Be like a child (Lk 18:17-18:17)

“Truly!

I say to you!

Whoever does not receive

The kingdom of God

As a little child

Will never enter it.”

 

ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ ὡς παιδίον, οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς αὐτήν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them with a solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that whoever did not receive (ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται) the kingdom of God (τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) as a little child (ὡς παιδίον) would never enter it (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς αὐτήν).  This Jesus saying put an emphasis on becoming a child to enter the kingdom.  Similar comments can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:15, as well as Matthew, chapters 18:3, with some minor changes.  Mark said that Jesus made a solemn proclamation “Truly! I say to you!’ (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).”  They had to receive the kingdom of God (ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) like a little child (ὡς παιδίον).  Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of God (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς αὐτήν).  Pure and simple, they had to have the attitude of a young child to enter the kingdom of God, just Luke mentioned here, almost word for word.  Matthew indicated that Jesus called or summoned a little child (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος παιδίον).  He placed this little child in the middle of his disciples (ἔστησεν αὐτὸ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν).  Then he made a solemn proclamation ‘Truly! I say to you!’ (καὶ εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  They had to change or convert to become like little children (ἐὰν μὴ στραφῆτε καὶ γένησθε ὡς τὰ παιδία).  Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of heaven (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν).  Whoever became humble like this little child in their midst (ὅστις οὖν ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὡς τὸ παιδίον τοῦτο), would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ μείζων ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν).  The greatest in heaven would be the simple humble little children or those who acted like children, without power and dependent on other people.  Luke and Mark did not have a long explanation about being humble like this little child to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Notice also that once again, Matthew emphasized the kingdom of heaven and not the kingdom of God.  Are you humble like a little child?

 

Blessed are these slaves! (Lk 12:38-12:38)

“If the lord comes

During the middle

Of the night,

Or near dawn,

And finds them so,

Blessed are those slaves!

 

κἂν ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ κἂν ἐν τῇ τρίτῃ φυλακῇ ἔλθῃ καὶ εὕρῃ οὕτως, μακάριοί εἰσιν ἐκεῖνοι.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus stated that these slaves had to be alert at night also, not just during the day.  Jesus said that if the lord came (ἔλθῃ) during the middle of the night, during the 2nd watch (κἂν ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ), or near dawn, during the 3rd watch (κἂν ἐν τῇ τρίτῃ φυλακῇ), and found them alert (καὶ εὕρῃ οὕτως), they would be blessed slaves (μακάριοί εἰσιν ἐκεῖνοι).  If the Lord found them alert at night, they would be happy, fortunate, or blessed.  Mark, chapter 13:35, said that Jesus warned his disciples to be vigilant.  They were to stay awake (γρηγορεῖτε οὖν) because they did not know (οὐκ οἴδατε) when the lord or the master of the house would come back (γὰρ πότε ὁ κύριος τῆς οἰκίας ἔρχεται).  It could be at some unexpected time, late in the evening (ἢ ὀψὲ), midnight (ἢ μεσονύκτιον), cockcrow (ἢ ἀλεκτοροφωνίας), or at morning dawn (ἢ πρωΐ).  Staying awake at night was a good idea.  Do you stay up late, waiting for people?

The lambs among the wolves (Lk 10:3-10:3)

“Go your way!

See!

I am sending you out

As lambs

Into the midst

Of wolves.”

 

ὑπάγετε· ἰδοὺ ἀποστέλλω ὑμᾶς ὡς ἄρνας ἐν μέσῳ λύκων.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they were to go on their way (ὑπάγετε).  He was going to send them out (ἰδοὺ ἀποστέλλω ὑμᾶς) as lambs (ὡς ἄρνας) in the middle of wolves (ἐν μέσῳ λύκων).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 10:16, perhaps indicating a Q source.  This was part of the remarks that Jesus gave as the admonitions to his 12 apostles.  Matthew indicated that Jesus was going to send them out like sheep in the middle of wolves.  Luke did not mention as Matthew had that Jesus told them that they had to be as wise, intelligent, shrewd, or sensible as serpents.  At the same time, they had to be as innocent, simple, unsophisticated, sincere, or blameless, as doves.  This was a tall order.  Here there was a simple statement without any explanation.  Are you more like a lamb or a wolf?

The little child (Lk 9:47-9:47)

“But Jesus

Became aware

Of their inner thoughts.

He took

A little child.

