Which was a neighbor? (Lk 10:36-10:36)

“Which of these three,

Do you think,

Was a neighbor

To the man

Who fell

Among the robbers?”

 

τίς τούτων τῶν τριῶν πλησίον δοκεῖ σοι γεγονέναι τοῦ ἐμπεσόντος εἰς τοὺς λῃστάς;

 

Luke continued his unique story.  Jesus asked the obvious question.  Which one of these three people (τίς τούτων τῶν τριῶν) did he think was a neighbor to this man (πλησίον δοκεῖ σοι γεγονέναιn) who fell among the robbers (τοῦ ἐμπεσόντος εἰς τοὺς λῃστάς)?  Like most of the parables of Jesus, the moral is usually very clear.  This was no exception.  Jesus then asked this lawyer who had asked the question about who his neighbor was, what did he think?  Who did the neighborly thing?  Which one of these 3 individuals, the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan did the right thing?  A neighbor is not a physical presence but an active deed done to someone in need.  Are you a good neighbor?

The wineskins (Lk 5:37-5:37)

“No one

Puts new wine

Into old wineskins.

Otherwise,

The new wine

Will burst

The skins.

It will be spilled.

The skins

Will be destroyed.”

 

καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς· εἰ δὲ μήγε, ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος ὁ νέος τοὺς ἀσκούς, καὶ αὐτὸς ἐκχυθήσεται καὶ οἱ ἀσκοὶ ἀπολοῦνται

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that no one puts new wine (καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον) into old wineskins (εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς).  Otherwise (εἰ δὲ μήγε), the new wine will burst the wineskins (ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος ὁ νέος τοὺς ἀσκούς).  The wine will be spilled (καὶ αὐτὸς ἐκχυθήσεται).  The skins will be destroyed (καὶ οἱ ἀσκοὶ ἀπολοῦνται).  Mark, chapter 2:22, and Matthew, chapter 9:17, are similar to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this saying about wineskins.  Mark and Matthew had Jesus continue with his metaphors or parables.  No one would pour new wine into old wineskins or leather pouches, because the pouches would crack.  Thus, the old wineskins would burst open.  The new wine would be spilled, lost, or destroyed, as well as the wine containers themselves.

The parable of the vineyard (Mk 12:1-12:1)

“Jesus began

To speak to them

In parables.

‘A man planted

A vineyard.

He put a fence

Around it.

He dug a pit

For the wine press.

He built

A watchtower.

Then he leased it

To tenants.

He went away

To another country.”

 

Καὶ ἤρξατο αὐτοῖς ἐν παραβολαῖς λαλεῖν. ἀμπελῶνα ἄνθρωπος ἐφύτευσεν, καὶ περιέθηκεν φραγμὸν καὶ ὤρυξεν ὑπολήνιον καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον, καὶ ἐξέδετο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς, καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν.

 

This parable of the absentee vineyard landowner can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:33, and Luke, chapter 20:9, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus began to speak to them in parables or stories (Καὶ ἤρξατο αὐτοῖς ἐν παραβολαῖς λαλεῖν).  This story was about a male landowner who planted a vineyard (ἀμπελῶνα ἄνθρωπος ἐφύτευσεν).  He then put a fence around this vineyard (καὶ περιέθηκεν φραγμὸν).  Then he dug a wine press (καὶ ὤρυξεν ὑπολήνιον).  He even built a fortified watchtower (καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον), so that it was a very nice vineyard.  This story is reminiscent of the allegory of the vineyard from Isaiah, chapter 5:1-2.  Isaiah had a song about a friend’s fertile field.  He also dug out stones and planted choice vines.  He put a tower in the middle to look over the vineyard with a carved wine vat there also.  However, he got bad grapes instead of good grapes.  Clearly, he did not get what he expected.  However, this landowner here leased his land or rented it to farmer tenants (καὶ ἐξέδετο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς).  Then he left that region and went away to another country (καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν).  These last two things, renting and leaving the land, will cause him a problem.

Jesus goes to his own town (Mk 6:1-6:1)

“Jesus left

That place.

He came

To his hometown.

