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?

Interpreting the present time (Lk 12:56-12:56)

“You hypocrites!

You know how

To interpret

The appearance of earth

And the sky.

But why do you not know

How to interpret

This present time?”

 

ὑποκριταί, τὸ πρόσωπον τῆς γῆς καὶ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ οἴδατε δοκιμάζειν, τὸν καιρὸν δὲ τοῦτον πῶς οὐ δοκιμάζετε;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus called these people hypocrites (ὑποκριταί).  They were able to know how to interpret (οἴδατε δοκιμάζειν) the appearances of the earth (τὸ πρόσωπον τῆς γῆς) and the sky (καὶ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  However, they did not know how to interpret (πῶς οὐ δοκιμάζετε) this present time (τὸν καιρὸν δὲ τοῦτον).  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 16:3, perhaps indicating a Q source, where Jesus asked them how come they were so good at discerning the overcast stormy weather signs in the heavens (τὸ μὲν πρόσωπον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ γινώσκετε διακρίνειν), but they were unable to interpret the signs of the times (τὰ δὲ σημεῖα τῶν καιρῶν οὐ δύνασθε), since the weather signs were in the heavenly skies also.  In other words, they were very good at predicting the weather, but had no idea about other heavenly things to come.  Are you good at predicting the weather?

Light and heavy beatings (Lk 12:48-12:48)

“But the one

Who did not know,

Yet did

What deserved a beating,

Will receive

A light beating.

Everyone

To whom much is given,

Much will be required.

The one

To whom much

Has been entrusted,

Even more

Will be demanded.” 

 

ὁ δὲ μὴ γνοὺς, ποιήσας δὲ ἄξια πληγῶν, δαρήσεται ὀλίγας. παντὶ δὲ ᾧ ἐδόθη πολύ, πολὺ ζητηθήσεται παρ’ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ᾧ παρέθεντο πολύ, περισσότερον αἰτήσουσιν αὐτόν.

 

This is once again, unique to Luke.  He indicated that Jesus said that the one slave who did not know (ὁ δὲ μὴ γνοὺς) the will of his master, yet did the bad things that were worthy of punishment (ποιήσας δὲ ἄξια πληγῶν), also deserved a light beating (δαρήσεται ὀλίγας).  Everyone to whom much is given (παντὶ δὲ ᾧ ἐδόθη πολύ), much will be required (πολὺ ζητηθήσεται παρ’ αὐτοῦ).  The one to whom much has been entrusted (καὶ ᾧ παρέθεντο πολύ), even more will be demanded (περισσότερον αἰτήσουσιν αὐτόν).  Jesus made a distinction between those who knew the will of the master or lord and still disobeyed him, and those who did not know the will of the master but acted badly.  The latter would not be punished as much as those that knew what they should have been doing.  Those who have much, even much more would be required or demanded.  Do you live up to your responsibilities?

The punishment (Lk 12:46-12:46)

“The master

Of that slave

Will come

On a day

When he does not

Expect him,

At an hour

He does not know.

He will severely

Beat him.

He will put him

With the unfaithful.”

 

ἥξει ὁ κύριος τοῦ δούλου ἐκείνου ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ᾗ οὐ προσδοκᾷ καὶ ἐν ὥρᾳ ᾗ οὐ γινώσκει, καὶ διχοτομήσει αὐτὸν, καὶ τὸ μέρος αὐτοῦ μετὰ τῶν ἀπίστων θήσει.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the master or lord of this slave would come (ἥξει ὁ κύριος τοῦ δούλου ἐκείνου) on a day (ἐν ἡμέρᾳ) when this slave did not expect him (ᾗ οὐ προσδοκᾷ), and at an unknown hour (καὶ ἐν ὥρᾳ ᾗ οὐ γινώσκει).  The lord would severely beat him (καὶ διχοτομήσει αὐτὸν) and put him with the unfaithful slaves (καὶ τὸ μέρος αὐτοῦ μετὰ τῶν ἀπίστων θήσει).  This parable about the wicked slave is similar to Matthew, chapter 24:50-51, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Matthew had Jesus say that the master of this slave came on a day when he was not expecting him, at an unknown hour (ἥξει ὁ κύριος τοῦ δούλου ἐκείνου ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ᾗ οὐ προσδοκᾷ καὶ ἐν ὥρᾳ ᾗ οὐ γινώσκει).  This master would beat him severely (καὶ διχοτομήσει αὐτὸν) and put him with the hypocrites (καὶ τὸ μέρος αὐτοῦ μετὰ τῶν ὑποκριτῶν θήσει), where there would be weeping (ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς) and gnashing of teeth (καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων).  The non-vigilant slave would suffer disaster, not like the good slave.  Matthew added the elements about gnashing of teeth and mourning with weeping.  Would you be the good slave or the bad slave?

Watch for the thief (Lk 12:39-12:39)

“Know this!

If the owner

Of the house

Had known

At what hour

The thief

Was coming,

He would not have

Let his house

Be broken into.”

