Cure the unclean spirits (Lk 6:18-6:18)

“They came

To hear him.

They came

To be healed

Of their diseases.

Those who were troubled

With unclean spirits

Were cured.”

 

οἳ ἦλθον ἀκοῦσαι αὐτοῦ καὶ ἰαθῆναι ἀπὸ τῶν νόσων αὐτῶν, καὶ οἱ ἐνοχλούμενοι ἀπὸ πνευμάτων ἀκαθάρτων ἐθεραπεύοντο·

 

Luke was the only one who explained why they came to hear Jesus (οἳ ἦλθον ἀκοῦσαι αὐτοῦ).  They came to be healed of their diseases (καὶ ἰαθῆναι ἀπὸ τῶν νόσων αὐτῶν).  Those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured (καὶ οἱ ἐνοχλούμενοι ἀπὸ πνευμάτων ἀκαθάρτων ἐθεραπεύοντο).  Jesus was a true faith healer.

Glorifying God (Lk 5:25-5:25)

“Immediately,

The paralytic stood up

Before them.

He took

What he had been

Lying on.

He went to his home.

He was glorifying God.”

 

καὶ παραχρῆμα ἀναστὰς ἐνώπιον αὐτῶν, ἄρας ἐφ’ ὃ κατέκειτο, ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ δοξάζων τὸν Θεόν.

 

The paralyzed man did exactly what Jesus told him to do.  He got up and went to his home.  Jesus had forgiven this man his sins and at the same time cured him of paralysis.  Normally, the power to forgive sins was what only God could do.  Luke said that this paralytic stood up before them (καὶ παραχρῆμα ἀναστὰς ἐνώπιον αὐτῶν).  He took his bed that he had been lying on (ἄρας ἐφ’ ὃ κατέκειτο) and went home (ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ).  At the same time, he was glorifying or praising God (δοξάζων τὸν Θεόν).  Mark, chapter 2:12, and Matthew, chapter 9:7-8, are similar to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this saying.  Mark said that the paralyzed man did exactly as Jesus had told him to do.  He stood up and immediately took his pallet bed in front of everybody.  Jesus had forgiven this man’s sins and cured him of paralysis.  How was the power to forgive sins, which only God could do, related to his healing powers?  How were these powers related?

People listen to Jesus (Lk 5:15-5:15)

“But now,

More than ever,

The word

About Jesus

Spread abroad.

Many crowds

Would gather

To hear him.

He cured many

Of their diseases.”

 

διήρχετο δὲ μᾶλλον ὁ λόγος περὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ συνήρχοντο ὄχλοι πολλοὶ ἀκούειν καὶ θεραπεύεσθαι ἀπὸ τῶν ἀσθενειῶν αὐτῶν

 

This is more or less a unique saying of Luke, who said that now, more than ever, the word or report about Jesus spread abroad (διήρχετο δὲ μᾶλλον ὁ λόγος περὶ αὐτοῦ,).  Many large crowds would gather to hear him (καὶ συνήρχοντο ὄχλοι πολλοὶ ἀκούειν).  Then he cured many people of their diseases (αὶ θεραπεύεσθαι ἀπὸ τῶν ἀσθενειῶν αὐτῶν).  There is nothing like this in MatthewMark, chapter 1:45, on the other hand, said that after this cleansed leper went away, he began to proclaim what had happened to him.  Then the news about his cleansing spread around, so that Jesus was no longer able to openly enter into a city or town.  He had to stay out in the solitary deserted countryside.  Nevertheless, the people came to him from all around the area or from various quarters.  The cleansed leper did not keep quiet, so that this led to more consternation for Jesus.  Luke was not that explicit, but hinted at it.

The man with leprosy (Lk 5:12-5:12)

“Once,

When Jesus was

In one of the cities,

There was a man

Covered with leprosy.

When he saw Jesus,

He bowed

With his face

To the ground.

He begged Jesus.

‘Lord!

If you choose,

You can make me clean.’”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐν μιᾷ τῶν πόλεων καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ πλήρης λέπρας· ἰδὼν δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν, πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον ἐδεήθη αὐτοῦ λέγων Κύριε, ἐὰν θέλῃς, δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι.

