Jesus taught in the synagogues (Lk 4:15-4:15)

“He began

To teach

In their synagogues.

He was praised

By everyone.”

 

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).

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Jesus goes to Galilee (Lk 4:14-4:14)

“Then Jesus,

Filled with

The power

Of the Spirit,

Returned to Galilee.

A report

About him

Spread through

All the surrounding

Countryside.”

 

Καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ Πνεύματος εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν· καὶ φήμη ἐξῆλθεν καθ’ ὅλης τῆς περιχώρου περὶ αὐτοῦ.

 

There is no doubt that Jesus taught in Galilee, since this was his home base.  Much like Matthew, chapter 4:12, and Mark, chapter 1:14, after his temptations, Luke had Jesus return to Galilee.  However, Luke had no mention of the arrest of John, since he had already mentioned that earlier in chapter 3:19-20.  John had Jesus also go back to Galilee in chapter 4:3.  Luke said that Jesus was filled with the power of the Spirit (ἐν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ Πνεύματος), a favorite and unique statement by Luke.  He said that Jesus returned to Galilee (Καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς…εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν).  Matthew had Jesus going to Galilee, just like his father Joseph had done years earlier.  He used a citation from Isaiah to explain why Jesus was in Galilee.  Galilee was about 80 miles north of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea area, originally part of the Israelite tribal territories of Issachar, Zebulun, Naphtali, and Asher, the northern tribes.  Mark said that Jesus went into Galilee preaching the gospel or good news about God, while the message of Matthew was about the good news of the kingdom of heaven.  Luke said that a report (καὶ φήμη) about Jesus (περὶ αὐτοῦ) spread throughout or over (ἐξῆλθεν) all the surrounding countryside (καθ’ ὅλης τῆς περιχώρου), but there was no indication in Luke what the message of Jesus was.  Clearly, Jesus was active in Galilee.

Jerusalem (Lk 4:9-4:9)

“Then the devil

Took Jesus

To Jerusalem.

He placed him

On the pinnacle

Of the Temple.

He said to him.

‘If you are

The Son of God,

Throw yourself down

From here!’”

 

Ἤγαγεν δὲ αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ καὶ ἔστησεν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ, καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, βάλε σεαυτὸν ἐντεῦθεν κάτω·

 

There is a difference between Matthew, chapter 4:5 and Luke here, since Luke has this temptation as the last temptation, not the second one.  However, the wording is nearly the same, indicating a shared common source.  Luke said that the devil took or led Jesus to Jerusalem (Ἤγαγεν δὲ αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ).  He placed or set him on the pinnacle of the Temple (καὶ ἔστησεν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ).  He said to Jesus (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ).  If he was the Son of God (Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ), he could throw or cast himself down from there (βάλε σεαυτὸν ἐντεῦθεν κάτω).  This devil took Jesus to the holy city of Jerusalem, where he placed Jesus on the top of the Temple.  Once again, the devil said that if Jesus was truly the Son of God, he could throw himself down because God would provide for him.

The son of David (Lk 3:31-3:31)

“The son of Melea,

The son of Menna,

The son of Mattatha,

The son of Nathan,

The son of David.”

 

τοῦ Μελεὰ τοῦ Μεννὰ τοῦ Ματταθὰ τοῦ Ναθὰμ τοῦ Δαυεὶδ

 

Once again, these genealogies of Matthew and Luke converge with the name of David.  However, they both have different sons of David for their lineage.  Matthew, chapter 1:6-8, has Solomon, while Luke has Nathan.  King David had 6 sons while living in Hebron for a little over 7 years, based on 2 Samuel, chapter 3.  Each son had a different mother.  After King David moved to Jerusalem, he had some more wives and concubines.  Altogether, David had at least 20 named children, as indicated in 2 Samuel, chapter 13.  Shimea or Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon (Σολομῶνα), were the 4 sons of him and Bathsheba.  Solomon followed David to the throne as king, because of the intrigues of his mother Bathsheba, as found in 1 Kings, chapters 1-2.  I Chronicles, chapter 3, lists the kings of Judah, based on 1 Kings and 2 Kings.  Based on those 2 books, there was no disruption in the lineage of David via Solomon to all the kings of Judah before the Exile, since there were no revolutions in the southern kingdom of Judah.  However, Luke’s Nathan never became a king.  Luke listed the genealogy as the son of Melea (τοῦ Μελεὰ), the son of Menna (τοῦ Μεννὰ), the son of Mattatha (τοῦ Ματταθὰ), the son of Nathan (τοῦ Ματταθὰ), the son of David (τοῦ Δαυεὶδ).

