The son admits he is a sinner (Lk 15:21-15:21)

“Then the son

Said to him.

‘Father!

I have sinned

Against heaven

And before you.

I am no longer worthy

To be called

Your son.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτῷ Πάτερ, ἥμαρτον εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου, οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου.

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the son said to his father (εἶπεν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτῷ Πάτερ) that he had sinned (ἥμαρτον) against heaven (εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν) and his own father (καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου).  He was no longer worthy to be called his son (οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου).  Some of the Greek texts have the ending sentence of verse 19, where he wanted to be treated like one of his hired hands (ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου).  This seems to be a very true contrite statement, since the words are exactly what he was thinking when he decided to return home.  Thus, this prodigal son confessed his sins and asked for repentance, after his father had already accepted him back.  Have you ever confessed that you are a sinner?

The sinner (Lk 15:18-15:18)

“I will get up.

I will go

To my father.

I will say to him.

‘Father!

I have sinned

Against heaven

And before you.’”

 

ἀναστὰς πορεύσομαι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ ἐρῶ αὐτῷ Πάτερ, ἥμαρτον εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου,

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that finally, this prodigal son said that he would get up (ἀναστὰς) and go home to his father (πορεύσομαι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου).  He was going to say to his father (καὶ ἐρῶ αὐτῷ Πάτερ) that he had sinned (ἥμαρτον) against heaven (εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν) and his father (εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν).  This prodigal son finally came to his senses.  He was going to go home and ask for forgiveness from heaven and his father.  Have you ever thought about going home to ask forgiveness from your family for what you have done?

The younger son squanders his property (Lk 15:13-15:13)

“A few days later,

The younger son

Gathered all he had.

He traveled

To a distant country.

There he squandered

His property

In dissolute living.”

 

καὶ μετ’ οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας συναγαγὼν πάντα ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς χώραν μακράν, καὶ ἐκεῖ διεσκόρπισεν τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ ζῶν ἀσώτως.

 

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 a few days later or not too many days later (καὶ μετ’ οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας), this younger son gathered all that he had (συναγαγὼν πάντα ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς), without any indication of how much stuff he actually had.  He then traveled or went away to a distant country (ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς χώραν μακράν), since he did not stay close to home.  There he squandered his property in dissolute living (καὶ ἐκεῖ διεσκόρπισεν τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ ζῶν ἀσώτως).  Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term ἀσώτως that means prodigal or extravagantly wasteful, because of loose living in a debauched, profligate lifestyle.  Thus, this story came to be known as the prodigal son.  In other words, this young son took off for a Las Vegas kind of city in a faraway place.  There he spent his new-found inheritance very quickly in a number of stupid ways.  It is not clear how he was able to convert his inheritance property into cash, but presumably he did.  Have you ever thought about running away and spending a lot of money foolishly?

Rejoicing with friends (Lk 15:6-15:6)

“When the shepherd

Comes home,

He calls together

His friends

And his neighbors.

He says to them.

‘Rejoice with me!

I have found

My sheep

That was lost.’”

 

καὶ ἐλθὼν εἰς τὸν οἶκον συνκαλεῖ τοὺς φίλους καὶ τοὺς γείτονας, λέγων αὐτοῖς Συνχάρητέ μοι, ὅτι εὗρον τὸ πρόβατόν μου τὸ ἀπολωλός.

 

Luke uniquely had a big celebration about finding this one lost sheep.  Jesus said that when this shepherd came home (καὶ ἐλθὼν εἰς τὸν οἶκον), he called together (συνκαλεῖ) his friends (τοὺς φίλους) and neighbors (καὶ τοὺς γείτονας).  He said to them (λέγων αὐτοῖς) to come rejoice with him (Συνχάρητέ μοι) because he had found his lost sheep (ὅτι εὗρον τὸ πρόβατόν μου τὸ ἀπολωλός).  Matthew never mentioned this celebration about the found lost sheep.  Would you celebrate about finding 1% of something that you had lost?

Herod wants to kill Jesus (Lk 13:31-13:31)

“At that very hour.

Some Pharisees came

Near to Jesus.

They said to him.

‘Get away from here!

Herod wants

To kill you.’”

