Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that not a hair of their heads (καὶ θρὶξ ἐκ τῆς κεφαλῆς ὑμῶν) would perish or be destroyed (οὐ μὴ ἀπόληται). This saying only appears in Luke and nowhere else in the other gospel stories. Why would these disciples not suffer even a hair from the top of their heads, while others would be suffering? There is no easy answer. They would somehow be saved from these persecutions. Do you have good hair?
Luke indicated that Jesus said (εἶπεν) that these things that they saw or were looking at (Ταῦτα ἃ θεωρεῖτε,) would be different in the days to come (ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι). Not one stone would be left upon another (ἐν αἷς οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθῳ ὃς οὐ). All would be thrown down (καταλυθήσεται). There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:2, almost word for word, with Mark, chapter 13:2. Mark said that Jesus asked this disciple (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) if he saw all these great buildings (Βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς)? Jesus told him that not one stone would be left on another stone of the Temple buildings (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον). All of the Temple buildings would be torn down, thrown down, or destroyed (ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ). Matthew said that Jesus answered them (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς). He asked them if they had not seen all these buildings (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Οὐ βλέπετε ταῦτα πάντα). Then in a solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), that was not in Luke or Mark, he told them that not one stone would be left on another stone here at the Temple (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον). All of the Temple buildings would be torn down or thrown down (ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται). In fact, in 70 CE, within 40 years after the time of Jesus, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by the Romans in their war with Israel. However, threats against the Jerusalem Temple had been common among the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures, especially before the Exile in the 7th and 6th century BCE. Have you ever seen a church or temple destroyed?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that the enemies would crush Jerusalem to the ground (καὶ ἐδαφιοῦσίν σε). Luke was the only one among all the Greek biblical writers to use this word ἐδαφιοῦσίν, that means to raze, dash to the ground, or level with the ground. Jesus used the second personal singular, when he said that the city along with their children or inhabitants (καὶ τὰ τέκνα σου ἐν σοί) would be destroyed. Their enemies would not leave one stone upon another in that city (καὶ οὐκ ἀφήσουσιν λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον ἐν σοί), because the people of Jerusalem had not recognized the time of the visitation from God (ἀνθ’ ὧν οὐκ ἔγνως τὸν καιρὸν τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς σου), Jesus himself. In predicting the future fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE, Jesus projected many of the same warnings that the Israelite and Judean prophets had proclaimed before the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BCE. The people of Jerusalem had failed to recognize what was happening around them. Are you aware of your situation in the city that you live?
Luke was the only gospel writer to have Jesus remark about remembering Lot’s wife (μνημονεύετε τῆς γυναικὸς Λώτ). This was is a reference to Genesis, chapter 19:26. There Yahweh had rained down on both Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire, so that all who lived in those two towns and the plains around it were destroyed. Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Luke and Jesus did not elaborate on the circumstances of her death, just remember it as if it was well known. This was quite a striking biblical image, since they were in the plains by the Dead Sea that was also called the Salt Sea. Have you ever looked back with regret?
Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus also mentioned Lot from Genesis, chapter 19:24. Jesus said that on the day when Lot left Sodom (ᾗ δὲ ἡμέρᾳ ἐξῆλθεν Λὼτ ἀπὸ Σοδόμων), it rained fire (ἔβρεξεν πῦρ) and sulphur or brimstone (καὶ θεῖον) from heaven (ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ). It destroyed all of them (καὶ ἀπώλεσεν πάντας). It would be like those days on the day (κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ ἔσται ᾗ ἡμέρᾳ) that the Son of Man would be revealed (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἀποκαλύπτεται). In other words, the destruction of the world at the time of Noah and the destruction of the town of Sodom at the time of Lot were a foretaste of the end times. It would come unexpectedly. However, the conclusion was to be expected. The comparison was explicit. The Son of Man would come like in the olden days of destruction. Are you prepared for the coming of the Son of Man at the end times?
Luke uniquely had Jesus talk about another excuse. Jesus said that another person told the inviting slave (καὶ ἕτερος εἶπεν) that he had just purchased or bought 5 pair of oxen (Ζεύγη βοῶν ἠγόρασα πέντε). Luke was the only biblical writer to use the term Ζεύγη, meaning a pair, yoke, or team. This man was going to try them out (καὶ πορεύομαι δοκιμάσαι αὐτά). He too, politely (ἐρωτῶ σε) asked to be excused (ἔχε με παρῃτημένον). Matthew, chapter 22:6-7, instead of these individual excuses, had the king’s servants beat up. Thus, this king destroyed the original invited people. However, there was nothing like that here in Luke. Have you ever beat up people inviting you to a dinner or have you been respectful?