 

τοῦτο δὲ γινώσκετε ὅτι εἰ ᾔδει ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης ποίᾳ ὥρᾳ ὁ κλέπτης ἔρχεται, οὐκ ἂν ἀφῆκεν διορυχθῆναι τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should know (τοῦτο δὲ γινώσκετε) that if the owner of a house had known (ὅτι εἰ ᾔδει ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης) at what hour (ποίᾳ ὥρᾳ) the thief was coming (ὁ κλέπτης ἔρχεται), he would not have let his house be broken into (οὐκ ἂν ἀφῆκεν διορυχθῆναι τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ).  This was very similar to Matthew, chapter 24:42-43, about the thief at night.  Matthew said that Jesus warned his disciples to be vigilant.  They were to stay awake (γρηγορεῖτε οὖν) because they did not know on what day (ὅτι οὐκ οἴδατε ποίᾳ ἡμέρᾳ) the Lord was coming (ὁ κύριος ὑμῶν ἔρχεται).  They had to understand or realize (ἐκεῖνο δὲ γινώσκετε) that if an owner of a house had known at what time of the night a thief was coming (ὅτι εἰ ᾔδει ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης ποίᾳ φυλακῇ ὁ κλέπτης ἔρχεται), he would have been alert and stayed awake (ἐγρηγόρησεν ἂν).  He would not have let his house be broken into (καὶ οὐκ ἂν εἴασεν διορυχθῆναι τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ).  Would you stay up all night protecting your house?

Blessed are these slaves! (Lk 12:38-12:38)

“If the lord comes

During the middle

Of the night,

Or near dawn,

And finds them so,

Blessed are those slaves!

 

κἂν ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ κἂν ἐν τῇ τρίτῃ φυλακῇ ἔλθῃ καὶ εὕρῃ οὕτως, μακάριοί εἰσιν ἐκεῖνοι.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus stated that these slaves had to be alert at night also, not just during the day.  Jesus said that if the lord came (ἔλθῃ) during the middle of the night, during the 2nd watch (κἂν ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ), or near dawn, during the 3rd watch (κἂν ἐν τῇ τρίτῃ φυλακῇ), and found them alert (καὶ εὕρῃ οὕτως), they would be blessed slaves (μακάριοί εἰσιν ἐκεῖνοι).  If the Lord found them alert at night, they would be happy, fortunate, or blessed.  Mark, chapter 13:35, said that Jesus warned his disciples to be vigilant.  They were to stay awake (γρηγορεῖτε οὖν) because they did not know (οὐκ οἴδατε) when the lord or the master of the house would come back (γὰρ πότε ὁ κύριος τῆς οἰκίας ἔρχεται).  It could be at some unexpected time, late in the evening (ἢ ὀψὲ), midnight (ἢ μεσονύκτιον), cockcrow (ἢ ἀλεκτοροφωνίας), or at morning dawn (ἢ πρωΐ).  Staying awake at night was a good idea.  Do you stay up late, waiting for people?

The lilies (Lk 12:27-12:27)

“Consider the lilies!

They neither toil

Nor spin.

Yet I tell you!

Even Solomon,

In all his glory,

Was not clothed

Like one of these.”

 

κατανοήσατε τὰ κρίνα, πῶς οὔτε νήθει οὔτε ὑφαίνει· λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν, οὐδὲ Σολομὼν ἐν πάσῃ τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ περιεβάλετο ὡς ἓν τούτων.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should consider the lilies (κατανοήσατε τὰ κρίνα).  They neither toil (πῶς οὔτε νήθει) nor spin (οὔτε ὑφαίνει).  Yet, Jesus said, with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν), that not even Solomon (οὐδὲ Σολομὼν) in all his glory (ἐν πάσῃ τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ), was clothed like one of these flowers (περιεβάλετο ὡς ἓν τούτων).  Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:28-29, had a similar Jesus saying, almost word for word, indicating a common Q source, about the lilies.  Matthew indicated that Jesus wanted to know why they were worried about their clothes (καὶ περὶ ἐνδύματος τί μεριμνᾶτε).  He wanted them to look and consider the lilies of the field (καταμάθετε τὰ κρίνα τοῦ ἀγροῦ).  This is the only time that the word “καταμάθετε” appears in the New Testament writings.  It means to understand, take in a fact, consider carefully.  These lilies grew without any weary work in the field or any spinning (πῶς αὐξάνουσιν· οὐ κοπιῶσιν οὐδὲ νήθουσιν).  The verb to spin, “νήθουσιν” is unique to Matthew among all the New Testament writings.  Matthew also had Jesus utter his solemn saying (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν) that King Solomon in all his glory (ὅτι οὐδὲ Σολομὼν ἐν πάσῃ τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ) did not have better looking clothing than these field flowers (περιεβάλετο ὡς ἓν τούτων).  In 1 Kings, chapter 10:1-5, the Queen of Sheba remarked about the wonderful clothes of King Solomon and his palace. Thus, the lilies of the field looked great without any work or care.  Do you look good without any care or work?