 

Ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ προσῆλθάν τινες Φαρισαῖοι λέγοντες αὐτῷ Ἔξελθε καὶ πορεύου ἐντεῦθεν, ὅτι Ἡρῴδης θέλει σε ἀποκτεῖναι.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that at that very hour (Ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ), some certain Pharisees came near to Jesus (προσῆλθάν τινες Φαρισαῖοι).  They told him (λέγοντες αὐτῷ) to get away from there (Ἔξελθε καὶ πορεύου ἐντεῦθεν) because Herod wanted to kill him (ὅτι Ἡρῴδης θέλει σε ἀποκτεῖναι).  Oddly enough, one of Jesus’ most bitter opponents, these Pharisees, came to Jesus to warn him that the tetrarch Herod Antipas wanted to kill Jesus.  However, in Luke, Jesus ate at the home of a Pharisees on at least 3 occasions.  Somehow these Pharisees had access to Herod, the Roman educated son of Herod the Great, who was the ruler or tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from 4 BCE-39 CE.  As a client ruler, he was part of the Roman Empire.  Thus, he built and named the capital city of Galilee, Tiberias, since the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37 CE) was his favorite emperor.  He is sometimes referred to as a king.  Have some of your enemies helped you at some time?

Worst state (Lk 11:26-11:26)

“Then this evil spirit

Goes

And brings

Seven other spirits

More evil

Than himself.

They enter

The home.

They live there.

The last state

Of that person

Is worse

Than the first.”

 

τότε πορεύεται καὶ παραλαμβάνει ἕτερα πνεύματα πονηρότερα ἑαυτοῦ ἑπτά, καὶ εἰσελθόντα κατοικεῖ ἐκεῖ, καὶ γίνεται τὰ ἔσχατα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκείνου χείρονα τῶν πρώτων.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this unclean spirit went and brought 7 others more evil spirits than him (τότε πορεύεται καὶ παραλαμβάνει ἕτερα πνεύματα πονηρότερα ἑαυτοῦ ἑπτά).  They entered and lived there (καὶ εἰσελθόντα κατοικεῖ ἐκεῖ).  Thus, the last state of that possessed person or man (καὶ γίνεται τὰ ἔσχατα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκείνου) was worse than the first or original state (χείρονα τῶν πρώτων) of that person.  This saying about the returning unclean spirit can be found almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 12:45, indicating a Q source.  This implied a failed exorcism or a failed healing, so that the evil unclean spirit would return with more evil spirits.  Thus, the unclean spirit brought 7 more evil spirits (τότε πορεύεται καὶ παραλαμβάνει μεθ’ ἑαυτοῦ ἑπτὰ ἕτερα πνεύματα πονηρότερα ἑαυτοῦ).  All these evil spirits entered and lived there (καὶ εἰσελθόντα κατοικεῖ ἐκεῖ).  Finally, the last state of that person would be worse than the original situation (καὶ γίνεται τὰ ἔσχατα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκείνου χείρονα τῶν πρώτων).  Thus, it would be the same for this evil generation (οὕτως ἔσται καὶ τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ τῇ πονηρᾷ).  Jesus had just called this generation evil, earlier in that chapter. Luke never mentioned this current evil generation here.  Do you think that more evil comes to an empty house?

The unclean spirit (Lk 11:24-11:24)

“When an unclean spirit

Has gone out

Of a person,

He wanders through

Waterless regions,

Looking for

A resting place.

Finding none,

He says.

‘I will return

To my house

From which I came.’”

 

Ὅταν τὸ ἀκάθαρτον πνεῦμα ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, διέρχεται δι’ ἀνύδρων τόπων ζητοῦν ἀνάπαυσιν, καὶ μὴ εὑρίσκον λέγει Ὑποστρέψω εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου ὅθεν ἐξῆλθον·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that when an unclean spirit had gone out of a person (Ὅταν τὸ ἀκάθαρτον πνεῦμα ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου), this unclean spirit wandered through waterless regions (διέρχεται δι’ ἀνύδρων τόπων), looking for a resting place (ζητοῦν ἀνάπαυσιν).  After he did not find any resting place (καὶ μὴ εὑρίσκον), he said (λέγει) that he would return (Ὑποστρέψω) to his house where he came from (εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου ὅθεν ἐξῆλθον).  This saying about the unclean spirit can also be found almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 12:43-44, indicating a Q source.  This unclean spirit left a person or a man (Ὅταν δὲ τὸ ἀκάθαρτον πνεῦμα ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου), after an exorcism or healing of a person.  This evil spirit wandered in a waterless dry areas or desert (διέρχεται δι’ ἀνύδρων τόπων), which would be the favorite places for evil spirits.  However, he would not be able to find (καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκει) any resting place that he was looking for (ζητοῦν ἀνάπαυσιν).  This unclean spirit said to himself that he would return to his house or the place or person that he had come from (τότε λέγει Εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου ἐπιστρέψω ὅθεν ἐξῆλθον).  The unclean spirit was going to return to where he came from after his expulsion.  Would he be able to get back into that person?  Have you ever returned to a place where you once called home?