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?
However, Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus turned around (στραφεὶς) to these two apostles. He was not going to have any fire from heaven. He rebuked both James and John (δὲ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς). This was not the first or last time that Jesus would be upset with his apostles. A Byzantine text added that Jesus said something to them. He said that they did not know (Οὐκ οἴδατε) what spirit was in them (οἵου πνεύματός ἐστε ὑμεῖς). Do you think that you have ever upset God?
Luke said that while the young man was coming to Jesus (ἔτι δὲ προσερχομένου αὐτοῦ), the demon threw him down to the ground (ἔρρηξεν αὐτὸν τὸ δαιμόνιον) with convulsions (καὶ συνεσπάραξεν). But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit (πετίμησεν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ). He healed the boy (καὶ ἰάσατο τὸν παῖδα). He gave him back to his father (καὶ ἀπέδωκεν αὐτὸν τῷ πατρὶ αὐτοῦ). Both Matthew, chapter 17:18 and Luke here have a summary of a more detailed longer statement from Mark, chapter 9:20-27, about this mute epileptic boy. Mark said that they brought the boy to Jesus. However, when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it immediately convulsed the boy. The boy fell on the ground and began to roll around, foaming at the mouth. In fact, Jesus got to see what the father had described to him earlier. Jesus asked the father of this boy how long had these convulsions been happening to him. The father said that it had been happening since his childhood. This evil spirit would often cast him into both fire and water, as Matthew had mentioned, in order to destroy him. Then the father asked Jesus, if he was able to do anything to help his son. He wanted Jesus to have pity and compassion on him and his son. Jesus said to him that all things could be done for the one who believed. Belief was the key ingredient for any success in this area. The father of the child cried out that he believed, but he wanted help with his unbelief. This was a strong statement of belief that also recognized unbelief at the same time. Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit. He directly commanded this unclean evil spirit that had kept this boy from speaking and hearing to come out of him, never again to enter him. Jesus then got rid of the unclean spirit that was in this boy in a public act in front of a crowd. After crying out and terribly convulsing the boy with spasms, the evil spirit came out of the boy, who became a corpse. Most of the people said that the boy was dead. Could this boy live without the evil spirit in him? Jesus took the boy by the hand. He lifted him up, so that he rose up, and was able to stand up on his feet by himself. The boy was not dead. There was a clear equivalence between the illness of epilepsy and demonic possession. Once the devil or evil spirits had left the boy, he was cured of his various ailments. Have you ever dealt with an epileptic?
Luke said that, a spirit seized this young boy (καὶ ἰδοὺ πνεῦμα λαμβάνει αὐτόν). All at once (καὶ ἐξαίφνης), he shrieked or cried out (κράζει). This evil spirit convulsed him (καὶ σπαράσσει αὐτὸν) until he was foaming (μετὰ ἀφροῦ,). It bruised him (συντρῖβον αὐτόν), so that it would scarcely leave him alone (καὶ μόλις ἀποχωρεῖ ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ). This story of the man with the incurable epileptic son can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:15, Mark, chapter 9:18, and here in Luke, but there are differences in all 3 accounts. Apparently, this man’s son was an epileptic, possessed by the devil. This description of the young man’s suffering in Mark and Luke differed from Matthew, who had the child suffer very badly, falling into fire and water. However, Mark had even a more descriptive narrative of what was happening to this young man. He said that whenever the spirit seized him, it dashed or threw him down. This young boy would foam at the mouth. He would grind or gnash his teeth. He would become rigid as he was wasting or withering away. This sounded worse than Luke. Have you ever seen a person in an epileptic seizure?
Luke said that just then a man from the crowd shouted out (ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου ἐβόησεν λέγων) “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε)!” He begged Jesus to look at his son (δέομαί σου ἐπιβλέψαι ἐπὶ τὸν υἱόν μου) who was his only child (ὅτι μονογενής μοί ἐστιν). Jesus and Luke had an affection for only children. This story of the man with the incurable son can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:15, Mark, chapter 9:17-18, and here in Luke, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts. Mark said that it was someone from the crowd who spoke to Jesus, not a kneeling man as in Matthew. This man addressed Jesus as “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε),” like Luke, and not as “Lord (Κύριε)” as in Matthew. He had brought his son to Jesus because his son had a spirit that made him unable to speak. He was not immediately identified as an epileptic, but as a mute person. Matthew said that a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. Only Matthew has this man kneel in front of Jesus. Thus, this was a kneeling man, not someone from the crowd yelling out to Jesus. This man addressed Jesus as the Lord (Κύριε). He wanted Jesus to have mercy on his son, who was an epileptic, not mute. Epileptics were often considered to be possessed by the devil. Even today, we are still unsure of the exact cause of epilepsy seizures. This man’s son suffered very badly. He often fell into a fire and into water. Have you ever known a chronically sick child?
