Luke indicated that Jesus said that as soon as the trees sprout leaves (ὅταν προβάλωσιν ἤδη), they can see and know for themselves (βλέποντες ἀφ’ ἑαυτῶν γινώσκετε) that summer was already near (ὅτι ἤδη ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν). This was almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 24:32, and Mark, chapter 13:28. Mark indicated that Jesus said that as soon as the tree’s branches or shoots became tender (ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς ἁπαλὸς γένηται), it would put forth its leaves (καὶ ἐκφύῃ τὰ φύλλα). Then they would know that summer was near (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν). Matthew indicated that Jesus said that as soon as the tree’s branches or shoots became tender (ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς γένηται ἁπαλὸς), the tree would put forth its leaves (καὶ τὰ φύλλα ἐκφύῃ). Then they would know that summer was near (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος). In other words, the early leaves on a tree indicated that summer was coming. Let’s hope that summer keeps on coming. Do you like spring time?
Luke indicated that Jesus said (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that they should be aware (Βλέπετε) and not be led astray (ὴ πλανηθῆτε) because many people would come in his name (πολλοὶ γὰρ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου). They would say (λέγοντες) that they were Jesus (Ἐγώ εἰμι) and that the end time was near (καί Ὁ καιρὸς ἤγγικεν). However, they were not to go after them (μὴ πορευθῆτε ὀπίσω αὐτῶν). There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:4-5, and in Mark, chapter 13:5-6, almost word for word. Mark said that Jesus began to tell them about people who might lead them astray (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἤρξατο λέγειν αὐτοῖς). He told them that they should be aware, so that they would not be led astray or be misled (Βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς πλανήσῃ). They had to be cautious, so as not to be deceived. Jesus said that many people would come in his name (πολλοὶ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου) saying that they were the One (λέγοντες ὅτι Ἐγώ εἰμι). They would try to deceive them by leading them astray (καὶ πολλοὺς πλανήσουσιν). In Matthew, Jesus warned them against people who might lead them astray (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς πλανήσῃ). Many people would come in his name (πολλοὶ γὰρ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου) saying that they were the Messiah Christ (λέγοντες Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Χριστός). Matthew explicitly mentioned the Christ, but this was not in the other accounts. They would say this in order to deceive them and lead them astray (καὶ πολλοὺς πλανήσουσιν). Apparently, there were many deceptive Jewish messianic leaders who were saying that they were the Christ Messiah. John the Baptist was an example of a messianic leader in the 1st century CE. Other political Jewish leaders had messianic ambitions also, especially those who led the revolt against the Romans in the 2nd half of the 1st century. Jesus was warning against all of them. Have people tried to deceive you?
Luke uniquely said that as Jesus came near (Καὶ ὡς ἤγγισεν) to Jerusalem, he saw the city (ἰδὼν τὴν πόλιν) and wept over it (ἔκλαυσεν ἐπ’ αὐτήν). However, this was the second time that he lamented about the situation in Jerusalem as he had earlier in chapter 13:33-34 about Jerusalem killing its prophets. Jesus sadly entered the city after the rousing entrance in the preceding verses. He was acutely aware of the sufferings and problems to come for himself, the city, and its people. Have you ever wept over a city?
Luke indicated that these two sent unnamed disciples (δὲ οἱ ἀπεσταλμένοι) left (ἀπελθόντες) and found things (εὗρον καθὼς) just as Jesus had told them (καθὼς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς). Everything was going according to the plan laid out by Jesus. Matthew, chapter 21:6, and Mark, chapter 11:4, are somewhat similar. Mark indicated that the two disciples went away or departed (καὶ ἀπῆλθον). They did just as Jesus had directed or commanded them to do. They found a colt tied near a door (καὶ εὗρον πῶλον δεδεμένον πρὸς θύραν), outside in the open street (ἔξω ἐπὶ τοῦ ἀμφόδου). Then they untied it (καὶ λύουσιν αὐτόν). Everything seemed to be going according to plan. In Matthew, chapter 21:6, the two disciples went out (πορευθέντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ). They did just as Jesus had directed or commanded them to do (καὶ ποιήσαντες καθὼς συνέταξεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς). They brought the donkey and the colt back (ἤγαγον τὴν ὄνον καὶ τὸν πῶλον) to Jesus. However, Matthew, chapter 21:4-5, preceded this with a quotation from Zechariah, chapter 9:9, one of the 12 minor prophets that lived in the 6th century BCE under Persian rule. This prophet Zechariah had said that the new king would be humble, mild, or gentle, but mounted on a donkey and a colt. However, this was a misreading of the prophet, since Zechariah had spoken of a young colt donkey, not two separate animals. Matthew used this passage to show how Jesus was the expected Israelite king, the prince of peace. Matthew’s intention was clear. Jesus was the expected messiah king. Have you ever misread something?
