Gain or lose your life (Lk 17:33-17:33)

“Those who try

To make

Their life secure,

Will lose it.

But those who lose

Their life

Will keep it.”

 

ὃς ἐὰν ζητήσῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ περιποιήσασθαι, ἀπολέσει αὐτήν, καὶ ὃς ἂν ἀπολέσει, ζωογονήσει αὐτήν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that those who try to make their life secure or save it (ὃς ἐὰν ζητήσῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ περιποιήσασθαι), would lose it (ἀπολέσει αὐτήν).  But those who lose their life (καὶ ὃς ἂν ἀπολέσει), would keep or preserve it (ζωογονήσει αὐτήν).  In chapter 9:24, Luke indicated that Jesus said that anyone who wanted to save his life (ὃς γὰρ ἐὰν θέλῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ σῶσαι), would lose it or have it sent away (ἀπολέσει αὐτήν).  Those who lost their life (ὃς δ’ ἂν ἀπολέσῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ) for the sake of Jesus (ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ), would save it (οὗτος σώσει αὐτήν).  Jesus told his disciples how to save their lives.  Something similar can be found in the other synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:25, and Mark, chapter 8:35.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that whoever wished, desired, or wanted to save his life, he would lose it.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that whoever wished, desired, or wanted to save their life, they would lose it.  However, anyone who lost their life for the sake of Jesus, they would find their life.  This is also similar to Matthew, chapter 10:39 and John, chapter 12:25.  In order to gain your eternal life, you have to lose your life for the sake of Jesus.  Anyone who thinks that he has found his life or soul, will lose it.  On the other hand, anyone who loses their life or soul for the sake of Jesus will find their life or soul.  Thus, you have to lose your life or soul in Jesus, in order to truly live, a common theme about losing your life for Christ.  Have you lost your life in Jesus?

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Conclusion: Passion, Resurrection and Great Commission

 

This gospel concluded with the events of the last week of Jesus, a main preoccupation of all four gospels.  Jesus had entered Jerusalem in triumph.  He held a last supper and prayed to be spared.  He was betrayed by Judas.  Then he was tried by the Jewish leaders and before The roman governor Pontius Pilate.  Jesus was crucified as king of the Jews and mocked by all.  At his death, there was an earthquake, when the veil of the Temple was cut in two, and the saints rose from their tombs.  Mary Magdalene and the other women discovered the empty tomb.  Jesus told them to tell the disciples to meet him in Galilee.

There was a plot to kill Jesus.  Jesus spoke to his disciples and gave his fourth prediction about the death of the Son of Man.  Then the chief priests and the elders gathered to plot the arrest of Jesus.  However, before that, there was an anointing by the unnamed women in Bethany as she poured oil on Jesus.  Others wanted to know why she was wasting oil.  Jesus said that she had done a good thing by anointing him for burial.  Thus, she would be remembered.  Meanwhile, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

Then they made the preparations for the Passover.  Where would the Passover be?  There was a house for the Passover meal, as the disciples prepared for the Passover evening meal.  Jesus announced the betrayal.  Who would betray Jesus?  This betrayer would be cursed, as Judas spoke out.  At the Last Supper Eucharist, Jesus said that this was his body and blood with eschatological implications.

They went to the Mount of Olives.  Jesus predicted that the apostles would scatter.  He was going to go to Galilee.  Peter said that he would never desert Jesus.  Then Jesus warned Peter about his desertion, but Peter was adamant that he would never deny Jesus.

They went to Gethsemane as Jesus took his three favorite apostles.  He prayed to his Father while these apostles slept.  There was a second prayer of Jesus, as he came a second time to the sleeping apostles.  He prayed a third time.  Then Jesus woke them up.

Judas arrived and kissed Jesus, as they then seized Jesus.  Someone cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave.  However, Jesus told them to put their swords away as the disciples fled.

Jesus went before Caiaphas the high priest, while Peter followed Jesus to the courtyard of the high priest.  They were looking for false testimony.  Finally, two witnesses came forward.  The high priest spoke and Jesus responded.  He called the words of Jesus blasphemy, as they mocked Jesus.  Peter’s denied Jesus three time and then he remembered Jesus’ words.

The elders and Pharisees planned to kill Jesus.  They would deliver Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor.  Meanwhile, Judas repented, but he hung himself.  He returned the pieces of silver to the Temple, but it was used to purchase a graveyard called the Field of Blood to fulfill a prophecy of Jeremiah.

Jesus went before Pilate as he asked him if he was the king of the Jews?  However, Jesus did not respond.  The governor was going to release one prisoner at the festival time.  However, the people wanted the prisoner Barabbas rather than Jesus.  Pilate got a warning from his wife.  Nevertheless, the crowd wanted to crucify Jesus.  Pilate claimed that he was innocent of his blood but the crowds said that his blood be on us.  Barabbas was then released.  Jesus went to the governor’s head quarters where the Roman soldiers mocked him.

They prepared Jesus for the crucifixion.  They got Simon of Cyrene to help with the cross as they went to Golgotha.  They divided his garments and wrote on the cross Jesus, King of the Jews.  There were two robbers who derided and and taunted Jesus, just like the Jewish religious leaders had mocked Jesus.

Darkness fell over the land as Jesus died.  The cry of Jesus was interpreted as a call to Elijah.  They gave him sour wine to drink.  Would Elijah save Jesus?  When Jesus died, the Temple curtain was torn in two.  Tombs opened and the dead rose and appeared in Jerusalem.  He truly was  the Son of God.

