No switching places (Lk 16:26-16:26)

“Besides all this,

Between you

And us

A great chasm

Has been fixed.

Thus,

Those who might want

To pass

From here

To you

Cannot do so.

No one can cross

From there

To us.”

 

καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τούτοις μεταξὺ ἡμῶν καὶ ὑμῶν χάσμα μέγα ἐστήρικται, ὅπως οἱ θέλοντες διαβῆναι ἔνθεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς μὴ δύνωνται, μηδὲ ἐκεῖθεν πρὸς ἡμᾶς διαπερῶσιν.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, but not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that Abraham continued with his talk to the rich man.  He said that besides all this (καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τούτοις), between him and Abraham with Lazarus (μεταξὺ ἡμῶν καὶ ὑμῶν), there was a great chasm that had been established (χάσμα μέγα ἐστήρικται).  Thus, those who might want to pass from here to there cannot do so (ὅπως οἱ θέλοντες διαβῆναι ἔνθεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς μὴ δύνωνται).  No one can cross from there to here (μηδὲ ἐκεῖθεν πρὸς ἡμᾶς διαπερῶσιν).  He had no way out.  Abraham pointed out that there was a big chasmic difference between where the rich man was and where Lazarus and Abraham were.  No one could, even if they wanted to, cross over from one to the other.  Somehow, they were able to talk to each other.  Yet they were in two distinct milieus that could not meet and exchange personal contacts.  What is your vision of hell and heaven?

Abraham and Lazarus (Lk 16:23-16:23)

“In Hades,

Where the rich man

Was being tormented,

He looked up.

He saw Abraham

Far away,

With Lazarus

By his side.”

 

καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἅιδῃ ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ, ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις, ὁρᾷ Ἀβραὰμ ἀπὸ μακρόθεν καὶ Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the rich man was living in torment (ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις) in Hades (καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἅιδῃ), the Greek name for hell, a permanent place of damnation as opposed to the vague Hebrew afterlife Sheol, the place of the dead.  This rich man looked up or lifted up his eyes (ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ).  He saw Abraham (ὁρᾷ Ἀβραὰμ), far away (ἀπὸ μακρόθεν), with Lazarus in his bosom (καὶ Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ).  Both Abraham and Lazarus were together, but far away since there was a clear difference between where the rich man and Lazarus with Abraham were.  Just as in life, there was a difference between the rich man and Lazarus, so too in death.  Do you believe that there will be options in the afterlife?

What happens when you deny Jesus? (Lk 12:9-12:9)

“But whoever denies me

Before others,

Will be denied

Before the angels of God.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀρνησάμενός με ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἀπαρνηθήσεται ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀγγέλων τοῦ Θεοῦ

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that whoever denied him before other people (ὁ δὲ ἀρνησάμενός με ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀνθρώπων), they would be denied before (ἀπαρνηθήσεται ἐνώπιον) the angels of God (τῶν ἀγγέλων τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:34, indicating a Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that anyone who denied or repudiated him before other men, he was going to deny or repudiate them before his Father in heaven also.  Once again, there was a difference between the angels of God and the Father in heaven.  Jesus wanted loyalty to him, no matter what the circumstances.  If they were loyal here on earth, he would intercede with his Father for them in heaven, as their mediator.  Would you ever deny Jesus?

The kingdom of God is coming soon (Lk 9:27-9:27)

“But truly!

I tell you!

There are some

Standing here

Who will not

Taste death

Before they see

The kingdom of God.”

 

λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν ἀληθῶς, εἰσίν τινες τῶν αὐτοῦ ἑστηκότων οἳ οὐ μὴ γεύσωνται θανάτου ἕως ἂν ἴδωσιν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν) that there are some men standing here (ἀληθῶς, εἰσίν τινες τῶν αὐτοῦ ἑστηκότων) who will not taste death (οἳ οὐ μὴ γεύσωνται θανάτου) before they would see the kingdom of God (ἕως ἂν ἴδωσιν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Jesus said that the judgment end times was coming soon.  Something similar can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:28, Mark, chapter 9:1, and here, almost word for word.  Mark reported that Jesus said to them with a solemn pronouncement that some of those standing before him would not experience or taste death before they would see the kingdom of God.  Matthew also indicated that Jesus said in a solemn pronouncement, that some of those standing before him would not experience death before they would see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.  Notice the difference between Mark/Luke with the “kingdom of God” and Matthew with the “Son of Man coming with his kingdom”.  The end times or judgment was imminent, not some far away time.  Do you believe that the judgment end is close?

