Have mercy on me! (Lk 18:39-18:39)

“Those who were

In front

Sternly ordered him

To be quiet.

But he shouted out

More loudly.

‘Son of David!

Have mercy on me!’”

 

καὶ οἱ προάγοντες ἐπετίμων αὐτῷ ἵνα σιγήσῃ· αὐτὸς δὲ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἔκραζεν Υἱὲ Δαυείδ, ἐλέησόν με.

 

Luke indicated that those who were in front of the crowd (καὶ οἱ προάγοντες) sternly ordered the blind beggar (ἐπετίμων αὐτῷ) to be quiet (ἵνα σιγήσῃ).  Instead, he shouted out more loudly (αὐτὸς δὲ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἔκραζεν) the same message “Son of David (Υἱὲ Δαυείδ)!  Have mercy on me (ἐλέησόν με)!”  Both Mark, chapter 10:48, and Matthew, chapter 20:31, have something similar.  Mark said that many in the crowd rebuked, admonished, or ordered Bartimaeus to be quiet or silent (καὶ ἐπετίμων αὐτῷ πολλοὶ ἵνα σιωπήσῃ).  But he shouted out even more loudly (ὁ δὲ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἔκραζεν).  He repeated again what he had shouted out earlier.  He called Jesus, the Son of David (Υἱὲ Δαυείδ).  He wanted Jesus to have mercy on him. (ἐλέησόν με).  Matthew said that the crowd rebuked or admonished these two blind beggars to be quiet or silent (ὁ δὲ ὄχλος ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς ἵνα σιωπήσωσιν).  But they shouted out even more loudly (οἱ δὲ μεῖζον ἔκραξαν λέγοντες).  They repeated again what they had shouted out earlier.  They called Jesus, Lord, the Son of David (Κύριε, υἱὸς Δαυείδ).  They wanted him to have mercy on them (ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς).  This Greek cry of “Κύριε, ἐλέησον” “kyrie eleison,” would become a Christian cry for mercy that has found its way into the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Word at the beginning of the regular Sunday Mass service, with the “Lord, have mercy!”  Quite often, it is also part of a chant.  Do you ask Jesus, the Lord, to have mercy on you?

 

Father Abraham (Lk 16:24-16:24)

“The rich man

Called out.

‘Father Abraham!

Have mercy on me!

Send Lazarus

To dip

The tip

Of his finger

In water,

To cool my tongue!

I am in agony

In these flames.’”

 

καὶ αὐτὸς φωνήσας εἶπεν Πάτερ Ἀβραάμ, ἐλέησόν με καὶ πέμψον Λάζαρον ἵνα βάψῃ τὸ ἄκρον τοῦ δακτύλου αὐτοῦ ὕδατος καὶ καταψύξῃ τὴν γλῶσσάν μου, ὅτι ὀδυνῶμαι ἐν τῇ φλογὶ ταύτῃ

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, but not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the rich man called out (καὶ αὐτὸς φωνήσας εἶπεν) to Abraham, calling him father (Πάτερ Ἀβραάμ).  He wanted Abraham to have mercy on him (ἐλέησόν με).  He wanted him to send Lazarus (καὶ πέμψον Λάζαρον) to dip the tip of his finger (ἵνα βάψῃ τὸ ἄκρον τοῦ δακτύλου αὐτοῦ) in water (ὕδατος) to cool his tongue (καὶ καταψύξῃ τὴν γλῶσσάν μου) because he was suffering in agony (ὅτι ὀδυνῶμαι) from all those flames (ἐν τῇ φλογὶ ταύτῃ).  Once again, Luke has a unique use among the biblical writers of the Greek word καταψύξῃ, meaning to cool or refresh.  This rich man was suffering in a burning hell.  He wanted Abraham to send Lazarus to make life easier for him.  Are you afraid of a burning hell?

 

Tithing (Lk 11:42-11:42)

“But woe to you!

Pharisees!

You tithe

Mint,

Rue,

And every kind

Of herb.

However,

You neglect

Justice

And the love of God!

It is these

You ought

To have practiced

Without neglecting

The others.”

 

ἀλλὰ οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς Φαρισαίοις, ὅτι ἀποδεκατοῦτε τὸ ἡδύοσμον καὶ τὸ πήγανον καὶ πᾶν λάχανον, καὶ παρέρχεσθε τὴν κρίσιν καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ Θεοῦ· ταῦτα δὲ ἔδει ποιῆσαι κἀκεῖνα μὴ παρεῖναι.