Here is the first of the sayings from the so-called Q source. Both Matthew, chapter 3:9-10, and Luke here have the exact same wording in their presentations of John’s preaching to the people. Instead of just the Pharisees and Sadducees, Luke has John address this to all the people coming to be baptized. This saying emphasized deeds, rather than relying on ancestry. They were to produce fruit that was worthy of repentance (ποιήσατε οὖν καρποὺς ἀξίους τῆς μετανοίας). They had to perform good deeds. They should not presume that because they have had Abraham as their father, as the privileged chosen ones (καὶ μὴ ἄρξησθε λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς Πατέρα ἔχομεν τὸν Ἀβραάμ), that all would go well for them. Then John pointedly said to them (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν) that God had the power (ὅτι δύναται ὁ Θεὸς) to change stones and rocks into the children of Abraham (ἐκ τῶν λίθων τούτων ἐγεῖραι τέκνα τῷ Ἀβραάμ), a Hebrew play on words that was translated into Greek. The axe was already lying at the foot of the trees, ready to go to work (ἤδη δὲ καὶ ἡ ἀξίνη πρὸς τὴν ῥίζαν τῶν δένδρων κεῖται). Every tree that was not bearing or producing good fruit would be cut down (πᾶν οὖν δένδρον μὴ ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλὸν ἐκκόπτεται). Then they would be thrown into the fire (καὶ εἰς πῦρ βάλλεται).
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:70-71, and Luke, chapter 22:57-58. John, chapter 18:17, has a simple denial. Peter was warming himself at the fire in the high priest’s courtyard, when a young servant girl of the high priest came up to him and said that he had been with Jesus. Mark said that Peter denied this (ὁ δὲ ἠρνήσατο). Peter said that he did not know or even understand what she was talking about (λέγων Οὔτε οἶδα οὔτε ἐπίσταμαι σὺ τί λέγεις). Then Peter walked away into the forecourt, the porch, or gateway to the courtyard (καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἔξω εἰς τὸ προαύλιον). Some ancient Orthodox manuscripts had the cock crow at this point (καὶ ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν). This first denial story of Peter, the great leader and follower of Jesus, was in all 4 gospels. Not all leaders are perfect.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:58, and Luke, chapter 22:54-55, but Peter was there to warm himself and not see what was happening. In John, chapter 18:15-16, Peter was with another disciple, who helped him to get into the courtyard. Here Mark said that Peter had followed Jesus (καὶ ὁ Πέτρος… ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ), but at a distance (ἀπὸ μακρόθεν). Peter even went as far as right into the courtyard of the high priest (ἕως ἔσω εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως). Then he sat with the guards or servants of the high priest (καὶ ἦν συνκαθήμενος μετὰ τῶν ὑπηρετῶν). Instead of being there to see what was going to happen to Jesus, as Matthew indicated, Mark said that Peter was there to warm himself (καὶ θερμαινόμενος) at the fire (πρὸς τὸ φῶς) in the courtyard. Thus, Peter was careless in entering the courtyard and sitting with the servants and guards of the high priest, since this might be a problem for him.
This verse is a further explanation about Gehenna or hell. This was the same verse in 9:44 and 9:46. Thus, in many manuscripts, verses 44 and 46 are omitted as repetitions, so that only verse 48 is listed with just empty space between these other verses. Mark indicated that Jesus said that hell was where their gnawing or anguishing worm would never die (ὅπου ὁ σκώληξ αὐτῶν οὐ τελευτᾷ) because the fire was never extinguished or quenched (καὶ τὸ πῦρ οὐ σβέννυται). They would have eternal discomfort and anguish with a gnawing worm and a fire that never went out.