Family betrayal (Lk 21:16-21:16)

“You will be betrayed

Even by parents,

Brothers,

Relatives,

And friends.

They will put

Some of you

To death.”

 

παραδοθήσεσθε δὲ καὶ ὑπὸ γονέων καὶ ἀδελφῶν καὶ συγγενῶν καὶ φίλων, καὶ θανατώσουσιν ἐξ ὑμῶν,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they would be betrayed (παραδοθήσεσθε), even by their parents (καὶ ὑπὸ γονέων), their brothers (καὶ ἀδελφῶν), their relatives (καὶ συγγενῶν), and their friends (καὶ φίλων).  They would put some of them to death (καὶ θανατώσουσιν ἐξ ὑμῶν).  This was something similar in Matthew, chapter 10:21, and Mark, chapter 13:12, probably based on Micah, chapter 7:6, where the prophet warned that they should not trust anyone.  Micah said that the son was treating his father with contempt.  The daughter was against her mother.  The daughter-in-law was against her mother-in-law.  Their worst enemies were not outside, but in their very own house.  This was a time and a place where you could not trust anyone, even your friends, family, and lovers.  You had to be careful with everyone.  Jesus, via Mark, seemed to indicate the same thing.  Brother would betray or hand over his brother to death (καὶ παραδώσει ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον).  A father would hand over or betray his child to death (καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον).  Children would rise up against their parents (ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς).  They would have them put to death (καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς).  Matthew only had the vague “they” betraying one another.  Jesus warned them that many of his followers would fall away, stumble, or be scandalized (καὶ τότε σκανδαλισθήσονται πολλοὶ).  They would betray or abandon each other (καὶ ἀλλήλους παραδώσουσιν), even hating and detesting one another (καὶ μισήσουσιν ἀλλήλους).  Family disputes would arise over Jesus.  This was a far cry from love your neighbor.  Have you ever had a religious dispute within your own family?

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?

Increase our faith (Lk 17:5-17:5)

“The apostles said

To the Lord.

‘Increase our faith!’”

 

Καὶ εἶπαν οἱ ἀπόστολοι τῷ Κυρίῳ Πρόσθες ἡμῖν πίστιν.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that the apostles asked the Lord (Καὶ εἶπαν οἱ ἀπόστολοι τῷ Κυρίῳ) to add or increase their faith (Πρόσθες ἡμῖν πίστιν).  Notice that Jesus was called the Lord (Κυρίῳ) here.  Although there are other instances of people having a lack of faith or a strong faith, quite often they were around being healed by Jesus.  This saying was the only instance of the apostles, not merely the disciples, or other followers of Jesus, where they specifically wished to increase or add to their belief.  Do you want to increase your faith?

Shake off the dust! (Lk 9:5-9:5)

“Wherever

They did not welcome you,

As you are leaving

That town,

Shake the dust

Off your feet,

As a testimony

Against them.”

 

καὶ ὅσοι ἂν μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐξερχόμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης τὸν κονιορτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν ἀποτινάσσετε εἰς μαρτύριον ἐπ’ αὐτούς.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his 12 apostles that wherever they did not receive them or welcome them (καὶ ὅσοι ἂν μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς), as they were leaving that town (ἐξερχόμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης), they were to shake the dust off their feet (τὸν κονιορτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν ἀποτινάσσετε) as a testimony or witness against them (εἰς μαρτύριον ἐπ’ αὐτούς).  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:14-15, and Mark, chapter 6:11.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that if any place would not receive them or listen to their words, they were to leave that place.  They should shake off the dust from their feet, as a witness or testimony against them.  This indicated that the dust of that house was useless.  Some orthodox texts have the statement about Sodom and Gomorrah that was in Matthew, chapter 10:15, where Jesus make a comparison between those places that had rejected them with the famous wicked cities of Genesis, chapter 18:20-19:29, Sodom and Gomorrah.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that if anyone would not receive them or listen to their words, they should leave that house or town.  They were to shake off the dust from their feet, indicating that the dust of that house or town was useless.  Matthew had Jesus make a comparison between these non-welcoming towns that had rejected them with the famous wicked cities of Genesis.  This was a solemn statement that it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on judgment day than these towns that had rejected his disciples.  They had lacked hospitality to the followers of. Jesus, so that they were worse than those terrible cities in Genesis.  Do you know a town worse than Sodom and Gomorrah?

Jesus calms the sea (Lk 8:24-8:24)

“They went

To Jesus.

They woke him up.

Shouting.

‘Master!

Master!

We are perishing!’

