Noble stones of the Temple (Lk 21:5-21:5)

“Some were speaking

About the Temple.

It was adorned

With beautiful stones.

These were gifts

Dedicated to God.”

 

Καί τινων λεγόντων περὶ τοῦ ἱεροῦ, ὅτι λίθοις καλοῖς καὶ ἀναθήμασιν κεκόσμηται,

 

Luke said that some people were speaking about the Temple (Καί τινων λεγόντων περὶ τοῦ ἱεροῦ), since it was adorned with beautiful stones (ὅτι λίθοις καλοῖς), gifts dedicated to God (καὶ ἀναθήμασιν κεκόσμηται).  Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use the word ἀναθήμασιν that means a gift or offering dedicated in a temple by a worshipper or a gift or offering consecrated to God.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:1, and Mark, chapter 13:1.  Mark said that Jesus was leaving the Temple (Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ).  Then one of his disciples (λέγει αὐτῷ εἷς τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ) pointed out to him the beautiful Temple buildings.  This unnamed disciple called him teacher (Διδάσκαλε).  He wanted Jesus to see and look at the wonderful or great stones and buildings (ἴδε ποταποὶ λίθοι καὶ ποταπαὶ οἰκοδομαί).  Matthew, like Mark, indicated that Jesus came out of the Temple (Καὶ ἐξελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱεροῦ).  As he was going away (ἐπορεύετο), his disciples came up to him to point out the beautiful Temple buildings (καὶ προσῆλθον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπιδεῖξαι αὐτῷ τὰς οἰκοδομὰς τοῦ ἱεροῦ).  The Jerusalem Temple had been under reconstruction since the time of Herod the Great in 19 BCE, but would not have been completed at the time of Jesus, since it was only finished in 63 CE.  However, most of the work would have been done by the time of Jesus.  Just like many churches, this Temple was not completed in a few years.  Do you know of any churches that took a long time to build or rebuild?

Ten lepers cleansed (Lk 17:14-17:14)

“When Jesus

Saw them,

He said to them.

‘Go!

Show yourselves

To the priests.’

As they went,

They were made clean.”

 

καὶ ἰδὼν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πορευθέντες ἐπιδείξατε ἑαυτοὺς τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν. καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ὑπάγειν αὐτοὺς ἐκαθαρίσθησαν.

 

Only Luke has this story about the curing of the ten lepers.  Luke indicated that Jesus saw the 10 lepers (καὶ ἰδὼν).  He said to them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that they should go and show themselves to the priests (Πορευθέντες ἐπιδείξατε ἑαυτοὺς τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν).  Thus, they did so.  As they went on their way (καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ὑπάγειν αὐτοὺς), they were made clean (ἐκαθαρίσθησαν).  Luke indicated that Jesus cured the 10 lepers without any special saying or touching.  He simply told them to go to the Jewish priests for the leper cleansing ritual.  The presumption was that they would be cleansed of their leprosy that actually took place as they were on their way to the Jewish priests in Jerusalem.  However, there was no dramatic cure here.  Has something wonderful happened to you that did not seem miraculous?

Blessed is the good servant! (Lk 12:43-12:43)

“Blessed is that slave

Whom his master

Will find at work

When he arrives,”

 

μακάριος ὁ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος, ὃν ἐλθὼν ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ εὑρήσει ποιοῦντα οὕτως.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this slave would be blessed, happy, or fortunate (μακάριος ὁ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος) if his master or lord arrived (ὃν ἐλθὼν ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) and found him doing his work (εὑρήσει ποιοῦντα οὕτως).  There is a similar saying about this parable of the good slave in Matthew, chapter 24:46, almost word for word, indicating a possible Q source.  In Matthew, Jesus said that this slave would be blessed (μακάριος ὁ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος) if his master came and found him at work (ὃν ἐλθὼν ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ εὑρήσει οὕτως ποιοῦντα).  Everything would be wonderful if the master or lord of this slave came and found him diligently at work.  Are you always diligent at work?

Simeon addressed Mary (Lk 2:34-2:34)

“Then Simeon

Blessed them.

He said to Mary,

His mother,

‘This child

Is destined

For the falling

And rising

Of many

In Israel.

He will be a sign

That will be opposed.”

 

καὶ εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς Συμεὼν καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς Μαριὰμ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ Ἰδοὺ οὗτος κεῖται εἰς πτῶσιν καὶ ἀνάστασιν πολλῶν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ εἰς σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον

 

Luke said that this holy and devout Simeon turned to Mary and her family.  Simeon blessed them (καὶ εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς Συμεὼν), presumably Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.  Was this a priestly blessing?  There was no indication that Simeon was a priest, but only an old devout righteous man, but he could have been a old Levite priest also.  Then he said to Mary (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς Μαριὰμ), the mother of Jesus (τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ) that this child would be destined for the falling and rising of many in Israel (Ἰδοὺ οὗτος κεῖται εἰς πτῶσιν καὶ ἀνάστασιν πολλῶν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ).  He would be a sign that would be a contraction, as some would oppose him (καὶ εἰς σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον).  Everything would not be smooth sailing for her and this child.  However, this was not as bad as what Matthew, chapter 2:13-18, had Joseph suffer.  There the intention of King Herod was to destroy all the young children in Bethlehem that led him to flee into Egypt.  Luke had none of that here.  Instead, Joseph and Mary are law abiding Jewish parents active in the Jerusalem Temple, where a holy man came and told them how wonderful Jesus was.  There were no Magi here, just shepherds visiting the baby child.  King Herod was not even in the picture here in Luke.

No more eating fruit from this tree (Mk 11:14-11:14)

“Jesus said

To the fig tree.

‘May no one

Ever eat fruit

From you again.’

His disciples heard it.”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτῇ Μηκέτι εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἐκ σοῦ μηδεὶς καρπὸν φάγοι. καὶ ἤκουον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ.

 

This story about Jesus cursing the fig tree can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:19.  Jesus spoke to the fig tree as if it were a person, since he used the second person singular talking to the tree.  He responded to the tree (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς).  He told the tree that no one would be able to eat the fruit from that tree again (εἶπεν αὐτῇ Μηκέτι εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἐκ σοῦ μηδεὶς καρπὸν φάγοι).  Instead of the instant withering of the tree, as in Matthew, Mark has only the mild comment that his disciples had heard what Jesus had said (καὶ ἤκουον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ).  There was no discussion of how wonderful it was, as in Matthew.

Blessing God (Dan 3:3-3:4)

“Blessed are you!

O Lord!

God of our ancestors!

Worthy of praise!    

Glorious is your name

Forever!

You are just

In all

You have done!

All your works

Are true!

Your ways are right!

All your judgments

Are true!”

This hymn or canticle of Azariah begins with a blessing to God, the God of his ancestors, the Lord, whose glorious name is to be praised forever. God is just to all people. All his ways, works, and judgments are true. Everything he has done is wonderful.

Peaceful times (Isa 65:24-65:25)

“‘Before they call,

I will answer.

While they are yet speaking,

I will hear.

The wolf shall feed together

With the lamb.

The lion shall eat straw

Like the ox.

But the serpent’s food shall be dust.

They shall not hurt.

They shall not destroy anyone

On my holy mountain.’

Says Yahweh.”

Everything will be wonderful in the New Jerusalem. Yahweh, in the first person singular, says that he will answer before they call. He will hear them while they are still speaking. The wolf and the lamb would eat together, while the lions would eat straw like oxen. However, the food for the serpent would be dust. They will not hurt or destroy anyone on his holy mountain.