The commandments (Lk 18:20-18:20)

“You know the commandments.

‘Do not commit adultery!

Do not murder!

Do not steal!

Do not bear false witness!

Honor your father

And mother!’”

 

τὰς ἐντολὰς οἶδας Μὴ μοιχεύσῃς, Μὴ φονεύσῃς, Μὴ κλέψῃς, Μὴ ψευδομαρτυρήσῃς, Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to this ruler that he knew the commandments (τὰς ἐντολὰς οἶδας).  Then he listed a few that were “Do not commit adultery (Μὴ μοιχεύσῃς,)!”  “Do not murder (Μὴ φονεύσῃς)!”  “Do not steal (Μὴ κλέψῃς)!”  “Do not bear false witness (Μὴ ψευδομαρτυρήσῃς)!”  “Honor your father and your mother (Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα)!”  Thus, Jesus emphasized which commandments he wanted this man to keep.  This can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:19, and Matthew, chapter 19:17-19, but slightly different, since Luke and Mark are closer to each other.  Mark said that Jesus gave the classic answer for those who wanted to enter eternal life.  They knew the commandments or laws (τὰς ἐντολὰς οἶδας).  Follow them!  Mark did not have any question about which commandments to follow.  Jesus just mentioned some of the commandments.  You shall not kill or murder (Μὴ φονεύσῃς)!  You shall not commit adultery (Μὴ μοιχεύσῃς)!  You shall not steal (Μὴ κλέψῃς)!  You shall not bear false witness (Μὴ ψευδομαρτυρήσῃς)!  You shall not defraud (Μὴ ἀποστερήσῃς)!  Honor your father (Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου)!  Honor your mother (καὶ τὴν μητέρα)!  All of these are from the Ten Commandments in Exodus, chapter 20:12-16, and Deuteronomy, chapter 5:16-20.  Mark added the comment about not defrauding others that was not in Luke.  In Matthew, this person asked Jesus which commandments (λέγει αὐτῷ Ποίας) should he follow.  Thus, Jesus responded to him (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἔφη) directly citing which commandments.  You shall not kill or murder (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἔφη)!  You shall not commit adultery (Οὐ μοιχεύσεις)!  You shall not steal (Οὐ κλέψεις)!  You shall not bear false witness (Οὐ ψευδομαρτυρήσεις)!  Honor your father (Τίμα τὸν πατέρα)!  Honor your mother (καὶ τὴν μητέρα)!  All of these are the same as in Mark and Luke.  However, Matthew added something not in the other two gospel stories.  This man was to love or esteem his neighbor as himself (καὶ Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν), that was from Leviticus, chapter 19:18.  Do you think that the Ten Commandments are important?

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Forgiveness (Lk 17:4-17:4)

“If the same person

Sins against you

Seven times

A day,

Yet turns back

To you

Seven times,

And says.

‘I repent!’

You must forgive!”

 

