The dead son is alive (Lk 15:24-15:24)

“This son of mine

Was dead.

He is alive again!

He was lost

And is found!’

They began

To celebrate.”

 

ὅτι οὗτος ὁ υἱός μου νεκρὸς ἦν καὶ ἀνέζησεν, ἦν ἀπολωλὼς καὶ εὑρέθη. καὶ ἤρξαντο εὐφραίνεσθαι.

 

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 the father of this returning son said that his son was dead (ὅτι οὗτος ὁ υἱός μου νεκρὸς).  Now he was alive again (ἦν καὶ ἀνέζησεν).  He was lost (ἦν ἀπολωλὼς) and now was found (καὶ εὑρέθη).  Thus, they began to celebrate (καὶ ἤρξαντο εὐφραίνεσθαι).  Once again, there was the theme of celebrating or rejoicing when they found something or someone who was lost.  First it was the sheep, then the coin, and here the son.  Rejoice and be merry when you find something or someone who was lost!  Do you celebrate finding things or people?

Rejoicing over the found coin (Lk 15:9-15:9)

“When she has found it,

She calls together

Her friends

And neighbors,

Saying.

‘Rejoice with me!

I have found

The coin

That I had lost.’”

 

καὶ εὑροῦσα συνκαλεῖ τὰς φίλας καὶ γείτονας λέγουσα Συνχάρητέ μοι, ὅτι εὗρον τὴν δραχμὴν ἣν ἀπώλεσα.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with this parable story.  He said that when this woman had found the lost drachma (καὶ εὑροῦσα), she would call together (συνκαλεῖ) her friends (τὰς φίλας) and her neighbors (καὶ γείτονας).  She would say to them (λέγουσα) that they should rejoice with her (Συνχάρητέ μοι) because she had found her lost coin (ὅτι εὗρον τὴν δραχμὴν ἣν ἀπώλεσα).  This is almost word for word the same as the celebration at the finding of the lost sheep.  There the shepherd called together (συνκαλεῖ) his friends (τοὺς φίλους) and neighbors (καὶ τοὺς γείτονας).  He said to them (λέγων αὐτοῖς) to come rejoice with him (Συνχάρητέ μοι) because he had found his lost sheep (ὅτι εὗρον τὸ πρόβατόν μου τὸ ἀπολωλός).  Search diligently until you find it.  Then rejoice over your good fortune in finding it with friends and neighbors.  Have you ever celebrated when you found something that was lost?

One hundred sheep (Lk 15:4-15:4)

“Which one of you

Having a hundred sheep,

And losing

One of them,

Does not leave

The ninety-nine

In the wilderness?

You would

Go after the one

That was lost,

Until you found it.”

 

Τίς ἄνθρωπος ἐξ ὑμῶν ἔχων ἑκατὸν πρόβατα καὶ ἀπολέσας ἐξ αὐτῶν ἓν οὐ καταλείπει τὰ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ καὶ πορεύεται ἐπὶ τὸ ἀπολωλὸς ἕως εὕρῃ αὐτό;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus questioned them whether anyone of them (Τίς ἄνθρωπος ἐξ ὑμῶν) who had 100 sheep (ἔχων ἑκατὸν πρόβατα), but lost one of them (καὶ ἀπολέσας ἐξ αὐτῶν ἓν), would then not leave the 99 in the open field wilderness (οὐ καταλείπει τὰ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ)?  He would go after the one that was lost (καὶ πορεύεται ἐπὶ τὸ ἀπολωλὸς), until he found it (ἕως εὕρῃ αὐτό).  This parable of the lost sheep can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:12, with some minor changes, perhaps a Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that this person, man, or shepherd had 100 sheep (ἐὰν γένηταί τινι ἀνθρώπῳ ἑκατὸν πρόβατα).  One of these sheep wandered away from the rest of them and was lost (καὶ πλανηθῇ ἓν ἐξ αὐτῶν).  Thus, would he not leave the other 99 sheep in the mountains (οὐχὶ ἀφήσει τὰ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα ἐπὶ τὰ ὄρη)?  He would then search for the lost sheep that had wandered away (καὶ πορευθεὶς ζητεῖ τὸ πλανώμενον).  This was a simple question.  Would you leave 99 sheep to search for one lost sheep?

