Faith and sight (Lk 18:42-18:42)

“Jesus said to him.

‘Receive your sight!

Your faith

Has saved you.’”

 

καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἀνάβλεψον· ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to this blind beggar (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he should receive his sight (Ἀνάβλεψον), because his faith (ἡ πίστις σου) had saved him (ἡ πίστις σου).  Both Matthew, chapter 20:34, and Mark, chapter 10:52, are similar.  Matthew said that Jesus was moved with compassion and pity on both blind men (σπλαγχνισθεὶς δὲ), so that he touched their eyes (ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἥψατο τῶν ὀμμάτων αὐτῶν).  Immediately (καὶ εὐθέως), they regained their sight (ἀνέβλεψαν) and followed him (καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ).  Mark, like Luke, did not mention compassion or pity.  Neither did Jesus touch his eyes.  Instead, Mark indicated that Jesus told Bartimaeus to go (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ὕπαγε), because his faith had healed him (ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε).  Does faith play an important role in your life?

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The adoration of the three apostles (Mt 17:6-17:8)

“When the disciples heard this,

They fell to the ground,

Face down.

They were overcome

With fear.

But Jesus came.

He touched them.

Saying.

‘Get up!

Do not be afraid!’

When they looked up,

They saw no one

Except Jesus himself alone.”

 

καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα.

καὶ προσῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἁψάμενος αὐτῶν εἶπεν Ἐγέρθητε καὶ μὴ φοβεῖσθε.

πάραντες δὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν οὐδένα εἶδον εἰ μὴ αὐτὸν Ἰησοῦν μόνον.

 

This adoration of the apostles can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:8, Luke, chapter 9:36, and here in Matthew, which is more elaborate, even though there are other differences in all 3 accounts.  When the disciples heard (καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ) this voice from the cloud say that Jesus was the beloved Son, in whom the Father was well pleased, they fell face down to the ground (ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν).  They were greatly terrified (ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν).  However, Jesus came (καὶ προσῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς) to them.  He touched them (καὶ ἁψάμενος αὐτῶν).  Then he told them to get up (εἶπεν Ἐγέρθητε) and not be afraid (μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  When they looked up or lifted up their eyes (πάραντες δὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν), they saw no one (οὐδένα εἶδον), but only Jesus himself alone (εἰ μὴ αὐτὸν Ἰησοῦν μόνον).  Where were Moses and Elijah?  Was this just a dream?

The secret passionate elders (Dan 13:8-13:12)

“Everyday,

The two elders

Used to see Susanna,

Going in,

Walking about.

They began

To lust for her.

They suppressed

Their consciences.

They turned away

Their eyes

From looking

To heaven,

Or remembering

Their duty

To administer justice.

Both were overwhelmed

With passion for her.

But they did not tell

Each other

Of their distress.

They were ashamed

To disclose

Their lustful desire

To seduce her.

Day after day,

They watched eagerly,

To see her.”

Now the plot thickens. The scene has been set. These two elderly judges have a passion for Susanna, the wife of Joakim, in whose house they conduct their trials. She normally went for a walk in the garden, after everyone had left. These two elders saw Susanna go in and out for her walk. They began to lust after her, as they suppressed their consciences. They forgot about their duty to administer justice, as they turned their eyes away from heaven. Even though they were overwhelmed with passion for Susanna, neither elder told the other, because they were ashamed to let the other one know about their lustful desires to seduce Susanna. They were secret sexual lovers of Susanna, as they watched her every day.

The response of Yahweh (Ezek 33:25-33:26)

“Therefore,

Say to them!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘You eat flesh

With the blood!

You lift up

Your eyes

To your idols!

You shed blood!

Shall you then

Possess the land?

You depend

On your swords.

You commit

Abominations.

Each of you

Defiles

His neighbor’s wife.

Shall you then

Possess the land?’”

Yahweh, their God, as usual, did not take kindly to anyone questioning him. He told Ezekiel to tell the Israelites that they had not behaved well. They had been eating flesh or meat with the blood still in it. They had lifted up their eyes to their own idols. They had shed blood by killing others. How would they then deserve to possess the promised land of Abraham? They had depended on their swords and committed many abominations. Many of them had defiled their neighbor’s wife. How then could they expect to possess the land of Abraham?

The promise of the glorious land (Ezek 20:6-20:7)

“On that day

I swore to them

That I would bring them

Out of the land

Of Egypt

Into a land

That I had searched out

For them.

This is a land flowing

With milk,

As well as honey.

This is the most glorious

Of all lands.

I said to them.

‘Cast away

The detestable things

Your eyes feast on!

Everyone of you!

Do not defile yourselves

With the idols of Egypt!

I am Yahweh

Your God!’”

Yahweh reminded Ezekiel that he had sworn to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that he had searched out for them. This new most glorious of all lands would be flowing with milk and honey. Yahweh, however, told them to cast away the detestable things that their eyes had feasted upon. They were not to defile themselves with the various Egyptian idols. After all, he was Yahweh, their God.

Introduction to this wisdom poem (Bar 3:9-3:14)

“Hear the commandments of life!

O Israel!

Give ear!

Learn wisdom!

Why is it?

O Israel!

Why is it

That you are

In the land

Of your enemies?

Why are you growing old

In a foreign country?

Why are you defiled

With the dead?

Why are you counted

Among those in Hades?

You have forsaken

The fountain of wisdom.

If you had walked

In the way of God,

You would be living

In peace forever.

Learn

Where there is wisdom!

Learn

Where there is strength!

Learn

Where there is understanding!

Thus you may

At the same time

Discern!

Where is there length of days?

Where is there life?

Where is there light for the eyes?

Where is there peace?”

Now we have an introduction to a poem about wisdom. Israel was to hear about the commandments of life. They were to listen to learn about wisdom. Why were they growing old in the land of their enemies? Why were they defiled like dead people in Hades. Why were they forgotten, when they could have had wisdom if they had walked in the ways of God. They could be living in everlasting peace. They had to learn where wisdom, strength, and understanding were. Thus they could have a peaceful long life, with light for their eyes.

The sickness (Lam 5:17-5:18)

“Our hearts

Are sick

Because of this.

Our eyes

Have grown dim

Because of these things.

Mount Zion

Lies desolate.

Jackals prowl

Over it.”

The hearts of the people of Jerusalem are sick. Their eyes have grown dim. Mount Zion has become desolate. The famous jackals prowl all around the city.