The blind beggar (Lk 18:35-18:35)

“As Jesus

Approached Jericho,

A certain blind man

Was sitting

By the roadside,

Begging.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ ἐγγίζειν αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱερειχὼ τυφλός τις ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἐπαιτῶν.

 

Luke indicated that as Jesus approached or was getting near to Jericho (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ ἐγγίζειν αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱερειχὼ), a certain blind man was sitting (τυφλός τις ἐκάθητο) by the roadside (παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν), begging (ἐπαιτῶν).  Jericho was about 16 miles northeast of Jerusalem and about 8 miles north of the Dead Sea.  Jesus was getting closer to Jerusalem, but not quite there.  Both Mark, chapter 10:46, and Matthew, chapter 20:29, have something similar, but with some differences.  Luke has Jesus entering or approaching Jericho, not leaving it, as in Matthew and Mark, who said that Jesus had been in Jericho (Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Ἰερειχώ).  However, Jesus was leaving Jericho (Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ Ἰερειχὼ) with his disciples (καὶ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ) and a large crowd (καὶ ὄχλου ἱκανοῦ), when this incident occurred.  Mark is the only gospel writer that named this blind beggar Bartimaeus (Βαρτιμαῖος), the son of Timaeus, even with the name of his father (ὁ υἱὸς Τιμαίου).  This Bartimaeus was a blind beggar (τυφλὸς προσαίτης), sitting by the way or the roadside (ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν).  On the other hand, Luke only had an unnamed blind beggar, while Matthew had two unnamed blind beggars.  Matthew also had Jesus and his apostles or disciples leaving Jericho (Καὶ ἐκπορευομένων αὐτῶν ἀπὸ Ἱερειχὼ).  As usual a large crowd followed him (ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ ὄχλος πολύς).  All indications are that they were on the way to Jerusalem.  Have you ever seen a blind beggar?

Eternal life (Lk 18:18-18:18)

“A certain ruler

Asked Jesus.

‘Good Teacher!

What must I do

To inherit

Eternal life?’”

 

Καὶ ἐπηρώτησέν τις αὐτὸν ἄρχων λέγων Διδάσκαλε ἀγαθέ, τί ποιήσας ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that a certain ruler questioned Jesus (Καὶ ἐπηρώτησέν τις αὐτὸν ἄρχων), calling him a good teacher (λέγων Διδάσκαλε ἀγαθέ).  What did he have to do to inherit eternal life (τί ποιήσας ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω)?  This incident about the man asking about eternal life can be found in Mark, chapter 10:17, and Matthew, chapter 19:16, but slightly different.  Mark had Jesus setting out on a journey (Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ εἰς ὁδὸν), when a man, not a ruler as in Luke, came running up to Jesus (προσδραμὼν εἷς).  He knelt down before Jesus (καὶ γονυπετήσας αὐτὸν).  He then questioned Jesus (ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν), calling him a good teacher (Διδάσκαλε ἀγαθέ), like in Luke.  He wanted to know what he had to do (τί ποιήσω) to inherit, possess, or acquire eternal life (ἵνα ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω).  Matthew said this person was not a ruler as in Luke, but he also came to Jesus (Καὶ ἰδοὺ εἷς προσελθὼν αὐτῷ).  He called Jesus a teacher (εἶπεν Διδάσκαλε), but not a good teacher as in Luke and Mark.  He wanted to know what one good deed he could do (τί ἀγαθὸν ποιήσω) to achieve eternal life (ἵνα σχῶ ζωὴν αἰώνιον).  This person wanted to know about his own personal eternal salvation, while the normal Jewish attitude would have been to talk about how they could all be saved.  Are you worried about your eternal life?

Pilate and the Galileans (Lk 13:1-13:1)

“At that very time,

There were some present

Who told Jesus

About the Galileans,

Whose blood

Pilate had mingled

With their sacrifices.”

 

Παρῆσαν δέ τινες ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ καιρῷ ἀπαγγέλλοντες αὐτῷ περὶ τῶν Γαλιλαίων ὧν τὸ αἷμα Πειλᾶτος ἔμιξεν μετὰ τῶν θυσιῶν αὐτῶν.

 

Luke uniquely said that at that very time (ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ καιρῷ), there were some people present (Παρῆσαν δέ τινες) who told Jesus (ἀπαγγέλλοντες αὐτῷ) about the Galileans (περὶ τῶν Γαλιλαίων), whose blood (ὧν τὸ αἷμα) Pilate (Πειλᾶτος) had mingled (ἔμιξεν) with their sacrifices (μετὰ τῶν θυσιῶν αὐτῶν).  This is a unique passage of Luke that talked about a contemporary event of Jesus.  Apparently, Pontius Pilate, who was rather cruel, had killed some Galileans when they were worshiping at the Jerusalem Temple.  However, there is no other indication about this incident anywhere else, nor is it clear how many Galileans were involved.  What do you think about killing people while they are praying in a place of worship?

Blessed is the womb (Lk 11:27-11:27)

“While Jesus

Was speaking,

A woman

In the crowd

Raised her voice.

She said to Jesus.

‘Blessed is the womb

That bore you

And the breasts

That nursed you!”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ λέγειν αὐτὸν ταῦτα ἐπάρασά τις φωνὴν γυνὴ ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μακαρία ἡ κοιλία ἡ βαστάσασά σε καὶ μαστοὶ οὓς ἐθήλασας.

