The stones would cry out (Lk 19:40-19:40)

“Jesus answered.

‘I tell you!

If these disciples

Were silent,

The stones

Would shout out!’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Λέγω ὑμῖν ἐὰν οὗτοι σιωπήσουσιν, οἱ λίθοι κράξουσιν.

 

Thus, only Luke has this unique response of Jesus.  With a solemn pronouncement (Λέγω ὑμῖν) Jesus answered (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) that if he were to silence his disciples (ἐὰν οὗτοι σιωπήσουσιν), the stones would shout out the same message anyway (οἱ λίθοι κράξουσιν).  According to Luke, Jesus had a quick response to these Pharisees.  If he had his disciples stop shouting, the very stones in the road would shout out in their place.  The shouting would continue, no matter what.  Has anyone ever told you to stop praising Jesus?

 

The tax collector prayer (Lk 18:13-18:13)

“But the tax collector,

Standing far off,

Would not even

Look up to heaven.

But he was beating

His breast.

Saying.

‘God!

Be merciful to me

A sinner!’”

 

ὁ δὲ τελώνης μακρόθεν ἑστὼς οὐκ ἤθελεν οὐδὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἐπᾶραι εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν, ἀλλ’ ἔτυπτεν τὸ στῆθος αὐτοῦ λέγων Ὁ Θεός, ἱλάσθητί μοι τῷ ἁμαρτωλῷ

 

Luke has Jesus continue with this parable about a Pharisee and this tax collector that is only found in this gospel.  Luke indicated that Jesus then turned to the tax collector (ὁ δὲ τελώνης), who was standing far off or a distance away (μακρόθεν ἑστὼς).  He would not even look up or lift his eyes to heaven (οὐκ ἤθελεν οὐδὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ἐπᾶραι εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν).  He was beating his breast (ἀλλ’ ἔτυπτεν τὸ στῆθος αὐτοῦ), a common form of penance.  He prayed to God (λέγων Ὁ Θεός) that God would be merciful to him (ἱλάσθητί μοι) a sinner (τῷ ἁμαρτωλῷ).  Instead of thanking God for being good, this tax collector admitted his guilt, not looking up, but striking his breast, asking God to be merciful to him because he was a sinner.  We have two different regular activities, and two different attitudes.  The Pharisee was a better actor in doing the right thing, but had a bad attitude.  The tax collector was not doing the right thing, but had a better attitude.  Are you a good doer or do you have a good attitude?

Bad judge (Lk 18:2-18:2)

“Jesus said.

‘In a certain city,

There was a judge

Who neither feared God

Nor had respect

For people.”

 

λέγων Κριτής τις ἦν ἔν τινι πόλει τὸν Θεὸν μὴ φοβούμενος καὶ ἄνθρωπον μὴ ἐντρεπόμενος

 

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?

The found sheep (Lk 15:5-15:5)

“When the shepherd

Has found it,

He lays it

On his shoulders,

Rejoicing.”

 

καὶ εὑρὼν ἐπιτίθησιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὤμους αὐτοῦ χαίρων,

 

Luke had Jesus continue his story or parable.  When this shepherd found the lost sheep (καὶ εὑρὼν), he would lay it on his shoulders (ἐπιτίθησιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὤμους αὐτοῦ), rejoicing (χαίρων).  This parable of the lost sheep can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:13, with some minor changes, indicating a Q source.  Jesus then had a solemn pronouncement (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  If this shepherd had found his one lost sheep (καὶ ἐὰν γένηται εὑρεῖν αὐτό), would he rejoice over that more than over the 99 sheep that had never wandered away (ὅτι χαίρει ἐπ’ αὐτῷ μᾶλλον ἢ ἐπὶ τοῖς ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα τοῖς μὴ πεπλανημένοις)?  Every single sheep was precious in the sight of this good shepherd.  Do you think that everyone is precious in the sight of God?

The lowest place (Lk 14:9-14:9)

“The host

Who invited

Both of you

May come

And say to you.

‘Give this person

Your place.’

Then with disgrace,

You would start

To take

The lowest place.”

 

καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ σὲ καὶ αὐτὸν καλέσας ἐρεῖ σοι Δὸς τούτῳ τόπον, καὶ τότε ἄρξῃ μετὰ αἰσχύνης τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον κατέχειν.

 

Luke uniquely had Jesus continue with this parable.  Jesus said that the host who had invited both of them might come (καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ σὲ καὶ αὐτὸν καλέσας), and say (ἐρεῖ σοι) that he would have to give this other person your place (Δὸς τούτῳ τόπον).  Then with disgrace or shame (μετὰ αἰσχύνης), you would start or begin (καὶ τότε ἄρξῃ) to take the lowest place (τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον κατέχειν).  In other words, you would be humiliated in front of everybody.  Have you ever been humiliated in front of other people?

The places of honor (Lk 14:7-14:7)

“When Jesus noticed

How the guests

Had chosen the places

Of honor,

He told them

A parable.”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς κεκλημένους παραβολήν, ἐπέχων πῶς τὰς πρωτοκλισίας ἐξελέγοντο, λέγων πρὸς αὐτούς

 

Luke had Jesus continue with this unique dinner party with the Pharisees.  Jesus noticed how the guests had chosen the places of honor (ἐπέχων πῶς τὰς πρωτοκλισίας ἐξελέγοντο).  Thus, he told these invited guests a parable (Ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς κεκλημένους παραβολήν).  This is what he said (λέγων πρὸς αὐτούς).  Apparently, the Pharisees often sought after the places of honor as indicated in the last dinner he had with the Pharisees in chapter 11:43.  There, Jesus actually cursed the Pharisees, because these Pharisees loved to have the first seats or the seats of honor in the synagogues.  There was something similar in Mark, chapter 12:39, and Matthew, chapter 23:6-7.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that these Pharisees and Scribes loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts and the best or front seats in the assembled synagogues.  Mark indicated that Jesus told them to beware of the Scribes, but not the Pharisees, because these Scribes walked around in long robes and loved the front seats in the synagogues.  They loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts   They were the elite social butterflies.  Are you a social butterfly who likes the front row?

Cut the tree down (Lk 13:7-13:7)

“Thus,

He said

To the gardener.

‘See!

For three years,

I have come

Looking for fruit

On this fig tree.

Still,

I find none.

Cut it down!

Why should it

Be wasting the soil?’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τὸν ἀμπελουργόν Ἰδοὺ τρία ἔτη ἀφ’ οὗ ἔρχομαι ζητῶν καρπὸν ἐν τῇ συκῇ ταύτῃ καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκω· ἔκκοψον αὐτήν· ἵνα τί καὶ τὴν γῆν καταργεῖ;

 

Luke uniquely had Jesus continue with this parable story of the fig tree.  Jesus said that this fig tree owner spoke to his gardener (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τὸν ἀμπελουργόν).  He told him that for 3 years (Ἰδοὺ τρία ἔτη ἀφ’ οὗ), he had come looking for fruit on this fig tree (ἔρχομαι ζητῶν καρπὸν ἐν τῇ συκῇ ταύτῃ).  However, he did not find any (καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκω).  He told the gardener to cut it down (ἔκκοψον αὐτήν) because it was only wasting the soil (ἵνα τί καὶ τὴν γῆν καταργεῖ).  In other words, this fig tree did not have any fruit for 3 years.  Why not get rid of it?  The 3 years may represent the 3 years that Jesus was preaching and teaching with little results.  Have you ever been disappointed for 3 straight years?