The good news (Lk 16:16-16:16)

“The law

And the prophets

Were in effect

Until John came.

Since then,

The good news

Of the kingdom of God

Is proclaimed.

Everyone

Tries to enter it

By force.”

 

Ὁ νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται μέχρι Ἰωάνου· ἀπὸ τότε ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ εὐαγγελίζεται καὶ πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the law (Ὁ νόμος) and the prophets (καὶ οἱ προφῆται) were in effect until John came (μέχρι Ἰωάνου).  Since then (ἀπὸ τότε), the good news has been proclaimed (εὐαγγελίζεται) about the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Everyone tries to enter it by force (καὶ πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται).  The law and the prophets were the two major parts of the Hebrew Bible.  John the Baptist represented some sort of turning point.  His preaching about the kingdom of God meant that the days of the law and prophets were numbered.  There is something similar, but in a different context with a different meaning in Matthew, chapter 11:12-13.  There Jesus talked about the days of John the Baptist until the present (ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ ἕως ἄρτι), not a very long time.  The kingdom of heaven has suffered violence (ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται).  What kind of violence was taking place in the heavenly kingdom?  Did this mean that so many people were violently seeking the kingdom of heaven that John was talking about?  Is this some kind of violence within the kingdom of heaven?  Were these violent people trying to get into the kingdom of heaven?  The next sentence seems to support this idea that violent people wanted to seize the kingdom of heaven by force (καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν).  In Matthew, chapter 17:11-13, Jesus compared John to Elijah.  Like here in Luke, all the prophets and the law had prophesied until the time of John the Baptist (πάντες γὰρ οἱ προφῆται καὶ ὁ νόμος ἕως Ἰωάνου ἐπροφήτευσαν).  Then Jesus said that John was the new Elijah (αὐτός ἐστιν Ἡλείας), the one who was to come (ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι).  However, they had to be willing to accept this (καὶ εἰ θέλετε δέξασθαι).  Anyone who had ears to hear should listen to this (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω).  Clearly, something fundamental changed with John the Baptist and his proclamation of the kingdom of God.  How were John and Jesus connected in their preaching?  What is your opinion about John the Baptist?

Throw the bad salt away (Lk 14:35-14:35)

“This salt is fit

Neither

For the soil,

Nor for the manure pile.

Throw it away!

Let anyone

With ears

To hear,

Listen!”

 

οὔτε εἰς γῆν οὔτε εἰς κοπρίαν εὔθετόν ἐστιν· ἔξω βάλλουσιν αὐτό. ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν ἀκουέτω

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this salt was fit (εὔθετόν ἐστιν) neither for the soil (οὔτε εἰς γῆν), nor for the manure pile (οὔτε εἰς κοπρίαν).  It should be thrown away (ἔξω βάλλουσιν αὐτό).  Let anyone with ears to hear (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν), listen (ἀκουέτω)!  This saying of Jesus can be found somewhat similar in Matthew, chapter 5:13, and Mark, chapter 9:50.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that tasteless salt was now useless, impotent, and not good for anything (εἰς οὐδὲν ἰσχύει ἔτι).  The end result of this insipid salt was that it should either be thrown away (εἰ μὴ βληθὲν ἔξω) or have people trample it down (καταπατεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων).  Mark indicated that Jesus then turned to his followers.  He told them that they should have salt within themselves (ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἅλα), not exactly the salt of the earth, but close enough.  They should be at peace with one another (καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις).  There was no indication here about throwing salt away because it had become useless, as in Matthew and Luke.  Salt would bring about brotherly peace or love.  Only Luke had the admonition to listen to what Jesus was saying.  How much salt do you use?

Blessed eyes (Lk 10:23-10:23)

“Then turning

To the disciples,

Jesus said

To them privately.

‘Blessed are the eyes

That see

What you see!’”

 

Καὶ στραφεὶς πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς κατ’ ἰδίαν εἶπεν Μακάριοι οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ οἱ βλέποντες ἃ βλέπετε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus turned to his disciples (Καὶ στραφεὶς πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς).  He told them privately (κατ’ ἰδίαν εἶπεν) that their eyes were blessed, fortunate, or happy (Μακάριοι οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ), because they saw what they saw (οἱ βλέποντες ἃ βλέπετε).  Matthew, chapter 13:16 had almost this same saying about the blessed ones, thus, indicating a Q source.  The disciples of Jesus were the blessed or happy ones (ὑμῶν δὲ μακάριοι), because of what their eyes saw and their ears heard.  Luke never mentioned ears until the next verse.  Are you happy or fortunate because of what your eyes have seen?

