Jesus blessed the loaves and fishes (Lk 9:16-9:16)

“Taking

The five loaves

And the two fish,

Jesus looked up

To heaven.

He blessed them.

He broke them.

He gave them

To the disciples

To set before

The crowd.”

 

λαβὼν δὲ τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας, ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς καὶ κατέκλασεν, καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς παραθεῖναι τῷ ὄχλῳ.

 

Luke said that Jesus took (λαβὼν) the 5 loaves (δὲ τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους) and the 2 fish (καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας).  He looked up to heaven (ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν).  He blessed them (εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς).  He broke them (καὶ κατέκλασεν).  He gave them to his disciples (αὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς) to set before the crowd (παραθεῖναι τῷ ὄχλῳ).  This is the only blessing miracle that is recorded in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:18-19, Mark, chapter 6:41, and John, chapter 6:12, plus here.  The blessing of the bread and the fish was exactly the same in all the synoptic gospels, but merely summarized in John.  This feeding of a large group of people harkens back to the Exodus story, chapter 16:1-36, about the manna and the quails in the wilderness.  Yet the blessing itself has almost a foretaste of the Eucharistic Last Supper of Jesus, when Jesus blessed and broke the bread.  Mark said that Jesus took the 5 loaves and the 2 fish.  He looked up to heaven.  He blessed them.  Then he broke up the loaves of bread into pieces.  He gave the loaves of bread to his disciples.  They, in turn, set the broken pieces of bread or served them to the crowd.  Jesus also divided or shared the 2 fish among them all, something that Luke did not mention explicitly.  Matthew indicated that Jesus told his disciples to bring him the food, the 5 loaves of bread and the 2 fish.  Then he ordered or directed the crowd to sit down on the grass.  He took the 5 loaves and the 2 fish.  He looked up to heaven.  He blessed them.  Then he broke the loaves of bread and the fishes into pieces.  He gave the loaves of bread to his disciples.  They, in turn, gave them to the crowd.  This almost sounds like a large later distribution of Holy Communion.  Have you ever been to a large communion service?

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She has done a good thing (Mk 14:6-14:6)

“But Jesus said.

‘Let her alone!

Why do you trouble her?

She has performed

A good service

For me.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἄφετε αὐτήν· τί αὐτῇ κόπους παρέχετε; καλὸν ἔργον ἠργάσατο ἐν ἐμοί.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:10, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:7.  Mark said that Jesus told them (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν) to leave her alone (Ἄφετε αὐτήν).  Why were they bringing her problems or troubles (τί αὐτῇ κόπους παρέχετε)?  She had performed a good, worthy, and honorable service or action for him (καλὸν ἔργον ἠργάσατο ἐν ἐμοί).  Thus, Jesus defended this woman, who may have been Mary, the sister of Lazarus, for anointing his head with precious oil.

 

Justification by Faith

Faith is the response of the total self, the mind, will and affections.  Being justified is a personal phenomenon.  Service and love are more important than right beliefs and sound doctrine.  You do your own believing.  God transforms the heart and you experience God’s love.  Good works are a correlation to faith.  Protestants love the apostle Paul.  They have a tendency to over emphasis the written Bible with an emphasis on private religious experience.  Diversity is good, since most Protestant groups have broken off from another Protestant group or from the Roman Catholic Church.  In a certain sense heretical or diverse views are expected rather than one orthodox single view.

 

 

Another personal lament of Jeremiah (Jer 17:14-17:18)

“Heal me!

Yahweh!

Then I shall be healed.

Save me!

Then I shall be saved.

You are my praise!

See how they say to me.

‘Where is the word of Yahweh?

Let it come!’

I have not run away

From being a shepherd

In your service.

I have not desired

The fatal day.

You know

What came from my lips.

It was before your face.

Do not become a terror to me!

You are my refuge

In the day of disaster.

Let my persecutors be shamed!

But do not let me be shamed!

Let them be dismayed!

But do not let me be dismayed!

Bring on them

The day of disaster!

Destroy them

With a double destruction!”

Jeremiah lamented about the fatal day of destruction. He wanted to be healed and saved by Yahweh because he praised him. He was taunted by others for his connection to Yahweh. However, he had not run away from being a shepherd or leader in the service of Yahweh. He had not desired this fatal day of destruction. Yahweh knew what he had said in front of him. He did not want Yahweh to scare him on this future fatal day. Instead, he wanted his persecutors to be ashamed and dismayed, but not him. He wanted to bring on this fatal day to them with a double dose of destruction.

 

Yahweh calls the victor from the east (Isa 41:2 -41:4)

“Who has roused a victor from the east?

Who summoned him to service?

He delivers up nations to him.

He tramples kings under foot.

He makes them

Like dust with his sword.

He makes them

Like driven stubble with his bow.

He pursues them.

He passes on safely,

Scarcely toughing the path

With his feet.

Who has performed this?

Who has done this?

He is calling the generations

From the beginning.

I!

Yahweh!

I am the first!

I will be with the last.”

Second Isaiah wants to know who has summoned the victor conquer from the east for service. This victor from the east was Cyrus, the King of Persia from 559-530 BCE, more than two centuries after the time of Isaiah. Cyrus the Great created the largest empire in the world with present day Iran the last vestige of that realm. Cyrus took over many countries, trampling kings. He made them like dust or stubble with his sword as well as his bow and arrows. He pursued many people, but he was always safe with his fast feet that barely touched the ground. Second Isaiah points out that Yahweh was behind Cyrus. Who allowed him to do all these things? Why it was Yahweh, who interjected himself in the first person singular, saying that he was eternally the first and the last.

The folly of the artistic idol maker (Wis 15:7-15:8)

“A potter kneads the soft earth.

He laboriously molds each vessel for our service.

He fashions out of the same clay

Both the vessels that serve clean uses

As well as those for contrary uses.

He makes all alike.

But which shall be the use of each of them?

The worker in clay decides.

With misspent toil,

These workers form a futile god

From the same clay.

These mortals were made of earth a short time before.

After a little while,

They go to the earth

From which all mortals are taken.

When the time comes,

They return the souls that were borrowed.”

The potter makes items from clay. Thus he performs a service to society by making things that for everyday usage. Some items are for good use and others are not. He must decide whether to spend his time on good uses or making futile gods of clay (κακόμοχθος θεὸν). He must have forgotten that he too was made of clay a short time ago. He, too, will return to the earth (γῆς) when his soul (τῆς ψυχῆς) separates from his mortal body. This concept of body and soul shows the influence of Greek philosophy since the body merely borrowed the soul.

Eliphaz accuses Job of wrong doing (Job 22:1-22:7)

“Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered.

‘Can a mortal be of use to God?

Can even the wisest be of service to him?

Is it any pleasure to the Almighty Shaddai?

Even if you are righteous,

Is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?

Is it for your piety that he reproves you?

Does he enter into judgment with you?

Is not your wickedness great?

There is no end to your iniquities.

You have exacted pledges

From your family brothers

For no reason.

You have stripped the naked of their clothing.

You have given no water to the weary to drink.

You have withheld bread from the hungry.’”

Eliphaz reminded Job that God only punishes in a just fashion. How could he be of service to God? How could he bring pleasure to the almighty one, Shaddai? Even if he was blameless and righteous, what had he gained? However, Eliphaz said that Job’ wickedness was great. He had treated people unfairly. He then enumerated the evil things that Job had done. He exacted pledges from his family. He striped clothes to make people naked. He failed to give water and bread to the hungry and thirsty people. These were explicit things that Job had done wrong.