The good and evil man (Lk 6:45-6:45)

“The good person,

Out of the good treasure

Of his heart,

Produces good.

The evil person,

Out of his evil treasure,

Produces evil.

Out of the abundance

Of the heart,

The mouth speaks.”

 

ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ τῆς καρδίας προφέρει τὸ ἀγαθόν, καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ προφέρει τὸ πονηρόν· ἐκ γὰρ περισσεύματος καρδίας λαλεῖ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his sayings.  The good person (ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος), out of the good treasure of his heart (ἐκ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ τῆς καρδίας), produces good things (προφέρει τὸ ἀγαθόν).  The evil person (καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς), out of his evil treasure (ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ), produces evil (προφέρει τὸ πονηρόν).  Out of the abundance of the heart (ἐκ γὰρ περισσεύματος καρδίας), the mouth speaks (λαλεῖ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ).  The heart was considered the moral center of a person.  Thus, we often say a person has a good heart.  Just like a tree, if the heart is good or evil, it will show up in either good or evil deeds and words.  This is similar to Matthew, chapter 12:35, thus indicating a possible Q source.  Matthew had Jesus speak about the same theme that only good can come from good people and only bad can come from bad people.  This is a common-sense statement that talks about the good and the evil people.  The good or kind person brought good things out of his good treasure or storehouse.  The evil or wicked person brought evil things out of his evil treasure or storehouse.  There never was any ambiguity.  Your treasure, your storehouse, your heart, or your morality would be revealed in your words or deeds.  What do you reveal in your activities?

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The god and bad trees (Lk 6:43-6:43)

“No good tree

Bears bad fruit.

Nor again,

Does a bad tree

Bear good fruit.”

 

Οὐ γάρ ἐστιν δένδρον καλὸν ποιοῦν καρπὸν σαπρόν, οὐδὲ πάλιν δένδρον σαπρὸν ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλόν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that no good tree bears bad fruit (Οὐ γάρ ἐστιν δένδρον καλὸν ποιοῦν καρπὸν σαπρόν).  Nor does a bad tree bear good fruit (οὐδὲ πάλιν δένδρον σαπρὸν ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλόν).  This is a basic common-sense statement.  There was something similar to this in the preaching of John the Baptist earlier in chapter 3:9 and Matthew, chapter 7:17-18, and chapter 12:33, perhaps from the Q source.  The good tree produces good fruit.  The bad tree produces bad fruit.  The good tree is not able to produce evil fruit, while the evil tree is not able to produce good fruit.  Either a tree is good or rotten.  Simply stated, a good or bad tree will only produce what it is.  There will be no mixing of the good and the bad fruits.  Good fruit only comes from good trees, while rotten fruits only come from rotten trees.  You can tell what kind of a tree it is by its fruits.  Do you produce good or bad fruit?

The mustard seed (Mk 4:31-4:32)

“The kingdom of God

Is like

A mustard seed.

When sown

Upon the ground,

It is the smallest

Of all the seeds

On earth.

Yet when it is sown,

It grows up.

It becomes the greatest

Of all shrubs.

It puts forth

Large branches,

So that the birds

Of the air

Can make nests

In its shade.”

 

ὡς κόκκῳ σινάπεως, ὃς ὅταν σπαρῇ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, μικρότερον ὂν πάντων τῶν σπερμάτων τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς,

καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ, ἀναβαίνει καὶ γίνεται μεῖζον πάντων τῶν λαχάνων, καὶ ποιεῖ κλάδους μεγάλους, ὥστε δύνασθαι ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτοῦ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνοῖν.

 

This parable of the mustard seed can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:31-32, and Luke, chapter 13:19.  The mustard seed was the symbol of small things.  However, it could grow to become a tree or shrub where birds could nest.  There was no explanation of this parable, except the clear indication that the kingdom of heaven may start out small but would grow to hold many people.  Jesus, via Mark, explicitly presented them with another short parable.  He said that the kingdom of God was like a mustard seed or a grain of mustard (ὡς κόκκῳ σινάπεως).  When planted in the ground (ὃς ὅταν σπαρῇ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς), it is the smallest of all seeds on earth (μικρότερον ὂν πάντων τῶν σπερμάτων τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  But when it has grown after being planted (καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ, ἀναβαίνει), it becomes greater than all the garden plants or shrubs (καὶ γίνεται μεῖζον πάντων τῶν λαχάνων).  It then produces great branches (καὶ ποιεῖ κλάδους μεγάλους).  Thus, the birds of the air would be able to come and perch or build nests in the shade of its branches (ὥστε δύνασθαι ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτοῦ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνοῖν).  What starts out small can become quite large.

