Jesus goes to Nain (Lk 7:11-7:11)

“Soon afterward,

Jesus went

To a town

Called Nain.

His disciples

And a large crowd

Went with him.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς ἐπορεύθη εἰς πόλιν καλουμένην Ναΐν, καὶ συνεπορεύοντο αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ ὄχλος πολύς.

 

Luke has this unique story about the town of Nain, a small Galilean town about 23 miles southwest of Capernaum and about 6 miles southeast of Nazareth.  This took place the day after the events with the centurion (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς).  Jesus went to a town called Nain (ἐπορεύθη εἰς πόλιν καλουμένην Ναΐν).  His disciples (οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ) with a large crowd (καὶ ὄχλος πολύς) also went with him (καὶ συνεπορεύοντο αὐτῷ).  There is no indication why they went to this small town that is not mentioned elsewhere in the biblical works, but only here in Luke.  Have you ever lived in a small town?

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Capernaum (Lk 4:31-4:31)

“Jesus went down

To Capernaum,

A city in Galilee.

He was teaching them

On the Sabbath.”

 

Καὶ κατῆλθεν εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ πόλιν τῆς Γαλιλαίας. καὶ ἦν διδάσκων αὐτοὺς ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν·

 

Luke said that Jesus went down to Capernaum (Καὶ κατῆλθεν εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ), a city in Galilee (πόλιν τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  He was teaching them (καὶ ἦν διδάσκων αὐτοὺς) on the Sabbath (ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν).  There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 1:21, where Jesus was teaching on the Sabbath in Capernaum.  Matthew, chapter 4:13, mentioned that Jesus set up his home in Capernaum.  John, chapter 2:12, said that he went with his family to Capernaum for a few days.  Capernaum was about 20 miles northeast of Nazareth, probably a fishing village of about 1,500 people at that time, on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee, in the old Israelite tribal territory of Naphtali.  Obviously, there was some sort of Sabbath worship taking place there.  Jesus went there, but the fact that he taught there might seem a little strange, if he had not been invited to do so.  Capernaum became the unofficial headquarters for the ministry of Jesus in Galilee.

They try to kill Jesus (Lk 4:29-4:29)

“They got up.

They drove Jesus

Out of town.

They led him

To the ridge

Of the hill

On which their town

Was built.

They wanted

To hurl him

Off the cliff.”

 

καὶ ἀναστάντες ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως, καὶ ἤγαγον αὐτὸν ἕως ὀφρύος τοῦ ὄρους ἐφ’ οὗ ἡ πόλις ᾠκοδόμητο αὐτῶν, ὥστε κατακρημνίσαι αὐτόν·

 

Luke alone said that they acted out their anger.  They got up (καὶ ἀναστάντες) from the synagogue.  They drove Jesus out of town (ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως).  They led him to the top or the ridge of the hill (καὶ ἤγαγον αὐτὸν ἕως ὀφρύος τοῦ ὄρους) on which their town was built (ἐφ’ οὗ ἡ πόλις ᾠκοδόμητο αὐτῶν).  They wanted to hurl him off the cliff (ὥστε κατακρημνίσαι αὐτόν).  One problem is that Nazareth was a flat town with no hills or cliffs.  Some commentators say that they meant to stone him, but the text does not say that.  However, they did not like his teachings about going to non-Jewish people and not doing any miracles in his home town.

They became angry (Lk 4:28-4:28)

“When they heard this,

All in the synagogue

Were filled

With rage.”

 

καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες θυμοῦ ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ ἀκούοντες ταῦτα,

 

Luke continued his unique story.  He said that all the people in the synagogue (ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ) in Nazareth, when they had heard this (ἀκούοντες ταῦτα), they were filled with rage (καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες θυμοῦ).  After telling these 2 episodes about these 9th century BCE prophets that helping non-Israelites a 1,000 years earlier, this crowd was not pleased.  In fact, they were really angry that Jesus was not going to do any miracles there.

