Five cities (Lk 19:19-19:19)

“The nobleman

Said to the second slave.

‘You!

Rule over five cities!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ καὶ τούτῳ Καὶ σὺ ἐπάνω γίνου πέντε πόλεων.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said the nobleman told the second slave (ἶπεν δὲ καὶ τούτῳ) that he was going to rule over 5 cities (Καὶ σὺ ἐπάνω γίνου πέντε πόλεων).  Since this second trader slave had done well, he was put in charge of 5 cities.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 25:23, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus said that this master said to this second diligent trader slave (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) that he done a good job (Εὖ).  He was a good trustworthy slave (δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ).  As he had been trustworthy or faithful in a few things (ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός), this master was going to put him in charge or appoint him over many things (ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω), without being specific.  This second slave was to enter into the joy of his master or lord (εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου).  Notice that the Greek wording in Matthew, was exactly the same, word for word, as it was for the first slave with the 5 talents.  They both belonged in the same category as good trustworthy faithful slaves.  Meanwhile, Luke was giving both these slave earthly responsibilities, being in charge of 5 and 10 cities.  What is the best reward you ever got?

Authority over ten cities (Lk 19:17-19:17)

“The nobleman

Said to the first slave.

‘Well done!

Good slave!

Because you have been

Trustworthy

In a very small thing,

Take charge

Of ten cities!’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Εὖγε, ἀγαθὲ δοῦλε, ὅτι ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ πιστὸς ἐγένου, ἴσθι ἐξουσίαν ἔχων ἐπάνω δέκα πόλεων.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the nobleman told the first slave (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he had done well as a good slave (Εὖγε, ἀγαθὲ δοῦλε).  He had been trustworthy in a very small thing (ὅτι ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ πιστὸς ἐγένου), he was now going to be put in charge of 10 cities (ἴσθι ἐξουσίαν ἔχων ἐπάνω δέκα πόλεων).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 25:21, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus said that this master or lord said to this diligent trader slave (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) that he done a good job (Εὖ).  He was a good trustworthy slave (δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ).  As he had been trustworthy or faithful in a few things (ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός), this master was going to put him in charge or appoint him over many things (ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω), without being specific.  This first slave was to enter into the joy of his master or lord (εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου).  This idea of being in the presence of his master was similar to the idea of being in the presence of God.  However, Luke had a more specific earthly reward.  Have you ever received a reward for some work that you did?

The power of the law (Lk 16:17-16:17)

“It is easier

For heaven

And earth

To pass away,

Than for one stroke

Of a letter

Of the law

To be dropped.”

 

εὐκοπώτερον δέ ἐστιν τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν παρελθεῖν ἢ τοῦ νόμου μίαν κεραίαν πεσεῖν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that it was easier (εὐκοπώτερον δέ ἐστιν) for heaven (τὸν οὐρανὸν) and earth (καὶ τὴν γῆν) to pass away (παρελθεῖν), than for one stroke of a letter of the law to be dropped (ἢ τοῦ νόμου μίαν κεραίαν πεσεῖν).  Nothing in the Law or the Torah could be changed or dropped, plain and simple.  This saying is similar to Mark, chapter 13:31, and Matthew, chapter 5:18, with a few exceptions.  Matthew has this as a great Jesus solemn pronouncement for his disciples (ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν).  The next phrase is the same in Luke and Mark.  Heaven and earth would not pass away (ἕως ἂν παρέλθῃ ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ) until the law was fully accomplished (ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου, ἕως ἂν πάντα γένηται).  Matthew, like Luke here, is even more specific with a detailed remark about the fact that not even an iota of the Law or not one stroke of a letter would go away (ἰῶτα ἓν ἢ μία κεραία οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου), before the Law was fully accomplished.  Iota was the Greek word for the Hebrew yod, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  Mark indicated that it was the words of Jesus, and not the Law, that would not change.  Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, chapter 3:31, would further expand on this idea of upholding the law.  In Matthew, chapter 24:35, and in Luke, chapter 21:33, Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away (ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ παρελεύσονται), but his words would not pass away (οἱ δὲ λόγοι μου οὐ μὴ παρελεύσονται).  This was a simple statement about the enduring quality of the words of Jesus.  Here, however, it is the words of the law that would not pass away, not the words of Jesus.  Which is more important for you, the law or the words of Jesus?

The blood of the prophets (Lk 11:50-11:50

“Thus,

This generation

Will be charged

With the bloodshed

Of all the prophets,

Since the foundation

Of the world.”

