The legion of demons (Lk 8:30-8:30)

“Jesus then asked him.

‘What is your name?’

He said.

‘Legion!’

Many demons

Had entered him.”

 

ἐπηρώτησεν δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς Τί σοι ὄνομά ἐστιν; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Λεγιών, ὅτι εἰσῆλθεν δαιμόνια πολλὰ εἰς αὐτόν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus then asked this possessed man (ἐπηρώτησεν δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς) what his name was (Τί σοι ὄνομά ἐστιν)?  The man responded (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that his name was “Legion (Λεγιών),” because many demons had entered him (ὅτι εἰσῆλθεν δαιμόνια πολλὰ εἰς αὐτόν).  There is nothing like this question in the Matthew gospel story.  However, this is similar to Mark, chapter 5:9.  This famous question and answer has taken on a life of its own in many apocalyptic works about evil spirits.  Mark indicated that Jesus questioned this man with the unclean spirit about what his name was?  It was common in most expulsions of evil spirits to know the name of the one being expelled, in order to control them.  The man with the unclean spirit responded to Jesus that his name was “Legion (Λεγιὼν ὄνομά μοι),” a Latin term.  A Roman legion would have been about 6,000 men.  Thus, the unclean spirit was responding that he had many unclean spirits, perhaps as many as 6,000.  What do you think about unclean evil spirits?

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Lord of the Sabbath (Lk 6:5-6:5)

“Then Jesus said to them.

‘The Son of Man is

Lord of the Sabbath.’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Κύριός ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus then said to them (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) that the Son of Man (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) is Lord of the Sabbath (Κύριός ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 12:8, and Mark, chapter 2:28, probably indicating that Mark was the source of this comment.  However, the other 2 gospels had more elaboration.  Mark had Jesus say to those around him that the Sabbath was made for man, humans, or mankind, not humans for the Sabbath.  Then he added the comment that is here in Luke that the Son of Man was the Lord of the Sabbath, which was picked up by the other two synoptic gospels.  Matthew had Jesus begin with a solemn proclamation that someone greater than the Temple was here, a clear reference to Jesus himself.  They did not know what the saying about mercy was all about.  Matthew then used the same citation of Hosea chapter 6:6, that he had earlier in chapter 9:13.  Jesus explained that he desired mercy, just as Yahweh wanted real faithful love, not mere sacrifices.  Hosea wanted the Israelites to have real knowledge of God, rather than worry about burnt offerings.  Thus, the Pharisees should not have condemned the innocent or guiltless ones, since Jesus and his disciples had done nothing wrong.  He then concluded with the saying that the Son of Man was the Lord of the Sabbath.  Jesus then could control the Sabbath, not the other way around.  Instead of the Sabbath as a gift to humans, Jesus would reinterpret the laws of the Sabbath as the Lord of the Sabbath.

The authority of the world (Lk 4:6-4:6)

“The devil

Said to Jesus.

‘I will give

To you

Their glory

And all this authority.

It has been delivered

To me.

I can give it

To anyone

I please.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ διάβολος Σοὶ δώσω τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην ἅπασαν καὶ τὴν δόξαν αὐτῶν, ὅτι ἐμοὶ παραδέδοται καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν θέλω δίδωμι αὐτήν·

 

Luke indicated that the devil said to Jesus (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ διάβολος) that he would give him all this authority (Σοὶ δώσω τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην ἅπασαν) and glory of these kingdoms (δόξαν αὐτῶν).  Then the devil said a remarkable thing.  He said that all the kingdoms of the earth had been given or turned over to him (ὅτι ἐμοὶ παραδέδοται).  He could do whatever he pleased with them (καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν θέλω δίδωμι αὐτήν).  Just like Matthew, chapter 4:9, the devil would then give all these kingdoms with their glory to Jesus.  Somehow this devil thought and implied that he was in control over all the nations in the world.  Perhaps the early followers of Jesus thought that the world outside Jerusalem was under the power of the devil.

The decree of Caesar Augustus (Lk 2:1-2:1)

“In those days,

A decree went out

From the Emperor

Caesar Augustus

That all the world

Should be registered.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ἐξῆλθεν δόγμα παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου ἀπογράφεσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην.

