The bad manager wasting things (Lk 16:1-16:1)

“Jesus said

To the disciples.

‘There was a rich man

Who had a house manager.

Charges were brought

To the rich man

That this manager

Was squandering

His property.’”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητάς Ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν πλούσιος ὃς εἶχεν οἰκονόμον, καὶ οὗτος διεβλήθη αὐτῷ ὡς διασκορπίζων τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ.

 

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 to his disciples (Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητάς) that there was a rich man (Ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν πλούσιος).  He had a manager of his affairs, a household manager, a steward, or a guardian (ὃς εἶχεν οἰκονόμον).  Luke used this unique Greek word οἰκονομεῖν, meaning household manager.  Although traditionally, he has been called a steward in English, household manager seems more correct.  However, charges were brought to the rich man (καὶ οὗτος διεβλήθη αὐτῷ).  This Greek word διεβλήθη is found once in the New Testament literature, only here in this story or parable of Luke.  The word διεβλήθη means slander, complaint, or accusation.  Someone had accused this manager of squandering or wasting this rich man’s property or possessions (ὡς διασκορπίζων τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ).  This rich man had a house manager taking care of his possessions.  Apparently, it was reported to him, that his manager was not doing a good job and may have been taking some of his property.  It is not exactly clear, but there were some problems.  Have you ever had a problem with someone who was to manage something for you?

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He took care of him (Lk 10:34-10:34)

“The Samaritan

Approached him.

He bandaged

His wounds.

He poured oil

And wine

On them.

Then he put him

On his own animal.

He brought him

To an inn.

He took care of him.”

 

καὶ προσελθὼν κατέδησεν τὰ τραύματα αὐτοῦ ἐπιχέων ἔλαιον καὶ οἶνον, ἐπιβιβάσας δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ ἴδιον κτῆνος ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν εἰς πανδοχεῖον καὶ ἐπεμελήθη αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke continued his unique story.  Jesus said that this Samaritan went to or approached this wounded man (καὶ προσελθὼν), instead of crossing over to the other side of the road.  He bandaged his wounds (κατέδησεν τὰ τραύματα αὐτοῦ) and poured oil and wine on them (ἐπιχέων ἔλαιον καὶ οἶνον).  Apparently, oil and wine were like medicine to heal the wounds.  Then he put him on his own animal (ἐπιβιβάσας δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ ἴδιον κτῆνος), either a horse or a mule.  He then brought him to an inn (ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν εἰς πανδοχεῖον).  This Samaritan really took care of this wounded man (καὶ ἐπεμελήθη αὐτοῦ).  This underclass Samaritan stepped up.  He helped the wounded half dead man by the wayside.  He apparently was ready for this kind of thing, because he had bandages, oil, and wine with him.  He even was traveling with an animal, probably a mule.  There was no mention of any animal with the priest or the Levite.  Thus, we have the famous saying about Good Samaritans, based on this story, someone unrelated, who shows up and helps a person in need.  This Good Samaritan story has become part of our contemporary secular cultural language.  Thus, this story has reached beyond a pure religious context.  However, the assumptions are always that the helping person was motivated by a higher calling.  Have you ever been a Good Samaritan?

Look at my son (Lk 9:38-9:38)

“Just then,

A man

From the crowd

Shouted out.

‘Teacher!

I beg you

To look at my son!

He is my only child.’”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου ἐβόησεν λέγων Διδάσκαλε, δέομαί σου ἐπιβλέψαι ἐπὶ τὸν υἱόν μου, ὅτι μονογενής μοί ἐστιν,

 

Luke said that just then a man from the crowd shouted out (ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου ἐβόησεν λέγων) “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε)!”  He begged Jesus to look at his son (δέομαί σου ἐπιβλέψαι ἐπὶ τὸν υἱόν μου) who was his only child (ὅτι μονογενής μοί ἐστιν).  Jesus and Luke had an affection for only children.  This story of the man with the incurable son can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:15, Mark, chapter 9:17-18, and here in Luke, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Mark said that it was someone from the crowd who spoke to Jesus, not a kneeling man as in Matthew.  This man addressed Jesus as “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε),” like Luke, and not as “Lord (Κύριε)” as in Matthew.  He had brought his son to Jesus because his son had a spirit that made him unable to speak.  He was not immediately identified as an epileptic, but as a mute person.  Matthew said that a man approached Jesus and knelt before him.  Only Matthew has this man kneel in front of Jesus.  Thus, this was a kneeling man, not someone from the crowd yelling out to Jesus.  This man addressed Jesus as the Lord (Κύριε).  He wanted Jesus to have mercy on his son, who was an epileptic, not mute.  Epileptics were often considered to be possessed by the devil.  Even today, we are still unsure of the exact cause of epilepsy seizures.  This man’s son suffered very badly.  He often fell into a fire and into water.  Have you ever known a chronically sick child?