Heal yourself (Lk 4:23-4:23)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Doubtless

You will quote

To me

This proverb.

‘Physician!

Cure yourself!’

You will say.

‘Do here also

In your hometown

The things

That we have heard

You did at Capernaum.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Πάντως ἐρεῖτέ μοι τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην Ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν· ὅσα ἠκούσαμεν γενόμενα εἰς τὴν Καφαρναοὺμ, ποίησον καὶ ὧδε ἐν τῇ πατρίδι σου.

 

This is another unique passage by Luke, who indicated that Jesus spoke to those in the synagogue.  Jesus said to them (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς), as interpreting their thoughts.  Surely or doubtless (Πάντως), they would quote him this proverb (ἐρεῖτέ μοι τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην) about a physician healing himself (Ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν).  They would want him to do in his hometown (ποίησον καὶ ὧδε ἐν τῇ πατρίδι σου) what they had heard that he had done in Capernaum (ὅσα ἠκούσαμεν γενόμενα εἰς τὴν Καφαρναοὺμ).  However, Luke had not talked about Capernaum before this, since it comes up later in this chapter 4:31-32.  In fact, Mark, chapter 2:1, called Capernaum Jesus’ home, as if like a second hometown for Jesus.  Matthew, chapter 4:13, mentioned that Jesus set up his home in Capernaum.  John, chapter 2:12, said that he went with his family to Capernaum for a few days.  Mark, chapter 1:21, had Jesus perform his first miracles in Capernaum.  Capernaum was about 20 miles northeast of Nazareth, probably a fishing village of about 1,500 people at that time, on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee, in the old Israelite tribal territory of Naphtali.

Joseph’s son (Lk 4:22-4:22)

“All spoke well of him.

They were amazed

At the gracious words

That came

From his mouth.

They said.

‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’”

 

καὶ πάντες ἐμαρτύρουν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις τῆς χάριτος τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔλεγον Οὐχὶ υἱός ἐστιν Ἰωσὴφ οὗτος;

 

This story of Jesus astonishing the people in Nazareth can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 6:2, and Matthew, chapter 13:54, and Luke here.  Luke said that all the people in the synagogue spoke well or testified in favor of Jesus (καὶ πάντες ἐμαρτύρουν αὐτῷ).  They were amazed at the gracious words (καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις τῆς χάριτος) that came from his mouth (τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ).  At first, they were excited about how good Jesus was.  Then they said (καὶ ἔλεγον) was he not Joseph’s son (Οὐχὶ υἱός ἐστιν Ἰωσὴφ οὗτος)?  Thus, they were astonished and wondered where did he get all his wisdom.  They seemed surprised that Jesus was so smart or so important.  They would have known him for some time as merely the son of Joseph in Nazareth.

The scroll of Isaiah (Lk 4:17-4:17)

“The scroll

Of the prophet Isaiah

Was given to Jesus.

He unrolled

The scroll.

He found the place

Where it was written.”

 

καὶ ἐπεδόθη αὐτῷ βιβλίον τοῦ προφήτου Ἡσαΐου, καὶ ἀνοίξας τὸ βιβλίον εὗρεν τὸν τόπον οὗ ἦν γεγραμμένον

 

This is unique to Luke, who described in detail what was happening at a Sabbath service in Nazareth.  The question would be whether this small town could afford a synagogue or have a special scroll of the prophet Isaiah.  Luke said that a scroll of the prophet Isaiah (βιβλίον τοῦ προφήτου Ἡσαΐου) was given to Jesus (καὶ ἐπεδόθη αὐτῷ).  Although the Greek word for a book βιβλίον was used, it would have been extremely rare to have a book, since even today, the scroll is used more often.  Jesus then unrolled this scroll (καὶ ἀνοίξας τὸ βιβλίον), until he found the place where it was written (εὗρεν τὸν τόπον οὗ ἦν γεγραμμένον) about what he was looking for.  This would have been the common practice at a synagogue, but it certainly was not a book, but rather a scroll.