Luke indicated that Jesus looked up (Ἀναβλέψας δὲ). He saw (εἶδεν τοὺς) rich people (πλουσίους) putting, casting, or dropping their gifts into the treasury (βάλλοντας εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον τὰ δῶρα αὐτῶν). Only Mark, chapter 21:41, has something similar, but in a more expansive form, while Matthew did not mention this incident. Mark said that Jesus sat down opposite the treasury (Καὶ καθίσας κατέναντι τοῦ γαζοφυλακίου), that was a room in the Temple. This room probably had many large containers, probably twelve receptacles for the various Israelite tribes, to put gifts into. He watched how the crowds of people put money into the treasury containers (ἐθεώρει πῶς ὁ ὄχλος βάλλει χαλκὸν εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον). Many rich people put in large sums of money (καὶ πολλοὶ πλούσιοι ἔβαλλον πολλά). There is nothing extraordinary about rich people giving lots of money to the Temple treasury. This seemed normal enough. Do you contribute to religious organizations?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should not think (δοκεῖτε) that he came to bring peace to the earth (ὅτι εἰρήνην παρεγενόμην δοῦναι ἐν τῇ γῇ). With a solemn pronouncement (οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν), he said the opposite. He had come to bring discord or divisions (ἀλλ’ ἢ διαμερισμόν). This διαμερισμόν is a unique word of Luke that means breaking up, discord, or hostility. Luke used this word instead of the normal word of Matthew, “the sword μάχαιραν”. This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:34, indicating a Q source. Matthew indicated that Jesus said that he had come to bring divisions because he was a disrupter. They should not think (Μὴ νομίσητε) that Jesus had come to bring peace on earth (ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν). He had not come to bring peace (οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην), but quite the opposite, to bring the sword (ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν), much like the ancient Hebrew prophets, especially Ezekiel, chapter 38:21. The sword meant war not peace. Jesus was not a peacemaker, but a sign of contradiction. Well, there goes the prince of peace. Have you ever thought about Jesus as a disrupter?
Luke indicated that Jesus posed a question. Are any of them able (τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν…δύναται), by worrying or being anxious (μεριμνῶν), add a single hour to their lifespan (ἐπὶ τὴν ἡλικίαν αὐτοῦ προσθεῖναι πῆχυν)? Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:27, had a similar Jesus saying, almost word for word, indicating a common Q source. Matthew had Jesus ask them if worrying was going to add one cubit or one hour to their lifespan or age (τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν μεριμνῶν δύναται προσθεῖναι ἐπὶ τὴν ἡλικίαν αὐτοῦ πῆχυν ἕνα)? Probably, the opposite is true. Don’t worry! Be happy! How have you increased your lifespan?
Σαμαρείτης δέ τις ὁδεύων ἦλθεν κατ’ αὐτὸν καὶ ἰδὼν ἐσπλαγχνίσθη,
Luke continued his unique story. Jesus said that a Samaritan (Σαμαρείτης), while traveling (δέ τις ὁδεύων), came near to this wounded man (ἦλθεν κατ’ αὐτὸν). When he saw him (καὶ ἰδὼν), he was moved with pity (ἐσπλαγχνίσθη). Who then is this Samaritan? Samaritans lived in Samaria, between Judea and Galilee. This was the territory that had been formerly assigned to Ephraim and Manasseh. The Samaritans were part of the former Northern Kingdom of Israel with the city of Samaria as their capital city, after the death of Solomon. There was an example of kindness by the northern tribes in 2 Chronicles, chapter 28:12-15, but that was long before the bitterness set in between Samaria and Judea. Over time, since the 8th century BCE, they had become a distinct ethnic group that was in dispute with the Judean Jews, since the territory of Samaria was between Judea and Galilee. They became bitter enemies with the Jews of Judea in particular. Luke showed Jesus interacting with the Samaritans more than any of the other gospel writers. Luke had uniquely mentioned that Jesus had gone into some Samaritan villages in chapter 9:52-56. It might even be questioned, why would this Samaritan be on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem? Nevertheless, this unnamed Samaritan like the unnamed priest and Levite, came on the scene. Unlike the other two prominent Jewish religious leaders, this Samaritan was moved with pity. Samaritans were the underclass among the Judeans. They worshiped a false Jewish God with their Samaritan Torah at the destroyed Mount Gerizim. They were not at the top of Jewish society, quite the opposite. Can someone at the bottom of a society do anything good?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that all things had been handed over to him (πάντα μοι παρεδόθη… μου) by his Father (ὑπὸ τοῦ Πατρός). No one knows who the Son is (καὶ οὐδεὶς γινώσκει τίς ἐστιν ὁ Υἱὸς), except the Father (εἰ μὴ ὁ Πατήρ). The reverse is also true. No one knows who the Father is (καὶ τίς ἐστιν ὁ Πατὴρ) except the Son (εἰ μὴ ὁ Υἱὸς), and anyone whom the Son chooses to reveal him (καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν βούληται ὁ Υἱὸς ἀποκαλύψαι). Matthew, chapter 11:27, also had Jesus explain his relationship to the Father in heaven, indicating a possible common Q source. This is one of the few times that these synoptic gospel writers presented Jesus with a clear knowledge of his relationship to the heavenly Father, as the Son. The Father was well pleased to let this be known and happen because it was his will to do so. The Father has handed over everything to his Son. This is a profound theological statement about the divine affiliation of Jesus as the Son of the Father. Only he and the Father know this. No one really knows the Son, except the Father. The opposite is also true. No one really knows the Father, except the Son. However, Jesus, the Son, may decide or choose to tell or reveal this to others. This is the gist of the gospel stories. Jesus wanted to reveal his relationship to the Father to all his followers. Do you understand the relationship of Jesus to the Father?
