The son admits he is a sinner (Lk 15:21-15:21)

“Then the son

Said to him.

‘Father!

I have sinned

Against heaven

And before you.

I am no longer worthy

To be called

Your son.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτῷ Πάτερ, ἥμαρτον εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου, οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου.

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the son said to his father (εἶπεν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτῷ Πάτερ) that he had sinned (ἥμαρτον) against heaven (εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν) and his own father (καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου).  He was no longer worthy to be called his son (οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου).  Some of the Greek texts have the ending sentence of verse 19, where he wanted to be treated like one of his hired hands (ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου).  This seems to be a very true contrite statement, since the words are exactly what he was thinking when he decided to return home.  Thus, this prodigal son confessed his sins and asked for repentance, after his father had already accepted him back.  Have you ever confessed that you are a sinner?

The man who got beat up (Lk 10:30-10:30)

“Jesus accepted

This question.

He replied.

‘A man

Was going down

From Jerusalem

To Jericho.

He fell

Into the hands

Of robbers.

They stripped him.

They beat him up.

They went away,

Leaving him half dead.’”

 

ὑπολαβὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἄνθρωπός τις κατέβαινεν ἀπὸ Ἱερουσαλὴμ εἰς Ἱερειχώ, καὶ λῃσταῖς περιέπεσεν, οἳ καὶ ἐκδύσαντες αὐτὸν καὶ πληγὰς ἐπιθέντες ἀπῆλθον ἀφέντες ἡμιθανῆ.

 

Luke uniquely had Jesus tell a story to answer the question from the lawyer.  Jesus accepted (ὑπολαβὼν) this inquiry about the meaning of neighbor.  He said (εἶπεν) that a man (Ἄνθρωπός), presumably Jewish, was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho (τις κατέβαινεν ἀπὸ Ἱερουσαλὴμ εἰς Ἱερειχώ), about 23 miles.  However, he fell into the hands of some robbers (καὶ λῃσταῖς περιέπεσεν).  They stripped him (οἳ καὶ ἐκδύσαντες αὐτὸν) and beat him up, inflicting wounds on him (καὶ πληγὰς ἐπιθέντες).  Then they went away (ἀπῆλθον).  They left him half dead (ἀφέντες ἡμιθανῆ).  This was a simple story about a robbery that took place on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho.  More than one violent robber attacked this man.  They took everything, including his clothes, and beat him up.  Then they left him to die, since he was badly wounded.  People get robbed and beaten up all the time.  Do you really care about it?

Welcome the little child (Lk 9:48-9:48)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Whoever welcomes

This child

In my name,

Welcomes me.

Whoever welcomes me,

Welcomes the one

Who sent me.

The least

Among all of you

Is the greatest.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ὃς ἐὰν δέξηται τοῦτο τὸ παιδίον ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου, ἐμὲ δέχεται· καὶ ὃς ἂν ἐμὲ δέξηται, δέχεται τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με· ὁ γὰρ μικρότερος ἐν πᾶσιν ὑμῖν ὑπάρχων οὗτός ἐστιν μέγας.

 

Luke said that Jesus told his disciples (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that whoever welcomed this child (Ὃς ἐὰν δέξηται τοῦτο τὸ παιδίον) in his name (ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου), welcomed him (ἐμὲ δέχεται).  Whoever welcomes him (καὶ ὃς ἂν ἐμὲ δέξηται), welcomed the one who sent him (δέχεται τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με).  The least among all of them (ὁ γὰρ μικρότερος ἐν πᾶσιν ὑμῖν ὑπάρχων) would be the greatest (οὗτός ἐστιν μέγας).  There was the answer to the question.  The greatest was the little child.  This saying about welcoming this little child can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:5, and Mark, chapter 9:37, with some minor changes.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that whoever welcomed, received, or accepted such a little child in Jesus’ name, welcomed Jesus.  Whoever welcomed Jesus welcomed not just Jesus, but welcomed the one who had sent him.  Matthew had this welcoming saying about the little child also.  Whoever welcomed such a little child in Jesus’ name, welcomed Jesus.  However, there was no mention of a relationship to the Father that was in other gospel sayings.  Pure and simple, anyone who accepted this little child in Jesus’ name, welcomed Jesus.  Are you good with little children?

The good soil bears fruit (Lk 8:15-8:15)

“As for those seeds

On the good soil,

These are the ones

Who,

When they hear

The word,

They hold it fast

In an honest

And good heart.

They bear fruit

With a patient endurance.”

