The kingdom of God is near (Lk 21:31-21:31)

“So also,

When you see

These things

Taking place,

You will know

That the kingdom of God

Is near.”

 

οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς, ὅταν ἴδητε ταῦτα γινόμενα, γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγύς ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ

 

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?

Your Father (Lk 12:32-12:32)

“Do not be afraid!

Little flock!

Your Father’s

Good pleasure

Will give you

The kingdom.”

 

Μὴ φοβοῦ, τὸ μικρὸν ποίμνιον· ὅτι εὐδόκησεν ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν δοῦναι ὑμῖν τὴν βασιλείαν.

 

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?

Satan divided (Lk 11:18-11:18)

“If Satan

Also is divided

Against himself,

How will his kingdom stand?

You say

That I cast out the demons

By Beelzebul.”

 

εἰ δὲ καὶ ὁ Σατανᾶς ἐφ’ ἑαυτὸν διεμερίσθη, πῶς σταθήσεται ἡ βασιλεία αὐτοῦ; ὅτι λέγετε ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ ἐκβάλλειν με τὰ δαιμόνια.

 

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?

The time of trial (Lk 11:4-11:4)

“Do not bring us

To the time

Of trial!”

 

καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν.

 

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?

Pray to the Father (Lk 11:2-11:2)

“Jesus said to them.

‘When you pray,

Say!

‘Father,

Hallowed be

Your name!

Your kingdom come!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς Ὅταν προσεύχησθε, λέγετε Πάτερ, ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου· ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου

 

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?

No more secrets (Lk 8:17-8:17)

“Nothing is hidden

That will not be disclosed.

Nothing is secret

That will not become known.

It will all come to light.”

 

οὐ γάρ ἐστιν κρυπτὸν ὃ οὐ φανερὸν γενήσεται, οὐδὲ ἀπόκρυφον ὃ οὐ μὴ γνωσθῇ καὶ εἰς φανερὸν ἔλθῃ.

 

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?

The seeds among the thorns choked (Lk 8:14-8:14)

“As for what fell

Among the thorns,

They are the ones

Who hear.

But as they go

On their way,

They are choked

By the cares,

By the riches,

And by the pleasures

Of life.

Their fruit

Does not mature.”

 

τὸ δὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας πεσόν, οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες, καὶ ὑπὸ μεριμνῶν καὶ πλούτου καὶ ἡδονῶν τοῦ βίου πορευόμενοι συνπνίγονται καὶ οὐ τελεσφοροῦσιν.

 

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?