The better portion (Lk 10:42-10:42)

“There is need

Of only one thing.

Mary has chosen

The better part.

It will not be

Taken away

From her.”

 

ὀλίγων δέ ἐστιν χρεία ἢ ἑνός· Μαριὰμ γὰρ τὴν ἀγαθὴν μερίδα ἐξελέξατο, ἥτις οὐκ ἀφαιρεθήσεται αὐτῆς.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that there was need of only one thing (ὀλίγων δέ ἐστιν χρεία ἢ ἑνός).  Mary had chosen the better part (Μαριὰμ γὰρ τὴν ἀγαθὴν μερίδα ἐξελέξατο), in listening.  This would not be taken away from her (ἥτις οὐκ ἀφαιρεθήσεται αὐτῆς).  Jesus was clear, being a listening disciple was better than running around serving people.  Listening was important.  Household duties can wait.  Martha, the welcoming lady, lost out to her listening sister, Mary.  Quit complaining.  Just do the work and listen to Jesus.  Do you prefer to work or listen?

The wineskins (Lk 5:37-5:37)

“No one

Puts new wine

Into old wineskins.

Otherwise,

The new wine

Will burst

The skins.

It will be spilled.

The skins

Will be destroyed.”

 

καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς· εἰ δὲ μήγε, ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος ὁ νέος τοὺς ἀσκούς, καὶ αὐτὸς ἐκχυθήσεται καὶ οἱ ἀσκοὶ ἀπολοῦνται

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that no one puts new wine (καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον) into old wineskins (εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς).  Otherwise (εἰ δὲ μήγε), the new wine will burst the wineskins (ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος ὁ νέος τοὺς ἀσκούς).  The wine will be spilled (καὶ αὐτὸς ἐκχυθήσεται).  The skins will be destroyed (καὶ οἱ ἀσκοὶ ἀπολοῦνται).  Mark, chapter 2:22, and Matthew, chapter 9:17, are similar to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this saying about wineskins.  Mark and Matthew had Jesus continue with his metaphors or parables.  No one would pour new wine into old wineskins or leather pouches, because the pouches would crack.  Thus, the old wineskins would burst open.  The new wine would be spilled, lost, or destroyed, as well as the wine containers themselves.

Salt is good (Mk 9:50-9:50

“Salt is good.

But if salt

Has lost

Its saltiness,

How can you

Season it?

Have salt

In yourselves.

Be at peace

With one another!”

 

καλὸν τὸ ἅλας· ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας ἄναλον γένηται, ἐν τίνι αὐτὸ ἀρτύσετε; ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἅλα καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις.

 

This saying of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 5:13, and Luke, chapter 14:34.  Salt was important not just as a spice and preservative but it represented wisdom and purity in the ancient world and Judaism.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that salt was good (καλὸν τὸ ἅλας).  However, if the salt has lost its taste or saltiness (ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας ἄναλον γένηται), if it is insipid, how can the taste be restored to the salt (ἐν τίνι αὐτὸ ἀρτύσετε)?  How can you season the salt?  Jesus then turned to his followers.  He told them that they should have salt within themselves (ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἅλα), not exactly salt of the earth but close enough.  They should be at peace with one another (καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις).  There was no indication here about throwing salt away because it had become useless as in Matthew and Luke.  Salt would bring about brotherly peace or love.

What is the value of the whole world? (Mk 8:36-8:37)

“What will

It profit them

To gain

The whole world

And forfeit

Their life?

Indeed,

What can they give

In return

For their life?”

 

τί γὰρ ὠφελεῖ ἄνθρωπον κερδῆσαι τὸν κόσμον ὅλον καὶ ζημιωθῆναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ;

τί γὰρ δοῖ ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ

 

Something similar can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:26, Luke, chapter 9:25, and here, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus asked what was the profit or benefit for a person (τί γὰρ ὠφελεῖ ἄνθρωπον) to gain the whole world (κερδῆσαι τὸν κόσμον ὅλον) if they lost their life or soul (καὶ ζημιωθῆναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ)?  What will a person give up in exchange for his life or soul (τί γὰρ δοῖ ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ)?  Give up your life to Jesus, and you will live.