“By your patient endurance,
You will gain
ἐν τῇ ὑπομονῇ ὑμῶν κτήσεσθε τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν
Luke indicated that Jesus said that by their patient endurance (ἐν τῇ ὑπομονῇ ὑμῶν), they would gain or acquire (κτήσεσθε) their lives (τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν). There is something similar in Mark, chapter 13:13, and Matthew, chapter 10:22, and chapter 24:13. Mark indicated that endurance was important. Jesus said that the one who endured or stayed firm to the end would be saved (ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος, οὗτος σωθήσεται). Matthew had the same idea in chapter 10:22. If they were able to be endure to the end (ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος), they would be saved, rescued, or healed (οὗτος σωθήσεται). Jesus said that the one who endured or stayed firm to the end would be saved (ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος, οὗτος σωθήσεται). Luke did not use the word saved (σωθήσεται) but gained or acquired (κτήσεσθε) their lives. Are you good at endurance?
“There will be
There will be
In various places.
There will be
And great signs
σεισμοί τε μεγάλοι καὶ κατὰ τόπους λοιμοὶ καὶ λιμοὶ ἔσονται, φόβητρά τε καὶ ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ σημεῖα μεγάλα ἔσται.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that there would be great earthquakes (σεισμοί τε μεγάλοι). There would also be famines (καὶ λιμοὶ ἔσονται) and plagues (λοιμοὶ) in various places (καὶ κατὰ τόπους). There also would be terrors (φόβητρά τε) and great signs from heaven (καὶ ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ σημεῖα μεγάλα ἔσται). Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use the term φόβητρά, that means a cause of terror, a terrible sight, or an object of fear. There is something similar in Mark, chapter 13:8, and in Matthew, chapter 24:8, almost word for word at times. Mark indicated that Jesus said that there would be earthquakes in various places (ἔσονται σεισμοὶ κατὰ τόπους) and famines (ἔσονται λιμοί). All of this was the mere beginning of the end (ἀρχὴ ὠδίνων ταῦτα). Matthew indicated that Jesus said there would be famines (καὶ ἔσονται λιμοὶ) and earthquakes in various places (καὶ σεισμοὶ κατὰ τόπους). All of this was like birth-pangs (πάντα δὲ ταῦτα ἀρχὴ ὠδίνων). These comments and the idea of birth pains were in the Hebrew prophetic tradition of the apocalyptic literature, the Day of Yahweh, the judgment day. Jesus was speaking like many of the ancient Israelite prophets who warned about the coming of the divine judgment at the end of days, the end times. However, Luke did not emphasize the beginning of the end here. What do you think that the end of the world will be like?
“As Jesus rode along,
People kept spreading
On the road.”
πορευομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ὑπεστρώννυον τὰ ἱμάτια ἑαυτῶν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ.
Luke said that as Jesus rode (πορευομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ) along the road on this colt, people kept spreading their cloaks (ὑπεστρώννυον τὰ ἱμάτια ἑαυτῶν) on the road (ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ). Once again, the word ὑπεστρώννυον, that means to spread under, was unique to Luke, and not found elsewhere in the Greek biblical literature. However, both Matthew, chapter 21:8, and Mark, chapter 11:8 were more similar to each other than to Luke. They added the idea of branches on the road that was not here in Luke. Mark said that many people (καὶ πολλοὶ) spread out their outer garments, cloaks, or coats on the road (τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτῶν ἔστρωσαν εἰς τὴν ὁδόν). Meanwhile, others were cutting down leafy branches from the surrounding fields (ἄλλοι δὲ στιβάδας, κόψαντες ἐκ τῶν ἀγρῶν), also spreading out these branches on the road. Matthew emphasized the large crowds. He said that a very large crowd of people (ὁ δὲ πλεῖστος ὄχλος) spread out their outer garments or coats on the road (ἔστρωσαν ἑαυτῶν τὰ ἱμάτια ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ,). Meanwhile, others were cutting down branches from the surrounding trees (ἄλλοι δὲ ἔκοπτον κλάδους ἀπὸ τῶν δένδρων). They also spread out these branches on the road (καὶ ἐστρώννυον ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ). This idea of laying garments on the road can be found in 2 Kings, chapter 9:13, to protect the feet of the king. Clearly, this was an attempt to connect Jesus with the Davidic kingship. Was Jesus to be the new king of Israel as a son of David? This event has become the basis for the great Palm Sunday celebration, the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. Actually, only John, chapter 12:13, called these palm branches. Do you like the palms on Palm Sunday?
“The Son of Man
To seek out
And to save
ἦλθεν γὰρ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ζητῆσαι καὶ σῶσαι τὸ ἀπολωλός.
Luke indicated that Jesus repeated this idea that the Son of Man came (ἦλθεν γὰρ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) to seek out (ζητῆσαι) and save (καὶ σῶσαι) the lost ones (τὸ ἀπολωλός). Jesus often used the 3rd person singular “Son of Man” to refer to himself. He had come to seek and save the lost ones, not the righteous people. Luke was the only synoptic with this story of Zacchaeus. How do you seek out the lost ones?
Do not rejoice
That the spirits
Submit to you!
That your names
Are written in heaven.”
πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε ὅτι τὰ πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται, χαίρετε δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν ἐνγέγραπται ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should not rejoice (πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε) because the various evil spirits submit to them (ὅτι τὰ πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται). Rather, they should rejoice (χαίρετε) because their names (δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν) are written or engraved (ἐνγέγραπται) in the heavens (ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς). This was a common Jewish and Mesopotamian idea that you name would be written in heaven as indicated in Psalm 69:28 as listed among the righteous. Do you think that your name is written in heaven?
