No party for the older brother (Lk 15:29-15:29)

“But he answered

His father.

‘Listen!

All these years

I have been working

Like a slave

For you.

I never disobeyed

Your command.

Yet you never given me

Even a young goat

So that

I might celebrate

With my friends.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν τῷ πατρὶ Ἰδοὺ τοσαῦτα ἔτη δουλεύω σοι καὶ οὐδέποτε ἐντολήν σου παρῆλθον, καὶ ἐμοὶ οὐδέποτε ἔδωκας ἔριφον ἵνα μετὰ τῶν φίλων μου εὐφρανθῶ

 

This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the older son answered his father by saying (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν τῷ πατρὶ) that all these years he had been working like a slave or servant for his father (Ἰδοὺ τοσαῦτα ἔτη δουλεύω σοι).  He never disobeyed any of his commands (καὶ οὐδέποτε ἐντολήν σου παρῆλθον).  Yet his father had never even given him a young goat (καὶ ἐμοὶ οὐδέποτε ἔδωκας ἔριφον) so that he could celebrate with his friends (ἵνα μετὰ τῶν φίλων μου εὐφρανθῶ).  The older son was mad at his father because he had done everything right for many years, but he was never allowed to have any celebrations with his friends.  He had tried to do the right thing, but he was never rewarded for that.  Do you ever feel taken for granted because you always try to do what is right?

 

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John and James want to set a fire (Lk 9:54-9:54)

“When his disciples,

James

And John,

Saw this,

They said.

‘Lord!

Do you want us

To command fire

To come down

From heaven

And consume them?’”

 

ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης εἶπαν Κύριε, θέλεις εἴπωμεν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς;

 

Luke continued his unique story about this trip in Samaria.  He noted that Jesus’ disciples (δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ), James and John (Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης), the Zebedee brothers, the sons of thunder, saw (ἰδόντες) what this village did.  They asked Jesus (καὶ Ἰωάνης εἶπαν), calling him Lord (Κύριε), if he wanted them (θέλεις) to call down fire (εἴπωμεν πῦρ) from heaven (ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ) in order to consume them (καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς).  Elijah, in 2 Kings, chapter 1:9-16, called down fire to consume the 100 messengers of the northern Israelite King of Samaria, King Ahaziah.  Did John and James want to do something like that?  Have you ever been so mad that you wanted to destroy some people?

Yahweh responds to Jonah (Jon 4:9-4:11)

“But God

Said to Jonah.

‘Is it right

For you

To be angry

About the bush?’

Jonah said.

‘Yes,

Angry enough to die.’

Yahweh said.

‘You are concerned

About the bush

For which you did not labor.

You did not grow it.

It came into being

In a night.

It perished

In a night.

Should I not be concerned

About Nineveh,

That great city,

In which there are more

Than a hundred

And twenty thousand persons,

Who do not know

Their right hand

From their left hand.

There are also many animals.”

Thus, the story of Jonah ends with a reprimand for Jonah.  Jonah continued to argue that he had the right to be mad.  At times, he sounded like Job and his complaints.  God, not Yahweh, asked him if he had a right to be angry.  Jonah insisted that he was so angry that he was willing to die.  Then Yahweh asked him about the bush.  It appeared one day and was gone the next day.  Jonah did nothing to make it grow, so why was he so angry about the dead bush.  On the other hand, Yahweh was concerned about the great city of Nineveh with 120,000 people and lots of animals.  Yet, there was a parting shot at the people of Nineveh.  Apparently, they were so dumb that they could not tell their right hand from their left hand.

Jonah was not happy (Jon 4:1-4:1)

But this was

Very displeasing

To Jonah.

He became angry.”

Not only did Jonah refuse to take on this mission originally, now he was mad that God had not followed through on his original proclamation.  He looked like a fool, since he went around screaming about the 40 days until Nineveh would be destroyed.  Now, there was to be no destruction.  Jonah was not a happy man.  He was angry.

Jonah admits that he is the problem (Jon 1:12-1:12)

“Jonah said to them.

‘Pick me up!

Throw me

Into the sea!

Then the sea

Will quiet down

For you.

I know

That it is because of me

That this great storm

Has come upon you.’”

Jonah was quite frank with these sailors.  He told them to pick him up and throw him into the sea.  Then the sea would quiet down for them.  He knew that this great storm came to them because of him, since Yahweh was mad at him.

The days of punishment have come (Hos 9:7-9:7)

“The days of punishment

Have come.

The days of recompense

Have come.

Israel cries.

‘The prophet is a fool!

The man of the spirit is mad!’

Because of your great iniquity,

Your hostility is great.”

Hosea declared that the day of punishment and compensation has come to Israel. Meanwhile, the Israelites cried out that the prophets were fools. They said that the spiritual men were mad. All of this great iniquity happened, because their hostility was so great.

Yahweh will rescue the sheep (Ezek 34:9-34:10)

“Therefore,

You shepherds!

Hear

The word of Yahweh!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I am

Against the shepherds!

I will demand

My sheep

At their hand.

I will put a stop

To their feeding

Of the sheep.

No longer

Shall the shepherds

Feed themselves.

I will rescue

My sheep

From their mouths.

Thus,

These sheep

May not

Be food

For them.’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was mad at the shepherds of Israel. They were to listen to the word of Yahweh. Yahweh, their God, wanted his sheep back. These shepherds or leaders of Israel were to stop eating his sheep. Yahweh was going to rescue his sheep from the mouths of these shepherds. Yahweh’s sheep would no longer be their food.