Luke indicated that Jesus said that when you see all these things taking place (οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς, ὅταν ἴδητε ταῦτα γινόμενα), they should know (γινώσκετε) that the kingdom of God was near (ὅτι ἐγγύς ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ). This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 24:33, and in Mark, chapter 13:29, except that Luke mentioned that the Kingdom of God was near, not that he was near. Mark said that Jesus explained that when they saw these things like the budding trees, they should know that he, the Son of Man, was near. The end times were coming. When they saw all these things happening (οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ὅταν ἴδητε ταῦτα γινόμενα), they should know that the end or he was near, at the gates to their city or the doors to their houses (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγύς ἐστιν ἐπὶ θύραις). Matthew indicated that Jesus explained that when they saw these things, like the budding trees, they should know that he, the Son of Man, or the kingdom was near. The end times were coming. When they saw all these things happening (οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ὅταν ἴδητε πάντα ταῦτα), they should know the end or he was near, at the gates to their city or the doors to their houses (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγύς ἐστιν ἐπὶ θύραις). Luke said the Kingdom of God, not he or it, was near, since there would be prior signs indicating what was to come. Luke was also more generic. Can you discern the signs of the times?
Luke indicated that Jesus concluded these sayings about not worrying. Jesus told them, his little flock (τὸ μικρὸν ποίμνιον), not to be afraid (Μὴ φοβοῦ). Their Father’s good pleasure (ὅτι εὐδόκησεν ὁ Πατὴρ) would give them (δοῦναι ὑμῖν) the kingdom (τὴν βασιλείαν). There was no exact equivalent in Matthew, but chapter 6:34 is close. Matthew had Jesus utter this great philosophical saying at the conclusion to this section. Just worry about today, not tomorrow! This certainly fits in with all the indications about not worrying, because the heavenly Father would take care of things. However, there is no mention of God or Father here. Do not be anxious about tomorrow (μὴ οὖν μεριμνήσητε εἰς τὴν αὔριον)! Tomorrow will be anxious by itself (ἡ γὰρ αὔριον μεριμνήσει ἑαυτῆς). There are enough problems today (ἀρκετὸν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἡ κακία αὐτῆς). Pure and simple, be happy! Don’t worry! Tomorrow is another day. Are you willing to accept tomorrow without worrying?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that if Satan was divided against himself (εἰ δὲ καὶ ὁ Σατανᾶς ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν διεμερίσθη), how would his kingdom stand (πῶς σταθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ)? They were saying (ὅτι λέγετε) that he was casting out demons (ἐκβάλλειν με τὰ δαιμόνια) by Beelzebul (ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ). Notice that the term used for the devil is now Satan, not Beelzebul. Satan was the more familiar Hebrew term that considered the devil as a fallen angel. There were similar statements in Matthew, chapter 12:26, and Mark, chapter 3:26. Mark asked how was Satan able to cast out Satan? If Satan has risen up against himself, he was divided. He would not be able to last or stand, because the end of Satan has come. Matthew also stated that if Satan was casting out Satan, then he was divided against himself. How can his kingdom last? These were legitimate concerns. How was this divided kingdom of Satan and Beelzebul going to continue? What do you about all this talk about the devil, demons, Satan, and Beelzebul?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that the Father should not lead us or bring us (καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς) to the time of trial, probation, testing, or temptation (εἰς πειρασμόν). Once again there is a later Byzantine text that says that we should be delivered from the evil one. Matthew, chapter 6:12-13 was slightly different. Jesus said that we should ask the Father not to lead us into temptation or be tested in a trial (καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν). Finally, we should ask the Father to rescue or deliver us from painful evil or the evil one (ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ). Luke simply talked about a time of trial, or a testing time. There was nothing about being delivered from evil in Luke, except in the later Byzantine text. Luke did not have the other later addition about the kingdom and glory of God, even in a later Byzantine text. Do you like to be tested?