Luke indicated that Jesus responded to this man (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ) who wanted to bury his father. He told him to let the dead (Ἄφες τοὺς νεκροὺς) bury their own dead (θάψαι τοὺς ἑαυτῶν νεκρούς). He wanted him to go forth and proclaim (σὺ δὲ ἀπελθὼν διάγγελλε) the kingdom of God (τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ). This saying of Jesus is almost the same as in Matthew, chapter 8:22, indicating a possible Q source. Once again, this is a harsh saying about the discipleship of Jesus. Matthew indicated that Jesus’ response was not very compassionate. Quite the opposite, Jesus told his follower to follow him. Jesus added, that the dead should bury their own dead. This seems to deny any mourning period. Although the burying of a dead father was a sacred filial duty, Jesus put the role of discipleship above that. Is proclaiming the message of Jesus more important than the funeral of your father?
Luke said that when the days drew near (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας) for Jesus to be taken up (τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ), he steadfastly set his face (καὶ αὐτὸς τὸ πρόσωπον ἐστήρισεν τοῦ) to go to Jerusalem (πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ). Jesus’ move from Galilee to Judea can also be found in Matthew, chapter 19:1-2, and Mark, chapter 10:1, with Matthew closer to Mark, who said that Jesus left that place, presumably Galilee. He went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. Thus, Jesus moved south towards Jerusalem. However, he traveled on the other eastern side of the Jordan River, so that he did not have to go into Samaria, just the opposite as here in Luke. Mark, like Matthew, emphasized the crowds that gathered around Jesus. Just as in Galilee, Jesus again began to teach the people in Judea. Mark had Jesus teaching the crowds instead of healing these people, as in Matthew. Matthew said that when Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea, beyond the Jordan. Thus, Jesus moved south towards Jerusalem. However, he traveled on the other side of the Jordan River, on the east side of Jordan, so that he did not have to go into Samaria. He definitely was leaving Galilee. Luke was more definitive on where he was going, since he steadfastly set his face towards Jerusalem. Have you ever decided to go some place?
Luke said that her parents were astonished (καὶ ἐξέστησαν οἱ γονεῖς αὐτῆς). However, Jesus ordered them to tell no one what had happened (ὁ δὲ παρήγγειλεν αὐτοῖς μηδενὶ εἰπεῖν τὸ γεγονός). The ending to this story is different in Matthew, chapter 9:26 than that of Mark, chapter 5:43 and Luke, who are similar. Mark indicated that Jesus strictly instructed or ordered them that no one should know about this incident. That would have been hard because this was such a public event. In Matthew, this event spread all over this land or district without any attempt to keep it quiet, which was the opposite of Luke and Mark. If you saw a miraculous event, would you be quiet about it or tell everyone?
Luke said that Jesus and his disciples sailed down (Καὶ κατέπλευσαν) to the country of the Gerasenes (εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γερασηνῶν), which was opposite Galilee (ἥτις ἐστὶν ἀντιπέρα τῆς Γαλιλαίας). All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:28, Mark, chapter 5:1, as well as Luke here, have Jesus cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. They went to the country or region of the Gerasenes. Matthew called it Gadarenes, while Luke called it Gerasenes, like Mark. This might be one of two different towns on the east bank of the Jordan in the Decapolis territory, a group of 10 cities. One was called Gadara, about 6 miles away from the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee, near where the Sea of Galilee ran into the Jordan River. Today, it is in the country of Jordan, known as Umm Qais. The other Decapolis town was called Gerasa, a town about 40 miles from the Sea of Galilee, which would be more inconsistent with this story. Nevertheless, this was Gentile territory with only a few Jewish people there. Jesus had traveled over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee to its southern tip, to one of the 10 cities of the Decapolis territory. Have you ever traveled to an area where they had different religious beliefs than you?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that the one who heard (ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας) the word of Jesus, but did not act on it (καὶ μὴ ποιήσας), was like a man (ὅμοιός ἐστιν ἀνθρώπῳ) who built a house (οἰκοδομήσαντι οἰκίαν) on ground (ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν) without a foundation (χωρὶς θεμελίου). When the river streams burst against it (ᾗ προσέρηξεν ὁ ποταμός), immediately (καὶ εὐθὺς), it fell (συνέπεσεν). Great was the ruin of that house (καὶ ἐγένετο τὸ ῥῆγμα τῆς οἰκίας ἐκείνης μέγα). This is just like Matthew, chapter 7:26-27, which might indicate a Q source. The opposite of the preceding verses was present here. Everyone who heard these words of Jesus, but did nothing about them, as opposed to those who acted upon them, were like a foolish or stupid person. These foolish people built a house on a sand foundation, sandy ground, or no foundation, not a rock foundation. It is interesting to note that these must have been former followers of Jesus, since they had heard his words, not people who had never heard about Jesus, indicating a rift among the followers of Jesus. The rains fell and the floods came. The winds would blow and beat against this house also. However, there was a different result here. This house fell, because it was built on a weak foundation. The rock foundation was those who had followed the words of Jesus. The sand foundation was those who heard the words of Jesus but did not follow it. Their house would suffer not just a fall, but a great fall. It was not good enough to hear the words of Jesus, you had to act on them. Is your house built on a weak foundation with no follow through on the words of Jesus?