 

Luke said that Jesus was in one of the cities (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐν μιᾷ τῶν πόλεων), but without naming it.  There was a man there fully covered with leprosy (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ πλήρης λέπρας).  When he saw Jesus (ἰδὼν δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν), he bowed with his face to the ground (πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον ἐδεήθη αὐτοῦ).  He implored Jesus, calling him Lord (λέγων Κύριε).  He said that if Jesus would choose (ἐὰν θέλῃς) to help him, he had the power to make him clean (δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι).  This was similar Matthew, chapter 8:2, and Mark, chapter 1:40.  However, here the man was fully covered with leprosy, but the request was the same.  Mark, like Matthew said that a leper was begging Jesus, as he knelt before him.  Then he said that if Jesus wanted to, he could make him clean.  This leper was asking Jesus to make him clean, so that he could join normal Jewish society again.  He knew that Jesus had the power to do this, since many prophets had cured lepers.  Leprosy was some kind of skin disease that was usually found among poor people.  Today, there are about 2,000,000 people with leprosy or Hansen’s disease, mostly in India, Indonesia, and Brazil.  The Greek word “λέπρας” used here is a broader definition of leprosy than just Hansen’s disease.  Leprosy was a Jewish religious problem also.  What to do about it was clearly defined in Leviticus, chapters 13-14.  Leprosy in the wide sense was considered unclean and had religious connotations, since only a priest could declare a person clean, with a distinct ritual for cleansing the leper.  As a leper, they were considered unclean and not fit to live in normal communal life.

The healings (Lk 4:40-4:40)

“As the sun

Was setting,

All those who had

Any person

Who was sick

With various kinds

Of diseases,

Brought them

To Jesus.

He laid his hands

On each of them.

He cured them.”

 

Δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου ἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλαις ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν· ὁ δὲ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιτιθεὶς ἐθεράπευεν αὐτούς.

 

Luke said that as the sun was setting (Δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου), all those who had any person who was sick with various kinds of diseases (ἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλαις) brought them to Jesus. (ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν).  This would not have been the Sabbath, because the sun had set on the Sabbath.  Jesus laid his hands on each of them (ὁ δὲ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιτιθεὶς) and so he cured them (ἐθεράπευεν αὐτούς).  Luke concentrated on the sick people, emphasized healing.  There are similar generic statements about healing sick and chasing out demons in Mark, chapter 1:32-33, and Matthew, chapter 8:16.  Matthew emphasized the casting out of demons.  Jesus cast out these demons with merely a word.  At the same time, he also healed all the sick people around there, without indicating how this was done.  Apparently, during biblical times, there were a lot of people who were possessed by the devil.  Mark was the only one to mention that the whole city gathered at his door.  Mark said that they brought to him all who had a sickness or were possessed with demons.  Jesus was also a daring faith healer, since many saw the connection between both sickness and demonic evil spirit possession.

The woman in the house of Simon (Mk 14:3-14:3)

“Jesus was

At Bethany,

In the house of Simon,

The leper.

As he sat

At the table,

A woman came

With an alabaster jar

Of very costly

Ointment

Of nard.

She broke open

The jar.

She poured

The ointment

On his head.”

 

Καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ ἐν Βηθανίᾳ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ Σίμωνος τοῦ λεπροῦ, κατακειμένου αὐτοῦ ἦλθεν γυνὴ ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτελοῦς· συντρίψασα τὴν ἀλάβαστρον κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς  

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:6-7, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:1-3, where Jesus was in Bethany, but at the house of Lazarus and his two sisters, Martha and Mary, 6 days before the Passover.  John identified this woman as Mary, the sister of Lazarus.  Mark also said that Jesus was in Bethany (Καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ ἐν Βηθανίᾳ), a town about a mile and a half east of Jerusalem, but in the house of Simon the leper (ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ Σίμωνος τοῦ λεπροῦ).  The identity of this Simon the leper is unknown.  However, it could have been someone whom Jesus had cured from leprosy, who became his disciple.  The people of Bethany may have favored Jesus because of the Lazarus event.  There was also a story of a woman anointing Jesus in Luke, chapter 7:36-50, but within a different context.  Jesus was at the house of a Pharisee, when this woman also brought an alabaster jar to anoint the feet of Jesus.  Mark continued that Jesus was reclining at table (κατακειμένου), when an unnamed woman came or approached Jesus (ἦλθεν γυνὴ) with an alabaster jar full of very expensive imported Indian nard ointment (ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτελοῦς).  This was anointing oil or as later Christians would call it holy oil, “Myron (μύρου).”  She broke the alabaster jar of ointment (συντρίψασα τὴν ἀλάβαστρον).  Then she then poured it on his head (κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς).  This may appear a little unusual, but this oil might be a foretaste of the prophetic, royal, or priestly anointing of Jesus as prophet, king, and priest.  In the ancient biblical stories, kings were anointed on the head.

