Leaves on the trees (Lk 21:30-21:30)

“As soon as the trees

Sprout leaves,

You can see

For yourselves.

You know

That the summer

Is already near.”

 

ὅταν προβάλωσιν ἤδη, βλέποντες ἀφ’ ἑαυτῶν γινώσκετε ὅτι ἤδη ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that as soon as the trees sprout leaves (ὅταν προβάλωσιν ἤδη), they can see and know for themselves (βλέποντες ἀφ’ ἑαυτῶν γινώσκετε) that summer was already near (ὅτι ἤδη ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν).  This was almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 24:32, and Mark, chapter 13:28.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that as soon as the tree’s branches or shoots became tender (ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς ἁπαλὸς γένηται), it would put forth its leaves (καὶ ἐκφύῃ τὰ φύλλα).  Then they would know that summer was near (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν).  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that as soon as the tree’s branches or shoots became tender (ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς γένηται ἁπαλὸς), the tree would put forth its leaves (καὶ τὰ φύλλα ἐκφύῃ).  Then they would know that summer was near (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος).  In other words, the early leaves on a tree indicated that summer was coming.  Let’s hope that summer keeps on coming.  Do you like spring time?

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The good seed grows (Mk 4:26-4:27)

“Jesus said.

‘The kingdom of God

Is as if

Someone would

Scatter seed

On the ground.

He would sleep.

He would rise

Night and day.

Meanwhile,

The seed

Would sprout

And grow.

He does not know

How this happens.’”

 

Καὶ ἔλεγεν Οὕτως ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὡς ἄνθρωπος βάλῃ τὸν σπόρον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς,

καὶ καθεύδῃ  καὶ ἐγείρηται νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν, καὶ ὁ σπόρος βλαστᾷ καὶ μηκύνηται ὡς οὐκ οἶδεν αὐτός

 

This unique parable of Mark is not found in any of the other synoptic gospels.  Jesus said (Καὶ ἔλεγεν) that the kingdom of God (Οὕτως ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) was like as if someone or a man would scatter, place, or drop some seeds on the ground (ὡς ἄνθρωπος βάλῃ τὸν σπόρον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  He would then go to sleep (καὶ καθεύδῃ) and wake up (καὶ ἐγείρηται) every night and day (νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν).  Meanwhile, the seeds would sprout (καὶ ὁ σπόρος βλαστᾷ) and grow (καὶ μηκύνηται).  However, he did not know how this happened (ὡς οὐκ οἶδεν αὐτός).  This is a little like the sower and the seeds in the various difficult places.  However, this is a simpler story.  He was just wondering how things grew in the kingdom of God.

The vision about the locusts (Am 7:1-7:1)

“This is what

Yahweh God

Showed me.

He was forming locusts

At the time

That the latter growth

Began to sprout.

It was the latter growth

After the king’s mowing.”

This vision of the locusts is a lot like that of the prophet Joel, chapter 1. Yahweh God was showing this vision to Amos. God was going to have streams of locusts come to Israel just when the late crop was beginning to sprout. This would have been after the king had already had his mowing of the first crop, which was before everyone else.

Man is not a tree (Job 14:7-14:12)

“There is hope for a tree.

If it is cut down,

That it will sprout again.

Its shoots will not cease.

Its root grow old in the earth.

Its stump dies in the ground.

Yet at the scent of water it will bud.

It will put forth branches like a young plant.

But mortal men die.

They are laid low.

Humans expire.

Where are they?

As waters fail from a lake,

As a river wastes away and dries up,

Thus mortal men lie down.

They do not rise again.

Until the heavens are no more,

They will not awake.

They will not be roused out of their sleep.”

Job compared man to a tree. However, the tree was better off than the mortal humans. The tree could sprout again if it was cut down. Water could revive an old dead root or stump. Mortal men, on the other hand, were dead, plain and simple. They were more like water. Once they were gone, they were no more. Job did not understand osmosis and condensation. Job was against the resurrection. Once dead, you were dead not to rise again until the heavens were no more. Here we see the end times of all, not a personal individual resurrection. Mortal men could not be roused from their sleep.

Water and vegetation (Job 8:11-8:19)

“Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?

Can reeds flourish where there is no water?

While yet in flower and not cut down,

They wither before any other plant.

Such are the paths of all who forget God.

The hope of the godless shall perish.

Their confidence is gossamer.

Their trust is a spider’s web.

If one leans against its house,

It will not stand.

If one lays hold of it,

It will not endure.

The wicked thrive before the sun,

Their shoots spread over the garden.

Their roots twine about the stone heap.

They live among the rocks.

If they are destroyed from their place,

Then it will deny them, saying,

‘I have never seen you.’

See!

These are their happy ways.

Out of the earth still others will spring.”

Here the power of God is seen in the growth of vegetation. Without water nothing will happen. Water your plants! If you forget God you are like a plant without water. Your hope will disappear. Your confidence will be delicate. Your trust will be like that in a spider web. If you lean on a house, it will fall. The wicked seem to be fine in the sun, but their roots are stuck in stone. They will be destroyed from their place. They will say that I have no idea who they are. However, others will sprout from the earth who are not wicked.