His disciples

Followed him.”

 

Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἐκεῖθεν, καὶ ἔρχεται εἰς τὴν πατρίδα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἀκολουθοῦσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ.

 

This story of Jesus leaving after talking about parables can be found in Matthew, chapter 13:53.  However, the idea of Jesus going to his hometown of Nazareth can be found explicitly in Luke, chapter 4:16.  Matthew said that Jesus came to his hometown, his own area without naming it Nazareth, like it was in LukeMark was pretty much the same.  He said that Jesus left that place (Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἐκεῖθεν).  According to Mark, that place would have been by the Sea of Galilee.  Now, he was going further inland to his hometown (καὶ ἔρχεται εἰς τὴν πατρίδα αὐτοῦ), probably unnamed Nazareth.  His disciples also followed or accompanied him (καὶ ἀκολουθοῦσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ).

The citation from Isaiah (Mk 4:12-4:12

“Thus,

They may indeed look,

But not perceive.

They may indeed listen,

But not understand.

Thus,

They may not

Turn again

To be forgiven.”

 

ἵνα βλέποντες βλέπωσιν καὶ μὴ ἴδωσιν, καὶ ἀκούοντες ἀκούωσιν καὶ μὴ συνιῶσιν, μή ποτε ἐπιστρέψωσιν καὶ ἀφεθῇ αὐτοῖς.

 

This citation of Isaiah about the people unable to understand the meaning of parables can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels.  Matthew, chapter 13:14-16, had a longer citation from Isaiah with an introduction and a final comment, while Luke, chapter 8:10, had a short summary, like here in Mark.  This prophecy of Isaiah was from chapter 6:9-10, where Isaiah told the people that they were listening without comprehending.  They were looking without understanding.  Their hearts were dull.  Their eyes and ears were closed.  He wanted them not to look with their own eyes, but he wanted them to turn to Yahweh, so that they would be healed.  Mark indicated that they could see, but not perceive (καὶ βλέποντες βλέπωσιν).  They were experiencing and listening (καὶ μὴ ἴδωσιν, καὶ ἀκούοντες), but they could not hear or understand (ἀκούωσιν καὶ μὴ συνιῶσιν).  They would not turn back (καὶ ἐπιστρέψωσιν) and be forgiven (καὶ ἀφεθῇ αὐτοῖς).  The reason that Jesus spoke in parables was that some people would see, but not perceive. They would hear, but not understand what they heard.

Jesus alone with the twelve apostles (Mk 4:10-4:10)

“When he was alone,

Those who were around him,

Along with the twelve,

Asked him

About the parables.”

 

Καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο κατὰ μόνας, ἠρώτων αὐτὸν οἱ περὶ αὐτὸν σὺν τοῖς δώδεκα τὰς παραβολάς

 

This question to Jesus can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:10, and Luke, chapter 8:9, although the others did not make the distinction about the disciples and the 12 apostles as Mark did here.  They also never mentioned that Jesus was alone.  Mark said that when Jesus was alone (Καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο κατὰ μόνας), those followers of Jesus around him (ἠρώτων αὐτὸν οἱ περὶ αὐτὸν), including the 12 apostles (σὺν τοῖς δώδεκα), asked him about the parables (τὰς παραβολάς).  The disciples were confused about the use of parables.

 

The response of Jesus (Mk 3:23-3:23)

“Jesus called the Scribes

To him.

He spoke

To them

In parables.

‘How can Satan

Cast out Satan?’”

 

καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Πῶς δύναται Σατανᾶς Σατανᾶν ἐκβάλλειν;

 

There are similar statements to this in Matthew, chapter 12:26, and Luke, chapter 11:18-19.  Mark said that Jesus responded to the Scribes by calling them to himself (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος αὐτοὺς).  He would speak to them in parables (ἐν παραβολαῖς ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς).  He asked how was Satan able to cast out Satan (Πῶς δύναται Σατανᾶς Σατανᾶν ἐκβάλλειν)?  Notice that the term used for the devil is now Satan, not Beelzebul.  Satan was the more familiar Hebrew term that considered the devil as a fallen angel.