Understanding the parables (Lk 8:10-8:10)

“Jesus said.

‘To you

It has been given

To know the secrets

Of the kingdom

Of God.

But to others,

I speak in parables.

Thus,

Looking,

They may not perceive!

Listening,

They may not understand!’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ὑμῖν δέδοται γνῶναι τὰ μυστήρια τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ, τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς ἐν παραβολαῖς, ἵνα βλέποντες μὴ βλέπωσιν καὶ ἀκούοντες μὴ συνιῶσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) to his disciples that they would be able to understand the secrets (Ὑμῖν δέδοται γνῶναι τὰ μυστήρια) of the kingdom of God (τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ).  But to others (τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς), he would be speaking in parables or riddles (ἐν παραβολαῖς).  Thus, these people might look (ἵνα βλέποντες), but not see (μὴ βλέπωσιν).  They might listen (καὶ ἀκούοντες), but not understand (μὴ συνιῶσιν).  This response of Jesus about the meaning of parables can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:11-12, and Matthew, chapter 13:11-15, and here.  Matthew and Mark also said that Jesus told his disciples that they had been given knowledge concerning the secret mysteries about the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God.  However, this was not granted to others.  Matthew had Jesus explain that those who had more knowledge, even more abundant knowledge would be given to them.  However, those who had nothing, even what little they had would be taken away.  The reason that Jesus spoke in parables was that some people might see, but not perceive what they saw, while other people might hear but not understand what they have heard.  For people outside their disciple group, everything was still in parables or riddles.  Only those on the inside would understand these parables, while those outside the inner circle of Jesus would not understand these riddles.  This was almost like a gnostic interpretation of knowledge, where only the elite insiders had a true secret knowledge about the mysteries and the kingdom of God and heaven.  Matthew also had a long citation from Isaiah, chapter 6:9-10, about the people unable to understand, while Luke, and Mark had only a short summary statement.  Isaiah told the Israelite people that they were listening without comprehending.  They were looking without understanding.  Their hearts were dull and their eyes and ears were closed.  They were experiencing and listening, but they could not hear or understand.  Do you understand what you see and hear?

Unlawful on the Sabbath (Lk 6:2-6:2)

“But some of the Pharisees

Said.

‘Why are you doing

What is not lawful

To do on the Sabbath?’”

 

τινὲς δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων εἶπαν Τί ποιεῖτε ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν;

 

As per usual, the Pharisees pop up to complain and question the disciples of Jesus.  Luke said that some of the Pharisees said (τινὲς δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων εἶπαν) that what the disciples of Jesus were doing was not lawful to do on the Sabbath (Τί ποιεῖτε ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν).  They posed it as a question.  Matthew, chapter 12:2, and Mark, chapter 2:24, are similar to Luke, so that Mark may be the source of this incident.  Matthew said that Pharisees saw the disciples of Jesus plucking the grain on the Sabbath.  Deuteronomy, chapter 25:24-25, stated that it was okay to pluck the ears with your hand, but you could not put a sickle to your neighbor’s standing grain or carry it away in a container.  However, Exodus, chapter 34:21, explicitly said that you could not harvest grain on the Sabbath, but did not mention any hand picking.  Thus, the Pharisees said to Jesus that his disciples were doing unlawful things on the Sabbath by plucking the grain   Notice that Jesus was not doing this, only his disciples were.

Do not your eyes see? (Mk 8:18-8:18)

“Do you have eyes?

Yet you do not see.

Do you have ears

And not hear?

Do you not remember?”

 

ὀφθαλμοὺς ἔχοντες οὐ βλέπετε, καὶ ὦτα ἔχοντες οὐκ ἀκούετε; καὶ οὐ μνημονεύετε,

 

This reprimand of Jesus to his disciples is unique to Mark, who returned to his favorite theme of failure to see and hear correctly.  Mark said that Jesus asked them if they did not have eyes to see (ὀφθαλμοὺς ἔχοντες οὐ βλέπετε) or any ears to hear (καὶ ὦτα ἔχοντες οὐκ ἀκούετε)?  Did they not remember (καὶ οὐ μνημονεύετε) what he had done and said?  Jesus was upset at their lack of understanding of what was going on.

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.