Lovers of money (Lk 16:14-16:14)

“The Pharisees,

Who were lovers

Of money,

Heard all this.

They ridiculed Jesus.”

 

Ἤκουον δὲ ταῦτα πάντα οἱ Φαρισαῖοι φιλάργυροι ὑπάρχοντες, καὶ ἐξεμυκτήριζον αὐτόν.

 

Once again, this is a unique statement of Luke, not found in the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that the Pharisees (οἱ Φαρισαῖοι), who were lovers of money (φιλάργυροι ὑπάρχοντες), heard all this (Ἤκουον δὲ ταῦτα πάντα).  They ridiculed Jesus (καὶ ἐξεμυκτήριζον αὐτόν).  Obviously, Luke was very much opposed to wealth, as this was an insult to the Pharisees to call them money lovers.  Luke was the only biblical writer who used the term ἐξεμυκτήριζον that means to hold up your nose in derision, deride, scoff at, or mock.  Thus, there was some antipathy between Jesus and the Pharisees that shows up all the time.  Are you a lover of money?

The oldest son (Lk 15:25-15:25)

“Now his elder son

Was in the field.

When he came,

He approached

The house.

He heard music

And dancing.”

 

ἦν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ὁ πρεσβύτερος ἐν ἀγρῷ· καὶ ὡς ἐρχόμενος ἤγγισεν τῇ οἰκίᾳ, ἤκουσεν συμφωνίας καὶ χορῶν,

 

This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the older or elder son (ἦν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ὁ πρεσβύτερος) was in the field (ἐν ἀγρῷ) when his brother came back.  As he approached the house (καὶ ὡς ἐρχόμενος ἤγγισεν τῇ οἰκίᾳ), he heard music (ἤκουσεν συμφωνίας) and dancing (καὶ χορῶν).  Interesting enough, Luke once again was the only biblical writer to use these two words in his writings, συμφωνίας that means harmony of instruments or music, and χορῶν that means a dance, or dancing.  The older or elder son had worked hard on the farm, while his brother went and spent his fortune on wine, women, and song.  He knew nothing about the reconciliation of his brother and father.  Are you sometimes out of the loop?

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?

He casts out demons by Beelzebul (Lk 11:15-11:15)

“But some of them said.

‘He casts out demons

By Beelzebul,

The ruler of demons.’”

 

τινὲς δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν εἶπαν Ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια

 

Luke indicated that some anonymous people in the crowd said (τινὲς δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν εἶπαν) that Jesus was casting out demons (ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια) by Beelzebul (Ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ), the ruler or the prince of the demons (τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων).  Matthew, chapter 12:24, said that it was the Pharisees, not someone in the crowd, who heard that the people were calling Jesus the “Son of David,” a messianic name.  They then accused Jesus of being in cahoots with Beelzebul, the leader of the demons.  In other words, Jesus was casting out demons because he was working with the devil, the prince of the demons, Beelzebul.  Mark, chapter 3:22, said that the Scribes came down from Jerusalem, and not the Pharisees, as in Matthew, or someone in the crowd as in Luke, that accused Jesus of working with Beelzebul.  Thus, as the leader or ruler of the demons, he was casting out other demons.  The implication was that Jesus was working with the devil, the very leader of the demons, Beelzebul, an ancient Canaanite god known as the “Lord of the flies.”  However, Beelzebul had become another name for the devil or a major demon in early Christianity and late Judaism.  What do you think the role of the devil is in your life?

Eternal life (Lk 10:25-10:25)

“Just then,

A certain lawyer

Stood up

To test Jesus.

He said.

‘Teacher!

What must I do

To inherit eternal life?’”

 

Καὶ ἰδοὺ νομικός τις ἀνέστη ἐκπειράζων αὐτὸν λέγων Διδάσκαλε, τί ποιήσας ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω;

 

