Luke indicated that the Jerusalem Jewish leaders thought that if they said the baptism of John was of human origin (ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων), all the people would stone them (ὁ λαὸς ἅπας καταλιθάσει ἡμᾶς), because the people were convinced or persuaded (πεπεισμένος) that John was a prophet (γάρ ἐστιν Ἰωάνην προφήτην εἶναι). Once again, this is a unique Luke usage of the term καταλιθάσει, to cast stones, stone down, stone to death, or overwhelm with stones, that is not found elsewhere in the Greek biblical literature. This question about the value of the baptism of John the Baptist can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:26, and Mark, chapter 11:32, almost word for word. Mark said that these Jewish Jerusalem leaders did not want to say that this baptism of John was from human origins, man-made (ἀλλὰ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων). They were afraid of the crowds of people (ἐφοβοῦντο τὸν ὄχλον), since they all regarded John the Baptist as a true prophet (ἅπαντες γὰρ εἶχον τὸν Ἰωάνην ὄντως ὅτι προφήτης ἦν). Matthew indicated that if these leaders said that this baptism of John was from human origins (ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων), they were afraid of the crowds of people (φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον), since they all regarded John the Baptist as a prophet (φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον). There was no mention of being stoned in Mark and Matthew, only in Luke. Nevertheless, these leaders were stuck between a rock and a hard place. Have you ever been unable to answer a question?
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?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that this third slave said that he was afraid (ἐφοβούμην) of the lord nobleman, because this nobleman was a harsh or severe man (γάρ σε, ὅτι ἄνθρωπος αὐστηρὸς εἶ). Once again, Luke used a word αὐστηρὸς, that means harsh, severe, grim, strict, exacting, or rigid, that is not found elsewhere in the Greek biblical literature. This man took what he had not deposited (αἴρεις ὃ οὐκ ἔθηκας). He reaped what he had not sown (καὶ θερίζεις ὃ οὐκ ἔσπειρας). This was similar to Matthew, chapter 25:24, perhaps indicating a Q source. Jesus, via Matthew, indicated that this slave said to his master or lord (εἶπεν Κύριε) that he knew that his master was a harsh or hard man (ἔγνων σε ὅτι σκληρὸς εἶ ἄνθρωπος), because he would reap or harvest crops where he had not sown them (θερίζων ὅπου οὐκ ἔσπειρας). He even gathered crops where he had not scattered seeds (καὶ συνάγων ὅθεν οὐ διεσκόρπισας). This third slave in each story was afraid of this harsh or severe demanding master. Do you know someone who is very demanding?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that another slave came in (καὶ ὁ ἕτερος ἦλθεν) and said to this lord, nobleman (λέγων Κύριε), that he had saved his mina (ἰδοὺ ἡ μνᾶ σου). He had wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, a handkerchief or a napkin (ἣν εἶχον ἀποκειμένην ἐν σουδαρίῳ). Instead of trading with this money, he simply wrapped it up to keep it safe. There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 25:25, perhaps indicating a Q source. Unlike the first 2 slaves, this third slave did something else with his one talent. Jesus said this slave who had received one talent came forward to his master (προσελθὼν δὲ καὶ ὁ τὸ ἓν τάλαντον εἰληφὼς). However, this slave said that he was afraid (καὶ φοβηθεὶς), so he went and hid his talent in the ground (ἀπελθὼν ἔκρυψα τὸ τάλαντόν σου ἐν τῇ γῇ). Then he seemed happy to return this one talent back to his master. He said “Look! here it is (ἴδε ἔχεις τὸ σόν)!” He was glad to be rid of this burden of protecting this money from possible thieves or robbers. Sometimes people are too cautious, as they fear that they will lose something, as here in this parable story. Are you too cautious with your money?
Luke uniquely added that 12 apostles did not understood anything about all these things (καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐδὲν τούτων συνῆκαν) about his future death and resurrection. In fact, what Jesus said was hidden from them (καὶ ἦν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο κεκρυμμένον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν), because they did not grasp what he said (καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκον τὰ λεγόμενα). Despite Jesus’ attempt to inform his elite 12 apostles, they still did not understand what he was talking about. This is somewhat similar to earlier in chapter 9:45, where Luke said that the disciples did not understand this saying of Jesus (οἱ δὲ ἠγνόουν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο), because its meaning was veiled or concealed from them (καὶ ἦν παρακεκαλυμμένον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν). Thus, they could not comprehend it (ἵνα μὴ αἴσθωνται αὐτό). However, they were afraid (καὶ ἐφοβοῦντο) to ask Jesus (ἐρωτῆσαι αὐτὸν) about the meaning of this saying (περὶ τοῦ ῥήματος τούτου). This saying about the reaction of the disciples can also be found in Matthew, chapter 17:23, and Mark, chapter 9:32. Mark, like Luke, said that the disciples did not understand what Jesus was talking about. They were afraid to ask or question him about this. Once again, Mark indicated that the disciples did not seem to understand everything that was going on around them. Matthew, on the other hand, said that on hearing this, the disciples were greatly vexed, pained, or distressed, since this was shocking news to them. Do you always understand what Jesus is talking about?
