This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels. Luke indicated that Jesus said that a certain poor beggar (πτωχὸς δέ τις) lay at the gate of this rich man (ἐβέβλητο πρὸς τὸν πυλῶνα αὐτοῦ). He was named Lazarus (ὀνόματι Λάζαρος) and was covered with sores (εἱλκωμένος). Once again, Luke is the only one in all the biblical literature to use this Greek word εἱλκωμένος that means to wound, to ulcerate, or to suffer from sores. It was also unusual to give a name to this poor person, since most of the Jesus parables usually had unnamed people. The rich man was unnamed. Was this Lazarus connected to the brother of Martha and Mary in John, chapter 11? From this story, we know that Lazarus was poor and had many sores. There was no attempt to line him up with the women of Bethany, Martha and Mary. Do you personally know a poor person?
This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories. Luke indicated that Jesus said that this debtor answered (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that he owed a 100 jugs or baths of olive oil (Ἑκατὸν βάτους ἐλαίου). Once again, Luke used a word that does not appear any other place in the biblical literature, βάτους, that means a bath, an Israelite liquid measure, between eight and nine gallons. Thus, this unjust house manager said to this debtor (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) to take his bill (Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα). Then sitting down, quickly change it to 50 (καὶ καθίσας ταχέως γράψον πεντήκοντα). This would have been a 50% reduction from about 800 gallons of olive oil to 400 gallons. That was a nice gesture. Would his master and lord like that? Have you ever tried to reduce your debt?
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 prodigal son was going to say to his father that he was no longer worthy to be called his son (οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου). Instead, he wanted to be treated like one of his hired hands (ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου). Luke was the only writer in the biblical literature to use this term μισθίων 3 times within this story. μισθίων means a paid worker, a hired servant, or a hireling, but certainly not a slave. This unique term indicated that his father had hired people to work on his farm. Apparently, he did not use slaves. Have you ever disgraced your parents?
καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν ὑδρωπικὸς ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ.
Luke uniquely said that just then, there was a man (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπός τις) who had dropsy (ἦν ὑδρωπικὸς) in front of Jesus (ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ). How he got into this dinner is not clear. Dropsy is some kind of disease like edema, a swelling in the body because of fluid retention. This is the only time in the biblical literature that this word for dropsy ὑδρωπικὸς is mentioned. Once again, this may be an indication that Luke, the author, was knowledgeable about medical diseases. Have you ever heard of edema or dropsy?
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 indicated that Jesus, the Lord asked them (καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος) who was the faithful and prudent or wise household manager (Τίς ἄρα ἐστὶν ὁ πιστὸς οἰκονόμος ὁ φρόνιμος)? His lord or master would put him (ὃν καταστήσει ὁ κύριος) in charge to care (ὃν καταστήσει ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) for his other slaves. He would then give to the other slaves (αὐτοῦ τοῦ διδόναι) their correct allowance or measure of food (τὸ σιτομέτριον) at the proper time (ἐν καιρῷ). This is the only use of the word σιτομέτριον, meaning, a measured portion of food, in the biblical literature. There is a similar parable about this good slave in Matthew, chapter 24:45, almost word for word, indicating a possible Q source. Matthew indicated that Jesus asked who was the faithful and wise slave (Τίς ἄρα ἐστὶν ὁ πιστὸς δοῦλος καὶ φρόνιμος)? This lord or master had put this slave in charge over his other household slaves (ὃν κατέστησεν ὁ κύριος ἐπὶ τῆς οἰκετείας αὐτοῦ). He was to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time (τοῦ δοῦναι αὐτοῖς τὴν τροφὴν ἐν καιρῷ). The lord or master had put one wise and faithful servant in charge of his other slaves. Are you a wise and faithful servant of God?
Luke uniquely continued this episode with a response from Jesus. Luke indicated that Jesus responded by calling him “man” (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἄνθρωπε). Jesus said. “Who appointed me to be a judge or arbitrator over you (τίς με κατέστησεν κριτὴν ἢ μεριστὴν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς)?” This is the only time that the word μεριστὴν was used in the biblical literature, meaning someone who divided, partitioned, or arbitrated things. Luke indicated that Jesus did not want to get involved in these family disputes, as he did not want to judge this family. However, this did become an occasion for Jesus to talk about wealth. Is it good to have wealthy parents?
Luke said that all the people were weeping and wailing for the young girl (ἔκλαιον δὲ πάντες καὶ ἐκόπτοντο αὐτήν). However, Jesus told them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) not to weep (Μὴ κλαίετε). She was not dead (οὐκ ἀπέθανεν), but sleeping (ἀλλὰ καθεύδει). This episode of the crowd outside the house of Jairus with the dead or sleeping girl is similar to what can be found in Mark, chapter 5:38-39, and Matthew, chapter 9:23-24. Mark said that Jesus came to the house of this synagogue leader, where he saw this crowd commotion. The people were weeping and wailing loudly, definitely mourning for the dead young girl. Jesus then asked them why they were making such a big tumult? Why were they weeping? The girl was not dead, but only sleeping. Matthew said that Jesus arrived at this leader’s house, where he saw the mourning flute players. This is the only time that this word for flute players (αὐλητὰς) is found in the biblical literature. Neither Mark or Luke mentioned anything about flute players. The crowd was agitated. Jesus told them to go away, since the girl was not dead, but only sleeping. How do you handle the death of others?
This episode about the woman with flowing blood interrupted the story about the synagogue leader and his dying daughter. However, it can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:20, Mark, chapter 5:25, and Luke here. Thus, Mark might be the source. Luke said that a woman had been suffering from flowing blood (καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος) for 12 years (ἀπὸ ἐτῶν δώδεκα). Although she had spent all that she had on physicians (ἰατροῖς προσαναλώσασα ὅλον τὸν βίον), no one could cure her (ἥτις οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἀπ’ οὐδενὸς θεραπευθῆναι). This phrase about spending all her money on physicians was only in the Byzantine text. Mark, like Luke, who probably followed him, said that she had suffered from flowing blood, rather than hemorrhages. All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding. Mark and Luke had a more elaborate story, about her background. Mark said that she had endured or greatly suffered much under many physicians. Thus, she had spent all her money. Instead of helping her get better, she had actually become worse. She was in a desperate situation. Interesting enough, the word that Matthew used for hemorrhages (αἱμορροοῦσα) is only found there, but nowhere else in the biblical literature. Mark and Luke said that she had flowing blood. All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding. Could you suffer something for 12 years?
Luke followed the order of Mark, chapter 2:23, while Matthew, chapter 12:1, has this incident of plucking grain on the Sabbath later in his work. Luke said that on one Sabbath day (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν σαββάτῳ), while Jesus was going through some grain fields (διαπορεύεσθαι αὐτὸν διὰ σπορίμων), his disciples plucked some heads of grain (καὶ ἔτιλλον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ). This is the only use of the word “σπορίμων” in all of the biblical literature. All three synoptics used this word that meant a sown field or a grain field, so that they may have copied it from Mark. This is also the only time that the word “ἔτιλλον, plucking” appears in its various forms by the three synoptics. Once again, Mark may have the source for this word. The disciples rubbed these grains in their hands (ψώχοντες ταῖς χερσίν) and ate the heads of these grains (καὶ ἤσθιον τοὺς στάχυας). In Matthew and Luke, the disciples ended up eating the grain, but Mark did not explicitly mention that. Matthew was the only one to say that the disciples were hungry, but that may be presumed in the other 2 accounts. This leisurely Sabbath walk through the grain fields set up the problem of plucking grain on the Sabbath.