Luke indicated that Jesus said to be on guard or aware (Προσέχετε δὲ ἑαυτοῖς), so that their hearts should not be weighed down (μή ποτε βαρηθῶσιν ὑμῶν αἱ καρδίαι) with dissipation (ἐν κραιπάλῃ), drunkenness (καὶ μέθῃ), and the daily worries of this life (καὶ μερίμναις βιωτικαῖς). Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use this term κραιπάλῃ, that means drunken nausea or drunken dissipation. Thus, the day of the end times would not suddenly catch you unexpectedly (καὶ ἐπιστῇ ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς αἰφνίδιος ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείνη). There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:43 and Mark, chapter 13:35. Mark indicated that Jesus said that they were to be aware (Βλέπετε) and alert all the time (ἀγρυπνεῖτε), because they did not know (οὐκ οἴδατε) when the end times (γὰρ πότε ὁ καιρός ἐστιν) would come. Luke, chapter 12:39-40, also had something similar about the thief at night. 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). Therefore, they had to be ready or prepared (διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ὑμεῖς γίνεσθε ἕτοιμοι) for the coming of the Son of Man (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἔρχεται) because he would be coming at an unexpected hour (ὅτι ᾗ οὐ δοκεῖτε ὥρᾳ). This is also similar to the parable ending in Matthew, chapter 25:13, about the virgins at the wedding being vigilant. This was a simple message to be vigilant all the time, because your end or the end of the world could happen at any time. Are you ready to go?
Luke indicated that Jesus said to this blind beggar (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he should receive his sight (Ἀνάβλεψον), because his faith (ἡ πίστις σου) had saved him (ἡ πίστις σου). Both Matthew, chapter 20:34, and Mark, chapter 10:52, are similar. Matthew said that Jesus was moved with compassion and pity on both blind men (σπλαγχνισθεὶς δὲ), so that he touched their eyes (ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἥψατο τῶν ὀμμάτων αὐτῶν). Immediately (καὶ εὐθέως), they regained their sight (ἀνέβλεψαν) and followed him (καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ). Mark, like Luke, did not mention compassion or pity. Neither did Jesus touch his eyes. Instead, Mark indicated that Jesus told Bartimaeus to go (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ὕπαγε), because his faith had healed him (ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε). Does faith play an important role in your life?
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 the rich man was living in torment (ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις) in Hades (καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἅιδῃ), the Greek name for hell, a permanent place of damnation as opposed to the vague Hebrew afterlife Sheol, the place of the dead. This rich man looked up or lifted up his eyes (ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ). He saw Abraham (ὁρᾷ Ἀβραὰμ), far away (ἀπὸ μακρόθεν), with Lazarus in his bosom (καὶ Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ). Both Abraham and Lazarus were together, but far away since there was a clear difference between where the rich man and Lazarus with Abraham were. Just as in life, there was a difference between the rich man and Lazarus, so too in death. Do you believe that there will be options in the afterlife?
This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories. It finally comes to an end with Luke indicating that Jesus said that the father told his son that they were correct. It was fitting to celebrate and rejoice (εὐφρανθῆναι δὲ καὶ χαρῆναι ἔδει), because his brother who had been dead (ὅτι ὁ ἀδελφός σου οὗτος νεκρὸς ἦν), had now come to life (καὶ ἔζησεν). He had been lost (καὶ ἀπολωλὼς), but now he has been found (καὶ εὑρέθη). The dead brother, the sinning brother, had come to life. The lost brother, like the lost sheep and the lost coin, has been found. Therefore, let us rejoice and celebrate. Do you celebrate over finding anything?
Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) that they were to strive (Ἀγωνίζεσθε) to enter (εἰσελθεῖν) through the narrow door (διὰ τῆς στενῆς θύρας). With a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν), Jesus said that many people (ὅτι πολλοί) would try to enter (ζητήσουσιν εἰσελθεῖν), but not be able to do so (καὶ οὐκ ἰσχύσουσιν). This saying of Jesus is somewhat similar to Matthew, chapter 7:13-14, where it was part of the Sermon on the Mount, not a response to a question. Matthew had Jesus go into great detail about the narrow gate and not a door. Jesus wanted them to enter the narrow gate (ἰσέλθατε διὰ τῆς στενῆς πύλης). Matthew in his description of the wide or spacious gate (ὅτι πλατεῖα ἡ πύλη καὶ εὐρύχωρος) used two words for wide and spacious, “πλατεῖα” and “εὐρύχωρος,” that never appear elsewhere in the New Testament. The easy way of the wide gate led to destruction (ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ἀπώλειαν). Many people were entering through this wide destructive easy gate (καὶ πολλοί εἰσιν οἱ εἰσερχόμενοι δι’ αὐτῆς). On the other hand, the narrow gate (ὅτι στενὴ ἡ πύλη) had a difficult way, leading to life (καὶ τεθλιμμένη ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ζωήν). Only a few people were able to find their way through this difficult hard narrow life filled gate (καὶ ὀλίγοι εἰσὶν οἱ εὑρίσκοντες αὐτήν). This idea of two ways can be found also in Deuteronomy, chapter 30:15-20, and among other religions with the way of death and the way of life. The early Christian teachings of the Didache used this concept, as did many other dualistic religions that pointed to the choice of life or death, good or bad. As you had basic choices in life, God was giving you this choice, life and prosperity with the narrow gate or death and adversity with the wide gate. You had a choice between two gates. The choice of path was yours. Do you prefer the wide or the narrow door?
