No stones untouched (Lk 21:5-21:6)

“Jesus said.

‘As for these things

That you see,

The days will come

When not one stone

Will be left upon another.

All will be thrown down.’”

 

εἶπεν Ταῦτα ἃ θεωρεῖτε, ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι ἐν αἷς οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθῳ ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (εἶπεν) that these things that they saw or were looking at (Ταῦτα ἃ θεωρεῖτε,) would be different in the days to come (ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι).  Not one stone would be left upon another (ἐν αἷς οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθῳ ὃς οὐ).  All would be thrown down (καταλυθήσεται).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:2, almost word for word, with Mark, chapter 13:2.  Mark said that Jesus asked this disciple (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) if he saw all these great buildings (Βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς)?  Jesus told him that not one stone would be left on another stone of the Temple buildings (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον).  All of the Temple buildings would be torn down, thrown down, or destroyed (ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ).  Matthew said that Jesus answered them (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς).  He asked them if they had not seen all these buildings (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Οὐ βλέπετε ταῦτα πάντα).  Then in a solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), that was not in Luke or Mark, he told them that not one stone would be left on another stone here at the Temple (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον).  All of the Temple buildings would be torn down or thrown down (ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται).  In fact, in 70 CE, within 40 years after the time of Jesus, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by the Romans in their war with Israel.  However, threats against the Jerusalem Temple had been common among the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures, especially before the Exile in the 7th and 6th century BCE.  Have you ever seen a church or temple destroyed?

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They seek to destroy Jesus (Lk 19:47-19:47)

“Everyday,

Jesus was teaching

In the Temple.

The chief priests,

The Scribes,

And the leaders

Of the people

Kept looking

For a way

To kill him.”

 

Καὶ ἦν διδάσκων τὸ καθ’ ἡμέραν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ· οἱ δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν ἀπολέσαι καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι τοῦ λαοῦ,

 

Luke said that everyday Jesus was teaching in the Temple (Καὶ ἦν διδάσκων τὸ καθ’ ἡμέραν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ).  The chief priests (οἱ δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς), the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς), and the other leaders of the people (καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι τοῦ λαοῦ,) kept looking for a way to kill or destroy Jesus (ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν ἀπολέσαι).  There were no Pharisees or Sadducees mentioned here, but these other people were trying to figure out a way to kill Jesus.  There was something similar in Mark, chapter 11:17.  Mark said that the chief priests and the Scribes heard about this incident in the Temple (καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς).  Thus, they kept seeking or looking for a way to destroy or kill Jesus (καὶ ἐζήτουν πῶς αὐτὸν ἀπολέσωσιν).  This cleansing of the Temple may have been the immediate event that caused the Jerusalem elders to be suspicious of Jesus.  However, there was nothing like this in Matthew.  Would you be suspicious if someone disrupted your religious services?

Cut the tree down (Lk 13:7-13:7)

“Thus,

He said

To the gardener.

‘See!

For three years,

I have come

Looking for fruit

On this fig tree.

Still,

I find none.

Cut it down!

Why should it

Be wasting the soil?’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τὸν ἀμπελουργόν Ἰδοὺ τρία ἔτη ἀφ’ οὗ ἔρχομαι ζητῶν καρπὸν ἐν τῇ συκῇ ταύτῃ καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκω· ἔκκοψον αὐτήν· ἵνα τί καὶ τὴν γῆν καταργεῖ;

 

Luke uniquely had Jesus continue with this parable story of the fig tree.  Jesus said that this fig tree owner spoke to his gardener (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τὸν ἀμπελουργόν).  He told him that for 3 years (Ἰδοὺ τρία ἔτη ἀφ’ οὗ), he had come looking for fruit on this fig tree (ἔρχομαι ζητῶν καρπὸν ἐν τῇ συκῇ ταύτῃ).  However, he did not find any (καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκω).  He told the gardener to cut it down (ἔκκοψον αὐτήν) because it was only wasting the soil (ἵνα τί καὶ τὴν γῆν καταργεῖ).  In other words, this fig tree did not have any fruit for 3 years.  Why not get rid of it?  The 3 years may represent the 3 years that Jesus was preaching and teaching with little results.  Have you ever been disappointed for 3 straight years?

The parable of the fig tree (Lk 13:6-13:6)

“Then Jesus

Told this parable.

‘A man had a fig tree

Planted in his vineyard.

He came

Looking for fruit

On it.

But he found none.’”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ ταύτην τὴν παραβολήν. συκῆν εἶχέν τις πεφυτευμένην ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἦλθεν ζητῶν καρπὸν ἐν αὐτῇ καὶ οὐχ εὗρεν.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus told this parable (Ἔλεγεν δὲ ταύτην τὴν παραβολήν) about a barren fig tree.  Although, Matthew, chapter 21:18-20, and Mark, chapter 11:12-14, had Jesus find a barren fig tree and curse it, they did not have this barren fig tree parable.  Jesus said that a man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard (συκῆν εἶχέν τις πεφυτευμένην ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι αὐτοῦ).  He came looking for fruit on it (καὶ ἦλθεν ζητῶν καρπὸν ἐν αὐτῇ).  However, it did not have any (καὶ οὐχ εὗρεν), because it was barren.  Pure and simple, this fig tree did not have any figs on it, when the owner tried to get some figs.  Have you ever looked for fruit on a tree and found none?

