Even sinners do some good (Lk 6:33-6:33)

“If you do good

To those who do good

To you,

What credit is that

To you?

Even sinners

Do the same.”

 

καὶ γὰρ ἐὰν ἀγαθοποιῆτε τοὺς ἀγαθοποιοῦντας ὑμᾶς, ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστίν; καὶ οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν.

 

Luke had Jesus continue in the same vain.  If they did good (καὶ γὰρ ἐὰν ἀγαθοποιῆτε) to those who did good to them (τοὺς ἀγαθοποιοῦντας ὑμᾶς), what credit or gift was that to them (ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστίν)?  Even sinners did the same (καὶ οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν).  Matthew, chapter 5:44, has something similar to this, but Matthew was more forceful there.  Matthew indicated that Jesus told them to do good to those who were spitefully accusing them, hating them, and persecuting them.  These early Christians were asked to be generous to their enemies and persecutors.  Maybe later Christians might learn a little bit from the early followers of Jesus.

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Bless those who curse you! (Lk 6:28-6:28)

“Bless those

Who curse you!”

 

εὐλογεῖτε τοὺς καταρωμένους ὑμᾶς,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his followers to bless those (εὐλογεῖτε τοὺς) who cursed them (καταρωμένους ὑμᾶς), using the second person plural.  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 5:44, where a Byzantine text added that these followers of Jesus were asked to bless those cursing them (εὐλογεῖτε τοὺς καταρωμένους ὑμᾶς), just like here.  These early Christians were asked to be generous to their enemies and persecutors.

The personal plea of Jeremiah (Jer 15:15-15:18)

“Yahweh!

You know me!

Remember me!

Visit me!

Bring down retribution for me

On my persecutors!

In your forbearance,

Do not take me away!

Know that on your account

I suffer insult!

Your words were found.

I ate them.

Your words became to me a joy.

Your words became the delight of my heart.

I am called by your name.

O Yahweh!

God of hosts!

I did not sit in the company of merrymakers.

But I did rejoice

Under the weight of your hand.

I sat alone.

You had filled me with indignation.

Why is my pain unceasing?

Why is my wound incurable?

Why has my wound refused to be healed?

Truly you are to me

Like a deceitful brook,

Like waters that fail.”

Jeremiah pleaded with Yahweh to remember and visit him. Jeremiah wanted his persecutors to get retribution. He wanted to be saved. He indicated that he had suffered insults because of the name of Yahweh. Jeremiah had eaten the words of Yahweh that were a joyful delight to him. He had called on the name of Yahweh. He has never sat in the company of merrymakers. Rather he often sat alone, because of his indignation. However, Jeremiah continued to suffer continuing pain that was not healing. He thought that Yahweh was like a deceitful stream where the waters had stopped running. Jeremiah was a little upset at Yahweh.

Rescue me (Ps 119:153-119:160)

Resh

“Look on my misery!

Rescue me!

I do not forget your law.

Plead my cause!

Redeem me!

Give me life

According to your promise!

Salvation is far from the wicked.

They do not seek your statutes.

Great is your mercy!

Yahweh!

Give me life

According to your justice!

Many are my persecutors.

Many are my adversaries.

Yet I do not swerve from your decrees.

I look at the faithless with disgust.

Because they do not keep your commands.

Consider how I love your precepts!

Preserve my life

According to your steadfast love!

The sum of your word is truth.

Every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.”

This psalmist wanted to be rescued from his misery because he had not forgotten the law. He wanted a defense attorney and a redeemer. He wanted his life as Yahweh had promised. The wicked would not be saved because they did not seek Yahweh’s statutes. Yahweh’s mercy was great so that his justice would also help him. Although he had many persecutors and adversaries the psalmist did not swerve from Yahweh’s decrees. He looked at the unfaithful in disgust because they did not keep Yahweh’s commands. He, on the other hand, loved Yahweh’s precepts. He wanted his life preserved because of Yahweh’s love. The word of Yahweh is truth so that every one of his just ordinances would endure forever. So ends this section on the twentieth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Resh.

 

Useless wealth (Ps 49:5-49:9)

“Why should I fear in times of trouble?

The iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me.

They are those who trust in their wealth.

They are those who boast of the abundance of their riches.

Truly,

No one can ransom himself.

Ther is no price

That one can give to God for it.

The ransom of his life is costly.

The ransom can never suffice.

How can one continue to live on forever?

How can they never see the pit?”

The psalmist wanted to know why he should be afraid. His persecutors were wicked iniquitous men who trusted and boasted about their abundant wealth. Nobody could ransom themselves. There was no price that they could give to God to save their own lives. No ransom could save a person’s life forever. Everyone would die and go down to the pit or the grave.

David trusts Yahweh (Ps 31:14-31:18)

“But I trust in you!

Yahweh!

I say.

‘You are my God.’

My times are in your hand.

Deliver me

From the hand of my enemies!

Deliver me

From the hand of my persecutors!

Let your face shine on your servant!

Save me in your steadfast love!

Do not let me be put to shame!

Yahweh!

I call on you!

Let the wicked be put to shame!

Let them go dumbfounded to Sheol!

Let those who speak insolently

Against the righteous,

With pride and contempt,

May their lying lips be stilled!”

David trusted in Yahweh. Truly Yahweh was his God. He had full confidence in him. He placed his life in the hands of God. He hoped that he would be delivered from the hands of his enemies and persecutors. He wanted Yahweh’s face to shine on him to give him light. He wanted Yahweh to act out of his steadfast love and not put him to shame.   Instead he wanted the wicked to be put to shame. He wanted them to go dumbfounded into Sheol, the underworld of death. He wanted their lying lips stilled. He wanted those who had spoken insolently against the righteous ones with pride and contempt to be quiet. David wanted the tables turned on his enemies because he trusted in Yahweh.