The cured Samaritan leper (Lk 17:16-17:16)

“He prostrated himself

At Jesus’ feet.

He thanked Jesus.

He was a Samaritan.”

 

καὶ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ εὐχαριστῶν αὐτῷ· καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν Σαμαρείτης.

 

Only Luke has this story about the curing of the ten lepers.  Luke indicated that this one cured leper prostrated himself or fell on his face (καὶ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον) at Jesus’ feet (παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ).  He thanked Jesus (εὐχαριστῶν αὐτῷ).  It turns out that he was a Samaritan (καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν Σαμαρείτης).  As this town was on the border between Galilee and Samaria, one of these lepers was a Samaritan.  Luke once again emphasized the role of a Samaritan.  In fact, this Samaritan leper was the only cured leper to return and prostrate himself at the feet of Jesus, thanking him.  The others went on their way to see the Jewish priests in Jerusalem for the ritual cleansing.  Was this cured leper Samaritan not going to go to the Judean priest for a cleansing anyway, since he would have gone to Mt. Gerizim?  Have you ever felt not like part of the group?

 

Towards Jerusalem (Lk 17:11-17:11)

“On the way to Jerusalem,

Jesus was going through

The region

Between Samaria

And Galilee.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ, καὶ αὐτὸς διήρχετο διὰ μέσον Σαμαρίας καὶ Γαλιλαίας

 

Only Luke has this story about the curing of the ten lepers.  Luke indicated that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ).  He went through a region between Samaria and Galilee (καὶ αὐτὸς διήρχετο διὰ μέσον Σαμαρίας καὶ Γαλιλαίας).  Jesus continued heading towards Jerusalem so that he had to pass through this Samaritan area that was next to Galilee.  Luke had already shown a greater openness to the Samaritans than the other gospel writers.  Are you open to neighbors who do not think like you do?

Go tell the fox Herod (Lk 13:32-13:32)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Go!

Tell that fox

For me!

‘Listen!

I am casting out

Demons!

I perform cures

Today

And tomorrow!

On the third day,

I will finish

My work!’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πορευθέντες εἴπατε τῇ ἀλώπεκι ταύτῃ Ἰδοὺ ἐκβάλλω δαιμόνια καὶ ἰάσεις ἀποτελῶ σήμερον καὶ αὔριον, καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ τελειοῦμαι.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus responded to these Pharisees (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).  Jesus told them to go tell that fox Herod (Πορευθέντες εἴπατε τῇ ἀλώπεκι ταύτῃ) that he, Jesus, was casting out demons (Ἰδοὺ ἐκβάλλω δαιμόνια) and performing cures (καὶ ἰάσεις ἀποτελῶ).  He was doing this today (σήμερον), tomorrow (καὶ αὔριον), and on the 3rd day (καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ) until he finished his work (τελειοῦμαι).  Earlier in Luke, there were comments about John the Baptist and Herod.  Here, however, there is nothing about John the Baptist at all.  This little unique saying in Luke had Jesus refer to Herod as a fox, either indicating that he was shrewd or trying to insult him.  There was also an allusion to the 3rd day or the day of the Lord’s resurrection.  Jesus had not yet finished his work in Galilee or Perea.  Has anyone ever called you a fox?

Herod wants to kill Jesus (Lk 13:31-13:31)

“At that very hour.

Some Pharisees came

Near to Jesus.

They said to him.

‘Get away from here!

Herod wants

To kill you.’”

 

Ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ προσῆλθάν τινες Φαρισαῖοι λέγοντες αὐτῷ Ἔξελθε καὶ πορεύου ἐντεῦθεν, ὅτι Ἡρῴδης θέλει σε ἀποκτεῖναι.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that at that very hour (Ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ), some certain Pharisees came near to Jesus (προσῆλθάν τινες Φαρισαῖοι).  They told him (λέγοντες αὐτῷ) to get away from there (Ἔξελθε καὶ πορεύου ἐντεῦθεν) because Herod wanted to kill him (ὅτι Ἡρῴδης θέλει σε ἀποκτεῖναι).  Oddly enough, one of Jesus’ most bitter opponents, these Pharisees, came to Jesus to warn him that the tetrarch Herod Antipas wanted to kill Jesus.  However, in Luke, Jesus ate at the home of a Pharisees on at least 3 occasions.  Somehow these Pharisees had access to Herod, the Roman educated son of Herod the Great, who was the ruler or tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from 4 BCE-39 CE.  As a client ruler, he was part of the Roman Empire.  Thus, he built and named the capital city of Galilee, Tiberias, since the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37 CE) was his favorite emperor.  He is sometimes referred to as a king.  Have some of your enemies helped you at some time?

Beware of the Pharisees (Lk 12:1-12:1)

“Meanwhile,

The crowd gathered

By the thousands,

So that they trampled

On one another.

Jesus began to speak,

First to his disciples.

‘Beware of the yeast

Of the Pharisees,

That is,

Their hypocrisy.’”

