Not serve two masters (Lk 16:13-16:13)

“No household servant

Can serve

Two masters!

A servant

Will hate

The one.

He will love

The other.

He will be devoted

To the one.

He will despise

The other.

You cannot serve

God

And wealth.”

 

Οὐδεὶς οἰκέτης δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν· ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει, ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει. οὐ δύνασθε Θεῷ δουλεύειν καὶ μαμωνᾷ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that no household servant (Οὐδεὶς οἰκέτης) is able to serve 2 masters or lords (δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν).  This household servant will hate one (ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει) and love the other (καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει).  He will be devoted to one (ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται) and despise the other (καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει).  They cannot serve (οὐ δύνασθε… δουλεύειν) both God (Θεῷ) and wealth (καὶ μαμωνᾷ).  This μαμωνᾷ referred to an old Semitic word for treasures.  It is often translated as “mammon,” but means wealth, riches, money, or possessions.  This saying of Jesus can also be found in Matthew, chapter 6:24, almost word for word, perhaps indicating a common Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that no one was able to slavishly serve two masters or lords (Οὐδεὶς δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν).  The word κυρίοις was used for lord, as in Luke.  You will hate one (ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει) and love the other (καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει).  You will be devoted to one (ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται) and despise the other one (καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει).  Therefore, the conclusion was that you could not slavishly serve both God (οὐ δύνασθε Θεῷ δουλεύειν) and money or wealth (καὶ μαμωνᾷ).  The choice was yours.  The options were clear.  You cannot serve both.  Would you serve God or wealth?

No get out of jail free (Lk 12:59-12:59)

“I tell you!

You will never get out

Until you have paid

The very last penny.”

 

λέγω σοι, οὐ μὴ ἐξέλθῃς ἐκεῖθεν ἕως καὶ τὸ ἔσχατον λεπτὸν ἀποδῷς.

 

Luke said that Jesus gave a solemn pronouncement (λέγω σοι) that they would never get out of jail (οὐ μὴ ἐξέλθῃς ἐκεῖθεν) until they had paid every last lepton or penny (ως καὶ τὸ ἔσχατον λεπτὸν ἀποδῷς).  A lepton was a small Greek coin, the smallest amount of money.  Thus, it is translated as a penny.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 5:26, indicating a Q source.  Matthew had this solemn statement of Jesus (ἀμὴν λέγω σοι), just like Luke.  They would never get out of jail (οὐ μὴ ἐξέλθῃς ἐκεῖθεν) until they had paid off the last κοδράντην (ἕως ἂν ἀποδῷς τὸν ἔσχατον κοδράντην).  This κοδράντην was a 1/10 of a drachma, about .03 cents, generally translated as a penny.  Settle your debts before you go to court!  Have you had difficult financial dealings with other people?

Beware children of Abraham! (Lk 3:8-3:9)

“Bear fruits

Worthy of repentance!

Do not begin

To say to yourselves!

‘We have Abraham

As our ancestor!’

I tell you!

‘God is able

From these stones

To raise up children

To Abraham.

Even now,

The ax is lying

At the root of the trees.

Every tree

That does not bear

Good fruit

Is cut down

And thrown

Into the fire.’”

 

ποιήσατε οὖν καρποὺς ἀξίους τῆς μετανοίας· καὶ μὴ ἄρξησθε λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς Πατέρα ἔχομεν τὸν Ἀβραάμ· λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι δύναται ὁ Θεὸς ἐκ τῶν λίθων τούτων ἐγεῖραι τέκνα τῷ Ἀβραάμ.

ἤδη δὲ καὶ ἡ ἀξίνη πρὸς τὴν ῥίζαν τῶν δένδρων κεῖται· πᾶν οὖν δένδρον μὴ ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλὸν ἐκκόπτεται καὶ εἰς πῦρ βάλλεται.

