The nobleman (Lk 19:12-19:12)

 

“Thus,

Jesus said.

‘A nobleman

Went

To a distant country

To get royal power

For himself.

Then he would return.’”

 

εἶπεν οὖν Ἄνθρωπός τις εὐγενὴς ἐπορεύθη εἰς χώραν μακρὰν λαβεῖν ἑαυτῷ βασιλείαν καὶ ὑποστρέψαι.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (εἶπεν οὖν) that a nobleman (Ἄνθρωπός τις εὐγενὴς) went to a distant country (ἐπορεύθη εἰς χώραν μακρὰν) to get royal power for himself (λαβεῖν ἑαυτῷ βασιλείαν).  After that, he would return later (καὶ ὑποστρέψαι).  This might have been a hint about the local leaders going to Rome to get their royal powers.  It may also be about Jesus going to heaven and then returning at the last judgment or the Second Coming.  However, there was the overriding theme of the need for responsibility, productivity, and not laziness.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 25:14, where the story is about a man with a household of slaves and not a nobleman as here.  The slaves were given money to take care of things while the rich man was gone.  In Matthew, Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven would be like a man going on a journey (Ὥσπερ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ἀποδημῶν).  This very generous man called or summoned his slaves (ἐκάλεσεν τοὺς ἰδίους δούλους) to entrust them or give them his property and possessions, while he was gone (καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτοῖς τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ).  In Mark, 13:34, Jesus said that the end times would be like a man going on a journey (ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος).  He left his house (ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ).  He gave his slaves the authority (καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν) to perform their own individual tasks (ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ).  He commanded a doorkeeper to stand watch over this whole situation (καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ).  However, the story for Mark ended there, unlike Luke and Matthew that have more details about the slaves in this household.  What do you do when you go on a long journey?

Pray (Lk 18:1-18:1)

“Then Jesus told them

A parable

About the need

To pray always.

Do not grow weary!”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς πρὸς τὸ δεῖν πάντοτε προσεύχεσθαι αὐτοὺς καὶ μὴ ἐνκακεῖν,

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the judge to emphasize the importance of prayer.  Right from the beginning, he had Jesus tell them the purpose of the parable, rather than a secret that they would have to figure out.  Then Jesus told them a parable (Ἔλεγεν δὲ παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς) about the need or duty to always pray (πρὸς τὸ δεῖν πάντοτε προσεύχεσθαι αὐτοὺς).  They were not to lose heart or grow weary (καὶ μὴ ἐνκακεῖν).  Do you remember to always pray?

Stay where you are (Lk 17:31-17:31)

“On that day,

Anyone on the housetop,

Who has belongings

In the house,

Must not come down

To take them away.

Likewise,

Anyone in the field

Must not turn back.”

 

ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ὃς ἔσται ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος καὶ τὰ σκεύη αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ, μὴ καταβάτω ἆραι αὐτά, καὶ ὁ ἐν ἀγρῷ ὁμοίως μὴ ἐπιστρεψάτω εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that on that day (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ) of the coming of the Son of Man at the end times, anyone on the housetop (ὃς ἔσται ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος), who has belongings in the house (καὶ τὰ σκεύη αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ), must not come down to take them away (μὴ καταβάτω ἆραι αὐτά).  Likewise, anyone in the field (καὶ ὁ ἐν ἀγρῷ ὁμοίως) must not turn back to the things left behind (μὴ ἐπιστρεψάτω εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω).  This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 24:17-18, and Mark, chapter 13:15-16.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that during these end times, the people on the housetop or roofs of their houses (ὁ ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος) should not go down (μὴ καταβάτω) and enter their house (μηδὲ εἰσελθάτω τι) to take anything out of there (ἆραι τὰ ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ).  It would be useless to do so, as the world was coming to an end.  If they were in the field working (καὶ ὁ εἰς τὸν ἀγρὸν), they were not to turn back or return to their house (μὴ ἐπιστρεψάτω εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω) to get or take a coat or outer garment (ἆραι τὸ ἱμάτιον αὐτοῦ).  Jesus, via Matthew, said that during this end time, the people on the housetop or roofs of their houses (ὁ ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος) should not go down (μὴ καταβάτω) to take things out of their houses (ἆραι τὰ ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ).  If they were in the field working (καὶ ὁ ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ), they were not to turn back or return to their house (μὴ ἐπιστρεψάτω ὀπίσω) to get or take a coat or outer garment (ἆραι τὸ ἱμάτιον αὐτοῦ).  They had no need for clothes because the end was near.  What would you want to take from your house if the world was coming to an end?

Those who rise from the dead (Lk 16:31-16:31)

“Abraham

Said to him.

‘If they do not listen

To Moses

And the prophets,

Neither will they

Be convinced,

Even if someone

Rises

From the dead.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ Εἰ Μωϋσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀκούουσιν, οὐδὲ ἐάν τις ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ πεισθήσονται.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus concluded that Abraham said to the rich man (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ) that if his brothers had not listened to Moses and the prophets (Εἰ Μωϋσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀκούουσιν), neither would they be convinced or persuaded (πεισθήσονται), if someone rose from the dead (οὐδὲ ἐάν τις ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ).  Abraham was clear.  They had the Torah of Moses and the written teachings of the prophets.  What else did they need?  Thus, they would not be moved to repentance even if a dead man appeared to them.  This is of course was an indication of what would happen with Jesus in his resurrection.  Would you change your mind if a dead person appeared to you?

The famine (Lk 15:14-15:14)

“When he had spent

Everything he had,

A severe famine

Took place

Throughout that country.

He began

To be in need.”

 

δαπανήσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ πάντα ἐγένετο λιμὸς ἰσχυρὰ κατὰ τὴν χώραν ἐκείνην, καὶ αὐτὸς ἤρξατο ὑστερεῖσθαι.

 

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 when this young prodigal son had spent everything that he had (δαπανήσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ πάντα), a severe famine took place (ἐγένετο λιμὸς ἰσχυρὰ) throughout that country (κατὰ τὴν χώραν ἐκείνην).  He began to be and feel needy (καὶ αὐτὸς ἤρξατο ὑστερεῖσθαι).  Having dissipated his wealth, he was broke in a foreign land, where there was a famine.  He really began to feel like he needed help.  Have you ever felt like you needed help?

Joy over a repentant sinner (Lk 15:7-15:7)

“Just so,

I tell you!

There will be more joy

In heaven

Over one sinner

Who repents

Than over ninety-nine

Righteous persons

Who need no repentance.”

 

λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὕτως χαρὰ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ἔσται ἐπὶ ἑνὶ ἁμαρτωλῷ μετανοοῦντι ἢ ἐπὶ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα δικαίοις οἵτινες οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν μετανοίας.

 

Luke had Jesus conclude this parable about the lost sheep.  Jesus said with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν) that there would be more joy in heaven (ὅτι οὕτως χαρὰ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ἔσται) over one repentant sinner (ἐπὶ ἑνὶ ἁμαρτωλῷ μετανοοῦντι) than over the 99 righteous people (ἢ ἐπὶ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα δικαίοις) who do not need repentance (οἵτινες οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν μετανοίας).  This explanation of the lost sheep parable can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:14, with some minor changes, indicating a Q source.  Luke compared this lost sheep to a repentant sinner.  In Matthew, Jesus explained that it was not the will of his heavenly Father (οὕτως οὐκ ἔστιν θέλημα ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς) that these little ones should be lost or perish (ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν τῶν μικρῶν τούτων).  The heavenly Father did not want to lose anyone, just like the good shepherd did not want to lose any one of his wandering sheep.  Have you ever lost someone close to you?

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?