The unclean spirit (Lk 11:24-11:24)

“When an unclean spirit

Has gone out

Of a person,

He wanders through

Waterless regions,

Looking for

A resting place.

Finding none,

He says.

‘I will return

To my house

From which I came.’”

 

Ὅταν τὸ ἀκάθαρτον πνεῦμα ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, διέρχεται δι’ ἀνύδρων τόπων ζητοῦν ἀνάπαυσιν, καὶ μὴ εὑρίσκον λέγει Ὑποστρέψω εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου ὅθεν ἐξῆλθον·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that when an unclean spirit had gone out of a person (Ὅταν τὸ ἀκάθαρτον πνεῦμα ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου), this unclean spirit wandered through waterless regions (διέρχεται δι’ ἀνύδρων τόπων), looking for a resting place (ζητοῦν ἀνάπαυσιν).  After he did not find any resting place (καὶ μὴ εὑρίσκον), he said (λέγει) that he would return (Ὑποστρέψω) to his house where he came from (εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου ὅθεν ἐξῆλθον).  This saying about the unclean spirit can also be found almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 12:43-44, indicating a Q source.  This unclean spirit left a person or a man (Ὅταν δὲ τὸ ἀκάθαρτον πνεῦμα ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου), after an exorcism or healing of a person.  This evil spirit wandered in a waterless dry areas or desert (διέρχεται δι’ ἀνύδρων τόπων), which would be the favorite places for evil spirits.  However, he would not be able to find (καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκει) any resting place that he was looking for (ζητοῦν ἀνάπαυσιν).  This unclean spirit said to himself that he would return to his house or the place or person that he had come from (τότε λέγει Εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου ἐπιστρέψω ὅθεν ἐξῆλθον).  The unclean spirit was going to return to where he came from after his expulsion.  Would he be able to get back into that person?  Have you ever returned to a place where you once called home?

You will receive (Lk 11:10-11:10)

“Everyone who asks,

Receives.

Everyone who seeks,

Finds.

Everyone who knocks,

The door will be opened.”

 

πᾶς γὰρ ὁ αἰτῶν λαμβάνει, καὶ ὁ ζητῶν εὑρίσκει, καὶ τῷ κρούοντι ἀνοιγήσεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that everyone who asks for things (πᾶς γὰρ ὁ αἰτῶν), receives them (λαμβάνει).  Everyone who seeks things (καὶ ὁ ζητῶν), finds them (εὑρίσκει).  Everyone who knocks (καὶ τῷ κρούοντι), that door will be opened for him (ἀνοιγήσεται).  This almost seems like a repeat of the preceding verse, but it is really an elaboration of the same concepts.  Matthew, chapter 7:8, has a similar saying of Jesus, almost word for word, indicating a common Q source.  Everyone who asked, would receive (πᾶς γὰρ ὁ αἰτῶν λαμβάνει) what he asked for.  The seeker will find (καὶ ὁ ζητῶν εὑρίσκει), what he is looking for.  The one knocking will see it open (καὶ τῷ κρούοντι ἀνοιγήσεται).  All is well that ends well.  You just need a little effort in your prayer to the heavenly Father.  Do you ask thing from God the Father?

Understanding the parables (Lk 8:10-8:10)

“Jesus said.

‘To you

It has been given

To know the secrets

Of the kingdom

Of God.

But to others,

I speak in parables.

Thus,

Looking,

They may not perceive!

Listening,

They may not understand!’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ὑμῖν δέδοται γνῶναι τὰ μυστήρια τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ, τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς ἐν παραβολαῖς, ἵνα βλέποντες μὴ βλέπωσιν καὶ ἀκούοντες μὴ συνιῶσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) to his disciples that they would be able to understand the secrets (Ὑμῖν δέδοται γνῶναι τὰ μυστήρια) of the kingdom of God (τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ).  But to others (τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς), he would be speaking in parables or riddles (ἐν παραβολαῖς).  Thus, these people might look (ἵνα βλέποντες), but not see (μὴ βλέπωσιν).  They might listen (καὶ ἀκούοντες), but not understand (μὴ συνιῶσιν).  This response of Jesus about the meaning of parables can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:11-12, and Matthew, chapter 13:11-15, and here.  Matthew and Mark also said that Jesus told his disciples that they had been given knowledge concerning the secret mysteries about the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God.  However, this was not granted to others.  Matthew had Jesus explain that those who had more knowledge, even more abundant knowledge would be given to them.  However, those who had nothing, even what little they had would be taken away.  The reason that Jesus spoke in parables was that some people might see, but not perceive what they saw, while other people might hear but not understand what they have heard.  For people outside their disciple group, everything was still in parables or riddles.  Only those on the inside would understand these parables, while those outside the inner circle of Jesus would not understand these riddles.  This was almost like a gnostic interpretation of knowledge, where only the elite insiders had a true secret knowledge about the mysteries and the kingdom of God and heaven.  Matthew also had a long citation from Isaiah, chapter 6:9-10, about the people unable to understand, while Luke, and Mark had only a short summary statement.  Isaiah told the Israelite people that they were listening without comprehending.  They were looking without understanding.  Their hearts were dull and their eyes and ears were closed.  They were experiencing and listening, but they could not hear or understand.  Do you understand what you see and hear?