 

ἵνα ἐκζητηθῇ τὸ αἷμα πάντων τῶν προφητῶν τὸ ἐκκεχυμένον ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου ἀπὸ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this generation (ἀπὸ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης) will be charged (ἵνα ἐκζητηθῇ) with the blood (τὸ αἷμα) of all the prophets (πάντων τῶν προφητῶν) that has been shed (τὸ ἐκκεχυμένον), since the foundation of the world (ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου).  In Matthew, chapter 23:35, perhaps a Q source, Jesus said to these Pharisees and Scribes that all the righteous blood that was shed on earth (πᾶν αἷμα δίκαιον ἐκχυννόμενον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς) would come upon them (ὅπως ἔλθῃ ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς).  Luke indicated that it was all on this generation, while Matthew was more specific as he mentioned the Pharisees and the Scribes.  This is a startling statement.  The blood of all the righteous people from the beginning of time would be on this generation of Scribes and Pharisees.  How are you connected to the people who shed the blood of others before you came to exist?

The Son of Man (Lk 11:30-11:30)

“Just as Jonah

Became a sign

To the people

Of Nineveh,

So,

The Son of Man

Will be a sign

To this generation.”

 

καθὼς γὰρ ἐγένετο Ἰωνᾶς τοῖς Νινευείταις σημεῖον, οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh (καθὼς γὰρ ἐγένετο Ἰωνᾶς τοῖς Νινευείταις σημεῖον), so, too, the Son of Man will be a sign to this generation (οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ).  This saying about the sign of Jonah can also be found in Matthew, chapter 12:39-40.  Perhaps this was a Q source, going back to Hebrew scripture roots.  Jesus used this story of the prophet Jonah, chapter 1:17, where he was in the belly of the whale or the sea monster for 3 days and 3 nights.  The obvious comparison between the 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the fish and Jesus in the tomb was not lost on the early Christians.  Matthew was even more specific than Luke.  He indicated that Jesus said that the only sign they were going to get was the sign of the prophet Jonah, who had been in the belly of the sea monster or whale that swallowed him for 3 days and 3 nights.  Thus, the Son of Man would be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.  This was a clear allusion to the death of Jesus in the tomb for 3 days and 3 nights before his resurrection.  Luke was not as clear or specific.  What do you know about Jonah and the whale?

You took care of me (Mt 25:35-25:36)

“I was hungry!

You gave me food!

I was thirsty!

You gave me something

To drink!

I was a stranger!

You welcomed me!

I was naked!

You gave me

Clothing!

I was sick!

You took care of me!

I was in prison!

You visited me!”

 

ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν, ἐδίψησα καὶ ἐποτίσατέ με, ξένος ἤμην καὶ συνηγάγετέ με,

γυμνὸς καὶ περιεβάλετέ με, ἠσθένησα καὶ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με, ἐν φυλακῇ ἤμην καὶ ἤλθατε πρός με.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said to the sheep on the right side that they had taken care of him.  He said that when he was hungry, they gave him food to eat (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν).  When he was thirsty, they gave him something to drink (ἐδίψησα καὶ ἐποτίσατέ με).  When he was a stranger, they kindly took him in (ξένος ἤμην καὶ συνηγάγετέ με).  When he was naked, they gave him clothes to wear (γυμνὸς καὶ περιεβάλετέ με).  When he was sick, they visited and took care of him (ἠσθένησα καὶ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με).  When he was in prison, they came to visit him (ἐν φυλακῇ ἤμην καὶ ἤλθατε πρός με).  All of this was in the first person singular.  This sounds like the beatitudes mentioned earlier in chapter 5:3-11, but here they are more specific and personal.

The reward for the slave with two talents (Mt 25:23-25:23)

“His master

Said to him.

‘Well done!

Good slave!

Trustworthy slave!

You have been

Faithful

In a few things.

I will put you

In charge

Of many things.

Enter into the joy

Of your master.’”

 

ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ Εὖ, δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ, ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός, ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω· εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 19:19, where the nobleman said that this 2nd trader slave had done well, so that he put him in charge of 5 cities.  Here Jesus said that this master said to this 2nd diligent trader slave (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) that he done a good job (Εὖ).  He was a good trustworthy slave (δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ).  As he had been trustworthy or faithful in a few things (ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός), this master was going to put him in charge or appoint him over many things (ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω), without being specific.  This 2nd slave was to enter into the joy of his master or lord (εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου).  Notice that the Greek wording is exactly the same, word for word, as it was for the first slave with the 5 talents in verse 21.  They both belonged in the same category as good trustworthy faithful slaves.