Invite the needy (Lk 14:13-14:13)

“But when you give

A banquet,

Invite the poor!

Invite the crippled!

Invite the lame!

Invite the blind!”

 

ἀλλ’ ὅταν δοχὴν ποιῇς, κάλει πτωχούς, ἀναπήρους, χωλούς, τυφλούς·

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus had other plans about dinner guests.  When anyone gave a dinner party or feast (ἀλλ’ ὅταν δοχὴν ποιῇς), Jesus listed the people who this Pharisee should invite (κάλει), the poor (πτωχούς), the crippled (ἀναπήρους), the lame (χωλούς) and the blind (τυφλούς).  These were not the elite of society who would get the higher places because of their distinguished positions.  Do you know anyone who invites these kinds of people to a dinner party?

The wrong treasure (Lk 12:21-12:21)

“Thus,

It is with those

Who store up treasures

For themselves,

But are not rich

Toward God.”

 

οὕτως ὁ θησαυρίζων αὑτῷ καὶ μὴ εἰς Θεὸν πλουτῶν

 

Luke uniquely brought this little parable of Jesus to an end.  Jesus said this was the problem with those who store up treasures for themselves (οὕτως ὁ θησαυρίζων αὑτῷ), but are not rich towards God (καὶ μὴ εἰς Θεὸν πλουτῶν) in divine treasures.  Thus, this parable of the rich foolish man comes to an end.  He had stored up treasures here on earth, instead of heavenly treasures with God.  He had misplaced priorities.  His plans did not include death.  Do you have misplaced priorities?

Herod sent the Magi to Bethlehem (Mt 2:8-2:8)

“Then King Herod

Sent the Magi

To Bethlehem.

Saying.

‘Go!

Search diligently

For the child!

When you have found him,

Bring me word,

So that I may also go.

I want to pay him homage.’”

 

καὶ πέμψας αὐτοὺς εἰς Βηθλέεμ εἶπεν· Πορευθέντες ἐξετάσατε ἀκριβῶς περὶ τοῦ παιδίου· ἐπὰν δὲ εὕρητε, ἀπαγγείλατέ μοι, ὅπως κἀγὼ ἐλθὼν προσκυνήσω αὐτῷ.

 

Then King Herod told the magi to go to Bethlehem (πέμψας αὐτοὺς εἰς Βηθλέεμ,), since he had found out that this was the place where the new king of the Jews was born.  He told the magi that when they got to Bethlehem they were to search diligently (εἶπεν·Πορευθέντες ἐξετάσατε ἀκριβῶς) for this new born child (περὶ τοῦ παιδίου).  When they found out where he was (ἐπὰν δὲ εὕρητε,), they were to let him know (ἀπαγγείλατέ μοι), so that he also could go to worship or pay homage to him (ὅπως κἀγὼ ἐλθὼν προσκυνήσω αὐτῷ), just as they were about to do.  This seems pretty straight forward.  Obviously, King Herod had other plans.

The defeat of the enemies of Zion (Mic 4:11-4:13)

“Now many nations

Are assembled against you.

Saying.

‘Let her be profaned!

Let our eyes gaze upon Zion!’

But they do not know

The thoughts of Yahweh.

They do not understand

His plan.

He has gathered them

As sheaves

To the threshing floor.

Arise!

Thresh!

O daughter Zion!

I will make your horn iron.

I will make your hoofs bronze.

You shall beat in pieces

Many people.

You shall devote their gain

To Yahweh.

You shall devote their wealth

To Yahweh,

The lord of the whole earth.”

Yahweh, via Micah, warned that many nations and people would attack Jerusalem, Mount Zion.  Perhaps this is allusion to the Assyrians around 700 BCE.  However, as they came to gaze at Jerusalem, Yahweh had other plans.  He was going to treat these enemies of Israel as if they were wheat to be grinded down on the threshing floor.  Yahweh wanted the people of Zion to wake up and get ready.  They were to get the threshing machines ready.  The horses would have bronze hoofs and strong iron to do this grinding.  They were to beat these enemies into pieces.  Then they were to take their wealth to devote and donate it to Yahweh, the lord of the whole world.

The open land use in the city (Ezek 48:17-48:20)

“The city shall have

Open land.

It shall be

On the north side,

Two hundred fifty cubits,

On the south side,

Two hundred fifty cubits,

On the east side

Two hundred fifty cubits,

On the west side

Two hundred fifty cubits.

The remainder of the length

Alongside the holy portion

Shall be

Ten thousand cubits

To the east,

Ten thousand cubits

To the west.

It shall be alongside

The holy portion.

Its produce shall be

Food for the workers

Of the city.

The workers of the city,

From all the tribes of Israel,

Shall cultivate it.

The whole portion

That you shall set apart

Shall be

Twenty-five thousand cubits square.

That is

The holy portion together

With the property of the city.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, had plans for the area around the holy land with the Temple in it. The city would have 250 cubits of open space land on each side of the property, about 400 feet on the east, west, north, and south sides. The remainder of the land alongside the holy portion would be 10,000 cubits or about 16,000 feet on both the east and west side for producing food for the city workers. These city workers, from all the different tribes of Israel, would cultivate and farm this land. The total amount of land set aside for the holy portion and the city land around it would be 25,000 cubits square or about 40,000 square feet.

The coming terror against Ammon (Jer 49:4-49:5)

“‘Why do you boast

In your strength?

Your strength is ebbing.

O faithless daughter!

You trusted

In your treasures.

Saying,

‘Who will attack me?’

Says Yahweh

God of hosts.

‘I am going to bring terror

Upon you

From your neighbors.

You will be scattered,

Each headlong,

With no one

To gather the fugitives.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, was clear. The Ammonites were going to suffer in terror. Why had they boasted about their strength, when they were actually losing strength. They had trusted in their treasures, thinking that no one would be able to attack them. Yahweh had other plans for them, although he also called them faithless daughters as if they were like the northern Israelites. They were going to be attacked by their neighbors, scattered headlong against each other. There would be no one left to gather all those who were fleeing Ammon.

The good future plans (Jer 29:11-29:11)

“Yahweh says.

‘Surely I know the plans

I have for you.

These are plans

For your welfare,

Not for your harm.

I want

To give you

A future with hope.”

Once again, Yahweh, via the letter of Jeremiah, said that he would take care of their future, since he had plans for them.   He would not harm them, but rather watch out for their welfare. He wanted to give them a future with hope.