Blessed are the poor (Lk 6:20-6:20)

“Then Jesus

Looked up

At his disciples.

He said.

‘Blessed are you

Who are poor!

Yours is

The kingdom of God.”

 

Καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ εἰς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἔλεγεν Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοί, ὅτι ὑμετέρα ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke said that Jesus looked up at his disciples (Καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ εἰς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  He said (ἔλεγεν) that the poor are blessed or happy (Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοί), using the second person plural.  Their reward would be the kingdom of God (ὅτι ὑμετέρα ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This sermon on the plain is somewhat similar to the sermon on the mount in Matthew, chapters 5-7.  Most people speak about the 8 beatitudes of Jesus on the mountain, since they feature the key points of Jesus’ preaching that was founded on the Hebrew Scriptures.  What does “blessed (Μακάριοι)” mean?  This Greek word Μακάριοι appeared over 68 times in the Greek Septuagint Old Testament, especially in the Psalms.  God will bless these people, so that they will be the fortunate ones, the happy ones, the wise ones.  There are echoes of Psalm 32, where the happy and blessed ones are those who have had their sins forgiven, since they have no deceit in their hearts.  The blessed people are the poor, the hungry, the mourners, and those being persecuted.  Number one is the poor.  However, right off the bat, there is a difference with Matthew. chapter 5:3, who used the term the “poor in spirit (οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι).”  What did Matthew mean by this “poor in spirit” or spiritual poverty?  There is a whole Judaic tradition about the oppressed poor and the humble of the land, as in the prophets Isaiah, chapter 61:1 and 66:2, and Zephaniah, chapter 2:3, but that was not spiritual poverty.  Perhaps, this was more like the lack of concern for material things, whether you are actually poor or not.  For Luke, it was black or white, poor or not.  The 2nd major difference was the reward.  Matthew talked about what they would possess, the kingdom of the heavens (ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν), while Luke said it was the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ), plain and simple.

Jerusalem (Lk 4:9-4:9)

“Then the devil

Took Jesus

To Jerusalem.

He placed him

On the pinnacle

Of the Temple.

He said to him.

‘If you are

The Son of God,

Throw yourself down

From here!’”

 

Ἤγαγεν δὲ αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ καὶ ἔστησεν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ, καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, βάλε σεαυτὸν ἐντεῦθεν κάτω·

 

There is a difference between Matthew, chapter 4:5 and Luke here, since Luke has this temptation as the last temptation, not the second one.  However, the wording is nearly the same, indicating a shared common source.  Luke said that the devil took or led Jesus to Jerusalem (Ἤγαγεν δὲ αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ).  He placed or set him on the pinnacle of the Temple (καὶ ἔστησεν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ).  He said to Jesus (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ).  If he was the Son of God (Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ), he could throw or cast himself down from there (βάλε σεαυτὸν ἐντεῦθεν κάτω).  This devil took Jesus to the holy city of Jerusalem, where he placed Jesus on the top of the Temple.  Once again, the devil said that if Jesus was truly the Son of God, he could throw himself down because God would provide for him.

Baptism with the Holy Spirit (Lk 3:16-3:16)

“He will baptize you

With the Holy Spirit

And fire.”

 

αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν Πνεύματι Ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 3:11, Mark, chapter 1:8, and John, chapter 1:33.  Luke indicated that John said that this mightier one to come was going to baptize them with the Holy Spirit (αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν Πνεύματι Ἁγίῳ) and fire (καὶ πυρί).  Matthew and Luke, mentioned fire with the Holy Spirit, but Mark did not.  The role of the Holy Spirit seemed important because he was going to use purifying fire in the baptismal washing.  There was a clear difference between the baptism of John with water for repentance and that of the later Christians with or in the Holy Spirit.  Perhaps there was some doubt among the early followers of Jesus about the role of baptism.