Noble stones of the Temple (Lk 21:5-21:5)

“Some were speaking

About the Temple.

It was adorned

With beautiful stones.

These were gifts

Dedicated to God.”

 

Καί τινων λεγόντων περὶ τοῦ ἱεροῦ, ὅτι λίθοις καλοῖς καὶ ἀναθήμασιν κεκόσμηται,

 

Luke said that some people were speaking about the Temple (Καί τινων λεγόντων περὶ τοῦ ἱεροῦ), since it was adorned with beautiful stones (ὅτι λίθοις καλοῖς), gifts dedicated to God (καὶ ἀναθήμασιν κεκόσμηται).  Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use the word ἀναθήμασιν that means a gift or offering dedicated in a temple by a worshipper or a gift or offering consecrated to God.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:1, and Mark, chapter 13:1.  Mark said that Jesus was leaving the Temple (Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ).  Then one of his disciples (λέγει αὐτῷ εἷς τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ) pointed out to him the beautiful Temple buildings.  This unnamed disciple called him teacher (Διδάσκαλε).  He wanted Jesus to see and look at the wonderful or great stones and buildings (ἴδε ποταποὶ λίθοι καὶ ποταπαὶ οἰκοδομαί).  Matthew, like Mark, indicated that Jesus came out of the Temple (Καὶ ἐξελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱεροῦ).  As he was going away (ἐπορεύετο), his disciples came up to him to point out the beautiful Temple buildings (καὶ προσῆλθον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἐπιδεῖξαι αὐτῷ τὰς οἰκοδομὰς τοῦ ἱεροῦ).  The Jerusalem Temple had been under reconstruction since the time of Herod the Great in 19 BCE, but would not have been completed at the time of Jesus, since it was only finished in 63 CE.  However, most of the work would have been done by the time of Jesus.  Just like many churches, this Temple was not completed in a few years.  Do you know of any churches that took a long time to build or rebuild?

Silent response (Lk 20:26-20:26)

“They were not able,

In the presence

Of the people,

To catch him

By what he said.

They were amazed

By his answer.

They became silent.”

 

καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν ἐπιλαβέσθαι αὐτοῦ ῥήματος ἐναντίον τοῦ λαοῦ, καὶ θαυμάσαντες ἐπὶ τῇ ἀποκρίσει αὐτοῦ ἐσίγησαν.

 

Luke said that these Jewish religious and Roman political leaders were not able or strong enough to catch him by what he said (καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν ἐπιλαβέσθαι αὐτοῦ ῥήματος), in the presence of the people (ἐναντίον τοῦ λαοῦ).  In fact, they themselves were amazed by his answer (καὶ θαυμάσαντες ἐπὶ τῇ ἀποκρίσει αὐτοῦ).  Thus, they became silent (ἐσίγησαν).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:22, and in Mark, chapter 12:17, where the Pharisees and Herodians were also amazed.  Mark said that when these disciples of the Pharisees and Herodians heard this response, they were amazed or marveled at Jesus (καὶ ἐξεθαύμαζον ἐπ’ αὐτῷ).  However, there was no mention of them leaving as in Matthew, or being silent as in LukeMatthew said that when these disciples of the Pharisees heard this response (καὶ ἀκούσαντες), they were amazed or marveled at it (ἐθαύμασαν).  Then, they left and went away (καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν ἀπῆλθαν).  They had failed to trip up Jesus as was their plan.  Have you ever failed to trick anyone?

The blind beggar (Lk 18:35-18:35)

“As Jesus

Approached Jericho,

A certain blind man

Was sitting

By the roadside,

Begging.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ ἐγγίζειν αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱερειχὼ τυφλός τις ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἐπαιτῶν.