There were women from Galilee, especially the women called Mary.  Joseph of Arimathea got the body of Jesus and put it in his tomb as the women called Mary were vigilant.  Meanwhile, there was a gathering with Pilate, since the Jewish religious leaders wanted to have the tomb secure.  Thus, a custodial guard was set up at the tomb.

The two Marys visited the tomb, where there was another earthquake with an angel at the tomb.  The guards were afraid, but the angel speaks to the women to tell them to let the disciples know what happened.  The women left the tomb and Jesus appeared to them.  Meanwhile, the guards told the chief priests in Jerusalem what had happened.  These religious leaders paid the guards to tell everyone that someone stole the body of Jesus while they were sleeping.  Thus, this stolen body story spread.

After the resurrection, the remaining eleven disciples returned to an unnamed mountain in Galilee.  There the post-resurrection Jesus gave them authority in heaven and on earth with his great commission:  They were to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them with a Trinitarian formula.  They were to follow his commandments because Jesus would be with them until the end of time.

The guard is set at the tomb (Mt 27:65-27:66)

“Pilate said to them.

‘You have a guard

Of soldiers.

Go!

Make it as secure

As you can!’

So,

They went

With the guard.

They made the tomb

Secure

By sealing the stone.”

 

ἔφη αὐτοῖς ὁ Πειλᾶτος Ἔχετε κουστωδίαν· ὑπάγετε ἀσφαλίσασθε ὡς οἴδατε.

οἱ δὲ πορευθέντες ἠσφαλίσαντο τὸν τάφον σφραγίσαντες τὸν λίθον μετὰ τῆς κουστωδίας.

 

This is unique to Matthew, who remarked that Pilate said to them (ἔφη αὐτοῖς ὁ Πειλᾶτος), the chief priests and the Pharisees, that they had a guard of soldiers or custodians (Ἔχετε κουστωδίαν·).  They could make this tomb as secure as they knew how or could (ὑπάγετε ἀσφαλίσασθε ὡς οἴδατε).  Thus, these Jewish leaders secured the tomb (οἱ δὲ πορευθέντες ἠσφαλίσαντο τὸν τάφον) by sealing the stone (σφραγίσαντες τὸν λίθον) that was in front of the tomb and setting up a custodial guard (μετὰ τῆς κουστωδίας).  Thus, it was not a Roman guard but a Jewish guard at the sealed tomb.

The destruction of the city (Zeph 2:15-2:15)

“Is this the exultant city?

It lived secure.

It said to itself.

‘I am!

There is no one else.’

What a desolation!

It has become

A lair

For wild animals.

Everyone who passes by her

Hisses.

They shake their fists.”

Next Yahweh, via Zephaniah, took on the main exultant city itself, Nineveh.  They thought that they were secure in that city.  They believed that they there was no one like it.  Now it has become a desolation, a home for wild animals.  Everyone who goes by it now derides it by hissing and shaking their fists at this once great city.

The wonderful blessed land (Ezek 34:26-34:27)

“I will make them

A blessing.

I will make the regions

Around my hill

A blessing.

I will send down

The showers

In their season.

They shall be showers

Of blessing.

The trees

Of the field

Shall yield

Their fruit.

The earth

Shall yield

Its increase.

They shall be

Secure

On their soil.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh,

When I break

The bars

Of their yoke.

I will save them

From the hands

Of those who enslaved them.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was going to bless the holy hill of Israel and the surrounding areas. He was going to send down blessing showers in their appropriate seasons. He was also going to bless the trees of the field, so that they would yield their fruit. The good earth would yield a steady increase in its crops. Thus, they could be secure on their own soil. They would know that he was Yahweh, because he was going to break the bars on their slavery yoke. Finally, they would be saved from the hands of those who had enslaved them. Good times were ahead.

A covenant of peace (Ezek 34:25-34:25)

“I will make

With them

A covenant

Of peace.

I will

Banish wild animals

From the land.

Therefore,

They may live

In the wild

Securely.

They may sleep

In the woods,

Securely.”

Yahweh was going to make a new covenant of peace with the Israelites. They would be secure wherever they went. Yahweh was going to banish all the wild animals from the land of Israel. Then they could live and even sleep in the wild woods without any concern. This time of peace was upon them.

Against Hazor (Jer 49:30-49:33)

“‘Flee!

Wander far away!

Hide in deep places!

O inhabitants of Hazor!’

Says Yahweh.

‘King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

Has made a plan

Against you.

He has formed a purpose

Against you.

‘Rise up!

Advance

Against a nation at ease,

That dwells securely.’

Says Yahweh.

‘They have no gates.

They have no bars.

They live alone.

Their camels

Shall become booty.

Their herds of cattle

Shall become a spoil.

I will scatter to every wind

Those who have shaven temples.

I will bring calamity

Against them

From every side.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Hazor shall become

A liar of jackals,

An everlasting waste.

No one shall live there.

No one shall settle in it.’”

The kingdom of Hazor was the more sedentary northwestern Arab tribes in the Arabian Desert, east of the Jordan River, in present day Saudi Arabia, not the Israelite town of Hazor. Yahweh warned them to flee and get out of there, because King Nebuchadnezzar had a plan against them. Even though they were at ease and secure, they had no gates, bars or fortresses, since they lived alone. The king of Babylon was going to take their flocks of cattle and their camels as the spoils of war. These shaven temple Hazor people would be scattered all over the place with all kinds of trouble on every side. These oasis tent towns would become a wasteland, as if they were not already. No one would want to live and settle there. This is like the previous warnings to other places, earlier in this chapter.