Hard for rich people (Lk 18:24-18:24)

“Jesus looked

At this ruler.

He said.

‘How hard it is

For those

Who have wealth

To enter

The kingdom of God!’”

 

ἰδὼν δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Πῶς δυσκόλως οἱ τὰ χρήματα ἔχοντες εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσπορεύονται·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus looked at this ruler (ἰδὼν δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  He said (εἶπεν) that how hard or difficult it was for those who have wealth (Πῶς δυσκόλως οἱ τὰ χρήματα ἔχοντες) to enter the kingdom of God (εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσπορεύονται).  This saying about the difficulty of rich people trying to get into the kingdom of God can be found in Mark, chapter 10:25, and Matthew, chapter 19:23, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus looked around (Καὶ περιβλεψάμενος ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  Then he said to his disciples (λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ) that it would be hard or difficult for a rich person, those having a lot of wealth (Πῶς δυσκόλως οἱ τὰ χρήματα ἔχοντες) to enter the kingdom of God (εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελεύσονται).  In Matthew, Jesus told his disciples (Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ) with a strong harsh solemn proclamation (Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  It would be hard or difficult for a wealthy rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven (ὅτι πλούσιος δυσκόλως εἰσελεύσεται εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν).  As usual, Matthew spoke about entrance into the kingdom of heaven, while Mark and Luke spoke about entrance into the kingdom of God.  Wealth would clearly be an obstacle to those who wanted to enter the heavenly divine kingdom.  Do you see wealth as an obstacle to entering the kingdom of God?

.

Be like a child (Lk 18:17-18:17)

“Truly!

I say to you!

Whoever does not receive

The kingdom of God

As a little child

Will never enter it.”

 

ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ ὡς παιδίον, οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς αὐτήν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them with a solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that whoever did not receive (ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται) the kingdom of God (τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) as a little child (ὡς παιδίον) would never enter it (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς αὐτήν).  This Jesus saying put an emphasis on becoming a child to enter the kingdom.  Similar comments can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:15, as well as Matthew, chapters 18:3, with some minor changes.  Mark said that Jesus made a solemn proclamation “Truly! I say to you!’ (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).”  They had to receive the kingdom of God (ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) like a little child (ὡς παιδίον).  Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of God (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς αὐτήν).  Pure and simple, they had to have the attitude of a young child to enter the kingdom of God, just Luke mentioned here, almost word for word.  Matthew indicated that Jesus called or summoned a little child (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος παιδίον).  He placed this little child in the middle of his disciples (ἔστησεν αὐτὸ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν).  Then he made a solemn proclamation ‘Truly! I say to you!’ (καὶ εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  They had to change or convert to become like little children (ἐὰν μὴ στραφῆτε καὶ γένησθε ὡς τὰ παιδία).  Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of heaven (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν).  Whoever became humble like this little child in their midst (ὅστις οὖν ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὡς τὸ παιδίον τοῦτο), would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ μείζων ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν).  The greatest in heaven would be the simple humble little children or those who acted like children, without power and dependent on other people.  Luke and Mark did not have a long explanation about being humble like this little child to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Notice also that once again, Matthew emphasized the kingdom of heaven and not the kingdom of God.  Are you humble like a little child?

 

Do not fall for false claims (Lk 17:23-17:23)

“They will say

To you.

‘Look there!”

Or

‘Look here!’

Do not go!

Do not follow them!”

 

