The fall of Jerusalem (Lk 21:24-21:24)

“They will fall

By the edge

Of the sword.

They will be

Taken away

As captives

Among all the gentile nations.

Jerusalem

Will be trampled on

By the gentiles,

Until the time

Of the gentiles

Was fulfilled.”

 

καὶ πεσοῦνται στόματι μαχαίρης καὶ αἰχμαλωτισθήσονται εἰς τὰ ἔθνη πάντα, καὶ Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἔσται πατουμένη ὑπὸ ἐθνῶν, ἄχρι οὗ πληρωθῶσιν καιροὶ ἐθνῶν.

 

Only Luke has this unique saying of Jesus.  Jesus said that these people would fall by the edge of their swords (καὶ πεσοῦνται στόματι μαχαίρης).  They would be taken away as captives among all the gentile nations (καὶ αἰχμαλωτισθήσονται εἰς τὰ ἔθνη πάντα).  Jerusalem would be trampled on by the gentiles (καὶ Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἔσται πατουμένη ὑπὸ ἐθνῶν), until the time of the gentiles was completed (ἄχρι οὗ πληρωθῶσιν καιροὶ ἐθνῶν).  Falling by the edge of the sword meant death.  It is not clear what is meant by this time of the gentiles.  Perhaps this was when the foreign armies, the Roman army invaded and overwhelmed Jerusalem in 70 CE.  Luke seemed to tie the end times to the fall of Jerusalem.  What do you think the end of the world will be like?

Give to those who have something already (Lk 19:26-19:26)

“I tell you!

All those who have,

More will be given!

But from those

Who have nothing,

Even what they have

Will be taken away.”

 

λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι παντὶ τῷ ἔχοντι δοθήσεται, ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ μὴ ἔχοντος καὶ ὃ ἔχει ἀρθήσεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus responded with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν).  All those who already have things (τι παντὶ τῷ ἔχοντι), more will be given to them (δοθήσεται).  From those who have nothing (ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ μὴ ἔχοντος), even what they do have (καὶ ὃ ἔχει) will be taken away (ἀρθήσεται).  There was no insistence on equality here.  This was similar to Matthew, chapter 25:29, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus said that this master slave owner rewarded and punished his slaves.  He told them that all those who have, will be given more (τῷ γὰρ ἔχοντι παντὶ δοθήσεται), so that they will have an abundance or overflow of goods (καὶ περισσευθήσεται).  But those who have nothing (τοῦ δὲ μὴ ἔχοντος), even what little they have will be taken away from them (καὶ ὃ ἔχει ἀρθήσεται ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ).  Matthew added more comments that are not in Luke.  As for this worthless slave (καὶ τὸν ἀχρεῖον δοῦλον), he was to be thrown into the outer darkness (ἐκβάλετε εἰς τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον), where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth (ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων), the common terms for sadness and mourning.  Thus, the kingdom of heaven will have rewards and punishments.  Do you want to be rewarded or punished in eternal life?

The better portion (Lk 10:42-10:42)

“There is need

Of only one thing.

Mary has chosen

The better part.

It will not be

Taken away

From her.”

 

ὀλίγων δέ ἐστιν χρεία ἢ ἑνός· Μαριὰμ γὰρ τὴν ἀγαθὴν μερίδα ἐξελέξατο, ἥτις οὐκ ἀφαιρεθήσεται αὐτῆς.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that there was need of only one thing (ὀλίγων δέ ἐστιν χρεία ἢ ἑνός).  Mary had chosen the better part (Μαριὰμ γὰρ τὴν ἀγαθὴν μερίδα ἐξελέξατο), in listening.  This would not be taken away from her (ἥτις οὐκ ἀφαιρεθήσεται αὐτῆς).  Jesus was clear, being a listening disciple was better than running around serving people.  Listening was important.  Household duties can wait.  Martha, the welcoming lady, lost out to her listening sister, Mary.  Quit complaining.  Just do the work and listen to Jesus.  Do you prefer to work or listen?

Give more to those who have a lot (Lk 8:18-8:18)

“Pay attention!

To how you listen!

Those who have more,

More will be given!

From those who have not,

Even what they seem to have

Will be taken away.”

