Not able to finish (Lk 14:30-14:30)

“They will say.

‘This man began

To build it,

But was not able

To finish it.’” 

 

λέγοντες ὅτι Οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἤρξατο οἰκοδομεῖν καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἐκτελέσαι.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that the other people would say (λέγοντες) that this man began to build it (ὅτι Οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἤρξατο οἰκοδομεῖν), but was not able to finish it (καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἐκτελέσαι).  This conclusion was simple.  Do not start what you cannot finish!  Have you ever starting something without finishing it?

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Fire on earth (Lk 12:49-12:49)

“I came

To bring fire

To the earth.

How I wish

That it was

Already kindled!”

 

Πῦρ ἦλθον βαλεῖν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν, καὶ τί θέλω εἰ ἤδη ἀνήφθη.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that he came to bring or cast fire or judgment (Πῦρ ἦλθον βαλεῖν) to the earth (ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν).  Jesus wished (καὶ τί θέλω) that this fire had already started or kindled (εἰ ἤδη ἀνήφθη).  It appeared that Jesus wanted the judgment day to come sooner.  He wanted the judgment of fire to come quickly.  Fire was also a symbol of the Holy Spirit, purification, or presence of his love.  Jesus wanted things to get going.  Are you anxious about things to start?

The mustard seed (Mk 4:31-4:32)

“The kingdom of God

Is like

A mustard seed.

When sown

Upon the ground,

It is the smallest

Of all the seeds

On earth.

Yet when it is sown,

It grows up.

It becomes the greatest

Of all shrubs.

It puts forth

Large branches,

So that the birds

Of the air

Can make nests

In its shade.”

 

ὡς κόκκῳ σινάπεως, ὃς ὅταν σπαρῇ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, μικρότερον ὂν πάντων τῶν σπερμάτων τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς,

καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ, ἀναβαίνει καὶ γίνεται μεῖζον πάντων τῶν λαχάνων, καὶ ποιεῖ κλάδους μεγάλους, ὥστε δύνασθαι ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτοῦ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνοῖν.

 

This parable of the mustard seed can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:31-32, and Luke, chapter 13:19.  The mustard seed was the symbol of small things.  However, it could grow to become a tree or shrub where birds could nest.  There was no explanation of this parable, except the clear indication that the kingdom of heaven may start out small but would grow to hold many people.  Jesus, via Mark, explicitly presented them with another short parable.  He said that the kingdom of God was like a mustard seed or a grain of mustard (ὡς κόκκῳ σινάπεως).  When planted in the ground (ὃς ὅταν σπαρῇ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς), it is the smallest of all seeds on earth (μικρότερον ὂν πάντων τῶν σπερμάτων τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  But when it has grown after being planted (καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ, ἀναβαίνει), it becomes greater than all the garden plants or shrubs (καὶ γίνεται μεῖζον πάντων τῶν λαχάνων).  It then produces great branches (καὶ ποιεῖ κλάδους μεγάλους).  Thus, the birds of the air would be able to come and perch or build nests in the shade of its branches (ὥστε δύνασθαι ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτοῦ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνοῖν).  What starts out small can become quite large.

The odd little horn was at war with the holy ones (Dan 7:20-7:22)

“There were ten horns

On its head.

The other horn

Came up.

To make room for it,

Three of them fell out.

This horn had eyes.

It had a mouth

That spoke arrogantly.

It seemed greater

Than the others.

As I looked,

This horn made war

With the holy ones.

It was prevailing

Over them.

Then the Ancient One came.

His judgment was given

For the holy ones

Of the Most High.

The time arrived

When the holy ones

Gained possession

Of the kingdom.”

Rather than dwell on the 4th beast, Daniel took notice of the little horn that came out of its head to replace 3 other horns. This little horn had eyes and an arrogant mouth. Somehow, it seemed greater than the others. Then Daniel saw the little horn start a war with the holy ones. In fact, the little horn was winning, until the Ancient One showed up and proclaimed judgment in favor of the holy ones of the Most High God. Finally, the holy ones gained possession of the kingdom.

The Brook of Egypt border (Ezek 48:28-48:28)

“Adjoining the territory

Of Gad,

To the south,

The boundary shall run

From Tamar

To the waters

Of Meribath-kadesh.

From there

It shall run

Along the Brook of Egypt

To the Great Sea.”

Somehow the territory of Gad was in the south. Now we have the southern borders of Israel just as it was described in the preceding chapter. This southern border in Numbers, chapter 34 was also vague. Here the border goes almost to Egypt, to the great sea, or the Mediterranean Sea. Tamar was the start of this southeast border. Meribath-kadesh was in the wilderness of Zin, south of the Dead Sea.

The southern border (Ezek 47:19-47:19)

“On the south side,

It shall run

From Tamar

As far as

The waters

Of Meribath-kadesh.

From there

It shall run

Along the Brook of Egypt

To the Great Sea.

This shall be the south side.”

The southern border in Numbers, chapter 34 was also vague. However, there was a mention of the Dead Sea and the Wilderness of Zin. Here the border goes almost to Egypt, to the great sea, or the Mediterranean Sea. Tamar, just mentioned on the eastern border, is the start of this southeast border. Meribath-kadesh was in the wilderness of Zin, south of the Dead Sea.