Highways and byways (Lk 14:23-14:23)

“Then the master said

To the slave.

‘Go out

To the roads

And lanes!

Compel people

To come in.

Thus,

My house

May be filled.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν ὁ κύριος πρὸς τὸν δοῦλον Ἔξελθε εἰς τὰς ὁδοὺς καὶ φραγμοὺς καὶ ἀνάγκασον εἰσελθεῖν, ἵνα γεμισθῇ μου ὁ οἶκος·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this master told his slave (καὶ εἶπεν ὁ κύριος πρὸς τὸν δοῦλον) to go out (Ἔξελθε) to the the highway roads (εἰς τὰς ὁδοὺς) and hedge lanes (καὶ φραγμοὺς).  He was going to compel the people to come in (καὶ ἀνάγκασον εἰσελθεῖν).  Thus, he wanted his house filled (ἵνα γεμισθῇ μου ὁ οἶκος).  Once again, this is similar to Matthew, chapter 22:9.  The slaves were to go into the main streets or the meeting places on the roads (πορεύεσθε οὖν ἐπὶ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὁδῶν).  Then they should invite everyone or as many as they could find to this wedding banquet (καὶ ὅσους ἐὰν εὕρητε καλέσατε εἰς τοὺς γάμους).  This king was intent on having this wedding dinner full, just like here.  Have you gone to a wedding banquet with empty seats?

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Get somebody in here (Lk 14:21-14:21)

“Thus,

The slave returned.

He reported this

To his master.

Then the owner

Of the house

Became angry.

He said

To his slave.

‘Go out at once

Into the streets

And into the lanes

Of the town!

Bring in

The poor,

The crippled,

The blind,

And the lame!’”

 

καὶ παραγενόμενος ὁ δοῦλος ἀπήγγειλεν τῷ κυρίῳ αὐτοῦ ταῦτα. τότε ὀργισθεὶς ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης εἶπεν τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ Ἔξελθε ταχέως εἰς τὰς πλατείας καὶ ῥύμας τῆς πόλεως, καὶ τοὺς πτωχοὺς καὶ ἀναπήρους καὶ τυφλοὺς καὶ χωλοὺς εἰσάγαγε ὧδε.

 

Luke continued this parable.  Jesus said that this slave returned (καὶ παραγενόμενος ὁ δοῦλος).  Then he reported (ἀπήγγειλεν) to his master, the lord (τῷ κυρίῳ), all these things (ταῦτα).  The owner of the house (ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης) then became very angry (τότε ὀργισθεὶς).  He told his slave (εἶπεν τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ) to go out at once (Ἔξελθε ταχέως) into the streets (εἰς τὰς πλατείας) and the lanes of the town (καὶ ῥύμας τῆς πόλεως,).  He was to bring in the poor (καὶ τοὺς πτωχοὺς), the crippled (καὶ ἀναπήρους), the blind (καὶ τυφλοὺς), and the lame (καὶ χωλοὺς) in there (ὧδε).  Once again, there are some differences with Matthew, chapter 22:8-9, who was less descriptive of those who were invited this time.  Jesus said that this king told his slaves (τότε λέγει τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ) that the wedding feast was ready (Ὁ μὲν γάμος ἕτοιμός ἐστιν).  Those originally invited were not worthy or deserving of his invitation (οἱ δὲ κεκλημένοι οὐκ ἦσαν ἄξιοι).  Therefore, they were to go into the main streets or the meeting places on the roads (πορεύεσθε οὖν ἐπὶ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὁδῶν).  Then they should invite everyone or as many as they could find to this wedding banquet (καὶ ὅσους ἐὰν εὕρητε καλέσατε εἰς τοὺς γάμους).  This king was intent on having this wedding dinner.  However, Luke extended the new invitations to the vulnerable in our society, the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame, a slightly different perspective.  Who would you invite to a dinner feast?

Mary goes to Judea (Lk 1:39-1:39

“In those days,

Mary set out.

She went

With haste

Into the hill country,

To a Judean town.”

 

Ἀναστᾶσα δὲ Μαριὰμ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις ἐπορεύθη εἰς τὴν ὀρεινὴν μετὰ σπουδῆς εἰς πόλιν Ἰούδα,

 

Luke established a further connection between John and Jesus as he had Mary go to visit Elizabeth.  This was not an easy trip, about 80 miles from Nazareth to Jerusalem.  Luke said that in those days (ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις), Mary rose up (Ἀναστᾶσα δὲ Μαριὰμ) and went with haste into the hill country (ἐπορεύθη εἰς τὴν ὀρεινὴν μετὰ σπουδῆς), to an unnamed town in Judae (εἰς πόλιν Ἰούδα).  Many believe that this town was Ein Karem, about 5 miles west of Jerusalem, which would make sense since Zechariah would be close to the Temple.  This trip of Mary must have taken at least a week or so, depending on the roads and who went with her.  There was no explanation of who was with her on this trip.

