Luke indicated that Jesus said to be on guard or aware (Προσέχετε δὲ ἑαυτοῖς), so that their hearts should not be weighed down (μή ποτε βαρηθῶσιν ὑμῶν αἱ καρδίαι) with dissipation (ἐν κραιπάλῃ), drunkenness (καὶ μέθῃ), and the daily worries of this life (καὶ μερίμναις βιωτικαῖς). Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use this term κραιπάλῃ, that means drunken nausea or drunken dissipation. Thus, the day of the end times would not suddenly catch you unexpectedly (καὶ ἐπιστῇ ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς αἰφνίδιος ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείνη). There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:43 and Mark, chapter 13:35. Mark indicated that Jesus said that they were to be aware (Βλέπετε) and alert all the time (ἀγρυπνεῖτε), because they did not know (οὐκ οἴδατε) when the end times (γὰρ πότε ὁ καιρός ἐστιν) would come. Luke, chapter 12:39-40, also had something similar about the thief at night. Jesus warned his disciples to be vigilant. They were to stay awake (γρηγορεῖτε οὖν), because they did not know on what day (ὅτι οὐκ οἴδατε ποίᾳ ἡμέρᾳ) the Lord was coming (ὁ κύριος ὑμῶν ἔρχεται). Therefore, they had to be ready or prepared (διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ὑμεῖς γίνεσθε ἕτοιμοι) for the coming of the Son of Man (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἔρχεται) because he would be coming at an unexpected hour (ὅτι ᾗ οὐ δοκεῖτε ὥρᾳ). This is also similar to the parable ending in Matthew, chapter 25:13, about the virgins at the wedding being vigilant. This was a simple message to be vigilant all the time, because your end or the end of the world could happen at any time. Are you ready to go?
Luke indicated that Jesus said (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that they should be aware (Βλέπετε) and not be led astray (ὴ πλανηθῆτε) because many people would come in his name (πολλοὶ γὰρ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου). They would say (λέγοντες) that they were Jesus (Ἐγώ εἰμι) and that the end time was near (καί Ὁ καιρὸς ἤγγικεν). However, they were not to go after them (μὴ πορευθῆτε ὀπίσω αὐτῶν). There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:4-5, and in Mark, chapter 13:5-6, almost word for word. Mark said that Jesus began to tell them about people who might lead them astray (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἤρξατο λέγειν αὐτοῖς). He told them that they should be aware, so that they would not be led astray or be misled (Βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς πλανήσῃ). They had to be cautious, so as not to be deceived. Jesus said that many people would come in his name (πολλοὶ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου) saying that they were the One (λέγοντες ὅτι Ἐγώ εἰμι). They would try to deceive them by leading them astray (καὶ πολλοὺς πλανήσουσιν). In Matthew, Jesus warned them against people who might lead them astray (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς πλανήσῃ). Many people would come in his name (πολλοὶ γὰρ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου) saying that they were the Messiah Christ (λέγοντες Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Χριστός). Matthew explicitly mentioned the Christ, but this was not in the other accounts. They would say this in order to deceive them and lead them astray (καὶ πολλοὺς πλανήσουσιν). Apparently, there were many deceptive Jewish messianic leaders who were saying that they were the Christ Messiah. John the Baptist was an example of a messianic leader in the 1st century CE. Other political Jewish leaders had messianic ambitions also, especially those who led the revolt against the Romans in the 2nd half of the 1st century. Jesus was warning against all of them. Have people tried to deceive you?
Luke had Jesus deliver a diatribe against the Scribes. Jesus said to be aware of the Scribes (Προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων), because they like to walk around in long robes (τῶν θελόντων περιπατεῖν ἐν στολαῖς). They love to be greeted with respect in the market places (φιλούντων ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς). They love to have the best front seats in the synagogues (καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς). They love the front places of honor at banquets (καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις). There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:38-39, and Matthew, chapter 23:6-7 who had a much longer diatribe against both the Scribes and the Pharisees. Mark indicated that as Jesus taught (Καὶ ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ), he told them to be aware of the Scribes (ἔλεγεν Βλέπετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων). These Scribes walked around in long robes (τῶν θελόντων ἐν στολαῖς περιπατεῖν). They loved to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces (καὶ ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς). They loved the front seats in the assembly synagogues (καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς). They loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts (καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις). Matthew indicated that Jesus said that both the Pharisees and the Scribes loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts (φιλοῦσιν δὲ τὴν πρωτοκλισίαν ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις) and the best or front seats in the assembly synagogues (καὶ τὰς πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς). They loved to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces (καὶ τοὺς ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς). They loved to have people call them rabbi (καὶ καλεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων Ῥαββεί), since this was an Aramaic term that generally meant great teacher or master. While Luke and Mark only mentioned the Scribes, Matthew also named the Pharisees along with the Scribes as being these elite social butterflies. Do you like the front row seats?
Luke said that Jesus perceived, understood, or discerned (κατανοήσας) their cunning craftiness (δὲ αὐτῶν τὴν πανουργίαν). There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 22:18, and in Mark, chapter 12:15. Mark said that Jesus was aware of their evil intentions or hypocrisy (ὁ δὲ εἰδὼς αὐτῶν τὴν ὑπόκρισιν). He asked them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) why were they testing or tempting him (Τί με πειράζετε)? This idea of testing or tricking Jesus was a common theme in the gospels. Matthew said that Jesus was aware of their evil intentions (γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὴν πονηρίαν αὐτῶν). He called them hypocrites (ὑποκριταί). He wanted to know why they were testing or tempting him (εἶπεν Τί με πειράζετε). This idea of testing or tricking Jesus was a common theme in the Gospel of Matthew, as in chapter 4:7, at the time of his temptations at the beginning of his ministry, as well as in chapter 16:1, when the Pharisees were asking for signs, and in chapter 19:3, when they were asking about divorce. Jesus referred to them as hypocrites in chapter 6:2-5, when they were praying in public places, and in chapter 6:16, when they were fasting, as well as in chapter 15:7, when they were dishonoring their parents in order to worship in the Temple. Do you consider yourself crafty?
