Wisdom (Lk 21:15-21:15)

“I will give you

Words

And wisdom,

That none of your opponents

Will be able

To withstand

Or contradict.”

 

ἐγὼ γὰρ δώσω ὑμῖν στόμα καὶ σοφίαν, ᾗ οὐ δυνήσονται ἀντιστῆναι ἢ ἀντειπεῖν ἅπαντες οἱ ἀντικείμενοι ὑμῖν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that he would give them (ἐγὼ γὰρ δώσω ὑμῖν) words or more precisely a mouth to speak (στόμα) wisdom (καὶ σοφίαν) that none of their opponents (ᾗ οὐ… ἅπαντες οἱ ἀντικείμενοι ὑμῖν) would be able to withstand (δυνήσονται ἀντιστῆναι) or contradict (ἀντειπεῖν).  Mark chapter 13:11, and Matthew, chapter 10:20, had a somewhat similar saying of Jesus.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that they were to say (τοῦτο λαλεῖτε) whatever would be given to them (ἀλλ’ ὃ ἐὰν δοθῇ ὑμῖν) at that hour in time (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ).  They would not be speaking (οὐ γὰρ ἐστε ὑμεῖς οἱ λαλοῦντες), but the Holy Spirit would be speaking (ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον) for them.  Matthew, also indicated that Jesus said that they would not be speaking (οὐ γὰρ ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ λαλοῦντες), but the Spirit of their Father would be speaking through them (ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τὸ λαλοῦν ἐν ὑμῖν).  Both Mark and Matthew emphasized that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father, would speak for them and through them, so that they did not have to worry or prepare anything beforehand.  Luke never mentioned the Holy Spirit, who otherwise appeared quite often in this gospel, like Mark and Matthew did.  Instead, Luke emphasized that Jesus himself would give them important words of wisdom.  Have you ever gotten words from the Holy Spirit?

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People listened to Jesus (Lk 19:48-19:48)

“However,

They did not find

Anything

They could do.

All the people

Were spellbound

By what they heard.”

 

καὶ οὐχ εὕρισκον τὸ τί ποιήσωσιν· ὁ λαὸς γὰρ ἅπας ἐξεκρέμετο αὐτοῦ ἀκούων.

 

Luke said that these chief priests, Scribes, and other leaders could not find anything (καὶ οὐχ εὕρισκον τὸ) that they could do (τὸ τί ποιήσωσιν), since all the people were spellbound or hanging on the words that they heard from Jesus (ὁ λαὸς γὰρ ἅπας ἐξεκρέμετο αὐτοῦ ἀκούων).  Once again, this word ἐξεκρέμετο, meaning to hang from, hang upon the lips of a speaker, to listen closely or hang out, is only found in Luke, and not in any other Greek biblical writings.  There was something similar in Mark, chapter 11:17.  Mark said that the leaders were afraid of Jesus (ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ αὐτόν), because the whole crowd (πᾶς γὰρ ὁ ὄχλος) was spellbound or astonished (ἐξεπλήσσετο) by his teaching (πὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ).  There was nothing like this in Matthew.  Have you ever heard a speaker who was spellbinding to you?

Surrounded on every side (Lk 19:43-19:43)

“Indeed,

The days

Will come upon you,

When your enemies

Will set up ramparts

Around you.

They will hem you in

On every side.”

 

ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακά σοι καὶ περικυκλώσουσίν σε καὶ συνέξουσίν σε πάντοθεν,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus remarked that bad days were coming to Jerusalem (ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ).  Jesus said that it would come to them when their enemies would put up a barricade against them (καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακά σοι).  They would surround them (καὶ περικυκλώσουσίν σε) so that they would be hemmed in on every side (καὶ συνέξουσίν σε πάντοθεν).  This is the only Greek biblical use of the word περικυκλώσουσίν that means to hem them in on every side, encircle, surround, or encompass.  Jesus was using the words and images of the ancient Israelite prophets against Jerusalem.  Isaiah, chapter 29:1-3, called Jerusalem Ariel, a symbolic name for Jerusalem and its altar.  Isaiah, warned Jerusalem about what was going to happen to it.  Yahweh was going to encamp against it and set up siege works against it.  They would be able to speak only from below the earth and the dust.  Their voices would be reduced to a whisper, like a ghost in the middle of this dust pile.  Jeremiah, chapter 6:6-8, warned Jerusalem that its enemies were going to cut down trees in order to make a ramp siege against Jerusalem, because this city needed to be punished.  There was nothing but oppression and wickedness within her.  Jerusalem was a place of violence and destruction with sickness and wounded people all around.  Yahweh was going to turn away in disgust against Jerusalem. Thus, it would become a desolate uninhabited land, if it did not heed his warning.  Ezekiel, chapter 4:1-3, also condemned Jerusalem with Ezekiel’s symbolic action.  A voice told Ezekiel to be an expert model Lego builder of the siege of Jerusalem.  Ezekiel, the son of man, was to take a brick and portray the city of Jerusalem.  He was to put the siege works with a siege wall against this city.  He was to put a ramp and camps against this city with battering rams all around it.  Then he was to take an iron plate and make an iron wall between himself and the city, looking at it.  Thus, there was a state of siege, a sign for the house of Israel.  Ezekiel was part of the exiles from 598 BCE before the taking of Jerusalem and the second captivity in 587 BCE.  Of course, here this was allusion to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE by the Roman soldiers putting down a revolution in Judea.  Luke would have known about this at the time of his writing.  Have you ever seen a city destroyed?

The power of the law (Lk 16:17-16:17)

“It is easier

For heaven

And earth

To pass away,

Than for one stroke

Of a letter

Of the law

To be dropped.”

 

εὐκοπώτερον δέ ἐστιν τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν παρελθεῖν ἢ τοῦ νόμου μίαν κεραίαν πεσεῖν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that it was easier (εὐκοπώτερον δέ ἐστιν) for heaven (τὸν οὐρανὸν) and earth (καὶ τὴν γῆν) to pass away (παρελθεῖν), than for one stroke of a letter of the law to be dropped (ἢ τοῦ νόμου μίαν κεραίαν πεσεῖν).  Nothing in the Law or the Torah could be changed or dropped, plain and simple.  This saying is similar to Mark, chapter 13:31, and Matthew, chapter 5:18, with a few exceptions.  Matthew has this as a great Jesus solemn pronouncement for his disciples (ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν).  The next phrase is the same in Luke and Mark.  Heaven and earth would not pass away (ἕως ἂν παρέλθῃ ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ) until the law was fully accomplished (ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου, ἕως ἂν πάντα γένηται).  Matthew, like Luke here, is even more specific with a detailed remark about the fact that not even an iota of the Law or not one stroke of a letter would go away (ἰῶτα ἓν ἢ μία κεραία οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου), before the Law was fully accomplished.  Iota was the Greek word for the Hebrew yod, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  Mark indicated that it was the words of Jesus, and not the Law, that would not change.  Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, chapter 3:31, would further expand on this idea of upholding the law.  In Matthew, chapter 24:35, and in Luke, chapter 21:33, Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away (ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ παρελεύσονται), but his words would not pass away (οἱ δὲ λόγοι μου οὐ μὴ παρελεύσονται).  This was a simple statement about the enduring quality of the words of Jesus.  Here, however, it is the words of the law that would not pass away, not the words of Jesus.  Which is more important for you, the law or the words of Jesus?

The oldest son (Lk 15:25-15:25)

“Now his elder son

Was in the field.

When he came,

He approached

The house.

He heard music

And dancing.”

 

ἦν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ὁ πρεσβύτερος ἐν ἀγρῷ· καὶ ὡς ἐρχόμενος ἤγγισεν τῇ οἰκίᾳ, ἤκουσεν συμφωνίας καὶ χορῶν,

 

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 older or elder son (ἦν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ὁ πρεσβύτερος) was in the field (ἐν ἀγρῷ) when his brother came back.  As he approached the house (καὶ ὡς ἐρχόμενος ἤγγισεν τῇ οἰκίᾳ), he heard music (ἤκουσεν συμφωνίας) and dancing (καὶ χορῶν).  Interesting enough, Luke once again was the only biblical writer to use these two words in his writings, συμφωνίας that means harmony of instruments or music, and χορῶν that means a dance, or dancing.  The older or elder son had worked hard on the farm, while his brother went and spent his fortune on wine, women, and song.  He knew nothing about the reconciliation of his brother and father.  Are you sometimes out of the loop?

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?

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?