 

Luke tried to put these events within a historical perspective.  He said that in those days (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις), a decree or dogma went out (ἐξῆλθεν δόγμα) from the Emperor, Caesar Augustus (παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου), that all the world should be registered (ἀπογράφεσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην).  Could all the world be registered in a census?  Luke referred to the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, who ruled the Roman empire with his famous Pax Romana, or peace everywhere, from 27 BCE to 14 CE, precisely the time of these events.  Augustus was born in 63 BCE so that he would have been 77 years old when he died.  He was sometimes called god, son of god, savior, or father.  As the adopted son of Julius Caesar, he defeated Mark Anthony and Cleopatra to gain sole control of the empire.  He set up an intricate set of taxes for the empire, so that there was a consent source of income.  Thus, the local tax collectors or publicans became rich, but disliked, official people in the empire.  The month of August was named after him, just as July was named after Julius Caesar.  However, there is no evidence of any call to register the whole world.  However, this would not have been inconsistent with his taxing plans, since the main reason for any registration or census would be for tax purposes.  Thus, this is possible, but unlikely.

Jesus does not grant seating arrangements (Mk 10:40-10:40)

“But to sit

At my right hand

Or at my left hand

Is not mine

To grant.

But it is for those

For whom

It has been prepared.”

 

τὸ δὲ καθίσαι ἐκ δεξιῶν μου ἢ ἐξ εὐωνύμων οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμὸν δοῦναι, ἀλλ’ οἷς ἡτοίμασται.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 20:23, but slightly different.  Mark indicated that Jesus said to the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, that the sitting at the right hand (τὸ δὲ καθίσαι ἐκ δεξιῶν μου) and the left hand of Jesus (ἢ ἐξ εὐωνύμων) was not within his power.  He said that he had no control over that (οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμὸν δοῦναι).  All that was prepared by someone else (ἀλλ’ οἷς ἡτοίμασται ὑπὸ).  Matthew had said the heavenly Father prepared it, but that is not mentioned here in Mark.  Jesus said that he could not grant this request because he was not the decision maker about heavenly seating arrangements.

 

Jesus wants to know his name (Mk 5:9-5 9)

“Then Jesus asked him.

‘What is your name?’

He replied.

‘My name is Legion!

We are many!’”

 

καὶ ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν Τί ὄνομά σοι; καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Λεγιὼν ὄνομά μοι, ὅτι πολλοί ἐσμεν.

 

This is similar to Luke, chapter 8:30.  This is the famous question and answer that has taken on a life of its own in many apocalyptic works about evil spirits.  Mark indicated that Jesus asked, questioned, or interrogated this unclean spirit (καὶ ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν), what his name was (Τί ὄνομά σοι)?  This was common in most expulsions of evil spirits to know the name of the one being expelled in order to control them.  The unclean spirit responded to Jesus (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ) that his name was “Legion (Λεγιὼν ὄνομά μοι),” a Latin term.  A Roman legion would have been about 6,000 men.  Thus, the unclean spirit was responding that there were many unclean spirits (ὅτι πολλοί ἐσμεν), perhaps as many as 6,000.

Lord of the Sabbath (Mk 2:27-2:28)

“Then he said to them.

‘The Sabbath

Was made for humans,

Not humans for the Sabbath.

Thus,

The Son of Man

Is Lord

Even of the Sabbath.’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Τὸ σάββατον διὰ τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐγένετο, καὶ οὐχ ὁ ἄνθρωπος διὰ τὸ σάββατον·

ὥστε κύριός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ τοῦ σαββάτου.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 12:8, and Luke, chapter 6:5, probably indicating that Mark was the source of this comment.  Mark had Jesus say to those around him (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) that the Sabbath was made for man, humans, or mankind (Τὸ σάββατον διὰ τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐγένετο,), not humans for the Sabbath (καὶ οὐχ ὁ ἄνθρωπος διὰ τὸ σάββατον).  Then he added the comment that the Son of Man was the Lord of the Sabbath (ὥστε κύριός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ τοῦ σαββάτου) that was picked up by the other two synoptic gospels.  Jesus then could control the Sabbath, not the other way around.  Instead, the Sabbath was a gift to humans.  Jesus, the Son of Man, would reinterpret the laws of the Sabbath as the Lord of the Sabbath.