They say long prayers
For the sake of appearance.
They will receive
A greater condemnation.”
οἳ κατεσθίουσιν τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσεύχονται· οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα.
Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his condemnation of the Scribes. He said that the Scribes devour widows’ houses (οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν). They say long prayers for the sake of appearance (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι). They will receive the greater condemnation (οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα). Mark, chapter 12:40, and Matthew, chapter 23:14, are almost word for word like here in Luke. They all talked about how these Scribes took advantage of widows and pretended to be men of prayer. Mark indicated that Jesus said that these Scribes devoured widows’ houses (οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν), the same as Luke. What did he mean by that? They obviously took advantage of the generosity of widows. For the sake of appearances, these Scribes said long prayers (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι). Thus, they would receive a great severe condemnation (οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα.) for their behavior. Once again, there was no mention of any Pharisees, just the Scribes. In Matthew, this first part of the opening verse is exactly the same as the preceding verse. Woe to you (Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν)! Scribes (γραμματεῖς)! Woe to you! Pharisees (καὶ Φαρισαῖοι)! Hypocrites (ὑποκριταί)! There is no doubt that here Jesus was cursing both the Scribes and the Pharisees, who were devouring widow’s houses (ὅτι κατεσθίετε τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν), as they were taking advantage of widows. They also made long lengthy prayers (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι), so that they would look better and more pious. However, they were about to receive a greater condemnation (διὰ τοῦτο λήψεσθε περισσότερον κρίμα) than they had expected. Once again, the major difference was the role of the Pharisees in Matthew, that is not in Luke or Mark. Are you a hypocrite?
“But on the day
All of them.
It will be like that
On the day
That the Son of Man
ᾗ δὲ ἡμέρᾳ ἐξῆλθεν Λὼτ ἀπὸ Σοδόμων, ἔβρεξεν πῦρ καὶ θεῖον ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἀπώλεσεν πάντας
κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ ἔσται ᾗ ἡμέρᾳ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἀποκαλύπτεται.
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?
“If the same person
Sins against you
Yet turns back
You must forgive!”
καὶ ἐὰν ἑπτάκις τῆς ἡμέρας ἁμαρτήσῃ εἰς σὲ καὶ ἑπτάκις ἐπιστρέψῃ πρὸς σὲ λέγων Μετανοῶ, ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that if the same person sinned against you (ἁμαρτήσῃ εἰς σὲ) 7 times a day (καὶ ἐὰν ἑπτάκις τῆς ἡμέρας), yet turned back to you 7 times (καὶ ἑπτάκις ἐπιστρέψῃ πρὸς σὲ), and said that he repented (Μετανοῶ, ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ), you must still forgive him (ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ). There is something like this saying in Matthew, chapter 18:21-22, although there was no mention of Peter here in Luke. Matthew indicated that Peter took on a specific leadership role. He wanted to know how many times he should forgive his brother’s sins? Peter wanted to know how often he should forgive his brother who had sinned against him (ποσάκις ἁμαρτήσει εἰς ἐμὲ ὁ ἀδελφός μου καὶ ἀφήσω αὐτῷ). Peter thought that 7 would be a good number. Was 7 times enough (ἕως ἑπτάκις)? Most Jewish people had forgiven offenses 3 times. 3 strikes and you were out. Peter seemed overly generous in his attempts at forgiveness. Jesus surprised Peter with a solemn declaration (λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦ) by telling him to forgive his brother’s sins not just 7 times (Οὐ λέγω σοι ἕως ἑπτάκις) but 490 times, 7*70 (ἀλλὰ ἕως ἑβδομηκοντάκις ἑπτά). However, this saying about 7*70 was unique to Matthew, who was the only one who ever used this number ἑβδομηκοντάκις ἑπτά in the New Testament literature. This number, nevertheless, could be found in Genesis, chapter 4:24 when Cain and Lamech were talking about violent revenge. Lamech wanted his vengeance 7*70. Was this number an attempt to indicate infinity before we had that term? 490 seems overly generous in any circumstances. However, here in Luke, it might be even more since forgiveness was expected 7 times each day. How many times do you forgive people?
I did not presume
To come to you.
But only say the word!
Let my servant
διὸ οὐδὲ ἐμαυτὸν ἠξίωσα πρὸς σὲ ἐλθεῖν· ἀλλὰ εἰπὲ λόγῳ, καὶ ἰαθήτω ὁ παῖς μου.
Luke said that the friends of the centurion continued by saying he would not presume to come to Jesus (διὸ οὐδὲ ἐμαυτὸν ἠξίωσα πρὸς σὲ ἐλθεῖν). Instead, he wanted Jesus to only say the word (ἀλλὰ εἰπὲ λόγῳ), and thus his servant would be healed (καὶ ἰαθήτω ὁ παῖς μου). This saying of the centurion’s friends is exactly the same as the centurion himself in Matthew, chapter 8:8, perhaps indicating a Q source. The Roman centurion’s friends responded to Jesus that the centurion merely wanted Jesus to say the word, and then his servant would be healed. Perhaps, he was aware that Jewish people were not expected to go into the homes of gentiles like himself. Once again, this saying of the centurion and his friends has made its way into the Roman Catholic pre-communion prayer Eucharistic liturgy. Would you rely on the word of Jesus?
“But love your enemies!
Will be great!
You will be
Of the Most-High!”
πλὴν ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν καὶ ἀγαθοποιεῖτε καὶ δανίζετε μηδὲν ἀπελπίζοντες· καὶ ἔσται ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολύς, καὶ ἔσεσθε υἱοὶ Ὑψίστου,
Matthew, chapter 5:44 was more forceful when Jesus said that they were to love their enemies (ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν) and even pray for those who were persecuting them. Here Luke indicated that Jesus said that they were to love their enemies (πλὴν ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν), as in Matthew. However, they were to do good (καὶ ἀγαθοποιεῖτε). They were expected to lend to others (καὶ δανίζετε), expecting nothing in return (μηδὲν ἀπελπίζοντες). This was based on Exodus, chapter 22:25 that if they lent money, they should not charge interest to the poor. Leviticus, chapter 25:27, said that if any of their relatives fall into difficulties and become dependent on them, they should support them as though they were resident aliens. They were not to take interest or profit from them while they are living and eating in their house. Yahweh would provide. Their reward would be great (καὶ ἔσται ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολύς) because they would be children of the Most-High God (καὶ ἔσεσθε υἱοὶ Ὑψίστου). Have you ever lent money to relatives?
“If you lend
To those from whom
What credit is that
Lend to sinners,
As much again.”
καὶ ἐὰν δανίσητε παρ’ ὧν ἐλπίζετε λαβεῖν, ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστίν; καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἁμαρτωλοῖς δανίζουσιν ἵνα ἀπολάβωσιν τὰ ἴσα.
Luke indicated that Jesus continued that if they lent money (καὶ ἐὰν δανίσητε παρ’) to those from whom they hoped to receive it back (παρ’ ὧν ἐλπίζετε λαβεῖν), what credit or gift was that to them (ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστίν). Even sinners lend to sinners (καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἁμαρτωλοῖς δανίζουσιν), to receive as much back again (ἵνα ἀπολάβωσιν τὰ ἴσα). Matthew, chapter 5:42, had something similar about lending money. If someone wished to borrow money from them, they should not refuse them or turn them away. These were tough difficult recommendations, but actually based on the Torah. People were expected to give charity and at the same time offer interest free loans. How generous are you with your money?