A parable near Jerusalem (Lk 19:11-19:11)

“As they were listening

To these things,

Jesus proceeded

To tell a parable.

He was near Jerusalem.

Thus,

They supposed

That the kingdom of God

Was to appear

Immediately.”

 

Ἀκουόντων δὲ αὐτῶν ταῦτα προσθεὶς εἶπεν παραβολὴν, διὰ τὸ ἐγγὺς εἶναι Ἱερουσαλὴμ αὐτὸν καὶ δοκεῖν αὐτοὺς ὅτι παραχρῆμα μέλλει ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀναφαίνεσθαι·

 

Only Luke had this unique introduction to this parable.  He said that as the disciples were listening to these things (Ἀκουόντων δὲ αὐτῶν ταῦτα), presumably the story about Zacchaeus, Jesus proceeded to tell another parable (προσθεὶς εἶπεν παραβολὴν).  He was near his Jerusalem goal (διὰ τὸ ἐγγὺς εἶναι Ἱερουσαλὴμ αὐτὸν), which meant that he was in Jericho or between Jericho and Jerusalem.  The disciples supposed or thought (καὶ δοκεῖν αὐτοὺς) that the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) was about to appear immediately or soon (ὅτι παραχρῆμα μέλλει…ἀναφαίνεσθαι).  Somehow the disciples assumed that if they got to Jerusalem, the kingdom of God would be revealed to them.  They anticipated that the messianic age would happen.  Some more revolutionary followers may have even expected a political earthly kingdom to be established, in opposition to the Roman occupation.  This parable was meant to tone down their expectations about an earthly kingdom and the immediacy of this new heavenly kingdom.  Do you expect the the kingdom of God to come soon?

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They did not understand (Lk 18:34-18:34)

“But the twelve apostles

Understood

Nothing about

All these things.

In fact,

What he said

Was hidden

From them.

They did not grasp

What was said.”

 

καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐδὲν τούτων συνῆκαν, καὶ ἦν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο κεκρυμμένον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν, καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκον τὰ λεγόμενα.

 

Luke uniquely added that 12 apostles did not understood anything about all these things (καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐδὲν τούτων συνῆκαν) about his future death and resurrection.  In fact, what Jesus said was hidden from them (καὶ ἦν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο κεκρυμμένον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν), because they did not grasp what he said (καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκον τὰ λεγόμενα).  Despite Jesus’ attempt to inform his elite 12 apostles, they still did not understand what he was talking about.  This is somewhat similar to earlier in chapter 9:45, where Luke said that the disciples did not understand this saying of Jesus (οἱ δὲ ἠγνόουν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο), because its meaning was veiled or concealed from them (καὶ ἦν παρακεκαλυμμένον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν).  Thus, they could not comprehend it (ἵνα μὴ αἴσθωνται αὐτό).  However, they were afraid (καὶ ἐφοβοῦντο) to ask Jesus (ἐρωτῆσαι αὐτὸν) about the meaning of this saying (περὶ τοῦ ῥήματος τούτου).  This saying about the reaction of the disciples can also be found in Matthew, chapter 17:23, and Mark, chapter 9:32.  Mark, like Luke, said that the disciples did not understand what Jesus was talking about.  They were afraid to ask or question him about this.  Once again, Mark indicated that the disciples did not seem to understand everything that was going on around them.  Matthew, on the other hand, said that on hearing this, the disciples were greatly vexed, pained, or distressed, since this was shocking news to them.  Do you always understand what Jesus is talking about?

Eternal reward (Lk 18:29-18:30)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

There is no one

Who has left house,

Or wife,

Or brothers,

Or parents,

Or children,

For the sake

Of the kingdom of God,

Who will not get back

Very much in this age,

And in the age

To come,

Eternal life.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐδείς ἐστιν ὃς ἀφῆκεν οἰκίαν ἢ γυναῖκα ἢ ἀδελφοὺς ἢ γονεῖς ἢ τέκνα ἕνεκεν τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ,

ὃς οὐχὶ μὴ λάβῃ πολλαπλασίονα ἐν τῷ καιρῷ τούτῳ καὶ ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι τῷ ἐρχομένῳ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) with a solemn pronouncement (Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), that everyone who has left their house (ὅτι οὐδείς ἐστιν ὃς ἀφῆκεν οἰκίαν), wife (ἢ γυναῖκα), brothers (ἢ ἀδελφοὺς), parents (ἢ γονεῖς), or children (ἢ τέκνα ἕνεκεν), for the sake of the kingdom of God (τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ) will get back very much more (ὃς οὐχὶ μὴ λάβῃ πολλαπλασίονα) in this age (ἐν τῷ καιρῷ τούτῳ), and in the age to come (καὶ ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι τῷ ἐρχομένῳ), eternal life (ζωὴν αἰώνιον).  This is the only use of the Greek word πολλαπλασίονα, that means manifold or many times more.  This demanding but rewarding saying of Jesus can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:29-30, and Matthew, chapter 19:29, but slightly different, especially Matthew with the apostles sitting on the 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes.  Mark said that Jesus then issued a solemn proclamation to his disciples that anyone who has left house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or land fields for the sake of the gospel good news, would receive a hundredfold now in this age, in houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and field lands.  However, in the age to come, they would have eternal life.  In Matthew, Jesus also issued a solemn proclamation to his disciples.  He told them, if they had followed him, that at the renewal of all things, the rebirth, the end times, the Son of Man would be seated on his glorious throne.  At that same time, his followers, these 12 disciple apostles, would sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel.  Everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or lands for his name would receive a hundredfold.  They would inherit eternal life.  The reward would be great.  Don’t worry.  Are you concerned that you have left your family to follow Jesus?

