Bear testimony (Lk 21:13-21:13)

“This will give you

An opportunity

To testify.”

 

ἀποβήσεται ὑμῖν εἰς μαρτύριον.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this persecution would give them an opportunity (ἀποβήσεται ὑμῖν) to testify as a witness or a martyr (εἰς μαρτύριον).  This verse is somewhat similar to Mark, chapter 13:10, with a hint of this in Matthew, chapter 24:14.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that the good news of the gospel (τὸ εὐαγγέλιον) must first be proclaimed (πρῶτον δεῖ κηρυχθῆναι) to all the gentile nations (καὶ εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη).  That would be a difficult task, certainly putting the end times at a further distance.  This mission to the gentile nations was a trademark of the Gospel of Mark with its emphasis on the gentile non-Jewish Christians.  Matthew had the same idea in chapter 10:22, and also in chapter 24:14, where Jesus said that this gospel, this good news of the kingdom (τοῦτο τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας) would be preached (καὶ κηρυχθήσεται) throughout the whole inhabited world (ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ οἰκουμένῃ), as a witness or testimony to all the gentile nations (εἰς μαρτύριον πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν).  Then the end would come (καὶ τότε ἥξει τὸ τέλος).  Matthew seemed to set a precondition before the coming of the end times that the gospel would be preached throughout the whole known world.  Luke was more restrained here simply saying that there was an opportunity to be a witness or martyr.  Would you be a Christian martyr?

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Jerusalem officials come to Jesus (Lk 20:1-20:1)

“One day,

Jesus was teaching

The people

In the Temple.

He was preaching

The good news.

The chief priests

And the Scribes

Came

With the elders.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν διδάσκοντος αὐτοῦ τὸν λαὸν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ καὶ εὐαγγελιζομένου ἐπέστησαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς σὺν τοῖς πρεσβυτέροις,

 

Luke, along with the other synoptics has this confrontation between Jesus and the chief priests and the Scribes about the authority of Jesus.  Luke said that one day it happened (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν), that Jesus was teaching the people (διδάσκοντος αὐτοῦ τὸν λαὸν) in the Temple (ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ).  He was preaching the good news or evangelizing (καὶ εὐαγγελιζομένου).  However, the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς), the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς), with the elders or presbyters (σὺν τοῖς πρεσβυτέροις) came to him (ἐπέστησαν).  This questioning of the authority of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:23, and Mark, chapter 11:27, almost word for word.  Mark said that when Jesus and his disciples again came to Jerusalem (Καὶ ἔρχονται πάλιν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus was walking in the Temple (καὶ ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ περιπατοῦντος αὐτοῦ), not teaching as in Luke and Matthew.  The chief priests or the high priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) with the presbyters or the elders (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι) approached Jesus (ἔρχονται πρὸς αὐτὸν).  Matthew said that when Jesus entered the Temple (Καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν), the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) or the high priest with the presbyters or elders of the people (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τοῦ λαοῦ) approached him as he was teaching (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ διδάσκοντι).  Matthew, however, did not mention the Scribes, but the other 2 gospel stories did.  Have you ever approached someone as they were teaching?

All will be revealed (Lk 12:3-12:3)

“Therefore,

Whatever you have said

In the dark,

Will be heard

In the light.

What you have whispered

In the ear,

Behind closed doors,

Will be proclaimed

From the housetops.”

 

ἀνθ’ ὧν ὅσα ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ εἴπατε ἐν τῷ φωτὶ ἀκουσθήσεται, καὶ ὃ πρὸς τὸ οὖς ἐλαλήσατε ἐν τοῖς ταμείοις κηρυχθήσεται ἐπὶ τῶν δωμάτων.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus remarked that whatever they had said in the dark (ἀνθ’ ὧν ὅσα ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ εἴπατε) would be heard in the light (ἐν τῷ φωτὶ ἀκουσθήσεται).  What they have whispered in the ear behind closed doors (καὶ ὃ πρὸς τὸ οὖς ἐλαλήσατε ἐν τοῖς ταμείοις) would be proclaimed from the housetops (κηρυχθήσεται ἐπὶ τῶν δωμάτων).  This is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:27, indicating a Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus told his disciples that he told them in the dark (ὃ λέγω ὑμῖν ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ), they were to utter and tell it in the light (εἴπατε ἐν τῷ φωτί).  Whatever they heard whispered in their ear (καὶ ὃ εἰς τὸ οὖς ἀκούετε), they were to proclaim it from the housetops (κηρύξατε ἐπὶ τῶν δωμάτων).  They were to proclaim the good news loud and clear in the light of day.  Do you let people know about what you have heard secretly?

The bridegroom is here (Lk 5:34-5:34)

“Jesus said to them.

‘You cannot make

Wedding guests fast

While the bridegroom

Is with them.