 

Luke alone has this incident about the woman shouting out in a crowd.  Luke said that while Jesus was speaking (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ λέγειν αὐτὸν ταῦτα), a woman in the crowd (γυνὴ ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου) raised her voice (ἐπάρασά τις φωνὴν).  She said to Jesus (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that blessed (Μακαρία) was the womb that bore him (ἡ κοιλία ἡ βαστάσασά σε) and the breasts that nursed him (καὶ μαστοὶ οὓς ἐθήλασας).  This woman in the crowd wanted to praise the mother of Jesus because she had borne and nursed Jesus.  Jesus’ mother should be blessed, happy or fortunate (Μακαρία), which she was.  Luke seemed to pay more attention to women that the other gospel writers.   Do you think that women are undervalued?

The herd of swine (Lk 8:32-8:32)

“Now a large herd

Of swine

Was feeding

On a hillside mountain.

The demons

Begged Jesus

To let them

Enter these pigs.

Thus,

Jesus gave them permission.”

 

ἦν δὲ ἐκεῖ ἀγέλη χοίρων ἱκανῶν βοσκομένη ἐν τῷ ὄρει· καὶ παρεκάλεσαν αὐτὸν ἵνα ἐπιτρέψῃ αὐτοῖς εἰς ἐκείνους εἰσελθεῖν· καὶ ἐπέτρεψεν αὐτοῖς.

 

Luke said that a large herd of swine or pigs (ἦν δὲ ἐκεῖ ἀγέλη χοίρων) was feeding (ἱκανῶν βοσκομένη) on a hillside mountain (ἐν τῷ ὄρει).  These demons begged Jesus (καὶ παρεκάλεσαν αὐτὸν) to allows them to enter these pigs (ἵνα ἐπιτρέψῃ αὐτοῖς εἰς ἐκείνους εἰσελθεῖν).  Thus, Jesus gave them permission (καὶ ἐπέτρεψεν αὐτοῖς).  All three synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 5:11-12, Matthew, chapter 8:30-31, and Luke here, have these demoniacs ask to be sent into this herd of pigs nearby, with slight nuances in each story.  Mark said that this incident took place near a mountain or hill.  There was a large herd of swine, pigs, or hogs feeding on this hill, since this was gentile or a Greek area that was not Jewish.  Then the unclean spirits, not the demoniac, begged, entreated, or beseeched Jesus to send them into these pigs or swine.  Matthew said that this large herd of pigs was feeding in a pasture at some distance away from them, since this was a non-Jewish, gentile area.  Then the demoniacs begged Jesus to send them into these pigs.  It seems like these evil spirits knew that they belonged in the unclean pigs or swine.  Have you ever seen a hog farm?

Would Jesus heal on the Sabbath? (Lk 6:7-6:7)

“The Scribes

And the Pharisees

Watched Jesus

To see

Whether he would cure

On the Sabbath.

Thus,

They might find

An accusation

Against him.”

 

παρετηροῦντο δὲ αὐτὸν οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι εἰ ἐν τῷ σαββάτῳ θεραπεύει, ἵνα εὕρωσιν κατηγορεῖν αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke said that the Scribes (οἱ γραμματεῖς) and the Pharisees (καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι) were watching or closely observing Jesus (παρετηροῦντο δὲ αὐτὸν) to see whether he would cure or heal (θεραπεύει) this man’s hand on the Sabbath (εἰ ἐν τῷ σαββάτῳ).  Thus, they might find an accusation against him (ἵνα εὕρωσιν κατηγορεῖν αὐτοῦ).  Matthew, chapter 12:10, and Mark, chapter 3:2, are similar to this incident in Luke.  However, Matthew had the Pharisees confront Jesus with a question, while Luke followed Mark in saying that the Scribes and Pharisees were merely watching to see if Jesus would cure this man with the withered hand on the Sabbath.  Matthew said specifically that the Pharisees interrogated Jesus whether it was lawful to heal, cure, or serve anyone on the Sabbath.  They were trying to see if they could accuse Jesus of breaking the Sabbath.  Jewish law allowed people to help in cases of distress on the Sabbath.  Clearly, this was a trap question.

Unlawful on the Sabbath (Lk 6:2-6:2)

“But some of the Pharisees

Said.

‘Why are you doing

What is not lawful

To do on the Sabbath?’”

 

τινὲς δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων εἶπαν Τί ποιεῖτε ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν;

 

As per usual, the Pharisees pop up to complain and question the disciples of Jesus.  Luke said that some of the Pharisees said (τινὲς δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων εἶπαν) that what the disciples of Jesus were doing was not lawful to do on the Sabbath (Τί ποιεῖτε ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν).  They posed it as a question.  Matthew, chapter 12:2, and Mark, chapter 2:24, are similar to Luke, so that Mark may be the source of this incident.  Matthew said that Pharisees saw the disciples of Jesus plucking the grain on the Sabbath.  Deuteronomy, chapter 25:24-25, stated that it was okay to pluck the ears with your hand, but you could not put a sickle to your neighbor’s standing grain or carry it away in a container.  However, Exodus, chapter 34:21, explicitly said that you could not harvest grain on the Sabbath, but did not mention any hand picking.  Thus, the Pharisees said to Jesus that his disciples were doing unlawful things on the Sabbath by plucking the grain   Notice that Jesus was not doing this, only his disciples were.