The results of trading (Lk 19:15-19:15)

“This nobleman

Received royal power.

When he returned,

He ordered those slaves,

To whom

He had given the money,

To be summoned.

Thus,

He might find out

What they had gained

By trading.”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἐπανελθεῖν αὐτὸν λαβόντα τὴν βασιλείαν καὶ εἶπεν φωνηθῆναι αὐτῷ τοὺς δούλους τούτους οἷς δεδώκει τὸ ἀργύριον, ἵνα γνοῖ τίς τί διεπραγματεύσατο.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this nobleman did receive his royal power (καὶ ἐγένετο…αὐτὸν λαβόντα τὴν βασιλείαν) and then he returned home (ἐν τῷ ἐπανελθεῖν).  Once again, only Luke used this term ἐπανελθεῖν that means to return or come back again.  This nobleman ordered those 10 slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned to him (καὶ εἶπεν φωνηθῆναι αὐτῷ τοὺς δούλους τούτους οἷς δεδώκει τὸ ἀργύριον).  He wanted to find out what they had gained by trading (ἵνα γνοῖ τίς τί διεπραγματεύσατο).  Sure enough, this is the only use of the word διεπραγματεύσατο, in all the Greek biblical literature that means to examine thoroughly, to gain by trading, or doing business.  There is an equivalent in Matthew, chapter 25:19, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus said that after a long time (μετὰ δὲ πολὺν χρόνον), the master or lord of these slaves came back (ἔρχεται ὁ κύριος τῶν δούλων ἐκείνων).  He then wanted to settle his accounts with his slaves (καὶ συναίρει λόγον μετ’ αὐτῶν).  Luke had the more colorful language to explain the returning rich man who wanted to see how his slaves had done in their business dealings.  Have you ever traded stocks or other assets to make money?

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Gave his slaves money (Lk 19:13-19:13)

“This nobleman

Summoned

Ten of his slaves.

He gave them

Ten minas.

He said to them.

‘Do business

With these

Until I come back.’”

 

καλέσας δὲ δέκα δούλους ἑαυτοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δέκα μνᾶς, καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Πραγματεύσασθε ἐν ᾧ ἔρχομαι.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this nobleman summoned 10 of his slaves (λέσας δὲ δέκα δούλους ἑαυτοῦ).  He gave them each 10 minas (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δέκα μνᾶς).  Luke had this nobleman give 10 minas to 10 slaves.  Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term μνᾶς, that means a mina, a Greek monetary unit equal to 100 drachmas.  He used this word 9 times, mostly in this parable.  A rough equivalent would be $20.00 USA.  In ancient times, it was worth about a quarter of a year’s salary.  This nobleman told them (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) to do business (Πραγματεύσασθε) with these minas until he came back (ἐν ᾧ ἔρχομαι).  Once again, Luke used a word that is not found in any of the other Greek biblical writers, Πραγματεύσασθε, that means to busy oneself, or transact business trades.  Matthew, chapter 25:15, has something similar, perhaps this is a Q source.  In Matthew, the rich owner was dealing with talents, which was even more valuable.  There were 3,600 shekels in a talent.  There were 60 minas to a talent.  Thus, these talents were a lot of money.  This very trusting rich person gave to one of his slaves 5 talents (καὶ ᾧ μὲν ἔδωκεν πέντε τάλαντα).  He gave 2 talents (ᾧ δὲ δύο) to the 2nd slave and one talent (ᾧ δὲ ἕν) to the 3rd slave.  They received this according to their ability (ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὴν ἰδίαν δύναμιν).  Then he went away immediately (καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν Εὐθέως).  In each case, money was given to slaves in the household.  Luke had 10 slaves, but Matthew only had 3.  In Luke, there was an explicit saying to do business, while it was only implicit in Matthew, where some received more than others.  Luke had all of them receive the same amount, with a greater emphasis on equality.  Has someone ever entrusted you with some money?

Zacchaeus (Lk 19:2-19:2)

“A man was there

Named Zacchaeus.

He was a chief tax collector.

He was rich.”

 

Καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ ὀνόματι καλούμενος Ζακχαῖος, καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν ἀρχιτελώνης, καὶ αὐτὸς πλούσιος

 

Only Luke uniquely talked about this man in Jericho (Καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ), named Zacchaeus (ὀνόματι καλούμενος Ζακχαῖος), who was a rich (καὶ αὐτὸς πλούσιος) chief tax collector or head of a customs house (καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν ἀρχιτελώνης).  Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term ἀρχιτελώνης, that means a chief tax collector, head of a custom-house, chief tax-gatherer, or publican.  Zacchaeus was an important man in Jericho because of his wealth and his position in charge of tax collecting there.  His very name, Zacchaeus, meant righteous or upright in Hebrew.  Luke was the only synoptic with this story of Zacchaeus.  What do you think about people who work for the IRS and collect taxes?

Have mercy! (Lk 17:13-17:13)

“The lepers

Called out,

Saying.

‘Jesus!

Master!

Have mercy

On us!’”

