The brother’s sins (Lk 17:3-17:3)

“Pay attention to yourself!

If your brother disciple

Sins,

You must rebuke

The offender.

If there is repentance,

You must forgive.”

 

προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς. ἐὰν ἁμάρτῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου, ἐπιτίμησον αὐτῷ, καὶ ἐὰν μετανοήσῃ, ἄφες αὐτῷ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to pay attention (προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς).  If a brother disciple sinned (ἐὰν ἁμάρτῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου), they must rebuke the offender (ἐπιτίμησον αὐτῷ).  If there is repentance (καὶ ἐὰν μετανοήσῃ), they must forgive him (ἄφες αὐτῷ).  This saying about the sinning brother is something similar in Matthew, chapter 18:15, perhaps indicating a Q source, with some minor changes.  Luke wanted the one offended to forgive the original offense.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that if one of your brothers had sinned against you (Ἐὰν δὲ ἁμαρτήσῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου), point out that fault or rebuke him (ὕπαγε ἔλεγξον αὐτὸν), when the two of you are alone (μεταξὺ σοῦ καὶ αὐτοῦ μόνου).  If he listened to you (ἐάν σου ἀκούσῃ), you have regained your brother (ἐκέρδησας τὸν ἀδελφόν σου).  There was no mention of any forgiveness here.  Is this a blood brother or a fellow disciple of Jesus brother?  It appears to be a fellow follower of Jesus.  Forgiveness was important.  Matthew had a more elaborate process of rebuking and forgiving.  How do you forgive people?

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Those who rise from the dead (Lk 16:31-16:31)

“Abraham

Said to him.

‘If they do not listen

To Moses

And the prophets,

Neither will they

Be convinced,

Even if someone

Rises

From the dead.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ Εἰ Μωϋσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀκούουσιν, οὐδὲ ἐάν τις ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ πεισθήσονται.

 

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 concluded that Abraham said to the rich man (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ) that if his brothers had not listened to Moses and the prophets (Εἰ Μωϋσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀκούουσιν), neither would they be convinced or persuaded (πεισθήσονται), if someone rose from the dead (οὐδὲ ἐάν τις ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ).  Abraham was clear.  They had the Torah of Moses and the written teachings of the prophets.  What else did they need?  Thus, they would not be moved to repentance even if a dead man appeared to them.  This is of course was an indication of what would happen with Jesus in his resurrection.  Would you change your mind if a dead person appeared to you?

Mary (Lk 10:39-10:39)

“Martha had a sister

Named Mary.

She sat

At the Lord’s feet.

Mary listened

To what Jesus

Was saying.”

 

καὶ τῇδε ἦν ἀδελφὴ καλουμένη Μαριάμ, ἣ καὶ παρακαθεσθεῖσα πρὸς τοὺς πόδας τοῦ Κυρίου ἤκουεν τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke uniquely said that Martha had a sister (καὶ τῇδε ἦν ἀδελφὴ) called Mary (καλουμένη Μαριάμ).  There were many women called Mary in the gospel stories.  This Mary sat down at the Lord’s feet (καὶ παρακαθεσθεῖσα πρὸς τοὺς πόδας τοῦ Κυρίου) and listened to his words (ἤκουεν τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ).  This was a common position for the disciples to take.  It also was common for women to sit at the feet of men to listen to them.  Was she a disciple of Jesus?  Notice that Jesus was called the Lord (Κυρίου), not Jesus.  Certainly, this Mary was very attuned to the teaching of Jesus.  Are you willing to listen to the teaching of Jesus?

Baptized by John (Lk 7:29-7:29)

“All the people

Who heard this,

Including the tax collectors,

Acknowledged

The justice of God.

They had been baptized

With John’s baptism.”

 

καὶ πᾶς ὁ λαὸς ἀκούσας καὶ οἱ τελῶναι ἐδικαίωσαν τὸν Θεόν, βαπτισθέντες τὸ βάπτισμα Ἰωάνου·

 

Luke has a unique statement about everybody being baptized by John the Baptist.  He said that all the people who heard John (καὶ πᾶς ὁ λαὸς ἀκούσας), even including the tax collectors (καὶ οἱ τελῶναι), acknowledged the justice of God (ἐδικαίωσαν τὸν Θεόν).  They had been baptized with John’s baptism (βαπτισθέντες τὸ βάπτισμα Ἰωάνου).  Jesus noted that even the tax collectors listened to John the Baptist and recognized the justice or righteousness of God.  This saying of Luke indicated the importance and reach of John the Baptist and his baptism.  Do you as a sinner recognize the value of Baptism?