 

Next Luke had the Lord Jesus curse the Pharisees the way that Matthew had done.  Jesus said woe to them, the Pharisees (ἀλλὰ οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς Φαρισαίοις)!  They had paid their tithes (ὅτι ἀποδεκατοῦτε) of mint (τὸ ἡδύοσμον), rue (καὶ τὸ πήγανον), and every kind of herb (καὶ πᾶν λάχανον).  However, they had neglected (καὶ παρέρχεσθε) justice (τὴν κρίσιν) and the love of God (καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ Θεοῦ).  They ought to practice these things (ταῦτα δὲ ἔδει ποιῆσαι), without neglecting the other things (κἀκεῖνα μὴ παρεῖναι).  This is like Matthew, chapter 23:23, where Jesus cursed the Pharisees and the Scribes.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said woe to them because of their insistence on tithing.  He blamed them for their concern about the tithing of the various aromatic spices of mint, dill, and cumin plants, instead of the more serious matters of the law.  Thus, they neglected, the serious practice of justice, mercy, and faith.  They should have spent more time on these issues without neglecting the other things.  This seemed like a critique of misplaced priorities, with their legalistic sense of tithing being more important than justice, mercy, faith, and the Mosaic law itself.  Luke had almost the same critique here, but the tithing herbs are slightly different.  He also wanted their concerns to be about justice and God’s love.  Otherwise the critique was pretty much the same.  Do you neglect justice and mercy in your life?

Do likewise (Lk 10:37-10:37)

“The lawyer said.

The one

Who showed him

Mercy.’

Jesus said to him.

‘Go!

Do likewise!’”

 

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?

Look at my son (Lk 9:38-9:38)

“Just then,

A man

From the crowd

Shouted out.

‘Teacher!

I beg you

To look at my son!

He is my only child.’”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου ἐβόησεν λέγων Διδάσκαλε, δέομαί σου ἐπιβλέψαι ἐπὶ τὸν υἱόν μου, ὅτι μονογενής μοί ἐστιν,

 

Luke said that just then a man from the crowd shouted out (ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου ἐβόησεν λέγων) “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε)!”  He begged Jesus to look at his son (δέομαί σου ἐπιβλέψαι ἐπὶ τὸν υἱόν μου) who was his only child (ὅτι μονογενής μοί ἐστιν).  Jesus and Luke had an affection for only children.  This story of the man with the incurable son can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:15, Mark, chapter 9:17-18, and here in Luke, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Mark said that it was someone from the crowd who spoke to Jesus, not a kneeling man as in Matthew.  This man addressed Jesus as “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε),” like Luke, and not as “Lord (Κύριε)” as in Matthew.  He had brought his son to Jesus because his son had a spirit that made him unable to speak.  He was not immediately identified as an epileptic, but as a mute person.  Matthew said that a man approached Jesus and knelt before him.  Only Matthew has this man kneel in front of Jesus.  Thus, this was a kneeling man, not someone from the crowd yelling out to Jesus.  This man addressed Jesus as the Lord (Κύριε).  He wanted Jesus to have mercy on his son, who was an epileptic, not mute.  Epileptics were often considered to be possessed by the devil.  Even today, we are still unsure of the exact cause of epilepsy seizures.  This man’s son suffered very badly.  He often fell into a fire and into water.  Have you ever known a chronically sick child?

Be merciful! (Lk 6:36-6:36)

“Be merciful!

Even as your Father

Is merciful.”

 

Γίνεσθε οἰκτίρμονες, καθὼς ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν οἰκτίρμων ἐστίν

 

The result of the kindness of God was that the followers of Jesus should also be merciful (Γίνεσθε οἰκτίρμονες), even as their Father is merciful (καθὼς ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν οἰκτίρμων ἐστίν).  Matthew, chapter 5:48, had Jesus say that they should be perfect, like their heavenly Father by loving and greeting everyone.  Only Matthew had this emphasis on perfection, completeness, or maturity, while Luke had Jesus emphasize mercy.  Would you rather be merciful or perfect?

Lord of the Sabbath (Lk 6:5-6:5)

“Then Jesus said to them.

‘The Son of Man is

Lord of the Sabbath.’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Κύριός ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus then said to them (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) that the Son of Man (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) is Lord of the Sabbath (Κύριός ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 12:8, and Mark, chapter 2:28, probably indicating that Mark was the source of this comment.  However, the other 2 gospels had more elaboration.  Mark had Jesus say to those around him that the Sabbath was made for man, humans, or mankind, not humans for the Sabbath.  Then he added the comment that is here in Luke that the Son of Man was the Lord of the Sabbath, which was picked up by the other two synoptic gospels.  Matthew had Jesus begin with a solemn proclamation that someone greater than the Temple was here, a clear reference to Jesus himself.  They did not know what the saying about mercy was all about.  Matthew then used the same citation of Hosea chapter 6:6, that he had earlier in chapter 9:13.  Jesus explained that he desired mercy, just as Yahweh wanted real faithful love, not mere sacrifices.  Hosea wanted the Israelites to have real knowledge of God, rather than worry about burnt offerings.  Thus, the Pharisees should not have condemned the innocent or guiltless ones, since Jesus and his disciples had done nothing wrong.  He then concluded with the saying that the Son of Man was the Lord of the Sabbath.  Jesus then could control the Sabbath, not the other way around.  Instead of the Sabbath as a gift to humans, Jesus would reinterpret the laws of the Sabbath as the Lord of the Sabbath.

