Family betrayal (Lk 21:16-21:16)

“You will be betrayed

Even by parents,

Brothers,

Relatives,

And friends.

They will put

Some of you

To death.”

 

παραδοθήσεσθε δὲ καὶ ὑπὸ γονέων καὶ ἀδελφῶν καὶ συγγενῶν καὶ φίλων, καὶ θανατώσουσιν ἐξ ὑμῶν,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they would be betrayed (παραδοθήσεσθε), even by their parents (καὶ ὑπὸ γονέων), their brothers (καὶ ἀδελφῶν), their relatives (καὶ συγγενῶν), and their friends (καὶ φίλων).  They would put some of them to death (καὶ θανατώσουσιν ἐξ ὑμῶν).  This was something similar in Matthew, chapter 10:21, and Mark, chapter 13:12, probably based on Micah, chapter 7:6, where the prophet warned that they should not trust anyone.  Micah said that the son was treating his father with contempt.  The daughter was against her mother.  The daughter-in-law was against her mother-in-law.  Their worst enemies were not outside, but in their very own house.  This was a time and a place where you could not trust anyone, even your friends, family, and lovers.  You had to be careful with everyone.  Jesus, via Mark, seemed to indicate the same thing.  Brother would betray or hand over his brother to death (καὶ παραδώσει ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον).  A father would hand over or betray his child to death (καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον).  Children would rise up against their parents (ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς).  They would have them put to death (καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς).  Matthew only had the vague “they” betraying one another.  Jesus warned them that many of his followers would fall away, stumble, or be scandalized (καὶ τότε σκανδαλισθήσονται πολλοὶ).  They would betray or abandon each other (καὶ ἀλλήλους παραδώσουσιν), even hating and detesting one another (καὶ μισήσουσιν ἀλλήλους).  Family disputes would arise over Jesus.  This was a far cry from love your neighbor.  Have you ever had a religious dispute within your own family?

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Forgiveness (Lk 17:4-17:4)

“If the same person

Sins against you

Seven times

A day,

Yet turns back

To you

Seven times,

And says.

‘I repent!’

You must forgive!”

 

καὶ ἐὰν ἑπτάκις τῆς ἡμέρας ἁμαρτήσῃ εἰς σὲ καὶ ἑπτάκις ἐπιστρέψῃ πρὸς σὲ λέγων Μετανοῶ, ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if the same person sinned against you (ἁμαρτήσῃ εἰς σὲ) 7 times a day (καὶ ἐὰν ἑπτάκις τῆς ἡμέρας), yet turned back to you 7 times (καὶ ἑπτάκις ἐπιστρέψῃ πρὸς σὲ), and said that he repented (Μετανοῶ, ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ), you must still forgive him (ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ).  There is something like this saying in Matthew, chapter 18:21-22, although there was no mention of Peter here in LukeMatthew indicated that Peter took on a specific leadership role.  He wanted to know how many times he should forgive his brother’s sins?  Peter wanted to know how often he should forgive his brother who had sinned against him (ποσάκις ἁμαρτήσει εἰς ἐμὲ ὁ ἀδελφός μου καὶ ἀφήσω αὐτῷ).  Peter thought that 7 would be a good number.  Was 7 times enough (ἕως ἑπτάκις)?  Most Jewish people had forgiven offenses 3 times.  3 strikes and you were out.  Peter seemed overly generous in his attempts at forgiveness.  Jesus surprised Peter with a solemn declaration (λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦ) by telling him to forgive his brother’s sins not just 7 times (Οὐ λέγω σοι ἕως ἑπτάκις) but 490 times, 7*70 (ἀλλὰ ἕως ἑβδομηκοντάκις ἑπτά).  However, this saying about 7*70 was unique to Matthew, who was the only one who ever used this number ἑβδομηκοντάκις ἑπτά in the New Testament literature.  This number, nevertheless, could be found in Genesis, chapter 4:24 when Cain and Lamech were talking about violent revenge.  Lamech wanted his vengeance 7*70.  Was this number an attempt to indicate infinity before we had that term?  490 seems overly generous in any circumstances.  However, here in Luke, it might be even more since forgiveness was expected 7 times each day.  How many times do you forgive people?

 

Jesus told the little girl to get up (Lk 8:54-8:54)

“But Jesus

Took the little girl

By the hand.

He called out.

‘Child!

Get up!’”

 

αὐτὸς δὲ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς ἐφώνησεν λέγων Ἡ παῖς, ἔγειρ

 

Luke said that Jesus took her by the hand (αὐτὸς δὲ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς) and called out saying (ἐφώνησεν λέγων) to the child (Ἡ παῖς) to get up (ἔγειρ).  This curing of this young girl was similar to what can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:25, and Mark, chapter 5:41-42.  However, only Mark went into more detail by using Aramaic words to cure her.  Mark said that Jesus took her by the hand and then said to her, “Talitha cum (Ταλιθὰ κούμ)!” which means “Little girl! Get up or arise!”  Immediately, the girl arose or got up.  She began to walk.  She was 12 years old, the same number of years that the lady suffered from the blood flow.  At this, the crowd was immediately overcome with great amazement.  The use and explanation of Aramaic may indicate an oral source for this story that may have been told originally in Aramaic.  Mark felt compelled to explain this to his Greek non-Aramaic audience.  Matthew had a very succinct story.  Jesus had the crowds put outside.  Then he went into where the dead girl was.  He took her by the hand.  Then this girl got up, without Jesus saying any words.  This is somewhat like the prophet Elijah who brought a child back to life in 1 Kings, chapter 17:17-24.  Have you ever witnessed a miracle?