The growth to harvest time (Mk 4:28-4:29)

“The earth produces of itself.

First, there is the stalk.

Then comes the head.

Then there is

The full grain

In the head.

But when the grain

Is ripe,

At once,

He goes in

With his sickle,

Because the harvest

Has come.”

 

αὐτομάτη ἡ γῆ καρποφορεῖ, πρῶτον χόρτον, εἶτεν στάχυν, εἶτεν πλήρης σῖτος ἐν τῷ στάχυϊ.

ὅταν δὲ παραδοῖ ὁ καρπός, εὐθὺς ἀποστέλλει τὸ δρέπανον, ὅτι παρέστηκεν ὁ θερισμός.

 

Jesus, via this unique parable of Mark, explored the life of a farmer and the wonder of growth until the harvest time came.  The earth bore fruit by itself (αὐτομάτη ἡ γῆ καρποφορεῖ) without the help of any humans.  First, there was the stalk plant (πρῶτον χόρτον), then the head (εἶτεν στάχυν) and then finally the full grain in the head or ear (εἶτεν πλήρης σῖτος ἐν τῷ στάχυϊ).  However, when the grain was ripe or the fruit appeared (ὅταν δὲ παραδοῖ ὁ καρπός), at once (εὐθὺς), he went with his sickle (ἀποστέλλει τὸ δρέπανον), because harvest time had arrived (ὅτι παρέστηκεν ὁ θερισμός).  The kingdom of God was like a farmer who watched his crop grow and waited for the harvest time, before he gathered in his crop.

 

The kingdom of God (Mt 21:43-21:43)

“Therefore.

I tell you!

The kingdom of God

Will be taken away

From you.

It will be given

To a people

That produces

The fruits of the kingdom.”

 

διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἀρθήσεται ἀφ’ ὑμῶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ δοθήσεται ἔθνει ποιοῦντι τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτῆς.

 

This is a unique saying of Matthew.  However, strangely enough, he called the kingdom “the kingdom of God” rather than his usual “kingdom of heaven.”  Jesus had a solemn pronouncement (διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν) that the kingdom of God will be taken away from them (ὅτι ἀρθήσεται ἀφ’ ὑμῶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Instead, it would be given to a people that would produce the fruits of this kingdom (καὶ δοθήσεται ἔθνει ποιοῦντι τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτῆς).  Thus, the productive followers of Jesus that produced fruits, rather than the chosen people, especially the Jewish religious leaders, would inherit the kingdom of God.

The sound tree (Mt 7:17-7:18)

“Every good tree

Bears good fruit.

But the bad tree

Bears bad fruit.

A good tree

Cannot bear

Bad fruit.

A bad tree

Cannot bear

Good fruit.”

 

οὕτως πᾶν δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς καλοὺς ποιεῖ, τὸ δὲ σαπρὸν δένδρον καρποὺς πονηροὺς ποιεῖ·

οὐ δύναται δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς πονηροὺς ἐνεγκεῖν, οὐ δύναται δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς πονηροὺς ἐνεγκεῖν

 

This saying of Jesus is somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 6:42, perhaps from the Q source.  This is a basic common-sense statement.  The good tree produces good fruit (οὕτως πᾶν δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς καλοὺς ποιεῖ).  The bad or evil tree produces bad or evil fruit (τὸ δὲ σαπρὸν δένδρον καρποὺς πονηροὺς ποιεῖ).  The good tree is not able to produce bad or evil fruit (οὐ δύναται δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς πονηροὺς ἐνεγκεῖν), while the bad or evil tree is not able to produce good fruit (οὐ δύναται δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς πονηροὺς ἐνεγκεῖν).  Simply stated, a good or bad tree will only produce what it is.  There will be no mixing of the good and the bad fruits.  Good fruit only comes from good trees, while bad fruits only come from bad trees.

Do not judge on appearances (Sir 11:2-11:4)

“Do not praise individuals

For their good looks!

Do not loathe anyone

Because of appearance alone.

The bee is small

Among flying creatures.

But what it produces

Is the best of sweet things.

Do not boast

About wearing fine clothes!

Do not exalt yourself

When you are honored.

The works of the Lord

Are wonderful.

His works

Are concealed from humankind.”

You should not praise people because of their good looks. On the other hand, you should not hate anyone based on their appearances alone. Take the small bee, for example. This small flying creature produces honey, the sweetest of all things. There was a premium on honey in ancient times. You should not boast about wearing fine clothes. Do not exalt yourself when you are honored. The works of the Lord are wonderful, but he has concealed them from most humans.