 

Here is the first of the sayings from the so-called Q source.  Both Matthew, chapter 3:9-10, and Luke here have the exact same wording in their presentations of John’s preaching to the people.  Instead of just the Pharisees and Sadducees, Luke has John address this to all the people coming to be baptized.  This saying emphasized deeds, rather than relying on ancestry.  They were to produce fruit that was worthy of repentance (ποιήσατε οὖν καρποὺς ἀξίους τῆς μετανοίας).  They had to perform good deeds.  They should not presume that because they have had Abraham as their father, as the privileged chosen ones (καὶ μὴ ἄρξησθε λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς Πατέρα ἔχομεν τὸν Ἀβραάμ), that all would go well for them.  Then John pointedly said to them (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν) that God had the power (ὅτι δύναται ὁ Θεὸς) to change stones and rocks into the children of Abraham (ἐκ τῶν λίθων τούτων ἐγεῖραι τέκνα τῷ Ἀβραάμ), a Hebrew play on words that was translated into Greek.  The axe was already lying at the foot of the trees, ready to go to work (ἤδη δὲ καὶ ἡ ἀξίνη πρὸς τὴν ῥίζαν τῶν δένδρων κεῖται).  Every tree that was not bearing or producing good fruit would be cut down (πᾶν οὖν δένδρον μὴ ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλὸν ἐκκόπτεται).  Then they would be thrown into the fire (καὶ εἰς πῦρ βάλλεται).

The cry of Jesus at three o’clock (Mk 15:34-15:34)

“At three o’clock,

The ninth hour,

Jesus cried out

With a loud voice.

‘Eloi!

Eloi!

Lema sabachthani?’

This translated means.

‘Oh my God!

Oh my God!

Why have you

Forsaken me?’”

 

καὶ τῇ ἐνάτῃ ὥρᾳ ἐβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ Ἐλωῒ λαμὰ σαβαχθανεί; ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Ὁ Θεός μου ὁ Θεός μου, εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπές με;

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:46.  Luke, chapter 23, and John, chapter 19, did not have these words of Jesus hanging on the cross.  Mark said that at three o’clock in the afternoon, the ninth hour (καὶ τῇ ἐνάτῃ ὥρᾳ), Jesus cried with a loud voice saying (ἐβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ), “Eloi!  Eloi!  Lema sabachthani (Ἐλωῒ Ἐλωῒ λαμὰ σαβαχθανεί)?”  This cry is slightly different than Matthew.  Then Mark explained what this meant with a translation (ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον), since this was a mixture of the Hebrew and Aramaic word for God in the first verse from Psalm 22:1. “Oh my God!  Oh my God (Ὁ Θεός μου ὁ Θεός μου)!  Why have you forsaken, abandoned, or deserted me (εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπές με)?”  This Psalm 22 was a psalm of David asking for help or deliverance from a serious illness or persecution, much like the suffering servant in Isaiah, chapters 52-53.  Thus, Jesus, the suffering servant, the son of David, quoted the first verse of this psalm as he hung on the cross.  Why was there no help coming from God?

Golgotha (Mk 15:22-15:22)

“Then they brought Jesus

To the place

Called Golgotha.

This means

The place of the skull.”

 

καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸν Γολγοθᾶν τόπον, ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενος Κρανίου τόπος.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:33.  In Luke, chapter 23:33, the place was simple called “The Skull,” with no mention of Golgotha, while in John, chapter 19:17, it was also called “The Place of the Skull,” as the translation of the Hebrew word Golgotha.  Mark said that they brought Jesus to this Golgotha place (καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸν Γολγοθᾶν τόπον).  He said that this could be translated (ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενος) as “The Place of the skull (Κρανίου τόπος).”   Golgotha apparently was a transliteration of the Aramaic word for skull.  The exact location of this place near Jerusalem is not known, but the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the traditional place for Calvary, based on the Latin translation of Golgotha, probably a little east of Jerusalem.

Jesus cures the young girl (Mk 5:41-5:43)

“Jesus took her

By the hand.

He said to her.

‘Talitha cum!’