Luke indicated that Jesus took the 12 apostles aside (Παραλαβὼν δὲ τοὺς δώδεκα). He said to them (εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) that they were going up to Jerusalem (Ἰδοὺ ἀναβαίνομεν εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ). Everything that was written (πάντα τὰ γεγραμμένα) about the Son of Man (ῷ Υἱῷ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) by the prophets (διὰ τῶν προφητῶν) would be accomplished (καὶ τελεσθήσεται). Mark, chapter 10:32, and Matthew, chapter 20:17, have something similar to this. Mark said that while they were on the road towards Jerusalem (Ἦσαν δὲ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἀναβαίνοντες εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus was walking ahead of them (καὶ ἦν προάγων αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς). These followers of Jesus were amazed or astonished, yet at the same time they were afraid (καὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο, οἱ δὲ ἀκολουθοῦντες ἐφοβοῦντο). Jesus then took his 12 leaders aside by themselves again (καὶ παραλαβὼν πάλιν τοὺς δώδεκα). They were merely called the 12 “τοὺς δώδεκα,” clearly indicating the elite 12 apostolic leaders. Jesus began to speak to them (ἤρξατο αὐτοῖς λέγειν) about what was going to happen to him (τὰ μέλλοντα αὐτῷ συμβαίνειν). In Matthew, while Jesus was near Jerusalem (Μέλλων δὲ ἀναβαίνειν Ἰησοῦς εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), he took his 12 leaders aside by themselves (παρέλαβεν τοὺς δώδεκα κατ’ ἰδίαν), as they went on their way to Jerusalem (καὶ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς). In other words, this was not a general proclamation, but a semi-secret saying just for the leaders, the 12, much like a gnostic group with some of the top people knowing more than the others. Do you like to know things that others do not know?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that as the lightning flashes (ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἀστράπτουσα) and lights up the sky (ἐκ τῆς ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανὸν) from one side of the sky to the other (εἰς τὴν ὑπ’ οὐρανὸν λάμπει), so will the Son of man be (οὕτως ἔσται ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) in his day (ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ αὐτοῦ). Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use the word ἀστράπτουσα that means to lighten and flash forth. There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:27, indicating a Q source, about the Son of Man coming like lightening, but in a more succinct way. In Matthew, Jesus said that as the lightning came from the east (ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἐξέρχεται ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν) but flashed or shined in the west (καὶ φαίνεται ἕως δυσμῶν), so the Parousia or the second coming of the Son of Man would happen (οὕτως ἔσται ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου). Wherever the corpse was (ὅπου ἐὰν ᾖ τὸ πτῶμα), there the vultures gathered (ἐκεῖ συναχθήσονται οἱ ἀετοί). The Son of Man was a clear reference to Jesus in his return, the Parousia, who would return like a flash of lightening. The vultures or eagles were a reference to the Roman soldiers with their eagle symbols. There was nothing about the corpses and the eagles or vultures here in Luke, just the lightning flash. However, later in this chapter, verse 37, there was a mention of the corpses and these vultures. Are you afraid of lightning?
This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, but not in the other gospels. Luke indicated that Jesus said that the rich man called out (καὶ αὐτὸς φωνήσας εἶπεν) to Abraham, calling him father (Πάτερ Ἀβραάμ). He wanted Abraham to have mercy on him (ἐλέησόν με). He wanted him to send Lazarus (καὶ πέμψον Λάζαρον) to dip the tip of his finger (ἵνα βάψῃ τὸ ἄκρον τοῦ δακτύλου αὐτοῦ) in water (ὕδατος) to cool his tongue (καὶ καταψύξῃ τὴν γλῶσσάν μου) because he was suffering in agony (ὅτι ὀδυνῶμαι) from all those flames (ἐν τῇ φλογὶ ταύτῃ). Once again, Luke has a unique use among the biblical writers of the Greek word καταψύξῃ, meaning to cool or refresh. This rich man was suffering in a burning hell. He wanted Abraham to send Lazarus to make life easier for him. Are you afraid of a burning hell?
Luke indicated that Jesus concluded these sayings about not worrying. Jesus told them, his little flock (τὸ μικρὸν ποίμνιον), not to be afraid (Μὴ φοβοῦ). Their Father’s good pleasure (ὅτι εὐδόκησεν ὁ Πατὴρ) would give them (δοῦναι ὑμῖν) the kingdom (τὴν βασιλείαν). There was no exact equivalent in Matthew, but chapter 6:34 is close. Matthew had Jesus utter this great philosophical saying at the conclusion to this section. Just worry about today, not tomorrow! This certainly fits in with all the indications about not worrying, because the heavenly Father would take care of things. However, there is no mention of God or Father here. Do not be anxious about tomorrow (μὴ οὖν μεριμνήσητε εἰς τὴν αὔριον)! Tomorrow will be anxious by itself (ἡ γὰρ αὔριον μεριμνήσει ἑαυτῆς). There are enough problems today (ἀρκετὸν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἡ κακία αὐτῆς). Pure and simple, be happy! Don’t worry! Tomorrow is another day. Are you willing to accept tomorrow without worrying?
Luke indicated that Jesus continued to talk about sparrows and humans. Jesus said that even the hairs of their heads (ἀλλὰ καὶ αἱ τρίχες τῆς κεφαλῆς ὑμῶν) were all counted (πᾶσαι ἠρίθμηνται). They were not to be afraid (μὴ φοβεῖσθε), since they were of more value than many sparrows (πολλῶν στρουθίων διαφέρετε). This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:30-31, indicating a Q source. Jesus, via Matthew, said that God, the Father, could number all the hairs on their head (μῶν δὲ καὶ αἱ τρίχες τῆς κεφαλῆς πᾶσαι ἠριθμημέναι εἰσίν). They should not be afraid (μὴ οὖν φοβεῖσθε), because they are more valuable than many sparrows (πολλῶν στρουθίων διαφέρετε ὑμεῖς). If God the Father cared for these insignificant birds, how much more was he concerned about humans. There was a continual theme about not being afraid. Do you think that you are more valuable than a few stray birds?