The crowds waited for Jesus (Lk 8:40-8:40)

“Now when Jesus returned,

The crowd

Welcomed him.

They were all

Waiting

For him.”

 

Ἐν δὲ τῷ ὑποστρέφειν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπεδέξατο αὐτὸν ὁ ὄχλος· ἦσαν γὰρ πάντες προσδοκῶντες αὐτόν.

 

Luke continued to follow Mark.  When Jesus returned (Ἐν δὲ τῷ ὑποστρέφειν τὸν Ἰησοῦν), the crowd welcomed him (ἀπεδέξατο αὐτὸν ὁ ὄχλος).  They were all waiting for him (ἦσαν γὰρ πάντες προσδοκῶντες αὐτόν).  There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 5:21.  Mark said that Jesus crossed to the other side of the sea in a boat.  There, a great crowd gathered around him near the seashore.  Jesus had returned to familiar ground in the Jewish area around the western side of the Sea of Galilee.  Do you like to return to familiar territory?

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The good soil bears fruit (Lk 8:15-8:15)

“As for those seeds

On the good soil,

These are the ones

Who,

When they hear

The word,

They hold it fast

In an honest

And good heart.

They bear fruit

With a patient endurance.”

 

τὸ δὲ ἐν τῇ καλῇ γῇ, οὗτοί εἰσιν οἵτινες ἐν καρδίᾳ καλῇ καὶ ἀγαθῇ ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον κατέχουσιν καὶ καρποφοροῦσιν ἐν ὑπομονῇ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the seeds on the good soil (τὸ δὲ ἐν τῇ καλῇ γῇ) are the ones (οὗτοί εἰσιν οἵτινες) who heard the word (ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον) and held it or kept it fast (κατέχουσιν) with an honest and good heart (ἐν καρδίᾳ καλῇ καὶ ἀγαθῇ).  They would bear fruit with a patient endurance (καὶ καρποφοροῦσιν ἐν ὑπομονῇ).  This explanation of the sower parable about the good seeds can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:20, Matthew, chapter 13:23, and here, with Matthew closer to Mark.  Mark and Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the seeds sown on good soil were the people who heard the word and accepted it.  They then bore good fruit.  They yielded either 30-fold, 60-fold, or a 100-fold.  Matthew, had the reverse order of Mark, 100, 60, and 30, while Luke, has no number on the fruitful harvest.  Only about 25% of the seeds sown were effective.  Thus, only about 25% of the people hearing the word of the kingdom from Jesus would follow it.  The seeds or the word that fell on the path, on the rocky ground, or the thorns were ineffective.  However, even among the effective seeds that were on good soil, the word would have different results.  Some would yield 30 times, some 60, and some 100.  There was no magic formula.  The circumstances among the good hearers would also bring about a variety of responses and effectiveness.  How effective are the seeds of the word of God in your life?

Levi the tax collector (Lk 5:27-5:27)

“After this,

Jesus went out.

He saw a tax collector,

Named Levi,

Sitting

At the tax booth.

He said to him.

‘Follow me!’”

 

Καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα ἐξῆλθεν, καὶ ἐθεάσατο τελώνην ὀνόματι Λευεὶν καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον, καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἀκολούθει μοι.

 

The call of Levi or Matthew follows the story of the paralytic healing in all three synoptic gospels.  Luke said that Jesus went out (Καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα ἐξῆλθεν), presumably in Capernaum.  There he saw a tax collector (καὶ ἐθεάσατο τελώνην), named Levi (ὀνόματι Λευεὶν), sitting at the tax booth (καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον).  He said to him (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) to follow him (Ἀκολούθει μοι).  Mark, chapter 2:14, and Matthew, chapter 9:9, are similar to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this event.  However, there are some significant differences.  Matthew called this man Matthew instead of Levi, his Jewish name.  Luke also followed Mark in calling him Levi.  Matthew and Luke did not mention his father, but Mark did.  It was strange that if this Matthew the apostle was the author of this gospel, why he did not mention the name of his father.  Both Matthew and Mark said that Jesus was walking along, when he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, or Matthew, sitting in his tax office, toll booth, or tax booth.  Jesus simply said to him to follow him.

