Abraham and Lazarus (Lk 16:23-16:23)

“In Hades,

Where the rich man

Was being tormented,

He looked up.

He saw Abraham

Far away,

With Lazarus

By his side.”

 

καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἅιδῃ ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ, ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις, ὁρᾷ Ἀβραὰμ ἀπὸ μακρόθεν καὶ Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ.

 

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 said that the rich man was living in torment (ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις) in Hades (καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἅιδῃ), the Greek name for hell, a permanent place of damnation as opposed to the vague Hebrew afterlife Sheol, the place of the dead.  This rich man looked up or lifted up his eyes (ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ).  He saw Abraham (ὁρᾷ Ἀβραὰμ), far away (ἀπὸ μακρόθεν), with Lazarus in his bosom (καὶ Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ).  Both Abraham and Lazarus were together, but far away since there was a clear difference between where the rich man and Lazarus with Abraham were.  Just as in life, there was a difference between the rich man and Lazarus, so too in death.  Do you believe that there will be options in the afterlife?

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Not serve two masters (Lk 16:13-16:13)

“No household servant

Can serve

Two masters!

A servant

Will hate

The one.

He will love

The other.

He will be devoted

To the one.

He will despise

The other.

You cannot serve

God

And wealth.”

 

Οὐδεὶς οἰκέτης δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν· ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει, ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει. οὐ δύνασθε Θεῷ δουλεύειν καὶ μαμωνᾷ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that no household servant (Οὐδεὶς οἰκέτης) is able to serve 2 masters or lords (δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν).  This household servant will hate one (ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει) and love the other (καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει).  He will be devoted to one (ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται) and despise the other (καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει).  They cannot serve (οὐ δύνασθε… δουλεύειν) both God (Θεῷ) and wealth (καὶ μαμωνᾷ).  This μαμωνᾷ referred to an old Semitic word for treasures.  It is often translated as “mammon,” but means wealth, riches, money, or possessions.  This saying of Jesus can also be found in Matthew, chapter 6:24, almost word for word, perhaps indicating a common Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that no one was able to slavishly serve two masters or lords (Οὐδεὶς δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν).  The word κυρίοις was used for lord, as in Luke.  You will hate one (ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει) and love the other (καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει).  You will be devoted to one (ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται) and despise the other one (καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει).  Therefore, the conclusion was that you could not slavishly serve both God (οὐ δύνασθε Θεῷ δουλεύειν) and money or wealth (καὶ μαμωνᾷ).  The choice was yours.  The options were clear.  You cannot serve both.  Would you serve God or wealth?

What is easier? (Lk 5:23-5:23)

“Which is easier?

To say.

‘Your sins

Are forgiven you!’

Or to say.

‘Stand up!

Walk!’”

 

τί ἐστιν εὐκοπώτερον, εἰπεῖν Ἀφέωνταί σοι αἱ ἁμαρτίαι σου, ἢ εἰπεῖν Ἔγειρε καὶ περιπάτει;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked which was easier to say (τί ἐστιν εὐκοπώτερον)?  Your sins are forgiven you (εἰπεῖν Ἀφέωνταί σοι αἱ ἁμαρτίαι σου) or stand up and walk (ἢ εἰπεῖν Ἔγειρε καὶ περιπάτει).  Mark, chapter 2:9, and Matthew, chapter 9:8, are almost word for word to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this saying.  Mark and Matthew said the same thing about the healing and forgiving of sins for the paralytic.  Jesus posed the question which was it easier to do, to say to the paralytic that your sins are forgiven or to say get up, take your pallet, and walk.  Jesus seemed to make an equivalence between the two options, forgiving sins or healing a paralyzed man.

Two masters (Mt 6:24-6:24)

“No one can serve

Two masters.

He will hate one

And love the other.

He will be devoted

To one

And despise the other.

You cannot serve

God

And wealth.”

 

Οὐδεὶς δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν· ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει, ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει· οὐ δύνασθε Θεῷ δουλεύειν καὶ μαμωνᾷ.

 

Once again, Luke, chapter 16:13, has a similar Jesus saying, indicating a common Q source.  No one is able to slavishly serve two masters or lords (Οὐδεὶς δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν).  The word “κυρίοις’ was used for lord.  You will hate one (ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει) and love the other (καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει,).  You will be devoted to one (ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται) and despise the other one (καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει).  Devoting and despising were less common words than hate or love.  Therefore, the conclusion was that you could not slavishly serve both God (οὐ δύνασθε Θεῷ δουλεύειν) and money or wealth (καὶ μαμωνᾷ).  This “μαμωνᾷ” referred to an old Semitic word for treasures.  It was only used in the New Testament here and in Luke, who used it a couple of more times.  It is often translated as “mammon,” but means wealth, riches, money, or possessions.  The choice was yours.  The options were clear.  Would you serve God or wealth?  You cannot serve both.

The three separate disasters for the people of Jerusalem (Ezek 5:11-5:12)

“Says Yahweh God!

‘Surely as I live,

Because you have defiled

My sanctuary

With all your detestable things,

With all your abominations,

Therefore I will cut you down.

My eye will not spare.

I will have no pity.

One third of you

Shall die

Of pestilence,

Or be consumed

By famine among you.

One third of you

Shall fall

By the sword

Around you.

One third of you,

I will scatter

To every wind.

I will unsheathe

The sword

After them.”

The God Yahweh was mad at the people of Jerusalem. They had defiled his sanctuary. They had brought in all those detestable abominations into the Temple. Thus Yahweh was not going to spare them, but cut them down. He was not going to show any pity. Using language similar to Jeremiah, there were three main options for dying. However, Ezekiel was more precise. One third of them would die from pestilence or famine. Another third would fall by the sword. The final third would be scattered to the winds in every direction. Yahweh was going to let his sword loose on them.