Common relatives in the Babylonian captivity (Lk 3:27-3:27)

“The son of Joanan,

The son of Rhesa,

The son of Zerubbabel,

The son of Shealtiel,

The son of Neri.”

 

τοῦ Ἰωανὰν τοῦ Ῥησὰ τοῦ Ζοροβάβελ τοῦ Σαλαθιὴλ τοῦ Νηρεὶ

 

Finally, we find 2 common names from Matthew, chapter 1:12, when he was describing people during the Babylonian captivity.  Here Matthew and Luke have an agreement on 2 people, Zerubbabel and Shealtiel.  These 2 individuals can be found in 1 Chronicles, chapter 3:10-20, after the Israelites from Judah and Jerusalem were deported to Babylon, Jechoniah became the father of Salathiel (Σαλαθιήλ).  Jechoniah was the son of King Jehoiakim and grandson of King Josiah who had ruled Judah in 598 BCE.  Jechoniah was exiled for 37 years as indicated in 2 Kings, chapter 25.  Salathiel or Shealtiel was his oldest son, but he had at least 5 other brothers.  According to 1 Chronicles, Salathiel had no children, so that his brother Pedaiah was the father of Zerubbabel (Ζοροβαβέλ), not him.  Zerubbabel was the leader of the tribe of Judah at the time of their return from captivity, as his name appears over 25 times in the scriptural writings.  The Persian king appointed Zerubbabel the governor of Judah, where he rebuilt the Jerusalem Temple.  He also had a Persian name of Sheshbazzar as described in 1 Esdras, chapters 1-3.  Here Luke said, without any comment, that the son of Joanan (τοῦ Ἰωανὰν), the son of Rhesa (τοῦ Ῥησὰ), the son of Zerubbabel (τοῦ Ζοροβάβελ), the son of Shealtiel (τοῦ Σαλαθιὴλ), the son of Neri (τοῦ Νηρεὶ).

Many people were baptized by John (Lk 3:21-3:21)

“All the people

Were baptized.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν

 

Mark, chapter 1:5, and Matthew, chapter 3:5-6, spoke about all the people coming out to be baptized by John the Baptist.  Matthew, like Mark, mentioned that all the people from Jerusalem and the Judean area were going out to see John the Baptist.  However, Matthew also added that the people from along the Jordan River, a little further north, were also coming out to see him.  Mark said that all the people from the whole Judea countryside or region as well as all the people of Jerusalem were going out to see John   Perhaps not all the people of Judea and Jerusalem went out to be baptized by John.  Luke here, on the other hand, gave no geographical indications.  He simply generically stated that all the people were baptized (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν).  Once again, “all” might be an exaggeration.  John baptized these people in the Jordan River, while they were confessing their sins.  The Jordan River is north of the Dead Sea and Jerusalem.  Jewish baptisms were not that uncommon.  Washing was a physical and spiritual cleansing for sins, as people were unclean or dirty.  Thus, in the process of this spiritual cleansing, they would confess their sins.  John’s baptism had a few unique qualities, since it was a moral statement with an expectation of a coming Messiah or savior.  Clearly, John held a central role in the gospels of Mark and Luke, since they started their stories about Jesus with John.

The call of John (Lk 3:2-3:2)

“The word of God

Came to John,

The son of Zechariah,

In the wilderness.”

 

ἐγένετο ῥῆμα Θεοῦ ἐπὶ Ἰωάνην τὸν Ζαχαρίου υἱὸν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ.

 

Luke presented John like a prophet who was called like the other Israelite prophets.  The word of God came or happened to John (ἐγένετο ῥῆμα Θεοῦ ἐπὶ Ἰωάνην), the son of Zechariah (τὸν Ζαχαρίου υἱὸν), in the wilderness or desert (ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ), just like it had come to many other ancient Jewish prophets.  There should be no confusion about whom this John is because he was the son of Zechariah that was described in chapter 1.  There is something similar, but not quite the same in all 4 gospel stories.  In Mark, chapter 1:4, John appeared on the scene immediately after a citation from the prophet IsaiahMatthew, chapter 3:1-2, seemed to follow Mark, since Mark began his gospel with this story.  Matthew had John the Baptizer preaching in the wilderness or desert in Judea, southeast of Jerusalem and west of the Dead Sea.  John, chapter 1:19, also introduced John the Baptist immediately after his prologue.  Only Matthew and Luke have the infancy narratives before the introduction of John, who was central to the work of Jesus.