The little child (Lk 9:47-9:47)

“But Jesus

Became aware

Of their inner thoughts.

He took

A little child.

He put this child

By his side.”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἰδὼς τὸν διαλογισμὸν τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν, ἐπιλαβόμενος παιδίον ἔστησεν αὐτὸ παρ’ ἑαυτῷ,

 

Luke said that Jesus became aware of their inner heart thoughts (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἰδὼς τὸν διαλογισμὸν τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν).  He took a little child (ἐπιλαβόμενος παιδίον).  He put this child by his side (ἔστησεν αὐτὸ παρ’ ἑαυτῷ).  This talk about Jesus and the little child can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:2, as well as Mark, chapters 9:36, with some changes.  Mark said that Jesus took a little child.  He then placed this little child in the middle or among his disciples.  He held the child in his arms and then he spoke to his apostles.  Matthew indicated that Jesus put an emphasis on becoming like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Jesus called or summoned a little child.  He placed this little child in the middle of his disciples.  Then he made a solemn proclamation that they had to change or convert to become like little children.  Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of heaven   Whoever became humble like this little child in their midst, would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  The greatest in heaven would be the simple humble little children or those who acted like children, without power and depending on other people.  What do you think the role of children should be?

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Faith heals (Lk 8:48-8:48)

“Jesus said to her.

‘Daughter!

Your faith

Has made you well!

Go in peace!’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ Θυγάτηρ, ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε· πορεύου εἰς εἰρήνην

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to her (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ), calling her daughter (Θυγάτηρ), that her faith had saved her or made her well (ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε).  Using the second person singular imperative, he told her that she was to go in peace (πορεύου εἰς εἰρήνην).  This ending to the healing of this woman with the flowing blood was nearly the same in Matthew, chapter 9:22, and Mark, chapter 5:34.  Mark had pretty much the same narrative as Luke.  Like the other healings, Jesus said to this woman that her faith had healed, cured, or saved her.  He called her “daughter (Θυγάτηρ).”  He told her to go in peace.  This woman was cured of her affliction or disease, as faith was a key ingredient in this healing, as in every healing.  Matthew was slightly different.  He said that Jesus realized that power had gone forth from him.  Jesus then turned around and saw her.  He realized what she was thinking.  Like the other times, Jesus said that her faith had saved or cured her.  He called her “daughter (θύγατερ).”  He told her to have courage and take heart.  With that, this woman was cured at that very hour, rather than at the initial touching of the garment, as in the other 2 synoptics.  Faith was a key ingredient in all these healings.  How strong is your faith?

The good and evil man (Lk 6:45-6:45)

“The good person,

Out of the good treasure

Of his heart,

Produces good.

The evil person,

Out of his evil treasure,

Produces evil.

Out of the abundance

Of the heart,

The mouth speaks.”

 

ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ τῆς καρδίας προφέρει τὸ ἀγαθόν, καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ προφέρει τὸ πονηρόν· ἐκ γὰρ περισσεύματος καρδίας λαλεῖ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his sayings.  The good person (ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος), out of the good treasure of his heart (ἐκ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ τῆς καρδίας), produces good things (προφέρει τὸ ἀγαθόν).  The evil person (καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς), out of his evil treasure (ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ), produces evil (προφέρει τὸ πονηρόν).  Out of the abundance of the heart (ἐκ γὰρ περισσεύματος καρδίας), the mouth speaks (λαλεῖ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ).  The heart was considered the moral center of a person.  Thus, we often say a person has a good heart.  Just like a tree, if the heart is good or evil, it will show up in either good or evil deeds and words.  This is similar to Matthew, chapter 12:35, thus indicating a possible Q source.  Matthew had Jesus speak about the same theme that only good can come from good people and only bad can come from bad people.  This is a common-sense statement that talks about the good and the evil people.  The good or kind person brought good things out of his good treasure or storehouse.  The evil or wicked person brought evil things out of his evil treasure or storehouse.  There never was any ambiguity.  Your treasure, your storehouse, your heart, or your morality would be revealed in your words or deeds.  What do you reveal in your activities?

