Luke uniquely said that as Jesus came near (Καὶ ὡς ἤγγισεν) to Jerusalem, he saw the city (ἰδὼν τὴν πόλιν) and wept over it (ἔκλαυσεν ἐπ’ αὐτήν). However, this was the second time that he lamented about the situation in Jerusalem as he had earlier in chapter 13:33-34 about Jerusalem killing its prophets. Jesus sadly entered the city after the rousing entrance in the preceding verses. He was acutely aware of the sufferings and problems to come for himself, the city, and its people. Have you ever wept over a city?
This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories. Luke indicated that Jesus said to his disciples (Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητάς) that there was a rich man (Ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν πλούσιος). He had a manager of his affairs, a household manager, a steward, or a guardian (ὃς εἶχεν οἰκονόμον). Luke used this unique Greek word οἰκονομεῖν, meaning household manager. Although traditionally, he has been called a steward in English, household manager seems more correct. However, charges were brought to the rich man (καὶ οὗτος διεβλήθη αὐτῷ). This Greek word διεβλήθη is found once in the New Testament literature, only here in this story or parable of Luke. The word διεβλήθη means slander, complaint, or accusation. Someone had accused this manager of squandering or wasting this rich man’s property or possessions (ὡς διασκορπίζων τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ). This rich man had a house manager taking care of his possessions. Apparently, it was reported to him, that his manager was not doing a good job and may have been taking some of his property. It is not exactly clear, but there were some problems. Have you ever had a problem with someone who was to manage something for you?
Luke uniquely indicated that that there were great large crowds traveling with Jesus (Συνεπορεύοντο δὲ αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί). He was no longer going to places where crowds gathered. They were traveling with him now. He turned to them (καὶ στραφεὶς). He was about to talk to them about the cost of being a disciple of Jesus. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), the German Lutheran theologian wrote the Cost of Discipleship (1937), outlining the problems of being a Christian in Nazi Germany, when he argued against cheap grace, the easy way out. Do you go along with the crowd?
Luke indicated that Jesus concluded these sayings about not worrying. Jesus told them, his little flock (τὸ μικρὸν ποίμνιον), not to be afraid (Μὴ φοβοῦ). Their Father’s good pleasure (ὅτι εὐδόκησεν ὁ Πατὴρ) would give them (δοῦναι ὑμῖν) the kingdom (τὴν βασιλείαν). There was no exact equivalent in Matthew, but chapter 6:34 is close. Matthew had Jesus utter this great philosophical saying at the conclusion to this section. Just worry about today, not tomorrow! This certainly fits in with all the indications about not worrying, because the heavenly Father would take care of things. However, there is no mention of God or Father here. Do not be anxious about tomorrow (μὴ οὖν μεριμνήσητε εἰς τὴν αὔριον)! Tomorrow will be anxious by itself (ἡ γὰρ αὔριον μεριμνήσει ἑαυτῆς). There are enough problems today (ἀρκετὸν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἡ κακία αὐτῆς). Pure and simple, be happy! Don’t worry! Tomorrow is another day. Are you willing to accept tomorrow without worrying?
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:10, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:7. Mark said that Jesus told them (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν) to leave her alone (Ἄφετε αὐτήν). Why were they bringing her problems or troubles (τί αὐτῇ κόπους παρέχετε)? She had performed a good, worthy, and honorable service or action for him (καλὸν ἔργον ἠργάσατο ἐν ἐμοί). Thus, Jesus defended this woman, who may have been Mary, the sister of Lazarus, for anointing his head with precious oil.
Yahweh was going to give a signal for the Israelites to gather, since he had redeemed them from their captivity. They would be as numerous as they were before. Even though they were scattered among many distant countries, they raised their children there before they returned. Yahweh was going to bring them home from Egypt and Assyria. He was going to put them in Gilead, the east side of the Jordan River, or in Lebanon, on the seacoast, until there was no more room for them there. They would have no problems, since Yahweh was going to lead them through distressed seas, mild waves, and the deep dry Nile River. The pride of Assyria would be brought down, while the control of the Egyptian rule or scepter would leave.
Yahweh, via Obadiah, listed the various things that Edom did on the day of the invasion of Jerusalem. First, they gloated over their brother Judah. Then they rejoiced at the problems of the people of Judah. These Edomites even boasted and entered the gates of Jerusalem. They joined with the others, as they looted the goods of the people in Jerusalem. They kept others from escaping. They even handed over the survivors to the foreign attackers. They were really complicit in this attack on Jerusalem.
Amos has yet another oracle of Yahweh with the same theme about the failure to return to Yahweh. This time, Yahweh overthrew some of them like in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis, chapter 19. These Israelites were like a brand taken from a fire. Despite all these problems, the northern kingdom Israelites still refused Yahweh.
This appears to be a veiled reference to the future Greek iron kingdom with its problems between the different ruling parties of the Seleucids (312-63 BCE) and the Ptolemies (305-30 BCE). They each inherited parts of the Greek empire of Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE). They tried to join together through marriage, but that failed. Daniel here used the example of the feet made of iron and clay, the strength of the iron mixed with the weak clay. However, as the toes and feet became weak, so too this kingdom would be partly strong and partly brittle. Even a marriage could not hold it together, because iron and clay simply do not mix.
The people with Baruch wanted to take up a collection and send money to the people in Jerusalem. With this money, the Jerusalem Judeans were to buy burnt offerings, sin offerings, incense, and grain offerings. All these were to be presented at the altar of the Lord God. However, there are some problems since the Temple and its altars were all destroyed. Was there a temporary temple in Jerusalem during the exile? How many people were left in Jerusalem?