 

καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦραν φωνὴν λέγοντες Ἰησοῦ Ἐπιστάτα, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς

 

Only Luke has this story about the curing of the ten lepers.  Luke indicated that the lepers cried out (καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦραν φωνὴν λέγοντες), calling Jesus “Master! (Ἰησοῦ Ἐπιστάτα)”.  They wanted him to have mercy on them (ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς).  This was a common approach to Jesus.  They wanted mercy or compassion.  They called Jesus their master, as if they were slaves.  Luke alone, among the biblical writers, used this term Ἐπιστάτα, that means master, teacher, chief, or commander, 7 times in this gospel.  However, they did not call him “Lord”.  What is your favorite title for Jesus?

Hired servant (Lk 15:19-15:19)

“I am no longer worthy

To be called

Your son.

Treat me

Like one

Of your hired hands.”

 

οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου· ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου.

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the prodigal son was going to say to his father that he was no longer worthy to be called his son (οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου).  Instead, he wanted to be treated like one of his hired hands (ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου).  Luke was the only writer in the biblical literature to use this term μισθίων 3 times within this story.  μισθίων means a paid worker, a hired servant, or a hireling, but certainly not a slave.  This unique term indicated that his father had hired people to work on his farm.  Apparently, he did not use slaves.  Have you ever disgraced your parents?

Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand (Mk 1:15-1:15)

“Jesus said.

‘The time is fulfilled!

The kingdom of God

Is at hand!

Repent!

Believe

In the gospel.’”

 

καὶ λέγων ὅτι Πεπλήρωται ὁ καιρὸς καὶ ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ· μετανοεῖτε καὶ πιστεύετε ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ

 

The preaching of Jesus was like that of John the Baptist.  Matthew said that Jesus was proclaiming the same message as John the Baptist.  It almost seemed like Jesus had become a disciple of John.  The preaching messages of John the Baptist and Jesus were very simple and exactly the same.  They both said that people should repent (μετανοεῖτε).  People should turn their lives around, with a profound metanoia, a change of their spirit.  Matthew, chapter 4:17, was very close to Mark here, except that Matthew always used the term “kingdom of heaven (ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν)”, not “the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ),” as Mark does here.  Matthew used this apocalyptic phrase, “kingdom of heaven” over 30 times, but he was the only one of the canonical gospel writers to use this term.  Luke and John did not mention the content of Jesus’ initial preaching.  Mark recounted that Jesus said (καὶ λέγων) that the time was completed or fulfilled (ὅτι Πεπλήρωται ὁ καιρὸς).  The kingdom of God was at hand or coming near (καὶ ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  They had to repent or change their ways in a metanoia (μετανοεῖτε).  They had to believe in the gospel or good news (καὶ πιστεύετε ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ).  Belief or faith could be a noun, something believed or a verb, acting in a certain belief style.

The speck in the eye (Mt 7:3-7:5)

“Why do you see

The speck

In your brother’s eye?

But you do not notice

The log

In your own eye.

How can you say

To your brother?

‘Let me take the speck

Out of your eye.’

When there is a log

In your own eye.

You hypocrite!

First take the log

Out of your own eye!

Then you will see clearly

To take the speck

Out of your brother’s eye.”

 

τί δὲ βλέπεις τὸ κάρφος τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου, τὴν δὲ ἐν τῷ σῷ ὀφθαλμῷ δοκὸν οὐ κατανοεῖς;

ἢ πῶς ἐρεῖς τῷ ἀδελφῷ σου· Ἄφες ἐκβάλω τὸ κάρφος ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ σου, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἡ δοκὸς ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ σοῦ;

ὑποκριτά, ἔκβαλε πρῶτον ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ σοῦ τὴν δοκόν, καὶ τότε διαβλέψεις ἐκβαλεῖν τὸ κάρφος ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου.

 

This saying of Jesus is exactly the same as in Luke, chapter 6:41-42, indicating a common Q source.  Jesus wanted to know why they saw the speck, splinter, or chip (τί δὲ βλέπεις τὸ κάρφος) in their brother’s eye (τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου), but they did not notice the log or beam in their own eyes (τὴν δὲ ἐν τῷ σῷ ὀφθαλμῷ δοκὸν οὐ κατανοεῖς)?  How can they say to their brother (ἢ πῶς ἐρεῖς τῷ ἀδελφῷ σου) that they wanted him to take the speck out of his eye (Ἄφες ἐκβάλω τὸ κάρφος ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ σου), when there was a log in their own eyes (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἡ δοκὸς ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ σοῦ)?  Jesus calls them hypocrites (ὑποκριτά).  The Greek word “ὑποκριτα” means actors, deceitful ones, dissemblers, pretenders, a two-faced person, someone who says one thing, but does another.  Matthew used this term 14 of the 18 times it was used in the New Testament literature, usually referring to the enemies of Jesus.  They first had to take out the log of their own eye (ἔκβαλε πρῶτον ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ σοῦ τὴν δοκόν).  Then they would be able to see clearly enough (καὶ τότε διαβλέψεις) to take out the speck of their brother’s eye (ἐκβαλεῖν τὸ κάρφος ἐκ τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου).  Everything is in the eye of the beholder.