The good news (Lk 16:16-16:16)

“The law

And the prophets

Were in effect

Until John came.

Since then,

The good news

Of the kingdom of God

Is proclaimed.

Everyone

Tries to enter it

By force.”

 

Ὁ νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται μέχρι Ἰωάνου· ἀπὸ τότε ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ εὐαγγελίζεται καὶ πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the law (Ὁ νόμος) and the prophets (καὶ οἱ προφῆται) were in effect until John came (μέχρι Ἰωάνου).  Since then (ἀπὸ τότε), the good news has been proclaimed (εὐαγγελίζεται) about the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Everyone tries to enter it by force (καὶ πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται).  The law and the prophets were the two major parts of the Hebrew Bible.  John the Baptist represented some sort of turning point.  His preaching about the kingdom of God meant that the days of the law and prophets were numbered.  There is something similar, but in a different context with a different meaning in Matthew, chapter 11:12-13.  There Jesus talked about the days of John the Baptist until the present (ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ ἕως ἄρτι), not a very long time.  The kingdom of heaven has suffered violence (ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται).  What kind of violence was taking place in the heavenly kingdom?  Did this mean that so many people were violently seeking the kingdom of heaven that John was talking about?  Is this some kind of violence within the kingdom of heaven?  Were these violent people trying to get into the kingdom of heaven?  The next sentence seems to support this idea that violent people wanted to seize the kingdom of heaven by force (καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν).  In Matthew, chapter 17:11-13, Jesus compared John to Elijah.  Like here in Luke, all the prophets and the law had prophesied until the time of John the Baptist (πάντες γὰρ οἱ προφῆται καὶ ὁ νόμος ἕως Ἰωάνου ἐπροφήτευσαν).  Then Jesus said that John was the new Elijah (αὐτός ἐστιν Ἡλείας), the one who was to come (ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι).  However, they had to be willing to accept this (καὶ εἰ θέλετε δέξασθαι).  Anyone who had ears to hear should listen to this (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω).  Clearly, something fundamental changed with John the Baptist and his proclamation of the kingdom of God.  How were John and Jesus connected in their preaching?  What is your opinion about John the Baptist?

Go tell the fox Herod (Lk 13:32-13:32)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Go!

Tell that fox

For me!

‘Listen!

I am casting out

Demons!

I perform cures

Today

And tomorrow!

On the third day,

I will finish

My work!’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πορευθέντες εἴπατε τῇ ἀλώπεκι ταύτῃ Ἰδοὺ ἐκβάλλω δαιμόνια καὶ ἰάσεις ἀποτελῶ σήμερον καὶ αὔριον, καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ τελειοῦμαι.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus responded to these Pharisees (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).  Jesus told them to go tell that fox Herod (Πορευθέντες εἴπατε τῇ ἀλώπεκι ταύτῃ) that he, Jesus, was casting out demons (Ἰδοὺ ἐκβάλλω δαιμόνια) and performing cures (καὶ ἰάσεις ἀποτελῶ).  He was doing this today (σήμερον), tomorrow (καὶ αὔριον), and on the 3rd day (καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ) until he finished his work (τελειοῦμαι).  Earlier in Luke, there were comments about John the Baptist and Herod.  Here, however, there is nothing about John the Baptist at all.  This little unique saying in Luke had Jesus refer to Herod as a fox, either indicating that he was shrewd or trying to insult him.  There was also an allusion to the 3rd day or the day of the Lord’s resurrection.  Jesus had not yet finished his work in Galilee or Perea.  Has anyone ever called you a fox?

Teach us to pray! (Lk 11:1-11:1)

“Jesus was praying

In a certain place.

After he had finished,

One of his disciples

Said to him.

‘Lord!

Teach us

To pray,

As John taught

His disciples.’”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐν τόπῳ τινὶ προσευχόμενον, ὡς ἐπαύσατο, εἶπέν τις τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ πρὸς αὐτόν Κύριε, δίδαξον ἡμᾶς προσεύχεσθαι, καθὼς καὶ Ἰωάνης ἐδίδαξεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ

 

Luke has this unique introduction to the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father.  Luke said that Jesus was praying (προσευχόμενον) in a certain place (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐν τόπῳ τινὶ).  After he had finished or ceased praying (ὡς ἐπαύσατο), one of his disciples addressed him as ‘Lord’ (εἶπέν τις τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ πρὸς αὐτόν Κύριε).  Could Jesus teach them how to pray (δίδαξον ἡμᾶς προσεύχεσθαι)?  Afterall, John had taught his disciples to pray (καθὼς καὶ Ἰωάνης ἐδίδαξεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  After Jesus had finished his usual praying, one of Jesus’ unnamed disciples wanted to know if the Lord could teach them to pray also, like John had done to his disciples.  We do not have any prayers from John.  Nevertheless, some or one of the disciples of Jesus may have been a disciple of John the Baptist, who had taught them how to pray.  Once again, there is a connection with John the Baptist and his disciples and Jesus with his disciples.  When did you learn to pray?