Luke said that Jesus drew near to Bethphage (Καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤγγισεν εἰς Βηθφαγὴ), a village on the way from Jericho to Jerusalem, and Bethany (καὶ Βηθανίαν), about a mile and a half east of Jerusalem, near the place called the Mount of Olives (πρὸς τὸ ὄρος τὸ καλούμενον Ἐλαιῶν), overlooking the Kidron Valley. Jesus sent out 2 of his disciples (ἀπέστειλεν δύο τῶν μαθητῶν). Both Matthew, chapter 21:1, and Mark, chapter 11:1, are almost word for word to what is here. Mark said that when they were approaching near to Jerusalem (Καὶ ὅτε ἐγγίζουσιν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus then sent out 2 disciples (ἀποστέλλει δύο τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ). They were at Bethphage (εἰς Βηθφαγὴ) and Bethany (καὶ Βηθανίαν), near the Mount of Olives (πρὸς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν), not far from Jerusalem. Matthew said that when they got near to Jerusalem (Καὶ ὅτε ἤγγισαν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus then sent out 2 disciples (τότε Ἰησοῦς ἀπέστειλεν δύο μαθητὰς). They were at Bethphage (καὶ ἦλθον εἰς Βηθφαγὴ), near the Mount of Olives (εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν). Matthew did not mention Bethany. John had nothing about this at all. Have you ever been to Jerusalem?
Luke indicated that when the blind beggar came near to Jesus (ἐγγίσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ), he asked him (ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτόν) what he wanted Jesus to do for him (Τί σοι θέλεις ποιήσω). The blind beggar replied (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν), calling Jesus the Lord (Κύριε), that he wanted to see again (ἵνα ἀναβλέψω). Both Mark, chapter 10:51, and Matthew, chapter 20:32-33, are similar. Mark indicated that Jesus responded to Bartimaeus (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς). He wanted to know what he wished that Jesus could do for him (εἶπεν Τί θέλεις ποιήσω). The blind Bartimaeus replied to Jesus (ὁ δὲ τυφλὸς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) by addressing him as Rabbi or master teacher (Ῥαββουνεί). He wanted to see again, to regain his sight (ἵνα ἀναβλέψω). This did not seem that unusual. Matthew said that Jesus called (ἐφώνησεν αὐτοὺς) the two blind men. He wanted to know what they wanted him to do for them (καὶ εἶπεν Τί θέλετε ποιήσω ὑμῖν). They then called Jesus Lord (λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Κύριε). They wanted their eyes opened (ἵνα ἀνοιγῶσιν οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἡμῶν) so that they could see. In all three synoptics, the blind man or men wanted to see again, a simple request. Do you want to see better?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that on that day (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ) of the coming of the Son of Man at the end times, anyone on the housetop (ὃς ἔσται ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος), who has belongings in the house (καὶ τὰ σκεύη αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ), must not come down to take them away (μὴ καταβάτω ἆραι αὐτά). Likewise, anyone in the field (καὶ ὁ ἐν ἀγρῷ ὁμοίως) must not turn back to the things left behind (μὴ ἐπιστρεψάτω εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω). This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 24:17-18, and Mark, chapter 13:15-16. Mark indicated that Jesus said that during these end times, the people on the housetop or roofs of their houses (ὁ ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος) should not go down (μὴ καταβάτω) and enter their house (μηδὲ εἰσελθάτω τι) to take anything out of there (ἆραι τὰ ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ). It would be useless to do so, as the world was coming to an end. If they were in the field working (καὶ ὁ εἰς τὸν ἀγρὸν), they were not to turn back or return to their house (μὴ ἐπιστρεψάτω εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω) to get or take a coat or outer garment (ἆραι τὸ ἱμάτιον αὐτοῦ). Jesus, via Matthew, said that during this end time, the people on the housetop or roofs of their houses (ὁ ἐπὶ τοῦ δώματος) should not go down (μὴ καταβάτω) to take things out of their houses (ἆραι τὰ ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ). If they were in the field working (καὶ ὁ ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ), they were not to turn back or return to their house (μὴ ἐπιστρεψάτω ὀπίσω) to get or take a coat or outer garment (ἆραι τὸ ἱμάτιον αὐτοῦ). They had no need for clothes because the end was near. What would you want to take from your house if the world was coming to an end?
