Do not be afraid! (Lk 21:9-21:9)

“When you hear

Of wars

And insurrections,

Do not be terrified!

These things

Must take place first.

The end will not

Follow immediately.”

 

ὅταν δὲ ἀκούσητε πολέμους καὶ ἀκαταστασίας, μὴ πτοηθῆτε· δεῖ γὰρ ταῦτα γενέσθαι πρῶτον, ἀλλ’ οὐκ εὐθέως τὸ τέλος.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that when they heard of wars (ὅταν δὲ ἀκούσητε πολέμους) and insurrections (καὶ ἀκαταστασίας), they were not to be terrified (μὴ πτοηθῆτε).  These things had to take place first (δεῖ γὰρ ταῦτα γενέσθαι πρῶτον).  The end times would not follow immediately (ἀλλ’ οὐκ εὐθέως τὸ τέλος).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:6, and in Mark, chapter 13:7, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus told them that they would hear about wars or battles (ὅταν δὲ ἀκούσητε πολέμους) and rumors of wars (καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων).  They should not be alarmed (μὴ θροεῖσθε).  This was going to happen (δεῖ γενέσθαι).  However, this was not the end, since it was not near (ἀλλ’ οὔπω τὸ τέλος).  Matthew indicated that Jesus told them that they would hear about wars or battles (μελλήσετε δὲ ἀκούειν πολέμους) and rumors of wars (καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων).  They should not be alarmed (ὁρᾶτε, μὴ θροεῖσθε).  This was going to happen (δεῖ γὰρ γενέσθαι), but the end was not near (ἀλλ’ οὔπω ἐστὶν τὸ τέλος).  The idea of strife and rumors of violence and wars was a great prophetic theme with Isaiah, chapter 19:1-4, and Jeremiah, chapter 51:46.  Do you often hear about wars and revolutions?

Peace to this house (Lk 10:5-10:5)

“Whatever house

You enter,

First say.

‘Peace be to this house!’”

 

εἰς ἣν δ’ ἂν εἰσέλθητε οἰκίαν, πρῶτον λέγετε Εἰρήνη τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ.

 

Luke said that Jesus told the 70 disciples that whatever house they entered (εἰς ἣν δ’ ἂν εἰσέλθητε οἰκίαν), they were first to say (πρῶτον λέγετε) “Peace be to this house (Εἰρήνη τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ)”.  The early followers of Jesus were to bring peace not strife, but this was a standard greeting anyway.  Matthew, 10:12 had Jesus give these same simple instructions to the 12 apostles.  As they went into a house, they were to greet or pay respects to the people in the house.  This was only common sense.  You had to respect, greet, and bring peace to the people in whose house you entered.  How do you greet people?

The rumors of wars (Mt 24:6-24:6)

“You will hear

Of wars

And rumors of wars.

See that you are not alarmed!

This must take place.

But the end is not yet.”

 

μελλήσετε δὲ ἀκούειν πολέμους καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων· ὁρᾶτε, μὴ θροεῖσθε· δεῖ γὰρ γενέσθαι, ἀλλ’ οὔπω ἐστὶν τὸ τέλος.

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 13:7, and in Luke, chapter 21:9, almost word for word.  Jesus told them that they would hear about wars or battles (μελλήσετε δὲ ἀκούειν πολέμους) and rumors of wars (καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων).  They should not be alarmed (ὁρᾶτε, μὴ θροεῖσθε).  This was going to happen (δεῖ γὰρ γενέσθαι), but the end was not near (ἀλλ’ οὔπω ἐστὶν τὸ τέλος).  The idea of strife and rumors of violence and wars was a great prophetic theme with Isaiah, chapter 19:1-4, and Jeremiah, chapter 51:46.

The cry for justice (Hab 1:2-1:4)

“O Yahweh!

How long

Shall I cry for help?

You will not listen.

I cry to you.

‘Violence!’

You will not save me.

Why do you make me

See wrongdoing?

Why do you make me

Look at trouble?

Destruction is before me.

Violence is before me.

Strife arises

Contention arises.

So,

The law becomes slack.

Justice never prevails.

The wicked surround

The righteous.

Therefore,

Judgment

Comes forth perverted!”

Habakkuk complained to Yahweh that there was no justice in the land.  He wanted to know how long he would have to cry to be heard by Yahweh, since Yahweh did not seem to listen to him.  Habakkuk has cried out about this violence, but there was no one to save him.  Why did he have to see so much wrongdoing and trouble?  There were all kinds of destruction and violence all around him, since his life was full of strife and contention.  The law had become slack, so that justice did not prevail.  The wicked were in fact surrounding the righteous, so that there were only perverted judgments, not true justice from Yahweh.

The personal lament of Jeremiah (Jer 15:10-15:10)

“Woe is me!

My mother!

You bore me!

A man of strife!

A man of contention

To the whole land!

I have not lent!

I have not borrowed!

Yet all of them curse me.”

Jeremiah laments that his mother bore him into this life. He has become a man of strife and contention throughout the whole land. However, he has neither lent nor borrowed money, so why does everyone curse him? He is in a difficult situation.

Problems caused by sinful humans (Sir 40:8-40:11)

“With all human creatures,

With all animal creatures,

But with sinners seven times more,

Come many problems.

There is death.

There is bloodshed.

There is strife.

There is the sword.

There are calamities.

There are famines.

There are afflictions.

There are ruins.

There are plagues.

All these were created

For the wicked.

On their account,

The flood came.

All that is of earth

Returns to earth.

What is from above,

Returns above.”

Sirach points out that all creatures, human and animals, have problems, but the sinners have 7 times as many problems as the non-sinners. What are these problems? They are death, bloodshed, strife, the sword, calamities, famines, ruin, and plagues. The reason that we have all these problems is due to the wicked ones who caused God to send the flood. In other words, we might have been okay except for the sinful humans who brought all these problems to our earthly existence. The things of this earth return to this earth, while the things from above return to above.

The misery of the human condition (Sir 40:1-40:5)

“Hard work

Was created for everyone.

A heavy yoke is laid

On the children of Adam.

This begins

From the day they come forth

From their mother’s womb,

Until the day

They return

To the mother of all the living.

They have perplexities.

They have fear of heart.

They have their anxious thoughts

About the day of their death.

Whether one sits on a splendid throne,

Whether one grovels in dust,

Whether one grovels in ashes,

Whether one who wears purple,

Whether one wears a crown,

Whether one is clothed in burlap,

There is anger.

There is envy.

There is trouble.

There is unrest.

There is fear of death.

There is fury.

There is strife.”

Sirach indicates that hard work is for everyone. The children of Adam must wear a heavy yoke on their necks from the day they are born until the day they die. Humans are perplexed, fearful, and anxious about the day of their death. It does not matter whether they sit on a throne with a crown and purple clothing or grovel in dust and ashes wearing burlap, they all have the same troubles of anger, envy, unrest, fury, strife, and of course the fear of death.