Jesus had commanded
The unclean spirit
To come out
Of the man.
It had seized him.
He was bound
He was kept
But he would break
He was driven
By the demon
Into the wild desert.”
παρήγγελλεν γὰρ τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ ἐξελθεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. πολλοῖς γὰρ χρόνοις συνηρπάκει αὐτόν, καὶ ἐδεσμεύετο ἁλύσεσιν καὶ πέδαις φυλασσόμενος, καὶ διαρήσσων τὰ δεσμὰ ἠλαύνετο ἀπὸ τοῦ δαιμονίου εἰς τὰς ἐρήμους.
Luke said that Jesus had commanded (παρήγγελλεν) the unclean spirit (γὰρ τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ) to come out of this man (ἐξελθεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου). Many times (πολλοῖς γὰρ χρόνοις), it had seized him (συνηρπάκει αὐτόν). Thus, he was bound with chains (καὶ ἐδεσμεύετο ἁλύσεσιν) and kept in foot shackles (καὶ πέδαις φυλασσόμενος). However, he would break the chains or bonds (καὶ διαρήσσων τὰ δεσμὰ). He was driven (ἠλαύνετο) by a demon (ἀπὸ τοῦ δαιμονίου) into the wild desert (εἰς τὰς ἐρήμους). Here in Luke, Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the demoniac. Mark, chapter 5:8, also indicated that Jesus said to the demoniac that this unclean spirit should come out of this man. Thus, Jesus spoke directly to the unclean spirit here also. While Matthew, chapter 8:28, just said that these possessed men were wild people, Mark, chapter 5:4-5, had an elaborate description much like this in Luke. Mark said that this demoniac had often been bound or restrained with foot shackles and chains. However, he tore up these chains and shattered his foot shackles into pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Constantly, all night and day, he was howling or crying among the tombs and on the hills or in the mountains. He was cutting or bruising himself with stones. This was not a pretty sight or a happy guy. Have you ever met a crazy possessed person?
“When they had done this,
So many fish
That their nets
καὶ τοῦτο ποιήσαντες συνέκλεισαν πλῆθος ἰχθύων πολύ· διερήσσετο δὲ τὰ δίκτυα αὐτῶν.
This is similar to John, chapter 21:6, where the nets were filled to capacity. Luke said that when they did what Jesus had told them to do (καὶ τοῦτο ποιήσαντες), they caught so many fish (συνέκλεισαν πλῆθος ἰχθύων πολύ) that their nets were beginning to break (διερήσσετο δὲ τὰ δίκτυα αὐτῶν). The moral was to do what Jesus said. Then all will be well for you in abundance.
“By the tender mercy
Of our God,
From on high
διὰ σπλάγχνα ἐλέους Θεοῦ ἡμῶν, ἐν οἷς ἐπισκέψεται ἡμᾶς ἀνατολὴ ἐξ ὕψους,
Luke continued Zechariah’s canticle with an insistence on the mercy of their God. Zechariah said that by the heart felt tender mercy and compassion of their God (διὰ σπλάγχνα ἐλέους Θεοῦ ἡμῶν), a new day or a sunrise (ἀνατολὴ) from on high (ἐξ ὕψους) would break out upon them or visit them (ἐν οἷς ἐπισκέψεται ἡμᾶς). As many of the prophets had pointed out already. the messiah or savior would come like a sunrise to break into their lives. So too, John, his son, would be part of this process that would culminate in Jesus.
“Now at the hour
Of the incense offering
The whole assembly
Of the people
Was praying outside.”
καὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ προσευχόμενον ἔξω τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος.
Luke said that at the hour or time of the incense offering (τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος), the whole assembly or the multitude of the people (αὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ) was praying outside (προσευχόμενον ἔξω). This time or hour of the incense offering was also known as the hour of prayer. Twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, one of the chosen priests went to the incense altar in front of the holy of holies. The rest of the assembly stayed outside praying. Thus, there was a break between the people and the priests outside and the one chosen priest offering the incense in the inner sanctuary. However, both were engaged in daily prayer.