The role of these women from Galilee (Mk 15:41-15:41)

“These women

Used to follow Jesus.

They provided

For him

When he was

In Galilee.

There were

Many other women

Who had come up

With him

To Jerusalem.”

 

αἳ ὅτε ἦν ἐν τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ ἠκολούθουν αὐτῷ καὶ διηκόνουν αὐτῷ, καὶ ἄλλαι πολλαὶ αἱ συναναβᾶσαι αὐτῷ εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 27:35.  Mark said that these women followed Jesus from Galilee (αἳ ὅτε ἦν ἐν τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ ἠκολούθουν αὐτῷ), as they provided, ministered, or served him (καὶ διηκόνουν αὐτῷ).  Mark also indicated that there were many other unnamed women who had come with Jesus to Jerusalem (καὶ ἄλλαι πολλαὶ αἱ συναναβᾶσαι αὐτῷ εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα).  These groupies may have been the first deaconess of the Christian era.  However, they were from Galilee and not women from Jerusalem.

Jesus was sending two disciples to set up things (Mk 14:13-14:13)

“Jesus sent

Two of his disciples.

He said to them.

‘Go!

Into the city!

A man carrying

A jar of water

Will meet you.

Follow him!’”

 

καὶ ἀποστέλλει δύο τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν πόλιν, καὶ ἀπαντήσει ὑμῖν ἄνθρωπος κεράμιον ὕδατος βαστάζων· ἀκολουθήσατε αὐτῷ,

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:18, and Luke, chapter 22:8-10.  Mark indicated that Jesus sent out 2 of his unnamed disciples (καὶ ἀποστέλλει δύο τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ), while Luke mentioned that it was Peter and John.  Jesus then told them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) that they were to go into the city (Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν πόλιν) of Jerusalem.  There, they would meet a certain unnamed man (καὶ ἀπαντήσει ὑμῖν ἄνθρωπος), who would be carrying a jar or pitcher of water (κεράμιον ὕδατος βαστάζων).  They were to accompany or follow him (ἀκολουθήσατε αὐτῷ).

 

We have left everything (Mk 10:28-10:28)

“Peter began

To say to Jesus.

‘Look!

We have left everything.

We have followed you.’”

 

Ἤρξατο λέγειν ὁ Πέτρος αὐτῷ Ἰδοὺ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν πάντα καὶ ἠκολουθήκαμέν σοι.

 

This saying by the pragmatic leader of the disciples showed that Peter was concerned about himself and his fellow disciples.  What was in for them?  Something similar can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:27, and Luke, chapter 18:28, almost word for word.  Mark said that Peter began to complain to Jesus (Ἤρξατο λέγειν ὁ Πέτρος αὐτῷ).  He said that he and the other disciples had left everything that he had (Ἰδοὺ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν πάντα).  They were willing to follow Jesus (καὶ ἠκολουθήκαμέν σοι), but what was going to be their reward?  Would they be left empty-handed?

Sell what you have (Mk 10:21-10:21)

“Jesus looking

At the man,

Loved him.

Jesus said to him.

‘You lack one thing!

Go!

Sell what you have!

Give the money

To the poor!

You will have treasure

In heaven!

Then come!

Follow me!’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ ἠγάπησεν αὐτὸν καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἕν σε ὑστερεῖ· ὕπαγε, ὅσα ἔχεις πώλησον καὶ δὸς τοῖς πτωχοῖς, καὶ ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν οὐρανῷ, καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει μοι.

 

This call to perfection can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:21, and Luke, chapter 18:22, but slightly different.  Mark said that Jesus looked at this man (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ) and loved him (ἠγάπησεν αὐτὸν).  He said to this man (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he lacked one thing or he fell short in one area (Ἕν σε ὑστερεῖ).  This man would have to go (ὕπαγε) and sell his possessions or whatever he had (ὅσα ἔχεις πώλησον).  Then he should give this money or the proceeds to the poor or destitute people (καὶ δὸς πτωχοῖς).  He no longer would have earthly wealth, but he would then have a treasure in heaven (καὶ ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν οὐρανῷ).  Finally, he could become a follower or accompany Jesus (καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει μοι).  Like many of the sayings in Mark, Jesus had very high standards and difficult demands.  There was no equivocation.