The mute demon (Lk 11:14-11:14)

“Jesus was casting out

A demon

Who was mute.

When the demon

Had left him.

The mute person

Spoke.

The crowds

Were amazed.”

 

Καὶ ἦν ἐκβάλλων δαιμόνιον, καὶ αὐτὸ ἦν κωφόν· ἐγένετο δὲ τοῦ δαιμονίου ἐξελθόντος ἐλάλησεν ὁ κωφός. καὶ ἐθαύμασαν οἱ ὄχλοι·

 

Luke said that Jesus was casting out a demon (Καὶ ἦν ἐκβάλλων δαιμόνιον) who was in a mute person (καὶ αὐτὸ ἦν κωφόν).  When the demon had left (ἐγένετο δὲ τοῦ δαιμονίου ἐξελθόντος), the mute person spoke (ἐλάλησεν ὁ κωφός).  The crowds were amazed (καὶ ἐθαύμασαν οἱ ὄχλοι).  There was something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 9:32-33, and Matthew, chapter 12:22-23.  In chapter 9, Matthew said that Jesus was going on his way, when someone brought a mute or non-speaking demoniac person to him.  Jesus then cast out the demon from this man, so that this mute person began to speak.  The crowds marveled in awe at this happening.  They said that nothing like this had ever happened in Israel.  However, in chapter 8:28-33, Matthew had Jesus cast out demons from the demoniacs and send them into the pigs, but that was on the east side of the Jordan River.  In chapter 12 of Matthew, a man, possessed by the devil was both mute and blind.  Jesus then healed him, but there was no mention of casting out a demon from this man, although that could be assumed.  Then this mute and blind person began to speak and see, with the emphasis on healing, not on exorcising.  This crowd was also amazed or astonished about what they saw.  They wondered whether Jesus was the Son of David.  The historical son of David was Solomon, who also had healing powers.  “Son of David (υἱὸς Δαυείδ)” was also a royal or messianic name.  However, here in Luke, exorcising the demon was important, rather than healing or any messianic expectation.  Have you ever seen a mute person speak?

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Samaritan village (Lk 9:52-9:52)

“Jesus sent messengers

Ahead of him.

On their way,

They entered

A village

Of the Samaritans,

To make things

Ready for him.”

 

καὶ ἀπέστειλεν ἀγγέλους πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ. καὶ πορευθέντες εἰσῆλθον εἰς κώμην Σαμαρειτῶν, ὥστε ἑτοιμάσαι αὐτῷ·

 

Luke uniquely had this story about the Samaritan villages, since Mark and Matthew had Jesus not go into Samaria, but pass over to the other side of the Jordan on the east bank of the Jordan River.  Luke said that Jesus sent messengers (καὶ ἀπέστειλεν ἀγγέλους) ahead of him or before his face (πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ), that would have been normal for a traveling large group.  On their way (καὶ πορευθέντες), they entered (εἰσῆλθον) a village of the Samaritans (εἰς κώμην Σαμαρειτῶν), to make things ready for Jesus (ὥστε ἑτοιμάσαι αὐτῷ).  The Samaritans were part of the former northern kingdom of Israel with Samaria their capital.  However, over time, since the 8th century BCE, they had become a distinct ethnic group that was in dispute with the Judean Jews, since the territory of Samaria was between Judea and Galilee.  Luke, like here, showed Jesus interacting with the Samaritans more than any of the other gospel writers.  Have you ever told people that you were just passing by on your way to some place else?

Going to Jerusalem (Lk 9:51-9:51)

“When the days

Drew near

For Jesus

To be taken up,

He set his face

Steadfastly

To go to

Jerusalem.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὸς τὸ πρόσωπον ἐστήρισεν τοῦ πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ,

 

