“The lawyer said.
Who showed him
Jesus said to him.
ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ὁ ποιήσας τὸ ἔλεος μετ’ αὐτοῦ. εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Πορεύου καὶ σὺ ποίει ὁμοίως.
Luke finished his unique story. The lawyer responded to Jesus (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν). He said that the one who showed the wounded man mercy and compassion (Ὁ ποιήσας τὸ ἔλεος μετ’ αὐτοῦ) was the good neighbor. Then Jesus remarked (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) that he should go on his way and do likewise (Πορεύου καὶ σὺ ποίει ὁμοίως). There was a very satisfying ending to this story of the Good Samaritan. Both the lawyer and Jesus were satisfied. The lawyer gave the right answer by saying that the true neighbor was the merciful and compassionate Samaritan. He did not in fact use the term Samaritan. He merely called him the compassionate one. Jesus then came back to the original question that this lawyer had posed about what he needed to gain eternal life. He told this lawyer to act just like the Good Samaritan had if he wanted to inherit eternal life, the path to eternal life. Are you willing to follow it?
“Which of these three,
Do you think,
Was a neighbor
To the man
Among the robbers?”
τίς τούτων τῶν τριῶν πλησίον δοκεῖ σοι γεγονέναι τοῦ ἐμπεσόντος εἰς τοὺς λῃστάς;
Luke continued his unique story. Jesus asked the obvious question. Which one of these three people (τίς τούτων τῶν τριῶν) did he think was a neighbor to this man (πλησίον δοκεῖ σοι γεγονέναιn) who fell among the robbers (τοῦ ἐμπεσόντος εἰς τοὺς λῃστάς)? Like most of the parables of Jesus, the moral is usually very clear. This was no exception. Jesus then asked this lawyer who had asked the question about who his neighbor was, what did he think? Who did the neighborly thing? Which one of these 3 individuals, the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan did the right thing? A neighbor is not a physical presence but an active deed done to someone in need. Are you a good neighbor?
Was going down
Into the hands
They stripped him.
They beat him up.
They went away,
Leaving him half dead.’”
ὑπολαβὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἄνθρωπός τις κατέβαινεν ἀπὸ Ἱερουσαλὴμ εἰς Ἱερειχώ, καὶ λῃσταῖς περιέπεσεν, οἳ καὶ ἐκδύσαντες αὐτὸν καὶ πληγὰς ἐπιθέντες ἀπῆλθον ἀφέντες ἡμιθανῆ.
Luke uniquely had Jesus tell a story to answer the question from the lawyer. Jesus accepted (ὑπολαβὼν) this inquiry about the meaning of neighbor. He said (εἶπεν) that a man (Ἄνθρωπός), presumably Jewish, was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho (τις κατέβαινεν ἀπὸ Ἱερουσαλὴμ εἰς Ἱερειχώ), about 23 miles. However, he fell into the hands of some robbers (καὶ λῃσταῖς περιέπεσεν). They stripped him (οἳ καὶ ἐκδύσαντες αὐτὸν) and beat him up, inflicting wounds on him (καὶ πληγὰς ἐπιθέντες). Then they went away (ἀπῆλθον). They left him half dead (ἀφέντες ἡμιθανῆ). This was a simple story about a robbery that took place on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho. More than one violent robber attacked this man. They took everything, including his clothes, and beat him up. Then they left him to die, since he was badly wounded. People get robbed and beaten up all the time. Do you really care about it?
To justify himself,
‘Who is my neighbor?’”
ὁ δὲ θέλων δικαιῶσαι ἑαυτὸν εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν Καὶ τίς ἐστίν μου πλησίον
Luke alone went on to a further explanation about the question or meaning of neighbor. He said that this lawyer wanted to justify himself (ὁ δὲ θέλων δικαιῶσαι ἑαυτὸν) and his earlier question. He asked Jesus (εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν) point blank, ‘Who is my neighbor (Καὶ τίς ἐστίν μου πλησίον)?’ This question has haunted Christians for centuries. Were these very Jewish people their neighbors? Were only those who believed exactly like them their neighbors? The answer will be clear as this story unfolds. Who do you think your neighbor is?
“Jesus said to him.
‘You have given
The right answer.
Then you will live!’”
εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ Ὀρθῶς ἀπεκρίθης· τοῦτο ποίει καὶ ζήσῃ.
Luke indicated that Jesus said to the lawyer (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ) that he had given the correct right answer (Ὀρθῶς ἀπεκρίθης). Jesus told him to do that (τοῦτο ποίει) and then he would live (καὶ ζήσῃ). Mark, chapter 12:32-33, indicated that this Scribe said to Jesus, rather than the other way around, that Jesus was right. He, in fact, respectfully called Jesus Teacher (Διδάσκαλε). This Scribe agreed that Jesus had spoken according to the truth. God was one, so that there was no other God but him alone. Thus, the Scribe and Jesus were on the same page as regards God and his commandments. Then the Scribe pointed out that these 2 commandments were more important than all the Temple sacrifices. He said that to love God with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, as well as to love your neighbor as yourself was much more important than all the various sacrificial burnt offerings. This Scribe recognized the value of love of God and neighbor. Do you love God with your whole being and your neighbor as yourself?
“You shall love
καὶ τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.
