Why use the word good? (Lk 18:19-18:19)

“Jesus said to him.

‘Why do you call me

Good?

No one is good

But God alone.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν; οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς εἰ μὴ εἷς ὁ Θεός.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to him (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  Why did he call Jesus good (Τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν), since no one was good except God alone (οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς εἰ μὴ εἷς ὁ Θεός)?  This response of Jesus can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:18-19, and Matthew, chapter 19:17, but slightly different, since Luke and Mark are closer to each other, almost word for word.  They both had this man call Jesus the good teacher.  Mark said that Jesus responded to him (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) by asking a question.  Why did he call Jesus good (Τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν)?  No one person was good (οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς).  God alone was good (εἰ μὴ εἷς ὁ Θεός).  In this response, Jesus appears to distance himself from the good God.  Matthew did not mention that there was only one good one, God, as in Luke and in Mark, since this man was only looking for a good deed.  Jesus responded (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) to this question by asking a question.  Why did he ask about good (Τί με ἐρωτᾷς περὶ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ), since there was only one good one (εἷς ἐστιν ὁ ἀγαθός)?  Then Jesus gave the classic answer for those who wanted to enter eternal life (εἰ δὲ θέλεις εἰς τὴν ζωὴν εἰσελθεῖν).  He should keep the commandments or laws (τήρει τὰς ἐντολάς), since there had been a question about what good deed he could do.  Jesus’ response was the commandments.  Do you follow the commandments of God?

The brother’s sins (Lk 17:3-17:3)

“Pay attention to yourself!

If your brother disciple

Sins,

You must rebuke

The offender.

If there is repentance,

You must forgive.”

 

προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς. ἐὰν ἁμάρτῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου, ἐπιτίμησον αὐτῷ, καὶ ἐὰν μετανοήσῃ, ἄφες αὐτῷ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to pay attention (προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς).  If a brother disciple sinned (ἐὰν ἁμάρτῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου), they must rebuke the offender (ἐπιτίμησον αὐτῷ).  If there is repentance (καὶ ἐὰν μετανοήσῃ), they must forgive him (ἄφες αὐτῷ).  This saying about the sinning brother is something similar in Matthew, chapter 18:15, perhaps indicating a Q source, with some minor changes.  Luke wanted the one offended to forgive the original offense.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that if one of your brothers had sinned against you (Ἐὰν δὲ ἁμαρτήσῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου), point out that fault or rebuke him (ὕπαγε ἔλεγξον αὐτὸν), when the two of you are alone (μεταξὺ σοῦ καὶ αὐτοῦ μόνου).  If he listened to you (ἐάν σου ἀκούσῃ), you have regained your brother (ἐκέρδησας τὸν ἀδελφόν σου).  There was no mention of any forgiveness here.  Is this a blood brother or a fellow disciple of Jesus brother?  It appears to be a fellow follower of Jesus.  Forgiveness was important.  Matthew had a more elaborate process of rebuking and forgiving.  How do you forgive people?

Wait a year (Lk 13:8-13:8)

“The gardener replied.

‘Sir!

Let it alone

For one more year,

Until I dig

Around it.

I will put

Manure on it.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς λέγει αὐτῷ Κύριε, ἄφες αὐτὴν καὶ τοῦτο τὸ ἔτος, ἕως ὅτου σκάψω περὶ αὐτὴν καὶ βάλω κόπρια,

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus continued with his parable of the fig tree with no fruit.  Jesus said that the gardener replied respectfully (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς λέγει αὐτῷ), calling him lord (Κύριε).  He wanted the owner to let the tree alone for one more year (ἄφες αὐτὴν καὶ τοῦτο τὸ ἔτος).  He was going to dig around it (ἕως ὅτου σκάψω περὶ αὐτὴν) and put manure on it (καὶ βάλω κόπρια).  There would be one more chance.  Maybe a little fertilizer would help.  Have you ever used fertilizers?

Blessed is the womb (Lk 11:27-11:27)

“While Jesus

Was speaking,

A woman

In the crowd

Raised her voice.

She said to Jesus.

‘Blessed is the womb

That bore you

And the breasts

That nursed you!”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ λέγειν αὐτὸν ταῦτα ἐπάρασά τις φωνὴν γυνὴ ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μακαρία ἡ κοιλία ἡ βαστάσασά σε καὶ μαστοὶ οὓς ἐθήλασας.

 

Luke alone has this incident about the woman shouting out in a crowd.  Luke said that while Jesus was speaking (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ λέγειν αὐτὸν ταῦτα), a woman in the crowd (γυνὴ ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου) raised her voice (ἐπάρασά τις φωνὴν).  She said to Jesus (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that blessed (Μακαρία) was the womb that bore him (ἡ κοιλία ἡ βαστάσασά σε) and the breasts that nursed him (καὶ μαστοὶ οὓς ἐθήλασας).  This woman in the crowd wanted to praise the mother of Jesus because she had borne and nursed Jesus.  Jesus’ mother should be blessed, happy or fortunate (Μακαρία), which she was.  Luke seemed to pay more attention to women that the other gospel writers.   Do you think that women are undervalued?

