Luke uniquely had Jesus continue this parable with the introduction of a bad judge who didn’t care about God or other people. Luke indicated that Jesus said (λέγων) that in a certain city (ἦν ἔν τινι πόλει), there was a particular judge (Κριτής τις), who neither feared God (τὸν Θεὸν μὴ φοβούμενος) nor had respect or regard for other humans (καὶ ἄνθρωπον μὴ ἐντρεπόμενος). Have you ever met a bad judge?
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 the rich man responded to Abraham (εἶπεν δέ), calling him father (πάτερ). He begged Abraham (Ἐρωτῶ σε οὖν) to send Lazarus (ἵνα πέμψῃς αὐτὸν) to his father’s house (εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ πατρός μου). This rich man said that he had five brothers (ἔχω γὰρ πέντε ἀδελφούς). He wanted Lazarus to warn them (ὅπως διαμαρτύρηται αὐτοῖς). Thus, they might not also come into this toremented place (ἵνα μὴ καὶ αὐτοὶ ἔλθωσιν εἰς τὸν τόπον τοῦτον τῆς βασάνου). The rich man wanted Abraham to send Lazarus back to his family home to warn his 5 brothers, since he could not himself warn them. This was an act of kindness on his part to care about his 5 brothers. Would Lazarus be able to do this? Would you want to warn your family members if you were in hell?
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 this young prodigal son went and hired himself out (καὶ πορευθεὶς ἐκολλήθη) to one of the citizens of that country (ἑνὶ τῶν πολιτῶν τῆς χώρας ἐκείνης), where he was living. This land owner sent him to his fields (καὶ ἔπεμψεν αὐτὸν εἰς τοὺς ἀγροὺς αὐτοῦ) to feed the pigs (βόσκειν χοίρους). Obvious, this was a non-Jewish country where pigs were raised for food, not a Jewish country where there would be no pork eaten. What could be more humiliating for a Jewish person than taking care of unclean swine or pigs? Have you ever had a job that you felt was degrading to you?
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 had Jesus give a simple solution. Instead of worrying, they were to strive or seek (πλὴν ζητεῖτε) his kingdom (τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ). Then all these things would be given to them as well (καὶ ταῦτα προστεθήσεται ὑμῖν). Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:33, had a similar Jesus saying, indicating a common Q source, as the same theme continued. Thus, they should seek or strive first (ζητεῖτε δὲ πρῶτον) for the kingdom (τὴν βασιλείαν) and his righteousness (καὶ τὴν δικαιοσύνην αὐτοῦ). Then all these other things would be taken care of for them (καὶ ταῦτα πάντα προστεθήσεται ὑμῖν). Do you seek the kingdom of God?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that the nations of the world (τὰ ἔθνη τοῦ κόσμου) seek after (ἐπιζητοῦσιν) all these things (ταῦτα γὰρ πάντα). However, your Father (ὑμῶν δὲ ὁ Πατὴρ) knows (οἶδεν) that you need them (ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων). Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:32, had a similar Jesus saying, indicating a common Q source, as the same theme continued. Matthew attacked the gentile, non-Jewish people, what Luke called “the nations of the world”. Matthew had Jesus say that those were the kinds of questions that gentiles sought or asked about (πάντα γὰρ ταῦτα τὰ ἔθνη ἐπιζητοῦσιν). Their heavenly Father knew about everything that they needed (οἶδεν γὰρ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων ἁπάντων). They should not be worried, since their heavenly Father would take care of them, unlike all the other gentile, non-Jewish countries who needed to worry. Do you worry a lot?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that if God clothed (ὁ Θεὸς οὕτως ἀμφιέζει) the grass of the field (εἰ δὲ ἐν ἀγρῷ τὸν χόρτον), that is alive today (ὄντα σήμερον) yet tomorrow (καὶ αὔριον) is thrown into the oven or furnace (εἰς κλίβανον βαλλόμενον), how much more will he clothe them (πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμᾶς) of little faith (ὀλιγόπιστοι). Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:30, had a similar Jesus saying, almost word for word, indicating a common Q source. Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the Father, and not God as here, clothed the field grass that is here today (εἰ δὲ τὸν χόρτον τοῦ ἀγροῦ σήμερον ὄντα) and gone tomorrow (καὶ αὔριον), by being thrown into the furnace or oven (εἰς κλίβανον βαλλόμενον). This use of “κλίβανον,” oven or furnace, is unique to Matthew and Luke here. Would God, not the Father, also take care of their clothing needs (ὁ Θεὸς οὕτως ἀμφιέννυσιν, οὐ πολλῷ μᾶλλον)? Obviously, he rebuked them as were men of little faith (ὀλιγόπιστοι). This word about little faith was a favorite term for Matthew, since he used it 5 times more, with this Luke parallel here the only other usage in the New Testament literature. Are you a person of little faith?
Luke had another unique saying of Jesus about worldly possessions. Jesus said to them (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς) to take care (Ὁρᾶτε) and guard against all kinds of greed (καὶ φυλάσσεσθε ἀπὸ πάσης πλεονεξίας). Their life did not consist of merely an abundance of possessions (ὅτι οὐκ ἐν τῷ περισσεύειν τινὶ ἡ ζωὴ αὐτοῦ ἐστιν ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐτῷ). Jesus warned them about a life of greed that was only measured by how many things they owned. This is a particularly good message for a highly technological society where access to wealth is reasonably easy. Do you judge your life by where you live and what you own?
Now the element of conflict came up. Luke said that Martha was distracted or troubled by her many tasks of hospitality serving (ἡ δὲ Μάρθα περιεσπᾶτο περὶ πολλὴν διακονίαν). Thus, she went to address Jesus as the Lord (ἐπιστᾶσα δὲ εἶπεν Κύριε). She urgently wanted to know if the Lord cared about the fact that her sister had left her alone to do all the serving work by herself (οὐ μέλει σοι ὅτι ἡ ἀδελφή μου μόνην με κατέλειπεν διακονεῖν)? She wanted Jesus to tell Mary (εἰπὸν οὖν αὐτῇ) to help her (ἵνα μοι συναντιλάβηται). Mary was simply sitting listening to Jesus, while Martha was doing all the housework. Martha wanted Jesus to tell her sister to help her with the household duties. Why couldn’t Martha talk to her sister herself? She knew her pretty well. What will be the response of Jesus? Would you rather be the worker or the listener?
Luke continued his unique story. Jesus said that the next day (καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν αὔριον), this Samaritan took out and gave two denarii (ἐκβαλὼν δύο δηνάρια ἔδωκεν) to the innkeeper (τῷ πανδοχεῖ). He told (καὶ εἶπεν) this innkeeper to take care of the wounded man (Ἐπιμελήθητι αὐτοῦ). When he would come back or return (ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ ἐπανέρχεσθαί), he would repay the innkeeper (με ἀποδώσω σοι) whatever more he would have to spend for the care of the wounded man (καὶ ὅ τι ἂν προσδαπανήσῃς). Now the story is more interesting. Not only did this Samaritan help the person in need, but he was going to continue to help him. He did not hand him off without assuring that he would be well taken care of. This was beyond the call of duty. This Samaritan had already spent a day with the wounded person, but now he was going to pay for his further care. Who does that? There did not seem to be any prior relationship with this person and the Samaritan. He was doing all this out of the goodness of his heart. One denarius was equivalent to a day’s pay, about $.25 USA dollar. This was a reasonable amount. Would you do anything like this?