 

Luke indicated that as Jesus approached or was getting near to Jericho (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ ἐγγίζειν αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱερειχὼ), a certain blind man was sitting (τυφλός τις ἐκάθητο) by the roadside (παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν), begging (ἐπαιτῶν).  Jericho was about 16 miles northeast of Jerusalem and about 8 miles north of the Dead Sea.  Jesus was getting closer to Jerusalem, but not quite there.  Both Mark, chapter 10:46, and Matthew, chapter 20:29, have something similar, but with some differences.  Luke has Jesus entering or approaching Jericho, not leaving it, as in Matthew and Mark, who said that Jesus had been in Jericho (Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Ἰερειχώ).  However, Jesus was leaving Jericho (Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ Ἰερειχὼ) with his disciples (καὶ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ) and a large crowd (καὶ ὄχλου ἱκανοῦ), when this incident occurred.  Mark is the only gospel writer that named this blind beggar Bartimaeus (Βαρτιμαῖος), the son of Timaeus, even with the name of his father (ὁ υἱὸς Τιμαίου).  This Bartimaeus was a blind beggar (τυφλὸς προσαίτης), sitting by the way or the roadside (ἐκάθητο παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν).  On the other hand, Luke only had an unnamed blind beggar, while Matthew had two unnamed blind beggars.  Matthew also had Jesus and his apostles or disciples leaving Jericho (Καὶ ἐκπορευομένων αὐτῶν ἀπὸ Ἱερειχὼ).  As usual a large crowd followed him (ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ ὄχλος πολύς).  All indications are that they were on the way to Jerusalem.  Have you ever seen a blind beggar?

The man who got beat up (Lk 10:30-10:30)

“Jesus accepted

This question.

He replied.

‘A man

Was going down

From Jerusalem

To Jericho.

He fell

Into the hands

Of robbers.

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?

Wipe the dust off your feet (Lk 10:11-10:11)

“Say!

‘Even the dust

Of your town

That clings to our feet,

We wipe off

As a protest

Against you.

Nevertheless,

Know this!

The kingdom of God

Has come near!’”

 

εἴπατε Καὶ τὸν κονιορτὸν τὸν κολληθέντα ἡμῖν ἐκ τῆς πόλεως ὑμῶν εἰς τοὺς πόδας ἀπομασσόμεθα ὑμῖν· πλὴν τοῦτο γινώσκετε, ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told the 70 disciples what they were to say and do, just like the 12 apostles in chapter 9:4.  They were to say (εἴπατε), in the street of any town that did not welcome them, that they they were going to wipe off even the dust (Καὶ τὸν κονιορτὸν) of their town (ἐκ τῆς πόλεως) that clung to their feet (τὸν κολληθέντα ἡμῖν…εἰς τοὺς πόδας), as a protest against them (ἀπομασσόμεθα ὑμῖν).  Nevertheless, they should know (πλὴν τοῦτο γινώσκετε) that the kingdom of God has come near (ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Earlier Luke, chapter 9:4, had indicated that Jesus said to his 12 apostle that wherever town did not welcome them, as they were leaving that town, they were to shake the dust off their feet as a testimony or witness against them.  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:14-15, and Mark, chapter 6:11.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that if any place would not receive them or listen to their words, they were to leave that place.  They should shake off the dust from their feet, as a witness or testimony against them.  This indicated that the dust of that house was useless.  Despite their unwelcome attitude, Jesus wanted these 70 disciples to let the people of this town know that the kingdom of God was near.  Have you ever shaken the dust of your feet in front of anyone as a protest?

The apostles kept silent (Lk 9:36-9:36)

“When the voice

Had spoken,

Jesus was found alone.

They kept silent.

In those days

They told no one

Any of the things

They had seen.”

 

καὶ ἐν τῷ γενέσθαι τὴν φωνὴν εὑρέθη Ἰησοῦς μόνος. καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐσίγησαν καὶ οὐδενὶ ἀπήγγειλαν ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις οὐδὲν ὧν ἑώρακαν.