A parable for the crowd (Lk 8:4-8:4)

“A great crowd

Gathered.

People

From town

After town

Came to him.

He spoke

In a parable.”

 

Συνιόντος δὲ ὄχλου πολλοῦ καὶ τῶν κατὰ πόλιν ἐπιπορευομένων πρὸς αὐτὸν εἶπεν διὰ παραβολῆς

 

Luke continued to emphasize the popularity of Jesus.  He said that a great crowd gathered around Jesus (Συνιόντος δὲ ὄχλου πολλοῦ).  People from many towns came to him (καὶ τῶν κατὰ πόλιν ἐπιπορευομένων πρὸς αὐτὸν) so that he spoke to them in a parable (εἶπεν διὰ παραβολῆς).  A similar statement can be found in Matthew, chapter 13:1, and Mark, chapter 4:1.  Mark indicated that Jesus began to teach beside the Sea of Galilee.  As a great crowd assembled around him, Jesus got into a boat.  He then sat there in the boat, while the whole crowd was on the beach shore land.  Matthew said that Jesus sat beside the Sea of Galilee, in the usual gesture of teaching.  But he also had Jesus get into a boat because of the crowds.  Luke did not indicate where Jesus was, except that there was a large crowd from many different towns.  He never mentioned the Sea of Galilee or any boat, since he was more concerned about this parable.  Do you like parables?

I understand authority (Lk 7:8-7:8)

“I am a man

Set under authority,

With soldiers

Under me.

I say to one.

‘Go!

And he goes.

I say to another.

‘Come!’

And he comes.

I say to my slave.

‘Do this!’

And he does it.’”

 

καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπός εἰμι ὑπὸ ἐξουσίαν τασσόμενος, ἔχων ὑπ’ ἐμαυτὸν στρατιώτας, καὶ λέγω τούτῳ Πορεύθητι, καὶ πορεύεται, καὶ ἄλλῳ Ἔρχου, καὶ ἔρχεται, καὶ τῷ δούλῳ μου Ποίησον τοῦτο, καὶ ποιεῖ.

 

Interesting enough, Luke has the friends of the centurion speak in the first person singular to indicate that these are the exact words of the centurion.  The centurion said that he was a man who was appointed by authority (καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπός εἰμι ὑπὸ ἐξουσίαν τασσόμενος) with soldiers under him (ἔχων ὑπ’ ἐμαυτὸν στρατιώτας).  He would say to one go (καὶ λέγω τούτῳ Πορεύθητι) and he went (καὶ πορεύεται).  He would say to another come (καὶ ἄλλῳ Ἔρχου) and he came (καὶ ἔρχεται).  He would tell his slave to do something (καὶ τῷ δούλῳ μου Ποίησον τοῦτο) and he would do it (καὶ ποιεῖ).  This saying of the centurion is exactly the same as in Matthew, chapter 8:9, perhaps indicating a Q source.  In Matthew, the Roman centurion spoke for himself directly to Jesus, but the message was the same.  This centurion understood authority, since he was a Roman solider under the authority of his superiors and yet at the same time, he had soldiers under him.  Thus, if he said to any of them to go or come, they would do precisely that.  The same would be true of his slaves who would do whatever he told them to do.  Are you willing to obey the commands of Jesus?

The baby leapt for joy (Lk 1:44-1:44)

“As soon as

I heard

The sound

Of your greeting,

The child

In my womb

Leapt for joy.”

 

ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὡς ἐγένετο ἡ φωνὴ τοῦ ἀσπασμοῦ σου εἰς τὰ ὦτά μου, ἐσκίρτησεν ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ μου.

 

Luke seems to indicate that Elizabeth knew the answer to her question.  She said that as soon as she heard with her ears the sound of Mary’s greeting (ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὡς ἐγένετο ἡ φωνὴ τοῦ ἀσπασμοῦ σου εἰς τὰ ὦτά μου), the child or baby in her womb leapt or jumped for joy or exultation (ἐσκίρτησεν ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ μου).  This was a repetition of what was said in verse 41, except that Elizabeth said it here.  John knew Jesus from the very beginning of his existence.

They did not believe Mary (Mk 16:11-16:11)

“But when they heard

That he was alive,

And had been seen

By Mary Magdalene,

They would not believe it.”

 

κἀκεῖνοι ἀκούσαντες ὅτι ζῇ καὶ ἐθεάθη ὑπ’ αὐτῆς ἠπίστησαν.

 

This long ending of Mark is the only text to indicate that there was some doubt about the resurrection of Jesus, although Matthew, chapter 28:17, indicated some doubt on the part of the apostles.  John, chapter 20:24-29, had the doubting Thomas story.  Here, the text said that when they heard that Jesus was alive (κἀκεῖνοι ἀκούσαντες ὅτι ζῇ), and had been seen by Mary Magdalene (καὶ ἐθεάθη ὑπ’ αὐτῆς), they would not believe it (ἠπίστησαν).  They had some skepticism about this story about the risen Jesus, perhaps because Mary Magdalene, a woman, was bringing them this news.