The door is locked (Lk 11:7-11:7)

He answered

From within.

‘Do not bother me!

The door has already

Been locked.

My children

And I are

In bed.

I cannot get up

And give you anything.’”

 

κἀκεῖνος ἔσωθεν ἀποκριθεὶς εἴπῃ Μή μοι κόπους πάρεχε· ἤδη ἡ θύρα κέκλεισται, καὶ τὰ παιδία μου μετ’ ἐμοῦ εἰς τὴν κοίτην εἰσίν· οὐ δύναμαι ἀναστὰς δοῦναί σοι

 

Luke uniquely had this parable story about waking up a friend at midnight. The answer of this friend, who was just woken up in the middle of the night, was what you might expect.  He responded from within his house (κἀκεῖνος ἔσωθεν ἀποκριθεὶς εἴπῃ).  He told his friend not to bother or trouble him (Μή μοι κόπους πάρεχε).  His door has already been locked (ἤδη ἡ θύρα κέκλεισται).  His children (καὶ τὰ παιδία μου), as well as himself (μετ’ ἐμοῦ), were already in bed (εἰς τὴν κοίτην εἰσίν).  He was not able to get up (οὐ δύναμαι ἀναστὰς) and give him anything (δοῦναί σοι).  What did he expect?  Just go away!  This neighbor friend was quite direct, nothing doing.  Just go home and leave him alone.  He had settled down for the night.  Maybe they could talk tomorrow.  Has anybody ever woken you up at midnight?

 

The friendly request (Lk 11:5-11:5)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Suppose one of you

Has a friend.

Would you go

To him

At midnight?

Would you say

To him.

`Friend!

Lend me

Three loaves

Of bread!’”

 

Καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Τίς ἐξ ὑμῶν ἕξει φίλον, καὶ πορεύσεται πρὸς αὐτὸν μεσονυκτίου καὶ εἴπῃ αὐτῷ Φίλε, χρῆσόν μοι τρεῖς ἄρτους,

 

Luke uniquely had this parable story about waking up a friend in the middle of the night.  Luke indicated that Jesus told his disciples (Καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) this parable.  He asked them, who among them had a friend (Τίς ἐξ ὑμῶν ἕξει φίλον)?  Obviously, some of them had friends.  If they were to go to their friend (καὶ πορεύσεται πρὸς) at midnight (μεσονυκτίου), and say to him (καὶ εἴπῃ αὐτῷ), good friend (Φίλε), lend me 3 loaves of bread (χρῆσόν μοι τρεῖς ἄρτους), what do you think he would do?  Most of us would say leave us alone.  After all there were no fast food 24-hour service places to get food.  Luke has Jesus take up this question after his presentation on how to pray the Our Father.  What if you have a sudden visitor and not enough food?  What to do?  Wake up your next-door neighbor friend!  I do not know if that is a good idea.  Let’s see what happens.  Would you wake up a neighbor in the middle of the night?

Make my sister help me (Lk 10:40-10:40)

“But Martha

Was distracted

By her many tasks.

She went

To the Lord.

She asked

‘Lord!

Do you not care

That my sister

Has left me

To do all the work

Alone by myself?

Tell her then

To help me!’”

 

ἡ δὲ Μάρθα περιεσπᾶτο περὶ πολλὴν διακονίαν· ἐπιστᾶσα δὲ εἶπεν Κύριε, οὐ μέλει σοι ὅτι ἡ ἀδελφή μου μόνην με κατέλειπεν διακονεῖν; εἰπὸν οὖν αὐτῇ ἵνα μοι συναντιλάβηται.

 

Now the element of conflict came up.  Luke said that Martha was distracted or troubled by her many tasks of hospitality serving (ἡ δὲ Μάρθα περιεσπᾶτο περὶ πολλὴν διακονίαν).  Thus, she went to address Jesus as the Lord (ἐπιστᾶσα δὲ εἶπεν Κύριε).  She urgently wanted to know if the Lord cared about the fact that her sister had left her alone to do all the serving work by herself (οὐ μέλει σοι ὅτι ἡ ἀδελφή μου μόνην με κατέλειπεν διακονεῖν)?  She wanted Jesus to tell Mary (εἰπὸν οὖν αὐτῇ) to help her (ἵνα μοι συναντιλάβηται).  Mary was simply sitting listening to Jesus, while Martha was doing all the housework.  Martha wanted Jesus to tell her sister to help her with the household duties.  Why couldn’t Martha talk to her sister herself?  She knew her pretty well.  What will be the response of Jesus?  Would you rather be the worker or the listener?