Luke indicated that Jesus said to the crowds (Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις) that when they saw a cloud rising in the western setting sun (Ὅταν ἴδητε νεφέλην ἀνατέλλουσαν ἐπὶ δυσμῶν), they immediately say that a violent rain storm was coming (εὐθέως λέγετε ὅτι Ὄμβρος ἔρχεται,). Thus, it happened (καὶ γίνεται οὕτως). The use of the word Ὄμβρος, that means a violent rain storm was unique to Luke here among all the biblical literature. Jesus issued some weather commentary about the western setting sun wind and a violent rain storm. The western winds from the Mediterranean River meant that a rain storm was coming. There was something somewhat similar in Matthew, chapter 16:2, where Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees that they could read the signs in the sky about weather and storms, but they were unable to recognize the signs in their own world. Jesus said that at evening time, people would say that there would be fair weather if the setting sun in the sky was red. On the other hand, if the sky was red today in the morning, they thought that it would be a stormy day. Most farmers are aware of the red sky in the morning was a warning, while the red sky at night was a delight. Are you good at predicting the weather?
Luke continued with a diatribe against the Pharisees. Luke indicated that the crowd gathered by the thousands (Ἐν οἷς ἐπισυναχθεισῶν τῶν μυριάδων τοῦ ὄχλου), so that they trampled on one another (ὥστε καταπατεῖν ἀλλήλους). This was the first mention of a problem with crowd control. Jesus then began first to speak to his disciples (ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ πρῶτον). He told them that they should be aware (Προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς) of the yeast (ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης) that is the hypocrisy (ἥτις ἐστὶν ὑπόκρισις) of the Pharisees (τῶν Φαρισαίων). This saying about the yeast of the Pharisees can be found in Mark, chapter 8:16, and Matthew, chapter 16:6, but there are slight differences. Mark and Luke did not mention the Sadducees, but Matthew did. Matthew said that Jesus told his disciples to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matthew had a clear rebuff of both these groups and their growing yeast, leaven, or power that was expanding, but there was no mention of the Scribes. For Mark and Matthew, this discussion took place about bread on a boat trip. The disciples discovered that they had no food when they landed on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. However, Mark said that it took place while they were still in the boat. Mark was the only one to mention Herod, the Roman appointed political leader in Galilee. Mark said that Jesus cautioned or instructed his disciples. They were to watch out for and be aware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod. This was a clear rebuff of both the Pharisees and Herod. Their growing yeast, leaven, or power was expanding. Here, it is a simple warning against the Pharisees only. Do you know anybody who is a hypocrite?
Luke uniquely said that these Scribes, Pharisees, and lawyers were watching Jesus (ἐνεδρεύοντες αὐτὸν) to trap him (θηρεῦσαί) in something that that he might say or might come out of his mouth (τι ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ). Once again, Luke used a word that only appears here in all the Greek biblical literature, θηρεῦσαί, that means to hunt, seek, catch, entrap, or lay hold of. This section ended with greater hostility between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders. They were going to be aware of Jesus and try to catch him saying something in public. Are you careful about what you say?
Luke said that Jesus became aware of their inner heart thoughts (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἰδὼς τὸν διαλογισμὸν τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν). He took a little child (ἐπιλαβόμενος παιδίον). He put this child by his side (ἔστησεν αὐτὸ παρ’ ἑαυτῷ). This talk about Jesus and the little child can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:2, as well as Mark, chapters 9:36, with some changes. Mark said that Jesus took a little child. He then placed this little child in the middle or among his disciples. He held the child in his arms and then he spoke to his apostles. Matthew indicated that Jesus put an emphasis on becoming like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus called or summoned a little child. He placed this little child in the middle of his disciples. Then he made a solemn proclamation that they had to change or convert to become like little children. Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of heaven Whoever became humble like this little child in their midst, would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. The greatest in heaven would be the simple humble little children or those who acted like children, without power and depending on other people. What do you think the role of children should be?
Luke said that the friends of the centurion continued by saying he would not presume to come to Jesus (διὸ οὐδὲ ἐμαυτὸν ἠξίωσα πρὸς σὲ ἐλθεῖν). Instead, he wanted Jesus to only say the word (ἀλλὰ εἰπὲ λόγῳ), and thus his servant would be healed (καὶ ἰαθήτω ὁ παῖς μου). This saying of the centurion’s friends is exactly the same as the centurion himself in Matthew, chapter 8:8, perhaps indicating a Q source. The Roman centurion’s friends responded to Jesus that the centurion merely wanted Jesus to say the word, and then his servant would be healed. Perhaps, he was aware that Jewish people were not expected to go into the homes of gentiles like himself. Once again, this saying of the centurion and his friends has made its way into the Roman Catholic pre-communion prayer Eucharistic liturgy. Would you rely on the word of Jesus?
Luke had John respond to these tax collectors with another unique saying. Only Luke said that John told the tax collectors (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) that they were to collect no more than the amount prescribed for them (Μηδὲν πλέον παρὰ τὸ διατεταγμένον ὑμῖν πράσσετε). John simply wanted them to do their job. Apparently, many of these tax collectors would overcharge people and keep the difference. Everyone was aware of this somewhat common corrupt practice. John seemed to call for honesty and justice among these Jewish Roman tax collectors.