 

Luke said that when the voice had spoken (καὶ ἐν τῷ γενέσθαι τὴν φωνὴν), Jesus was found alone (εὑρέθη Ἰησοῦς μόνος).  Peter, James, and John kept silent (καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐσίγησαν).  In those days (ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις), they told no one (καὶ οὐδενὶ ἀπήγγειλαν) about any of the things that they had seen (οὐδὲν ὧν ἑώρακαν).  The other two synoptics said that Jesus told them to be silent, but here they did so on their own.  This leaving of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:8-9, Mark, chapter 9:8-9, and here in LukeMatthew was more elaborate than the others, but there are some differences in all 3 accounts.  Mark said that suddenly or unexpectedly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone, but only Jesus himself alone with them.  Once again, we are back at the messianic secret where Mark was closer to Matthew.  He said that Jesus and his 3 disciples came down from the mountain.  Jesus admonished them not to tell anyone about what they had seen until the Son of Man had been raised from the dead.  Matthew said that when the disciples heard this voice from the cloud, they fell face down to the ground.  They were greatly terrified.  However, Jesus came to them and touched them.  Then he told them to get up and not be afraid.  When they looked up, they saw no one, but only Jesus himself alone.  Where were Moses and Elijah?  Was this just a dream?  Matthew said that Jesus and his 3 disciples came down from the mountain.  Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone about this spectacular vision until the Son of Man had been raised from the dead.  They would be free to speak about this after the death and resurrection of Jesus, but not before that turning point among the followers of Jesus.  Have you ever had a secret for a limited time?

Peter wants to make three tents (Lk 9:33-9:33)

“Just as they were

Leaving,

Peter said

To Jesus.

‘Master!

It is good

For us

To be here.

Let us make

Three tents,

One for you,

One for Moses,

And one for Elijah.’

He did not know

What he said.”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ διαχωρίζεσθαι αὐτοὺς ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ εἶπεν ὁ Πέτρος πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν Ἐπιστάτα, καλόν ἐστιν ἡμᾶς ὧδε εἶναι, καὶ ποιήσωμεν σκηνὰς τρεῖς, μίαν σοὶ καὶ μίαν Μωϋσεῖ καὶ μίαν Ἡλείᾳ, μὴ εἰδὼς ὃ λέγει.

 

Luke said that just as Moses and Elijah were leaving Jesus (καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ διαχωρίζεσθαι αὐτοὺς ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ), Peter said to Jesus (εἶπεν ὁ Πέτρος πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν), calling him “Master (Ἐπιστάτα)” that it was a good that they were there (καλόν ἐστιν ἡμᾶς ὧδε εἶναι).  He wanted to make 3 tents, tabernacles, or dwellings (καὶ ποιήσωμεν σκηνὰς τρεῖς), one for Jesus (μίαν σοὶ), one for Moses (καὶ μίαν Μωϋσεῖ), and one for Elijah (καὶ μίαν Ἡλείᾳ).  Apparently, Luke thought that Peter did not know what he was talking about (μὴ εἰδὼς ὃ λέγει).  Peter thought that Moses and Elijah were going to stay there.  These remarks of Peter can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:4, Mark, chapter 9:5, and here in LukeMark said that Peter responded to Jesus as the leader of this small group of apostles.  He called Jesus “Rabbi (Ῥαββεί)” or “Teacher”, not like Matthew as “Lord (Κύριε)” or like Luke, “Master (Ἐπιστάτα)”.  Peter said that it was good for them to be there, so that he was going to set up 3 tents or dwellings there, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.  Peter was really the builder.  There was no negative comment in Mark, like in LukeMatthew said that Peter responded, once again as the leader of this small group of apostles.  He spoke to Jesus as the Lord (Κύριε).  It was good for them to be there.  If Jesus wanted it, Peter was going to set up 3 tents or dwellings here, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.  Matthew did not make any disparaging remark about Peter either, the way that Luke had done.  How would you remember an important event?