He put this child

By his side.”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἰδὼς τὸν διαλογισμὸν τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν, ἐπιλαβόμενος παιδίον ἔστησεν αὐτὸ παρ’ ἑαυτῷ,

 

Luke said that Jesus became aware of their inner heart thoughts (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἰδὼς τὸν διαλογισμὸν τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν).  He took a little child (ἐπιλαβόμενος παιδίον).  He put this child by his side (ἔστησεν αὐτὸ παρ’ ἑαυτῷ).  This talk about Jesus and the little child can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:2, as well as Mark, chapters 9:36, with some changes.  Mark said that Jesus took a little child.  He then placed this little child in the middle or among his disciples.  He held the child in his arms and then he spoke to his apostles.  Matthew indicated that Jesus put an emphasis on becoming like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Jesus called or summoned a little child.  He placed this little child in the middle of his disciples.  Then he made a solemn proclamation that they had to change or convert to become like little children.  Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of heaven   Whoever became humble like this little child in their midst, would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  The greatest in heaven would be the simple humble little children or those who acted like children, without power and depending on other people.  What do you think the role of children should be?

The seeds among the thorns (Lk 8:7-8:7)

“Some seeds fell

Among thorns.

The thorns

Grew with them.

Thus,

They choked them.”

 

καὶ ἕτερον ἔπεσεν ἐν μέσῳ τῶν ἀκανθῶν, καὶ συνφυεῖσαι αἱ ἄκανθαι ἀπέπνιξαν αὐτό.

 

This sower parable about the seeds among the thorns can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, in Matthew, chapter 13:7, Mark, chapter 4:7, and here, almost word for word.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that some seeds fell in the middle of thorns (καὶ ἕτερον ἔπεσεν ἐν μέσῳ τῶν ἀκανθῶν).  The thorns grew with them (καὶ συνφυεῖσαι), so that they choked them (αἱ ἄκανθαι ἀπέπνιξαν αὐτό).  Matthew and Mark said pretty much the same thing that the final group of unsuccessful seeds fell among the thorns where they were choked by the growing thorns.  Thus, these seeds did not give or yield any fruitful grain.  Have you done things that were unsuccessful?

The response of Jesus (Lk 6:8-6:8)

“Even though

He knew what

They were thinking,

He said

To the man

Who had the withered hand.

‘Get up!

Stand in the middle!’

He got up.

He stood there.”

 

αὐτὸς δὲ ᾔδει τοὺς διαλογισμοὺς αὐτῶν, εἶπεν δὲ τῷ ἀνδρὶ τῷ ξηρὰν ἔχοντι τὴν χεῖρα Ἔγειρε καὶ στῆθι εἰς τὸ μέσον· καὶ ἀναστὰς ἔστη.

 

Luke said that even though Jesus knew what they were thinking (αὐτὸς δὲ ᾔδει τοὺς διαλογισμοὺς αὐτῶν), he said (εἶπεν) to the man with the withered hand (δὲ τῷ ἀνδρὶ τῷ ξηρὰν ἔχοντι τὴν χεῖρα) to get up (Ἔγειρε) and stand there in the middle of them (καὶ στῆθι εἰς τὸ μέσον).  The man got up (καὶ ἀναστὰς) and stood there (ἔστη).  This is similar to Mark, chapter 3:3, while Matthew, chapter 12:11-12, had Jesus go on to talk about saving lost sheep on the Sabbath.  Mark simply indicated that Jesus said to the man with the withered hand to come to him, somewhat like Luke here.

Go through the roof (Lk 5:19-5:19)

“But they found

No way

To bring him in,

Because of the crowd.

They went up

On the roof.

They let him down,

With his bed,

Through the tiles

Into the middle

Of the crowd,

In front of Jesus.”

 

καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες ποίας εἰσενέγκωσιν αὐτὸν διὰ τὸν ὄχλον, ἀναβάντες ἐπὶ τὸ δῶμα διὰ τῶν κεράμων καθῆκαν αὐτὸν σὺν τῷ κλινιδίῳ εἰς τὸ μέσον ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Ἰησοῦ.

 

Luke said that these men could not find a way to bring him into the house (καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες ποίας εἰσενέγκωσιν αὐτὸν), because of the crowd (διὰ τὸν ὄχλον).  Thus, they went up on the roof housetop (ἀναβάντες ἐπὶ τὸ δῶμα).  They let the paralyzed man down (καθῆκαν αὐτὸν), still on his bed (σὺν τῷ κλινιδίῳ), through the tiles (διὰ τῶν κεράμων) in the middle of the crowd (εἰς τὸ μέσον), in front of Jesus (ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Ἰησοῦ).  Although Matthew, chapter 9:2, never mentioned this roof opening, Mark, chapter 2:4, said that they were not able to bring this paralytic to Jesus.  Thus, they dug through or gouged out a hole in the roof, so that they let down the paralyzed man lying on his bed through this hole in the roof.  This large crowd of people would have this paralyzed man on a bed come through the roof in the middle of the house.  What a sight!  As a little kid, this story really struck me.  The story in Luke had a tile roof, while in Mark, it was like a mud roof.