 

βλέπετε οὖν πῶς ἀκούετε· ὃς ἂν γὰρ ἔχῃ, δοθήσεται αὐτῷ, καὶ ὃς ἂν μὴ ἔχῃ, καὶ ὃ δοκεῖ ἔχειν ἀρθήσεται ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should pay attention on how they listen or hear things (βλέπετε οὖν πῶς ἀκούετε).  Those who have things (ὃς ἂν γὰρ ἔχῃ), more will be given (δοθήσεται αὐτῷ).  From those who do not have things (καὶ ὃς ἂν μὴ ἔχῃ), even what they appear or seem to have (καὶ ὃ δοκεῖ ἔχειν) will be taken away from them (ἀρθήσεται ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ).  All 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:12, Mark, chapter 4:25, and here, have this quirky saying, almost word for word.  Mark said that to those who had knowledge, more would be given to them.  However, those who had nothing, even what little they had would be taken away.  Matthew indicated that those who had more knowledge, even more abundant knowledge would be given to them.  However, those who had nothing, even what little they had would be taken away.  There would be no center ambiguous positions, it was all or nothing.  What more do you want?

Understanding the parables (Lk 8:10-8:10)

“Jesus said.

‘To you

It has been given

To know the secrets

Of the kingdom

Of God.

But to others,

I speak in parables.

Thus,

Looking,

They may not perceive!

Listening,

They may not understand!’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ὑμῖν δέδοται γνῶναι τὰ μυστήρια τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ, τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς ἐν παραβολαῖς, ἵνα βλέποντες μὴ βλέπωσιν καὶ ἀκούοντες μὴ συνιῶσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) to his disciples that they would be able to understand the secrets (Ὑμῖν δέδοται γνῶναι τὰ μυστήρια) of the kingdom of God (τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ).  But to others (τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς), he would be speaking in parables or riddles (ἐν παραβολαῖς).  Thus, these people might look (ἵνα βλέποντες), but not see (μὴ βλέπωσιν).  They might listen (καὶ ἀκούοντες), but not understand (μὴ συνιῶσιν).  This response of Jesus about the meaning of parables can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:11-12, and Matthew, chapter 13:11-15, and here.  Matthew and Mark also said that Jesus told his disciples that they had been given knowledge concerning the secret mysteries about the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God.  However, this was not granted to others.  Matthew had Jesus explain that those who had more knowledge, even more abundant knowledge would be given to them.  However, those who had nothing, even what little they had would be taken away.  The reason that Jesus spoke in parables was that some people might see, but not perceive what they saw, while other people might hear but not understand what they have heard.  For people outside their disciple group, everything was still in parables or riddles.  Only those on the inside would understand these parables, while those outside the inner circle of Jesus would not understand these riddles.  This was almost like a gnostic interpretation of knowledge, where only the elite insiders had a true secret knowledge about the mysteries and the kingdom of God and heaven.  Matthew also had a long citation from Isaiah, chapter 6:9-10, about the people unable to understand, while Luke, and Mark had only a short summary statement.  Isaiah told the Israelite people that they were listening without comprehending.  They were looking without understanding.  Their hearts were dull and their eyes and ears were closed.  They were experiencing and listening, but they could not hear or understand.  Do you understand what you see and hear?

Fasting in the future (Lk 5:35-5:35)

“The days will come

When the bridegroom

Will be taken away

From them.

Then they will fast

In those days.’”

 

ἐλεύσονται δὲ ἡμέραι, καὶ ὅταν ἀπαρθῇ ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ὁ νυμφίος, τότε νηστεύσουσιν ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the days were coming (ἐλεύσονται δὲ ἡμέραι) when the bridegroom would be taken away from them (καὶ ὅταν ἀπαρθῇ ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ὁ νυμφίος).  Then, they would fast in those days (τότε νηστεύσουσιν ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις).  Mark, chapter 2:35, and Matthew, chapter 9:15, are word for word similar to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this saying of Jesus.  They remarked that Jesus said that the days were coming when the bridegroom, Jesus, would be taken away from them.  Thus, after his death, then they would fast, since fasting would come when Jesus was gone.

Faith can move mountains (Mk 11:23-11:23)

“‘Truly!

I say to you!

If you say

To this mountain.

‘Be taken up!

Be thrown

Into the sea!’

If you do not doubt

In your heart,

But believe

What you say

It will come to pass,

It will be done

For you.’”

 

ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ὃς ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ Ἄρθητι καὶ βλήθητι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, καὶ μὴ διακριθῇ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ ἀλλὰ πιστεύῃ ὅτι ὃ λαλεῖ γίνεται, ἔσται αὐτῷ.

 

This Jesus saying about faith can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:21, somewhat similar to this in Mark.  Mark said that Jesus answered with a solemn pronouncement (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) about the importance of faith.  If they had faith, they could move mountains.  They could tell a mountain (ὅτι ὃς ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ) to be lifted up or taken away (Ἄρθητι) and thrown into the sea (καὶ βλήθητι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν).  If they did not doubt it in their hearts (καὶ μὴ διακριθῇ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ), but believed what they said (ἀλλὰ πιστεύῃ ὅτι ὃ λαλεῖ γίνεται), it would happen or take place or come to pass for them (ἔσται αὐτῷ).