τελώνης μακρόθεν ἑστὼς οὐκ ἤθελεν οὐδὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἐπᾶραι εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν, ἀλλ’ ἔτυπτεν τὸ στῆθος αὐτοῦ λέγων Ὁ Θεός, ἱλάσθητί μοι τῷ ἁμαρτωλῷ

 

Luke has Jesus continue with this parable about a Pharisee and this tax collector that is only found in this gospel.  Luke indicated that Jesus then turned to the tax collector (ὁ δὲ τελώνης), who was standing far off or a distance away (μακρόθεν ἑστὼς).  He would not even look up or lift his eyes to heaven (οὐκ ἤθελεν οὐδὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἐπᾶραι εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν).  He was beating his breast (ἀλλ’ ἔτυπτεν τὸ στῆθος αὐτοῦ), a common form of penance.  He prayed to God (λέγων Ὁ Θεός) that God would be merciful to him (ἱλάσθητί μοι) a sinner (τῷ ἁμαρτωλῷ).  Instead of thanking God for being good, this tax collector admitted his guilt, not looking up, but striking his breast, asking God to be merciful to him because he was a sinner.  We have two different regular activities, and two different attitudes.  The Pharisee was a better actor in doing the right thing, but had a bad attitude.  The tax collector was not doing the right thing, but had a better attitude.  Are you a good doer or do you have a good attitude?

The vision of the woman in the basket (Zech 5:5-5:7)

“Then the angel

Who talked with me

Came forward.

He said to me.

‘Look up!

See what this is

That is coming out.’

I said.

‘What is it?’

He said.

‘This is a basket coming out.

Then he said.

‘This is their iniquity

In all the land.’

Then a leaden cover

Was lifted.

There was a woman

Sitting in the basket.”

Next this angel revealed the 7th vision to Zechariah.  He told Zechariah to look up.  He asked him what he saw.  Zechariah responded that he saw a basket coming towards him.  The angel explained that the basket was full of iniquity from the whole land.  Then the lead cover of the basket was lifted to show a woman sitting in this basket, as if iniquity came from women.

The deaf and blind people (Isa 42:18-42:21)

“Hear!

You deaf!

Look up!

See!

You blind!

Who is blind but my servant?

Who is deaf?

Like my messenger whom I send?

Who is blind?

Like my dedicated one?

Who is blind?

Like the servant of Yahweh?

He sees many things.

But he does not observe them.

His ears are open.

But he does not hear.

Yahweh was pleased,

For the sake of his righteousness.

He wants to magnify his law.

He wants to make it glorious.”

This time in Second Isaiah, the servant of Yahweh is clearly the Israelite community that is blind and deaf to him. The deaf servant should listen and the blind servant should look up and see. These servants of Yahweh were blind and deaf messengers. They seem to see things, but they do not observe them. They seem to have their ears open, but they do not hear. Yahweh wanted to magnify his law and make it glorious, but it was difficult with these deaf and blind Israelite servants.