The sinning woman with oil (Lk 7:37-7:37)

“A woman,

Who was a sinner

In that town,

Learned

That Jesus

Was eating

In the Pharisee’s house.

She brought

An alabaster bottle

Of Myron ointment.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ ἥτις ἦν ἐν τῇ πόλει ἁμαρτωλός, καὶ ἐπιγνοῦσα ὅτι κατάκειται ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ Φαρισαίου, κομίσασα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου

 

Luke said that a woman who was a sinner (καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ…ἁμαρτωλός) in that town (ἦν ἐν τῇ πόλει) learned or knew (καὶ ἐπιγνοῦσα) that Jesus was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house (ὅτι κατάκειται ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ Φαρισαίου).  She brought an alabaster bottle of oil, ointment, or Myron (κομίσασα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου).  Her specific sin was not mentioned here, but she might have been a prostitute, since she was publically known in the town as a sinner by many of those there at this dinner party.  However, she brought an elegant alabaster bottle of oil or Myron.   There was a similar story with a sinning woman coming with a jar of oil in Matthew, chapter 26:6, Mark, chapter 14:3, and John, chapter 12:1, but within a different context, at Bethany and nearly right before the crucifixion of Jesus.  John identified this woman as Mary, the sister of Lazarus.  Some have identified this sinning woman as Mary Magdalene.  Here Jesus was at the house of a Pharisee, when this woman also brought an alabaster oil bottle.  Do you know any sinning women?

They follow Jesus (Lk 5:11-5:11)

“When they had brought

Their boats

To land,

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.

The healings (Lk 4:40-4:40)

“As the sun

Was setting,

All those who had

Any person

Who was sick

With various kinds

Of diseases,

Brought them

To Jesus.

He laid his hands

On each of them.

He cured them.”

 

Δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου ἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλαις ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν· ὁ δὲ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιτιθεὶς ἐθεράπευεν αὐτούς.

 

Luke said that as the sun was setting (Δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου), all those who had any person who was sick with various kinds of diseases (ἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλαις) brought them to Jesus. (ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν).  This would not have been the Sabbath, because the sun had set on the Sabbath.  Jesus laid his hands on each of them (ὁ δὲ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιτιθεὶς) and so he cured them (ἐθεράπευεν αὐτούς).  Luke concentrated on the sick people, emphasized healing.  There are similar generic statements about healing sick and chasing out demons in Mark, chapter 1:32-33, and Matthew, chapter 8:16.  Matthew emphasized the casting out of demons.  Jesus cast out these demons with merely a word.  At the same time, he also healed all the sick people around there, without indicating how this was done.  Apparently, during biblical times, there were a lot of people who were possessed by the devil.  Mark was the only one to mention that the whole city gathered at his door.  Mark said that they brought to him all who had a sickness or were possessed with demons.  Jesus was also a daring faith healer, since many saw the connection between both sickness and demonic evil spirit possession.

The parents of Jesus appear (Lk 2:27-2:27)

“Guided

By the Spirit,

Simeon came

Into the temple.

The parents

Brought in

Their child Jesus,

To do for him

What was customary

Under the law.”

 

καὶ ἦλθεν ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι εἰς τὸ ἱερόν· καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς τὸ παιδίον Ἰησοῦν τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ,

 

Luke said that Simeon, guided by the Holy Spirit (ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι), went into the Jerusalem Temple (καὶ ἦλθεν…εἰς τὸ ἱερόν).  Then the parents of the child Jesus brought him into the Temple (καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς τὸ παιδίον Ἰησοῦν τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς) for the customary actions under the Law (κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ).  Unfortunately, there were no ordinary customs for the children, since the purification ritual was for the mother.  It was rare for a mother to offer up her son to God.  Normally, the 2 birds were sufficient as an offering for the first-born male child.  Nevertheless, Simeon was there in the Temple when Mary, Joseph, and the child Jesus came into the Jerusalem Temple.