καὶ ἐροῦσιν ὑμῖν Ἰδοὺ ἐκεῖ, Ἰδοὺ ὧδε· μὴ ἀπέλθητε μηδὲ διώξητε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus remarked that people would tell them (καὶ ἐροῦσιν ὑμῖν) to look here (Ἰδοὺ ἐκεῖ) and there (Ἰδοὺ ὧδε).  They were not to go and follow them (μὴ ἀπέλθητε μηδὲ διώξητε).  This was similar to earlier in this chapter, 17:21.  This is also somewhat similar to Mark, chapter 13:21, and Matthew, chapter 24:23, who were almost word for word to each other.  Mark said that Jesus warned his disciples that if anyone said to them that the Messiah Christ was there (καὶ τότε ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ Ἴδε ὧδε ὁ Χριστός), or if they said look here (Ἴδε ἐκεῖ), they were not to believe it (μὴ πιστεύετε).  They were not to be misled by rumors about the Christ Messiah.  Matthew said that Jesus warned his disciples that if anyone said to them to look because the Messiah Christ was there (τότε ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ Ἰδοὺ ὧδε ὁ Χριστός, ἤ Ὧδε), they were not to believe it (μὴ πιστεύσητε).  Many people might lead them astray, by saying that they were the Messiah Christ in order to deceive them.  Apparently, there were many deceptive Jewish messianic leaders who were saying that they were the Christ Messiah.  John the Baptist was an example of a messianic leader in the 1st century CE.  Other political Jewish leaders had messianic ambitions also, especially those who led the revolt against the Romans in the 2nd half of the 1st century.  Jesus was warning against all of them.  Have you ever been misled by a religious leader?

The kingdom of God is near (Lk 17:21-17:21)

“They will not say.

‘Look!

Here it is!

Or

‘There it is!

In fact,

The kingdom of God

Is among you.’”

 

οὐδὲ ἐροῦσιν Ἰδοὺ ὧδε ἤ Ἐκεῖ· ἰδοὺ γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐντὸς ὑμῶν ἐστιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that people would not say (οὐδὲ ἐροῦσιν), “Look!  Here it is (Ἰδοὺ ὧδε)!” Or “Look!  There it is (ἤ Ἐκεῖ· ἰδοὺ)!”  Jesus emphasized that in fact, the kingdom of God (γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) was among them (ἐντὸς ὑμῶν ἐστιν).  This is somewhat similar to Mark, chapter 13:21, and Matthew, chapter 24:23.  However, they were concerned about the coming of the Messiah rather than the coming of the kingdom of God.  Matthew said that Jesus warned his disciples that if anyone said to them to look because the Messiah Christ was there (τότε ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ Ἰδοὺ ὧδε ὁ Χριστός, ἤ Ὧδε), they were not to believe it (μὴ πιστεύσητε).  Mark said that Jesus warned his disciples that if anyone said to them to look because the Messiah Christ was there (καὶ τότε ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ Ἴδε ὧδε ὁ Χριστός), or if they said look, there he is (Ἴδε ἐκεῖ), they were not to believe it (μὴ πιστεύετε).  They were not to be misled by rumors about the Christ Messiah.  Here in Luke, it was about the kingdom of God and the not the Messiah.  More importantly, Jesus insisted here in Luke that the kingdom of God was with them already.  Is the kingdom of God among you?

Temptations (Lk 17:1-17:1)

“Jesus

Said to his disciples.

‘Occasions

For stumbling

Are bound

To come.

But woe to anyone

By whom

They come!’”

 

Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ Ἀνένδεκτόν ἐστιν τοῦ τὰ σκάνδαλα μὴ ἐλθεῖν, οὐαὶ δὲ δι’ οὗ ἔρχεται·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his disciples (Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ) that occasions for stumbling are bound to come (Ἀνένδεκτόν ἐστιν τοῦ τὰ σκάνδαλα μὴ ἐλθεῖν).  However, woe or be cursed to anyone by whom they come (οὐαὶ δὲ δι’ οὗ ἔρχεται).  Jesus admitted that stumbling or sinning might occur, but anyone who brings them should be cursed.  This saying about causing little believing children to sin or stumble can be found in Mark, chapter 9:42, and Matthew, chapter 18:6, with some minor changes, with Matthew closer to Mark.  In Luke, there is no mention of little children until the next verse, since this warning is more generic here.  Do you cause other people to stumble?

Adultery (Lk 16:18-16:18)

“Anyone who divorces

His wife,

And marries another,

Commits adultery.

Whoever marries

A woman,

Divorced

From her husband,

Commits adultery.”

