“They asked him.
When will this be?
What will be the sign
That this is about
To take place?’”
ἐπηρώτησαν δὲ αὐτὸν λέγοντες Διδάσκαλε, πότε οὖν ταῦτα ἔσται, καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα γίνεσθαι;
Luke indicated that some vague “they” or the disciples of Jesus asked him (ἐπηρώτησαν δὲ αὐτὸν), calling him teacher (λέγοντες Διδάσκαλε) when these things would happen (πότε οὖν ταῦτα ἔσται). What would be the sign that this was about to take place (καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα γίνεσθαι)? There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:3. Only Matthew brought up the question of the Parousia (παρουσία) or second coming of Jesus. He said that Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives (Καθημένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τοῦ ὄρους τῶν Ἐλαιῶν), just east of Jerusalem, where he could see the Jerusalem Temple. Some unnamed disciples came to Jesus privately (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ κατ’ ἰδίαν). They wanted to know when would these things, like the Temple being destroyed, take place (λέγοντες Εἰπὲ ἡμῖν, πότε ταῦτα ἔσται)? What would be the sign that Jesus was coming again in the Parousia (καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον τῆς σῆς παρουσίας). On top of that, they wanted to know about the end of the world or the completion of the ages (καὶ συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος). Matthew combined the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, the Second coming of Jesus, and the end of the world together. Rather than unnamed disciples, as in Matthew, Mark, chapter 13:3-4 explicitly mentioned the two sets of brother apostles, who were speaking privately with Jesus. Mark, like Matthew, said that Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives (Καὶ καθημένου αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ τοῦ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν), just east of Jerusalem, since the Temple was opposite them (κατέναντι τοῦ ἱεροῦ). In Mark, these apostolic leaders, Peter (Πέτρος), James (καὶ Ἰάκωβος), John (καὶ Ἰωάνης), and Andrew (καὶ Ἀνδρέας), questioned Jesus privately (ἐπηρώτα αὐτὸν κατ’ ἰδίαν). Mark did not combine the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, the Second coming of Jesus, and the end of the world together, since he concentrated on the destruction of the Temple. Mark said that these big four apostles wanted to be told (Εἰπὸν ἡμῖν) when would these things take place (πότε ταῦτα ἔσται)? What would be the sign (καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον) that all these things were going to finally happen (ὅταν μέλλῃ ταῦτα συντελεῖσθαι πάντα)? They wanted the inside scoop about what was coming up. After all, they were the important leaders among the followers of Jesus. Do you like information about the future?
“Then Jesus’ mother
And his brothers
Came to him.
But they could not reach him
Because of the crowd.”
Παρεγένετο δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ μήτηρ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ οὐκ ἠδύναντο συντυχεῖν αὐτῷ διὰ τὸν ὄχλον.
Luke said that Jesus’ mother (ἡ μήτηρ) and his brothers (καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ) came to him (Παρεγένετο δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν). However, they could not reach him (καὶ οὐκ ἠδύναντο συντυχεῖν αὐτῷ) because of the crowd (διὰ τὸν ὄχλον). Mark, chapter 3:31, and Matthew, chapter 12:46, have something similar. Mark said that his mother and brothers came to see Jesus, but apparently, they could not reach him because of the crowd, so that they were standing outside. Matthew said that while Jesus was still speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers were standing outside. They wanted to speak to him. This brings up all kinds of questions. Who were these unnamed brothers? To what extent was Jesus estranged from his family? According to Matthew, Jesus had been near to John the Baptist and his early apostles Peter, Andrew, John, James and Matthew. These brothers could be biological brothers, half-brothers from a first marriage of Joseph, or cousin relatives. The Hebrew and Aramaic language did not have a distinctive word for cousins, so that the word “brother” was often used to mean more than a true biological brother. However, the Greek language did have a specific word for cousins. Just as today, people sometimes refer to others as brothers or sisters, when there is no biological link. The traditional belief of Christians, even through the Reformation period, had been that Mary was a virgin, so that Jesus was her only divine son. Thus, here the unnamed mother and the unnamed brothers of Jesus were outside wanting to speak to Jesus. In Mark, chapter 6:3, and Matthew, chapter 13:55–56, there are explicit names for the brothers of Jesus. They clearly were relatives of Jesus, but exactly how close a relative is not clear. Do you know all your relatives?
