Have mercy on me! (Lk 18:39-18:39)

“Those who were

In front

Sternly ordered him

To be quiet.

But he shouted out

More loudly.

‘Son of David!

Have mercy on me!’”

 

καὶ οἱ προάγοντες ἐπετίμων αὐτῷ ἵνα σιγήσῃ· αὐτὸς δὲ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἔκραζεν Υἱὲ Δαυείδ, ἐλέησόν με.

 

Luke indicated that those who were in front of the crowd (καὶ οἱ προάγοντες) sternly ordered the blind beggar (ἐπετίμων αὐτῷ) to be quiet (ἵνα σιγήσῃ).  Instead, he shouted out more loudly (αὐτὸς δὲ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἔκραζεν) the same message “Son of David (Υἱὲ Δαυείδ)!  Have mercy on me (ἐλέησόν με)!”  Both Mark, chapter 10:48, and Matthew, chapter 20:31, have something similar.  Mark said that many in the crowd rebuked, admonished, or ordered Bartimaeus to be quiet or silent (καὶ ἐπετίμων αὐτῷ πολλοὶ ἵνα σιωπήσῃ).  But he shouted out even more loudly (ὁ δὲ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἔκραζεν).  He repeated again what he had shouted out earlier.  He called Jesus, the Son of David (Υἱὲ Δαυείδ).  He wanted Jesus to have mercy on him. (ἐλέησόν με).  Matthew said that the crowd rebuked or admonished these two blind beggars to be quiet or silent (ὁ δὲ ὄχλος ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς ἵνα σιωπήσωσιν).  But they shouted out even more loudly (οἱ δὲ μεῖζον ἔκραξαν λέγοντες).  They repeated again what they had shouted out earlier.  They called Jesus, Lord, the Son of David (Κύριε, υἱὸς Δαυείδ).  They wanted him to have mercy on them (ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς).  This Greek cry of “Κύριε, ἐλέησον” “kyrie eleison,” would become a Christian cry for mercy that has found its way into the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Word at the beginning of the regular Sunday Mass service, with the “Lord, have mercy!”  Quite often, it is also part of a chant.  Do you ask Jesus, the Lord, to have mercy on you?

 

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The man with dropsy (Lk 14:2-14:2)

“Just then,

There was a man

Who had dropsy

In front of Jesus.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν ὑδρωπικὸς ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke uniquely said that just then, there was a man (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπός τις) who had dropsy (ἦν ὑδρωπικὸς) in front of Jesus (ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ).  How he got into this dinner is not clear.  Dropsy is some kind of disease like edema, a swelling in the body because of fluid retention.  This is the only time in the biblical literature that this word for dropsy ὑδρωπικὸς is mentioned.  Once again, this may be an indication that Luke, the author, was knowledgeable about medical diseases.  Have you ever heard of edema or dropsy?

Look at my son (Lk 9:38-9:38)

“Just then,

A man

From the crowd

Shouted out.

‘Teacher!

I beg you

To look at my son!

He is my only child.’”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου ἐβόησεν λέγων Διδάσκαλε, δέομαί σου ἐπιβλέψαι ἐπὶ τὸν υἱόν μου, ὅτι μονογενής μοί ἐστιν,

 

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?

Jesus takes his three trusted apostles to pray (Lk 9:28-9:28)

“Now about eight days

After these sayings,

Jesus took with him

Peter,

John,

And James.

They went up

On a mountain

To pray.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους ὡσεὶ ἡμέραι ὀκτὼ, καὶ παραλαβὼν Πέτρον καὶ Ἰωάνην καὶ Ἰάκωβον ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι.

 

Luke said that about 8 days (ὡσεὶ ἡμέραι ὀκτὼ), after these sayings (Ἐγένετο δὲ μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους), Jesus took with him (καὶ παραλαβὼν) Peter (Πέτρον), John (καὶ Ἰωάνην), and James (καὶ Ἰάκωβον), his 3 favorite apostles.  They went up on a mountain (ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος) to pray (προσεύξασθαι).  Going to a special mountain after these sayings can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:1, Mark, chapter 9:2, and here in LukeMark and Matthew are exactly the same, almost word for word, but Luke talked about 8 days and going to pray on a mountain.  Mark said that this activity took place 6 days later, probably after the proclamation of Peter about Jesus being the Christ messiah.  Jesus took with him Peter, and the 2 sons of Zebedee, James and John.  There was no mention of Peter’s brother Andrew.  Jesus brought these 3 disciples to an unnamed high mountain, presumably near the Sea of Galilee.  There was no mention of any prayer.  Matthew, like Mark, said that this activity took place 6 days later, not 8 days as in Luke.  Jesus took with him Peter, James, and his brother John.  Jesus brought these 3 disciples to an unnamed high mountain, presumably near the Sea of Galilee, probably Mount Tabor in lower Galilee or Mount Hermon near Caesarea Philippi, much further north.  They were alone by themselves, not with any of the other apostles or disciples.  Going up on a high mountain was an attempt to have a special communication with God, just as Moses had done in the Torah.  Jesus was transfigured or transformed in front of these 3 apostles.  Was this a foretaste of the resurrected Jesus Christ?  Do you expect to see a transfigured Jesus Christ?