Luke said that when the days drew near (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας) for Jesus to be taken up (τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ), he steadfastly set his face (καὶ αὐτὸς τὸ πρόσωπον ἐστήρισεν τοῦ) to go to Jerusalem (πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ).  Jesus’ move from Galilee to Judea can also be found in Matthew, chapter 19:1-2, and Mark, chapter 10:1, with Matthew closer to Mark, who said that Jesus left that place, presumably Galilee.  He went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan.  Thus, Jesus moved south towards Jerusalem.  However, he traveled on the other eastern side of the Jordan River, so that he did not have to go into Samaria, just the opposite as here in LukeMark, like Matthew, emphasized the crowds that gathered around Jesus.  Just as in Galilee, Jesus again began to teach the people in Judea.  Mark had Jesus teaching the crowds instead of healing these people, as in Matthew.  Matthew said that when Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea, beyond the Jordan.  Thus, Jesus moved south towards Jerusalem.  However, he traveled on the other side of the Jordan River, on the east side of Jordan, so that he did not have to go into Samaria.  He definitely was leaving Galilee.  Luke was more definitive on where he was going, since he steadfastly set his face towards Jerusalem.  Have you ever decided to go some place?

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?

Proclaim Jesus in your home area (Lk 8:39-8:39)

“Jesus said.

‘Return to your home!

Declare

How much

God has done

For you!’

Thus,

He went away,

Proclaiming

Throughout the whole city

How much

Jesus had done

For him.”

 

Ὑπόστρεφε εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου, καὶ διηγοῦ ὅσα σοι ἐποίησεν ὁ Θεός. καὶ ἀπῆλθεν καθ’ ὅλην τὴν πόλιν κηρύσσων ὅσα ἐποίησεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told the former demoniac to return to his home (Ὑπόστρεφε εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου).  There he was to declare how much God had done for him (καὶ διηγοῦ ὅσα σοι ἐποίησεν ὁ Θεός).  Thus, he went away (καὶ ἀπῆλθεν), proclaiming throughout the whole city (καθ’ ὅλην τὴν πόλιν κηρύσσων) how much Jesus had done for him (ὅσα ἐποίησεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 5:19-20, while there is nothing like this in MatthewMark said that Jesus refused this former demoniac’s request.  Jesus would not permit him to go with them.  However, Jesus told him to go to his own home.  There he was to preach, announce, or tell others how much the Lord (ὁ Κύριός) had done for him with his great mercy.  This former demoniac went away.  He then began to preach or proclaim in the Decapolis area how much Jesus had done for him.  Thus, everyone there was amazed or marveled at this.  The Decapolis territory was a group of 10 gentile non-Jewish cities on the east bank of the Jordan River in present day Jordan and Syria that included the towns of Gerasa, Scythopolis, Hippos, Gadara, Pella, Philadelphia, Capitolias, Canatha, Raphana, and Damascus.  Thus, this cured demoniac was the first Christian apostle to the gentiles, a foreign missionary rather than a close disciple or apostle.  Would you rather be a missionary for Jesus or one who followed him closely?

The lepers at the time of Elisha (Lk 4:27-4:27)

“There were also many lepers

In Israel

At the time

Of the prophet Elisha.

None of them

Was cleansed,

Except Naaman,

The Syrian.”

 

καὶ πολλοὶ λεπροὶ ἦσαν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ ἐπὶ Ἑλισαίου τοῦ προφήτου, καὶ οὐδεὶς αὐτῶν ἐκαθαρίσθη εἰ μὴ Ναιμὰν ὁ Σύρος.

 

Luke then cited another unique story about the prophet Elisha, the prophet who followed Elijah in the 9th century BCE.  He too was well known for his exploits in the first 13 chapters of 2 Kings.  This episode was about Naaman, the commander of the Aramean army, who suffered from some kind of leprosy.  Naaman asked his king if he could go get a cure from a prophet he had heard about.  Elisha told the king to send Naaman to him so that he could cure him.  He told Naaman to wash himself 7 times in the Jordan River.  This made Naaman very upset.  Finally, he went and immersed himself 7 times in the Jordan River.  Thus, he was cured of his leprosy, as found in 2 Kings, 5:1-14.  Luke said that there were also many lepers (καὶ πολλοὶ λεπροὶ ἦσαν) in Israel (ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ) at the time of the prophet Elisha (ἐπὶ Ἑλισαίου τοῦ προφήτου).  None of them were cleansed (καὶ οὐδεὶς αὐτῶν ἐκαθαρίσθη), except Naaman, the Syrian (εἰ μὴ Ναιμὰν ὁ Σύρος).  Syrian and Aramean are almost the same.  The key idea was that someone other than an Israelite was cured.