Will come upon you,
When your enemies
Will set up ramparts
They will hem you in
On every side.”
ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακά σοι καὶ περικυκλώσουσίν σε καὶ συνέξουσίν σε πάντοθεν,
Luke indicated that Jesus remarked that bad days were coming to Jerusalem (ὅτι ἥξουσιν ἡμέραι ἐπὶ σὲ). Jesus said that it would come to them when their enemies would put up a barricade against them (καὶ παρεμβαλοῦσιν οἱ ἐχθροί σου χάρακά σοι). They would surround them (καὶ περικυκλώσουσίν σε) so that they would be hemmed in on every side (καὶ συνέξουσίν σε πάντοθεν). This is the only Greek biblical use of the word περικυκλώσουσίν that means to hem them in on every side, encircle, surround, or encompass. Jesus was using the words and images of the ancient Israelite prophets against Jerusalem. Isaiah, chapter 29:1-3, called Jerusalem Ariel, a symbolic name for Jerusalem and its altar. Isaiah, warned Jerusalem about what was going to happen to it. Yahweh was going to encamp against it and set up siege works against it. They would be able to speak only from below the earth and the dust. Their voices would be reduced to a whisper, like a ghost in the middle of this dust pile. Jeremiah, chapter 6:6-8, warned Jerusalem that its enemies were going to cut down trees in order to make a ramp siege against Jerusalem, because this city needed to be punished. There was nothing but oppression and wickedness within her. Jerusalem was a place of violence and destruction with sickness and wounded people all around. Yahweh was going to turn away in disgust against Jerusalem. Thus, it would become a desolate uninhabited land, if it did not heed his warning. Ezekiel, chapter 4:1-3, also condemned Jerusalem with Ezekiel’s symbolic action. A voice told Ezekiel to be an expert model Lego builder of the siege of Jerusalem. Ezekiel, the son of man, was to take a brick and portray the city of Jerusalem. He was to put the siege works with a siege wall against this city. He was to put a ramp and camps against this city with battering rams all around it. Then he was to take an iron plate and make an iron wall between himself and the city, looking at it. Thus, there was a state of siege, a sign for the house of Israel. Ezekiel was part of the exiles from 598 BCE before the taking of Jerusalem and the second captivity in 587 BCE. Of course, here this was allusion to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE by the Roman soldiers putting down a revolution in Judea. Luke would have known about this at the time of his writing. Have you ever seen a city destroyed?
Had only recognized
On this day,
That make for peace!
They are hidden
From your eyes.’”
λέγων ὅτι Εἰ ἔγνως ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ταύτῃ καὶ σὺ τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην· νῦν δὲ ἐκρύβη ἀπὸ ὀφθαλμῶν σου
Luke uniquely indicated what Jesus said (λέγων) to the people of Jerusalem. If only they had recognized or known (ὅτι Εἰ ἔγνως) on this day (ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ταύτῃ), today, the things that make peace (καὶ σὺ τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην)! However, all that was now hidden (νῦν δὲ ἐκρύβη) from their eyes (ἀπὸ ὀφθαλμῶν σου). The very name of Jerusalem suggested peace. Now, here was the prince of peace, the messianic peace maker that was mentioned in Isaiah, chapter 11. He had come to Jerusalem in the person of Jesus. However, the people of Jerusalem could not see it, because it was hidden from them. Why it was hidden was not clear. The ancient Israelite prophets had often condemned Jerusalem for its unfaithfulness. Jesus was now there, but they did not recognize him, since only a few did. Would you have recognized Jesus?
His master’s debtors,
One by one.
He asked the first one.
