Zacchaeus was small (Lk 19:3-19:3)

“Zacchaeus was trying

To see

Who Jesus was.

However,

He could not,

Due to the crowd.

Besides,

He was short

In stature.”

 

καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν τὸν Ἰησοῦν τίς ἐστιν, καὶ οὐκ ἠδύνατο ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου, ὅτι τῇ ἡλικίᾳ μικρὸς ἦν.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Zacchaeus was trying to see Jesus (καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν τὸν Ἰησοῦν) and figure out who he was (τίς ἐστιν).  However, he could not (καὶ οὐκ ἠδύνατο), due to the crowd (ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου) around Jesus.  Besides, Zacchaeus was a short person (ὅτι τῇ ἡλικίᾳ μικρὸς ἦν).  This short rich tax collector, Zacchaeus, could not see Jesus because of the crowd around him.  This was and is a problem for all small people.  Luke was the only synoptic with this story of Zacchaeus.  What do you think about small people?

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Camel and the eye of a needle (Lk 18:25-18:25)

“It is easier

For a camel

To go through

The eye of a needle

Than for a rich man

To enter

The kingdom of God.”

 

εὐκοπώτερον γάρ ἐστιν κάμηλον διὰ τρήματος βελόνης εἰσελθεῖν ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that it was easier for a camel (εὐκοπώτερον γάρ ἐστιν κάμηλον) to go through the eye of a needle (διὰ τρήματος βελόνης εἰσελθεῖν) than for a rich man (ἢ πλούσιον) to enter the kingdom of God (εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν).  This saying about wealth and the camel going through the eye of a needle can be found in Mark, chapter 10:25, and Matthew, chapter 19:24, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that it would be easier (εὐκοπώτερόν ἐστιν) for a camel to go or pass through the eye of a needle (κάμηλον διὰ τῆς τρυμαλιᾶς τῆς ῥαφίδος διελθεῖν), that was used for sewing, than for a wealthy rich man to enter the kingdom of God (ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν).  In Matthew, once again, this was a solemn proclamation of Jesus (πάλιν δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν).  He said that it would be easier (εὐκοπώτερόν ἐστιν) for a camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle (κάμηλον διὰ τρήματος ῥαφίδος εἰσελθεῖν) than for a wealthy rich man to enter the kingdom of God (ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This was a follow up to the obstacles of wealth.  Notice that Matthew followed the other two gospels by using kingdom of God (τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) rather than his usual kingdom of heaven (τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν), as in the preceding verses.  Everyone knew that it would be impossible for a camel to go through a sewing needle eye or a needle opening.  There was no needle gate in Jerusalem, since this was about a sewing needle.  Do you see wealth as a problem?

Fasting and tithing (Lk 18:12-18:12)

“I fast

Twice a week.

I give a tenth

Of all my income.”

 

νηστεύω δὶς τοῦ σαββάτου, ἀποδεκατεύω πάντα ὅσα κτῶμαι.

 

Luke has Jesus tell this parable about a Pharisee and a tax collector that is only found in this gospel.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this Pharisee said that he fasted twice a week (νηστεύω δὶς τοῦ σαββάτου) and he gave a tenth of all his income (ποδεκατεύω πάντα ὅσα κτῶμαι).  Normally, the Pharisees fasted on Mondays and Thursdays.  This was a good thing.  This Pharisee fasted and did not eat twice a week.  Besides, he tithed all his income, as he gave 10% to the Temple.  There was nothing wrong with this behavior.  He was a faithful Jewish person.  The problem was his attitude, not how he acted.  Was is your attitude toward your religious practices?

The excuse of new property (Lk 14:18-14:18)

“But they all alike

Began

To make excuses.

The first said to him.

‘I have bought

A piece of land.

I must go out

To see it.

Please!

Accept my regrets!”

 

καὶ ἤρξαντο ἀπὸ μιᾶς πάντες παραιτεῖσθαι. ὁ πρῶτος εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἀγρὸν ἠγόρασα, καὶ ἔχω ἀνάγκην ἐξελθὼν ἰδεῖν αὐτόν· ἐρωτῶ σε, ἔχε με παρῃτημένον.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they all began to make excuses, to excuse themselves (καὶ ἤρξαντο ἀπὸ μιᾶς πάντες παραιτεῖσθαι).  The first one said to the slave (ὁ πρῶτος εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he had just bought a piece of land (Ἀγρὸν ἠγόρασα).  Thus, he had to go out to see it (καὶ ἔχω ἀνάγκην ἐξελθὼν ἰδεῖν αὐτόν).  Therefore, he politely (ἐρωτῶ σε) wanted to be excused from going to the banquet (ἔχε με παρῃτημένον).  Matthew, chapter 22:3-5, said that they would not come or did not wish to come (καὶ οὐκ ἤθελον ἐλθεῖν), without giving excuses.  Now, this was a problem.  They have refused an invitation to the wedding banquet of God, the Father, the king.  He had sent his slaves, the prophets or the apostles, to call them, but they still did not want to come to the wedding feast.  In fact, Matthew said that the invitees made light of these inviting slaves.  They disregarded or disrespected (οἱ δὲ ἀμελήσαντες) the invitation.  They simply went on with their daily lives.  They went (ἀπῆλθον) either to their own farm field (ὃς μὲν εἰς τὸν ἴδιον ἀγρόν), or to their trading business (ὃς δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν ἐμπορίαν αὐτοῦ).  They were too busy to go to a wedding feast.  Have you ever been too busy to go to a wedding reception?

Heal on the Sabbath (Lk 14:3-14:3)

“Jesus asked

The lawyers

And the Pharisees.

‘Is it lawful

To cure people

On the Sabbath,

Or not?’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς τοὺς νομικοὺς καὶ Φαρισαίους λέγων Ἔξεστιν τῷ σαββάτῳ θεραπεῦσαι ἢ οὔ;

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus asked (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν) the lawyers (πρὸς τοὺς νομικοὺς) and the Pharisees (καὶ Φαρισαίους λέγων) whether it was lawful (Ἔξεστιν) to cure people on the Sabbath (τῷ σαββάτῳ θεραπεῦσαι) or not (ἢ οὔ).  This was not a new question.  Jesus had brought up this question at the other healings on the Sabbath in chapter 6:9, with the man with the withered hand, and in chapter 13:14-16, with the crippled woman.  He was well aware of the problem.  Should doctors have Sunday office hours?

Free from infirmity (Lk 13:12-13:12)

“When Jesus saw her,

He called her over.

He said to her.

‘Woman!

You are set free

From your ailment.’”

 

ἰδὼν δὲ αὐτὴν ὁ Ἰησοῦς προσεφώνησεν καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ Γύναι, ἀπολέλυσαι τῆς ἀσθενείας σου,

 

Luke uniquely said that Jesus saw her (ἰδὼν δὲ αὐτὴν).  He then called her over near to him (ὁ Ἰησοῦς προσεφώνησεν).  He then said to her (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ), calling her woman (Γύναι), that she would be set free from her ailment or sickness (ἀπολέλυσαι τῆς ἀσθενείας σου).  Obviously, Jesus would have noticed this bent over lady, which is often common among older men and women because of osteoporosis or weakening of the backbone.  He called her over to cure her of her infirmity.  He was going to see her free from the evil spirit that had caused this problem.  Have you ever seen a person recover from being bent over?

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?