Zacchaeus defends himself (Lk 19:8-19:8)

“Zacchaeus stood there.

He said

To the Lord.

‘Look!

Lord!

I will give

To the poor

Half of my possessions.

If I have defrauded

Anyone of anything,

I will pay back

Four times as much.’”

 

σταθεὶς δὲ Ζακχαῖος εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Κύριον Ἰδοὺ τὰ ἡμίσειά μου τῶν ὑπαρχόντων, Κύριε, τοῖς πτωχοῖς δίδωμι, καὶ εἴ τινός τι ἐσυκοφάντησα ἀποδίδωμι τετραπλοῦν.

 

Luke indicated that Zacchaeus stood there (σταθεὶς δὲ Ζακχαῖος).  He then said to the Lord Jesus (εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Κύριον), calling him Lord (Κύριε) that he was willing to give to the poor (τοῖς πτωχοῖς δίδωμι) half of his possessions (Ἰδοὺ τὰ ἡμίσειά μου τῶν ὑπαρχόντων).  He said that if he had defrauded anyone of anything (καὶ εἴ τινός τι ἐσυκοφάντησα), he was willing to pay it back 4 times as much (ἀποδίδωμι τετραπλοῦν).  Once again, Luke used the Greek word ἐσυκοφάντησα, that means to accuse falsely or defraud people, that was not found in any of the other Greek biblical writers.  Zacchaeus made a big deal about how he was not like the other tax collectors.  Despite his wealth, he was willing to give half of it away to some unnamed poor people.  Anytime, he was accused of defrauding people, he would give them 4 times what they were claiming.  This restoration of 4 times goes back to Exodus, chapter 22:1, about stealing sheep.  The thief had to pay four sheep for any one stolen sheep.  Thus, Zacchaeus seemed like a very fair person, leaning over backwards to help people.  Yet he was still wealthy.  Luke was the only synoptic with this story of Zacchaeus.  How do you treat people who claim that you are defrauding them?

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Follow me! (Lk 18:22-18:22)

“When Jesus

Heard this,

He said to him.

‘There is one thing

Still lacking.

Sell all

That you own!

Distribute

The money

To the poor!

You will have treasure

In heaven.

Then come!

Follow me!’”

 

ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἔτι ἕν σοι λείπει· πάντα ὅσα ἔχεις πώλησον καὶ διάδος πτωχοῖς, καὶ ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει μοι.

 

Luke indicated that when Jesus heard this (ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς), he said to this ruler (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that there was only one thing still lacking (Ἔτι ἕν σοι λείπει).  He should go and sell all that he owned (πάντα ὅσα ἔχεις πώλησον) and distribute this money to the poor (καὶ διάδος πτωχοῖς).  Thus, he would have treasure in heaven (καὶ ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς).  Then he should come and follow Jesus (καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει μοι).  This call to perfection can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:21, and Matthew, chapter 19:21, but slightly different.  Mark said that Jesus looked at this man (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ) and loved him (ἠγάπησεν αὐτὸν).  Jesus said to him (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he only lacked one thing or he fell short in one area (Ἕν σε ὑστερεῖ).  This man would have to go (ὕπαγε) and sell his possessions or whatever he had (ὅσα ἔχεις πώλησον).  Then he should give this money or the 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 οὐρανῷ).  Finally, he could become a follower or accompany Jesus (καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει μοι).  In Matthew, 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 these sayings, Jesus had very high standards and difficult demands.  There was no equivocation.  Are you willing to sell everything and follow Jesus?

No regard for God or man (Lk 18:4-18:4)

“For a while

The bad judge

Refused.

But afterward,

He said to himself.

‘I have

No fear of God.

I have no respect

For anyone.’”

 

καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν ἐπὶ χρόνον· μετὰ ταῦτα δὲ εἶπεν ἐν ἑαυτῷ Εἰ καὶ τὸν Θεὸν οὐ φοβοῦμαι οὐδὲ ἄνθρωπον ἐντρέπομαι,

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that for a time (ἐπὶ χρόνον), this judge refused her (καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν).  However, after a while (μετὰ ταῦτα), he reevaluated his position.  He said to himself (δὲ εἶπεν ἐν ἑαυτῷ) that he had no fear of God (Εἰ καὶ τὸν Θεὸν οὐ φοβοῦμαι) and no respect for anyone (οὐδὲ ἄνθρωπον ἐντρέπομαι).  Why should he worry about this poor widow?  Do you worry about poor old women?

Dress him up! (Lk 15:22-15:22)

“But the father

Said to his slaves.

‘Quickly!

Bring out

The best robe!

Put it on him!

Put a ring

On his finger!