Jesus woke up.

He rebuked the wind

And the raging waves.

They ceased.

So that

There was a calm.”

 

προσελθόντες δὲ διήγειραν αὐτὸν λέγοντες Ἐπιστάτα ἐπιστάτα, ἀπολλύμεθα. ὁ δὲ διεγερθεὶς ἐπετίμησεν τῷ ἀνέμῳ καὶ τῷ κλύδωνι τοῦ ὕδατος· καὶ ἐπαύσαντο, καὶ ἐγένετο γαλήνη.

 

Luke said that the disciples went to Jesus (προσελθόντες).  They woke him up (δὲ διήγειραν αὐτὸν), shouting at him (λέγοντες) “Master (Ἐπιστάτα)!  Master (Ἐπιστάτα)!  We are perishing (ἀπολλύμεθα)!”  Jesus then woke up (ὁ δὲ διεγερθεὶς).  He rebuked (ἐπετίμησεν) the wind (τῷ ἀνέμῳ) and the raging water waves (καὶ τῷ κλύδωνι τοῦ ὕδατος), so that they ceased (καὶ ἐπαύσαντο).  Finally, there was a calm sea (καὶ ἐγένετο γαλήνη).  This waking of Jesus and calming the waters can be found in Matthew, chapter 8:25-26, and Mark chapter 4:38-39, in a somewhat similar fashion.  Matthew said that these disciples went to wake up Jesus.  They cried out to him calling him “the Lord (Κύριε)”.  They wanted to be saved or rescued, because they were dying or facing certain death.  They were definitely afraid and scared.  After waking up, Jesus then turned to his followers and asked them why they were afraid.  Was it because they had little faith?  The unfaithful “ὀλιγόπιστοι” was a favorite word of Matthew.  Then Jesus got up.  He then rebuked or admonished the winds and the sea itself, so that there was a great calm in the air and on the sea.  Jesus called out his disciples for their lack of faith or trust, while showing his great power.  Mark was not as frantic, but he had more details.  He said that Jesus was in the stern or the back of the boat, sleeping on a cushion.  The disciples woke up Jesus as Mark said that they called Jesus “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε).”  They said that Jesus did not care if they were perishing, or facing certain death.  They were definitely afraid and scared.  Notice that they did not call Jesus “Lord, Κύριε” as in Matthew, but rather “Teacher, Διδάσκαλε.”  Mark said that after Jesus woke up, he then rebuked or admonished the wind.  Then he spoke to the sea itself, as he told the sea to be silent, peaceful, and still   Thus, the wind abated or was still.  There was a great calmness in the sea.  Do you believe that God controls the wind and the sea?

Mary Magdalene (Lk 8:2-8:2)

“Some women

Who had been cured

Of evil spirits

And infirmities

Were with him also.

Mary,

Called Magdalene,

From whom

Seven demons

Had gone out,

Was with him also.”

 

καὶ γυναῖκές τινες αἳ ἦσαν τεθεραπευμέναι ἀπὸ πνευμάτων πονηρῶν καὶ ἀσθενειῶν, Μαρία ἡ καλουμένη Μαγδαληνή, ἀφ’ ἧς δαιμόνια ἑπτὰ ἐξεληλύθει,

 

Luke uniquely said that some women (καὶ γυναῖκές), who had been cured of evil spirits (τινες αἳ ἦσαν τεθεραπευμέναι ἀπὸ πνευμάτων πονηρῶν) and other infirmities (καὶ ἀσθενειῶν), were with him also.  Mary (Μαρία), called Magdalene (ἡ καλουμένη Μαγδαληνή), from whom 7 demons had departed (ἀφ’ ἧς δαιμόνια ἑπτὰ ἐξεληλύθει) was with him also.  This Mary Magdalene, who traveled with Jesus as one of his followers, probably came from the town of Magdala, a fishing town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.  She was explicitly mentioned by name 12 times in the canonical gospels, more than most of the other apostles, indicating her importance.  She certainly was a key figure in the gospel stories about the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus apparently healed her in some way that is not indicated, since Luke said that 7 demons had been driven out of her, a statement that Mark, chapter 16:9, also said.  She helped support Jesus’ ministry, indicating that she was probably relatively wealthy.  This Mary was a central figure in later apocryphal Gnostic Christian writings.  She had a very popular following in the Middle Ages as the repentant woman.  In the late 20th century, she became more popular with her role in the play of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Jesus Christ Super Star” (1971) and Dan Brown’s novel and movie “Da Vinci Code” (2003 and 2006).  What do you think about Mary Magdalene?