The woman with flowing blood (Lk 8:43-8:43)

“A woman

Had been suffering

From flowing blood

For twelve years.

Although she had spent

All that she had

On physicians,

No one

Could cure her.”

 

καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος ἀπὸ ἐτῶν δώδεκα, ἥτις οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἀπ’ οὐδενὸς θεραπευθῆναι

 

This episode about the woman with flowing blood interrupted the story about the synagogue leader and his dying daughter.  However, it can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:20, Mark, chapter 5:25, and Luke here.  Thus, Mark might be the source.  Luke said that a woman had been suffering from flowing blood (καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος) for 12 years (ἀπὸ ἐτῶν δώδεκα).  Although she had spent all that she had on physicians (ἰατροῖς προσαναλώσασα ὅλον τὸν βίον), no one could cure her (ἥτις οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἀπ’ οὐδενὸς θεραπευθῆναι).  This phrase about spending all her money on physicians was only in the Byzantine text.  Mark, like Luke, who probably followed him, said that she had suffered from flowing blood, rather than hemorrhages.  All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding.  Mark and Luke had a more elaborate story, about her background.  Mark said that she had endured or greatly suffered much under many physicians.  Thus, she had spent all her money.  Instead of helping her get better, she had actually become worse.  She was in a desperate situation.  Interesting enough, the word that Matthew used for hemorrhages (αἱμορροοῦσα) is only found there, but nowhere else in the biblical literature.  Mark and Luke said that she had flowing blood.  All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding.  Could you suffer something for 12 years?

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The Hail Mary greeting (Lk 1:28-1:28)

“The angel Gabriel

Came to her.

He said.

‘Hail!

Full of grace!

The Lord is

With you!’”

 

καὶ εἰσελθὼν πρὸς αὐτὴν εἶπεν Χαῖρε, κεχαριτωμένη, ὁ Κύριος μετὰ σοῦ.

 

Luke said that this angel Gabriel came to Mary (καὶ εἰσελθὼν πρὸς αὐτὴν).  He greeted her with the traditional Greek salutation “Hail” or “I am happy to see you” (Χαῖρε).  She was the favored one or the one full of grace (κεχαριτωμένη).  The “Lord is with you” (ὁ Κύριος μετὰ σοῦ) is an ancient Hebrew greeting found in Ruth, chapter 2:4, 2 Chronicles, chapter 15:2, Numbers, chapter 14:42, and 1 Samuel, chapter 17:37.  The impact of this angelic greeting has had a profound effect on Christian prayer life.  The famous simple popular prayer to Mary is often called the “Hail Mary” based on this passage.  “Hail Mary!  Full of grace!  the Lord is with you!”  This medieval 11th century Marian Latin prayer “Ave Maria” is the Latin translation of these Greek verses as found in the Latin Vulgate.  The second line was “full of grace” or “gratia plena” and the third line was “Dominus vobiscum,” or the “Lord be with you.”  This later phrase “Dominus vobiscum,” was and is also part of the ancient and contemporary Roman Catholic Eucharistic Mass service, as a priestly greeting to the congregation.  These verses serve as the foundational biblical statements for the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, not Jesus.

Jesus announces the betrayal (Mt 26:21-26:21)

“While they were eating,

Jesus said.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

One of you

Will betray me.’”

 

καὶ ἐσθιόντων αὐτῶν εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:18, and John, chapter 13:21, but this phrase is not found in Luke.  While they were eating (καὶ ἐσθιόντων), Jesus gave a solemn declaration (εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  He said that one of his 12 leading disciples or apostles would betray him (ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με.).  This seems like a strange time to bring this up.  However, Jesus was clear, he knew what was going to happen.

The gospels

The English term gospel comes from the Old English ‘godspel.’  There was a 1971 musical play with the name “Godspell.”  Like the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, gospel means good news or good tidings.  This term originally meant the Christian message itself.  However, in the second century, it came to be used for the books in which this message was set out.  Thus, the gospels became known as the written accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.  These books are the basis of our knowledge about Jesus Christ.  They present a somewhat coherent picture of the life of Christ with different emphasis from each author.  We also have the phrase, “That’s the gospel truth.”

The Lord’s response through Daniel (Dan 13:44-13:46)

“The Lord heard

Susanna’s cry.

Just as she was being led off

To execution,

God stirred up

The Holy Spirit

Of a young lad

Named Daniel.

He shouted

With a loud voice.

‘I want no part

In shedding

That woman’s blood.’”

The Lord heard the prayer cry of Susanna. Just as she was being led to her execution, God stirred up the Holy Spirit in a young man, Daniel. This phrase indicates that this probably belongs as the beginning of this book and not at the end since Daniel is called young, not old. The Holy Spirit appears in prophets quite often. Daniel then shouted out in a loud voice that he wanted no part in the shedding of this woman’s blood.

The return from exile (Jer 32:37-32:39)

“See!

I am going to gather them

From all the lands

To which I drove them

In my anger,

In my wrath,

With great indignation.

I will bring them back

To this place.

I will settle them

In safety.

They shall be my people.

I will be their God.

I will give them one heart

With one way.

Thus they may fear me

For all time,

For their own good,

As well as the good

Of their children after them.”

Yahweh was going to restore the Israelites back in their land. He was going to gather them from all the countries that they had been scattered to, when he was angry, wrathful, and indignant over their behavior. They would be settled in the Promised Land to live safely. They would be his people. He would be their God. This phrase shows the strong love of God for his people. They would have one heart and one way of doing things. They would fear him all the time, for their own good as well as the good of their children to come. Happy days were ahead.

Doxology of praise to Yahweh (Ps 150:3-150:6)

“Praise him

With trumpet sound!

Praise him

With lute!

Praise him

With harp!

Praise him

With tambourine!

Praise him

With dance!

Praise him

With strings!

Praise him

With pipe!

Praise him

With clanging cymbals;

Praise him

With loud clashing cymbals!

Let everything that breathes

Praise Yahweh!

Praise Yahweh!”

This psalm and the whole book of psalms end with the double phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” This doxological praise of God explains how this is done here on earth. The various instruments were to be used in praising Yahweh, the trumpet, the lute, the harp, and the tambourine. There was to be dancing with stringed instruments, playing pipes, and clanging cymbals. Everything that breathes should praise Yahweh. This is a fitting end to a great book of praise to God.