Where are you from? (Lk 13:25-13:25)

“When once

The owner

Of the house

Has got up

And shut the door,

You will begin

To stand outside.

You will knock

At the door.

Saying.

‘Lord!

open to us!’

In reply

He will say to you.

‘I do not know

Where you come from.’”

 

ἀφ’ οὗ ἂν ἐγερθῇ ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης καὶ ἀποκλείσῃ τὴν θύραν, καὶ ἄρξησθε ἔξω ἑστάναι καὶ κρούειν τὴν θύραν λέγοντες Κύριε, ἄνοιξον ἡμῖν· καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ἐρεῖ ὑμῖν Οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς πόθεν ἐστέ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that when once the owner of the house (ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης) had got up (ἀφ’ οὗ ἂν ἐγερθῇ) and shut the door (καὶ ἀποκλείσῃ τὴν θύραν), they would begin to stand outside (καὶ ἄρξησθε ἔξω ἑστάναι).  They would knock at the door (καὶ κρούειν τὴν θύραν), saying. “Lord!  Open to us (λέγοντες Κύριε, ἄνοιξον ἡμῖν)!”  However, he would reply to them (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ἐρεῖ ὑμῖν) that he did not know where they came from (Οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς πόθεν ἐστέ).  Matthew’s unique parable story about the 10 virgins, chapter 25-10-12, has an ending similar to this saying.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the 5 foolish bridesmaids finally came to the wedding banquet.  They called out to the bridegroom calling him “Lord”.  They wanted him to open the door for them.  However, he replied to them, using the solemn pronouncement of Jesus’ phraseology, saying he did not know them (οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶ), the same as this saying in Luke.  Thus, the repudiation of the 5 foolish bridesmaids was complete.  Here Luke said that Jesus did not know where they came from.  Will Jesus know where you are from?

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Wait for the master (Lk 12:36-12:36)

“Be like men

Who are waiting

For their master

To return

From the wedding banquet!

Thus,

They may open

The door

For him

As soon as

He comes

And knocks.”

 

καὶ ὑμεῖς ὅμοιοι ἀνθρώποις προσδεχομένοις τὸν κύριον ἑαυτῶν πότε ἀναλύσῃ ἐκ τῶν γάμων, ἵνα ἐλθόντος καὶ κρούσαντος εὐθέως ἀνοίξωσιν αὐτῷ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should be like servant men who were waiting for their master or lord (καὶ ὑμεῖς ὅμοιοι ἀνθρώποις προσδεχομένοις τὸν κύριον ἑαυτῶν) to return from the wedding banquet or feast (πότε ἀναλύσῃ ἐκ τῶν γάμων).  Thus, they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks (ἵνα ἐλθόντος καὶ κρούσαντος εὐθέως ἀνοίξωσιν αὐτῷ).  Notice that the returning person was called lord (τὸν κύριον).  Matthew chapter 25:1-12 had a wedding theme, but it was about 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom.  Here Luke has servant men waiting for their master to return from a wedding.  They should be ready to open the door for him as soon as he arrived.  Would you be a good servant?

Jesus spoke in parables (Mk 4:33-4:34)

“Jesus spoke the word

To them

With many such parables.

Thus,

They were able

To hear it.

He did not speak

To them

Except in parables.

But he explained

Everything in private

To his disciples.”

 

Καὶ τοιαύταις παραβολαῖς πολλαῖς ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον, καθὼς ἠδύναντο ἀκούειν·

χωρὶς δὲ παραβολῆς οὐκ ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς, κατ’ ἰδίαν δὲ τοῖς ἰδίοις μαθηταῖς ἐπέλυεν πάντα.

 

This explanation of the importance of parables is similar to Matthew, chapter 13:34.  Jesus, via Mark, presented the word (ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον), using many parables (Καὶ τοιαύταις παραβολαῖς πολλαῖς) so that they were able to hear them (καθὼς ἠδύναντο ἀκούειν).  In fact, he told hem nothing that was not a parable (χωρὶς δὲ παραβολῆς οὐκ ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς).  He only spoke in parables.  However, he explained everything in private for his disciples (κατ’ ἰδίαν δὲ τοῖς ἰδίοις μαθηταῖς ἐπέλυεν πάντα).  Both Mark and Matthew underlined the role of parables in their gospel stories.  Matthew, chapter 13:35, uniquely cited a prophecy from Psalm 78:2, that Mark had not mentioned.  Jesus was going to open his mouth in parables about the old-fashioned sayings, like the wisdom writers.  The parables were a way of conveying wisdom, with only the initiated, his disciples, able to understand them.

