The sinner (Lk 15:18-15:18)

“I will get up.

I will go

To my father.

I will say to him.

‘Father!

I have sinned

Against heaven

And before you.’”

 

ἀναστὰς πορεύσομαι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ ἐρῶ αὐτῷ Πάτερ, ἥμαρτον εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου,

 

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 finally, this prodigal son said that he would get up (ἀναστὰς) and go home to his father (πορεύσομαι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου).  He was going to say to his father (καὶ ἐρῶ αὐτῷ Πάτερ) that he had sinned (ἥμαρτον) against heaven (εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν) and his father (εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν).  This prodigal son finally came to his senses.  He was going to go home and ask for forgiveness from heaven and his father.  Have you ever thought about going home to ask forgiveness from your family for what you have done?

Follow me! (Lk 9:59-9:59)

“Jesus said

To another person.

‘Follow me!’

But this person said.

‘Lord!

First let me go

Bury my father!’”

 

Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς ἕτερον Ἀκολούθει μοι. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν, Κύριε, Ἐπίτρεψόν μοι πρῶτον ἀπελθόντι θάψαι τὸν πατέρα μου.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to another person (Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς ἕτερον) to follow him (Ἀκολούθει μοι).  However, this person responded (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) to Jesus by calling him “Lord (Κύριε)”.  He wanted to be allowed to first go away (Ἐπίτρεψόν μοι πρῶτον ἀπελθόντι) and bury his father (θάψαι τὸν πατέρα μου).  This saying of Jesus is almost the same in Matthew, chapter 8:21, indicating a possible Q source.  Once again, this is a harsh saying about the discipleship of Jesus.  Matthew said that another follower of Jesus said to him, calling him the “Lord” (Κύριε) that he wanted to bury his father first, as it was the Jewish custom and an important Jewish responsibility to bury people within 7 days.  How important was burying your father to you?

Put your swords away (Mt 26:52-26:54)

“Then Jesus said

To him.

‘Put your sword back

Into its place.

All who take

The sword

Will perish

By the sword.

Do you think

That I cannot appeal

To my Father?

He will at once

Send me

More than

Twelve legions

Of angels.

But how then

Should the scriptures

Be fulfilled?

It must happen

In this way.’”

 

τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ἀπόστρεψον τὴν μάχαιράν σου εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐτῆς· πάντες γὰρ οἱ λαβόντες μάχαιραν ἐν μαχαίρῃ ἀπολοῦνται.

ἢ δοκεῖς ὅτι οὐ δύναμαι παρακαλέσαι τὸν Πατέρα μου, καὶ παραστήσει μοι ἄρτι πλείω δώδεκα λεγιῶνας ἀγγέλων;

πῶς οὖν πληρωθῶσιν αἱ γραφαὶ ὅτι οὕτως δεῖ γενέσθαι;

 

This is unique to Matthew, among the synoptic gospelsHowever,  John, chapter 18:11, had Jesus tell Peter to put his sword away also.  Matthew recounted that Jesus said to the swordsman (τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) to put his sword away or put it back in the place where it belonged (Ἀπόστρεψον τὴν μάχαιράν σου εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐτῆς).  Then he said that all those who take up the sword (πάντες γὰρ οἱ λαβόντες μάχαιραν) would perish by the sword (ἐν μαχαίρῃ ἀπολοῦνται).  Live by the sword!  Die by the sword!  He reminded them that he could appeal to his Father (ἢ δοκεῖς ὅτι οὐ δύναμαι παρακαλέσαι τὸν Πατέρα μου) to send him more than 12 legions of angels (καὶ παραστήσει μοι ἄρτι πλείω δώδεκα λεγιῶνας ἀγγέλων).  Instead, these things had to happen this way to fulfill the scriptures (πῶς οὖν πληρωθῶσιν αἱ γραφαὶ ὅτι οὕτως δεῖ γενέσθαι).  There was no indication of what exact scriptures needed to be fulfilled.  Jesus maintained that he had heavenly or spiritual powers that could save him.  A legion was about 6,000 men, so that would mean about 72,000 angels could come to fight for Jesus.  However, based on the Father’s plan, this suffering was the way it was going to go.

Second prayer of Jesus (Mt 26:42-26:42)

“Again,

Jesus went away

For the second time.

He prayed.

‘My Father!

If this cannot pass

Unless I drink it,

Your will be done.’”

