Have mercy! (Lk 17:13-17:13)

“The lepers

Called out,

Saying.

‘Jesus!

Master!

Have mercy

On us!’”

 

καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦραν φωνὴν λέγοντες Ἰησοῦ Ἐπιστάτα, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς

 

Only Luke has this story about the curing of the ten lepers.  Luke indicated that the lepers cried out (καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦραν φωνὴν λέγοντες), calling Jesus “Master! (Ἰησοῦ Ἐπιστάτα)”.  They wanted him to have mercy on them (ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς).  This was a common approach to Jesus.  They wanted mercy or compassion.  They called Jesus their master, as if they were slaves.  Luke alone, among the biblical writers, used this term Ἐπιστάτα, that means master, teacher, chief, or commander, 7 times in this gospel.  However, they did not call him “Lord”.  What is your favorite title for Jesus?

The two blind men ask for mercy (Mt 20:30-20:31)

“There were two blind men

Sitting by the roadside.

When they heard

That Jesus was passing by,

They shouted out.

‘Lord!

Have mercy on us!

Son of David!”

The crowd rebuked them.

They ordered them

To be quiet.

But they shouted

Even more loudly.

‘Lord!

Have mercy on us!

Son of David!’”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ δύο τυφλοὶ καθήμενοι παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν, ἀκούσαντες ὅτι Ἰησοῦς παράγει, ἔκραξαν λέγοντες Κύριε, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς, υἱὸς Δαυείδ.

ὁ δὲ ὄχλος ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς ἵνα σιωπήσωσιν· οἱ δὲ μεῖζον ἔκραξαν λέγοντες Κύριε, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς, υἱὸς Δαυείδ.

 

Both Mark, chapter 10:46-48, and Luke, chapter 18:36-39, have something similar, but they only have one blind man with almost the same cry for mercy.  This story in Matthew has two blind men sitting by the roadside (καὶ ἰδοὺ δύο τυφλοὶ καθήμενοι παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν).  When they heard that Jesus was passing by (ἀκούσαντες ὅτι Ἰησοῦς παράγει), they cried out to him (ἔκραξαν λέγοντες) to have mercy on them (ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς).  They called Jesus the messianic Lord (Κύριε), the Son of David (υἱὸς Δαυείδ).  However, the crowd rebuked or admonished them 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,” 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.