I do not know you (Mt 25:11-25:12)

“Later,

The other foolish bridesmaids

Came also.

They said.

‘Lord!

Lord!

Open to us.’

But he replied.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

I do not know you!’”

 

ὕστερον δὲ ἔρχονται καὶ αἱ λοιπαὶ παρθένοι λέγουσαι Κύριε, ἄνοιξον ἡμῖν

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶ

 

This parable story is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that after a while, the 5 foolish bridesmaids finally came to the wedding banquet (ὕστερον δὲ ἔρχονται καὶ αἱ λοιπαὶ παρθένοι).  They called out to the bridegroom calling him “Lord (λέγουσαι Κύριε κύριε)”.  They wanted him to open the door for them (ἄνοιξον ἡμῖν).  However, he replied (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς) to them, using the solemn pronouncement of Jesus’ phraseology (εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), saying he did not know them (οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶ).  The repudiation of the 5 foolish bridesmaids was complete.

Not enough oil (Mt 25:9-25:9)

“But the wise ones

Replied.

‘No!

There will not be enough

For you

And for us.

You had better go

To the dealers

To buy some

For yourselves.’”

 

ἀπεκρίθησαν δὲ αἱ φρόνιμοι λέγουσαι Μή ποτε οὐ μὴ ἀρκέσῃ ἡμῖν καὶ ὑμῖν· πορεύεσθε μᾶλλον πρὸς τοὺς πωλοῦντας καὶ ἀγοράσατε ἑαυταῖς.

 

This parable story is unique to Matthew.  Jesus continued with this story.  The wise bridesmaids replied (ἀπεκρίθησαν δὲ αἱ φρόνιμοι λέγουσαι) that they would not give the foolish ones any oil with a flat “no (οὐ).”  They said that there would not be enough oil for both groups of them (Μή ποτε οὐ μὴ ἀρκέσῃ ἡμῖν καὶ ὑμῖν).  Instead, they suggested that they go to some oil dealers (πορεύεσθε μᾶλλον πρὸς τοὺς πωλοῦντας) to buy some oil for themselves (καὶ ἀγοράσατε ἑαυταῖς).  I am not sure what oil dealers would be open in the middle of the night.  This seems like the wise ones gave a very self-righteous rude response.

The prophecy about parables (Mt 13:35-13:35)

“This was to fulfill

What had been spoken

By the prophet.

‘I will open my mouth

To speak in parables.

I will proclaim

What has been hidden

From the foundation

Of the world.’”

 

ὅπως πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος Ἀνοίξω ἐν παραβολαῖς τὸ στόμα μου, ἐρεύξομαι κεκρυμμένα ἀπὸ καταβολῆς.

 

Matthew uniquely cited this prophecy from the Psalms, Psalm 78:2, where the psalmist Asaph explained the teachings from long ago.  Jesus was going to open his mouth in parables about the old-fashioned sayings, like the wisdom writers.  These sayings had been passed on from his ancestors, showing the great deeds of Yahweh that he had done for Israel.  Jesus, via Matthew, justified or fulfilled (ὅπως πληρωθῇ) what the prophet Asaph in the psalms had said (τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος) about the use of parables.  He would open his mouth in parables (Ἀνοίξω ἐν παραβολαῖς τὸ στόμα μου) to proclaim the hidden mysteries from the foundations of the earth (ἐρεύξομαι κεκρυμμένα ἀπὸ καταβολῆς).  The parables were a way of conveying wisdom, with only the initiated able to understand them.

How to read the Bible

Be a faithful reader, regularly and with the eyes of faith.  Be an active reader, intelligently and critically.  Put the texts in context, read from a tradition and a believing community.  Read the Bible as a whole, not isolating passages.  Understand the background of each book.  Try to understand the consensus opinion about texts.  Appreciate the major themes and narratives.  Be open to God and his word.  Be aware of the continuity and discontinuity.  Try to translate the Bible to your life situations