Luke indicated that Jesus responded to his disciples (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς). He told them how to pray (Ὅταν προσεύχησθε). They were to say Father (λέγετε Πάτερ)! Hallowed or holy be your name (ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά)! Your kingdom come (σου· ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου)! Matthew, chapter 6:9, also had the “Lord’s Prayer,” “The Our Father,” with slightly different variations, perhaps indicating a Q source. However, the text here in Luke is shorter than Matthew, since Matthew had 7 demands or requests of God, but Luke had only 5. The first part of the prayer was about the glory of God himself, the Father. Jesus simply tells them to pray this way. The Greek word for praying προσεύχεσθε means an exchange of wishes. Jesus opened this prayer with a call to their common “our” Father (Πάτερ ἡμῶν) who was in the heavens (ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς). Luke did not have “Our Father who was in heaven,” since that only appeared in the later Byzantine text of Luke, but simply “Father”. The heavenly father was a major theme throughout Matthew. His name should be holy (Ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου), just as in the Hebrew scriptures where the name of Yahweh was holy, especially Psalm 105:1-5. His kingdom should come (ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου). Then Matthew had the unique statement about the will of the Father should be done (γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου) here on earth (καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς), just as it is done in heaven (ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ). Obviously following the will of God, Yahweh, was a common theme of Judaic life. The followers of Jesus would not be exempt from following the will of their heavenly Father. However, Luke did not mention this in his prayer to the Father, except that it was in the later Byzantine text also. Do you know the Lord’s prayer by heart?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that nothing is hidden (οὐ γάρ ἐστιν κρυπτὸν) that will not be disclosed (ὃ οὐ φανερὸν γενήσεται). Nothing is secret (οὐδὲ ἀπόκρυφον) that will not become known (ὃ οὐ μὴ γνωσθῇ). It will all come to light (καὶ εἰς φανερὸν ἔλθῃ). This is similar to Mark, chapter 4:22, Luke, chapter 12:2, and Matthew, chapter 10:26. Mark indicated that there was nothing hidden that would not later be brought disclosed, revealed, or made known. Anything hidden or secret would be known, or become apparent. At some future point, they would understand things that they did not know now. Matthew had a unique first phrase about not being afraid. Jesus said that anything hidden, covered up, or concealed would be uncovered or revealed. Anything hidden or secret would be known or ascertained. The mysteries of the kingdom would be hidden from most people but only revealed later. They should not fear to profess the gospel truth in the light of persecution. They should show off the true light of Jesus to everyone. Do you show off the light of Jesus to others?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that those seeds that fell among the thorns (τὸ δὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας πεσόν) were like the ones who hear the word (οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες), but as they go on their way (πορευόμενοι), they are choked or crowded out (συνπνίγονται) by the cares (καὶ ὑπὸ μεριμνῶν), the riches (καὶ πλούτου), and the pleasures of life (καὶ ἡδονῶν τοῦ βίου). Their fruit does not mature (καὶ οὐ τελεσφοροῦσιν). This explanation about the seeds among the thorns can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:18-19, Matthew, chapter 13:22, and here, with Matthew closer to Mark. Both Matthew and Mark said that the seeds sown among the thorns were the ones who heard the words of the kingdom, but the cares and anxiety of this present age, as well as the allure or deceit of material wealth, choked or crowded out the words. Thus, it yielded nothing, because it was barren. The thorns were the cares about physical riches that choked off the growth of the seeds or the words of the kingdom. There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective. There had to be follow up or acting out on the word for it to mature into a full mature faith belief in Jesus Christ. Have the seeds of the word of God matured in you?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that the seeds on the path (οἱ δὲ παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν) are like those people who have heard the word (εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες). However, the devil comes (εἶτα ἔρχεται ὁ διάβολος), and takes away this word (καὶ αἴρει τὸν λόγον) from their hearts (ἀπὸ τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν). Thus, they do not believe (ἵνα μὴ πιστεύσαντες) and are not saved (σωθῶσιν). This explanation about the seeds on the path can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels. Matthew, chapter 13:19, Mark, chapter 4:15, and here. Mark indicated that Jesus explained that the seeds on the path or the road were the people who heard the word, but immediately Satan, and not the devil, came in the form of the birds. Satan or the birds took away the sown seeds or the words that had been sown in them, the holy words. Thus, the birds were the evil Satan that came and devoured them, because they did not understand the words within them. Matthew said that they did not understand what they heard, so that the birds or the evil one, not Satan or the devil, would come and seize or snatch away what had been sown in their hearts, the words of the kingdom. Once again, the birds were the evil ones that came and devoured the seeds, because they did not understand the words of the kingdom. All 3 synoptic gospels indicate that listening to the word was not enough. There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective. Have you let evil birds take away your belief in the word of God?
Luke indicated that Jesus explained the parable (ἔστιν δὲ αὕτη ἡ παραβολή) about the seed. Quite simply, the seed is the word of God (ὁ σπόρος ἐστὶν ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ). This explanation about the seed in the sower parable, can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:14, Matthew, chapter 13:18, and here. Matthew explained that Jesus had asked them to hear this parable about the sower. He said that this was all about hearing the word of the kingdom, since the seeds were the word of the kingdom. Mark said that the seeds were the word, without any further clarification. Luke and the other synoptics had no explanation about the sower himself, just the seed as the word of God or his kingdom. How have you planted the seeds of the word of God?
There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:7-8, and in Luke, chapter 21:10-11, almost word for word at times. Mark indicated that Jesus said that the gentile nations would rise up against other gentile nations (ἐγερθήσεται γὰρ ἔθνος ἐπ’ ἔθνος). Kingdoms would rise up against other kingdoms (καὶ βασιλεία ἐπὶ βασιλείαν). There would be earthquakes in various places (ἔσονται σεισμοὶ κατὰ τόπους) and famines (ἔσονται λιμοί). All of this was the mere beginning of the end, the birth-pangs (ἀρχὴ ὠδίνων ταῦτα). These comments and the idea of birth pains were in the Old Testament prophetic tradition of the Day of Yahweh, the judgment day. Jesus was speaking like many of the ancient Israelite prophets who warned about the coming of the divine judgment at the end of days, the end times.