Who can be saved? (Lk 18:26-18:26)

“Those who heard it

Said.

‘Then who can be saved?’”

 

εἶπαν δὲ οἱ ἀκούσαντες Καὶ τίς δύναται σωθῆναι;

 

Luke indicated that those who heard this saying of Jesus about the wealthy people then said (εἶπαν δὲ οἱ ἀκούσαντες) who could be saved (Καὶ τίς δύναται σωθῆναι)?  This same reaction of the disciples can be found in Mark, chapter 10:26, and Matthew, chapter 19:25, almost word for word among them.  Mark said that the disciples of Jesus were very shocked, astonished, and amazed (οἱ δὲ περισσῶς ἐξεπλήσσοντο).  They said to themselves (λέγοντες πρὸς ἑαυτούς), who then could possibly be saved (Καὶ τίς δύναται σωθῆναι)?  In Matthew, when the disciples of Jesus heard this saying (ἀκούσαντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ), they were greatly shocked, astonished, and amazed (ἐξεπλήσσοντο σφόδρα).  They then wondered who then could possibly be saved (Τίς ἄρα δύναται σωθῆναι)?  Could anyone be saved?  Everyone had some kind of wealth, so that this was a very difficult saying for them.  Is this saying about wealth shocking to you?

They were bringing infants (Lk 18:15-18:15)

“People were bringing

Even infants

To Jesus.

Thus,

He might touch them.

When the disciples

Saw this,

They sternly ordered them

Not to do it.”

 

Προσέφερον δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ τὰ βρέφη ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅπτηται· ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμων αὐτοῖς.

 

Luke indicated that people were bringing even infants to Jesus (Προσέφερον δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ τὰ βρέφη).  Thus, he might touch them (ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅπτηται).  However, when the disciples saw this (ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ), they sternly ordered or rebuked them not to do that (ἐπετίμων αὐτοῖς).  This story about the little children can be found in Mark, chapter 10:13, and Matthew, chapter 19:13, almost word for word.  Mark said that people were bringing little children, not infants as in Luke, to Jesus (Καὶ προσέφερον αὐτῷ παιδία), so that he might touch them (ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅψηται).  However, the disciples spoke sternly or admonished those people (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς) who brought these children to Jesus.  Matthew said that little children were brought to Jesus (Τότε προσηνέχθησαν αὐτῷ παιδία), so that he might lay his hands on them (ἵνα τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιθῇ αὐτοῖς) and pray for them (καὶ προσεύξηται), which was not in Mark or Luke.  However, the disciples spoke sternly or admonished those (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς) who brought them to Jesus.  There seemed to be a conflict between Jesus, who valued little children or infants in the Jewish tradition, and his disciples, who wanted to keep them away from Jesus.  Do you like little children?

 

The unrighteous judge (Lk 18:6-8:6)

“The Lord said.

‘Listen

To what

the unjust says!’”

 

Εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος Ἀκούσατε τί ὁ κριτὴς τῆς ἀδικίας λέγει·

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge.  Luke indicated that the Lord Jesus said to them (Εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος) that they were to listen (Ἀκούσατε) to what this unjust judge just said (τί ὁ κριτὴς τῆς ἀδικίας λέγει).  Despite being unjust (ἀδικίας), Jesus wanted his disciples to listen to what he had to say.  If this callous unjust judge granted justice to this persistent widow, what do you think that a wonderful caring just God would do for them with their persistent pleadings and prayers?  Notice that Luke now called Jesus Lord (ὁ Κύριος).  Do you think that bad unjust people can do some good deeds once in a while?

Gain or lose your life (Lk 17:33-17:33)

“Those who try

To make

Their life secure,

Will lose it.

But those who lose

Their life

Will keep it.”

 

ὃς ἐὰν ζητήσῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ περιποιήσασθαι, ἀπολέσει αὐτήν, καὶ ὃς ἂν ἀπολέσει, ζωογονήσει αὐτήν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that those who try to make their life secure or save it (ὃς ἐὰν ζητήσῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ περιποιήσασθαι), would lose it (ἀπολέσει αὐτήν).  But those who lose their life (καὶ ὃς ἂν ἀπολέσει), would keep or preserve it (ζωογονήσει αὐτήν).  In chapter 9:24, Luke indicated that Jesus said that anyone who wanted to save his life (ὃς γὰρ ἐὰν θέλῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ σῶσαι), would lose it or have it sent away (ἀπολέσει αὐτήν).  Those who lost their life (ὃς δ’ ἂν ἀπολέσῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ) for the sake of Jesus (ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ), would save it (οὗτος σώσει αὐτήν).  Jesus told his disciples how to save their lives.  Something similar can be found in the other synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:25, and Mark, chapter 8:35.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that whoever wished, desired, or wanted to save his life, he would lose it.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that whoever wished, desired, or wanted to save their life, they would lose it.  However, anyone who lost their life for the sake of Jesus, they would find their life.  This is also similar to Matthew, chapter 10:39 and John, chapter 12:25.  In order to gain your eternal life, you have to lose your life for the sake of Jesus.  Anyone who thinks that he has found his life or soul, will lose it.  On the other hand, anyone who loses their life or soul for the sake of Jesus will find their life or soul.  Thus, you have to lose your life or soul in Jesus, in order to truly live, a common theme about losing your life for Christ.  Have you lost your life in Jesus?