Can you?’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Μὴ δύνασθε τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ νυμφῶνος, ἐν ᾧ ὁ νυμφίος μετ’ αὐτῶν ἐστιν, ποιῆσαι νηστεῦσαι;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked them with a question (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς).  Would they ask the sons of the bridal chamber (Μὴ δύνασθε τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ νυμφῶνος,), the wedding guests, to fast (ποιῆσαι νηστεῦσαι), as long as the bridegroom was with them (ἐν ᾧ ὁ νυμφίος μετ’ αὐτῶν ἐστιν)?  Mark, chapter 2:20, and Matthew, chapter 9:15, are similar to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this saying of Jesus.  Mark indicated that Jesus directly responded to the disciples of John, as he compared himself to a bridegroom.  Thus, the wedding guests were not able to mourn, while the bridegroom, Jesus, was with them.  Fasting was often associated with distress and mourning.  As long as Jesus, the bridegroom, was around them, they were not able or could not fast, because this was a time of joy and good news, not fasting.

Jesus goes to Judea (Lk 4:44-4:44)

“Thus,

Jesus continued proclaiming

His message

In the synagogues

Of Judea.”

 

καὶ ἦν κηρύσσων εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς τῆς Ἰουδαίας.

 

Luke said that Jesus continued to proclaim or preach (καὶ ἦν κηρύσσων) his message in the synagogues of Judea (εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς τῆς Ἰουδαίας).  Mark, chapter 1:39, had something similar, but Mark said that it was Galilee and not Judea.  Mark also said that Jesus was casting out demons.  He seemed very intent on emphasizing that Jesus was casting out demons along with his undefined preaching.  Matthew, chapter 4:23, was also somewhat similar, since Matthew implied that Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues.  The synagogue was a new developing Jewish gathering place that might mean a group or assembly of Jewish people rather than a building, since some places may not have been able to afford a building.  Matthew said that Jesus was proclaiming the good news or the gospel about the kingdom, without saying whether it was the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, or even an earthly kingdom.  What did Luke mean here by saying Jesus was in the synagogues of Judea, when the other two synoptics clearly stated that it was in Galilee?  Actually, later in this work, Luke had Jesus go to Jerusalem.

Preach the gospel (Lk 4:43-4:43)

“But Jesus

Said to them.

‘I must proclaim

The good news

Of the kingdom of God

To the other towns also.

I was sent

For this purpose.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὅτι Καὶ ταῖς ἑτέραις πόλεσιν εὐαγγελίσασθαί με δεῖ τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὅτι ἐπὶ τοῦτο ἀπεστάλην.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς) that it was his duty (με δεῖ) to proclaim or preach the good news (εὐαγγελίσασθαί) about the kingdom of God (τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) to the other towns or cities also (ὅτι Καὶ ταῖς ἑτέραις πόλεσιν).  He was sent for that purpose (ὅτι ἐπὶ τοῦτο ἀπεστάλην).  There is something similar in Mark. chapter 1:37-38, but there was no explicit message about proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.  Mark simply recounted that Jesus said to his followers that they were going into the nearby neighboring towns or villages.  Thus, he could proclaim or preach his unspecified message there.  That was what he came to do, since it was time to get to work.  Jesus had to move on to the other nearby towns and villages to proclaim his message.

The citation from Isaiah (Lk 4:18-4:19)

“The Spirit of the Lord

Is upon me.

Because

He has anointed me

To bring good news

To the poor.

He has sent me

To proclaim release

To the captives.

He has sent me

To give recovery

Of sight

To the blind.

He has sent me

To let the oppressed

Go free.

He has sent me

To proclaim the year

Of the Lord’s favor.’”

 

Πνεῦμα Κυρίου ἐπ’ ἐμέ, οὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέν με εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς, ἀπέσταλκέν με κηρῦξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀνάβλεψιν, ἀποστεῖλαι τεθραυσμένους ἐν ἀφέσει,

κηρῦξαι ἐνιαυτὸν Κυρίου δεκτόν.

 

This is unique to Luke, who used this citation from Isaiah, chapter 61:1.  Jesus read or said that the Spirit of the Lord was upon him (Πνεῦμα Κυρίου ἐπ’ ἐμέ), because God had anointed him (ὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέν με) to bring good news to the poor or oppressed (εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς).  Some Orthodox texts have the healing of the brokenhearted (συντετριμμένους τὴν καρδίαν) also.  God has sent him (ἀπέσταλκέν με) to proclaim the release to the captives (κηρῦξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν).  He has sent him to give recovery or sight to the blind (καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀνάβλεψιν), although there was no mention of the blind in Isaiah.  He has sent him to let the oppressed go free (ἀποστεῖλαι τεθραυσμένους ἐν ἀφέσει).  He has sent him to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (κηρῦξαι ἐνιαυτὸν Κυρίου δεκτόν), which is exactly the same as Isaiah, chapter 61:2.  The Spirit of Yahweh was upon him, who had been anointed, either like a priestly or a royal anointing.  However, the primary mission was not cultic, but rather social in nature, what we might call social justice.  Having been called by the Spirit and anointed by Yahweh, he was sent out with a simple generic mission.  Bring good news to the oppressed.  This good news concept was later adapted by the early followers of Jesus who talked about the good news of the gospel.  This basic mission included binding up the broken hearted and freeing prisoners.  This servant or prophet was sent out to proclaim a year of Yahweh’s favor.