Luke indicated that Jesus said to Jerusalem that nothing of their house was left for them as it will be forsaken (ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν), using the second person singular. With a solemn pronouncement (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν), Jesus said that they would not see him, Jesus (οὐ μὴ ἴδητέ με) until the time came when they said (ἕως ἥξει ὅτε εἴπητε) the Hallel Psalm 118:26, “Blessed is the one who comes (Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος) in the name of the Lord (ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου)!” Both Luke and Matthew, chapter 23:38-39, have this desolation of Jerusalem, almost word for word, so that this may be a Q source. Matthew was more detailed. He indicated that Jesus said that their house of worship would be left desolate at its destruction (ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν), because Yahweh God would abandon the Temple of Jerusalem. In a solemn pronouncement (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν), they would not see him again (οὐ μή με ἴδητε ἀπ’ ἄρτι), until they would say the Hallel Psalm 118:26 about blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord (ἕως ἂν εἴπητε Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου). This was a warning against the powerless Temple of Jerusalem, perhaps indicating that Temple had already been destroyed by the time of this writing. Does the destruction of the church Notre Dame de Paris sound like the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple to you?
Luke indicated that Jesus knew what they were thinking (αὐτὸς δὲ εἰδὼς αὐτῶν τὰ διανοήματα). He said to them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that every kingdom (Πᾶσα βασιλεία) divided against itself (ἐφ’ ἑαυτὴν διαμερισθεῖσα) becomes desolate (ἐρημοῦται). One house falls against another house (καὶ οἶκος ἐπὶ οἶκον πίπτει). There were similar statements in Mark, chapter 3:24-25, and Matthew, chapter 12:25. Mark indicated that Jesus responded to the Scribes with his house divided remarks. Jesus said to them that if a kingdom was divided against itself, that kingdom would not be able to stand. If a house was divided against itself that house would not be able to endure. This was one of President Abraham Lincoln’s (1809-1865) favorite biblical passages about slavery. Matthew said that Jesus knew what the inner thoughts of the Pharisees were, so that he said to them that every kingdom divided against itself would be destroyed. No city or house divided against itself could endure for a long time. This was a very strong argument against Jesus and Beelzebul working together. What do you think the relationship of Jesus to the devil is?
Luke indicated that Jesus responded to this man (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) who wanted to follow him. He said to him that foxes have their holes (Αἱ ἀλώπεκες φωλεοὺς ἔχουσιν). Birds of the air have their nests (καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνώσεις). But the Son of Man (ὁ δὲ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) has nowhere to lay his head (οὐκ ἔχει ποῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν κλίνῃ). He was homeless. This saying of Jesus is exactly the same in Matthew, chapter 8:20, indicating a possible Q source. Matthew indicated that Jesus responded to this Scribe by telling him that he was homeless. Foxes had foxholes. Birds of the air had nests. However, the Son of Man had nowhere to put his head. The term “Son of Man” expression might be based on the Book of Daniel, chapter 7:13. This Son of Man was given dominion, glory and kingship over all people, nations, and languages. Everyone would serve him, since his kingdom would last forever, and never be destroyed. This has been often interpreted as the coming of the Messiah, the savior. Jesus and his disciples clearly used this term. However, in the Book of Ezekiel, Yahweh used this term for Ezekiel. So that, the “Son of Man” may also mean that Jesus was trying to point out his humanity, like everyone else. Jesus continued to refer to himself in the 3rd person as the Son of Man. Here Jesus had less than foxes or birds, since he had no permanent home on earth. Have you ever been homeless?
Luke indicated that Jesus asked what would it profit a man (τί γὰρ ὠφελεῖται ἄνθρωπος), if he gained (κερδήσας) the whole world (τὸν κόσμον ὅλον), but lost, forfeited, or destroyed himself (ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἀπολέσας ἢ ζημιωθείς)? This famous saying can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:26, Mark, chapter 8:36, and here, almost word for word. Mark indicated that Jesus asked what was the profit or benefit for a person to gain the whole world, if they lost their life or soul? Jesus asked what would a person give up in exchange for his life or soul? Matthew also had the question about gaining the whole world. What is the profit or benefit for a person to gain the whole world, if they lose their life or soul? What will a person give in exchange for his life or soul? Give up your life to Jesus, and you will live. How important is profit or gain in your life?