Whom he named Peter,
And his brother
Σίμωνα, ὃν καὶ ὠνόμασεν, Πέτρον καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ, καὶ Ἰάκωβον καὶ Ἰωάνην, καὶ Φίλιππον καὶ Βαρθολομαῖον,
Luke then gave a list of these 12 apostles. The first six named were Simon (Σίμωνα), whom he renamed Peter (ὃν καὶ ὠνόμασεν, Πέτρον), his brother Andrew (καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ), as well as James (καὶ Ἰάκωβον), John (καὶ Ἰωάνην), Philip (καὶ Φίλιππον), and Bartholomew (καὶ Βαρθολομαῖον). This section about the names of the 12 apostles is similar to Mark, chapter 3:16-19 and Matthew, chapter 10:2-4. This list can also be compared to the list in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 1:13. There are some discrepancies with these names. First on all the lists was Simon. Luke said that Jesus named him Peter, not merely known as Peter. Next Luke had Andrew, the brother of Peter, but he never mentioned him in the call of the first disciples in chapter 5:1-11. Next were the 2 brothers James and John, who were mentioned earlier. James was always listed first. However, they were not called the sons of Zebedee, as they were in the other gospel stories. Mark had a longer explanation about them, calling them the sons of thunder. Clearly, these 4 apostles were considered the most important with Peter at the top of this group, while James played an important role also. The role of Andrew, the brother of Peter, was more ambiguous. They are no longer called the 12 disciples (δώδεκα μαθητὰς) but the 12 apostles (δὲ δώδεκα ἀποστόλων). They had changed from being mere followers (μαθητὰς) to now being sent out as apostles (ἀποστόλων). Matthew had already mentioned, the call of the first 4 disciples in chapter 4:18-22. Now they became the first 4 named apostles. Philip and Bartholomew came next as 5 and 6 in all the lists of the apostles, without any other information about them.
“Levi got up.
He left everything.
He followed Jesus.”
καὶ καταλιπὼν πάντα ἀναστὰς ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ.
Luke said that Levi got up (ἀναστὰς). He left everything (καὶ καταλιπὼν πάντα). He followed Jesus (ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ). Both Mark, chapter 2:14, and Matthew, chapter 9:9, said almost the same thing. They said that Levi got up and followed Jesus without any need to explain why or how he was doing this. At this point in other two gospels, Levi or Matthew was the 5th named apostle after the brothers Simon Peter and Andrew, and the Zebedee brothers James and John. However, for Luke, he was only the 4th, since Luke did not mention Andrew at all.
“When they had brought
They left everything.
They followed Jesus.”
καὶ καταγαγόντες τὰ πλοῖα ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν, ἀφέντες πάντα ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ.
Luke has a simple statement compared to Mark and Matthew. He said that when these fishermen had brought their boats to land (καὶ καταγαγόντες τὰ πλοῖα ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν), they left everything (ἀφέντες πάντα). They followed Jesus (ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ). This is like Mark, chapter 1:19-20, or Matthew, chapter 4:19-20. There Jesus said to them to come and follow after him, since he was going to make them fishers of human people. They immediately left their nets and followed or accompanied Jesus, like an Israelite prophetic call, since Jesus had spoken directly to these two men. He issued an invitation that seemed like a command at the same time. They followed after Jesus, no matter what. Like the Hebrew prophets, their response was immediate, without any hesitation. They left their fishing nets, as both Simon Peter and Andrew, his brother, became disciples of Jesus. The other two brothers, James and John left both their boat and also their father Zebedee. However, in Luke, there was no mention of Andrew, the brother of Simon, or any direct formal call to these fishermen. The results were the same. There were either 3 or 4 new full disciples of Jesus.
