Terms of peace (Lk 14:32-14:32)

“If he cannot,

Then,

While the other king

Is still far away,

He would send

A delegation,

Asking for

Peace terms.”

 

εἰ δὲ μήγε, ἔτι αὐτοῦ πόρρω ὄντος πρεσβείαν ἀποστείλας ἐρωτᾷ τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his unique story about the king planning a war.  Jesus said that if this king realized that he could not defeat the other king (εἰ δὲ μήγε), then, while this other king was still far away (ἔτι αὐτοῦ πόρρω ὄντος), he would send a delegation (πρεσβείαν ἀποστείλας), asking for peace terms (ἐρωτᾷ τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην).  Make peace instead of war, if you are outmanned and have no realistic hope of success.  Would you rather fight or make peace?

He will get up (Lk 11:8-11:8)

“I tell you!

Even though

He will not get up

And give him anything,

Because he is his friend,

At least,

Because of his persistence,

He will get up.

He will give him

Whatever he needs.”

 

λέγω ὑμῖν, εἰ καὶ οὐ δώσει αὐτῷ ἀναστὰς διὰ τὸ εἶναι φίλον αὐτοῦ, διά γε τὴν ἀναιδίαν αὐτοῦ ἐγερθεὶς δώσει αὐτῷ ὅσων χρῄζει.

 

Luke uniquely brought this parable story about waking up a friend at midnight to a surprise ending.  In this conclusion, Jesus proclaimed solemnly (λέγω ὑμῖν), that even though this friend will not get up and give him anything (εἰ καὶ οὐ δώσει αὐτῷ ἀναστὰς), because he was his friend (διὰ τὸ εἶναι φίλον αὐτοῦ), at least, because of his persistence (διά γε τὴν ἀναιδίαν αὐτοῦ), he will get up (ἐγερθεὶς) and give him whatever he needed (δώσει αὐτῷ ὅσων χρῄζει).  Problem solved, as persistence was better than friendship.  In a complete turnaround, this friend offered his requesting persistent neighbor friend whatever he wanted.  That’s what friends are for.  However, it was the persistence rather than the friendship that led him to act.  So that is the moral of this story.  Perseverance in prayer to the Father will lead to success.  Do you persist in prayer to God?

Jesus cures the son (Lk 9:42-9:42)

“While the boy

Was coming to Jesus,

The demon threw him down

With convulsions.

But Jesus rebuked

The unclean spirit.

He healed the boy.

He gave him back

To his father.”

 

ἔτι δὲ προσερχομένου αὐτοῦ ἔρρηξεν αὐτὸν τὸ δαιμόνιον καὶ συνεσπάραξεν· ἐπετίμησεν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ, καὶ ἰάσατο τὸν παῖδα καὶ ἀπέδωκεν αὐτὸν τῷ πατρὶ αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke said that while the young man was coming to Jesus (ἔτι δὲ προσερχομένου αὐτοῦ), the demon threw him down to the ground (ἔρρηξεν αὐτὸν τὸ δαιμόνιον) with convulsions (καὶ συνεσπάραξεν).  But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit (πετίμησεν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ).  He healed the boy (καὶ ἰάσατο τὸν παῖδα).  He gave him back to his father (καὶ ἀπέδωκεν αὐτὸν τῷ πατρὶ αὐτοῦ).  Both Matthew, chapter 17:18 and Luke here have a summary of a more detailed longer statement from Mark, chapter 9:20-27, about this mute epileptic boy.  Mark said that they brought the boy to Jesus.  However, when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it immediately convulsed the boy.  The boy fell on the ground and began to roll around, foaming at the mouth.  In fact, Jesus got to see what the father had described to him earlier.  Jesus asked the father of this boy how long had these convulsions been happening to him.  The father said that it had been happening since his childhood.  This evil spirit would often cast him into both fire and water, as Matthew had mentioned, in order to destroy him.  Then the father asked Jesus, if he was able to do anything to help his son.  He wanted Jesus to have pity and compassion on him and his son.  Jesus said to him that all things could be done for the one who believed.  Belief was the key ingredient for any success in this area.  The father of the child cried out that he believed, but he wanted help with his unbelief.  This was a strong statement of belief that also recognized unbelief at the same time.  Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit.  He directly commanded this unclean evil spirit that had kept this boy from speaking and hearing to come out of him, never again to enter him.  Jesus then got rid of the unclean spirit that was in this boy in a public act in front of a crowd.  After crying out and terribly convulsing the boy with spasms, the evil spirit came out of the boy, who became a corpse.  Most of the people said that the boy was dead.  Could this boy live without the evil spirit in him?  Jesus took the boy by the hand.  He lifted him up, so that he rose up, and was able to stand up on his feet by himself.  The boy was not dead.  There was a clear equivalence between the illness of epilepsy and demonic possession.  Once the devil or evil spirits had left the boy, he was cured of his various ailments.  Have you ever dealt with an epileptic?

