Listen if you have ears! (Lk 8:8-8:8)

“As he said this,

Jesus called out.

‘Let anyone

With ears

To hear,

Listen!’”

 

ταῦτα λέγων ἐφώνει Ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν ἀκουέτω.

 

This warning at the end of the sower parable can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, in Matthew, chapter 13:8, Mark, chapter 4:9, and here.  Luke ended this parable by having Jesus call out (ταῦτα λέγων ἐφώνει).  Anyone with ears to hear (Ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν), should listen (ἀκουέτω) to this parable, the same in all 3 gospel stories.  Jesus warned them.  He often mentioned the importance of hearing and listening to what he was saying.  Are you a good listener?

Jesus should know that she is a sinner (Lk 7:39-7:39)

“Now the Pharisee,

Who had invited Jesus,

Saw this.

He said to himself.

‘If this man

Were a prophet,

He would have known

Who

And what sort of woman

Is touching him.

She is a sinner.’”

 

ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Φαρισαῖος ὁ καλέσας αὐτὸν εἶπεν ἐν ἑαυτῷ λέγων Οὗτος εἰ ἦν προφήτης, ἐγίνωσκεν ἂν τίς καὶ ποταπὴ ἡ γυνὴ ἥτις ἅπτεται αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ἁμαρτωλός ἐστιν.

 

Luke uniquely said that the Pharisee (ὁ Φαρισαῖος), who had invited Jesus (ὁ καλέσας αὐτὸν), saw this (ἰδὼν δὲ).  This Pharisee said to himself (εἶπεν ἐν ἑαυτῷ λέγων) that if Jesus was a prophet (Οὗτος εἰ ἦν προφήτης), he would have known (ἐγίνωσκεν) who and what sort of woman was touching him (ἂν τίς καὶ ποταπὴ ἡ γυνὴ ἥτις ἅπτεται αὐτοῦ).  She was a public sinner (τι ἁμαρτωλός ἐστιν).  In the other gospel stories, there was a complaint about wasting expensive oil on Jesus, but here the inner thoughts of the Pharisee seem to indicate that Jesus did not know or understand who he was dealing with.  Would you let a sinful person touch you?

Four more apostles (Lk 6:15-6:15)

“Four more were

Matthew,

Thomas,

James,

The son of Alphaeus,

And Simon,

Who was called the Zealot.”

 

καὶ Μαθθαῖον καὶ Θωμᾶν, καὶ Ἰάκωβον Ἀλφαίου καὶ Σίμωνα τὸν καλούμενον Ζηλωτὴν,

 

This section about naming the 12 apostles is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:3-4, and Mark, chapter 3:18.  This list can also be compared to the list in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 1:13.  Matthew (καὶ Μαθθαῖον), or Levi, the tax collector, and doubting Thomas (καὶ Θωμᾶν) in John, chapter 20:19-29, are mentioned elsewhere in the gospels.  However, the other 2 apostles are not mentioned by name elsewhere in the gospels, James, the son of Alphaeus (καὶ Ἰάκωβον Ἀλφαίου), and Simon the Zealot (καὶ Σίμωνα τὸν καλούμενον Ζηλωτὴν).  Both of these men have some confusing comments about them in the other listings of the apostles.  In Mark 2:14, Levi or Matthew was called the son of Alphaeus just as James is here.  However, in the list of Mark, chapter 3:18, he also called James, the son of Alphaeus as here.  Were they brothers?  Mark also called this Simon the Cananaean.  Either this Simon was a Jewish zealot or a Cananaean.  Besides Simon, the leader called Peter, there was a mention of a Simon who was a leper and Pharisee Simon.  So that there were a lot of Simons in the gospel stories.