“There were also
The sons of Zebedee,
Who were partners
Then Jesus said
‘Do not be afraid!
From now on
You will be
ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Ἰάκωβον καὶ Ἰωάνην υἱοὺς Ζεβεδαίου, οἳ ἦσαν κοινωνοὶ τῷ Σίμωνι. καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Σίμωνα ὁ Ἰησοῦς Μὴ φοβοῦ· ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν ἀνθρώπους ἔσῃ ζωγρῶ
Suddenly, Luke introduced two other people, the sons of Zebedee, James and John, who are companions or partners of Simon. There is no mention of Simon’s brother Andrew here, but he played a major role in the other 3 gospels. In John, chapter 1:35-42, Andrew, Simon’s brother, was a disciple of John the Baptist. There is a major difference between Luke here and Matthew, chapter 4:18-22, and Mark, chapter 1:17-18, who were very similar. They did not have the elaborate story about the fishing in the Sea of Galilee that is here. Mark and Matthew had the brothers Simon and Andrew being fishermen that Jesus saw along the Sea of Galilee, casting or dropping a net into the sea. Mark did not mention the other name of Simon as Peter, like Matthew did. However, it was common for people to have both a Hebrew name like Simon and a Greek name like Peter. John, chapter 1:40-42, had these two brothers from the town of Bethsaida. Mark and Matthew also introduced John and James, the fisherman sons of Zebedee. Zebedee might have been fairly successful, since he was explicitly mentioned and seemed to own a boat. These two brothers, James and John, were in a boat mending their fishing nets with their father, not casting them out to sea. Luke said that James and John, the sons of Zebedee (ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Ἰάκωβον καὶ Ἰωάνην υἱοὺς Ζεβεδαίου), were partners or companions with Simon (οἳ ἦσαν κοινωνοὶ τῷ Σίμωνι), so that they may have shared a boat or boats. Then Jesus told Simon (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Σίμωνα ὁ Ἰησοῦς) not to be afraid (Μὴ φοβοῦ). From now on, he would be catching people or men, not fish (ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν ἀνθρώπους ἔσῃ ζωγρῶ). They were no longer going to fish for marine life, but human life. They were to be on the hunt for humans, and not fish.
Now Simon’s mother-in-law
From a high fever.
They asked him
Ἀναστὰς δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς συναγωγῆς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Σίμωνος. πενθερὰ δὲ τοῦ Σίμωνος ἦν συνεχομένη πυρετῷ μεγάλῳ, καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν περὶ αὐτῆς.
Luke said that Jesus left the synagogue (Ἀναστὰς δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς συναγωγῆς) in Capernaum. He then entered Simon’s house (εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Σίμωνος) that was probably in Capernaum also. Simon’s mother-in-law (πενθερὰ δὲ τοῦ Σίμωνος) was suffering from a high fever (ἦν συνεχομένη πυρετῷ μεγάλῳ). They asked or appealed to Jesus about her (καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν περὶ αὐτῆς). Matthew, chapter 8:14, and Mark, chapter 1:29-30, both have something similar, as well. Mark said that as soon as Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon and Andrew, his brother, nor just Simon’s house. Thus, this may have been a family residence. Matthew said clearly it was Peter’s house, using his Greek name that Jesus gave him. Only Mark mentioned James and John being there also. In Luke and Mark, Jesus was leaving the synagogue, so that this would be the second healing on the Sabbath. However, Matthew had them coming here after curing the centurion’s servant. Anyway, Jesus and his disciples were in a place that Simon or Peter stayed or lived in Capernaum. This residence of Simon may have become the headquarters for Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. In Matthew, Jesus saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed sick with a fever, so that no one had to tell him about it, as in Mark and Luke. In all three gospel stories, she was sick with a fever, lying in bed. There is no indication of what kind of illness this was or whether it was chronic or severe. No one explained why Peter’s mother-in-law was living in this house. Was this a permanent arrangement? There were no indications of where Simon’s wife was, even if she was there, since there was no mention whatsoever of Peter’s wife in any of these stories.