Make friends (Lk 16:9-16:9)

“I tell you!

Make friends

For yourselves

By means

Of dishonest wealth!

Thus,

When it is gone,

They may welcome you

Into the eternal homes.”

 

Καὶ ἐγὼ ὑμῖν λέγω, ἑαυτοῖς ποιήσατε φίλους ἐκ τοῦ μαμωνᾶ τῆς ἀδικίας, ἵνα ὅταν ἐκλίπῃ δέξωνται ὑμᾶς εἰς τὰς αἰωνίους σκηνάς.

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said with a solemn pronouncement (Καὶ ἐγὼ ὑμῖν λέγω) that they should make friends for themselves (ἑαυτοῖς ποιήσατε φίλους) by means of dishonest wealth (ἐκ τοῦ μαμωνᾶ τῆς ἀδικίας).  Actually, this Greek word μαμωνᾶ is a transliteration of the Aramaic word mammon that means money or wealth.  Then, when it was gone or failed (ἵνα ὅταν ἐκλίπῃ), they would be welcomed or received (δέξωνται ὑμᾶς) into their eternal homes (εἰς τὰς αἰωνίους σκηνάς).  What did this mean?  They had nothing with their dishonest wealth and money, if it did not get them into eternal life.  Would you choose wealth or eternal heaven?

A plan (Lk 16:4-16:4)

“I have decided

What to do.

When I am

Dismissed

As a house manager,

People

Will welcome me

Into their homes.”

 

ἔγνων τί ποιήσω, ἵνα ὅταν μετασταθῶ ἐκ τῆς οἰκονομίας δέξωνταί με εἰς τοὺς οἴκους ἑαυτῶν

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this fired household manager came up with a plan.  He decided what to do (ἔγνων τί ποιήσω).  After he was dismissed as a house manager (ἵνα ὅταν μετασταθῶ ἐκ τῆς οἰκονομίας), he wanted people to welcome him into their homes (δέξωνταί με εἰς τοὺς οἴκους ἑαυτῶν).  It is always a good idea to make plans before you leave a job.  This dishonest house manager was no exception.  He had a plan to survive.  Do you have any plans in case you lose your job?

Rejection (Lk 10:16-10:16)

“Whoever listens

To you,

Listens

To me.

Whoever rejects you,

Rejects me.

Whoever rejects me,

Rejects the one

Who sent me.”

 

Ὁ ἀκούων ὑμῶν ἐμοῦ ἀκούει, καὶ ὁ ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς ἐμὲ ἀθετεῖ· ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν ἀθετεῖ τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that whoever listened to his disciples (Ὁ ἀκούων ὑμῶν), listened to him (ἐμοῦ ἀκούει).  Whoever rejected them (καὶ ὁ ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς), rejected him (ἐμὲ ἀθετεῖ).  Whoever rejected Jesus (ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν), rejected the one who sent him (ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν).  This is somewhat similar to Matthew, chapter 18:5, Luke, chapter 9:48, and Mark, chapter 9:37.  However, there the story was about welcoming, receiving, or accepting a little child.  Then they would welcome Jesus and then the one who sent him.  Anyone who accepted this little child in Jesus’ name, welcomed Jesus and his Father, the one who sent him.  Here, there is no mention of a child.  They were to listen to Jesus and his disciples.  If they listened to the disciples, they listened to him.  However, if they rejected his disciples, they were rejecting him and the one who sent him.  The emphasis here was on rejection, not acceptance.  Do you accept and listen to the representatives of Jesus?

Wipe the dust off your feet (Lk 10:11-10:11)

“Say!

‘Even the dust

Of your town

That clings to our feet,

We wipe off

As a protest

Against you.

Nevertheless,

Know this!

The kingdom of God

Has come near!’”

