No party for the older brother (Lk 15:29-15:29)

“But he answered

His father.

‘Listen!

All these years

I have been working

Like a slave

For you.

I never disobeyed

Your command.

Yet you never given me

Even a young goat

So that

I might celebrate

With my friends.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν τῷ πατρὶ Ἰδοὺ τοσαῦτα ἔτη δουλεύω σοι καὶ οὐδέποτε ἐντολήν σου παρῆλθον, καὶ ἐμοὶ οὐδέποτε ἔδωκας ἔριφον ἵνα μετὰ τῶν φίλων μου εὐφρανθῶ

 

This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the older son answered his father by saying (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν τῷ πατρὶ) that all these years he had been working like a slave or servant for his father (Ἰδοὺ τοσαῦτα ἔτη δουλεύω σοι).  He never disobeyed any of his commands (καὶ οὐδέποτε ἐντολήν σου παρῆλθον).  Yet his father had never even given him a young goat (καὶ ἐμοὶ οὐδέποτε ἔδωκας ἔριφον) so that he could celebrate with his friends (ἵνα μετὰ τῶν φίλων μου εὐφρανθῶ).  The older son was mad at his father because he had done everything right for many years, but he was never allowed to have any celebrations with his friends.  He had tried to do the right thing, but he was never rewarded for that.  Do you ever feel taken for granted because you always try to do what is right?

 

John and James want to set a fire (Lk 9:54-9:54)

“When his disciples,

James

And John,

Saw this,

They said.

‘Lord!

Do you want us

To command fire

To come down

From heaven

And consume them?’”

 

ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης εἶπαν Κύριε, θέλεις εἴπωμεν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς;

 

Luke continued his unique story about this trip in Samaria.  He noted that Jesus’ disciples (δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ), James and John (Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης), the Zebedee brothers, the sons of thunder, saw (ἰδόντες) what this village did.  They asked Jesus (καὶ Ἰωάνης εἶπαν), calling him Lord (Κύριε), if he wanted them (θέλεις) to call down fire (εἴπωμεν πῦρ) from heaven (ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ) in order to consume them (καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς).  Elijah, in 2 Kings, chapter 1:9-16, called down fire to consume the 100 messengers of the northern Israelite King of Samaria, King Ahaziah.  Did John and James want to do something like that?  Have you ever been so mad that you wanted to destroy some people?

Jesus tells the young man to rise up (Lk 7:14-7:14)

“Then the Lord

Came forward.

He touched the bier.

The pall bearers

Stood still.

The Lord said.

‘Young man!

 I say to you!

Arise!’”

 

καὶ προσελθὼν ἥψατο τῆς σοροῦ, οἱ δὲ βαστάζοντες ἔστησαν, καὶ εἶπεν Νεανίσκε, σοὶ λέγω, ἐγέρθητι.

 

Luke uniquely said that the Lord Jesus came forward (καὶ προσελθὼν) and touched the funeral bier (ἥψατο τῆς σοροῦ).  The pall bearers stood still (οἱ δὲ βαστάζοντες ἔστησαν).  The Lord told the young man (καὶ εἶπεν Νεανίσκε) with a solemn pronouncement of I say to you (σοὶ λέγω), rise up (ἐγέρθητι).  Luke used the pronoun he to speak about the Lord.  This would have been a shocking thing to touch the funeral bier, since it made people unclean to touch a dead person.  Thus, the pall bearers were taken back.  However, the command of Jesus telling the young man to get up meant that he was not dead.  This is the first instance of a man being raised from the dead, but it is only found here in Luke, not elsewhere.  This would be a big deal, not just curing people of illness and diseases, or chasing demons out of people.  This was a raising from the dead, a foretaste of the resurrection.  Have you ever heard of a young man getting up from a funeral casket?

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.

Angels will protect you (Lk 4:11-4:11)

“‘On their hands,

They will bear you up.

Thus,

You will not dash

Your foot

Against a stone.’”

 

καὶ ὅτι ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε μή ποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου.

 

Luke is very similar to Matthew, chapter 4:6.  Once again, the devil had said that if Jesus was truly the Son of God, he could throw himself down.  Then God’s angels would catch him.  Luke indicated that the devil, citing Psalm 91:11-12, said that God would command these angels to protect him.  With their hands, they would bear him up (καὶ ὅτι ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε), as if angels had hands.  Thus, he would not dash or strike his foot against a stone (μή ποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου).  These angels would catch him in their hands so that his feet would never touch the ground.  Yahweh, in this original psalm was going to send his angels to protect the good ones, so that they would never stub their feet on any stones.

Angels guard you (Lk 4:10-4:10)

“It is written.

‘God will command

His angels

Concerning you.

He will protect you.’”

 

γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ ἐντελεῖται περὶ σοῦ τοῦ διαφυλάξαι σε,

 

Although Matthew, chapter 4:6, has this as the second temptation, Luke has this as the last temptation.  However, the wording is the almost the same, indicating a shared common source.  Interesting enough, the devil cited Psalm 91:11-12, so that even the devil can quote scripture.  Luke indicated that this devil said that it was written (γέγραπται γὰρ) that God will command or give orders to his angels (ὅτι τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ ἐντελεῖται) concerning him (περὶ σοῦ), so that he would guard or protect him (τοῦ διαφυλάξαι σε).  The devil, said that God would command these angels to protect or guard him so that Jesus had nothing to worry about.

Make this stone into bread (Lk 4:3-4:3)

“The devil

Said to Jesus.

‘If you are

The Son of God,

Command this stone

To become

A loaf of bread!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ διάβολος Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, εἰπὲ τῷ λίθῳ τούτῳ ἵνα γένηται ἄρτος.

 

Once again, this is the same as Matthew, chapter 4:3, nearly word for word.  Luke said that this devil spoke to Jesus (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ διάβολος) after he had endured this 40 day fast.  Jesus was really hungry at this time.  Then this devil taunted Jesus by telling him that if he was truly the son of God (Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ), he could just say the word and make a stone turn into a loaf of bread (εἰπὲ τῷ λίθῳ τούτῳ ἵνα γένηται ἄρτος).  Then Jesus could eat this loaf of bread and take away his hunger.  This terminology of the “Son of God” indicated a special relationship with God.  Matthew called this devil, the tempter.