Righteous and sinners (Lk 5:32-5:32)

“I have not come

To call

The righteous,

But sinners

To repentance.’”

 

οὐκ ἐλήλυθα καλέσαι δικαίους ἀλλὰ ἁμαρτωλοὺς εἰς μετάνοιαν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that he had not come (οὐκ ἐλήλυθα) to call the righteous (καλέσαι δικαίους), but rather sinners to repentance (ἀλλὰ ἁμαρτωλοὺς εἰς μετάνοιαν).  This response of Jesus is almost the same as in Mark, chapter 2:17, and Matthew, chapter 9:13.  However, Matthew was more expansive.  There Jesus explained that they ought to learn what he means, because he desired mercy and not sacrifices, based on Hosea, chapter 6:6.  The essential message was that Yahweh wanted real faithful love, not mere sacrifices.  Hosea wanted the Israelites to have real knowledge of God, rather than worry about burnt offerings.  Jesus had come not to call the people who were righteous already, but to call the sinners to repentance, not the good righteous people.

Be quiet (Mk 10:48-10:48)

“Many sternly ordered him

To be quiet.

But he cried out

Even more loudly.

‘Son of David!

Have mercy on me!’”

 

καὶ ἐπετίμων αὐτῷ πολλοὶ ἵνα σιωπήσῃ· ὁ δὲ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἔκραζεν Υἱὲ Δαυείδ, ἐλέησόν με.

 

Both Matthew, chapter 20:31, and Luke, chapter 18:39, have something similar.  Mark said that many in the crowd rebuked, admonished, or ordered him to be quiet or silent (καὶ ἐπετίμων αὐτῷ πολλοὶ ἵνα σιωπήσῃ).  But he shouted out even more loudly (ὁ δὲ πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἔκραζεν).  He repeated again what he had shouted out earlier.  He called Jesus, the Son of David (Υἱὲ Δαυείδ).  He wanted Jesus to have mercy on them (ἐλέησόν με).  This would become a Christian cry for mercy.

Fifth narrative

Jesus traveled toward Jerusalem and taught in the Temple there, debating with the chief priests and religious leaders.  Then he spoke about the coming kingdom of heaven and the future end times.

Jesus finally went to Judea, where he cured large crowds of people.  The Pharisees questioned him about divorce.  Jesus reiterated the importance of marriage, as he spoke about Moses and divorce.  After hearing the response of Jesus about divorce, his disciples wondered why they should marry at all.  Jesus explained about different kind of eunuchs.

The children came forward to Jesus and he blessed them.  He warned against wealth.  To gain eternal life you had to keep the commandments.  They wanted to know which commandments?  The great commandment was not a problem.  However, Jesus asked them to give up their possessions, so that the rich young man walked away.  It was hard for rich people to enter the kingdom like a camel going through the eye of a needle.  Who could be saved?  The response was that all things are possible with God.  Peter wanted to know about the disciples and the eternal life reward, so that Jesus told them that the first shall be last and vice versa.

Then Jesus presented the parable of the laborers in the vineyard.  He hired the first laborers, and then late in the day a second group, a third group and finally a fourth group of laborers.  The last group hired got a full day’s pay.  The first group hired were upset when they got the same as the last group hired.  This brought up the problem of generosity versus fairness, as Jesus explained the parable.

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus predicted what was going to happen to him in Jerusalem.  The mother of the sons of Zebedee wanted to know if her two sons, James and John, could be the greatest, on either side of Jesus.  Jesus pointed out the difficulties and said that only the Father set up the seating arrangements.  This led to ten angry men as they resented the two trying to be first.  Jesus reminded them about servant leadership, as the Son of Man was going to give up his life.

There were great crowds at Jericho where Jesus found two blind men asking for mercy, so he healed them.  Then began the final ministry in Jerusalem with a triumphal entry.  Jesus sent two disciples from Bethpage to get a donkey and a colt because he needed them.  Thus, the prophecy of Zechariah might be fulfilled.  They brought the donkey and the colt to Jesus.  Then crowds welcomed the Son of David into Jerusalem as they began to wonder who this man was?

Jesus went into the Temple and chased out the money changers to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah.  When he cured people in the Temple, the chief priests were angry, but the little children praised him.

Then Jesus went to Bethany.  The next morning, he was hungry.  He saw a fig tree, but it had no figs, so he cursed the fig tree as it withered because of his faith.