All things are possible (Mk 9:23-9:23)

“Jesus said to him.

‘If you are able!

All things

Can be done

For the one

Who believes.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Τὸ Εἰ δύνῃ, πάντα δυνατὰ τῷ πιστεύοντι.

 

This is unique to Mark.  Jesus said to him (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ).  If you are able (Τὸ Εἰ δύνῃ), all things can be done (πάντα δυνατὰ) for the one who believes (τῷ πιστεύοντι).  Jesus responded that belief was the key ingredient for any success in this area.

What Yahweh would have done for Israel (Isa 48:17-48:19)

“Thus says Yahweh!

Your Redeemer!

The Holy One of Israel!

‘I am Yahweh your God!

I teach you for your own good.

I lead you in the way you should go.

O that you had paid attention

To my commandments!

Then your prosperity would have been

Like a river.

Your success would have been

Like the waves of the sea.

Your offspring would have been

Like the sand.

Your descendants would have been

Like its grains.

Their name would never be cut off.

They would never have been destroyed

From before me.’”

Second Isaiah explains what Yahweh would have done had the Israelites followed his commandments. Yahweh said that he was the redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, their God. He had taught them how to live on the right path by following his commandments. However, they did not pay attention to him. They could have had prosperity and success like the rivers and the sea waves. They could have had offspring and descendants like the many grains of sand. They would have never been cut off or destroyed if they had only followed Yahweh’s teaching commands.

Relax (Sir 11:10-11:11)

“My child!

Do not busy yourself

With many matters!

If you multiply activities,

You will not be held blameless.

If you pursue,

You will not overtake.

By fleeing,

You will not escape.

There are those

Who work,

Who struggle,

Who hurry,

But they are

So much the more in want.”

Sirach has some advice for those who are busy, relax! Do not be busy with lots of things. If you try to overtake someone, you probably will not. If you try to escape, you probably will not. Just look at those who are working so hard. They are struggling. They are in a hurry. However, if you look at them, they are still needy. Much hard work does not guarantee success.

The praying to false idols (Wis 13:17-13:19)

“When he prays

About possessions,

His marriage,

His children,

He is not ashamed

To address a lifeless thing.

For health,

He appeals to a thing that is weak.

For life

He prays to a thing that is dead.

For aid

He entreats a thing that is utterly inexperienced.

For a prosperous journey,

He asks a thing that cannot take a step.

For money-making,

For work,

For success with his hands,

He asks strength of a thing

Whose hands have no strength.”

Now what seems ridiculous happens. This carpenter now turns to worship the image that he just created. In fact, he prays (προσευχόμενος) to this image for protection of his possessions, his marriage, and his children. He is not ashamed to speak to this lifeless image that he himself created. The author then points out the incredulity of this picture. The woodcutter prays for health to a weak piece of wood. He prays for life and asks for aid from a dead (νεκρὸν) piece of wood. He asks for help on his journey from something that cannot even walk. He asks for money and success in his work from a weak piece of wood with no strength. The irony is evident.