At the angel
‘What is it?
The angel answered.
And your almsgiving
As a memorial
ὁ δὲ ἀτενίσας αὐτῷ καὶ ἔμφοβος γενόμενος εἶπεν Τί ἐστιν, Κύριε; εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ Αἱ προσευχαί σου καὶ αἱ ἐλεημοσύναι σου ἀνέβησαν εἰς μνημόσυνον ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Θεοῦ.
The author of Acts indicated that Cornelius stared or looked intently (ὁ δὲ ἀτενίσας) at the angel (αὐτῷ) in terror or becoming afraid (καὶ ἔμφοβος γενόμενος). He asked (εἶπεν) the Lord (Κύριε) what it was (Τί ἐστιν). The angel answered him (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ) that his prayers (Αἱ προσευχαί σου) and his almsgiving (καὶ αἱ ἐλεημοσύναι σου) had ascended (ἀνέβησαν) as a memorial (εἰς μνημόσυνον) before God (ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Θεοῦ). Cornelius was afraid, so that he stared at the angel. Finally, he asked what this was all about. The angel responded to him, telling him that his prayers and gift giving had caught the eye of God as a memorial. The language sounded like a Jewish sacrifice, but this was definitely an uncircumcised God-fearing gentile man. This angel was here to tell Cornelius that he had won favor with God by his actions. Do you think that you have won favor with God?
came up to him.
δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ οἱ στρατιῶται προσερχόμενοι, ὄξος προσφέροντες αὐτῷ
Luke said that
the soldiers (καὶ οἱ στρατιῶται) also mocked Jesus (ἐνέπαιξαν δὲ αὐτῷ). They came near to Jesus (προσερχόμενοι,) and offered
him some sour wine (ὄξος προσφέροντες αὐτῷ).
In John, chapter 19:28-29,
Jesus said that he was thirsty, before they gave him this sour wine that was
standing nearby. Mark, chapter 15:36, said that someone ran to get a sponge (δραμὼν
δέ τις). He filled this sponge with sour
wine or vinegar (καὶ γεμίσας σπόγγον ὄξους), a common Roman solder drink. Then he put it on a stick or reed (περιθεὶς
καλάμῳ) to give Jesus something to drink (ἐπότιζεν αὐτόν). Matthew,
chapter 27:48, said that soon one of the bystanders ran to get a sponge (καὶ εὐθέως
δραμὼν εἷς ἐξ αὐτῶν καὶ λαβὼν σπόγγον).
He filled it with sour wine or vinegar (πλήσας τε ὄξους). Then he put it on a stick or reed (καὶ περιθεὶς
καλάμῳ) to give Jesus something to drink (ἐπότιζεν αὐτόν). This sour wine or vinegar might have been a
reference to Psalm 69:21, where the
psalmist complained that they gave him vinegar to drink. This common Roman soldier drink of sour wine
or vinegar mixed with water might also have been an anesthetic to ease the
pain. Thus, this action might have been
an act of compassion for Jesus hanging on the cross. In all the synoptic gospels, people offered
Jesus this sour wine (ὄξους). Do you
“Just as it was
In the days
It will be
In the days
Of the Son of Man.”
καὶ καθὼς ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Νῶε, οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου
Next Luke indicated that Jesus said that just as it was in the days of Noah (καὶ καθὼς ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Νῶε), so too it would be (οὕτως ἔσται) in the days (καὶ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις) of the Son of Man (τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου). There is something similar, almost word for word, in Matthew, chapter 24:37, but nothing about Noah in Mark, thus indicating a Q source. Jesus said via Matthew that the days of Noah in Genesis, chapters 6-11, (ὥσπερ γὰρ αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ Νῶε) were considered to be the days of sinfulness. The Parousia or second coming of the Son of Man (οὕτως ἔσται ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) would be similar to the end of the sinning days with the flood (ὡς γὰρ ἦσαν ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ταῖς πρὸ τοῦ κατακλυσμοῦ). Luke, unlike Matthew, did not use the word Parousia (ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου), just the days of the Son of Man (ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου). However, they both had the comparison with the time of Noah. What influence does Noah have in your life?
“But when this son
Who has devoured
The fatted calf
ὅτε δὲ ὁ υἱός σου οὗτος ὁ καταφαγών σου τὸν βίον μετὰ πορνῶν ἦλθεν, ἔθυσας αὐτῷ τὸν σιτευτὸν μόσχον.
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 this older son continued his complaint to his father. He said that when his brother, his father’s son (ὅτε δὲ ὁ υἱός σου οὗτος), came back (ἦλθεν), after having devoured his property (ὁ καταφαγών σου τὸν βίον) with prostitutes (μετὰ πορνῶν), he went and killed or sacrificed the fatted calf for him (ἔθυσας αὐτῷ τὸν σιτευτὸν μόσχον). Luke is the only biblical writer who used this term σιτευτόν, that means fattened calf, 3 times in this story. This upset son pointed out to his father that his brother had squandered all his hard-earned property on prostitutes. Yet he was rewarding him with a special meal celebration. Does this seem fair to you?