The Levite passed by (Lk 10:32-10:32)

“Thus,

Likewise

A Levite,

When he came

To the place

Saw him.

He passed by

On the other side.”

 

ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Λευείτης κατὰ τὸν τόπον ἐλθὼν καὶ ἰδὼν ἀντιπαρῆλθεν

 

Luke continued his unique story.  Jesus said that a Levite also (ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Λευείτης) came to this same place (κατὰ τὸν τόπον ἐλθὼν) on the road.  He saw the wounded man (καὶ ἰδὼν).  Then he too crossed over to the other side of the road (ἀντιπαρῆλθεν), so as not to engage with this man.  The same questions can be asked of this Jewish Levite that were asked about the priest.  Was it because of ritual purity?  Was he in a hurry, so that he did not have time to stop?  Did he simply not care?  Was it too much of a bother?  Normally, the Levites do not come in for much criticism in the gospel narratives.  Levites were sons of Levi, and tied to ritualistic practice at the Temple.  For instance, the father of John the Baptist was Zechariah and his mother Elizabeth, both of them were descendants of Aaron.  Zechariah was a priest in the Jerusalem Temple, while Elizabeth was from a Levite family.  These Levites had Temple duties.  Thus, they were religious ritual leaders in the Jewish community.  Both the priest and the Levite represented the upper religious strata of the Jewish community.  Do you think that religious leaders should set an example by their lifestyle?

The kingdom of God (Lk 10:9-10:9)

“Heal

Their sick people!

Say to them!

‘The kingdom of God

Has come

Near to you.’”

 

καὶ θεραπεύετε τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ ἀσθενεῖς, καὶ λέγετε αὐτοῖς Ἤγγικεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told these 70 disciples to heal the sick people (καὶ θεραπεύετε τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ ἀσθενεῖς).  There was no mention of casting out demons or evil spirits.  They were to tell the people (καὶ λέγετε αὐτοῖς) that the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) had come near to them (Ἤγγικεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς).  There was no exact equivalent to this passage in the other gospels.  However, Matthew, chapter 10:8 said that the 12 apostles were to do what Jesus had been doing.  They were to heal or cure the sick or ailing people.  They were to raise up the dead, a difficult task.  They were to cleanse the lepers, and cast out the demons.  Since they had not paid to get this gift to be an apostle, so thus they should not receive any payment for their work as an apostle.  They should give freely of their own time since this was not a money-making project.  The idea of the kingdom of God coming near was also present in Matthew, chapter 10:7.  There, Jesus wanted the 12 apostles to go and proclaim that the kingdom of heaven was at hand or near.  This was exactly the same teaching as John the Baptist, word for word, as in Matthew, chapter 3:2.  This connection of the message of John and Jesus was very strong in MatthewLuke was more precise, since the kingdom of God was coming near, they ought to be alert.  Do you think that the kingdom of God is close at hand?

This is my son (Lk 9:35-9:35)

“A voice came

From the cloud,

Saying.

‘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 LukeMatthew, 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?

One of the risen prophets (Lk 9:19-9:19)

“The disciples answered.

‘John the Baptist!’

But others say.

‘Elijah!’

While others say.

‘One of the ancient prophets

Has risen!’”

 

οἱ δὲ ἀποκριθέντες εἶπαν Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν, ἄλλοι δὲ Ἡλείαν, ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι προφήτης τις τῶν ἀρχαίων ἀνέστη.

 

Luke said that his disciples answered him by saying (οἱ δὲ ἀποκριθέντες εἶπαν) that people thought that he was John the Baptist (Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν), Elijah (ἄλλοι δὲ Ἡλείαν), or one of the ancient prophets (ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι προφήτης τις τῶν ἀρχαίων) that has risen (ἀνέστη).  A similar response can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:14, and Mark, chapter 9:19, but there are differences.  Matthew is the only one who explicitly mentioned Jeremiah, while Mark and Luke had the more generic term of one of the prophets, rather than any individual prophet.  Mark said that the disciples responded to him that some people said he was John the Baptist, while others said Elijah.  This Elijah was a 9th century BCE northern Israel prophet whose work can be found in the Old Testament Books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.  Finally, other people said that he was one of the many prophets.  No one called him the Messiah or Christ.  Matthew indicated that the disciples responded that some people said that John the Baptist was the Son of Man.  Others said that Elijah was the Son of Man.  Still others said that the Son of Man was Jeremiah, a Judean prophet active from 626 BCE to 587 BCE, around the time of the destruction of the Temple, .  The Book of Jeremiah was one of the 3 major prophetic books of Hebrew Scripture. Finally, other people said that one of the many other ancient prophets was the Son of Man.  Matthew and Mark did not mention that Jesus was the resurrected form of these people like Luke did.  Would you consider Jesus the Son of Man?