Luke said that just then, a certain lawyer stood up (Καὶ ἰδοὺ νομικός τις ἀνέστη) to test Jesus (ἐκπειράζων αὐτὸν).  He said, calling Jesus a teacher (λέγων Διδάσκαλε), what did he have to do to inherit eternal life (τί ποιήσας ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω)?  Although there was a question like this in all 3 synoptics, there are nuanced differences.  Matthew, chapter 22:35-36, had a Pharisee lawyer ask the question about the greatest commandment, and not about eternal life.  Mark, chapter 12:28, had a Scribe, not a Pharisee lawyer ask the same question about the greatest commandment.  In Luke, here, there was an unnamed lawyer, probably an expert in the Mosaic law, who wanted to know about how to gain eternal life.  Mark had this unnamed Scribe approach Jesus, because he had heard the disciples discussing, disputing, or arguing with each other.  He saw how Jesus had answered their questions so well.  He was not there to test him, as here in Luke and Matthew, but he did question Jesus.  Matthew had a lawyer, who was a Pharisee, question Jesus to explicitly test him.  This Pharisee lawyer probably was someone skilled in the Mosaic law.  He addressed Jesus in a very respectful tone calling him “Teacher” or rabbi (Διδάσκαλε), like Luke.  He wanted to know which commandment of the law was the greatest, since there were 613 commandments in late Judaism.  Thus, it would seem like a legitimate question with so many commandments or laws.  Luke had the question about eternal life, but the other 2 synoptics questioned Jesus about the most important commandment.  These questions were related, but not the same.  3 different people, with different motives, posed this question.  Do you question people to learn something or to test them?

Many people want to hear and see what you do (Lk 10:24-10:24)

“I tell you!

Many prophets

And kings

Desired to see

What you see,

But they did not

See it.

They wanted to hear

What you heard,

But they did not hear it.”

 

λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι πολλοὶ προφῆται καὶ βασιλεῖς ἠθέλησαν ἰδεῖν ἃ ὑμεῖς βλέπετε καὶ οὐκ εἶδαν, καὶ ἀκοῦσαι ἃ ἀκούετε καὶ οὐκ ἤκουσαν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his disciples with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν) that many prophets (ὅτι πολλοὶ προφῆται) and kings (καὶ βασιλεῖς) desired to see (ἠθέλησαν ἰδεῖν) what they see (ἃ ὑμεῖς βλέπετε), but they did not see it (καὶ οὐκ εἶδαν).  They wanted to hear (καὶ ἀκοῦσαι) what they had heard (ἃ ἀκούετε), but they did not hear it (καὶ οὐκ ἤκουσαν).  Matthew, chapter 13:17 had something similar, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus said that his disciples had heard and seen what other prophets and righteous ones had wanted to see and hear, but never did.  Matthew did not mention kings, but righteous people instead.  Jesus then issued a solemn declaration.  Many prophets and righteous people had longed for what they had seen and heard, but they never saw or heard these things, like they have.  The disciples of Jesus should realize how fortunate they were to be with Jesus.  Many people were less fortunate than them.  Do you feel fortunate or unfortunate?

Blessed eyes (Lk 10:23-10:23)

“Then turning

To the disciples,

Jesus said

To them privately.

‘Blessed are the eyes

That see

What you see!’”

 

Καὶ στραφεὶς πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς κατ’ ἰδίαν εἶπεν Μακάριοι οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ οἱ βλέποντες ἃ βλέπετε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus turned to his disciples (Καὶ στραφεὶς πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς).  He told them privately (κατ’ ἰδίαν εἶπεν) that their eyes were blessed, fortunate, or happy (Μακάριοι οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ), because they saw what they saw (οἱ βλέποντες ἃ βλέπετε).  Matthew, chapter 13:16 had almost this same saying about the blessed ones, thus, indicating a Q source.  The disciples of Jesus were the blessed or happy ones (ὑμῶν δὲ μακάριοι), because of what their eyes saw and their ears heard.  Luke never mentioned ears until the next verse.  Are you happy or fortunate because of what your eyes have seen?

Herod the tetrarch (Lk 9:7-9:7)

“Now Herod,

The tetrarch ruler,

Heard about all

That had taken place.

He was perplexed,

Because it was said

By some people

That John had been raised

From the dead.”