 

Πᾶς ὁ ἀπολύων τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ καὶ γαμῶν ἑτέραν μοιχεύει, καὶ ὁ ἀπολελυμένην ἀπὸ ἀνδρὸς γαμῶν μοιχεύει.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that anyone who put away or divorced his wife (Πᾶς ὁ ἀπολύων τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ), and married another woman (καὶ γαμῶν ἑτέραν), committed adultery (μοιχεύει).  Whoever married (γαμῶν) a woman, divorced from her husband (καὶ ὁ ἀπολελυμένην ἀπὸ ἀνδρὸς), committed adultery (μοιχεύει).  This response of Jesus to his disciples can be found also in Matthew, chapter 19:9, where there was also an emphasis on divorce as adultery.  Mark, chapter 10:11-12 indicated that Jesus said to his disciples (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) that whoever divorced his wife (Ὃς ἂν ἀπολύσῃ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ) and married another woman (καὶ γαμήσῃ ἄλλην), committed adultery against her (μοιχᾶται ἐπ’ αὐτήν).  Jesus had taken the stronger stance of no divorce.  There was no exception about sexual misconduct as in Matthew.  In Jewish society, women could not divorce their husbands, but in Roman society or among the gentiles, women could divorce their husbands.  Mark indicated that Jesus gave the same rebuke to the women as he given to the men.  If a woman divorced her husband (καὶ ἐὰν αὐτὴ ἀπολύσασα τὸν ἄνδρα αὐτῆς), and married someone else (γαμήσῃ ἄλλον), she committed adultery (μοιχᾶται).  There were no exceptions, not even for spousal abuse.  The new marriage was adulterous.  In Matthew, Jesus responded to the Pharisees (λέγει αὐτοῖς).  He said that Moses allowed them to divorce their wives (Ὅτι Μωϋσῆς …ἐπέτρεψεν ὑμῖν ἀπολῦσαι τὰς γυναῖκας ὑμῶν) because they were so hard-hearted, perverse, and obstinate (πρὸς τὴν σκληροκαρδίαν ὑμῶν).  However, as he had noted earlier, this was not so from the beginning (ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς δὲ οὐ γέγονεν οὕτως).  Then in a solemn proclamation (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν) he said that whoever divorced his wife and married another woman committed adultery (ὅτι ὃς ἂν ἀπολύσῃ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ…καὶ γαμήσῃ ἄλλην, μοιχᾶται), except for the sexual immorality or fornication (μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ) of his wife.  Jesus had taken the stronger stance of no divorce, but gave one exception, the sexual misconduct of the wife, much like some of the stricter Jewish rabbis at that time.  This exception was not in Mark or here in Luke.  Do you think that there should be exceptions for divorce?

The salt loses its taste (Lk 14:34-14:34)

“Salt is good.

But if salt

Has lost its taste,

How can its saltiness

Be restored?”

 

Καλὸν οὖν τὸ ἅλας· ἐὰν δὲ καὶ τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ, ἐν τίνι ἀρτυθήσεται;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that salt was good (Καλὸν οὖν τὸ ἅλας).  But if the salt has lost its taste (ἐὰν δὲ καὶ τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ), how can its saltiness be restored or re-seasoned (ἐν τίνι ἀρτυθήσεται)?  This saying of Jesus can be found in Mark, chapter 9:50, and Matthew, chapter 5:13.  Salt was important not just as a spice and preservative, but it represented wisdom and purity in the ancient world and Judaism.  Matthew had Jesus turn to his disciples to remind them that they were the salt of the earth or the land (Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ ἅλας τῆς γῆς).  The other two gospel writers just had statements about salt, rather than speaking explicitly to the disciples.  Matthew switched to the 3rd person from the 2nd person, when he explained about salt losing its taste (ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ).  How can that taste be restored to the salt (ἐν τίνι ἁλισθήσεται)?  Mark indicated that Jesus said that salt was good (καλὸν τὸ ἅλας).  However, if the salt has lost its taste or saltiness (ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας ἄναλον γένηται), if it is insipid, how can the taste be restored to the salt (ἐν τίνι αὐτὸ ἀρτύσετε)?  How can you season the salt?

The stressful baptism to come (Lk 12:50-12:50)

“I have a baptism

With which

To be baptized.

What stress

I am under,

Until it is completed!”  

 

βάπτισμα δὲ ἔχω βαπτισθῆναι, καὶ πῶς συνέχομαι ἕως ὅτου τελεσθῇ.  

