Going to Jerusalem (Lk 9:51-9:51)

“When the days

Drew near

For Jesus

To be taken up,

He set his face

Steadfastly

To go to

Jerusalem.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὸς τὸ πρόσωπον ἐστήρισεν τοῦ πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ,

 

Luke said that when the days drew near (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας) for Jesus to be taken up (τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ), he steadfastly set his face (καὶ αὐτὸς τὸ πρόσωπον ἐστήρισεν τοῦ) to go to Jerusalem (πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ).  Jesus’ move from Galilee to Judea can also be found in Matthew, chapter 19:1-2, and Mark, chapter 10:1, with Matthew closer to Mark, who said that Jesus left that place, presumably Galilee.  He went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan.  Thus, Jesus moved south towards Jerusalem.  However, he traveled on the other eastern side of the Jordan River, so that he did not have to go into Samaria, just the opposite as here in LukeMark, like Matthew, emphasized the crowds that gathered around Jesus.  Just as in Galilee, Jesus again began to teach the people in Judea.  Mark had Jesus teaching the crowds instead of healing these people, as in Matthew.  Matthew said that when Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea, beyond the Jordan.  Thus, Jesus moved south towards Jerusalem.  However, he traveled on the other side of the Jordan River, on the east side of Jordan, so that he did not have to go into Samaria.  He definitely was leaving Galilee.  Luke was more definitive on where he was going, since he steadfastly set his face towards Jerusalem.  Have you ever decided to go some place?

Advertisements

The saving redemption (Lam 3:58-3:60)

Resh

“You have taken up

My cause!

O Yahweh!

You have redeemed

My life!

You have seen

The wrong

Done to me!

O Yahweh!

Judge my cause!

You have seen

All their malice!

You have seen

All their plots

Against me!”

This personalized lament continued, but this time on a positive note. Yahweh has taken up his cause. He has redeemed his life. He has seen the wrong things that were done to him. Yahweh was going to judge his case, since he saw all the malice that other people have done against him with their various plots. These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Resh in this acrostic poem.

Enoch (Sir 49:14-49:14)

“Few have ever been created

On earth

Like Enoch.

He was taken up

From the earth.”

Sirach ends his tribute to the honorable famous holy men by repeating what he had said about Enoch, in chapter 44, 5 chapters earlier, the first famous holy man mentioned. Enoch was the lucky 7th among the 12 patriarchs before the flood, the great grandfather of Noah. What made Enoch unique among these early patriarchs was that he does not seem to die, as he was taken up from the earth. There were also 3 apocryphal books about Enoch written from the 3rd century BCE to after the time of Jesus Christ. Thus his fascinating popularity was enormous. In fact, there are even a few mentions of Enoch in the New Testament writings.

Premature death of the righteous (Wis 4:10-4:15)

“There were some who pleased God.

They were loved by him.

While living among sinners,

They were taken up.

They were caught up

So that evil might not change their understanding.

Thus evil guile did not deceive their souls.

The fascination of wickedness

Obscures what is good.

Roving desire perverts the innocent mind.

Being perfected in a short time,

They fulfilled long years.

Their souls were pleasing to the Lord.

Therefore he took them quickly

From the midst of wickedness.

Yet the peoples saw.

They did not understand.

They did not take such a thing to heart.

God’s grace is with his elect.

God’s mercy is with his elect.

He watches over his holy ones.”

Even those who were pleasing to God (εὐάρεστος τῷ Θεῷ) were taken up at an early age. They were living among sinners (ἁμαρτωλῶν) when they were taken up from earth. They were loved (ἠγαπήθη), so that no evil (μὴ κακία) was able to change their understanding or their souls. There is a fascination with wickedness that obscures good things. Sometimes, a roving desire perverts an innocent mind. Some people are perfect in a short time, as if they had lived many years. Thus the Lord takes them quickly. They are pleasing to him (ἀρεστὴ γὰρ ἦν Κυρίῳ). People see this, but they do not understand it or take it to heart. God’s grace and mercy is with his chosen ones (χάρις καὶ ἔλεος ἐν τοῖς ἐκλεκτοῖς) since he watches over these holy ones.