“Where your treasure is,
There your heart
Will be also.”
ὅπου γάρ ἐστιν ὁ θησαυρὸς ὑμῶν, ἐκεῖ καὶ ἡ καρδία ὑμῶν ἔσται.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that wherever their treasure was (ὅπου γάρ ἐστιν ὁ θησαυρὸς ὑμῶν), that was where their heart would be also (ἐκεῖ καὶ ἡ καρδία ὑμῶν ἔσται). Matthew, chapter 6:21, was practically the same, in a common Q source. Matthew indicated that Jesus said the wonderful saying about where your treasure is (ὅπου γάρ ἐστιν ὁ θησαυρός σου), there is where your heart is (ἐκεῖ ἔσται καὶ ἡ καρδία σου). What you really care about is what is important to you. What your heart yearns for is your real treasure. Where is your real treasure?
“Sell your possessions!
That do not wear out!
Have an unfailing treasure
Πωλήσατε τὰ ὑπάρχοντα ὑμῶν καὶ δότε ἐλεημοσύνην· ποιήσατε ἑαυτοῖς βαλλάντια μὴ παλαιούμενα, θησαυρὸν ἀνέκλειπτον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, ὅπου κλέπτης οὐκ ἐγγίζει οὐδὲ σὴς διαφθείρει·
Luke indicated that Jesus told them to sell their possessions (Πωλήσατε τὰ ὑπάρχοντα ὑμῶν) and then give alms to charity (καὶ δότε ἐλεημοσύνην). They were to make their own purses (ποιήσατε ἑαυτοῖς βαλλάντια) that did not wear out (ὴ παλαιούμενα). Their unfailing treasure (θησαυρὸν ἀνέκλειπτον) should be in heaven (ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς), where no thief could get near it (ὅπου κλέπτης οὐκ ἐγγίζει) and no moth would destroy it (οὐδὲ σὴς διαφθείρει). This is the only time that the word ἀνέκλειπτον appears in the New Testament literature, meaning unfailing, not giving up. The same idea but in different words can be found in Matthew, chapter 6:19-20. Matthew had Jesus say that they should not store up treasures (Μὴ θησαυρίζετε ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς) here on earth (ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς), because it was too much trouble to store things. Either moths (ὅπου σὴς) would eat up the garments or rust would consume them. This is one of the 3 times that moths are mentioned in the biblical New Testament. The other was the Luke comparative and later in Matthew. Garments were often considered treasures. Rust was a more common term and applied to other goods. Otherwise, thieves might break in and steal it anyhow (καὶ ὅπου κλέπται διορύσσουσιν καὶ κλέπτουσιν). The opposite of the earthly treasures were the heavenly treasures (θησαυρίζετε δὲ ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς ἐν οὐρανῷ) that you should store up. Moths and rust could not consume them (ὅπου οὔτε σὴς οὔτε βρῶσις ἀφανίζει). Thieves could not break in and steal them either (καὶ ὅπου κλέπται οὐ διορύσσουσιν οὐδὲ κλέπτουσιν). Clearly, heaven was a better place to store up treasures than the dangerous earth.
Indebted to us.”
καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν, καὶ γὰρ αὐτοὶ ἀφίομεν παντὶ ὀφείλοντι ἡμῖν·
Luke indicated that Jesus said that we should ask the Father to forgive our sins (καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν). Afterall, we ourselves have forgiven everyone indebted to us (καὶ γὰρ αὐτοὶ ἀφίομεν παντὶ ὀφείλοντι ἡμῖν). Matthew, chapter 6:12, said that we should ask the Father to forgive our debts (καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰ ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν). This includes whatever we owe to God, because our sins have put us in debt to God. If we ask for forgiveness, that assumes that we have forgiven our own debtors (ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν). This saying about forgiveness seems similar to Matthew, chapter 6:14-15, that came right after the “Our Father” prayer. Basically, the heavenly Father would forgive those people who have forgiven others for their missteps or trespasses. On the other hand, if you did not forgive others, your heavenly Father would not forgive you your trespasses. You can see how the idea of trespasses, instead of debtors, came to be part of the “Our Father.” Mark, chapter 11:25, indicated that Jesus said that whenever they would stand and pray, they should forgive others, especially if they have anything against anyone. Then their heavenly Father would forgive them for their missteps or trespasses. What are these trespasses? The Greek word “τὰ παραπτώματα” means to fall away after being close, a lapse, a deviation from the truth, an error, a slip up, relatively unconscious, or non-deliberate. Apparently, this was not a serious offense, something like daily implied insensitive insults. However, they still had to forgive the trespasses of others to be forgiven by the heavenly father. You can see how the idea of trespasses took on a greater significance over debtors in this great prayer to the Father. Do you forgive other people?
