Eternal life (Lk 18:18-18:18)

“A certain ruler

Asked Jesus.

‘Good Teacher!

What must I do

To inherit

Eternal life?’”

 

Καὶ ἐπηρώτησέν τις αὐτὸν ἄρχων λέγων Διδάσκαλε ἀγαθέ, τί ποιήσας ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that a certain ruler questioned Jesus (Καὶ ἐπηρώτησέν τις αὐτὸν ἄρχων), calling him a good teacher (λέγων Διδάσκαλε ἀγαθέ).  What did he have to do to inherit eternal life (τί ποιήσας ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω)?  This incident about the man asking about eternal life can be found in Mark, chapter 10:17, and Matthew, chapter 19:16, but slightly different.  Mark had Jesus setting out on a journey (Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ εἰς ὁδὸν), when a man, not a ruler as in Luke, came running up to Jesus (προσδραμὼν εἷς).  He knelt down before Jesus (καὶ γονυπετήσας αὐτὸν).  He then questioned Jesus (ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν), calling him a good teacher (Διδάσκαλε ἀγαθέ), like in Luke.  He wanted to know what he had to do (τί ποιήσω) to inherit, possess, or acquire eternal life (ἵνα ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω).  Matthew said this person was not a ruler as in Luke, but he also came to Jesus (Καὶ ἰδοὺ εἷς προσελθὼν αὐτῷ).  He called Jesus a teacher (εἶπεν Διδάσκαλε), but not a good teacher as in Luke and Mark.  He wanted to know what one good deed he could do (τί ἀγαθὸν ποιήσω) to achieve eternal life (ἵνα σχῶ ζωὴν αἰώνιον).  This person wanted to know about his own personal eternal salvation, while the normal Jewish attitude would have been to talk about how they could all be saved.  Are you worried about your eternal life?

Blessed are the poor (Lk 6:20-6:20)

“Then Jesus

Looked up

At his disciples.

He said.

‘Blessed are you

Who are poor!

Yours is

The kingdom of God.”

 

Καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ εἰς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἔλεγεν Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοί, ὅτι ὑμετέρα ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke said that Jesus looked up at his disciples (Καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ εἰς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  He said (ἔλεγεν) that the poor are blessed or happy (Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοί), using the second person plural.  Their reward would be the kingdom of God (ὅτι ὑμετέρα ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This sermon on the plain is somewhat similar to the sermon on the mount in Matthew, chapters 5-7.  Most people speak about the 8 beatitudes of Jesus on the mountain, since they feature the key points of Jesus’ preaching that was founded on the Hebrew Scriptures.  What does “blessed (Μακάριοι)” mean?  This Greek word Μακάριοι appeared over 68 times in the Greek Septuagint Old Testament, especially in the Psalms.  God will bless these people, so that they will be the fortunate ones, the happy ones, the wise ones.  There are echoes of Psalm 32, where the happy and blessed ones are those who have had their sins forgiven, since they have no deceit in their hearts.  The blessed people are the poor, the hungry, the mourners, and those being persecuted.  Number one is the poor.  However, right off the bat, there is a difference with Matthew. chapter 5:3, who used the term the “poor in spirit (οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι).”  What did Matthew mean by this “poor in spirit” or spiritual poverty?  There is a whole Judaic tradition about the oppressed poor and the humble of the land, as in the prophets Isaiah, chapter 61:1 and 66:2, and Zephaniah, chapter 2:3, but that was not spiritual poverty.  Perhaps, this was more like the lack of concern for material things, whether you are actually poor or not.  For Luke, it was black or white, poor or not.  The 2nd major difference was the reward.  Matthew talked about what they would possess, the kingdom of the heavens (ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν), while Luke said it was the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ), plain and simple.

Eternal life (Mk 10:17-10:17)

“As Jesus

Was setting out

On a journey,

A man ran up

To him.

He knelt

Before him.

He asked him.

‘Good Teacher!

What must I do

To inherit

Eternal life?’”

 

Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ εἰς ὁδὸν προσδραμὼν εἷς καὶ γονυπετήσας αὐτὸν ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν Διδάσκαλε ἀγαθέ, τί ποιήσω ἵνα ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω;

 

This incident about the man seeking eternal can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:16, and Luke, chapter 18:18, but slightly different.  Mark has Jesus setting out on a journey (Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ εἰς ὁδὸν), when a man, not a ruler as in Luke, came running up to Jesus (προσδραμὼν εἷς).  He knelt down before Jesus (καὶ γονυπετήσας αὐτὸν).  He then questioned Jesus (ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν), calling him a good teacher (Διδάσκαλε ἀγαθέ), not just a teacher as in Matthew.  He wanted to know what he had to do (τί ποιήσω) to inherit, possess, or acquire eternal life (ἵνα ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω).  This person wanted to know about his own personal eternal salvation, while the normal Jewish attitude would have been to talk about how they could all be saved.