 

Ἤκουσεν δὲ Ἡρῴδης ὁ τετραάρχης τὰ γινόμενα πάντα, καὶ διηπόρει διὰ τὸ λέγεσθαι ὑπό τινων ὅτι Ἰωάνης ἠγέρθη ἐκ νεκρῶν,

 

Luke said that Herod (δὲ Ἡρῴδης) Antipas, the tetrarch (ὁ τετραάρχης) ruler of Galilee, heard (Ἤκουσεν) about all that had taken place (τὰ γινόμενα πάντα).  He was perplexed (καὶ διηπόρει), because it was said by some people (διὰ τὸ λέγεσθαι ὑπό τινων) that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead (ὅτι Ἰωάνης ἠγέρθη ἐκ νεκρῶν).  This mention of Herod can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:1-3, Mark, chapter 6:14, and here.  The Roman educated Herod, the son of Herod the Great, was the ruler or tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from 4 BCE-39 CE, as a client ruler, part of the Roman Empire.  He had built and named the capital city of Galilee, Tiberias, since the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37 CE) was his favorite emperor.  Mark called him a king.  King Herod had heard reports about Jesus, because his name had become well known or famous.  Jesus was a celebrity in Galilee.  Here we have the intersection of the Galilean official of the Roman Empire, Herod, and the famous Galilean preacher and faith healer, Jesus.  Herod, the Roman ruler in Galilee, or those around him, said that Jesus might be the resurrected John the Baptist, since some people believed that righteous people rose from the dead.  Thus, Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead.  How ironic, since Jesus was to rise from the dead.  Herod thought the miraculous powers of John the Baptist were at work in Jesus.  He and his people thought that John might have reincarnated himself in Jesus.  Matthew said that Herod the tetrarch heard reports, news or rumors about Jesus.  Herod had already seized John the Baptist.  John had been complaining that Herod Antipas had married the wife of his half-brother Herod Boethus or Philip, after he had divorced his first wife, who went back to her father and started a war with Herod Antipas.  Thus, Herod Antipas said to his children or servants that he thought that Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead.  Herod knew that he had seized, bound, and, put John in jail.  In fact, he had him killed because of his new wife Herodias, who had been the wife of his brother Philip or Herod Boethus.  Have religious leaders always gotten along with civil political leaders?

Do not fear! (Lk 8:50-8:50)

“When Jesus

Heard this,

He replied.

‘Do not fear!

Only believe!

She will be saved!’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἀκούσας ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ Μὴ φοβοῦ· μόνον πίστευσον, καὶ σωθήσεται.

 

Luke said that when Jesus heard this (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἀκούσας), he replied to the synagogue leader (ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ) that he should not fear (Μὴ φοβοῦ), but only believe (μόνον πίστευσον), because she would be saved (καὶ σωθήσεται).  Mark chapter 5:36, was similar to Luke here, almost word for word.  However, Matthew did not have this conversation, since the child was dead from the beginning.  Mark said that Jesus overheard what they were talking about.  He then turned to this synagogue leader and told him not to fear, but only believe.  Belief was a key element in many of these healing cases with Jesus.  Would you believe in Jesus at a time of death?

The woman touched the garment of Jesus (Lk 8:44-8:44)

“She came up

Behind Jesus.

She touched

The fringe

Of his clothes.

Instantly,

Her bleeding stopped.”

 

προσελθοῦσα ὄπισθεν ἥψατο τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ, καὶ παραχρῆμα ἔστη ἡ ῥύσις τοῦ αἵματος αὐτῆς.

 

Luke said that this woman came up behind Jesus (ροσελθοῦσα ὄπισθεν).  She touched the fringe of his cloak (ἥψατο τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ).  Instantly, her bleeding stopped (καὶ παραχρῆμα ἔστη ἡ ῥύσις τοῦ αἵματος αὐτῆς).  This woman touching Jesus can also be found in Matthew, chapter 9:21, and Mark, chapter 5:27-29, so that Mark might be the source.  Mark said that this woman had heard about Jesus, so that she came up behind him with the crowd all around Jesus.  She wanted to touch his cloak, with no mention of the fringes or edges of Jesus’ clothes.  She was saying to herself, that if she only touched his cloak or garment, she would be healed or cured.  Immediately, her flowing blood dried up or stopped when she touched it.  She realized in her body that she was healed from her disease.  This woman was aware of what was happening to her own body as she was healed.  Matthew said that she came up behind Jesus, because she wanted to touch the fringe or the tassel edge of his cloak.  These fringes (κρασπέδου) or bottom tassels often reminded people about the 10 commandments.  She was thinking to herself, that if she only touched his cloak or garment, she would be healed or cured.  She had a plan to help herself by touching the garment of Jesus.  Have you ever tried to touch someone in a crowd?