Luke had Jesus continue his saying that life or the soul was more than food (ἡ γὰρ ψυχὴ πλεῖόν ἐστιν τῆς τροφῆς). The body is more than clothing (καὶ τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ἐνδύματος). Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:25, had a similar Jesus saying, indicating a common Q source. Jesus said, in Matthew, that their life was more than food (οὐχὶ ἡ ψυχὴ πλεῖόν ἐστιν τῆς τροφῆς). Their body was more than clothes (καὶ τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ἐνδύματος). If they were serving God, and not wealth, they would not have to worry about life, food, drink, or clothes. Life was more important than these incidentals. What do you think is more important?
Luke indicated that Jesus said to his disciples (Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ), with a solemn pronouncement (Διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν), that because of this, they did not have to worry or be anxious (μὴ μεριμνᾶτε) about their life or soul (τῇ ψυχῇ), what to eat (τί φάγητε), or about their body (μηδὲ τῷ σώματι), what to wear (τί ἐνδύσησθε). Matthew, chapter 6:25, had a similar Jesus saying, indicating a common Q source. Matthew had Jesus begin with his solemn saying (λέγω ὑμῖν) that if they were to serve God only (Διὰ τοῦτο), then they did not have to be worried or anxious (μὴ μεριμνᾶτε). They should not worry about their life (τῇ ψυχῇ ὑμῶν), their food (τί φάγητε) or their drink (ἢ τί πίητε). They should not worry about their body (μηδὲ τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν), and what to wear (τί ἐνδύσησθε). Thus, worry about God and what to eat and wear will be taken care of for you. What do you worry about?
Luke uniquely continued with this story as Jesus indicated that God said to this rich land owner (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός) that he was a fool, calling him that (Ἄφρων). A fool was a harsh title, meaning that someone who had no concern for God. That very night (ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ), God would demand or require the soul or the life of this rich fool (τὴν ψυχήν σου ἀπαιτοῦσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ). Who would get all the things that he had prepared (ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας, τίνι ἔσται)? The best laid plans of men and mice often go astray. Instead of enjoying his long indulgent luxurious life, this rich man was about to die. Then the question remained, who would enjoy all the riches that he had attained? Death is the only certainty in life. The only question is when? Work as if you were going to live forever, but live your life and pray as if you are going to die tonight. Time’s up! When do you anticipate your death?
Luke had another unique saying of Jesus about worldly possessions. Jesus said to them (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς) to take care (Ὁρᾶτε) and guard against all kinds of greed (καὶ φυλάσσεσθε ἀπὸ πάσης πλεονεξίας). Their life did not consist of merely an abundance of possessions (ὅτι οὐκ ἐν τῷ περισσεύειν τινὶ ἡ ζωὴ αὐτοῦ ἐστιν ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐτῷ). Jesus warned them about a life of greed that was only measured by how many things they owned. This is a particularly good message for a highly technological society where access to wealth is reasonably easy. Do you judge your life by where you live and what you own?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that no one (Οὐδεὶς), after lighting a lamp (λύχνον ἅψας), puts it in a cellar (εἰς κρύπτην τίθησιν). Nor do they put it under a basket (οὐδὲ ὑπὸ τὸν μόδιον). Rather, they put it on a lampstand (ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ τὴν λυχνίαν). Thus, those who enter may see the light (ἵνα οἱ εἰσπορευόμενοι τὸ φέγγος βλέπωσιν). A similar saying of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 5:15, and Mark, chapter 4:21, and earlier in Luke, chapter 8:16. There Luke indicated that Jesus said that no one (Οὐδεὶς), after lighting a lamp (δὲ λύχνον ἅψας), would hide it under a jar or a vessel (καλύπτει αὐτὸν σκεύει). No one puts a lamp under a bed (ἢ ὑποκάτω κλίνης τίθησιν). But they put it on a lampstand (ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ λυχνίας τίθησιν). Thus, those who enter the house (ἵνα οἱ εἰσπορευόμενοι) may see the light (βλέπωσιν τὸ φῶς). Mark indicated that Jesus said to his disciples that a lamp should not be brought into a house to be put under a bushel basket or under a bed. Rather it is better to put it on a lampstand. Thus, the light from the lit candle lamp would shine on everyone and everything in the house. Matthew was more expansive compared to Luke. He indicated that Jesus said that after lighting a lamp, no one puts it under a bushel, but rather on a lampstand. Thus, the light from the lit candle lamp would shine on everyone in the house. Matthew, instead of leaving it generic, applied this to his disciples. Their light should shine before other men. Thus, others would see their good works, since it was not about faith alone. The ultimate result would be that others would glorify their heavenly father. Where do you put your lit lamp of your life?