The unclean spirit (Lk 11:24-11:24)

“When an unclean spirit

Has gone out

Of a person,

He wanders through

Waterless regions,

Looking for

A resting place.

Finding none,

He says.

‘I will return

To my house

From which I came.’”

 

Ὅταν τὸ ἀκάθαρτον πνεῦμα ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, διέρχεται δι’ ἀνύδρων τόπων ζητοῦν ἀνάπαυσιν, καὶ μὴ εὑρίσκον λέγει Ὑποστρέψω εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου ὅθεν ἐξῆλθον·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that when an unclean spirit had gone out of a person (Ὅταν τὸ ἀκάθαρτον πνεῦμα ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου), this unclean spirit wandered through waterless regions (διέρχεται δι’ ἀνύδρων τόπων), looking for a resting place (ζητοῦν ἀνάπαυσιν).  After he did not find any resting place (καὶ μὴ εὑρίσκον), he said (λέγει) that he would return (Ὑποστρέψω) to his house where he came from (εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου ὅθεν ἐξῆλθον).  This saying about the unclean spirit can also be found almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 12:43-44, indicating a Q source.  This unclean spirit left a person or a man (Ὅταν δὲ τὸ ἀκάθαρτον πνεῦμα ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου), after an exorcism or healing of a person.  This evil spirit wandered in a waterless dry areas or desert (διέρχεται δι’ ἀνύδρων τόπων), which would be the favorite places for evil spirits.  However, he would not be able to find (καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκει) any resting place that he was looking for (ζητοῦν ἀνάπαυσιν).  This unclean spirit said to himself that he would return to his house or the place or person that he had come from (τότε λέγει Εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου ἐπιστρέψω ὅθεν ἐξῆλθον).  The unclean spirit was going to return to where he came from after his expulsion.  Would he be able to get back into that person?  Have you ever returned to a place where you once called home?

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Jesus spoke about John (Lk 7:24-7:24)

“When John’s messengers

Had gone,

Jesus began

To speak

To the crowds

About John.

‘What did you go out

Into the wilderness

To look at?

A reed shaken

By the wind?’”

 

Ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων Ἰωάνου ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς ὄχλους περὶ Ἰωάνου Τί ἐξήλθατε εἰς τὴν ἔρημον θεάσασθαι; κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον;

 

Luke indicated that after John’s messengers had gone (Ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων Ἰωάνου), Jesus began to speak (ἤρξατο λέγειν) to the crowds (πρὸς τοὺς ὄχλους) about John the Baptist (περὶ Ἰωάνου).  These questions are word for word like Matthew, chapter 7:24, indicating a possible Q source.  Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John.  He asked them what did they go out into the wilderness to look at (Τί ἐξήλθατε εἰς τὴν ἔρημον θεάσασθαι)?  Was it a reed shaken by the wind (κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον)?  Matthew indicated the same when he said that as these disciples of John were leaving on their journey, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John.  He asked them these questions.  Why did they go out into the wilderness to see John?  Was he a reed shaking in the wind?  This idea of the plentiful reeds waving in the desert would be compared to the luxury of a royal palace.  What do you think of John the Baptist?

Blessed are the hungry (Lk 6:21-6:21)

“Blessed are you

Who are hungry now!

You shall be satisfied.”

 

μακάριοι οἱ πεινῶντες νῦν, ὅτι χορτασθήσεσθε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the hungry people now (οἱ πεινῶντες νῦν) would be blessed or happy (μακάριοι) and satisfied (ὅτι χορτασθήσεσθε), using the second person plural.  This is somewhat equivalent to Matthew, chapter 5:6, perhaps indicating that these beatitudes may be from the Q source.  There Matthew said the happy, blessed, and fortunate ones (μακάριοι) were those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness (οἱ πεινῶντες καὶ διψῶντες τὴν δικαιοσύνην).  They would not go away empty handed.  They would be satisfied or filled (ὅτι αὐτοὶ χορτασθήσοντ).  Isaiah, chapter 55:1-2 had an invitation to those without money to come to drink and eat.  They could have water, wine, milk and bread.  They would enjoy themselves at this banquet.  Matthew may have been referencing Psalm 107:4-9, where Yahweh had helped a small group of lost Israelites who were hungry and thirsty, while wandering in the desert.  He satisfied their thirst and filled their hunger with good food.  Thus, they gave thanks to Yahweh.  So too, those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness, the right way of doing things, would be satisfied or filled with this righteousness.  However, here Luke was talking about real hunger for food that would be satisfied.  Luke is more concrete, less spiritual.  You are poor and hungry, plain and simple.  You would be blessed, fortunate, happy, and satisfied.

Preaching a baptism of repentance (Lk 3:3-3:3)

“John went

Into all the region

Around the Jordan River.

He was proclaiming

A baptism

Of repentance

For the forgiveness

Of sins.”

 

καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν,

 

This section of Luke is very similar to all the other 4 gospel stories.  Luke explicitly said that John went into all the region around the Jordan River (καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου).  Mark, chapter 1:4, had the simple statement that John the Baptizer, appeared in the wilderness or desert, without mentioning the Jordan River.  However, Luke was actually closer to Mark, since he used the exact same words about John’s preaching.  He indicated that John was proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν).  Matthew, chapter 3:2, said that the preaching message of John was very simple.  They should repent, turn their lives around, with a profound metanoia, a change of their spirit.  The equivalent about repentance, metanoia, or the change of heart can also be found in both Mark and Luke.  Matthew had John say that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, coming near.  The other canonical gospel writers did not use this term “kingdom of heaven.”  John, chapter l:19-29, had a long dialogue with John and the priests and Levites about what he was doing.  How and what John did before or after this preaching in the wilderness did not matter.  He was there proclaiming a baptism of repentance, a life change, or a metanoia, to have sins or faults forgiven or wiped away.

The child grew (Lk 1:80-1:80)

“The child grew.

He became strong

In spirit.

He was

In the wilderness

Until the day

He appeared openly

To Israel.”

 

Τὸ δὲ παιδίον ηὔξανεν καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο πνεύματι, καὶ ἦν ἐν ταῖς ἐρήμοις ἕως ἡμέρας ἀναδείξεως αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὸν Ἰσραήλ.

 

Luke concluded his remarks about John by saying that this child, John, continued to grow (Τὸ δὲ παιδίον ηὔξανεν), just like every other child.  This concept of the growing child will also be present with Jesus in the next chapter.  John became strong in spirit (καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο πνεύματι) as he grew stronger spiritually.  He was in the wilderness or desert (καὶ ἦν ἐν ταῖς ἐρήμοις), just like the Israelites during the Exodus, until the day he appeared openly to Israel (ἕως ἡμέρας ἀναδείξεως αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὸν Ἰσραήλ).  It is hard to figure out what an open or public appearance was, since there would be no big announcement or advertisement like today.