Your eye (Lk 11:34-11:34)

“Your eye

Is the lamp

Of your body.

If your eye

Is sound,

Your whole body

Is full of light.

But if it is evil,

Your body

Is full of darkness.”

 

ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου. ὅταν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς ᾖ, καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινόν ἐστιν· ἐπὰν δὲ πονηρὸς ᾖ, καὶ τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινόν

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that their eye (ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου) was the lamp of their body (ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν).  If their eye was clear, sound, or healthy (ὅταν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς ᾖ), their whole body would be full of light (καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινόν ἐστιν).  But if it was evil (ἐπὰν δὲ πονηρὸς ᾖ), their body was then full of darkness (καὶ τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινόν).  This saying of Jesus is similar to what was in Matthew, chapter 6:22-23, so that it may be from the Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the eye was the lamp of the body (Ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός).  If there was a healthy clear sound eye (ἐὰν οὖν ᾖ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς), then you would have a whole body full of light (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινὸν ἔσται).  This is the only time that the word “ἁπλοῦς” is used in the New Testament literature.  Both Luke and Matthew used it here, since it means simple, sound, clear, or perfect.  If, on the other hand, your eye was not healthy or evil (ἐὰν δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρὸς ᾖ), your whole body would be full of darkness (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινὸν ἔσται).  Notice that Matthew and Luke did not use the opposite of clear, but chose the more common word for evil, “πονηρὸς.”  Thus, you had an evil eye.  On the other hand, both Luke and Matthew used a word that appears only here, “σκοτεινὸν,” to talk about a full total darkness.  If the light that is in you is dark (εἰ οὖν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἐν σοὶ σκότος ἐστίν), that is a really great darkness (τὸ σκότος πόσον).  Light and darkness was a common theme among the early Christians.  Light was good, but darkness was evil.  The connection of light to the eye was natural, since the sense of blindness and darkness centered around the eyes.  The good-eyed person, like the good-hearted person, was compassionate, while the evil-eyed person, like a hard-hearted person, was selfish and miserly.  Do you have good eyes or evil eyes?

Be merciful! (Lk 6:36-6:36)

“Be merciful!

Even as your Father

Is merciful.”

 

Γίνεσθε οἰκτίρμονες, καθὼς ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν οἰκτίρμων ἐστίν

 

The result of the kindness of God was that the followers of Jesus should also be merciful (Γίνεσθε οἰκτίρμονες), even as their Father is merciful (καθὼς ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν οἰκτίρμων ἐστίν).  Matthew, chapter 5:48, had Jesus say that they should be perfect, like their heavenly Father by loving and greeting everyone.  Only Matthew had this emphasis on perfection, completeness, or maturity, while Luke had Jesus emphasize mercy.  Would you rather be merciful or perfect?

Peter denies Jesus (Mk 14:68-14:68)

“But Peter

Denied it.

He said.

‘I do not know

Or understand

What you are

Talking about.’

Peter went out

Into the forecourt.

Then the cock crowed.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἠρνήσατο λέγων Οὔτε οἶδα οὔτε ἐπίσταμαι σὺ τί λέγεις. καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἔξω εἰς τὸ προαύλιον·

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:70-71, and Luke, chapter 22:57-58.  John, chapter 18:17, has a simple denial.  Peter was warming himself at the fire in the high priest’s courtyard, when a young servant girl of the high priest came up to him and said that he had been with Jesus.  Mark said that Peter denied this (ὁ δὲ ἠρνήσατο).  Peter said that he did not know or even understand what she was talking about (λέγων Οὔτε οἶδα οὔτε ἐπίσταμαι σὺ τί λέγεις).  Then Peter walked away into the forecourt, the porch, or gateway to the courtyard (καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἔξω εἰς τὸ προαύλιον).  Some ancient Orthodox manuscripts had the cock crow at this point (καὶ ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν).  This first denial story of Peter, the great leader and follower of Jesus, was in all 4 gospels.  Not all leaders are perfect.

Give up your possessions (Mt 19:21-19:21)

“Jesus said to him.

‘If you wish

To be perfect,

Go!

Sell your possessions!

Give the money

To the poor!

You will have treasure

In heaven.

Come!

Follow me!’”