 

εἴπατε Καὶ τὸν κονιορτὸν τὸν κολληθέντα ἡμῖν ἐκ τῆς πόλεως ὑμῶν εἰς τοὺς πόδας ἀπομασσόμεθα ὑμῖν· πλὴν τοῦτο γινώσκετε, ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told the 70 disciples what they were to say and do, just like the 12 apostles in chapter 9:4.  They were to say (εἴπατε), in the street of any town that did not welcome them, that they they were going to wipe off even the dust (Καὶ τὸν κονιορτὸν) of their town (ἐκ τῆς πόλεως) that clung to their feet (τὸν κολληθέντα ἡμῖν…εἰς τοὺς πόδας), as a protest against them (ἀπομασσόμεθα ὑμῖν).  Nevertheless, they should know (πλὴν τοῦτο γινώσκετε) that the kingdom of God has come near (ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Earlier Luke, chapter 9:4, had indicated that Jesus said to his 12 apostle that wherever town did not welcome them, as they were leaving that town, they were to shake the dust off their feet as a testimony or witness against them.  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:14-15, and Mark, chapter 6:11.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that if any place would not receive them or listen to their words, they were to leave that place.  They should shake off the dust from their feet, as a witness or testimony against them.  This indicated that the dust of that house was useless.  Despite their unwelcome attitude, Jesus wanted these 70 disciples to let the people of this town know that the kingdom of God was near.  Have you ever shaken the dust of your feet in front of anyone as a protest?

Eat what they give you (Lk 10:8-10:8)

“Whenever you enter a town,

And its people

Welcome you,

Eat

What is set before you!”

 

καὶ εἰς ἣν ἂν πόλιν εἰσέρχησθε καὶ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐσθίετε τὰ παρατιθέμενα ὑμῖν,

 

Luke uniquely had Jesus continue to emphasize what he had just said.  Whenever they entered a town (καὶ εἰς ἣν ἂν πόλιν εἰσέρχησθε) where people welcomed them (καὶ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς), they were to eat (ἐσθίετε) what was set before them (τὰ παρατιθέμενα ὑμῖν).  Luke was the only one of the gospel writers to mention that these 70 disciples should eat what they were given, instead of being picky and demanding special food.  Perhaps this was also an indication that they might be able to accept non-kosher food if that is all that somebody had available. Are you picky about what you eat?

They would not receive Jesus (Lk 9:53-9:53)

“But the people

Did not receive Jesus,

Because his face

Was set

Toward Jerusalem.”

 

καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν, ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ

 

Now there was a note of discord here.  Luke continued his unique story of Jesus traveling through Samaria, on his way to Jerusalem.  Luke noted that the people of this Samaritan town did not want to receive Jesus (καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν), because he was only passing by on his way to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ).  These Samaritans did not look favorably on the Jerusalem pilgrims who passed by their towns on the way to the Temple.  After all, Jesus had steadfastly set his face (ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον) to go there, not stopping or staying to worship at Mount Gerizim in Samaria.  Thus, Jesus was not welcome, if he was going to the Judean place of worship in Jerusalem, and just visiting or passing through here.  Would you be upset if someone said that they were planning to visit someone else but just stopped by?

Shake off the dust! (Lk 9:5-9:5)

“Wherever

They did not welcome you,

As you are leaving

That town,

Shake the dust

Off your feet,

As a testimony

Against them.”

 

καὶ ὅσοι ἂν μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐξερχόμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης τὸν κονιορτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν ἀποτινάσσετε εἰς μαρτύριον ἐπ’ αὐτούς.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his 12 apostles that wherever they did not receive them or welcome them (καὶ ὅσοι ἂν μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς), as they were leaving that town (ἐξερχόμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης), they were to shake the dust off their feet (τὸν κονιορτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν ἀποτινάσσετε) as a testimony or witness against them (εἰς μαρτύριον ἐπ’ αὐτούς).  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:14-15, and Mark, chapter 6:11.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that if any place would not receive them or listen to their words, they were to leave that place.  They should shake off the dust from their feet, as a witness or testimony against them.  This indicated that the dust of that house was useless.  Some orthodox texts have the statement about Sodom and Gomorrah that was in Matthew, chapter 10:15, where Jesus make a comparison between those places that had rejected them with the famous wicked cities of Genesis, chapter 18:20-19:29, Sodom and Gomorrah.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that if anyone would not receive them or listen to their words, they should leave that house or town.  They were to shake off the dust from their feet, indicating that the dust of that house or town was useless.  Matthew had Jesus make a comparison between these non-welcoming towns that had rejected them with the famous wicked cities of Genesis.  This was a solemn statement that it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on judgment day than these towns that had rejected his disciples.  They had lacked hospitality to the followers of. Jesus, so that they were worse than those terrible cities in Genesis.  Do you know a town worse than Sodom and Gomorrah?