Put sandals

On his feet!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ ὁ πατὴρ πρὸς τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ Ταχὺ ἐξενέγκατε στολὴν τὴν πρώτην καὶ ἐνδύσατε αὐτόν, καὶ δότε δακτύλιον εἰς τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ καὶ ὑποδήματα εἰς τοὺς πόδας,

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the father said to his slaves (εἶπεν δὲ ὁ πατὴρ πρὸς τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ) that they were to quickly bring out the best robe (Ταχὺ ἐξενέγκατε στολὴν τὴν πρώτην).  They were to dress him with it (καὶ ἐνδύσατε αὐτόν).  Then they were to put a ring on his hand or finger (καὶ δότε δακτύλιον εἰς τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ) and sandals on his feet (καὶ ὑποδήματα εἰς τοὺς πόδας).  Apparently, there were some slaves (δούλους) on this farm, besides the hired hands.  The prodigal’s son father wanted him dressed up with a new robe, ring, and sandals.  He no longer would be the poor prodigal lost sinner.  Do you like to dress up?

Get somebody in here (Lk 14:21-14:21)

“Thus,

The slave returned.

He reported this

To his master.

Then the owner

Of the house

Became angry.

He said

To his slave.

‘Go out at once

Into the streets

And into the lanes

Of the town!

Bring in

The poor,

The crippled,

The blind,

And the lame!’”

 

καὶ παραγενόμενος ὁ δοῦλος ἀπήγγειλεν τῷ κυρίῳ αὐτοῦ ταῦτα. τότε ὀργισθεὶς ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης εἶπεν τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ Ἔξελθε ταχέως εἰς τὰς πλατείας καὶ ῥύμας τῆς πόλεως, καὶ τοὺς πτωχοὺς καὶ ἀναπήρους καὶ τυφλοὺς καὶ χωλοὺς εἰσάγαγε ὧδε.

 

Luke continued this parable.  Jesus said that this slave returned (καὶ παραγενόμενος ὁ δοῦλος).  Then he reported (ἀπήγγειλεν) to his master, the lord (τῷ κυρίῳ), all these things (ταῦτα).  The owner of the house (ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης) then became very angry (τότε ὀργισθεὶς).  He told his slave (εἶπεν τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ) to go out at once (Ἔξελθε ταχέως) into the streets (εἰς τὰς πλατείας) and the lanes of the town (καὶ ῥύμας τῆς πόλεως,).  He was to bring in the poor (καὶ τοὺς πτωχοὺς), the crippled (καὶ ἀναπήρους), the blind (καὶ τυφλοὺς), and the lame (καὶ χωλοὺς) in there (ὧδε).  Once again, there are some differences with Matthew, chapter 22:8-9, who was less descriptive of those who were invited this time.  Jesus said that this king told his slaves (τότε λέγει τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ) that the wedding feast was ready (Ὁ μὲν γάμος ἕτοιμός ἐστιν).  Those originally invited were not worthy or deserving of his invitation (οἱ δὲ κεκλημένοι οὐκ ἦσαν ἄξιοι).  Therefore, they were to go into the main streets or the meeting places on the roads (πορεύεσθε οὖν ἐπὶ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὁδῶν).  Then they should invite everyone or as many as they could find to this wedding banquet (καὶ ὅσους ἐὰν εὕρητε καλέσατε εἰς τοὺς γάμους).  This king was intent on having this wedding dinner.  However, Luke extended the new invitations to the vulnerable in our society, the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame, a slightly different perspective.  Who would you invite to a dinner feast?

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?

Love your enemies! (Lk 6:35-6:35)

“But love your enemies!

Do good!

Lend!

Expect nothing

In return!

Your reward

Will be great!

You will be

Children

Of the Most-High!”

 

πλὴν ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν καὶ ἀγαθοποιεῖτε καὶ δανίζετε μηδὲν ἀπελπίζοντες· καὶ ἔσται ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολύς, καὶ ἔσεσθε υἱοὶ Ὑψίστου,

 

Matthew, chapter 5:44 was more forceful when Jesus said that they were to love their enemies (ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν) and even pray for those who were persecuting them.  Here Luke indicated that Jesus said that they were to love their enemies (πλὴν ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν), as in Matthew.  However, they were to do good (καὶ ἀγαθοποιεῖτε).  They were expected to lend to others (καὶ δανίζετε), expecting nothing in return (μηδὲν ἀπελπίζοντες).  This was based on Exodus, chapter 22:25 that if they lent money, they should not charge interest to the poor.  Leviticus, chapter 25:27, said that if any of their relatives fall into difficulties and become dependent on them, they should support them as though they were resident aliens.  They were not to take interest or profit from them while they are living and eating in their house.  Yahweh would provide.  Their reward would be great (καὶ ἔσται ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολύς) because they would be children of the Most-High God (καὶ ἔσεσθε υἱοὶ Ὑψίστου).  Have you ever lent money to relatives?