The first beatitude about poverty (Mt 5:3-5:3)

“Blessed are

The poor in spirit!

Theirs is

The kingdom of heaven.”

 

Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.

 

Most people speak about the 8 beatitudes of Jesus on the mountain.  They are also found in Luke, chapter 6:20, since they feature the key points of Jesus’ preaching that was founded on the Hebrew Scriptures.  What does “blessed (Μακάριοι)” mean?  This Greek word Μακάριοι appears over 68 times in the Greek Septuagint Old Testament, especially in the Psalms.  God will bless these people, so that they will be the fortunate ones, the happy ones, the wise ones.  There are echoes of Psalm 32, where the happy and blessed ones are those who have had their sins forgiven, since they have no deceit in their hearts.  The blessed people are the poor, the hungry, the mourners, and those being persecuted.  Number one is the poor.  However, right off the bat, there is a difference with Luke, chapter 6:20, who simply said blessed are the poor (Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ) without any modification, since he did not mention the “poor in spirit (οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι),” as Matthew indicated here.  What does Matthew mean by this “poor in spirit” or spiritual poverty?  There is a whole Judaic tradition about the oppressed poor and the humble of the land, as in prophets Isaiah, chapter 61:1 and 66:2, and Zephaniah, chapter 2:3, but that was not spiritual poverty.  Perhaps, this is more like the lack of concern for material things, whether you are actually poor or not.  For Luke, it was black or white, poor or not.  The 2nd major difference was the reward.  Matthew continued to talk about what they would possess, the kingdom of the heavens (ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν), while Luke said it was the kingdom of God, plain and simple.

The coming peace (Zech 8:11-8:13)

“Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘But now I will not deal

With the remnant

Of this people

As in the former days.

Now there shall be

A sowing of peace.

The vine

Shall yield its fruit.

The ground

Shall give its produce.

The skies

Shall give their dew.

I will cause

The remnant of this people

To possess all these things.

Just as you have been a curse

Among the nations,

O house of Judah!

O house of Israel!

Thus,

I will save you.

You shall be a blessing.

Do not be afraid!

But let your hands be strong!’”

Yahweh of hosts was going to deal with his people, but not like in the former days.  Now Yahweh was going to sow peace.  Their vines would yield much fruit.  Their ground would produce rich harvests.  Their skies would send down gentle rain and dew.  The remnant of the people would possess all these things.  Just as many countries had cursed them in the past, now Judah and Israel would be a blessing to many countries.  They should not be afraid, but continue with their strong hands.

The Israelites will possess the neighboring lands (Ob 1:19-1:21)

“Those of the Negeb

Shall possess

Mount Esau.

Those of the Shephelah,

The land of the Philistines,

Shall possess

The land of Ephraim

With the land of Samaria.

Benjamin

Shall possess Gilead.

The exiles

Of the Israelites

Who are in Halah,

Shall possess

Phoenicia

As far as Zarephath.

The exiles of Jerusalem

Who are in Sepharad

Shall possess

The towns

Of the Negeb.

Those who have been saved

Shall go up

To Mount Zion

To rule Mount Esau.

The kingdom

Shall be Yahweh’s.”

This short chapter and book ends and a new larger Israel, as their long standing enemy neighbors will no longer exist.  Israel shall rule them.  The area of the Negeb was the arid southern land that would change from the land of Edom or Mount Esau into Israel.  Israel was going to possess the Shephelah, the western area along the Mediterranean coast where the Philistines lived.  They were also going to have the land of Samaria and the territory of Ephraim, north of Judah.  The territory of Benjamin would include land on the east side of the Jordan River, the Gilead.  The exiled Israelites in Halah in the upper Mesopotamia region and those in the Phoenician town of Zarephath, as well as the exiles in Asia Minor in Shephard would all return to live in the arid southern Negeb region.  All the saved Israelites would return to Mount Zion, as Mount Esau and all of Edom would go away and be under the Israelites.

Restoration of the Davidic rule (Am 9:11-9:12)

“On that day,

I will raise up

The booth of David

That is fallen.

I will repair

Its breaches.

I will raise up

Its ruins.

I will rebuild it

As in the days of old.

Thus,

They may possess

The remnant of Edom.

They may possess

All the nations

Who are called

By my name.’

Says Yahweh

Who does this.”

This oracle of Yahweh might be a later addition.  However, it asked for the restoration of the Davidic rule.  Yahweh wanted the fallen booth or tent of David to be restored, since it needed to be repaired.  Yahweh was going to raise up the ruins of that dynasty, so that it would be like the good old days.  Then Israel would possess whatever was left over of Edom.  Just like at the time of David, the other neighbors of Israel would come under the rule of Israel.  Thus, there was an allusion to the other countries who were called by the name of Yahweh.  Yahweh had said this, now he was going to do it.