καὶ ἐὰν ἑπτάκις τῆς ἡμέρας ἁμαρτήσῃ εἰς σὲ καὶ ἑπτάκις ἐπιστρέψῃ πρὸς σὲ λέγων Μετανοῶ, ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if the same person sinned against you (ἁμαρτήσῃ εἰς σὲ) 7 times a day (καὶ ἐὰν ἑπτάκις τῆς ἡμέρας), yet turned back to you 7 times (καὶ ἑπτάκις ἐπιστρέψῃ πρὸς σὲ), and said that he repented (Μετανοῶ, ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ), you must still forgive him (ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ).  There is something like this saying in Matthew, chapter 18:21-22, although there was no mention of Peter here in LukeMatthew indicated that Peter took on a specific leadership role.  He wanted to know how many times he should forgive his brother’s sins?  Peter wanted to know how often he should forgive his brother who had sinned against him (ποσάκις ἁμαρτήσει εἰς ἐμὲ ὁ ἀδελφός μου καὶ ἀφήσω αὐτῷ).  Peter thought that 7 would be a good number.  Was 7 times enough (ἕως ἑπτάκις)?  Most Jewish people had forgiven offenses 3 times.  3 strikes and you were out.  Peter seemed overly generous in his attempts at forgiveness.  Jesus surprised Peter with a solemn declaration (λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦ) by telling him to forgive his brother’s sins not just 7 times (Οὐ λέγω σοι ἕως ἑπτάκις) but 490 times, 7*70 (ἀλλὰ ἕως ἑβδομηκοντάκις ἑπτά).  However, this saying about 7*70 was unique to Matthew, who was the only one who ever used this number ἑβδομηκοντάκις ἑπτά in the New Testament literature.  This number, nevertheless, could be found in Genesis, chapter 4:24 when Cain and Lamech were talking about violent revenge.  Lamech wanted his vengeance 7*70.  Was this number an attempt to indicate infinity before we had that term?  490 seems overly generous in any circumstances.  However, here in Luke, it might be even more since forgiveness was expected 7 times each day.  How many times do you forgive people?

 

Lazarus (Lk 16:20-16:20)

“At his gate,

Lay a poor man

Named Lazarus,

Covered with sores.”

 

πτωχὸς δέ τις ὀνόματι Λάζαρος ἐβέβλητο πρὸς τὸν πυλῶνα αὐτοῦ εἱλκωμένος

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that a certain poor beggar (πτωχὸς δέ τις) lay at the gate of this rich man (ἐβέβλητο πρὸς τὸν πυλῶνα αὐτοῦ).  He was named Lazarus (ὀνόματι Λάζαρος) and was covered with sores (εἱλκωμένος).  Once again, Luke is the only one in all the biblical literature to use this Greek word εἱλκωμένος that means to wound, to ulcerate, or to suffer from sores.  It was also unusual to give a name to this poor person, since most of the Jesus parables usually had unnamed people.  The rich man was unnamed.  Was this Lazarus connected to the brother of Martha and Mary in John, chapter 11?  From this story, we know that Lazarus was poor and had many sores.  There was no attempt to line him up with the women of Bethany, Martha and Mary.  Do you personally know a poor person?

The rich man (Lk 16:19-16:19)

There was a rich man,

Who was dressed

In purple

And fine linen.

He feasted sumptuously

Every day.”

 

Ἄνθρωπος δέ τις ἦν πλούσιος, καὶ ἐνεδιδύσκετο πορφύραν καὶ βύσσον εὐφραινόμενος καθ’ ἡμέραν λαμπρῶς.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that there was a rich man or a man with a lot of wealth (Ἄνθρωπος δέ τις ἦν πλούσιος), who was dressed in purple (καὶ ἐνεδιδύσκετο πορφύραν) and fine linen (καὶ βύσσον).  The use of the Greek word βύσσον is unique to Luke among all the biblical writers that means byssus, a form of Egyptian flax or fine linen, very costly, and delicate.  This rich man feasted sumptuously every day (εὐφραινόμενος καθ’ ἡμέραν λαμπρῶς).  Once again, Luke has a unique use of the word λαμπρῶς that means splendidly, magnificently, or sumptuously.  This unidentified rich man had wonderful clothes because purple meant that it had to be dyed and usually represented royal standing, and his linen clothes were not an ordinary line.  Finally, he had a lot of wonderful food to eat.  Clearly, he was a well-off rich wealthy person, but he does not have a name.  Do you personally know a rich person?

Where are you from? (Lk 13:25-13:25)

“When once

The owner

Of the house

Has got up

And shut the door,

You will begin

To stand outside.

You will knock

At the door.

Saying.

‘Lord!

open to us!’

In reply

He will say to you.

‘I do not know

Where you come from.’”

