they are doing.’
ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς
ἔλεγεν Πάτερ, ἄφες αὐτοῖς· οὐ γὰρ οἴδασιν τί ποιοῦσιν. διαμεριζόμενοι δὲ τὰ ἱμάτια
αὐτοῦ ἔβαλον κλήρους.
that Jesus said (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἔλεγεν) to his Father (Πάτερ) to forgive them (ἄφες
αὐτοῖς), because they did not know (οὐ γὰρ οἴδασιν) what they were doing (τί
ποιοῦσιν). Then they cast lots (ἔβαλον
κλήρους) to divide his clothing (διαμεριζόμενοι δὲ τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ). This first verse was not in the other gospel
stories. However, the verse about dividing
the clothing of Jesus was almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:35, and Mark,
chapter 15:24, while John, chapter
19:23-25, had a longer detailed description about the division of the garments
of Jesus. The first cinemascope movie in
1953 was called the “The Robe,” based on a 1942 novel with the same name that
got its inspiration from this biblical passage.
Mark, chapter 15:24 said that
they crucified Jesus (καὶ σταυροῦσιν αὐτὸν).
Then they divided his garments or clothes among themselves (καὶ διαμερίζονται
τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ), by casting lots for them (βάλλοντες κλῆρον ἐπ’ αὐτὰ). That is how they decided what each person
would take for themselves (τίς τί ἄρῃ), which was a common practice among the
Roman soldiers. Matthew, chapter 27:35, said that when the Roman soldiers had put
Jesus on the cross for his crucifixion (σταυρώσαντες δὲ), they divided his
garments among themselves (αὐτὸν διεμερίσαντο τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ), by casting lots
for them (βάλλοντες κλῆρον). For my
clothing, they cast lots (καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν ἱματισμόν μου ἔβαλον κλῆρον) was from Psalm 22:18, when David was in distress. Then these Roman guards sat down (καὶ
καθήμενοι) to keep watch over, guard, or observe Jesus there (ἐτήρουν αὐτὸν ἐκεῖ). In other words, these soldiers now had the
clothes of Jesus divided among themselves.
Would you take the clothing of a dead man?
“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 will get up.
I will go
To my father.
I will say to him.
I have sinned
And before you.’”
ἀναστὰς πορεύσομαι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ ἐρῶ αὐτῷ Πάτερ, ἥμαρτον εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου,
This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories. Luke indicated that Jesus said that finally, this prodigal son said that he would get up (ἀναστὰς) and go home to his father (πορεύσομαι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου). He was going to say to his father (καὶ ἐρῶ αὐτῷ Πάτερ) that he had sinned (ἥμαρτον) against heaven (εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν) and his father (εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν). This prodigal son finally came to his senses. He was going to go home and ask for forgiveness from heaven and his father. Have you ever thought about going home to ask forgiveness from your family for what you have done?
Indebted to us.”
καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν, καὶ γὰρ αὐτοὶ ἀφίομεν παντὶ ὀφείλοντι ἡμῖν·
Luke indicated that Jesus said that we should ask the Father to forgive our sins (καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν). Afterall, we ourselves have forgiven everyone indebted to us (καὶ γὰρ αὐτοὶ ἀφίομεν παντὶ ὀφείλοντι ἡμῖν). Matthew, chapter 6:12, said that we should ask the Father to forgive our debts (καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰ ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν). This includes whatever we owe to God, because our sins have put us in debt to God. If we ask for forgiveness, that assumes that we have forgiven our own debtors (ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν). This saying about forgiveness seems similar to Matthew, chapter 6:14-15, that came right after the “Our Father” prayer. Basically, the heavenly Father would forgive those people who have forgiven others for their missteps or trespasses. On the other hand, if you did not forgive others, your heavenly Father would not forgive you your trespasses. You can see how the idea of trespasses, instead of debtors, came to be part of the “Our Father.” Mark, chapter 11:25, indicated that Jesus said that whenever they would stand and pray, they should forgive others, especially if they have anything against anyone. Then their heavenly Father would forgive them for their missteps or trespasses. What are these trespasses? The Greek word “τὰ παραπτώματα” means to fall away after being close, a lapse, a deviation from the truth, an error, a slip up, relatively unconscious, or non-deliberate. Apparently, this was not a serious offense, something like daily implied insensitive insults. However, they still had to forgive the trespasses of others to be forgiven by the heavenly father. You can see how the idea of trespasses took on a greater significance over debtors in this great prayer to the Father. Do you forgive other people?
To the woman.
Has saved you!
Go in peace!’”
εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα Ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε· πορεύου εἰς εἰρήνην.
Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said to this woman (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα) that her faith had saved her (Ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε). Thus, she could go or travel in peace (πορεύου εἰς εἰρήνην). Faith being a prerequisite for the forgiveness of sins was another common theme of Jesus and Luke. Does your faith in Jesus save you?
Then you will be forgiven.”
ἀπολύετε, καὶ ἀπολυθήσεσθε·
Luke indicated that Jesus told his followers to forgive others (ἀπολύετε). Then they would be forgiven (καὶ ἀπολυθήσεσθε). This saying about forgiveness seems similar to Mark, chapter 11:25, and Matthew, chapter 6:14-15. Mark indicated that Jesus said that whenever they would stand and pray, they should forgive others, especially if they had anything against anyone. Then their heavenly Father would also forgive them. Matthew had Jesus say that their heavenly Father would forgive them if they forgave others for their missteps or trespasses. On the other hand, if they did not forgive others, their heavenly Father would not forgive them. This came right after the “Our Father” prayer in Matthew. Do you really forgive other people?
“You will give
To his people,
By the forgiveness
Of their sins.”
τοῦ δοῦναι γνῶσιν σωτηρίας τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ ἐν ἀφέσει ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν
Luke continued Zechariah’s canticle about the future of John. Zechariah said that his new born son, John, would give knowledge of salvation (τοῦ δοῦναι γνῶσιν σωτηρίας) to his people (τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ) by the forgiveness of their sins (ἐν ἀφέσει ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν). Zechariah predicted the kind of preaching that John would later give about salvation coming from repentance and the forgiveness of sins.
“Whenever you stand
If you have anything
May also forgive you
καὶ ὅταν στήκετε προσευχόμενοι, ἀφίετε εἴ τι ἔχετε κατά τινος, ἵνα καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς ἀφῇ ὑμῖν τὰ παραπτώματα ὑμῶν.
This saying about forgiveness seems similar to Matthew, chapter 6:14, that came right after the “Our Father” prayer. Mark indicated that Jesus said that whenever they would stand and pray (καὶ ὅταν στήκετε προσευχόμενοι), they should forgive (ἀφίετε) others, especially if they have anything against anyone (εἴ τι ἔχετε κατά τινος). Then their heavenly Father would forgive them (ἵνα καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς ἀφῇ ὑμῖν) for their missteps or trespasses (τὰ παραπτώματα ὑμῶν). What are these trespasses? The Greek word “τὰ παραπτώματα” means to fall away after being close, a lapse, a deviation from the truth, an error, a slip up, relatively unconscious, or non-deliberate. Apparently, this was not a serious offense, something like daily implied insensitive insults. However, they still had to forgive these trespasses of others to be forgiven by the heavenly father. You can see how the idea of trespasses came to be so important in the “Our Father,” “The Lord’s Prayer.”
“But whoever blasphemes
Against the Holy Spirit
Can never have forgiveness.
But he is guilty
Of an eternal sin.”
ὃς δ’ ἂν βλασφημήσῃ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, οὐκ ἔχει ἄφεσιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, ἀλλὰ ἔνοχός ἐστιν αἰωνίου ἁμαρτήματος.
There are similar statements to this in Matthew, chapter 12:31, and Luke, chapter 12:10. Both Matthew and Luke said that it might be okay to disrespect the Son of Man, but it was quite another thing to speak against or blasphemy the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy was profaning the name of God. If you profaned the Holy Spirit, you were hopeless. If you gave up on God and his Spirit, there was no hope of forgiveness. God would forgive all human sins and blasphemies. Whoever blasphemed against the Holy Spirit (ὃς δ’ ἂν βλασφημήσῃ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον), would never be forgiven even in eternity (οὐκ ἔχει ἄφεσιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα). He would be guilty of an eternal sin (ἀλλὰ ἔνοχός ἐστιν αἰωνίου ἁμαρτήματος). Anyone who spoke against the Holy Spirit would not be forgiven either now or in the future.
My heavenly Father
Will also do
To every one of you,
If you do not forgive
From your heart.”
Οὕτως καὶ ὁ Πατήρ μου ὁ οὐράνιος ποιήσει ὑμῖν, ἐὰν μὴ ἀφῆτε ἕκαστος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν καρδιῶν ὑμῶν.
This parable about the unforgiving servant slave is unique to Matthew. Jesus then gave an explanation of this parable, probably for his disciples. His heavenly Father, the lord or king, was going to do the same to every one of them (Οὕτως καὶ ὁ Πατήρ μου ὁ οὐράνιος ποιήσει ὑμῖν) who did not forgive their brother (ἐὰν μὴ ἀφῆτε ἕκαστος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ) from their heart (ἀπὸ τῶν καρδιῶν ὑμῶν). If you do not truly forgive others, do not expect forgiveness for yourself.