The hairs of your head (Lk 12:7-12:7)

“But even the hairs

Of your head

Are all counted.

Do not be afraid!

You are of more value

Than many sparrows.”

 

ἀλλὰ καὶ αἱ τρίχες τῆς κεφαλῆς ὑμῶν πᾶσαι ἠρίθμηνται. μὴ φοβεῖσθε· πολλῶν στρουθίων διαφέρετε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued to talk about sparrows and humans.  Jesus said that even the hairs of their heads (ἀλλὰ καὶ αἱ τρίχες τῆς κεφαλῆς ὑμῶν) were all counted (πᾶσαι ἠρίθμηνται).  They were not to be afraid (μὴ φοβεῖσθε), since they were of more value than many sparrows (πολλῶν στρουθίων διαφέρετε).  This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:30-31, indicating a Q source.  Jesus, via Matthew, said that God, the Father, could number all the hairs on their head (μῶν δὲ καὶ αἱ τρίχες τῆς κεφαλῆς πᾶσαι ἠριθμημέναι εἰσίν).  They should not be afraid (μὴ οὖν φοβεῖσθε), because they are more valuable than many sparrows (πολλῶν στρουθίων διαφέρετε ὑμεῖς).  If God the Father cared for these insignificant birds, how much more was he concerned about humans.  There was a continual theme about not being afraid.  Do you think that you are more valuable than a few stray birds?

The power of the twelve (Lk 9:1-9:1)

“Then Jesus called

The twelve apostles together.

He gave them power

And authority

Over all the demons,

As well as

The power

And authority

To cure diseases.”

 

Συνκαλεσάμενος δὲ τοὺς δώδεκα ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δύναμιν καὶ ἐξουσίαν ἐπὶ πάντα τὰ δαιμόνια καὶ νόσους θεραπεύειν·

 

Luke said that Jesus called the 12 apostles together (Συνκαλεσάμενος δὲ τοὺς δώδεκα).  He gave them (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς) power (δύναμιν) and authority (καὶ ἐξουσίαν) over all the demons (πάντα τὰ δαιμόνια).  He also gave them the power and authority to cure diseases (καὶ νόσους θεραπεύειν).  This section about the power, the authority, and the mission of the 12 disciples or apostles is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:1, and Mark, chapter 6:7.  Mark said that Jesus summoned or called his 12 apostles, as he began to send them out 2 by 2.  He gave them authority over unclean or impure spirits.  Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons.  However, Mark did not mention curing diseases, illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness, just casting out the evil spirits that might have been the cause of their illnesses.  Matthew said that Jesus summoned or called to him his 12 disciples.  He called them disciples rather than the ambiguous “12.”  He gave them spiritual authority over unclean or impure spirits.  Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons.  They were also able to cure, treat, or heal all diseases, illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness.  In other words, Jesus was giving his own power or authority to cast out evil spirits and heal people to these 12 disciples or apostles.  This was a big deal.  The number 12 corresponded to the number of sons of Jacob or the 12 tribes of Israel.  This authority will be referred to later as the apostolic authority.  Jesus thus established these 12 disciples or apostles to carry on his work in casting out or exorcising evil spirits and curing people of their illnesses.  What do you think about this apostolic authority?

The swine go into the lake (Lk 8:33-8:33)

“Then the demons

Came out

Of the man.

They entered

The pigs.

The swine herd

Rushed down

The steep bank

Into the lake.

They were drowned.”

 

ἐξελθόντα δὲ τὰ δαιμόνια ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἰσῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους, καὶ ὥρμησεν ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ εἰς τὴν λίμνην καὶ ἀπεπνίγη.

 

Luke said that the demons came out of that man (ἐξελθόντα δὲ τὰ δαιμόνια ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  They entered the pigs (εἰσῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους).  The whole swine herd rushed down the steep bank (καὶ ὥρμησεν ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ) into the lake (εἰς τὴν λίμνην), where they drowned (καὶ ἀπεπνίγη).  All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:32, Mark, chapter 5:13, and Luke here, have Jesus cast out the demons into the nearby herd of pigs, with slight nuances in each story.  Mark said that Jesus allowed these evil spirits to have what they wanted.  However, Jesus showed his power.  The unclean spirit demons left the demoniac and entered the herd of pigs.  This herd then rushed down a steep bank into the sea.  Mark was the only synoptic to mention the number of pigs, 2,000, who were drowned or died in the sea.  Matthew said that Jesus then accommodated these evil spirits.  He told them to leave the 2 humans and go into the swine or pigs, which the demons did.  They entered the herd of pigs, but this herd then rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they died in the water.  There is one problem, pigs can swim, so some might have survived.  Perhaps the unfamiliarity of these Jewish authors with pigs may have led to this harsh ending.  Anyway, the pig herd, without a particular size or 2,000 of them as mentioned by Mark, with the unclean spirits, ran into the sea off a steep bank and perished.  Have you ever seen anyone or any animal drown?

The twelve apostles (Lk 6:13-6:13)

“When day came,

He called his disciples.

He chose

Twelve of them,

Whom he named apostles.”

