Tell him what you have seen (Lk 7:22-7:22)

“Jesus answered them.

‘Go!

Tell John!

What you have seen

And heard.

The blind

Receive their sight.

The lame

Walk.

The lepers

Are cleansed.

The deaf

Hear.

The dead

Are raised up.

The poor

Have good news

Brought to them.’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πορευθέντες ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰωάνει ἃ εἴδετε καὶ ἠκούσατε· τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν, χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν, λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται, καὶ κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν, νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται, πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται·

 

Luke said that Jesus answered the disciples of John (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).  He told them to go tell John (Πορευθέντες ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰωάνει) what they had seen and heard (ἃ εἴδετε καὶ ἠκούσατε).  The blind ones receive their sight (τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν).  The lame walk (χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν).  The lepers are cleansed (λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται).  The deaf hear (καὶ κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν).  The dead are raised up (νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται).  The poor have good news brought to them (πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται).  This is almost word for word like Matthew, chapter 11:4-5, indicating a possible Q source.  Jesus responded or answered these disciples and their main question.  He told them to report back to John after their journey what they had heard and seen.  Then Jesus listed what he had been doing.  The blind people have recovered their sight.  The lame people were walking around.  The lepers were cleansed.  The deaf were able to hear.  The dead were raised up.  The poor and destitute people were getting good news brought to them.  This is a very strong response, as if to say that he was the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed one, something that Jesus did not do often.  This messianic expectation was based on Isaiah, chapter 35:4-6, when the savior, their God would come with a vengeance to make up for past problems.  He would come to save them.  Isaiah seems to indicate that there would be a reversal of fortune, a change in the ways that things happen.  The blind would see.  The deaf would hear.  The lame would run.  The mute people would speak.  Have you had a change in your life?

Rejoice in Yahweh (Hab 3:18-3:19)

“Yet I will rejoice

In Yahweh!

I will exult

In the God

Of my salvation!

God!

Yahweh!

Is my strength.

He makes my feet

Like the feet of a deer.

He makes me tread

Upon the heights.”

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.

Habakkuk ended his song or hymn with great rejoicing in Yahweh his God, who saves him.  Clearly this was a psalm or canticle with the notation about the leader or choirmaster and the stringed instruments.  Yahweh, God, was his strength, who gave him the ability to run like a deer.  He could even ascend to the heights.  This psalm has a very optimistic ending.

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.

Powerful providence (Isa 40:27-40:31)

“Why do you say?

O Jacob!

Speak!

O Israel!

‘My way is hidden from Yahweh.

My right is disregarded by my God!’

Have you not known?

Have you not heard?

Yahweh is the everlasting God.

He is the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint.

He does not grow weary.

His understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint.

He strengthens the powerless.

Even youths will faint.

They will be weary.

Young men shall fall exhausted.

But those who wait for Yahweh

Shall renew their strength.

They shall mount up

With wings

Like eagles.

They shall run.

They shall not be weary.

They shall walk.

They shall not faint.”

This chapter concludes with a shout out to the great providence of God. Do not be concerned that God does not know about you. Yahweh is an everlasting God, the creator of everything. Although he is unsearchable, he does not grow faint or weary in his understanding of you. He gives power to the faint. He strengthens the powerless. Even if some young people grow faint, weary, and exhausted, anyone who waits for Yahweh will find renewed strength. They will fly with wings like they were eagles. They will run and not be weary. They will walk and not be faint. They just need to trust Yahweh, their God.

Reversal of fortune (Isa 35:5-35:7)

“Then the eyes of the blind

Shall be opened.

The ears of the deaf

Shall be unstopped.

Then the lame

Shall leap like a deer.

The tongue of the speechless

Shall sing for joy.

Waters

Shall break forth in the wilderness.

The streams

Shall be in the desert.

The burning sand

Shall become a pool.

The thirsty ground

Shall become springs of water.

The haunt of jackals

Shall become a swamp.

The grass

Shall become reeds or rushes.”

Isaiah seems to indicate that there will be a reversal of fortune, a change in the ways that things happen. The blind will see. The deaf will hear. The lame will run. The dumb will speak. Waters and streams will be in the wilderness desert, as the burning sand will turn into a pool of water. The jackals will be in a swamp. The grass will become reeds or rushes along the streams. Everything will be reversed or different.

The visitation (Wis 3:7-3:9)

“In the time of their visitation

They will shine forth.

They will run

Like sparks through the stubble.

They will govern nations.

They will rule over peoples.

The Lord will reign over them forever.

Those who trust in him

Will understand truth.

The faithful will abide

With him in love.

Because grace is upon his elect.

Mercy is upon his elect.

He watches over his elect.”

In some future time, there will be some kind of divine visitation (ἐν καιρῷ ἐπισκοπῆς αὐτῶν). At that time they will shine forth (ἀναλάμψουσι). They will run like fire sparks on dry stubble. They will govern nations and peoples (ἔθνη καὶ λαῶν). The Lord will have his kingdom reign forever (βασιλεύσει αὐτῶν Κύριος εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας). Those who trust him will understand. The faithful believing ones will remain in love with him (οἱ πιστοὶ ἐν ἀγάπῃ). The Lord gives grace and mercy (χάρις καὶ ἔλεος), as he watches over his elect (τοῖς ἐκλεκτοῖς αὐτοῦ).

The earth around us (Eccl 1:4-1:7)

“A generation goes.

A generation comes.

But the earth remains forever.

The sun rises.

The sun goes down.

The sun hastens to the place

Where it rises.

The wind blows to the south.

The wind goes around to the north.

Round and round goes the wind.

On its circuits

The wind returns.

All streams run to the sea.

But the sea is not full.

They continue to flow

To the place where the streams flow.

There they continue to flow.”

This is a stunning appreciation of creation. Generations of humans come and go, but the earth remains forever in a static flat world concept. The sun rises and sets every day. There was no thought that the earth was moving around a static sun. The wind blew in from the north to south and then around and around again. The wind, as we know, blows in various directions. The streams do run to the sea, and not vice versa. However, the seas never seem to fill up because there is osmosis. No matter what, the streams continue to flow to where they want to go, usually downhill because of gravity. Thus this poetic expression of creation uses the scientific assumptions of its day, not those of the later scientific age.