Forgiveness (Lk 17:4-17:4)

“If the same person

Sins against you

Seven times

A day,

Yet turns back

To you

Seven times,

And says.

‘I repent!’

You must forgive!”

 

καὶ ἐὰν ἑπτάκις τῆς ἡμέρας ἁμαρτήσῃ εἰς σὲ καὶ ἑπτάκις ἐπιστρέψῃ πρὸς σὲ λέγων Μετανοῶ, ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if the same person sinned against you (ἁμαρτήσῃ εἰς σὲ) 7 times a day (καὶ ἐὰν ἑπτάκις τῆς ἡμέρας), yet turned back to you 7 times (καὶ ἑπτάκις ἐπιστρέψῃ πρὸς σὲ), and said that he repented (Μετανοῶ, ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ), you must still forgive him (ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ).  There is something like this saying in Matthew, chapter 18:21-22, although there was no mention of Peter here in LukeMatthew indicated that Peter took on a specific leadership role.  He wanted to know how many times he should forgive his brother’s sins?  Peter wanted to know how often he should forgive his brother who had sinned against him (ποσάκις ἁμαρτήσει εἰς ἐμὲ ὁ ἀδελφός μου καὶ ἀφήσω αὐτῷ).  Peter thought that 7 would be a good number.  Was 7 times enough (ἕως ἑπτάκις)?  Most Jewish people had forgiven offenses 3 times.  3 strikes and you were out.  Peter seemed overly generous in his attempts at forgiveness.  Jesus surprised Peter with a solemn declaration (λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦ) by telling him to forgive his brother’s sins not just 7 times (Οὐ λέγω σοι ἕως ἑπτάκις) but 490 times, 7*70 (ἀλλὰ ἕως ἑβδομηκοντάκις ἑπτά).  However, this saying about 7*70 was unique to Matthew, who was the only one who ever used this number ἑβδομηκοντάκις ἑπτά in the New Testament literature.  This number, nevertheless, could be found in Genesis, chapter 4:24 when Cain and Lamech were talking about violent revenge.  Lamech wanted his vengeance 7*70.  Was this number an attempt to indicate infinity before we had that term?  490 seems overly generous in any circumstances.  However, here in Luke, it might be even more since forgiveness was expected 7 times each day.  How many times do you forgive people?

 

He will be put in charge of everything (Lk 12:44-12:44)

“Truly!

I say to you!

He will put that one

In charge

Of all his possessions.”

 

ἀληθῶς λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἐπὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς ὑπάρχουσιν αὐτοῦ καταστήσει αὐτόν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus gave a solemn declaration (ἀληθῶς λέγω ὑμῖν) that this master would put his good servant in charge (καταστήσει αὐτόν) of all his possessions (ὅτι ἐπὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς ὑπάρχουσιν αὐτοῦ).  There is a similar saying about this parable of the good slave in Matthew, chapter 24:47, almost word for word, indicating a possible Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus gave a solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), that this hard-working wise slave would be put in charge of all the master’s possessions (ὅτι ἐπὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς ὑπάρχουσιν αὐτοῦ καταστήσει αὐτόν).  Do a good job and you will get a promotion!  Have you ever been promoted because you did good work?

The lord will be pleased (Lk 12:37-12:37)

“Blessed are those slaves

Whom the lord

Finds alert

When he comes!

Truly!

I say to you!

He will fasten

His belt.

He will have them

Sit down to eat.

He will come

And serve them.”

 

μακάριοι οἱ δοῦλοι ἐκεῖνοι, οὓς ἐλθὼν ὁ κύριος εὑρήσει γρηγοροῦντας· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι περιζώσεται καὶ ἀνακλινεῖ αὐτοὺς καὶ παρελθὼν διακονήσει αὐτοῖς.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said blessed, happy, or fortunate (μακάριοι) would be those slaves (οἱ δοῦλοι ἐκεῖνοι) whom the lord or master (ὁ κύριος) found alert or watching (εὑρήσει γρηγοροῦντας) when he came (οὓς ἐλθὼν).  With a solemn declaration (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), Jesus said this lord would fasten his belt (ὅτι περιζώσεται) and have them sit down or recline at table (καὶ ἀνακλινεῖ αὐτοὺς).  Thus, he would come (καὶ παρελθὼν) and serve them (διακονήσει αὐτοῖς).  Jesus stated that these alert watchful servants would be happy or blessed.  The lord (ὁ κύριος) would then serve them at table.  The motto was to be always alert.  Are you always alert to what is going on around you?

 

Watch out for Gehenna! (Lk 12:5-12:5)

“But I will warn you

Whom to fear.

Fear him who,

After he has killed you,

Has authority

To cast you

Into Gehenna!

Yes!

I tell you!

Fear him!”

