Have mercy! (Lk 17:13-17:13)

“The lepers

Called out,

Saying.

‘Jesus!

Master!

Have mercy

On us!’”

 

καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦραν φωνὴν λέγοντες Ἰησοῦ Ἐπιστάτα, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς

 

Only Luke has this story about the curing of the ten lepers.  Luke indicated that the lepers cried out (καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦραν φωνὴν λέγοντες), calling Jesus “Master! (Ἰησοῦ Ἐπιστάτα)”.  They wanted him to have mercy on them (ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς).  This was a common approach to Jesus.  They wanted mercy or compassion.  They called Jesus their master, as if they were slaves.  Luke alone, among the biblical writers, used this term Ἐπιστάτα, that means master, teacher, chief, or commander, 7 times in this gospel.  However, they did not call him “Lord”.  What is your favorite title for Jesus?

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Father Abraham (Lk 16:24-16:24)

“The rich man

Called out.

‘Father Abraham!

Have mercy on me!

Send Lazarus

To dip

The tip

Of his finger

In water,

To cool my tongue!

I am in agony

In these flames.’”

 

καὶ αὐτὸς φωνήσας εἶπεν Πάτερ Ἀβραάμ, ἐλέησόν με καὶ πέμψον Λάζαρον ἵνα βάψῃ τὸ ἄκρον τοῦ δακτύλου αὐτοῦ ὕδατος καὶ καταψύξῃ τὴν γλῶσσάν μου, ὅτι ὀδυνῶμαι ἐν τῇ φλογὶ ταύτῃ

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, but not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the rich man called out (καὶ αὐτὸς φωνήσας εἶπεν) to Abraham, calling him father (Πάτερ Ἀβραάμ).  He wanted Abraham to have mercy on him (ἐλέησόν με).  He wanted him to send Lazarus (καὶ πέμψον Λάζαρον) to dip the tip of his finger (ἵνα βάψῃ τὸ ἄκρον τοῦ δακτύλου αὐτοῦ) in water (ὕδατος) to cool his tongue (καὶ καταψύξῃ τὴν γλῶσσάν μου) because he was suffering in agony (ὅτι ὀδυνῶμαι) from all those flames (ἐν τῇ φλογὶ ταύτῃ).  Once again, Luke has a unique use among the biblical writers of the Greek word καταψύξῃ, meaning to cool or refresh.  This rich man was suffering in a burning hell.  He wanted Abraham to send Lazarus to make life easier for him.  Are you afraid of a burning hell?

 

Jesus told the little girl to get up (Lk 8:54-8:54)

“But Jesus

Took the little girl

By the hand.

He called out.

‘Child!

Get up!’”

 

αὐτὸς δὲ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς ἐφώνησεν λέγων Ἡ παῖς, ἔγειρ

 

Luke said that Jesus took her by the hand (αὐτὸς δὲ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς) and called out saying (ἐφώνησεν λέγων) to the child (Ἡ παῖς) to get up (ἔγειρ).  This curing of this young girl was similar to what can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:25, and Mark, chapter 5:41-42.  However, only Mark went into more detail by using Aramaic words to cure her.  Mark said that Jesus took her by the hand and then said to her, “Talitha cum (Ταλιθὰ κούμ)!” which means “Little girl! Get up or arise!”  Immediately, the girl arose or got up.  She began to walk.  She was 12 years old, the same number of years that the lady suffered from the blood flow.  At this, the crowd was immediately overcome with great amazement.  The use and explanation of Aramaic may indicate an oral source for this story that may have been told originally in Aramaic.  Mark felt compelled to explain this to his Greek non-Aramaic audience.  Matthew had a very succinct story.  Jesus had the crowds put outside.  Then he went into where the dead girl was.  He took her by the hand.  Then this girl got up, without Jesus saying any words.  This is somewhat like the prophet Elijah who brought a child back to life in 1 Kings, chapter 17:17-24.  Have you ever witnessed a miracle?

Listen if you have ears! (Lk 8:8-8:8)

“As he said this,

Jesus called out.

‘Let anyone

With ears

To hear,

Listen!’”

 

ταῦτα λέγων ἐφώνει Ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν ἀκουέτω.

 

This warning at the end of the sower parable can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, in Matthew, chapter 13:8, Mark, chapter 4:9, and here.  Luke ended this parable by having Jesus call out (ταῦτα λέγων ἐφώνει).  Anyone with ears to hear (Ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν), should listen (ἀκουέτω) to this parable, the same in all 3 gospel stories.  Jesus warned them.  He often mentioned the importance of hearing and listening to what he was saying.  Are you a good listener?

John said that the marriage of Herod was not lawful (Mk 6:18-6:18)

“John had been telling

Herod.

‘It is not lawful

For you

To have

Your brother’s wife.’”

 

ἔλεγεν γὰρ ὁ Ἰωάνης τῷ Ἡρῴδῃ ὅτι Οὐκ ἔξεστίν σοι ἔχειν τὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου.

 

This mention of John the Baptist telling King Herod that his marriage was not lawful can be found in Matthew, chapter 14:4, and here.  John had called out Herod for his marriage with Herodias, his brother’s recently divorced wife.  Mark said that John had told Herod (ἔλεγεν γὰρ ὁ Ἰωάνης τῷ Ἡρῴδῃ) that It was not lawful for him to have his brother’s wife as his wife (ὅτι Οὐκ ἔξεστίν σοι ἔχειν τὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου).  John the Baptist was not ambiguous and not afraid to express his beliefs.

Why were they afraid? (Mk 4:40-4:40)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Why are you afraid?

Have you still no faith?’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Τί δειλοί ἐστε οὕτως; πῶς οὐκ ἔχετε πίστιν;

 

This rebuke of Jesus can also be found in Matthew, chapter 8:26, and Luke, chapter 8:25, in a somewhat similar manner.  Mark said that Jesus then turned to his followers and asked them (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) why they were afraid (Τί δειλοί ἐστε οὕτως)?  Was it because they still had no faith (πῶς οὐκ ἔχετε πίστιν)?  Jesus called out his disciples for their lack of faith or trust, while showing his great power.  Perhaps, this was a slap at some of the early Christian followers of Jesus, who lacked a strong belief in him.

I do not know you (Mt 25:11-25:12)

“Later,

The other foolish bridesmaids

Came also.

They said.

‘Lord!

Lord!

Open to us.’

But he replied.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

I do not know you!’”

 

ὕστερον δὲ ἔρχονται καὶ αἱ λοιπαὶ παρθένοι λέγουσαι Κύριε, ἄνοιξον ἡμῖν

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶ

 

This parable story is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that after a while, the 5 foolish bridesmaids finally came to the wedding banquet (ὕστερον δὲ ἔρχονται καὶ αἱ λοιπαὶ παρθένοι).  They called out to the bridegroom calling him “Lord (λέγουσαι Κύριε κύριε)”.  They wanted him to open the door for them (ἄνοιξον ἡμῖν).  However, he replied (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς) to them, using the solemn pronouncement of Jesus’ phraseology (εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), saying he did not know them (οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶ).  The repudiation of the 5 foolish bridesmaids was complete.