 

ἀφ’ οὗ ἂν ἐγερθῇ ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης καὶ ἀποκλείσῃ τὴν θύραν, καὶ ἄρξησθε ἔξω ἑστάναι καὶ κρούειν τὴν θύραν λέγοντες Κύριε, ἄνοιξον ἡμῖν· καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ἐρεῖ ὑμῖν Οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς πόθεν ἐστέ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that when once the owner of the house (ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης) had got up (ἀφ’ οὗ ἂν ἐγερθῇ) and shut the door (καὶ ἀποκλείσῃ τὴν θύραν), they would begin to stand outside (καὶ ἄρξησθε ἔξω ἑστάναι).  They would knock at the door (καὶ κρούειν τὴν θύραν), saying. “Lord!  Open to us (λέγοντες Κύριε, ἄνοιξον ἡμῖν)!”  However, he would reply to them (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ἐρεῖ ὑμῖν) that he did not know where they came from (Οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς πόθεν ἐστέ).  Matthew’s unique parable story about the 10 virgins, chapter 25-10-12, has an ending similar to this saying.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the 5 foolish bridesmaids finally came to the wedding banquet.  They called out to the bridegroom calling him “Lord”.  They wanted him to open the door for them.  However, he replied to them, using the solemn pronouncement of Jesus’ phraseology, saying he did not know them (οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶ), the same as this saying in Luke.  Thus, the repudiation of the 5 foolish bridesmaids was complete.  Here Luke said that Jesus did not know where they came from.  Will Jesus know where you are from?

The kingdom of God (Lk 13:18-13:18)

“Jesus said therefore.

‘What is the kingdom

Of God like?

To what

Should I compare it?’”

 

Ἔλεγεν οὖν Τίνι ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ τίνι ὁμοιώσω αὐτήν;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked (Ἔλεγεν οὖν) what the kingdom of God was like (Τίνι ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ)?  What could he compare it to (καὶ τίνι ὁμοιώσω αὐτήν)?  Jesus was trying to figure out how to explain the kingdom of God.  Could he find anything comparable?  This saying of Jesus about the kingdom of God can also be found in Mark, chapter 4:30, who might have been the source of this saying.  Mark reported that Jesus said (Καὶ ἔλεγεν) what can we compare the kingdom of God with (Πῶς ὁμοιώσωμεν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ)?  What parable will we use for it (ἢ ἐν τίνι αὐτὴν παραβολῇ θῶμεν)?  Jesus wanted to know how to explain the kingdom of God with a good parable.  That is basically the same as here in Luke, but Luke did not mention any parable usage.  How would you explain the Kingdom of God?

Tower of Siloam (Lk 13:4-13:4)

“Or those eighteen,

Who were killed

When the tower

Of Siloam

Fell on them,

Do you think

That they were

Worse offenders

Than all the others

Living in Jerusalem?”

 

ἢ ἐκεῖνοι οἱ δέκα οκτὼ ἐφ’ οὓς ἔπεσεν ὁ πύργος ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτούς, δοκεῖτε ὅτι αὐτοὶ ὀφειλέται ἐγένοντο παρὰ πάντας τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τοὺς κατοικοῦντας Ἱερουσαλήμ;

 

Luke uniquely had Jesus present another contemporary event that is not attested elsewhere.  This time it was about a difficult to ascertain tower of Siloam in the old southern part of Jerusalem that accidently killed 18 people.  Jesus wanted to know if these 18 people (ἢ ἐκεῖνοι οἱ δέκα οκτὼ) upon whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed (ἐφ’ οὓς ἔπεσεν ὁ πύργος ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτούς) were worse sinners (δοκεῖτε ὅτι αὐτοὶ ὀφειλέται ἐγένοντο) than all the other people living in Jerusalem (παρὰ πάντας τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τοὺς κατοικοῦντας Ἱερουσαλήμ)?  Did this accidental death mean that these people were sinners?  Are people who die an accidental death worse than people who die at home in bed?  Do you know anyone who died in an accident?