Luke indicated that the lawyer said that they should love their neighbor (καὶ τὸν πλησίον σου) as themselves (ὡς σεαυτόν), using the second person plural. There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:3, where Mark indicated that Jesus, not the lawyer, replied that the 2nd commandment was like the 1st one. since it was about love. Not only were they to love God, but they were to love their neighbors as themselves. There were no other commandments greater than these 2 commandments of love. Everything was based on the love of God and neighbor. Matthew, chapter 22: 38-39 had Jesus reply also, not the lawyer, that they were to love their neighbors as themselves, since all the commandments of the law and the prophets hung on these two commandments. This second commandment was based on Leviticus, chapter 19:11-18, that has become the basic fundamental cornerstone of Judaism and Christianity. Leviticus further explained the Ten Commandments and your neighbor. They were not to steal or deal falsely with their neighbor. They should not lie, swear, or defraud their neighbor. They were not to keep the wages of a laborer, or revile the deaf or the blind. They should not render an unjust judgment, since they should treat the poor and the great with equal justice. They should not slanderer or profit from the blood of their neighbors. They were not to hate in their heart any of their relatives. They should not take vengeance or bear a grudge, because they should love their relatives and neighbors as themselves. All the commandments of the law and the prophets depended on these two commandments of loving God and your neighbor. Do you love your neighbor?
“The lawyer answered.
‘You shall love
With all your heart,
With all your soul,
With all your strength,
And with all your mind.”
ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Ἀγαπήσεις Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σου ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ἰσχύϊ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳ σου,
Luke said that the lawyer answered Jesus (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) by citing Deuteronomy, chapter 6:4-5, where it said that you were to love the Lord, your God (Ἀγαπήσεις Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σου), with all your heart (ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας σου), with all your soul (καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ σου), with all your strength (καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ἰσχύϊ σου), and with all your mind (καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳ σου). Mark, chapter 12:39-40, said that Jesus answered this Scribe, instead of the other way around as here in Luke. The first commandment was “Hear this O Israel! The Lord our God is one. He should love the Lord, his God with his whole heart, his whole soul, his whole mind, and with all his strength. This Shema cry for Israel to listen can be found in Deuteronomy, chapter 6:4-5. These verses have had a great influence on the Israelites as the great commandment that was recited often and written all over the place on their hands, forehead, and door posts. It was both a morning and an evening prayer, something you could say at home and when you were away from home. The Israelites taught their children this simple prayer. Jesus and the early Christian followers repeated this prayer in the gospel stories of the New Testament as the great commandment of love of God. This “Shema” became the basis of the Abrahamic religions, the great commandment of monotheism and love that must always be remembered. In Matthew, chapter 22:37-38, Jesus also responded, rather than the lawyer. Jesus told this lawyer that he should love the Lord, his God with his whole heart, his whole soul, and his whole mind This was the greatest and the first commandment. Just be a good human Jewish person and love God above all else with your whole being, heart, soul, and mind. Do you totally love God?
To this lawyer.
‘What is written
In the law?
What do you read there?’”
ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν Ἐν τῷ νόμῳ τί γέγραπται; πῶς ἀναγινώσκεις;
Luke indicated that Jesus asked this lawyer (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν) what was written in the law (Ἐν τῷ νόμῳ τί γέγραπται)? What did he read there (πῶς ἀναγινώσκεις)? In the other 2 synoptics, Mark and Matthew, Jesus immediately responded, instead of asking the lawyer what was written in the Mosaic law. Thus, this unique passage of Luke put the burden on the well-versed lawyer. What do you know about the laws of God?
“Jesus said to him.
‘You shall love
With all your heart,
With all your soul,
And with all your mind.’
This is the greatest commandment.
This is the first commandment.”
ὁ δὲ ἔφη αὐτῷ Ἀγαπήσεις κύριον τὸν Θεόν σου ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ καρδίᾳ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳ σου.
αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ μεγάλη καὶ πρώτη ἐντολή.
The response of Jesus can be found also in Mark, chapter 12:29-30, where there is the Shema cry for Israel to listen. In Luke, chapter 10:27-28, Jesus responded that he had given the right answer to the question. Here, in Matthew, it is separate from the love of neighbor, which is the 2nd commandment. This Shema can be found in Deuteronomy, chapter 6:4-5. These verses have had a great influence on the Israelites as the great commandment that is recited often and written all over the place on their hands, forehead, and door posts. It is both a morning and an evening prayer, something you say at home and when you are away from home. The Israelites were to teach their children this simple prayer. Jesus and the early Christian followers will repeat this in the gospel stories of the New Testament as the great commandment of love of God. This ‘Shema’ became the basis of the Abrahamic religions, the great commandment of monotheism and love that must always be remembered. Jesus told this lawyer (ὁ δὲ ἔφη αὐτῷ) that he should love the Lord (Ἀγαπήσεις κύριον), his God (τὸν Θεόν σου) with his whole heart (ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ καρδίᾳ σου), his whole soul (καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ σου), and his whole mind (καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳ σου). This was the greatest (αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ μεγάλη) and the first commandment (καὶ πρώτη ἐντολή). Just be a good human Jewish person and love God above all else with your whole being, heart, soul, and mind.
“One of the Pharisees,
Asked Jesus a question,
To test him.
In the law
Is the greatest?’”
καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν εἷς ἐξ” αὐτῶν νομικὸς πειράζων αὐτόν
Διδάσκαλε, ποία ἐντολὴ μεγάλη ἐν τῷ νόμῳ;
This is similar to Mark, chapter 12:28, but there the question was presented by a Scribe, not a Pharisee lawyer. However, in Luke, chapter 10:25, there was an unnamed lawyer who wanted to know how to gain eternal life. Here, Matthew has a lawyer (νομικὸς), who was a Pharisee, question Jesus (καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν εἷς ἐξ” αὐτῶν) to test him (πειράζων αὐτόν). He probably was someone skilled in the Mosaic law. He addressed Jesus in a very respectful tone calling him “Teacher” or rabbi (Διδάσκαλε). He wanted to know which commandment of the law was the greatest (ποία ἐντολὴ μεγάλη ἐν τῷ νόμῳ), since there were 613 commandments in late Judaism. Thus, it would seem like a legitimate question with so many commandments or laws.