Build well!

“That one

Who heard his word

And acted on it is

Like a man

Building a house.

He dug deeply.

He laid the foundation

On a rock.

When a flood came,

The river burst

Against that house.

However,

It could not shake it,

Because it had been

Well built.”

 

ὅμοιός ἐστιν ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδομοῦντι οἰκίαν, ὃς ἔσκαψεν καὶ ἐβάθυνεν καὶ ἔθηκεν θεμέλιον ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν· πλημμύρης δὲ γενομένης προσέρηξεν ὁ ποταμὸς τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσεν σαλεῦσαι αὐτὴν διὰ τὸ καλῶς οἰκοδομῆσθαι αὐτήν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said the one who had heard his word and acted on it was like a man building a house (ὅμοιός ἐστιν ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδομοῦντι οἰκίαν).  He dug deeply (ὃς ἔσκαψεν καὶ ἐβάθυνεν).  He laid the foundation on a rock (καὶ ἔθηκεν θεμέλιον ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν).  When a flood came (πλημμύρης δὲ γενομένης), the streams of the river burst against that house (ροσέρηξεν ὁ ποταμὸς τῇ οἰκίᾳ ἐκείνῃ).  However, they could not shake it (καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσεν σαλεῦσαι αὐτὴν), because it had been well built (διὰ τὸ καλῶς οἰκοδομῆσθαι αὐτήν).  This is just like Matthew, chapter 7:24-25, which might indicate a Q source.  Jesus said there that these wise people built a house on a rock foundation or solid rocky ground.  The rains fell and the floods came.  The winds would blow and beat against this house, but it did not fall, because it was built on a strong foundation.  This rock foundation was the words of Jesus carried out in daily life.  The fairy tale story of the 3 pigs with the brick, straw, and grass houses is similar to this saying about the stone foundation that could not be destroyed.  How have you built your house?

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The name of God is holy (Lk 1:49-1:49)

“The Mighty One

Has done great things

For me.

Holy

Is his name.”

 

ὅτι ἐποίησέν μοι μεγάλα ὁ δυνατός. καὶ ἅγιον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ,

 

This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:2-6, that praised Yahweh for the birth of her son, the prophet Samuel.  Yahweh was the rock of Hannah’s knowledge.  Luke indicated that Mary said that the Mighty One (ὁ δυνατός) had done great things for Mary (ὅτι ἐποίησέν μοι μεγάλα).  Thus, Holy is his name (καὶ ἅγιον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ).  Mary appreciated that the powerful holy God had gone great things for her.

They were afraid of the people (Mk 11:32-11:32)

“But shall we say?

‘Of human origin.’

They were afraid

Of the crowd.

All regarded

John

As truly a prophet.”

 

ἀλλὰ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων; ἐφοβοῦντο τὸν ὄχλον· ἅπαντες γὰρ εἶχον τὸν Ἰωάνην ὄντως ὅτι προφήτης ἦν.

 

This question about the value of the baptism of John the Baptists can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:26, and Luke, chapter 20:6, almost word for word.  Mark said that these Jewish Jerusalem leaders did not want to say that this baptism of John was from human origins, man made (ἀλλὰ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων).  They were afraid of the crowds of people (ἐφοβοῦντο τὸν ὄχλον), since they all regarded John the Baptist as a true prophet (ἅπαντες γὰρ εἶχον τὸν Ἰωάνην ὄντως ὅτι προφήτης ἦν).  They were stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Jesus in the tomb of Joseph (Mt 27:59-27:60)

“Joseph took the body.

He wrapped it

In a clean linen cloth.

He laid it

In his own new tomb,

Which he had hewn

In the rock.

He then rolled

A great stone

To the door

Of the tomb.

Then he went away.”

 

καὶ λαβὼν τὸ σῶμα ὁ Ἰωσὴφ ἐνετύλιξεν αὐτὸ ἐν σινδόνι καθαρᾷ,

καὶ ἔθηκεν αὐτὸ ἐν τῷ καινῷ αὐτοῦ μνημείῳ ὃ ἐλατόμησεν ἐν τῇ πέτρᾳ, καὶ προσκυλίσας λίθον μέγαν τῇ θύρᾳ τοῦ μνημείου ἀπῆλθεν.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:46, and Luke, chapter 23:53, almost word for word, while John, chapter 19:38-41 introduced Nicodemus into this burial ritual.  Matthew said that Joseph took the body of Jesus (καὶ λαβὼν τὸ σῶμα ὁ Ἰωσὴφ).  He wrapped it in a clean linen cloth (ἐνετύλιξεν αὐτὸ ἐν σινδόνι καθαρᾷ).  The texts do not explain if he needed help with this task.  Then he laid Jesus’ body in his own new tomb (καὶ ἔθηκεν αὐτὸ ἐν τῷ καινῷ αὐτοῦ μνημείῳ), that he had carved or hewn in a rock (ὃ ἐλατόμησεν ἐν τῇ πέτρᾳ).  He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb (καὶ προσκυλίσας λίθον μέγαν τῇ θύρᾳ τοῦ μνημείου).  Finally, he went away (ἀπῆλθεν).  This seemed like a private one-person burial ritual.

Prosperity (Isa 66:12-66:14)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘I will extend prosperity to her

Like a river.

The wealth of the nations shall be

Like an overflowing stream.

You shall nurse.

You shall be carried on her arm.

You shall be dandled on her knees.

As a mother comforts her child,

So I will comfort you.

You shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

You shall see.

Your heart shall rejoice.

Your bones shall flourish

Like the grass.

It shall be known

That the hand of Yahweh is

With his servants.

His indignation is

Against his enemies.’”

The prophet proclaims that Yahweh, in the first person singular, will bring prosperity to Jerusalem like an overflowing river. Yahweh will nurse and carry them in his arms. He will rock them on his knees, as Yahweh assumes the anthropomorphic feminine role of a nurturing mother. He will be like a comforting mother as he comforts Jerusalem. They will see and rejoice as their bodies flourish like wild grass. Yahweh’s hand is with his servants, but his indignation is against his enemies.

A good person (Prov 12:2-12:3)

“The good person obtains favor from Yahweh.

But those who devise evil,

Yahweh condemns.

No one finds security by wickedness.

But the root of the righteous

Will never be moved.”

Good people find favor with Yahweh. On the other hand, Yahweh condemns those who devise evil ways. You cannot find security in wickedness. The root of the good or righteous person cannot be moved. They are as steady as a rock. The root is what keeps trees and humans straight.

Why did nature fear Yahweh? (Ps 114:5-114:8)

“Why is it?

O sea!

Why do you flee?

O Jordan!

Why do you turn back?

O mountains!

Why do you skip like rams?

O hills!

Why do skip like lambs?

O earth!

Tremble at the presence of Yahweh!

Tremble at the presence of the God of Jacob!

He turns the rock into a pool of water.

He turns the flint into a spring of water.”

This short psalm concludes with wondering why nature was so submissive to Yahweh. Why did the Red Sea flee and spread apart? Why did the Jordan River turn back? Why were the mountains and hills skipping like rams and lambs? The answer was, of course, they trembled at the presence of Yahweh, the God of Jacob. Yahweh was able to turn rock and flint into water.