Lost brother is found (Lk 15:32-15:32)

“But we had

To celebrate

And rejoice

Because this brother

Of yours

Was dead.

He has come to life.

He was lost.

But he has been found.”

 

εὐφρανθῆναι δὲ καὶ χαρῆναι ἔδει, ὅτι ὁ ἀδελφός σου οὗτος νεκρὸς ἦν καὶ ἔζησεν, καὶ ἀπολωλὼς καὶ εὑρέθη.

 

This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  It finally comes to an end with Luke indicating that Jesus said that the father told his son that they were correct.  It was fitting to celebrate and rejoice (εὐφρανθῆναι δὲ καὶ χαρῆναι ἔδει), because his brother who had been dead (ὅτι ὁ ἀδελφός σου οὗτος νεκρὸς ἦν), had now come to life (καὶ ἔζησεν).  He had been lost (καὶ ἀπολωλὼς), but now he has been found (καὶ εὑρέθη).  The dead brother, the sinning brother, had come to life.  The lost brother, like the lost sheep and the lost coin, has been found.  Therefore, let us rejoice and celebrate.  Do you celebrate over finding anything?

Your name in heaven (Lk 10:20-10:20)

“Nevertheless,

Do not rejoice

At this,

That the spirits

Submit to you!

But rejoice

That your names

Are written in heaven.”

 

πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε ὅτι τὰ πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται, χαίρετε δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν ἐνγέγραπται ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should not rejoice (πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε) because the various evil spirits submit to them (ὅτι τὰ πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται).  Rather, they should rejoice (χαίρετε) because their names (δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν) are written or engraved (ἐνγέγραπται) in the heavens (ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς).  This was a common Jewish and Mesopotamian idea that you name would be written in heaven as indicated in Psalm 69:28 as listed among the righteous.  Do you think that your name is written in heaven?

Rejoice! (Lk 6:23-6:23)

“Rejoice in that day!

Leap for joy!

Surely!

Your reward

Is great

In heaven!

That is what

Their ancestors

Did to the prophets.”

 

χάρητε ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ καὶ σκιρτήσατε· ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολὺς ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ· κατὰ αὐτὰ γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς προφήταις οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should rejoice that day (χάρητε ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ).  They were to leap for joy (καὶ σκιρτήσατε) because their reward would be great in heaven (ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολὺς ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ), This persecution is precisely what (κατὰ αὐτὰ) their ancestors (οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν) had done to the ancient prophets (γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς προφήταις).  This passage is very similar to Matthew, chapter 6:11, so this may be from the Q source.  Matthew also indicated that Jesus told them to rejoice and be glad because there would be a future great reward for them in heaven.  In a certain sense, they were a continuation of the Old Testament persecuted prophets who had gone before them.  This saying was like a pep talk.

Prophecy of Zechariah (Mt 21:4-21:5)

“This took place

To fulfill

What had been spoken

Through the prophet.

Saying.

‘Tell the daughter of Zion!

Look!

Your king is coming

To you,

Humble,

Mounted on a donkey,

And on a colt,

The foal of a donkey.’”

 

Τοῦτο δὲ γέγονεν ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος

Εἴπατε τῇ θυγατρὶ Σιών Ἰδοὺ ὁ Βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεταί σοι πραῢς καὶ ἐπιβεβηκὼς ἐπὶ ὄνον καὶ ἐπὶ πῶλον υἱὸν ὑποζυγίου.

 

This is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that this activity took place (Τοῦτο δὲ γέγονεν) to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet (ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος).  Although not named, this prophet was Zechariah, chapter 9:9, one of the 12 minor prophets that lived in the 6th century BCE under Persian rule.  This prophet had said to tell the daughter of Zion (Εἴπατε τῇ θυγατρὶ Σιών) to look for their king coming to them (Ἰδοὺ ὁ Βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεταί σοι).  He would be humble, mild, or gentle (πραῢς), but mounted on a donkey (καὶ ἐπιβεβηκὼς ἐπὶ ὄνον) and a colt, that was the foal or son of a donkey (καὶ ἐπὶ πῶλον υἱὸν ὑποζυγίου).  This was an actual misreading of the prophet, since Zechariah had spoken of a young colt donkey, who had been the foal of a donkey, not two separate animals.  Matthew used this passage to show how Jesus was the expected Israelite king.  He was to be the prince of peace.  Originally, Yahweh wanted Zion or Jerusalem to shout and rejoice, because their new king was coming.  He would be triumphant, victorious, and humble at the same time, but riding on a young donkey colt.  Matthew’s intention was clear.  Jesus was the expected messiah king.

The new victorious king (Zech 9:9-9:10)

“Rejoice greatly!

O daughter Zion!

Shout aloud!

O daughter Jerusalem!

Look!

Your king comes to you!

He is triumphant!

He is victorious!

He is humble!

He is riding on a donkey.

He is riding on a colt,

The foal of a donkey.

I will cut off the chariot

From Ephraim.

I will cut off the war horse

From Jerusalem.

The battle bows

Shall be cut off.

He shall command peace

To the nations.

His dominion shall be

From sea to sea,

From the River

To the ends of the earth.”

This is a text that both the gospels of John, chapter 12, and Matthew, chapter 21, used to show how Jesus was the expected Israelite king.  He was to be the prince of peace.  Yahweh wanted Zion or Jerusalem to shout and rejoice, because a new king was coming who would be triumphant, victorious, and humble at the same time.  Thus, he would ride on a donkey colt.  The mention of cutting off Ephraim was an indication of the old northern kingdom of Israel, while the mention of Jerusalem is a reference to the kingdom of Judah.  They would be reunited in a new kingdom.  This new king would command that peace be among all the nations of the whole world.  How was he to do this?  This new kingdom would be from sea to shining sea, the famous River, the Euphrates River, to the ends of the earth west of Israel.

Zerubbabel will lay the foundation of the Temple (Zech 4:8-4:10)

“Moreover,

The word of Yahweh

Came to me,

Saying.

‘The hands of Zerubbabel

Have laid the foundation

Of this house.

His hands

Shall also complete it.

Then you will know

That Yahweh of hosts

Has sent me to you.

Whoever has despised

The day of small things

Shall rejoice.

They shall see the plummet

in the hand of Zerubbabel.’”

Yahweh came directly to Zechariah.  He told him that Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, would lay the foundation for the house of Yahweh with his own hands.  Then Zerubbabel would complete the Temple also.  Thus, they would know that Yahweh of hosts had sent him to them.  Those that despised the little things would rejoice when they would see the plummet or the measuring line in Governor Zerubbabel’s hands.