To human tradition!’
Then he said to them.
‘You have a fine way
ἀφέντες τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ κρατεῖτε τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν ἀνθρώπων.
καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Καλῶς ἀθετεῖτε τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἵνα τὴν παράδοσιν ὑμῶν τηρήσητε.
There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 15:3. Mark indicated that Jesus said that they had abandoned or neglected the commandments of God (ἀφέντες τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ). Instead, they followed or kept their own human traditions or instructions (κρατεῖτε τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν ἀνθρώπων). This is a question that many Evangelical Christians ask about mainline Christian Churches, especially Catholics and Orthodox, that have strong Christian traditions. However, sometimes, new traditions are hard to break also. This seems to set a dichotomy against God’s commandments and human religious traditions. Some ancient manuscripts added the section that was in chapter 7:4 here. There are many other traditions that they hold or observe (καὶ ἄλλα πολλά ἐστιν ἃ παρέλαβον κρατεῖν) about washing cups (βαπτισμοὺς ποτηρίων), pots (καὶ ξεστῶν), and bronze plates (καὶ χαλκίων). Then Jesus said to them (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) that they had a fine honorable way of rejecting the commandments of God (Καλῶς ἀθετεῖτε τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ), in order to keep their own traditions (ἵνα τὴν παράδοσιν ὑμῶν τηρήσητε). This last saying was not in Matthew. This is a very strong rejection of Jewish traditional religious practices.
“Jesus answered them.
‘Why do you break
The commandment of God
For the sake of your tradition?”
ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Διὰ τί καὶ ὑμεῖς παραβαίνετε τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ διὰ τὴν παράδοσιν ὑμῶν;
There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 7:8. Jesus responded to the Pharisees (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς). He wanted to know why they broke or violated the commandments or command of God (Διὰ τί καὶ ὑμεῖς παραβαίνετε τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ) for the sake of their own tradition or instructions (διὰ τὴν παράδοσιν ὑμῶν). This is a question that many Evangelical Christians ask about mainline Christian Churches, especially Catholics and Orthodox, that have strong Christian traditions. However, sometimes, new traditions are hard to break also. This seems to set a dichotomy against God’s commandments and human religious traditions.
“He will not quarrel.
He will not cry aloud.
They will not hear his voice
In the streets.
He will not break
A bruised reed.
He will not quench
A smoldering wick,
Until he brings justice to victory.
In his name,
The gentiles will hope.”
οὐκ ἐρίσει οὐδὲ κραυγάσει, οὐδὲ ἀκούσει τις ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ.
κάλαμον συντετριμμένον οὐ κατεάξει καὶ λίνον τυφόμενον οὐ σβέσει, ἕως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ εἰς νῖκος τὴν κρίσιν.
καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν.
Second Isaiah, chapter 42:2-4, described this servant of Yahweh. He would not cry nor lift up his voice in the streets. He would not break the bruised reeds nor put out a dimly burning wick on a candle. In other words, he would be a very quiet person. However, he would fight for justice. He would not be faint or crushed, until he has established justice on the whole earth. Matthew clearly applied this description to Jesus since Jesus would not quarrel or be contentious (οὐκ ἐρίσει). Jesus would not cry out or shout (οὐδὲ κραυγάσει). They would not hear Jesus’ voice in the streets (οὐδὲ ἀκούσει τις ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ). Jesus would not break a bruised reed into pieces (κάλαμον συντετριμμένον οὐ κατεάξει). Jesus would not quench a smoldering wick on a candle (καὶ λίνον τυφόμενον οὐ σβέσει). Jesus would bring justice to victory (ἕως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ εἰς νῖκος τὴν κρίσιν). In the name of Jesus (καὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ), the gentile nations would hope (ἔθνη ἐλπιοῦσιν). There was no doubt in the mind of Matthew that Jesus was the servant of Yahweh from Isaiah.