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that he had a baptism (βάπτισμα δὲ ἔχω) with which he was to be baptized (βαπτισθῆναι).  He was under a lot of stress (καὶ πῶς συνέχομαι) until it was completed or finished (ἕως ὅτου τελεσθῇ).  This was one of the few times that Jesus mentioned anything about his stress or distress.  There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 10:28, but slightly different.  There Jesus asked his disciples if they were able to drink the cup that he was about to drink.  The idea of a cup as suffering or the cup of wrath could be found among the major prophets.  Jesus then asked them if they were ready to be baptized with the baptism that he was going to undergo (ἢ τὸ βάπτισμα ὃ ἐγὼ βαπτίζομαι βαπτισθῆναι)?  This baptism was a form of suffering, probably a reference to his future passion and suffering of his death.  Do you consider baptism a time of stress?

Watch for the thief (Lk 12:39-12:39)

“Know this!

If the owner

Of the house

Had known

At what hour

The thief

Was coming,

He would not have

Let his house

Be broken into.”

 

τοῦτο δὲ γινώσκετε ὅτι εἰ ᾔδει ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης ποίᾳ ὥρᾳ ὁ κλέπτης ἔρχεται, οὐκ ἂν ἀφῆκεν διορυχθῆναι τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should know (τοῦτο δὲ γινώσκετε) that if the owner of a house had known (ὅτι εἰ ᾔδει ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης) at what hour (ποίᾳ ὥρᾳ) the thief was coming (ὁ κλέπτης ἔρχεται), he would not have let his house be broken into (οὐκ ἂν ἀφῆκεν διορυχθῆναι τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ).  This was very similar to Matthew, chapter 24:42-43, about the thief at night.  Matthew said that Jesus warned his disciples to be vigilant.  They were to stay awake (γρηγορεῖτε οὖν) because they did not know on what day (ὅτι οὐκ οἴδατε ποίᾳ ἡμέρᾳ) the Lord was coming (ὁ κύριος ὑμῶν ἔρχεται).  They had to understand or realize (ἐκεῖνο δὲ γινώσκετε) that if an owner of a house had known at what time of the night a thief was coming (ὅτι εἰ ᾔδει ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης ποίᾳ φυλακῇ ὁ κλέπτης ἔρχεται), he would have been alert and stayed awake (ἐγρηγόρησεν ἂν).  He would not have let his house be broken into (καὶ οὐκ ἂν εἴασεν διορυχθῆναι τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ).  Would you stay up all night protecting your house?

You are more valuable than birds (Lk 12:24-12:24)

“Consider the ravens!

They neither sow

Nor reap.

They have neither

A storehouse

Nor a barn.

Yet God feeds them.

Of how much more

Value are you

Than the birds!”

 

κατανοήσατε τοὺς κόρακας, ὅτι οὔτε σπείρουσιν οὔτε θερίζουσιν, οἷς οὐκ ἔστιν ταμεῖον οὐδὲ ἀποθήκη, καὶ ὁ Θεὸς τρέφει αὐτούς· πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμεῖς διαφέρετε τῶν πετεινῶν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told his disciples to think about the ravens (κατανοήσατε τοὺς κόρακας).  They neither sow (ὅτι οὔτε σπείρουσιν) nor reap (οὔτε θερίζουσιν).  They have neither a storehouse (οἷς οὐκ ἔστιν ταμεῖον) nor a barn (οὐδὲ ἀποθήκη).  Yet God feeds them (καὶ ὁ Θεὸς τρέφει αὐτούς).  Of how much more value are you than the birds (πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμεῖς διαφέρετε τῶν πετεινῶν).  Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:26, has a similar Jesus saying, almost word for word, indicating a common Q source.  Luke called the birds ravens, but Matthew did not.  Matthew had Jesus tell his disciples to look and see the birds of the heavenly skies (ἐμβλέψατε εἰς τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  These birds did not sow or scatter (ὅτι οὐ σπείρουσιν) or gather crops (οὐδὲ συνάγουσιν) into a granary or barn (εἰς ἀποθήκας).  They were freeloaders.  Yet they were able to eat off the land, because the heavenly Father fed them (καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τρέφει αὐτά).  Are the disciples or followers of Jesus not more valuable than these birds (οὐχ ὑμεῖς μᾶλλον διαφέρετε αὐτῶν)?  Matthew said the Father fed the birds, but Luke said that it was God who fed them.  Birds did not do any farm work, yet they did not have to worry about food.  Are you worried about where your next meal is coming from?