Stay at Zacchaeus’ house (Lk 19:5-19:5)

“When Jesus

Came to this place,

He looked up.

He said to him.

‘Zacchaeus!

Hurry!

Come down!

I must stay

At your house today!’”

 

καὶ ὡς ἦλθεν ἐπὶ τὸν τόπον, ἀναβλέψας ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν Ζακχαῖε, σπεύσας κατάβηθι· σήμερον γὰρ ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ σου δεῖ με μεῖναι.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that when Jesus came to this place (καὶ ὡς ἦλθεν ἐπὶ τὸν τόπον), he looked up (ἀναβλέψας ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  Then, he called Zacchaeus by name (Ζακχαῖε).  Jesus told him (ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν) to quickly come down from the tree (σπεύσας κατάβηθι·), because today it was necessary or proper for Jesus to stay at his house (σήμερον γὰρ ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ σου δεῖ με μεῖναι).  How did Jesus know his name?  Had they met each other before?  Luke was the only synoptic with this story of Zacchaeus.  Would you stay at the house of a stranger?

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Lazarus (Lk 16:20-16:20)

“At his gate,

Lay a poor man

Named Lazarus,

Covered with sores.”

 

πτωχὸς δέ τις ὀνόματι Λάζαρος ἐβέβλητο πρὸς τὸν πυλῶνα αὐτοῦ εἱλκωμένος

 

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 a certain poor beggar (πτωχὸς δέ τις) lay at the gate of this rich man (ἐβέβλητο πρὸς τὸν πυλῶνα αὐτοῦ).  He was named Lazarus (ὀνόματι Λάζαρος) and was covered with sores (εἱλκωμένος).  Once again, Luke is the only one in all the biblical literature to use this Greek word εἱλκωμένος that means to wound, to ulcerate, or to suffer from sores.  It was also unusual to give a name to this poor person, since most of the Jesus parables usually had unnamed people.  The rich man was unnamed.  Was this Lazarus connected to the brother of Martha and Mary in John, chapter 11?  From this story, we know that Lazarus was poor and had many sores.  There was no attempt to line him up with the women of Bethany, Martha and Mary.  Do you personally know a poor person?

See you later! (Lk 13:35-13:35)

“See!

Your house is forsaken!

I tell you!

You will not see me

Until the time comes

When you say.

‘Blessed is the one

Who comes

In the name

Of the Lord!’”

 

ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν. λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν, οὐ μὴ ἴδητέ με ἕως ἥξει ὅτε εἴπητε Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to Jerusalem that nothing of their house was left for them as it will be forsaken (ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν), using the second person singular.  With a solemn pronouncement (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν), Jesus said that they would not see him, Jesus (οὐ μὴ ἴδητέ με) until the time came when they said (ἕως ἥξει ὅτε εἴπητε) the Hallel Psalm 118:26, “Blessed is the one who comes (Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος) in the name of the Lord (ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου)!”  Both Luke and Matthew, chapter 23:38-39, have this desolation of Jerusalem, almost word for word, so that this may be a Q source.  Matthew was more detailed.  He indicated that Jesus said that their house of worship would be left desolate at its destruction (ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν), because Yahweh God would abandon the Temple of Jerusalem.  In a solemn pronouncement (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν), they would not see him again (οὐ μή με ἴδητε ἀπ’ ἄρτι), until they would say the Hallel Psalm 118:26 about blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord (ἕως ἂν εἴπητε Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου).  This was a warning against the powerless Temple of Jerusalem, perhaps indicating that Temple had already been destroyed by the time of this writing.  Does the destruction of the church Notre Dame de Paris sound like the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple to you?

Not against you (Lk 9:50-9:50)

“But Jesus

Said to him.

‘Do not stop him!

Whoever

Is not against you

Is for you.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν Ἰησοῦς Μὴ κωλύετε· ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν καθ’ ὑμῶν, ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐστιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told them (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν Ἰησοῦς) not to stop (Μὴ κωλύετε) this exorcist who was casting out demons in the name of Jesus.  Jesus said that whoever is not against them (ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν καθ’ ὑμῶν) is for them (ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐστιν).  There is a similar statement to this in Mark, chapter 9:39-40, but not in MatthewMark indicated that Jesus told them not to stop or prevent this exorcist who used his name.  Jesus said that no one who did a deed of exorcistic power in his name would be able to easily or readily speak evil of him, after what they had done.  You were a friend until you became an enemy.  If they were not against Jesus, then they must be for him.  Do you think that anybody is really against you?

Elijah or ancient prophets (Lk 9:8-9:8)

“Some others said

That Elijah had appeared.

Others said

That one of the ancient prophets

Had risen.”

 

ὑπό τινων δὲ ὅτι Ἡλείας ἐφάνη, ἄλλων δὲ ὅτι προφήτης τις τῶν ἀρχαίων ἀνέστη.

 

Luke said that some people said Jesus was the appearance of Elijah (ὑπό τινων δὲ ὅτι Ἡλείας ἐφάνη).  Others said that Jesus was one of the ancient prophets who had risen (ἄλλων δὲ ὅτι προφήτης τις τῶν ἀρχαίων ἀνέστη).  There was nothing about this speculation in Matthew.  However, Mark, chapter 6:15, had something similar, almost word for word.  Some people said that Jesus was Elijah.  Still others said that he was a prophet, like the former ancient prophets.  Elijah was a 9th century BCE northern Israelite prophet whose work can be found in the Old Testament Books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.  There was no doubt that the role of Elijah dominated late Jewish thought at the time of Jesus, with his name appearing around John the Baptist, the transfiguration, and the death of Jesus.  The prophets were the holy men of Hebrew scripture who brought the word of Yahweh to his people.  Who would you compare Jesus to?

The legion of demons (Lk 8:30-8:30)

“Jesus then asked him.

‘What is your name?’

He said.

‘Legion!’

Many demons

Had entered him.”

 

ἐπηρώτησεν δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς Τί σοι ὄνομά ἐστιν; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Λεγιών, ὅτι εἰσῆλθεν δαιμόνια πολλὰ εἰς αὐτόν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus then asked this possessed man (ἐπηρώτησεν δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς) what his name was (Τί σοι ὄνομά ἐστιν)?  The man responded (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that his name was “Legion (Λεγιών),” because many demons had entered him (ὅτι εἰσῆλθεν δαιμόνια πολλὰ εἰς αὐτόν).  There is nothing like this question in the Matthew gospel story.  However, this is similar to Mark, chapter 5:9.  This famous question and answer has taken on a life of its own in many apocalyptic works about evil spirits.  Mark indicated that Jesus questioned this man with the unclean spirit about what his name was?  It was common in most expulsions of evil spirits to know the name of the one being expelled, in order to control them.  The man with the unclean spirit responded to Jesus that his name was “Legion (Λεγιὼν ὄνομά μοι),” a Latin term.  A Roman legion would have been about 6,000 men.  Thus, the unclean spirit was responding that he had many unclean spirits, perhaps as many as 6,000.  What do you think about unclean evil spirits?