 

καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἡμέρα, προσεφώνησεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐκλεξάμενος ἀπ’ αὐτῶν δώδεκα, οὓς καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν,

 

Luke said that when daylight or the day came (καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἡμέρα), Jesus called his disciples (προσεφώνησεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  However, he chose twelve of them (καὶ ἐκλεξάμενος ἀπ’ αὐτῶν δώδεκα), whom he named apostles (οὓς καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν).  The number 12 corresponded to the number of sons of Jacob or the 12 tribes of Israel.  These 12 had what was later referred to as apostolic authority.  Jesus thus established or picked out these 12 disciples to carry on his work.  The distinction was that disciples were learners or followers.  The apostles, on the other hand, were to be sent out on a mission to do something.  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 3:13-14, where Jesus called these special disciples, apostles, also.  Jesus called these 12 that he wanted to be with him.  They, of course, came to him.  Matthew, chapter 10:1, said that Jesus gave these 12 apostles authority to cast out unclean spirits just as he had done.  Jesus summoned or called his 12 apostles to give them spiritual authority over unclean or impure spirits.  Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons.  They were also able to cure, treat, or heal all diseases and illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness.  In other words, Jesus was giving his own power or authority to cast out evil spirits and heal people to these 12 apostles.  This was a big deal.

The disciples go to Bethsaida (Mk 6:45-6:45)

“Immediately,

Jesus made his disciples

Get into the boat.

They were to go on

Ahead of him,

To the other side,

To Bethsaida,

While he dismissed

The crowd.”

 

Καὶ εὐθὺς ἠνάγκασεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἐμβῆναι εἰς τὸ πλοῖον καὶ προάγειν εἰς τὸ πέραν πρὸς Βηθσαϊδάν, ἕως αὐτὸς ἀπολύει τὸν ὄχλον.

 

This incident is not found in Luke, but only in Matthew, chapter 14:22, and John, chapter 6:16-17.  Mark mentioned Bethsaida and John mentioned Capernaum, but Matthew did not name a place.  Mark said that Jesus made or urged his disciples to immediately get into the boat (Καὶ εὐθὺς ἠνάγκασεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἐμβῆναι εἰς τὸ πλοῖον) to go ahead of him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (καὶ προάγειν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ πέραν) to Bethsaida (πρὸς Βηθσαϊδάν).  Jesus stayed behind and dismissed the crowds (ἕως αὐτὸς ἀπολύει τὸν ὄχλον) after the great feeding.  Thus, his disciples went out in this boat without Jesus.  There was no mention of the number of disciples, but it could not have been many considering the size of these fishing boats.

Jesus sends out the apostles (Mk 6:7-6:7)

“Jesus called

The twelve.

He began

To send them out

Two by two.

He gave them authority

Over the unclean spirits.”

 

Καὶ προσκαλεῖται τοὺς δώδεκα, καὶ ἤρξατο αὐτοὺς ἀποστέλλειν δύο, καὶ ἐδίδου αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν ἀκαθάρτων,

 

This section about the authority and mission of the 12 disciples or apostles is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:1 and Luke, chapter 9:1.  Mark said that Jesus summoned or called (Καὶ προσκαλεῖται) his 12 apostles (τοὺς δώδεκα).  He began to send them out two by two (καὶ ἤρξατο αὐτοὺς ἀποστέλλειν δύο δύο).  He gave them authority over unclean or impure spirits (καὶ ἐδίδου αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν ἀκαθάρτων).  Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons, but there was no mention of curing diseases, illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness, just casting out the evil spirits that might have been the cause of their illnesses.  Jesus was giving his own power or authority to cast out evil spirits to these 12 apostles.  This was a big deal.  The number 12 corresponded to the number of sons of Jacob or the 12 tribes of Israel.  Jesus thus established these 12 apostles to carry on his work in casting out evil spirits.

The unclean spirits enter the swine (Mk 5:13-5:13)

“Thus,

Jesus gave them

Permission.

The unclean spirits

Came out.

They entered

The swine.

The herd,

Numbering about two thousand,

Rushed down

The steep bank

Into the sea.

They were drowned

In the sea.”

 

καὶ ἐπέτρεψεν αὐτοῖς. καὶ ἐξελθόντα τὰ πνεύματα τὰ ἀκάθαρτα εἰσῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους, καὶ ὥρμησεν ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, ὡς δισχίλιοι, καὶ ἐπνίγοντο ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ.

 

All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:32 and Luke, chapter 8:32-33, and Mark here, have Jesus cast out the demons into the herd of pigs nearby, with slight nuances in each story.  Jesus then accommodated or allowed what these evil spirits had wanted (καὶ ἐπέτρεψεν αὐτοῖς).  Then the unclean spirits demons left the demoniac (καὶ ἐξελθόντα τὰ πνεύματα τὰ ἀκάθαρτα).  They entered the herd of pigs (εἰσῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους).  This herd then rushed down a steep bank into the sea (καὶ ὥρμησεν ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν).  Mark was the only synoptic to mention the number of pigs, 2,000 (ὡς δισχίλιοι), who were drowned or died in the sea (καὶ ἐπνίγοντο ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ).  There is one problem, pigs can swim, so that some might have survived.  Perhaps the unfamiliarity of these Jewish authors with pigs may have led to this harsh ending.  Anyway, the 2,000-pig herd with the unclean spirits ran into the sea off a steep bank and perished.