Next Luke had Jesus present 3 unique parables that do not appear elsewhere in the canonical gospels. The first one is a short story about a lost coin, while the other two unique parables are longer. Jesus said that this woman (Ἢ τίς γυνὴ) had 10 drachma silver coins (δραχμὰς ἔχουσα δέκα). If she lost one of them (ἐὰν ἀπολέσῃ δραχμὴν μίαν), would she not light a lamp (οὐχὶ ἅπτει λύχνον), sweep the house (καὶ σαροῖ τὴν οἰκίαν), and search diligently or carefully (καὶ ζητεῖ ἐπιμελῶς), until she found it (ἕως οὗ εὕρῃ). In this story, a woman with 10 drachmas lost one of them. The Greek drachma was worth about a day’s pay so that 10 would have been about 2 weeks’ salary. Thus, this lost drachma would roughly be about a day’s pay. Would she not search her house with a lamp, sweeping everywhere? Do you search for things when you lose them?
Luke indicated that Jesus questioned them whether anyone of them (Τίς ἄνθρωπος ἐξ ὑμῶν) who had 100 sheep (ἔχων ἑκατὸν πρόβατα), but lost one of them (καὶ ἀπολέσας ἐξ αὐτῶν ἓν), would then not leave the 99 in the open field wilderness (οὐ καταλείπει τὰ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ)? He would go after the one that was lost (καὶ πορεύεται ἐπὶ τὸ ἀπολωλὸς), until he found it (ἕως εὕρῃ αὐτό). This parable of the lost sheep can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:12, with some minor changes, perhaps a Q source. Matthew indicated that Jesus said that this person, man, or shepherd had 100 sheep (ἐὰν γένηταί τινι ἀνθρώπῳ ἑκατὸν πρόβατα). One of these sheep wandered away from the rest of them and was lost (καὶ πλανηθῇ ἓν ἐξ αὐτῶν). Thus, would he not leave the other 99 sheep in the mountains (οὐχὶ ἀφήσει τὰ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα ἐπὶ τὰ ὄρη)? He would then search for the lost sheep that had wandered away (καὶ πορευθεὶς ζητεῖ τὸ πλανώμενον). This was a simple question. Would you leave 99 sheep to search for one lost sheep?
Luke indicated that Jesus told them with a solemn proclamation (Κἀγὼ ὑμῖν λέγω) that they should only ask (αἰτεῖτε), and then it would be given to them (καὶ δοθήσεται ὑμῖν). They were to search (ζητεῖτε), and they would find it (καὶ εὑρήσετε). Just knock (κρούετε), and the door would be opened for them (καὶ ἀνοιγήσεται ὑμῖν). Matthew, chapter 7:7, has a similar saying of Jesus, almost word for word, indicating a common Q source. Jesus told them to ask (Αἰτεῖτε), and they would get it (καὶ δοθήσεται ὑμῖν). Seek (ζητεῖτε), and they would find it (καὶ εὑρήσετε). Knock (κρούετε), and it would be opened (καὶ ἀνοιγήσεται ὑμῖν). Everything seemed so easy. All they had to do was request things from the Father and he would grant it. Do you make simple requests to God the Father?
Luke said that now Joseph and Mary reversed courses. When they did not find him (καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες) among their friends and relatives, they returned to Jerusalem (ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ) to search for him there (ἀναζητοῦντες αὐτόν). This was the natural thing to do. It probably took them another day to get back to Jerusalem. However, they were going to try and find him in Jerusalem, assuming that he was still there.