Jesus cures the man with a speech impediment (Mk 7:34-7:35)

“Then looking up

To heaven,

Jesus sighed deeply.

He said to him.

‘Ephphatha!’

That is,

‘Be opened!’

His ears

Were opened.

His tongue’s impediment

Was released

Immediately.

He spoke plainly.”

 

καὶ ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἐστέναξεν, καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ἐφφαθά, ὅ ἐστιν Διανοίχθητι.

καὶ ἠνοίγησαν αὐτοῦ αἱ ἀκοαί, καὶ εὐθὺς ἐλύθη ὁ δεσμὸς τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐλάλει ὀρθῶς.

 

This physical healing is unique to Mark, who said that Jesus looked up to heaven (καὶ ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν), and sighed deeply (ἐστέναξεν).  Jesus said to the deaf and mute man (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ), “Ephphatha (Ἐφφαθά,)!”  This means “Be opened (ὅ ἐστιν Διανοίχθητι)!”  Then this man’s ears were opened (καὶ ἠνοίγησαν αὐτοῦ αἱ ἀκοαί).  The impediment on his tongue was released immediately (καὶ εὐθὺς ἐλύθη ὁ δεσμὸς τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ).  He spoke plainly (καὶ ἐλάλει ὀρθῶς).  Jesus had cured this man with an Aramaic saying, once again indicating the Aramaic base of this gospel.  However, Mark was quick to explain what the meaning of this word was to his Greek audience.

Jesus touches the person (Mk 7:33-7:33)

“Jesus took him aside,

Away from the crowd,

In private.

He put his fingers

Into his ears.

He spat.

He touched his tongue.”

 

καὶ ἀπολαβόμενος αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου κατ’ ἰδίαν ἔβαλεν τοὺς δακτύλους αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰ ὦτα αὐτοῦ καὶ πτύσας ἥψατο τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ,

 

This physical healing is unique to Mark.  Jesus took the deaf and mute person aside in private, away from the crowd there (καὶ ἀπολαβόμενος αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου κατ’ ἰδίαν).  Jesus then put his fingers into his ears (ἔβαλεν τοὺς δακτύλους αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰ ὦτα αὐτοῦ).  Jesus spit and then touched his tongue (καὶ πτύσας ἥψατο τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ).  Jesus had just cured a young girl without any physical contact, but this healing was quite physical and dramatic.

Cast out demons (Mk 6:13-6:13)

“The twelve cast out

Many demons.

They anointed

Many sick people

With oil.

They cured them.”

 

καὶ δαιμόνια πολλὰ ἐξέβαλλον, καὶ ἤλειφον ἐλαίῳ πολλοὺς ἀρρώστους καὶ ἐθεράπευον.

 

There is something similar in Luke, chapter 9:6.  These 12 apostles carried out the dual functions of casting out demons and healing people.  Mark always put a lot of emphasis on casting out many demons (καὶ δαιμόνια πολλὰ ἐξέβαλλον).  But they also anointed many sick with oil (καὶ ἤλειφον ἐλαίῳ πολλοὺς ἀρρώστους) that cured them (καὶ ἐθεράπευον).  Oil was considered a basic healing element in the ancient world.

Jesus was disappointed (Mk 6:5-6:6)

“Jesus could do

No deed of power there,

Except that he laid his hands

On a few sick people.

He cured them.

He was amazed

At their unbelief.

Then he went

Among the villages

Teaching.”

 

καὶ οὐκ ἐδύνατο ἐκεῖ ποιῆσαι οὐδεμίαν δύναμιν, εἰ μὴ ὀλίγοις ἀρρώστοις ἐπιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας ἐθεράπευσεν.

καὶ ἐθαύμασεν διὰ τὴν ἀπιστίαν αὐτῶν. Καὶ περιῆγεν τὰς κώμας κύκλῳ διδάσκων.

 

This is like Matthew, chapter 13:58, but there is nothing like this in the elaborate story of Luke, chapter 4:23-30.  Mark said that Jesus was not able to do any powerful deeds there (καὶ οὐκ ἐδύνατο ἐκεῖ ποιῆσαι οὐδεμίαν δύναμιν).  Nevertheless, he laid his hands on a few sick people (εἰ μὴ ὀλίγοις ἀρρώστοις ἐπιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας), who were cured (ἐθεράπευσεν).  He was amazed at their unbelief (καὶ ἐθαύμασεν διὰ τὴν ἀπιστίαν αὐτῶν).  However, then he went among the villages (Καὶ περιῆγεν τὰς κώμας κύκλῳ) teaching (διδάσκων).  Jesus did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief, yet he kept on teaching.