‘How much do you owe
καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος ἕνα ἕκαστον τῶν χρεοφειλετῶν τοῦ κυρίου ἑαυτοῦ ἔλεγεν τῷ πρώτῳ Πόσον ὀφείλεις τῷ κυρίῳ μου;
This parable story about this dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories. Luke indicated that Jesus said that the plan of this fired house manager was to summon each one of his lord’s or master’s debtors (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος ἕνα ἕκαστον τῶν χρεοφειλετῶν τοῦ κυρίου ἑαυτοῦ). He asked the first debtor (ἔλεγεν τῷ πρώτῳ) how much he owed his lord or master (Πόσον ὀφείλεις τῷ κυρίῳ μου). The plan was simple. He was going to contact his master’s debtors, those who owed money to his lord. He wanted to know how much they owed? However, he should have known this, if he was a good manager. Do you owe any money to anyone?
“Nothing is concealed,
That will not be uncovered.
Nothing is secret
That will not become known.”
οὐδὲν δὲ συγκεκαλυμμένον ἐστὶν ὃ οὐκ ἀποκαλυφθήσεται, καὶ κρυπτὸν ὃ οὐ γνωσθήσεται
Luke indicated that Jesus said that nothing was covered up or concealed (οὐδὲν δὲ συγκεκαλυμμένον) that would not be uncovered or revealed (ἐστὶν ὃ οὐκ ἀποκαλυφθήσεται). Nothing was a secret or hidden (καὶ κρυπτὸν) that would not become known (ὃ οὐ γνωσθήσετα). Although there are other sayings similar to this, Luke uniquely used the word συγκεκαλυμμένον, meaning concealed. This saying is like Matthew, chapter 10:26, Mark, chapter 4:22, and Luke, chapter 8:17. Jesus, via Matthew, said that they had nothing to fear, because anything hidden, covered up, concealed, or veiled would be uncovered, brought to light, or revealed. Anything hidden or secret would be known or ascertained. Jesus, via Mark, said that there was nothing hidden, that would not be brought to light, disclosed, revealed, or made known. Anything hidden or secret would come to light or be apparent. It is not clear what is meant by this saying, except that at some future point they would understand things that they did not know now. Luke earlier indicated that Jesus said that nothing was hidden that would not be disclosed. Nothing was secret that would not become known. It would all come to light. 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?
“But some of them said.
‘He casts out demons
The ruler of demons.’”
τινὲς δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν εἶπαν Ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια
Luke indicated that some anonymous people in the crowd said (τινὲς δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν εἶπαν) that Jesus was casting out demons (ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια) by Beelzebul (Ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ), the ruler or the prince of the demons (τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων). Matthew, chapter 12:24, said that it was the Pharisees, not someone in the crowd, who heard that the people were calling Jesus the “Son of David,” a messianic name. They then accused Jesus of being in cahoots with Beelzebul, the leader of the demons. In other words, Jesus was casting out demons because he was working with the devil, the prince of the demons, Beelzebul. Mark, chapter 3:22, said that the Scribes came down from Jerusalem, and not the Pharisees, as in Matthew, or someone in the crowd as in Luke, that accused Jesus of working with Beelzebul. Thus, as the leader or ruler of the demons, he was casting out other demons. The implication was that Jesus was working with the devil, the very leader of the demons, Beelzebul, an ancient Canaanite god known as the “Lord of the flies.” However, Beelzebul had become another name for the devil or a major demon in early Christianity and late Judaism. What do you think the role of the devil is in your life?
“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?
By its own fruit.
Figs are not gathered
Grapes are not picked
From a bramble bush.”
ἕκαστον γὰρ δένδρον ἐκ τοῦ ἰδίου καρποῦ γινώσκεται· οὐ γὰρ ἐξ ἀκανθῶν συλλέγουσιν σῦκα, οὐδὲ ἐκ βάτου σταφυλὴν τρυγῶσιν.
Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his metaphor about fruits. He said that each tree was known by its own fruit (ἕκαστον γὰρ δένδρον ἐκ τοῦ ἰδίου καρποῦ γινώσκεται). Figs are not gathered from thorn bushes (οὐ γὰρ ἐξ ἀκανθῶν συλλέγουσιν σῦκα). Neither are grapes picked or gathered from a bramble or thorn bush. This saying of Jesus was somewhat similar to Matthew, chapter 7:16, perhaps indicating a Q source. There Jesus told his disciples that they would know or discern people by their fruits. Then he asked the question whether grapes could be gathered from thorn bushes or figs gathered from thistles? Certain kinds of fruits only come from certain kinds of trees. Thus, you can tell what kind of tree it is by its fruit. The thorn bushes were not going to produce figs or grapes. What kind of tree are you?
