Look at my son (Lk 9:38-9:38)

“Just then,

A man

From the crowd

Shouted out.


I beg you

To look at my son!

He is my only child.’”


καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου ἐβόησεν λέγων Διδάσκαλε, δέομαί σου ἐπιβλέψαι ἐπὶ τὸν υἱόν μου, ὅτι μονογενής μοί ἐστιν,


Luke said that just then a man from the crowd shouted out (ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου ἐβόησεν λέγων) “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε)!”  He begged Jesus to look at his son (δέομαί σου ἐπιβλέψαι ἐπὶ τὸν υἱόν μου) who was his only child (ὅτι μονογενής μοί ἐστιν).  Jesus and Luke had an affection for only children.  This story of the man with the incurable son can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:15, Mark, chapter 9:17-18, and here in Luke, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Mark said that it was someone from the crowd who spoke to Jesus, not a kneeling man as in Matthew.  This man addressed Jesus as “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε),” like Luke, and not as “Lord (Κύριε)” as in Matthew.  He had brought his son to Jesus because his son had a spirit that made him unable to speak.  He was not immediately identified as an epileptic, but as a mute person.  Matthew said that a man approached Jesus and knelt before him.  Only Matthew has this man kneel in front of Jesus.  Thus, this was a kneeling man, not someone from the crowd yelling out to Jesus.  This man addressed Jesus as the Lord (Κύριε).  He wanted Jesus to have mercy on his son, who was an epileptic, not mute.  Epileptics were often considered to be possessed by the devil.  Even today, we are still unsure of the exact cause of epilepsy seizures.  This man’s son suffered very badly.  He often fell into a fire and into water.  Have you ever known a chronically sick child?

Tobias has some hesitations (Tob 6:14-6:15)

“Then Tobias said in answer to Raphael.

‘Brother Azariah,

I have heard that she has been married to seven husbands.

Each one died in the bridal chamber.

On the night when they went in to her,

They would die.

I have people saying that it was a demon that killed them.

It does not harm her.

However, it kills anyone who desires to approach her.

Now, since I am the only son my father has,

I am afraid that I may die.

This would bring my father’s and mother’s life down to their grave, Grieving for me.

They have no other son to bury them.’”

I am not sure how Tobias had heard about the 7 dead husbands of Sarah. However, he was fearful that the same thing would happen to him. He too was an only child. If something happened to him, his parents would grieve so much that they might die. There would be no one to bury them since he had died.

The prayer of Sarah (Tob 3:11-3:15)

“At that same time, with hands outstretched toward the window, she prayed and said.

‘Blessed are you,

Merciful God!

Blessed is your name forever!

Let all your works praise you forever!

Now, Lord,

I turn my face to you.

Command that I be released from the earth

And not listen to such reproaches any more.

You know, O Lord,

That I am innocent of any defilement with a man.

I have not disgraced my name

Or the name of my father in the land of my exile.

I am my father’s only child.

He has no other child to be his heir.

He has no close relative or other kindred,

For whom I should keep myself as wife.

Already seven husbands of mine have died.

Why should I live?

But if it is not pleasing to you,

O Lord, to take my life,

Hear me in my disgrace.’”

This is s classical Jewish prayer. The merciful God is asked to intercede in a difficult situation. God is blessed and his name shall last forever. Sarah wants to be released from this earth. She is tired of listening to reproaches. She has not defiled herself. She has not disgraced herself or her father. She is an only child and there will be no heir. There is no kinsman to marry since 7 have died in trying to marry her. Why should she live? She wanted God to take her life because she was in disgrace.

The distress of Sarah (Tob 3:10-3:10)

“On that day, she was grieved in spirit and wept. When she had gone up to her father’s upper room, she intended to hang herself. But she thought it over and said.

‘Never shall they reproach my father, saying to him.

‘You had only one beloved daughter

But she hanged herself because of her distress.’

I shall bring my father in his old age down in sorrow to Hades.

It is better for me not to hang myself.

Rather I will pray to the Lord that I may die,

So that I will not listen to these reproaches anymore.’”

Like Tobit, she is distressed and depressed. She even thought of hanging herself. However, she was an only child and did not want to disgrace her father. She did not want to make him sad in his old age and thus send him to Hades. She decided that she would pray to the Lord instead of listening to these reproaches. This work has a lot of talk about the afterlife, eternal life, and Hades.