Gennesaret (Lk 5:1-5:1)

“Once while Jesus

Was standing beside

The lake of Gennesaret,

The crowd

Was pressing in

On him

To hear

The word of God.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ τὸν ὄχλον ἐπικεῖσθαι αὐτῷ καὶ ἀκούειν τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν ἑστὼς παρὰ τὴν λίμνην Γεννησαρέτ,

 

This verse of Luke is unique but not inconsistent with the other gospel stories.  Luke said that Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret (καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν ἑστὼς παρὰ τὴν λίμνην Γεννησαρέτ).  Gennesaret was another name for the Sea of Galilee or Lake Tiberias.  Then the crowd was pressing in on him (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ τὸν ὄχλον ἐπικεῖσθαι αὐτῷ) to hear the word of God (καὶ ἀκούειν τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Jesus was standing there as a crowd gathered around him.  They wanted to hear the word of God, as if Jesus were somehow qualified to present this word of God.

Jesus taught in the synagogues (Lk 4:15-4:15)

“He began

To teach

In their synagogues.

He was praised

By everyone.”

 

καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδίδασκεν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν, δοξαζόμενος ὑπὸ πάντων.

 

Luke said that Jesus began to teach (καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδίδασκεν) in their synagogues (ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν).  This is a unique statement of Luke, but the idea was present in the other gospel stories.  Matthew mentioned synagogues 9 times, in chapters 4:23, 6:2, 6:5, 9:35, 10:17, 12:9, 13:54, 23:6, and 23:34, while Mark mentioned them 11 times, in chapters 1:21, 1:23, 1:29, 1:39, 3:1, 5:22, 5:36, 5:38, 12:38, 12:39, and 13:9.  The synagogue was a new developing Jewish established gathering place.  An assembly of Jewish people might take place in a building, since some places may not have been able to afford a special multi-purpose building.  Synagogues were a new thing in the first century BCE, becoming something like a local Jewish town hall meeting place as a center of study and worship, obviously outside of Jerusalem and its Temple.  There may have been some sort of Sabbath worship taking place there with readings from the Torah and the prophets, with perhaps a sermon or explanation.  Jesus with his disciples went there, which would not have been unusual.  However, the fact that he taught there might seem a little strange, if he was not invited.  However, Luke said that Jesus was praised or glorified by everyone (δοξαζόμενος ὑπὸ πάντων).

Jesus praying (Lk 3:21-3:21)

“When Jesus also

Had been baptized,

He was praying.

Heaven was opened.”

 

καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος καὶ προσευχομένου ἀνεῳχθῆναι τὸν οὐρανὸν,

 

The four gospel stories show what happened to Jesus after he had been baptized.  Matthew, chapter 3:16, and Mark, chapter 1:10, are almost the same as here.  John, chapter 1:32, had John the Baptist explaining what was happening, but there was no mention of heaven opening or Jesus at prayer.  Luke said that when Jesus had been baptized (καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος), just as he was coming up out of the water, he was praying (καὶ προσευχομένου).  Heaven was opened (ἀνεῳχθῆναι τὸν οὐρανὸν).  There is no mention of Jesus seeing the heavens open as Mark indicated.  The idea of heaven opening up or breaking open was also found among the major Israelite prophets Isaiah, chapter 63:19, and Ezekiel, chapter 1:1.  All this happened as Jesus came up from the water, not during the baptism itself.  The idea of Jesus praying was unique to Luke and one of his favorite themes.  However, Luke did not have a description of John the Baptist, nor any discussion of whether John should baptize Jesus, as in Mark and Matthew.

The coming wrath (Lk 3:7-3:7)

“John said

To the crowds

That came out

To be baptized

By him.

‘You brood of vipers!

Who warned you

To flee

From the wrath

To come?’”

