Not lose a hair (Lk 21:18-21:18)

“But not a hair

Of your head

Will perish.”

 

καὶ θρὶξ ἐκ τῆς κεφαλῆς ὑμῶν οὐ μὴ ἀπόληται·

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that not a hair of their heads (καὶ θρὶξ ἐκ τῆς κεφαλῆς ὑμῶν) would perish or be destroyed (οὐ μὴ ἀπόληται).  This saying only appears in Luke and nowhere else in the other gospel stories.  Why would these disciples not suffer even a hair from the top of their heads, while others would be suffering?  There is no easy answer.  They would somehow be saved from these persecutions.  Do you have good hair?

 

Advertisements

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?

Repent (Lk 13:3-13:3)

“No!

I tell you!

But unless you repent

You will all perish

As they did!”

 

οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀλλ’ ἐὰν μὴ μετανοῆτε, πάντες ὁμοίως ἀπολεῖσθε.

 

The unique answer in Luke was also simple.  Jesus said “No (οὐχί)” with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν).  These Galileans were no worse than anyone else.  All of them present there, if they did not repent or have a change of heart, a metanoia (ἀλλ’ ἐὰν μὴ μετανοῆτε), they would all perish just like these Galileans (πάντες ὁμοίως ἀπολεῖσθε).  Repentance for all was important, no matter what kind of death you might endure.  How do you want to die?

 

Put your swords away (Mt 26:52-26:54)

“Then Jesus said

To him.

‘Put your sword back

Into its place.

All who take

The sword

Will perish

By the sword.

Do you think

That I cannot appeal

To my Father?

He will at once

Send me

More than

Twelve legions

Of angels.

But how then

Should the scriptures

Be fulfilled?

It must happen

In this way.’”

 

τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ἀπόστρεψον τὴν μάχαιράν σου εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐτῆς· πάντες γὰρ οἱ λαβόντες μάχαιραν ἐν μαχαίρῃ ἀπολοῦνται.

ἢ δοκεῖς ὅτι οὐ δύναμαι παρακαλέσαι τὸν Πατέρα μου, καὶ παραστήσει μοι ἄρτι πλείω δώδεκα λεγιῶνας ἀγγέλων;

πῶς οὖν πληρωθῶσιν αἱ γραφαὶ ὅτι οὕτως δεῖ γενέσθαι;

 

This is unique to Matthew, among the synoptic gospelsHowever,  John, chapter 18:11, had Jesus tell Peter to put his sword away also.  Matthew recounted that Jesus said to the swordsman (τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) to put his sword away or put it back in the place where it belonged (Ἀπόστρεψον τὴν μάχαιράν σου εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐτῆς).  Then he said that all those who take up the sword (πάντες γὰρ οἱ λαβόντες μάχαιραν) would perish by the sword (ἐν μαχαίρῃ ἀπολοῦνται).  Live by the sword!  Die by the sword!  He reminded them that he could appeal to his Father (ἢ δοκεῖς ὅτι οὐ δύναμαι παρακαλέσαι τὸν Πατέρα μου) to send him more than 12 legions of angels (καὶ παραστήσει μοι ἄρτι πλείω δώδεκα λεγιῶνας ἀγγέλων).  Instead, these things had to happen this way to fulfill the scriptures (πῶς οὖν πληρωθῶσιν αἱ γραφαὶ ὅτι οὕτως δεῖ γενέσθαι).  There was no indication of what exact scriptures needed to be fulfilled.  Jesus maintained that he had heavenly or spiritual powers that could save him.  A legion was about 6,000 men, so that would mean about 72,000 angels could come to fight for Jesus.  However, based on the Father’s plan, this suffering was the way it was going to go.

Explanation of the parable of the lost sheep (Mt 18:14-18:14)

“Thus,

It is not the will

Of my Father in heaven

That one of these little ones

Should be lost.”

 

οὕτως οὐκ ἔστιν θέλημα ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν τῶν μικρῶν τούτων.

 

This explanation of the lost sheep parable can also be found in Luke, chapter 15:7, with some minor changes, as Luke has this lost sheep as a repentant sinner.  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).  Thus, this was the simple straightforward explanation.  The heavenly Father did not want to lose anyone, just like the good shepherd did not want to lose one of his lost sheep.

The sailors pray to Yahweh (Jon 1:13-1:14)

“Nevertheless,

The sailors

Rowed hard

To bring the ship

Back to land,

But they could not.

The sea grew more

And more stormy

Against them.

Then they cried out

To Yahweh.

‘O Yahweh!

Please!

Do not let us perish

On account

Of this man’s life!

Do not make us guilty

Of innocent blood!

O Yahweh!

You have done

As it pleased you.’”

The sailors tried to row their ship to land, but they were not successful, since the sea storm grew worse.  Then, they cried out in a prayer to Yahweh.  They did not want to perish because of one man.  Neither did they want to become guilty by spilling innocent blood.  They finally ended their prayer to Yahweh with “your will be done.”  They seem to have accepted the God of Jonah, Yahweh, as their last resort.  Thus, the reluctant Jonah has converted his fellow shipmates to worship Yahweh, the God of Israel.

Against the Philistines (Am 1:6-1:8)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘For three transgressions

Of Gaza,

And for four,

I will not revoke

The punishment.

Because they carried

Into exile

Entire communities,

To hand them over

To Edom.

So,

I will send a fire

On the wall of Gaza.

It shall devour

Its strongholds.

I will cut off

The inhabitants

From Ashdod.

I will cut off

The one who holds

The scepter

From Ashkelon.

I will turn my hand

Against Ekron.

The remnant

Of the Philistines

Shall perish.’

Says Yahweh

God.”

The Philistines had 5 major cities along the Mediterranean coast, west of Judah. The only city not mentioned here was Gath that had been wiped out by the Syrian King Hazael. Otherwise, Yahweh was going to punish the other 4 cities. Gaza was cited as the worst, since the numbering iniquities were about 3 and 4 things, just like the numerical Proverbs, chapter 30. Yahweh was not going to revoke his punishment against them. They were involved in the slave trade with Edom that sent whole communities into exile. Although fire would come to Gaza, Yahweh reminded them that Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Ekron would also suffer. All the remaining Philistines would perish or die. This was clearly an oracle of Yahweh.