This parable of the lost sheep can also be found in Luke, chapter 15:3-6, with some minor changes. In some Orthodox texts there is a line that the Son of Man had come to save those who were lost or destroyed (Ἦλθεν γὰρ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου σῶσαι τὸ ἀπολωλός). Jesus then asked them to think (Τί ὑμῖν δοκεῖ) about this parable, although he did not call it a parable like Luke did. A person or shepherd had 100 sheep (ἐὰν γένηταί τινι ἀνθρώπῳ ἑκατὸν πρόβατα). One of these sheep wandered away from the rest of them and was lost (καὶ πλανηθῇ ἓν ἐξ αὐτῶν). Thus, would he not leave the other 99 sheep in the mountains (οὐχὶ ἀφήσει τὰ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα ἐπὶ τὰ ὄρη)? He would then search for the lost sheep that had wandered astray (καὶ πορευθεὶς ζητεῖ τὸ πλανώμενον). Jesus then had a solemn pronouncement (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν). If he found that one sheep (καὶ ἐὰν γένηται εὑρεῖν αὐτό) he would rejoice over that more than over the 99 sheep that had never wandered away (ὅτι χαίρει ἐπ’ αὐτῷ μᾶλλον ἢ ἐπὶ τοῖς ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα τοῖς μὴ πεπλανημένοις). Every sheep was precious in the sight of this good shepherd.
Again, only Matthew has this parable about the pearl merchant and the kingdom of heaven (Πάλιν ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν). This kingdom was like a precious pearl, like a merchant in search of fine pearls (ἐμπόρῳ ζητοῦντι καλοὺς μαργαρίτας). If this pearl expert found one precious pearl of great value (εὑρὼν δὲ ἕνα πολύτιμον μαργαρίτην), he would go away and sell all that he had (ἀπελθὼν πέπρακεν πάντα ὅσα εἶχεν). Then, he would buy this precious pearl (καὶ ἠγόρασεν αὐτόν). There was also a play on words, since in Jewish society, pearls often meant piety and study of the Torah. Once again, you would sell everything you had, and give up everything, just so that you can have the great precious pearl of the kingdom of heaven.
This saying of Jesus is exactly the same as in Luke, chapter 11:9-10, indicating a common Q source. Jesus told them to ask (Αἰτεῖτε), and they would get it (καὶ δοθήσεται ὑμῖν). Seek (ζητεῖτε), and they would find (καὶ εὑρήσετε). Knock (κρούετε), and it will be opened (καὶ ἀνοιγήσεται ὑμῖν). Everyone who asked would receive (πᾶς γὰρ ὁ αἰτῶν λαμβάνει) what he asked for. The seeker will find (καὶ ὁ ζητῶν εὑρίσκει) what he is looking for. The one knocking will see it open (καὶ τῷ κρούοντι ἀνοιγήσεται). All is well that ends well. You just need a little effort.
After the magi had departed (Ἀναχωρησάντων δὲ αὐτῶν), once again, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream (ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος κυρίου φαίνεται κατ’ ὄναρ τῷ Ἰωσὴφ), just like he had before when Joseph accepted Mary as his wife in chapter 1:20-24. This time, the angel told Joseph to get up (λέγων Ἐγερθεὶς). He was to take his child with the child’s mother (παράλαβε τὸ παιδίον καὶ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ) in order to flee to Egypt (φεῦγε εἰς Αἴγυπτον), the typical place in the Old Testament, where people fled to avoid problems. They were supposed to stay there in Egypt (ἐκεῖ ἕως ἂν εἴπω σοι), until this angel of the Lord told them it was okay to return. The main reason for this trip to Egypt, without saying a specific place, was to avoid King Herod who was trying to find and destroy Joseph’s child (μέλλει γὰρ Ἡρῴδης ζητεῖν τὸ παιδίον τοῦ ἀπολέσαι αὐτό). Just like the infant Moses, in Exodus, chapters 1:15-2-10, Jesus would be saved from death as an infant also.
Some read the biblical texts looking for clues about the end times. When will the world come to an end? What is the meaning of the afterlife? There is a search for indications of when the Second Coming of Jesus will take place. The biblical apocalyptic literature is a favorite. I want to understand the visions and sayings about the end of the world. Will I be saved in the end times? Will I be able to meet my maker?
On the day of Yahweh, Yahweh was going to search through Jerusalem with lamps. He would punish the complacent people, those who had drunk too much of the dregs of their wine casks. Yahweh was going to punish those who said that they didn’t care about Yahweh, because he had no effect on their lives, either for good or bad. Yahweh was going to take the wealth of these rich people by plundering their belongings and destroying their homes. If they were planning to build a house, they would never live in it. If they were planting vineyards, they would never enjoy the wine from those vines. Wealth would not save them from the Day of Yahweh.