 

Ἔλεγεν οὖν τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ὄχλοις βαπτισθῆναι ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ Γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν, τίς ὑπέδειξεν ὑμῖν φυγεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς μελλούσης ὀργῆς;

 

Luke then presented the teachings of John that can be found in all 4 gospel stories.  Notice how this teaching lines up with what Jesus would say.  Matthew, chapter 3:8, has something similar but it was directed at the Pharisees and the Sadducees who were coming to be baptized by John.  Mark and John do not have anything about this “brood of vipers.”  Luke indicated that John spoke to all the crowds who were coming out to be baptized by him (Ἔλεγεν οὖν τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ὄχλοις βαπτισθῆναι ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ), not just a select few people.  John told them that they were like a group of vipers (Γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν) who would kill young people.  Vipers were poisonous snakes or reptiles.  Who warned them to flee from the wrath to come (τίς ὑπέδειξεν ὑμῖν φυγεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς μελλούσης ὀργῆς)?  This might be a saying from the so-called Q source, since both Matthew and Luke have the exact same wording.  It might also be an allusion to the prophet Amos, chapter 5:18-20.  Amos saw the day of Yahweh as an angry day of judgment.

Preaching a baptism of repentance (Lk 3:3-3:3)

“John went

Into all the region

Around the Jordan River.

He was proclaiming

A baptism

Of repentance

For the forgiveness

Of sins.”

 

καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν,

 

This section of Luke is very similar to all the other 4 gospel stories.  Luke explicitly said that John went into all the region around the Jordan River (καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου).  Mark, chapter 1:4, had the simple statement that John the Baptizer, appeared in the wilderness or desert, without mentioning the Jordan River.  However, Luke was actually closer to Mark, since he used the exact same words about John’s preaching.  He indicated that John was proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν).  Matthew, chapter 3:2, said that the preaching message of John was very simple.  They should repent, turn their lives around, with a profound metanoia, a change of their spirit.  The equivalent about repentance, metanoia, or the change of heart can also be found in both Mark and Luke.  Matthew had John say that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, coming near.  The other canonical gospel writers did not use this term “kingdom of heaven.”  John, chapter l:19-29, had a long dialogue with John and the priests and Levites about what he was doing.  How and what John did before or after this preaching in the wilderness did not matter.  He was there proclaiming a baptism of repentance, a life change, or a metanoia, to have sins or faults forgiven or wiped away.

The call of John (Lk 3:2-3:2)

“The word of God

Came to John,

The son of Zechariah,

In the wilderness.”

 

ἐγένετο ῥῆμα Θεοῦ ἐπὶ Ἰωάνην τὸν Ζαχαρίου υἱὸν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ.

 

Luke presented John like a prophet who was called like the other Israelite prophets.  The word of God came or happened to John (ἐγένετο ῥῆμα Θεοῦ ἐπὶ Ἰωάνην), the son of Zechariah (τὸν Ζαχαρίου υἱὸν), in the wilderness or desert (ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ), just like it had come to many other ancient Jewish prophets.  There should be no confusion about whom this John is because he was the son of Zechariah that was described in chapter 1.  There is something similar, but not quite the same in all 4 gospel stories.  In Mark, chapter 1:4, John appeared on the scene immediately after a citation from the prophet IsaiahMatthew, chapter 3:1-2, seemed to follow Mark, since Mark began his gospel with this story.  Matthew had John the Baptizer preaching in the wilderness or desert in Judea, southeast of Jerusalem and west of the Dead Sea.  John, chapter 1:19, also introduced John the Baptist immediately after his prologue.  Only Matthew and Luke have the infancy narratives before the introduction of John, who was central to the work of Jesus.

 

The amazing Jesus (Lk 2:47-2:47)

“All who heard him

Were amazed

At his understanding

And his answers.”

 

ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες οἱ ἀκούοντες αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τῇ συνέσει καὶ ταῖς ἀποκρίσεσιν αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke made a comment that will be often repeated here and in all the other gospel stories about how people were amazed or marveled at Jesus.  He said that everyone, especially these religious teachers in Jerusalem, who heard this 12-year-old Jesus was amazed or astonished (ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες οἱ ἀκούοντες αὐτοῦ) at his understanding or intellect (ἐπὶ τῇ συνέσει) and his answers (καὶ ταῖς ἀποκρίσεσιν αὐτοῦ).  He was a bright kid for his age.  What else would you expect from Jesus?  The idea of a brilliant youth was common among all ancient heroes.  However, the gospel writers were restrained in this area, since this is the only canonical story or episode about the young Jesus.