 

πάλιν ἐκ δευτέρου ἀπελθὼν προσηύξατο λέγων Πάτερ μου, εἰ οὐ δύναται τοῦτο παρελθεῖν ἐὰν μὴ αὐτὸ πίω, γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:39, where it is in an abbreviated form.  In Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 22, there is nothing more about these 2nd and 3rd prayers of Jesus.  Again, Jesus went away for a 2nd time (πάλιν ἐκ δευτέρου ἀπελθὼν).  He prayed to his Father (προσηύξατο λέγων Πάτερ μου) once again.  This time he said that if this cannot pass (εἰ οὐ δύναται τοῦτο παρελθεῖν), unless he drank it (ἐὰν μὴ αὐτὸ πίω), then his Father’s will should be done (, γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου).  Clearly, Jesus would have preferred not to undergo this great suffering.  However, he subordinated his will to his Father again.

The sheep on the right hand (Mt 25:34-25:34)

“Then the king

Will say to those

At his right hand.

‘Come!

You are blessed

By my Father!

Inherit the kingdom!

It has been prepared

For you

From the foundation

Of the world.”

 

τότε ἐρεῖ ὁ Βασιλεὺς τοῖς ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ Δεῦτε οἱ εὐλογημένοι τοῦ Πατρός μου, κληρονομήσατε τὴν ἡτοιμασμένην ὑμῖν βασιλείαν ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  The right side is always the good side.  Jesus said that the king, not the Son of Man, would tell those at his right hand (τότε ἐρεῖ ὁ Βασιλεὺς τοῖς ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ) that they had been blessed by his Father (οἱ εὐλογημένοι τοῦ Πατρός μου).  They would come (Δεῦτε) to inherit the kingdom (κληρονομήσατε…βασιλείαν), since it had been prepared for them (τὴν ἡτοιμασμένην ὑμῖν) from the foundation or inception of the world (ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου).  The righteous right-side sheep would inherit the kingdom of heaven that had been prepared for them since the beginning of time.  This almost sounds like predestination.

Only the Father sets up the seating arrangement (Mt 20:23-20:23)

“He said to them.

‘You will indeed drink

My cup.

But to sit

At my right hand

And at my left hand is

Not mine to grant.

It is for those

For whom

It has been prepared

By my Father.’”

 

λέγει αὐτοῖς Τὸ μὲν ποτήριόν μου πίεσθε, τὸ δὲ καθίσαι ἐκ δεξιῶν μου καὶ ἐξ εὐωνύμων οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμὸν τοῦτο δοῦναι, ἀλλ’ οἷς ἡτοίμασται ὑπὸ τοῦ Πατρός μου.

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 10:38-39, but slightly different.  Jesus said to the two sons of Zebedee (λέγει αὐτοῖς), James and John, that they would indeed drink of the suffering cup of Jesus (Τὸ μὲν ποτήριόν μου πίεσθε).  Once again, as in the previous verse, the Greek Orthodox text and the corresponding Mark text had a comment about undergoing a baptism that he was going to suffer (καὶ τὸ βάπτισμα ὃ ἐγὼ βαπτίζομαι βαπτισθήσεσθε).  However, as to sitting at the right hand (τὸ δὲ καθίσαι ἐκ δεξιῶν μου) and the left hand of Jesus (μου καὶ ἐξ εὐωνύμων), he said that he had no control over that (οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμὸν τοῦτο δοῦναι).  All that was prepared by the heavenly Father who made ready for those whom he had chosen (ἀλλ’ οἷς ἡτοίμασται ὑπὸ τοῦ Πατρός μου).  Jesus said that he could not grant this request because he was not the decision maker about heavenly seating arrangements.

Do not despise the little ones (Mt 18:10-18:10)

“Take care!

Do not despise

One of these little ones!

I tell you!

In heaven,

Their angels

Continually see the face

Of my Father in heaven.”

 

Ὁρᾶτε μὴ καταφρονήσητε ἑνὸς τῶν μικρῶν τούτων· λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτῶν ἐν οὐρανοῖς διὰ παντὸς βλέπουσι τὸ πρόσωπον τοῦ Πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς.

 

This is a unique saying about not scorning the little ones that is only found here in Matthew.  Jesus said that they should be careful or see not to despise, scorn, or disregard any one of these little ones (Ὁρᾶτε μὴ καταφρονήσητε ἑνὸς τῶν μικρῶν τούτων).  In a solemn proclamation, “I tell you” (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν), he said that the angels of the little ones in heaven (ὅτι οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτῶν ἐν οὐρανοῖς) always or continually see the face of his heavenly Father (διὰ παντὸς βλέπουσι τὸ πρόσωπον τοῦ Πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς).  This obviously is an allusion to the concept of guardian angels, especially for the little ones.