I have given you
I have given you
Over all the power
Of the enemy.
ἰδοὺ δέδωκα ὑμῖν τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πατεῖν ἐπάνω ὄφεων καὶ σκορπίων, καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ, καὶ οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς οὐ μὴ ἀδικήσει.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that he had given these special 70 disciples (ἰδοὺ δέδωκα ὑμῖν) the authority (τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ) to tread on (πατεῖν ἐπάνω) snakes (ὄφεων) and scorpions (καὶ σκορπίων). They had the authority over all the power (καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν δύναμιν) of the enemy (τοῦ ἐχθροῦ). Nothing would hurt them (καὶ οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς οὐ μὴ ἀδικήσει). This is another unique saying of Jesus only found in Luke because he was the only one to mention these 70 special disciples and their return. The enemy mentioned here was Satan. This idea that nothing will hurt them can also be found at the end of the gospel of Mark, chapter 16:18, as well as Psalm 91:13, that they would dash the snakes. This is the same psalm that was cited in the temptations of Jesus. Do you know anyone who is not hurt by snakes or scorpions?
“A voice came
From the cloud,
‘This is my Son!
My Chosen one!
Listen to him!’”
καὶ φωνὴ ἐγένετο ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης λέγουσα Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου ὁ ἐκλελεγμένος, αὐτοῦ ἀκούετε.
Luke said that a voice came from the cloud (καὶ φωνὴ ἐγένετο ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης) that said (λέγουσα) that this is my Son (Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου), my Chosen one (ὁ ἐκλελεγμένος). Listen to him (αὐτοῦ ἀκούετε)! This voice from the cloud can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:5, Mark, chapter 9:7, and here in Luke, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts. Mark said that there was a voice from the cloud that said Jesus was his Son, the beloved one. There was nothing about being pleased or chosen here. However, there is the further admonition to listen to him. The wording of the voice from the cloud sounds almost exactly like the voice from heaven in Mark, chapter 1:11, after the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Instead of from heaven there, the voice comes from a cloud here. This voice did not address Jesus personally. However, the idea of a heavenly voice or a voice from a cloud had a very strong tradition in the Jewish writings of the Hebrew Bible, especially among the prophets and Moses. The Baptism of Jesus, like the transfiguration here, has become the starting point for any theological reflection about early Christian Christology. In Matthew, this voice from the cloud said that Jesus was his most beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased. However, there was the further admonition to listen to him as in Luke. Matthew, like Mark, has a clear connection between the Baptism of Jesus and his transfiguration. Both times, the Father as the voice from heaven, or in the clouds, pronounced that Jesus was his beloved Son in whom he was well pleased. Are you pleased with Jesus?
In their synagogues.
He was praised
καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδίδασκεν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν, δοξαζόμενος ὑπὸ πάντων.
Luke said that Jesus began to teach (καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδίδασκεν) in their synagogues (ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν). This is a unique statement of Luke, but the idea was present in the other gospel stories. Matthew mentioned synagogues 9 times, in chapters 4:23, 6:2, 6:5, 9:35, 10:17, 12:9, 13:54, 23:6, and 23:34, while Mark mentioned them 11 times, in chapters 1:21, 1:23, 1:29, 1:39, 3:1, 5:22, 5:36, 5:38, 12:38, 12:39, and 13:9. The synagogue was a new developing Jewish established gathering place. An assembly of Jewish people might take place in a building, since some places may not have been able to afford a special multi-purpose building. Synagogues were a new thing in the first century BCE, becoming something like a local Jewish town hall meeting place as a center of study and worship, obviously outside of Jerusalem and its Temple. There may have been some sort of Sabbath worship taking place there with readings from the Torah and the prophets, with perhaps a sermon or explanation. Jesus with his disciples went there, which would not have been unusual. However, the fact that he taught there might seem a little strange, if he was not invited. However, Luke said that Jesus was praised or glorified by everyone (δοξαζόμενος ὑπὸ πάντων).
“When Jesus also
Had been baptized,
He was praying.
Heaven was opened.”
καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος καὶ προσευχομένου ἀνεῳχθῆναι τὸν οὐρανὸν,
The four gospel stories show what happened to Jesus after he had been baptized. Matthew, chapter 3:16, and Mark, chapter 1:10, are almost the same as here. John, chapter 1:32, had John the Baptist explaining what was happening, but there was no mention of heaven opening or Jesus at prayer. Luke said that when Jesus had been baptized (καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος), just as he was coming up out of the water, he was praying (καὶ προσευχομένου). Heaven was opened (ἀνεῳχθῆναι τὸν οὐρανὸν). There is no mention of Jesus seeing the heavens open as Mark indicated. The idea of heaven opening up or breaking open was also found among the major Israelite prophets Isaiah, chapter 63:19, and Ezekiel, chapter 1:1. All this happened as Jesus came up from the water, not during the baptism itself. The idea of Jesus praying was unique to Luke and one of his favorite themes. However, Luke did not have a description of John the Baptist, nor any discussion of whether John should baptize Jesus, as in Mark and Matthew.
“They did not understand
What he said
καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐ συνῆκαν τὸ ῥῆμα ὃ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς.
Luke indicates that Mary and Joseph did not understand what Jesus had said to them (καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐ συνῆκαν τὸ ῥῆμα ὃ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς). They did not grasp or comprehend what he was talking about. Somehow, these parents of Jesus had no idea about who he was or what he was going to do. This seems odd, since his parents would have known him better than anyone else.