 

τὸ δὲ ἐν τῇ καλῇ γῇ, οὗτοί εἰσιν οἵτινες ἐν καρδίᾳ καλῇ καὶ ἀγαθῇ ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον κατέχουσιν καὶ καρποφοροῦσιν ἐν ὑπομονῇ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the seeds on the good soil (τὸ δὲ ἐν τῇ καλῇ γῇ) are the ones (οὗτοί εἰσιν οἵτινες) who heard the word (ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον) and held it or kept it fast (κατέχουσιν) with an honest and good heart (ἐν καρδίᾳ καλῇ καὶ ἀγαθῇ).  They would bear fruit with a patient endurance (καὶ καρποφοροῦσιν ἐν ὑπομονῇ).  This explanation of the sower parable about the good seeds can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:20, Matthew, chapter 13:23, and here, with Matthew closer to Mark.  Mark and Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the seeds sown on good soil were the people who heard the word and accepted it.  They then bore good fruit.  They yielded either 30-fold, 60-fold, or a 100-fold.  Matthew, had the reverse order of Mark, 100, 60, and 30, while Luke, has no number on the fruitful harvest.  Only about 25% of the seeds sown were effective.  Thus, only about 25% of the people hearing the word of the kingdom from Jesus would follow it.  The seeds or the word that fell on the path, on the rocky ground, or the thorns were ineffective.  However, even among the effective seeds that were on good soil, the word would have different results.  Some would yield 30 times, some 60, and some 100.  There was no magic formula.  The circumstances among the good hearers would also bring about a variety of responses and effectiveness.  How effective are the seeds of the word of God in your life?

Not accepted in his own country (Lk 4:24-4:24)

“Jesus said.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

No prophet

Is accepted

In the prophet’s

Hometown.’”

 

εἶπεν δέ Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐδεὶς προφήτης δεκτός ἐστιν ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ.

 

This saying about no honor for prophets in their hometown can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:57, and Mark, chapter 6:4, and here.  Luke said that Jesus told them (εἶπεν δέ) with a solemn pronouncement (Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that no prophet (ὅτι οὐδεὶς προφήτης) was accepted in his own hometown (δεκτός ἐστιν ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ).  There was more elaboration by Mark, who said that prophets would not be honored among their own hometown, relatives, and in their own house.  It is always more difficult in your own home town.  This was common among the Old Testament prophets, especially the Israelite prophets Jeremiah and Amos.

The welcoming saying about little children (Mk 9:37-9:37)

“Whoever welcomes

One such child,

In my name,

Welcomes me!

Whoever welcomes me,

Welcomes not me,

But the one

Who sent me.”

 

Ὃς ἂν ἓν τῶν τοιούτων παιδίων δέξηται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου, ἐμὲ δέχεται· καὶ ὃς ἂν ἐμὲ δέχηται, οὐκ ἐμὲ δέχεται ἀλλὰ τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με.

 

This saying about welcoming the little child can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:5, as well as Luke, chapter 9:48, with some minor changes.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that whoever welcomed, received, or accepted such a little child (Ὃς ἂν ἓν τῶν τοιούτων παιδίων δέξηται) in Jesus’ name (ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου), welcomed Jesus (ἐμὲ δέχεται).  Whoever welcomed Jesus (καὶ ὃς ἂν ἐμὲ δέχηται) welcomed not just Jesus (οὐκ ἐμὲ δέχεται), but welcomed the one who had sent him (ἀλλὰ τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με).  Matthew never mentioned the relationship to the Father that was in Mark and Luke.  Pure and simple, anyone who accepted this little child in Jesus’ name, welcomed Jesus and his Father, the one who sent him.+

Jesus cures her daughter (Mk 7:29-7:30)

“Jesus said to her.

‘For saying that,

You may go!

The demon

Has left your daughter.’

Thus,

She went home.

She found her child

Lying in bed.

The demon was gone.”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ Διὰ τοῦτον τὸν λόγον ὕπαγε, ἐξελήλυθεν ἐκ τῆς θυγατρός σου τὸ δαιμόνιον.

καὶ ἀπελθοῦσα εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς εὗρεν τὸ παιδίον βεβλημένον ἐπὶ τὴν κλίνην καὶ τὸ δαιμόνιον ἐξεληλυθός.

 

A similar response can be found in Matthew, chapter 15:28.  There was no mention of faith here as there was in MatthewMark said that Jesus answered her (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ).  Jesus said that she had by her words accepted her position as a dog under the table, so that she could go home (Διὰ τοῦτον τὸν λόγον ὕπαγε).  Jesus said that the demon had come out of her daughter (ἐξελήλυθεν ἐκ τῆς θυγατρός σου τὸ δαιμόνιον).  Thus, she then went away from Jesus to her home (καὶ ἀπελθοῦσα εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς).  There she found that her child was lying in bed (εὗρεν τὸ παιδίον βεβλημένον ἐπὶ τὴν κλίνην), but the demon was gone or expelled from her (καὶ τὸ δαιμόνιον ἐξεληλυθός).  Despite the reluctance of Jesus to go outside of the Israelites, this Canaanite woman persuaded him to cure her daughter of her demonic illness.  Jesus cured her child without touching her or being in her presence.