 

ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Εἰ θέλεις τέλειος εἶναι, ὕπαγε πώλησόν σου τὰ ὑπάρχοντα καὶ δὸς πτωχοῖς, καὶ ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν οὐρανοῖς, καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει μοι.

 

This call to perfection can be found in Mark, chapter 10:21, and Luke, chapter 18:22, but slightly different.  Jesus issued his ultimatum (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) on how to be perfect or complete (Εἰ θέλεις τέλειος εἶναι).  The young man would have to sell his possessions (ὕπαγε πώλησόν σου τὰ ὑπάρχοντα).  Then he would have to give the money proceeds to the poor or destitute people (καὶ δὸς πτωχοῖς).  He no longer would have earthly wealth, but he would then have a treasure in heaven (καὶ ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν οὐρανοῖς).  Finally, he could become a follower or accompany Jesus (καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει μοι).  Like many of the sayings in Matthew, Jesus has very high standard and difficult demands.  There was no equivocation.

 

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew had 3 chapters devoted to Jesus and his preaching on the mount or hill.  This Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus that emphasize his moral teaching, the first of his 5 discourses. early in the ministry of Jesus.  Luke had something similar in his sermon on the plain.  This sermon is the longest continuous section of Jesus speaking in the New Testament, containing the central tenets of Christian discipleship.  Thus, it had become the most widely quoted and best known of the teachings of Jesus, with the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer.  These Jesus sayings echo the highest ideals of Jesus’ teachings on spirituality and compassion with acts of mercy, providing both temporal and spiritual benefits.  Jesus also used many metaphors in his sermon.  He reinterpreted the Ten Commandments, particularly about lying, killing and adultery.  The teachings of this sermon have been a key element of Christian ethics with its demanding high moral standards.  Christians were to be perfect with a Christian righteousness.  There have been many different interpretations of this demanding ethical life.  Was this only for clergy and monks?  Is it only an impossible ideal?  Should we take this literally?  Is this only an interim ethic or a future ethic?  Is this the basis of the social gospel and Christian existentialism?  What value do these ideals have for our lives today?

A healthy eye (Mt 6:22-6:23)

“The eye is the lamp

Of the body.

So,

If your eye is clear,

Your whole body

Will be full of light.

But if your eye is

Evil,

Your whole body

Will be full of darkness.

If then the light

In you

Is darkness,

How great is that darkness!”

 

Ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός. ἐὰν οὖν ᾖ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς, ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινὸν ἔσται·

ἐὰν δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρὸς ᾖ, ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινὸν ἔσται. εἰ οὖν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἐν σοὶ σκότος ἐστίν, τὸ σκότος πόσον.

 

This saying of Jesus is similar to what is in Luke, chapter 11:34-35, so that it may be from the Q source.  The eye was the lamp of the body (Ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός).  If there was a healthy clear sound eye (ἐὰν οὖν ᾖ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς), then you would have a whole body full of light (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινὸν ἔσται).  This is the only time that the word “ἁπλοῦς” is used in the New Testament literature.  Both Luke and Matthew used it here, since it means simple, sound, clear, or perfect.  If, on the other hand, your eye was not healthy or evil (ἐὰν δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρὸς ᾖ), your whole body would be full of darkness (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινὸν ἔσται).  Notice that Matthew did not use the opposite of clear, but chose the more common word for evil, “πονηρὸς.”  Thus, you had an evil eye.  On the other hand, both Luke and Matthew used a word that appears only here, “σκοτεινὸν,” to talk about a full total darkness.  If the light that is in you is dark (εἰ οὖν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἐν σοὶ σκότος ἐστίν), that is a really great darkness (τὸ σκότος πόσον).  Light and darkness was a common theme among the early Christians.  Light was good, but darkness was evil.  The connection of light to the eye was natural since the sense of blindness and darkness centered around the eyes.

No cold or night (Zech 14:6-14:7)

“On that day,

There shall not be

Either cold

Or frost.

There shall be a continuous day.

It is known to Yahweh.

There will be no day.

There will be no night.

At evening time,

There shall be light.”

On this glorious day of victory, there would be neither cold nor ice, since the temperature would be perfect.  There would be continuous daylight, without any night.  Even at evening time, there would be light.