 

Ἐν οἷς ἐπισυναχθεισῶν τῶν μυριάδων τοῦ ὄχλου, ὥστε καταπατεῖν ἀλλήλους, ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ πρῶτον Προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης, ἥτις ἐστὶν ὑπόκρισις, τῶν Φαρισαίων.

 

Luke continued with a diatribe against the Pharisees.  Luke indicated that the crowd gathered by the thousands (Ἐν οἷς ἐπισυναχθεισῶν τῶν μυριάδων τοῦ ὄχλου), so that they trampled on one another (ὥστε καταπατεῖν ἀλλήλους).  This was the first mention of a problem with crowd control.  Jesus then began first to speak to his disciples (ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ πρῶτον).  He told them that they should be aware (Προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς) of the yeast (ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης) that is the hypocrisy (ἥτις ἐστὶν ὑπόκρισις) of the Pharisees (τῶν Φαρισαίων).  This saying about the yeast of the Pharisees can be found in Mark, chapter 8:16, and Matthew, chapter 16:6, but there are slight differences.  Mark and Luke did not mention the Sadducees, but Matthew did.  Matthew said that Jesus told his disciples to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Matthew had a clear rebuff of both these groups and their growing yeast, leaven, or power that was expanding, but there was no mention of the Scribes.  For Mark and Matthew, this discussion took place about bread on a boat trip.  The disciples discovered that they had no food when they landed on the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  However, Mark said that it took place while they were still in the boat.  Mark was the only one to mention Herod, the Roman appointed political leader in Galilee.  Mark said that Jesus cautioned or instructed his disciples.  They were to watch out for and be aware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.  This was a clear rebuff of both the Pharisees and Herod.  Their growing yeast, leaven, or power was expanding.  Here, it is a simple warning against the Pharisees only.  Do you know anybody who is a hypocrite?

The Samaritan (Lk 10:33-10:33)

“But a Samaritan,

While traveling,

Came near him.

When he saw him,

He was moved

With pity.”

 

Σαμαρείτης δέ τις ὁδεύων ἦλθεν κατ’ αὐτὸν καὶ ἰδὼν ἐσπλαγχνίσθη,

 

Luke continued his unique story.  Jesus said that a Samaritan (Σαμαρείτης), while traveling (δέ τις ὁδεύων), came near to this wounded man (ἦλθεν κατ’ αὐτὸν).  When he saw him (καὶ ἰδὼν), he was moved with pity (ἐσπλαγχνίσθη).  Who then is this Samaritan?  Samaritans lived in Samaria, between Judea and Galilee.  This was the territory that had been formerly assigned to Ephraim and Manasseh.  The Samaritans were part of the former Northern Kingdom of Israel with the city of Samaria as their capital city, after the death of Solomon.  There was an example of kindness by the northern tribes in 2 Chronicles, chapter 28:12-15, but that was long before the bitterness set in between Samaria and Judea.  Over time, since the 8th century BCE, they had become a distinct ethnic group that was in dispute with the Judean Jews, since the territory of Samaria was between Judea and Galilee.  They became bitter enemies with the Jews of Judea in particular.  Luke showed Jesus interacting with the Samaritans more than any of the other gospel writers.  Luke had uniquely mentioned that Jesus had gone into some Samaritan villages in chapter 9:52-56.  It might even be questioned, why would this Samaritan be on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem?  Nevertheless, this unnamed Samaritan like the unnamed priest and Levite, came on the scene.  Unlike the other two prominent Jewish religious leaders, this Samaritan was moved with pity.  Samaritans were the underclass among the Judeans.  They worshiped a false Jewish God with their Samaritan Torah at the destroyed Mount Gerizim.  They were not at the top of Jewish society, quite the opposite.  Can someone at the bottom of a society do anything good?

The curse on Capernaum (Lk 10:15-10:15)

“You!

Capernaum!

Will you be exalted

To heaven?

No!

You will be

Brought down

To Hades.”

 

καὶ σύ, Καφαρναούμ, μὴ ἕως οὐρανοῦ ὑψωθήσῃ; ἕως τοῦ Ἅιδου καταβήσῃ.

 

Next Luke had Jesus take on Capernaum, his new home and headquarters in Galilee.  Capernaum (καὶ σύ, Καφαρναούμ) will not be exalted to heaven (μὴ ἕως οὐρανοῦ ὑψωθήσῃ).  Instead, it will be brought down to Hades or hell (ἕως τοῦ Ἅιδου καταβήσῃ).  Once again, Jesus used the second person plural.  Matthew, chapter 11:23, had a similar statement, indicating a possible common Q source.  Jesus questioned them.  Would they be exalted or raised up to heaven?  No!  In fact, they would be cast down to the unseen world of Hades, the traditional Greek word for hell.  Matthew then even compared Capernaum to Sodom.  If the mighty miracles that were done in Capernaum were done in Sodom, Sodom might have remained until the present day.  Then Jesus gave a solemn pronouncement that it would be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for the people of Capernaum.  Jesus warned these three towns, within 10 miles of each other.  They had not repented, despite his teaching and the many miracles there.  Something must have happened in Capernaum because it had been his base of operations in Galilee.  Have you ever turned on the town where you had lived?