Which means,

‘Little girl!

Get up!’

Immediately,

The girl got up.

She began to walk.

She was twelve years of age.

At this,

They were overcome

With amazement.”

 

καὶ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ παιδίου λέγει αὐτῇ Ταλιθὰ κούμ, ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Τὸ κοράσιον, σοὶ λέγω, ἔγειρε.

καὶ εὐθὺς ἀνέστη τὸ κοράσιον καὶ περιεπάτει· ἦν γὰρ ἐτῶν δώδεκα. καὶ ἐξέστησαν εὐθὺς ἐκστάσει μεγάλῃ.

 

This curing of the girl is similar to what can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:25, and Luke, chapter 8:54-55.  However, only Mark went into more detail by using Aramaic words to cure her.  Mark said that Jesus took her by the hand (καὶ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ παιδίου).  He then said to her (λέγει αὐτῇ), “Talitha cum (Ταλιθὰ κούμ)!” that translated means (ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον) “Little girl (Τὸ κοράσιον)! Get up or arise (σοὶ λέγω, ἔγειρε)!”  Immediately (καὶ εὐθὺς), the girl arose or got up (ἀνέστη τὸ κοράσιον).  She began to walk (καὶ περιεπάτει).  She was 12 years old (ἦν γὰρ ἐτῶν δώδεκα), the same number of years that the lady suffered from the blood flow.  At this, the crowds were immediately overcome with great amazement (καὶ ἐξέστησαν εὐθὺς ἐκστάσει μεγάλῃ).  This is somewhat like the prophet Elijah who brought a child back to life in 1 Kings, chapter 17:17-24.  The use and explanation of Aramaic may indicate an oral source for this story that may have been told originally in Aramaic.  Mark felt compelled to explain this to his Greek non-Aramaic audience.

The fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah (Mt 1:22-1:23)

“All this took place

To fulfil

What had been spoken

By the Lord

Through the prophet.

‘Look!

The virgin young woman

Shall conceive.

She shall bear a son.

They shall name him

Emmanuel.’

This translated means.

‘God with us.’”

 

Τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον γέγονεν ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑπὸ Κυρίου διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος

Ἰδοὺ ἡ παρθένος ἐν γαστρὶ ἕξει καὶ τέξεται υἱόν, καὶ καλέσουσιν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἐμμανουήλ, ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Μεθ’ ἡμῶν ὁ Θεός.

 

This dream with the angelic message took place (Τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον γέγονεν), so that the prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 7, would be fulfilled (πληρωθῇ). Matthew said that these were the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet (τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑπὸ Κυρίου διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος), without explicitly naming Isaiah. When you look at the context of this saying in Isaiah, he was talking to King Ahaz and the whole house of David. He said that Yahweh was going to give them a sign that a young woman, who is presumed to be a virgin, would have a child. This child would be called Emmanuel that meant “God is with us.” Christians have used this passage as a prophecy about the virgin birth of Jesus, as here in Matthew. However, the original context in Isaiah seems to indicate that King Ahaz would have a son to carry on his royal name. That son of Ahaz turned out to be the great holy King Hezekiah who ruled Judah from 716-687 BCE. A key to understanding this interpretation of Isaiah is the Greek word ἡ παρθένος. Does this mean a young woman or a virgin? The assumption was that all young women who were not married were virgins, without explicitly saying that this Greek word meant virgin. This young virgin girl had a child in her womb (ἐν γαστρὶ ἕξει). She was going to have a son (καὶ τέξεται υἱόν). They were going to name this son Emmanuel (καλέσουσιν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἐμμανουήλ,). Matthew seems to imply that this Hebrew word Emmanuel needed to be translated (ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον) into Greek for his readers. Thus, he explained that it meant “God is with us.” This actually was in the original Isaiah statement, but Isaiah never used the word translated (μεθερμηνευόμενον). Thus, God will be with us in the person of Jesus, the Savior, Emmanuel. There is no mention of an anointed one or Christ here.