A man without a wedding garment (Mt 22:10-22:11)

“Those slaves went out

Into the streets.

They gathered

All whom they found,

Both bad and good.

Thus,

The wedding hall

Was filled with guests.

But when the king came in

To see the guests,

He saw there a man

Who was not wearing

A wedding garment.”

 

καὶ ἐξελθόντες οἱ δοῦλοι ἐκεῖνοι εἰς τὰς ὁδοὺς συνήγαγον πάντας οὓς εὗρον, πονηρούς τε καὶ ἀγαθούς· καὶ ἐπλήσθη ὁ νυμφὼν ἀνακειμένων.

εἰσελθὼν δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς θεάσασθαι τοὺς ἀνακειμένους εἶδεν ἐκεῖ ἄνθρωπον οὐκ ἐνδεδυμένον ἔνδυμα γάμου·

 

This is unique to Matthew.  Those slaves were successful, as they went out into the roads and streets (καὶ ἐξελθόντες οἱ δοῦλοι ἐκεῖνοι εἰς τὰς ὁδοὺς).  They got anyone they could find (συνήγαγον πάντας οὓς εὗρον), both bad and good (πονηρούς τε καὶ ἀγαθούς) to come to the wedding banquet.  Thus, the wedding hall was filled with reclining wedding dining guests (πονηρούς τε καὶ ἀγαθούς).  However, when the king came in (εἰσελθὼν δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς) to see the reclining guests (θεάσασθαι τοὺς ἀνακειμένους), he saw a man there who was not wearing a wedding garment or wedding robe (εἶδεν ἐκεῖ ἄνθρωπον οὐκ ἐνδεδυμένον ἔνδυμα γάμου).  This wedding garment or robe might be an allusion to a garment or robe of righteousness.  However, the slaves had invited some bad, wicked, or evil people also.

The marker at the fork in the road (Ezek 21:18-21:20)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me again.

‘Son of man!

Mark out two roads

For the sword

Of the king

Of Babylon

To come!                                           

Both of them

Shall issue

From the same land.

Make a signpost!

Make it for a fork

In the road

Leading to a city.

Mark out the road

For the sword

To come

To Rabbah

Of the Ammonites

Or to Judah,

To the fortified Jerusalem.”

Once again, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. He had to put a maker at a fork in the road. There would be two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to take. Both roads came from the same place, Babylon. However, at this fork in the road, one led to the city of Rabbah, the home of the Ammonites. The other road led to a fortified Jerusalem in Judah.

The contamination of the hypocrites (Isa 59:5-59:8)

“The hypocrites hatch adders’ eggs.

They weave spider webs.

Whoever eats their eggs dies.

The crushed egg hatches out a viper.

Their webs cannot serve as clothing.

They cannot cover themselves

With what they make.

Their works are works of iniquity.

The deeds of violence

Are in their hands.

Their feet run to evil.

They rush to shed innocent blood.

Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity.

Desolation is in their highways.

Destruction is in their highways.

They do not know the way of peace.

There is no justice in their paths.

They have made their roads crooked.

No one who walks in them

Knows peace.”

Third Isaiah talks about the contamination among hypocrites in the Israelite community. Using the metaphor of eggs, they hatch adder eggs and have useless spider webs that can make no clothing. Some of these eggs produce vipers when broken. All their works are violent and full of iniquity. They run to evil, so that they can have innocent blood on their hands. They are always thinking about evil deeds and iniquity. Their roads are full of desolation and destruction, since they know nothing about peace and justice. They walk on crooked paths where no one else walks.

Job calls out his friends for lying (Job 21:27-21:34)

“O, I know your thoughts.

I know your schemes to wrong me.

For you say.

‘Where is the house of the prince?

Where is the tent in which the wicked live?’

Have you not asked those who travel the roads?

Do you not accept their testimony?

The wicked are spared in the day of calamity.

The wicked are rescued in the day of wrath.

Who declares their way to their face?

Who repays them for what they have done?

When are they carried to the grave?

A watch is kept over their tomb.

The clods of the valley are sweet to them.

Everyone will follow after.

Those who went before are innumerable.

How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?

There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.”

Job continued to respond to his detractors. In the end he called them liars. They were trying to wrong him. Where was the house of the wicked? Where were their tents? Ask anyone you meet on the roads. The wicked will be rescued and spared from disaster on the day of wrath. Who got in their face? Who repaid them for what they did? The wicked dead ones have a grave, a tomb, and someone to watch over them. There were many examples of this. He did not want them to try to comfort him with empty sayings. They were answering falsely.