Jesus controls the unclean spirits (Mk 3:11-3:11)

“Whenever the unclean spirits

Saw Jesus,

They fell down

Before him.

They cried out.

‘You are the Son of God.’”

 

καὶ τὰ πνεύματα τὰ ἀκάθαρτα, ὅταν αὐτὸν ἐθεώρουν, προσέπιπτον αὐτῷ καὶ ἔκραζον λέγοντα ὅτι Σὺ εἶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

This is somewhat similar to earlier in Mark, chapter 1:23, when Jesus made the unclean spirit leave the possessed man.  Jesus commanded even the unclean spirits, so that they listened or obeyed him.  He seemed to have some special spiritual powers that no one else had ever seen.  Here Mark noted that these evil unclean spirits (καὶ τὰ πνεύματα τὰ ἀκάθαρτα) fell down before Jesus or worshipped him (προσέπιπτον αὐτῷ), whenever they saw him (ὅταν αὐτὸν ἐθεώρουν).  They cried out or shouted out to Jesus (καὶ ἔκραζον λέγοντα), that he was the Son of God (ὅτι Σὺ εἶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ), when no one else recognized this.  This unclean spirit world was alive and active in first century Israelite culture.

Let your brother become a gentile (Mt 18:16-18:17)

“But if you are not listened to,

Take one

Or two others

Along with you.

Thus,

Every word may be confirmed

By the evidence

Of two

Or three witnesses.

If he refuses to listen

To them,

Tell it to the church.

If he refuses

To listen even to the church,

Let him be to you

As a gentile

And a tax collector.”

 

ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ἀκούσῃ, παράλαβε μετὰ σοῦ ἔτι ἕνα ἢ δύο, ἵνα ἐπὶ στόματος δύο μαρτύρων ἢ τριῶν σταθῇ πᾶν ῥῆμα·

ἐὰν δὲ παρακούσῃ αὐτῶν, εἰπὸν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ· ἐὰν δὲ καὶ τῆς ἐκκλησίας παρακούσῃ, ἔστω σοι ὥσπερ ὁ ἐθνικὸς καὶ ὁ τελώνης.

 

This saying about the brother who would not listen to reprimands is unique to Matthew.  This exchange seems to imply a solid structure with specific rules and regulations, not a band of itinerant healing preachers.  If you were not successful with reprimanding your brother, because he would not listen to you (ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ἀκούσῃ), you were to take one or two others with you (παράλαβε μετὰ σοῦ ἔτι ἕνα ἢ δύο).  This is almost like a Jewish religious court case based on Deuteronomy, chapter 19:15, where a single witness would not be enough to convict a person of any crime or wrong-doing.  They needed the evidence of two or three witnesses, since one person was not sufficient enough to convict anyone of any crime.  There had to be at least 2 or 3 witnesses to sustain a charge.  Thus, the testimony of 2 or 3 witnesses might strengthen or confirm every word (ἵνα ἐπὶ στόματος δύο μαρτύρων ἢ τριῶν σταθῇ πᾶν ῥῆμα).  If your brother still refused to listen to them (ἐὰν δὲ παρακούσῃ αὐτῶν), then you should bring him to the church or the congregation (εἰπὸν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ).  Along with chapter 16:18, where Peter was the rock of the new church, this indicates a church structure at the time that Matthew was writing this gospel.  If your brother still refused to listen to the church congregation (ἐὰν δὲ καὶ τῆς ἐκκλησίας παρακούσῃ), he should become like a gentile or a tax collector (ἔστω σοι ὥσπερ ὁ ἐθνικὸς καὶ ὁ τελώνης), an outcast from the community.  This indicates that the disciples of Jesus still thought like Jewish people with no room for gentiles and foreign Roman tax collectors.

Yahweh would remember the just righteous ones (Mal 3:16-3:16)

“Then those who revered Yahweh

Spoke with one another.

Yahweh took notice.

Yahweh listened.

A book of remembrance

Was written

Before him

Of those

Who revered Yahweh,

Of those

Who thought on his name.”

However, there was a group of Israelites who revered Yahweh.  They spoke among themselves.  Yahweh saw and listened to this, as he took notice of what was going on.  There was a book of remembrance, where all the names of those who revered Yahweh and his name were written down.  This is where we get the idea that someone is keeping track of our lives in a book.