Luke uniquely talked about Jesus and his closeness to sinners and tax collectors, although there are indications like this elsewhere. Luke said that all the tax collectors (πάντες οἱ τελῶναι) and sinners (καὶ οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ) were coming near (Ἦσαν δὲ αὐτῷ ἐγγίζοντες) to listen to Jesus (ἀκούειν αὐτοῦ). Perhaps this was an exaggeration when he said all tax collectors, but certainly quite a few. These sinners were the ones willing to listen to Jesus. Tax collectors were considered tools of the Roman authorities and linked with the public sinners as not part of the righteous social strata in Israel. Do you know any public sinners?
Luke indicated that Jesus told the 70 disciples what they were to say and do, just like the 12 apostles in chapter 9:4. They were to say (εἴπατε), in the street of any town that did not welcome them, that they they were going to wipe off even the dust (Καὶ τὸν κονιορτὸν) of their town (ἐκ τῆς πόλεως) that clung to their feet (τὸν κολληθέντα ἡμῖν…εἰς τοὺς πόδας), as a protest against them (ἀπομασσόμεθα ὑμῖν). Nevertheless, they should know (πλὴν τοῦτο γινώσκετε) that the kingdom of God has come near (ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ). Earlier Luke, chapter 9:4, had indicated that Jesus said to his 12 apostle that wherever town did not welcome them, as they were leaving that town, they were to shake the dust off their feet as a testimony or witness against them. Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:14-15, and Mark, chapter 6:11. Mark indicated that Jesus said that if any place would not receive them or listen to their words, they were to leave that place. They should shake off the dust from their feet, as a witness or testimony against them. This indicated that the dust of that house was useless. Despite their unwelcome attitude, Jesus wanted these 70 disciples to let the people of this town know that the kingdom of God was near. Have you ever shaken the dust of your feet in front of anyone as a protest?
Luke indicated that Jesus told these 70 disciples to heal the sick people (καὶ θεραπεύετε τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ ἀσθενεῖς). There was no mention of casting out demons or evil spirits. They were to tell the people (καὶ λέγετε αὐτοῖς) that the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) had come near to them (Ἤγγικεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς). There was no exact equivalent to this passage in the other gospels. However, Matthew, chapter 10:8 said that the 12 apostles were to do what Jesus had been doing. They were to heal or cure the sick or ailing people. They were to raise up the dead, a difficult task. They were to cleanse the lepers, and cast out the demons. Since they had not paid to get this gift to be an apostle, so thus they should not receive any payment for their work as an apostle. They should give freely of their own time since this was not a money-making project. The idea of the kingdom of God coming near was also present in Matthew, chapter 10:7. There, Jesus wanted the 12 apostles to go and proclaim that the kingdom of heaven was at hand or near. This was exactly the same teaching as John the Baptist, word for word, as in Matthew, chapter 3:2. This connection of the message of John and Jesus was very strong in Matthew. Luke was more precise, since the kingdom of God was coming near, they ought to be alert. Do you think that the kingdom of God is close at hand?