Will God delay? (Lk 18:7-18:7)

“Will not God

Grant justice

To his chosen ones

Who cry to him

Day and night?

Will he delay long

In helping them?”

 

ὁ δὲ Θεὸς οὐ μὴ ποιήσῃ τὴν ἐκδίκησιν τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν αὐτοῦ τῶν βοώντων αὐτῷ ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός, καὶ μακροθυμεῖ ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς;

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge.  Luke had Jesus bring this parable to a conclusion with a comment about God.  He wondered whether God (ὁ δὲ Θεὸς) would grant justice (οὐ μὴ ποιήσῃ τὴν ἐκδίκησιν) to his chosen ones (τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν αὐτοῦ) who cried to him (τῶν βοώντων αὐτῷ) day and night (ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός)?  Would God delay long in helping them (καὶ μακροθυμεῖ ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς)?  The comparison was explicit.  Jesus said that God would grant justice to his chosen ones who petitioned him day and night.  Their persistence prayer would pay off.  God would not delay in helping them and answering their prayers for justice.  Has God answered your persistent prayers?

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A rain shower is coming (Lk 12:54-12:54)

“Jesus said

To the crowds.

‘When you see

A cloud rising

In the west,

You immediately say.

‘There is going to be

A violent rain storm.’

Thus,

It happens.”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις Ὅταν ἴδητε νεφέλην ἀνατέλλουσαν ἐπὶ δυσμῶν, εὐθέως λέγετε ὅτι Ὄμβρος ἔρχεται, καὶ γίνεται οὕτως·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to the crowds (Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις) that when they saw a cloud rising in the western setting sun (Ὅταν ἴδητε νεφέλην ἀνατέλλουσαν ἐπὶ δυσμῶν), they immediately say that a violent rain storm was coming (εὐθέως λέγετε ὅτι Ὄμβρος ἔρχεται,).  Thus, it happened (καὶ γίνεται οὕτως).  The use of the word Ὄμβρος, that means a violent rain storm was unique to Luke here among all the biblical literature.  Jesus issued some weather commentary about the western setting sun wind and a violent rain storm.  The western winds from the Mediterranean River meant that a rain storm was coming.  There was something somewhat similar in Matthew, chapter 16:2, where Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees that they could read the signs in the sky about weather and storms, but they were unable to recognize the signs in their own world.  Jesus said that at evening time, people would say that there would be fair weather if the setting sun in the sky was red.  On the other hand, if the sky was red today in the morning, they thought that it would be a stormy day.  Most farmers are aware of the red sky in the morning was a warning, while the red sky at night was a delight.  Are you good at predicting the weather?

The Son of Man is coming (Lk 12:40-12:40)

“You also must be ready!

The Son of Man

Is coming

At an unexpected hour.”

 

καὶ ὑμεῖς γίνεσθε ἕτοιμοι, ὅτι ᾗ ὥρᾳ οὐ δοκεῖτε ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἔρχεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus concluded his story about the thief in the night by saying that they must be ready (καὶ ὑμεῖς γίνεσθε ἕτοιμοι) because the Son of Man (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) would be coming (ἔρχεται) at an unexpected or unknown hour (ὅτι ᾗ ὥρᾳ οὐ δοκεῖτε).  Matthew, chapter 24:44, had something similar, almost word for word, indicating a Q source.  Jesus said that they had to be ready or prepared (διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ὑμεῖς γίνεσθε ἕτοιμοι) for the coming of the Son of Man (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἔρχεται) because he would be coming at an unexpected hour (ὅτι ᾗ οὐ δοκεῖτε ὥρᾳ).  The Son of Man was the second coming of Jesus, the end times, the final judgment day.  Are you ready for the coming of the Son of Man?

 

Watch for the thief (Lk 12:39-12:39)

“Know this!

If the owner

Of the house

Had known

At what hour

The thief

Was coming,

He would not have

Let his house

Be broken into.”

 

τοῦτο δὲ γινώσκετε ὅτι εἰ ᾔδει ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης ποίᾳ ὥρᾳ ὁ κλέπτης ἔρχεται, οὐκ ἂν ἀφῆκεν διορυχθῆναι τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should know (τοῦτο δὲ γινώσκετε) that if the owner of a house had known (ὅτι εἰ ᾔδει ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης) at what hour (ποίᾳ ὥρᾳ) the thief was coming (ὁ κλέπτης ἔρχεται), he would not have let his house be broken into (οὐκ ἂν ἀφῆκεν διορυχθῆναι τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ).  This was very similar to Matthew, chapter 24:42-43, about the thief at night.  Matthew said that Jesus warned his disciples to be vigilant.  They were to stay awake (γρηγορεῖτε οὖν) because they did not know on what day (ὅτι οὐκ οἴδατε ποίᾳ ἡμέρᾳ) the Lord was coming (ὁ κύριος ὑμῶν ἔρχεται).  They had to understand or realize (ἐκεῖνο δὲ γινώσκετε) that if an owner of a house had known at what time of the night a thief was coming (ὅτι εἰ ᾔδει ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης ποίᾳ φυλακῇ ὁ κλέπτης ἔρχεται), he would have been alert and stayed awake (ἐγρηγόρησεν ἂν).  He would not have let his house be broken into (καὶ οὐκ ἂν εἴασεν διορυχθῆναι τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ).  Would you stay up all night protecting your house?