Go through the roof (Lk 5:19-5:19)

“But they found

No way

To bring him in,

Because of the crowd.

They went up

On the roof.

They let him down,

With his bed,

Through the tiles

Into the middle

Of the crowd,

In front of Jesus.”

 

καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες ποίας εἰσενέγκωσιν αὐτὸν διὰ τὸν ὄχλον, ἀναβάντες ἐπὶ τὸ δῶμα διὰ τῶν κεράμων καθῆκαν αὐτὸν σὺν τῷ κλινιδίῳ εἰς τὸ μέσον ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Ἰησοῦ.

 

Luke said that these men could not find a way to bring him into the house (καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες ποίας εἰσενέγκωσιν αὐτὸν), because of the crowd (διὰ τὸν ὄχλον).  Thus, they went up on the roof housetop (ἀναβάντες ἐπὶ τὸ δῶμα).  They let the paralyzed man down (καθῆκαν αὐτὸν), still on his bed (σὺν τῷ κλινιδίῳ), through the tiles (διὰ τῶν κεράμων) in the middle of the crowd (εἰς τὸ μέσον), in front of Jesus (ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Ἰησοῦ).  Although Matthew, chapter 9:2, never mentioned this roof opening, Mark, chapter 2:4, said that they were not able to bring this paralytic to Jesus.  Thus, they dug through or gouged out a hole in the roof, so that they let down the paralyzed man lying on his bed through this hole in the roof.  This large crowd of people would have this paralyzed man on a bed come through the roof in the middle of the house.  What a sight!  As a little kid, this story really struck me.  The story in Luke had a tile roof, while in Mark, it was like a mud roof.

Hosanna (Mk 11:9-11:10)

“Then those

Who went ahead,

And those who followed,

Were shouting.

‘Hosanna!

Blessed is the one

Who comes

In the name

Of the Lord!

Blessed is

The coming kingdom

Of our ancestor

David!

Hosanna

In the highest heaven!’”

 

καὶ οἱ προάγοντες καὶ οἱ ἀκολουθοῦντες ἔκραζον Ὡσαννά· Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου·

Εὐλογημένη ἡ ἐρχομένη βασιλεία τοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν Δαυείδ· Ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις.

 

Both Matthew, chapter 21:9, and Luke, chapter 19:38, are similar but with slight differences.  Mark said that the crowds or the people were in front of (οἱ προάγοντες) and behind Jesus (καὶ οἱ ἀκολουθοῦντες).  They were all shouting out (ἔκραζον) “Hosanna” (Ὡσαννὰ)!”  Jesus was the blessed one who came in the name of the Lord (Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου).  Mark was the only one with the saying about the coming kingdom.  He said that they were shouting blessed is the coming kingdom (Εὐλογημένη ἡ ἐρχομένη βασιλεία) of our ancestor or father David (οῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν Δαυείδ).  He did not actually call Jesus the son of David, as Matthew did.  These hosannas should reach to the highest heaven (Ὡσαννὰ ἐν τοῖς ὑψίστοις).  Hosanna was a Hebrew term of praise asking God to save them.  This saying came from the Hallel chants that was used in the Passover celebration, based on Psalm 118:26.  Later it became part of the Roman Catholic “Sanctus” chant in the Eucharistic celebration.

Jesus’ clothes are whiter than white (Mk 9:3-9:3)

“His clothes

Became

Dazzling white,

Such as no one

On earth

Could bleach them.”

 

καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο στίλβοντα λευκὰ λίαν, οἷα γναφεὺς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς οὐ δύναται οὕτως λευκᾶναι.

 

This description of the clothing of Jesus can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:2, Luke, chapter 9:29, and here in Mark, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Jesus was transfigured in front of the 3 apostles. There was a metamorphosis, as the appearance of Jesus changed right before their very eyes.  There was no mention of the face of Jesus changing, as in Matthew.  Mark indicated that Jesus’ clothes or garments became a dazzling white (καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο στίλβοντα λευκὰ λίαν).  They were so white that not even any cleaner on earth could bleach them any whiter (οἷα γναφεὺς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς οὐ δύναται οὕτως λευκᾶναι).  Suddenly, the human Jesus seemed more brightly divine with his amazing glittering white clothes.  White and light were good, while black and darkness were bad.