Joy over one repentant sinner (Lk 15:10-15:10)

“Just so,

I tell you!

There is joy

In the presence

Of the angels of God

Over one sinner

Who repents.”

 

οὕτως, λέγω ὑμῖν, γίνεται χαρὰ ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀγγέλων τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐπὶ ἑνὶ ἁμαρτωλῷ μετανοοῦντι.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus concluded this short parable story about the lost drachma coin.  Jesus said with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν) that there would be more joy in the presence of the angels of God (οὕτως, …γίνεται χαρὰ ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀγγέλων τοῦ Θεοῦ) over one sinner who repents (ἐπὶ ἑνὶ ἁμαρτωλῷ μετανοοῦντι).  This is another explanation and repetition of the lost sheep story.  Luke had Jesus there conclude this parable about the lost sheep. with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν) that there would be more joy in heaven (ὅτι οὕτως χαρὰ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ἔσται) over one repentant sinner (ἐπὶ ἑνὶ ἁμαρτωλῷ μετανοοῦντι) than over the ninety-nine righteous persons (ἢ ἐπὶ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα δικαίοις) who do not need repentance (οἵτινες οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν μετανοίας).  The phraseology is shorter here.  Certainly, there will be great rejoicing over one sinner who repents, just like finding the lost sheep and the lost drachma.  Have you ever rejoiced over a repentant sinner?

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The baby leapt for joy (Lk 1:44-1:44)

“As soon as

I heard

The sound

Of your greeting,

The child

In my womb

Leapt for joy.”

 

ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὡς ἐγένετο ἡ φωνὴ τοῦ ἀσπασμοῦ σου εἰς τὰ ὦτά μου, ἐσκίρτησεν ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ μου.

 

Luke seems to indicate that Elizabeth knew the answer to her question.  She said that as soon as she heard with her ears the sound of Mary’s greeting (ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὡς ἐγένετο ἡ φωνὴ τοῦ ἀσπασμοῦ σου εἰς τὰ ὦτά μου), the child or baby in her womb leapt or jumped for joy or exultation (ἐσκίρτησεν ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ μου).  This was a repetition of what was said in verse 41, except that Elizabeth said it here.  John knew Jesus from the very beginning of his existence.

It is hard to enter the kingdom of God (Mk 10:24-10:24)

“The disciples

Were perplexed

At his words.

But Jesus

Answered them again.

‘Children!

How hard it is

For those who trust

In riches

To enter

The kingdom of God!’”

 

οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις αὐτοῦ. ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν ἀποκριθεὶς λέγει αὐτοῖς Τέκνα, πῶς δύσκολόν ἐστιν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν·

 

This unique saying of Mark is really the repetition of what was said in the previous verse, a redundancy, to drive home a point.  Mark indicated how difficult it would be for rich people to get into the kingdom of God.  Mark said that the disciples were perplexed or amazed at his words (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις αὐτοῦ.).  However, Jesus responded or answered his disciples again (δὲ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν ἀποκριθεὶς), calling them children (λέγει αὐτοῖς Τέκνα,), not understanding what was being said.  He indicated once again how hard it was for those who trusted in riches or wealth to enter the kingdom of God (πῶς δύσκολόν ἐστιν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν τοὺς πεποιθότας ἐπὶ χρήμασιν).  Mark had Jesus repeat things because the disciples were not that sharp.  Quite often wealth had been seen as a sign that God was pleased with that person.

 

The end of preeminence (Ezek 7:10-7:11)

“See!

The day!

See!

It comes!

Your doom

Has gone out.

The rod

Has blossomed.

Pride

Has budded.

Violence

Has grown

Into a rod

Of wickedness.

None of them

Shall remain.

Their abundance

Shall not remain.

Their wealth

Shall not remain.

There will be

No preeminence

Among them.”

As usual in Ezekiel, there is repetition. Yahweh talked about the coming doom as the day was at hand. Pride had budded and blossomed as violence grew into more wickedness. No one would keep their abundance or wealth. No one would be greater than another. There would be no more prominent people.

Teaching young children (Isa 28:9-28:10)

“To whom will he teach knowledge?

To whom will he explain the message?

Will he explain it

To those who are weaned from milk?

Will he explain it

To those taken from the breast?

It is precept upon precept,

Precept upon precept.

It is line upon line,

Line upon line.

It is here a little,

There a little.”

Isaiah speaks about teaching little children. To whom should he explain his message? They have to be at least weaned from breast feeding milk, which would make them very young. The teaching itself is an onomatopoeia, like the sounds of baby children learning how to speak.  This is almost like a nursery rhyme. Thus we have the repetition of phrases such as precept on precept, line on line, and a little here and a little there. Basically, it might refer to the unintelligible words of prophets and charismatics that sound strange.

The embrace (Song 8:3-8:3)

Female lover

“O that

His left hand was under my head!

His right hand embraced me!”

Here is an exact repetition, word for word, of the same verse that was in chapter 2. This female lover wants her lover to put his left hand under her head at the same time that his right hand embraces her. This young female lover still yearns for the embrace of her beloved.

Lost lover (Song 3:1-3:3)

Female lover

“Upon my bed at night

I sought him

Whom my soul loves.

I sought him.

But I did not find him.

I called him.

But he gave no answer.

‘I will rise now.

I will go about the city,

In the streets,

In the squares.

I will seek him

Whom my soul loves.’

I sought him.

But I did not find him.

The sentinels found me,

As they went about in the city.

‘Have you seen him

Whom my soul loves?’”

It seems that the male lover has left the female lover. She is alone. Once again there is a repetition of verses. She seeks him whom her soul loves but cannot find. She called his name, but there was no answer. She decided to go out in the city at night into the streets and squares. Where was her lover? Finally, she met the sentinels or the night watchmen as they went about the city. She asked them if they had seen him.