People began to question where did Jesus get his authority?  Jesus responded with a question for a question.  He asked them about the value of the baptism of John.  They gave a timid response.  Then he told the parable about the two sons.  The first son said no at first, and then did the work, while the second son said yes and did not do the work.  Which son did the will of his father?  Thus, they did not believe John the Baptist.

Then Jesus told the parable about the wicked tenants.  This absentee land owner of the vineyard sent people to collect his rent.  Instead, the tenants beat and killed the landowner’s slaves.  He sent a second group that was also killed.  Then the tenants killed the landowner’s son.  Finally, the landowner came to take back his vineyard, citing Psalm 118 about the kingdom of God and the falling cornerstone.  The Pharisees understood this parable and tried to arrest Jesus.

Jesus continued to speak in parables.  This parable was about the king who gave a great wedding banquet.  However, the invited guests refused to come to the wedding banquet.  He sent out a second invitation to the wedding banquet, but they refused the second invitation also.  They treated his slaves badly.  The king was angry and sent out new invitations to the wedding feast.  Finally, a man without a wedding garment showed up, but he threw him out of the feast.  The explanation of this parable was that many are called, but few are chosen.

Next the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus by flattering him.  They asked him a question about taxes.  Jesus gave a harsh response as he had a dialogue about the Roman coin about whose image was on it.  Give Caesar his due.  The Pharisees and their disciples left.

However, the Sadducees asked a question about the resurrection.  There was a law about marrying the brother of a dead man.  There was a woman who married seven brothers, who was her husband in the resurrection?  Jesus responded that there was no marriage in the resurrection.  The living God of their ancestors would show them the way.  The crowd was astonished.

The Pharisees regrouped and wanted to know what is the greatest commandment?  Jesus responded about the two great commandments to love God and your neighbor.  Then Jesus asked the Pharisees a question.  Was the Christ the son of David?  Then who was the Lord for David?  After that there were no more questions for Jesus.

Jesus then cursed the Scribes and Pharisees.  He told his disciples to do what they say, but not what they do.  They tied up heavy burdens on the people.  They wore special clothing and sought the places of honor.  They want to be called Rabbis.  No one was your father or master.  Greatness comes with humility.  They tried to lock people out of heaven as they shut it off.  Even when they tried to make converts, they are like blind guides and fools.  They swore by the altar or the gift of the altar.  They swore by heaven, but they had forgotten the law.  They wanted the gnat out your eye but had a camel in their own eye.  They worried about the outside of the cup instead of the inside.  They were like whitewashed tombs.  They proclaimed reverence for the tombs of the prophets, but they were like their sinning ancestors. They were like serpents.  They would kill the prophets.  They spread innocent blood.  Soon the house of Jerusalem would be desolate.

Finally, there were the predictions about the end times.  Jesus left the Temple as he predicted its destruction.  What are the signs of the Parousia?  There would be the beginning of the great suffering so that they should not be lead astray.  There would be rumors of wars in those troubled times.  They would be persecuted for the sake of Jesus.  There would be betrayals and false prophets.  Love would grow cold.  Endurance would be necessary.  The importance of Daniel the prophet was emphasized.  In Judea, they would flee to the housetops.  It would be too late for the people in the fields.  This would be the wrong time to be pregnant or nursing.  There would be great tribulation, but the days would be short.

The end was coming because there would be false Christs and people looking for the Messiah.  The Son of Man would come on the clouds as the darkness in the skies appeared.  There would be a gathering of the chosen ones.  Using the parable of the fig tree, they could tell that the end was near.  This generation would pass away, but Jesus’ words would not pass away.  No one knew the day, since it would be like in the days of Noah.  Only one would be taken and the other left, so be ready.  Be a wise and faithful slave, not a wicked slave.

Jesus told the parable of the ten bridesmaids where half were wise and half foolish.  They all fell asleep.  When the bridegroom came, they all got up.  However, the foolish ones had no oil and wise ones said that there was not enough oil for both of them.  When the foolish left to get oil, they shut the door.  When they came back, the bridegroom said that he did not know them.  Thus, you do not know the day.

Next Jesus told the parable of the talents.  A man entrusted his assets to his slaves.  He gave them money.  One slave added five more talents, another added two more talents, but the third slave dug a hole and buried his money.  The master settled their accounts.  The slave with five talents got five more talents.  The slave with two talents got two more talents.  The slave with one talent was rebuked and punished.  Thus, there will be rewards and punishments at the end times.

In the last judgment, the Son of Man would appear in glory.  There would be sheep and goats, with the sheep on the right hand.  They had taken care of him.  They wondered when they had done this.  The Son of Man replied that they took care of him when they cared for the least of his brothers.  Then he told the goats on his left side to depart from him because they had not taken care of him when they did not care for the lowly people.  Thus, there would be eternal punishment or eternal reward.