“Do to others
As you would have them
Do to you!”
καὶ καθὼς θέλετε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς ὁμοίως.
Luke indicated that Jesus said to his followers to do the same to others (ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς ὁμοίως), like they would wish other men to do to them (καὶ καθὼς θέλετε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι). Once again, this was in the second person plural imperative. Matthew, chapter 7:12, has something similar, perhaps indicating a common Q source. This saying is often known throughout the world as the philosophical golden rule. Matthew said that whatever you wanted other men to do to you (Πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν θέλητε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι), you should do to them the same (οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς). Matthew emphasized that this was already in the Hebrew Torah, the Law and among the various Judaic prophets, while Luke never mentioned the Law and the prophets. Pure and simple, treat other people the way that you would want to be treated.
Whom he named Peter,
And his brother
Σίμωνα, ὃν καὶ ὠνόμασεν, Πέτρον καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ, καὶ Ἰάκωβον καὶ Ἰωάνην, καὶ Φίλιππον καὶ Βαρθολομαῖον,
Luke then gave a list of these 12 apostles. The first six named were Simon (Σίμωνα), whom he renamed Peter (ὃν καὶ ὠνόμασεν, Πέτρον), his brother Andrew (καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ), as well as James (καὶ Ἰάκωβον), John (καὶ Ἰωάνην), Philip (καὶ Φίλιππον), and Bartholomew (καὶ Βαρθολομαῖον). This section about the names of the 12 apostles is similar to Mark, chapter 3:16-19 and Matthew, chapter 10:2-4. This list can also be compared to the list in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 1:13. There are some discrepancies with these names. First on all the lists was Simon. Luke said that Jesus named him Peter, not merely known as Peter. Next Luke had Andrew, the brother of Peter, but he never mentioned him in the call of the first disciples in chapter 5:1-11. Next were the 2 brothers James and John, who were mentioned earlier. James was always listed first. However, they were not called the sons of Zebedee, as they were in the other gospel stories. Mark had a longer explanation about them, calling them the sons of thunder. Clearly, these 4 apostles were considered the most important with Peter at the top of this group, while James played an important role also. The role of Andrew, the brother of Peter, was more ambiguous. They are no longer called the 12 disciples (δώδεκα μαθητὰς) but the 12 apostles (δὲ δώδεκα ἀποστόλων). They had changed from being mere followers (μαθητὰς) to now being sent out as apostles (ἀποστόλων). Matthew had already mentioned, the call of the first 4 disciples in chapter 4:18-22. Now they became the first 4 named apostles. Philip and Bartholomew came next as 5 and 6 in all the lists of the apostles, without any other information about them.
“All spoke well of him.
They were amazed
At the gracious words
From his mouth.
‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’”
καὶ πάντες ἐμαρτύρουν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις τῆς χάριτος τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔλεγον Οὐχὶ υἱός ἐστιν Ἰωσὴφ οὗτος;
This story of Jesus astonishing the people in Nazareth can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 6:2, and Matthew, chapter 13:54, and Luke here. Luke said that all the people in the synagogue spoke well or testified in favor of Jesus (καὶ πάντες ἐμαρτύρουν αὐτῷ). They were amazed at the gracious words (καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις τῆς χάριτος) that came from his mouth (τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ). At first, they were excited about how good Jesus was. Then they said (καὶ ἔλεγον) was he not Joseph’s son (Οὐχὶ υἱός ἐστιν Ἰωσὴφ οὗτος)? Thus, they were astonished and wondered where did he get all his wisdom. They seemed surprised that Jesus was so smart or so important. They would have known him for some time as merely the son of Joseph in Nazareth.