He poured oil
Then he put him
On his own animal.
He brought him
To an inn.
He took care of him.”
καὶ προσελθὼν κατέδησεν τὰ τραύματα αὐτοῦ ἐπιχέων ἔλαιον καὶ οἶνον, ἐπιβιβάσας δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ ἴδιον κτῆνος ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν εἰς πανδοχεῖον καὶ ἐπεμελήθη αὐτοῦ.
Luke continued his unique story. Jesus said that this Samaritan went to or approached this wounded man (καὶ προσελθὼν), instead of crossing over to the other side of the road. He bandaged his wounds (κατέδησεν τὰ τραύματα αὐτοῦ) and poured oil and wine on them (ἐπιχέων ἔλαιον καὶ οἶνον). Apparently, oil and wine were like medicine to heal the wounds. Then he put him on his own animal (ἐπιβιβάσας δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ ἴδιον κτῆνος), either a horse or a mule. He then brought him to an inn (ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν εἰς πανδοχεῖον). This Samaritan really took care of this wounded man (καὶ ἐπεμελήθη αὐτοῦ). This underclass Samaritan stepped up. He helped the wounded half dead man by the wayside. He apparently was ready for this kind of thing, because he had bandages, oil, and wine with him. He even was traveling with an animal, probably a mule. There was no mention of any animal with the priest or the Levite. Thus, we have the famous saying about Good Samaritans, based on this story, someone unrelated, who shows up and helps a person in need. This Good Samaritan story has become part of our contemporary secular cultural language. Thus, this story has reached beyond a pure religious context. However, the assumptions are always that the helping person was motivated by a higher calling. Have you ever been a Good Samaritan?
“Then Jesus called
The twelve apostles together.
He gave them power
Over all the demons,
As well as
To cure diseases.”
Συνκαλεσάμενος δὲ τοὺς δώδεκα ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δύναμιν καὶ ἐξουσίαν ἐπὶ πάντα τὰ δαιμόνια καὶ νόσους θεραπεύειν·
Luke said that Jesus called the 12 apostles together (Συνκαλεσάμενος δὲ τοὺς δώδεκα). He gave them (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς) power (δύναμιν) and authority (καὶ ἐξουσίαν) over all the demons (πάντα τὰ δαιμόνια). He also gave them the power and authority to cure diseases (καὶ νόσους θεραπεύειν). This section about the power, the authority, and the mission of the 12 disciples or apostles is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:1, and Mark, chapter 6:7. Mark said that Jesus summoned or called his 12 apostles, as he began to send them out 2 by 2. He gave them authority over unclean or impure spirits. Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons. However, Mark did not mention curing diseases, illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness, just casting out the evil spirits that might have been the cause of their illnesses. Matthew said that Jesus summoned or called to him his 12 disciples. He called them disciples rather than the ambiguous “12.” He gave them spiritual authority over unclean or impure spirits. Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons. They were also able to cure, treat, or heal all diseases, illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness. In other words, Jesus was giving his own power or authority to cast out evil spirits and heal people to these 12 disciples or apostles. This was a big deal. The number 12 corresponded to the number of sons of Jacob or the 12 tribes of Israel. This authority will be referred to later as the apostolic authority. Jesus thus established these 12 disciples or apostles to carry on his work in casting out or exorcising evil spirits and curing people of their illnesses. What do you think about this apostolic authority?
Got into a boat
With his disciples.
He said to them.
‘Let us go across
To the other side
Of the lake.’
They set out.”
Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν καὶ αὐτὸς ἐνέβη εἰς πλοῖον καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Διέλθωμεν εἰς τὸ πέραν τῆς λίμνης· καὶ ἀνήχθησαν.
Luke said that one day (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν), Jesus got into a boat (καὶ αὐτὸς ἐνέβη εἰς πλοῖον) with his disciples (καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ). He said to them (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) that he wanted to go across to the other side of the lake (Διέλθωμεν εἰς τὸ πέραν τῆς λίμνης). Thus, they set out (καὶ ἀνήχθησαν). Something similar to this short episode of Jesus telling his disciples to travel across the sea can also be found in Mark, chapter 4:35-36. Mark said that at the end of the day, when evening came, Jesus told his disciples that he wanted them to cross over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee from Capernaum. However, Mark added that Jesus dismissed the crowds. Then he and his disciples got into a couple of boats. Thus, there was a small group of boats crossing the Sea of Galilee. Matthew, chapter 8:23, had the simple statement that Jesus got into the boat with his disciples. Have you ever gone across a sea or a lake on a boat?