The attack (Lk 11:22-11:22)

“But when one

Stronger than he

Attacks him,

And overpowers him,

He takes away

His trusted armor.

He then divides

His plunder.”

 

ἐπὰν δὲ ἰσχυρότερος αὐτοῦ ἐπελθὼν νικήσῃ αὐτόν, τὴν πανοπλίαν αὐτοῦ αἴρει ἐφ’ ᾗ ἐπεποίθει, καὶ τὰ σκῦλα αὐτοῦ διαδίδωσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that someone stronger than the armed strongman protecting his castle attacked him (πὰν δὲ ἰσχυρότερος αὐτοῦ ἐπελθὼν).  This attacker overpowered this strong man (νικήσῃ αὐτόν).  He would take away his trusted armor (τὴν πανοπλίαν αὐτοῦ αἴρει ἐφ’ ᾗ ἐπεποίθει).  The new stronger one would then divide (διαδίδωσιν) and plunder (καὶ τὰ σκῦλα αὐτοῦ) this so-called original strong man.  There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 3:27, and Matthew, chapter 12:29.  Mark had a reference to a strong man, probably Satan, who was overcome by another strong man, probably Jesus.  The strong man must be tied up before anyone could plunder his house.  Jesus, appeared to be giving advice on how to rob a house.  No one would go into the house of a strong man to plunder, seize, snatch, or rob his property or goods without first tying up the strong man.  Then one would indeed be able to plunder or totally rob his whole house.   Matthew has a vague reference to Satan, the strong man, who was overcome by another strong man.  Matthew seems to indicate that the strong man or Satan must be tied up, like in Mark, before anyone can plunder his house.  How could you get into a strong man’s house?  How could you rob his property?  First, you had to tie up the strong man, before you could plunder or rob his house.  Thus, Satan would have to be bound up before you could enter his house to rob him.  Luke was a little vague on how this plunder was all going to come about, but it would happen.  Has anybody ever tried to rob your house?

Say farewell (Lk 9:61-9:61)

“Another person said.

‘I will follow you!

Lord!

But let me first

Say farewell

To those at my home!’”

 

Εἶπεν δὲ καὶ ἕτερος Ἀκολουθήσω σοι, Κύριε· πρῶτον δὲ ἐπίτρεψόν μοι ἀποτάξασθαι τοῖς εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου.

 

Luke indicated that another person said (Εἶπεν δὲ καὶ ἕτερος) that he would follow Jesus (Ἀκολουθήσω σοι), the Lord (Κύριε), but he first wanted to say farewell (πρῶτον δὲ ἐπίτρεψόν μοι ἀποτάξασθαι) to those at his home (εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου).  This was another unique saying of Luke that was not found in Matthew.  Being a disciple of Jesus was not going to be easy.  This disciple just wanted to say goodbye to his family.  Is your belief in Jesus stronger than your family ties?

The Messianic secret (Mt 16:20-16:20)

“Then Jesus sternly instructed

The disciples

Not to tell anyone

That he was the Christ.”

 

τότε ἐπετίμησεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἵνα μηδενὶ εἴπωσιν ὅτι αὐτός ἐστιν ὁ Χριστός.

 

This warning about the messianic secret can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 8:30, Luke, chapter 9:21, and here.  However, this warning came right after the Peter’s response in Mark and Luke since they did not have the unique Matthew reward for Peter.  Jesus, in some ironic way, did not want the people to know that he was the Messiah or the Christ.  Thus, the name “Jesus Christ” did not take hold until after his death and resurrection.  Then Jesus sternly ordered, instructed, or charged his disciples (τότε ἐπετίμησεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς) that they were not to tell anyone (ἵνα μηδενὶ εἴπωσιν) that he was the Christ (ὅτι αὐτός ἐστιν ὁ Χριστός) or the Israelite Messiah, just like he had done in chapter 8:4 and chapter 12:16.  This messianic secret was even stronger in Mark.  Only the elite followers of Jesus knew that he was the Christ messiah, much like a gnostic special knowledge.

The king of the south (Dan 11:5-11:5)

“Then the king of the south

Shall be strong.

But one of his officers

Shall grow stronger

Than he.

He shall rule

A realm greater

Than his own realm.”

The king of the south was Ptolemy I (305-283 BCE), a general who had served with Alexander the Great. He took over Egypt and Hellenized it with the important Greek speaking city of Alexandria. Seleucus I Nicator (305-281 BCE) was his officer who grew stronger than Ptolemy. He then became known as the king of the north.

The vision of the ram (Dan 8:3-8:4)

“I looked up.

I saw a ram

Standing

Beside the river.

It had two horns.

Both horns

Were long.

But one was longer

Than the other.

The longer one

Came up second.

I saw the ram

Charging

Westward,

Northward,

Southward.

All beasts were

Powerless

To withstand him.

No one could be rescued

From its power.

It did as it pleased.

It became strong.”

Daniel then saw a ram standing by the river. Obviously, it had 2 long horns, but one horn was longer than the other. Perhaps, this was an indication of the longer Persian was the shorter Medes horn. This ram charged west, north, and south, but not eastward. All the other animals were powerless before it. No one could escape from it, because it did what it pleased, as it seemed to get stronger.

Quarrels (Sir 28:8-28:12)

“Refrain from strife.

Your sins will be fewer.

The hot tempered kindle strife.

The sinner disrupts friendships.

The sinner sows discord

Among those who are at peace.

In proportion to the fuel,

So will the fire burn.

In proportion to the obstinacy,

So will strife increase.

In proportion to a person’s strength,

So will be his anger.

In proportion to his wealth,

So he will increase his wrath.

A hasty quarrel kindles a fire.

A hasty dispute sheds blood.

If you blow on a spark,

It will glow.

If you spit on it,

It will be put out.

Yet both come out of your mouth.”

Sirach reminds us of the problems with quarrels and arguments. If you refrain from conflicts, your sins will be less. Usually it is the hot tempered people who start disputes. Sinners disrupt friendships. They sow discord among peacemakers. Then Sirach has a number of proportional examples. The more fuel you have, the more the fire burns. The more stubborn you are, the more disagreements you create. The stronger you are, the more you will be angry. The more wealth that you have, the more fury you will have. Sometimes it is a hasty quarrel that starts a fire that leads to bloodshed. However, you have control with your mouth. You can either blow on the spark to increase the flame or spit on the spark to put it out. The choice is yours, spit or blow on the spark of a fire to increase or decrease the argument.

How to get along with people (Sir 8:10-8:13)

“Do not kindle the coals of sinners!

You may be burned in their flaming fire.

Do not let the insolent bring you to your feet!

They may lie in ambush against your words.

Do not lend

To one who is stronger than you!

If you do lend anything,

Count it as a loss.

Do not give surety

Beyond your means!

If you give surety,

Be prepared to pay.”

Do not provoke sinners or you may be burned by their flames. Do not get involved with the insolent or they might ambush you. Do not lend money to someone stronger than you. If you do, write it off as a loss. Do not offer surety or guarantees for others. If you do, do not offer more than you can pay. You should be prepared to pay whatever you guarantee.