Blessed are these slaves! (Lk 12:38-12:38)

“If the lord comes

During the middle

Of the night,

Or near dawn,

And finds them so,

Blessed are those slaves!

 

κἂν ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ κἂν ἐν τῇ τρίτῃ φυλακῇ ἔλθῃ καὶ εὕρῃ οὕτως, μακάριοί εἰσιν ἐκεῖνοι.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus stated that these slaves had to be alert at night also, not just during the day.  Jesus said that if the lord came (ἔλθῃ) during the middle of the night, during the 2nd watch (κἂν ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ), or near dawn, during the 3rd watch (κἂν ἐν τῇ τρίτῃ φυλακῇ), and found them alert (καὶ εὕρῃ οὕτως), they would be blessed slaves (μακάριοί εἰσιν ἐκεῖνοι).  If the Lord found them alert at night, they would be happy, fortunate, or blessed.  Mark, chapter 13:35, said that Jesus warned his disciples to be vigilant.  They were to stay awake (γρηγορεῖτε οὖν) because they did not know (οὐκ οἴδατε) when the lord or the master of the house would come back (γὰρ πότε ὁ κύριος τῆς οἰκίας ἔρχεται).  It could be at some unexpected time, late in the evening (ἢ ὀψὲ), midnight (ἢ μεσονύκτιον), cockcrow (ἢ ἀλεκτοροφωνίας), or at morning dawn (ἢ πρωΐ).  Staying awake at night was a good idea.  Do you stay up late, waiting for people?

The fool (Lk 12:20-12:20)

“But God said to him.

‘Fool!

This very night

Your life

Is being demanded

Of you.

The things

You have prepared,

Whose will they be?’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός Ἄφρων, ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ τὴν ψυχήν σου ἀπαιτοῦσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ· ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας, τίνι ἔσται;

 

Luke uniquely continued with this story as Jesus indicated that God said to this rich land owner (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός) that he was a fool, calling him that (Ἄφρων).  A fool was a harsh title, meaning that someone who had no concern for God.  That very night (ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ), God would demand or require the soul or the life of this rich fool (τὴν ψυχήν σου ἀπαιτοῦσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ).  Who would get all the things that he had prepared (ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας, τίνι ἔσται)?  The best laid plans of men and mice often go astray.  Instead of enjoying his long indulgent luxurious life, this rich man was about to die.  Then the question remained, who would enjoy all the riches that he had attained?  Death is the only certainty in life.  The only question is when?  Work as if you were going to live forever, but live your life and pray as if you are going to die tonight.  Time’s up!  When do you anticipate your death?

The door is locked (Lk 11:7-11:7)

He answered

From within.

‘Do not bother me!

The door has already

Been locked.

My children

And I are

In bed.

I cannot get up

And give you anything.’”

 

κἀκεῖνος ἔσωθεν ἀποκριθεὶς εἴπῃ Μή μοι κόπους πάρεχε· ἤδη ἡ θύρα κέκλεισται, καὶ τὰ παιδία μου μετ’ ἐμοῦ εἰς τὴν κοίτην εἰσίν· οὐ δύναμαι ἀναστὰς δοῦναί σοι

 

Luke uniquely had this parable story about waking up a friend at midnight. The answer of this friend, who was just woken up in the middle of the night, was what you might expect.  He responded from within his house (κἀκεῖνος ἔσωθεν ἀποκριθεὶς εἴπῃ).  He told his friend not to bother or trouble him (Μή μοι κόπους πάρεχε).  His door has already been locked (ἤδη ἡ θύρα κέκλεισται).  His children (καὶ τὰ παιδία μου), as well as himself (μετ’ ἐμοῦ), were already in bed (εἰς τὴν κοίτην εἰσίν).  He was not able to get up (οὐ δύναμαι ἀναστὰς) and give him anything (δοῦναί σοι).  What did he expect?  Just go away!  This neighbor friend was quite direct, nothing doing.  Just go home and leave him alone.  He had settled down for the night.  Maybe they could talk tomorrow.  Has anybody ever woken you up at midnight?