Mary’s spirit rejoices in God (Lk 1:47-1:47)

“My spirit

Rejoices

In God,

My Savior!”

 

καὶ ἠγαλλίασεν τὸ πνεῦμά μου ἐπὶ τῷ Θεῷ τῷ Σωτῆρί μου

 

This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:1, that praised Yahweh.  Hannah’s heart and strength came from Yahweh, just as Luke said that Mary’s spirit rejoiced, exalted, or was full of joy (καὶ ἠγαλλίασεν τὸ πνεῦμά μου) in God (ἐπὶ τῷ Θεῷ), her Savior (τῷ Σωτῆρί μου).  Mary, like Hannah, was happy to have God as her savior.

The good news about a son (Lk 1:13-1:13)

“Your prayer

Has been heard.

Your wife,

Elizabeth,

Will bear you

A son.

You will name him

John.”

 

διότι εἰσηκούσθη ἡ δέησίς σου, καὶ ἡ γυνή σου Ἐλεισάβετ γεννήσει υἱόν σοι, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰωάνην·

 

Luke then has this good news for Zechariah.  The heart of this message was that he was going to have a son.  This angel said that his prayer, supplication, or entreaty had been heard (διότι εἰσηκούσθη ἡ δέησίς σου).  His wife Elizabeth would bear him son (αὶ ἡ γυνή σου Ἐλεισάβετ γεννήσει υἱόν σοι).  He was to name or call him John (καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰωάνην).  This was a nice simple message, nothing complicated.  God was going to grant this barren old couple a son who should be called John.

The value of the commandments (Mk 12:33-12:33)

“‘To love God

With all the heart,

With all the understanding,

With all the strength,

As well as

To love one’s neighbor

As oneself,’

This is much more

Important than

Than all the burnt offerings

And sacrifices.”

 

καὶ τὸ ἀγαπᾶν αὐτὸν ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς συνέσεως καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ἰσχύος, καὶ τὸ ἀγαπᾶν τὸν πλησίον ὡς ἑαυτὸν περισσότερόν ἐστιν πάντων τῶν ὁλοκαυτωμάτων καὶ θυσιῶν.

 

This monologue of the Scribe to Jesus is unique to Mark.  This Scribe pointed out that these 2 commandments were more important that all the Temple sacrifices of burnt offerings.  He said that to love God (καὶ τὸ ἀγαπᾶν αὐτὸν) with all your heart (ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας), with all your understanding (καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς συνέσεως), with all your strength (καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ἰσχύος), as well as to love your neighbor as yourself (καὶ τὸ ἀγαπᾶν τὸν πλησίον ὡς ἑαυτὸν) was much more important (περισσότερόν ἐστιν) than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices (πάντων τῶν ὁλοκαυτωμάτων καὶ θυσιῶν).  This Scribe recognized the value of love of God and neighbor.

The second commandment (Mk 12:31-12:31)

“‘The second commandment is.

‘You shall love

Your neighbor

As yourself.’

There is no other commandment

Greater than these.’”

 

δευτέρα αὕτη Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν. μείζων τούτων ἄλλη ἐντολὴ οὐκ ἔστιν.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:39-40, and Luke, chapter 10:27, but in a more condensed version.  This was based on Leviticus, chapter 19:18.  A further explanation of the commandments in Leviticus ends with this basic fundamental concept of love your neighbor as yourself, which became the cornerstone of Judaism and Christianity.  They were not to hate in their heart anyone of their relatives.  They should reprove their neighbor, but not take vengeance on him.  They were not to bear a grudge, because they should love them as themselves.  Mark said that Jesus replied that the 2nd commandment (δευτέρα αὕτη) was like the 1st one about love.  Not only were they to love God, but they were to love their neighbors as themselves (Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν).  There were no other commandments greater than these 2 commandments of love (μείζων τούτων ἄλλη ἐντολὴ οὐκ ἔστιν).  Everything was based on the love of God and neighbor.