Zacchaeus was small (Lk 19:3-19:3)

“Zacchaeus was trying

To see

Who Jesus was.

However,

He could not,

Due to the crowd.

Besides,

He was short

In stature.”

 

καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν τὸν Ἰησοῦν τίς ἐστιν, καὶ οὐκ ἠδύνατο ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου, ὅτι τῇ ἡλικίᾳ μικρὸς ἦν.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Zacchaeus was trying to see Jesus (καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν τὸν Ἰησοῦν) and figure out who he was (τίς ἐστιν).  However, he could not (καὶ οὐκ ἠδύνατο), due to the crowd (ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου) around Jesus.  Besides, Zacchaeus was a short person (ὅτι τῇ ἡλικίᾳ μικρὸς ἦν).  This short rich tax collector, Zacchaeus, could not see Jesus because of the crowd around him.  This was and is a problem for all small people.  Luke was the only synoptic with this story of Zacchaeus.  What do you think about small people?

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You are always with me (Lk 15:31-15:31)

“Then the father

Said to him.

‘Son!

You are always

With me.

All that is mine

Is yours.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Τέκνον, σὺ πάντοτε μετ’ ἐμοῦ εἶ, καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐμὰ σά ἐστιν·

 

This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the father turned to his son, calling him son (Τέκνον).  He said to him (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he was always with him (σὺ πάντοτε μετ’ ἐμοῦ εἶ).  All that that belonged to the father belonged to him, this oldest son (καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐμὰ σά ἐστιν).  Who does the oldest son represent?  Is it the Pharisees, or the newly forming righteous followers of Jesus?  These are honest hard-working people trying to do God’s will.  What was the big deal about this sinning brother?  Why not just forget about him?  Which brother do you feel more like?

This parable was against the Jewish leaders (Mk 12:12-12:12)

“When they realized

That he had told

This parable

Against them,

They wanted

To arrest Jesus.

But they feared

The crowd.

Thus,

They left him.

They went away.”

 

Καὶ ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν ὄχλον· ἔγνωσαν γὰρ ὅτι πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὴν παραβολὴν εἶπεν. καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν ἀπῆλθον.

 

This was an admission by Jewish religious leaders, the chief priests and the Pharisees, as named in Matthew chapter 21:45-46, and Luke, chapter 20:19, but not here, about the deteriorating situation.  Mark said that the unnamed “they” were trying or seeking to get a hold of or arrest Jesus (Καὶ ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι).  However, they were afraid of the crowd (καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν ὄχλον).  They realized or knew that Jesus had told this parable against them (ἔγνωσαν γὰρ ὅτι πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὴν παραβολὴν εἶπεν), the wicked evil tenants of the vineyard.  The landowner was God the Father.  The slaves were the Israelite prophets, while Jesus was the son of the Father.  Thus, they left him (καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν) and went away (ἀπῆλθον).  This will not turn out well.

What is your authority? (Mk 11:28-11:28)

“They said to Jesus.

‘By what authority

Are you doing

These things?

Who gave you

This authority

To do them?’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγον αὐτῷ Ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιεῖς; ἢ τίς σοι ἔδωκεν τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην ἵνα ταῦτα ποιῇς;

 

This questioning of the authority of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:23, and Luke, chapter 20:2, almost word for word.  Mark said that these chief priests, Scribes, and elders asked Jesus (καὶ ἔλεγον αὐτῷ) by what authority was he doing all these things (Ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιεῖς) in the Temple?  Who gave him his authority to do all these things (ἢ τίς σοι ἔδωκεν τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην ἵνα ταῦτα ποιῇς)?  This seemed like a legitimate question since Jesus was not a Levitical priest or an ordained rabbi.  They wanted to know where he came from and what he was trying to do.

The positive response of the people of Nineveh (Jon 3:5-3:5)

“The people of Nineveh

Believed God.

They proclaimed a fast.

Everyone,

Great and small,

Put on sackcloth.”

In a sudden conversion or the fear of destruction, the people of Nineveh believed in God.  Notice that they believed in God, not Yahweh, which would have been more difficult.  Just like on the boat, Jonah seemed to be successful, even if he was not trying very hard.  They proclaimed a fast.  Then everyone, no matter whether they were important or not, put on sackcloth to go into mourning.

The rebellion (Jer 18:12-18:12)

“But they say.

‘It is no use!

We will follow our own plans.

Each of us will act

According to the stubbornness

Of our own evil way.’”

Jeremiah presents the clear and precise response of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. It was useless to talk anymore. They were going to follow their own rebellious plans. Each one would act stubbornly according to their own evil ways. There was no pretence of trying to reach an agreement. The die was cast.

The divorced wife (Jer 3:1-3:1)

“‘If a man divorces his wife,

She goes from him.

If she becomes another man’s wife,

Will he return to her?

Would not such a land

Be greatly polluted?

You have played the whore

With many lovers.

Would you return to me?’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah has Yahweh speak about a divorced wife. If she leaves him and becomes the wife of another, would he return to her? The answer is obviously not, because he has already divorced her. According to Deuteronomy, chapter 24, the first husband cannot remarry anyway. She has become another man’s wife. Also this would pollute the land in trying to figure out who is the father of her children. Yahweh explains that the Israelites have been prostitutes with many lovers. Would they return to him? This presupposes that he has divorced himself from them.