 

ὑποδείξω δὲ ὑμῖν τίνα φοβηθῆτε· φοβήθητε τὸν μετὰ τὸ ἀποκτεῖναι ἔχοντα ἐξουσίαν ἐμβαλεῖν εἰς τὴν γέενναν. ναί, λέγω ὑμῖν, τοῦτον φοβήθητε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that he would show them whom they ought to fear (ὑποδείξω δὲ ὑμῖν τίνα φοβηθῆτε).  They were to fear those (φοβήθητε), who after killing them (τὸν μετὰ τὸ ἀποκτεῖναι), had the authority or power (ἔχοντα ἐξουσίαν) to cast them into hell or Gehenna (ἐμβαλεῖν εἰς τὴν γέενναν).  Then with a solemn declaration (ναί, λέγω ὑμῖν), he said that those were the people they ought to fear (τοῦτον φοβήθητε).  This is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:28, indicating a Q source.  Jesus, via Matthew, warned his followers that they should fear or be afraid (φοβεῖσθε δὲ μᾶλλον) of the people who can destroy both their soul and their body (τὸν δυνάμενον καὶ ψυχὴν καὶ σῶμα ἀπολέσαι) by sending them to hell or Gehenna (ἐν γεέννῃ).  Both Luke and Matthew used this Greek word for hell, “γεέννῃ,” or the English Gehenna that was based on the Hebrew word Gehinnom that was the name of the valley south of Jerusalem where burning child sacrifices would take place.  However, only Matthew, not Luke, talked about the soul, ψυχὴν.  Are you worried about going to hell?

Drink in the kingdom of God (Mk 14:25-14:25)

“Truly!

I say to you!

I will never again

Drink

Of the fruit

Of the vine

Until that day

When I drink it

New

In the kingdom of God.”

 

ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐκέτι οὐ μὴ πίω ἐκ τοῦ γενήματος τῆς ἀμπέλου ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης ὅταν αὐτὸ πίνω καινὸν ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:25, and similar in Luke, chapter 22:18, since this saying has eschatological overtones.  Mark indicated that Jesus said in a solemn declaration (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that he would never again drink of this fruit of the vine (ὅτι οὐκέτι οὐ μὴ πίω ἐκ τοῦ γενήματος τῆς ἀμπέλου) until that day (ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας) when he would drink of the new wine with them (ἐκείνης ὅταν αὐτὸ πίνω καινὸν) in the kingdom of God (ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Jesus was talking about the end times.  He was about to leave them until the end of the world, the eschaton.  Then they would all be reunited in his Father’s kingdom, the kingdom of God.  Matthew had Jesus speak about the kingdom of this Father, while Mark had Jesus speak about the kingdom of God.

One of you will betray me (Mk 14:18-14:18)

“They took

Their places,

Reclining

At the table.

When they were

Eating,

Jesus said.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

One of you

Will betray me.

He is one

Of those eating

With me.’”

 

καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν καὶ ἐσθιόντων ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με, ὁ ἐσθίων μετ’ ἐμοῦ.

 

This is similar, almost word for word, to Matthew, chapter 26:20-21, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 13:21, but this verse is not found in Luke.  First, they all took their places reclining at the table (καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν).  Did this mean that Peter, James, John, and Andrew had preferential seating?  While they were eating (καὶ ἐσθιόντων), Jesus gave a solemn declaration or proclamation (εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  He said that one of his 12 leading apostles would betray him (ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με).  Differing from Matthew, Mark indicated that Jesus said that the betrayer was one of those eating with him at this very table with him (ὁ ἐσθίων μετ’ ἐμοῦ).  This seems like a strange time to bring this up.  However, Jesus was clear, he knew what was going to happen.  This may harken back to Psalm 49:9 where David complained that even some friend, whom he trusted and broke bread with, had lifted his heel against him.  Thus, this prophecy would be fulfilled when one of his beloved trusted 12 apostles betrayed him.

 

The eschatological implications (Mt 26:29-26:29)

“I say to you!

I will never again

Drink

Of this fruit of the vine

Until that day

When I drink

The new wine

With you

In my Father’s kingdom.’”

 

λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν, οὐ μὴ πίω ἀπ’ ἄρτι ἐκ τούτου τοῦ γενήματος τῆς ἀμπέλου ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης ὅταν αὐτὸ πίνω μεθ’ ὑμῶν καινὸν ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Πατρός μου.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:25, and similar in Luke, chapter 22:18.  In a solemn declaration (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν) Jesus said that he would never again drink of this fruit of the vine (οὐ μὴ πίω ἀπ’ ἄρτι ἐκ τούτου τοῦ γενήματος τῆς ἀμπέλου) until that day (ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας) when he would drink of the new wine with them (ἐκείνης ὅταν αὐτὸ πίνω μεθ’ ὑμῶν καινὸν) in his Father’s kingdom (ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Πατρός μου).  Jesus was talking about the end times.  He was about to leave them until the end of the world, the eschaton.  Then they would all be reunited in his Father’s kingdom.