This Jude said, “To the only God (μόνῳ Θεῷ), Our Savior (Σωτῆρι ἡμῶν), through Jesus Christ (διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ), Our Lord (τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν), be glory (δόξα), majesty (μεγαλωσύνη), power (κράτος), and authority (καὶ ἐξουσία), before all time (πρὸ παντὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος) and now (καὶ νῦν), and for all time to come (καὶ εἰς πάντας τοὺς αἰῶνας). Amen (ἀμήν).” Jude ended this letter with a prayer to God who saved them through Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Lord God should have glory, majesty, power, and authority forever. Thus, this prayer ended with a great amen or so be it. There was only one monotheistic God who saved us through Jesus Christ, who is glorious, majestic, powerful, and in charge before time began, now, and forever into the future. Thus, we can all agree on that with a great amen. Do you think of God as glorious, majestic, and powerful?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that then they would see (καὶ τότε ὄψονται) the Son of Man (τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) coming in a cloud (ἐρχόμενον ἐν νεφέλῃ) with power (μετὰ δυνάμεως) and great glory (καὶ δόξης πολλῆ). This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 24:30, and in Mark, chapter 13:26. Mark said that they would all see or experience the Son of Man (καὶ τότε ὄψονται τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) coming in the clouds (ἐρχόμενον ἐν νεφέλαις) with his great power (μετὰ δυνάμεως πολλῆς) and glory (καὶ δόξης). Matthew indicated that Jesus had an introductory comment that the sign of the Son of Man would appear in the heavens (καὶ τότε φανήσεται τὸ σημεῖον τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν οὐρανῷ). Then all the tribes or races of people on the earth would mourn or lament (καὶ τότε κόψονται πᾶσαι αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς). After these phrases, then came the common element that they would all see or experience the Son of Man (καὶ ὄψονται τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) coming on the clouds of heaven (ἐρχόμενον ἐπὶ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ) with his power (μετὰ δυνάμεως) and great glory (καὶ δόξης πολλῆς). The clouds were the common place where theophanies in the Old Testament occurred, as Yahweh often appeared in a cloud on a mountain. The Son of Man is a reference to Jesus himself as a Hebrew Messianic figure. What do you know about the Second Coming of Jesus?
Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said to the Sadducees (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) that those who belong to this age, the sons of this age (Οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου), marry (γαμοῦσιν) and are given in marriage (καὶ γαμίσκονται). Both Matthew, chapter 22:29, and Mark, chapter 12:24, are almost word for word, with Jesus flat out telling the Sadducees that they were wrong, without mentioning the present age. However, this reprimand by Jesus is not here in Luke. Matthew indicated that Jesus answered the Sadducees (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) by telling them that they were wrong, deceived, or lead astray (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πλανᾶσθε). They did not know the scriptures or the writings (μὴ εἰδότες τὰς γραφὰς). They also did not know the power or purpose of God (μηδὲ τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ Θεοῦ). Mark said that Jesus responded to the Sadducees (ἔφη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) by telling them that they were wrong, deceived, or led astray (Οὐ διὰ τοῦτο πλανᾶσθε). They did not know the scriptures or the writings (μὴ εἰδότες τὰς γραφὰς). They also did not know the power or purpose of God (μηδὲ τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ Θεοῦ). Simply put, they were ill-informed or stupid. Luke did not use this kind of language. Do you think that some people are stupid?
Luke indicated that the Jewish Jerusalem religious leaders answered (καὶ ἀπεκρίθησαν) that they did not know where (μὴ εἰδέναι πόθεν) the baptism of John the Baptist came from. This same response to Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:27, and Mark, chapter 11:33, almost word for word to each other. Mark said that the chief priests, the Scribes, and the elders responded to Jesus (καὶ ἀποκριθέντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ). They said that they did not know (λέγουσιν Οὐκ οἴδαμεν) the value, origins, or power of the baptism of John the Baptist. Matthew said that the chief priests and elders responded to Jesus (καὶ ἀποκριθέντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἶπαν) that they did not know (Οὐκ οἴδαμεν) the origins or power of the baptism of John the Baptist. This non-response was better than an aggravating response. Have you ever pleaded ignorance when you were too embarrassed to answer a question?
Luke indicated that Jesus said to them with a solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that whoever did not receive (ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται) the kingdom of God (τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) as a little child (ὡς παιδίον) would never enter it (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς αὐτήν). This Jesus saying put an emphasis on becoming a child to enter the kingdom. Similar comments can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:15, as well as Matthew, chapters 18:3, with some minor changes. Mark said that Jesus made a solemn proclamation “Truly! I say to you!’ (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).” They had to receive the kingdom of God (ὃς ἂν μὴ δέξηται τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) like a little child (ὡς παιδίον). Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of God (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς αὐτήν). Pure and simple, they had to have the attitude of a young child to enter the kingdom of God, just Luke mentioned here, almost word for word. Matthew indicated that Jesus called or summoned a little child (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος παιδίον). He placed this little child in the middle of his disciples (ἔστησεν αὐτὸ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν). Then he made a solemn proclamation ‘Truly! I say to you!’ (καὶ εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν). They had to change or convert to become like little children (ἐὰν μὴ στραφῆτε καὶ γένησθε ὡς τὰ παιδία). Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of heaven (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν). Whoever became humble like this little child in their midst (ὅστις οὖν ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὡς τὸ παιδίον τοῦτο), would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ μείζων ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν). The greatest in heaven would be the simple humble little children or those who acted like children, without power and dependent on other people. Luke and Mark did not have a long explanation about being humble like this little child to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Notice also that once again, Matthew emphasized the kingdom of heaven and not the kingdom of God. Are you humble like a little child?
Luke uniquely continued with this story. Jesus laid his hands on this crippled woman (καὶ ἐπέθηκεν αὐτῇ τὰς χεῖρας). Immediately (καὶ παραχρῆμα), she stood up straight or was made straight (ἀνορθώθη). She began to praise or glorify God (καὶ ἐδόξαζεν τὸν Θεόν). Not only did Jesus tell her that she would be cured, he actually cured her with a physical laying on hands, a gesture of power to place a good spirit where an evil spirit was before. Have you ever seen a faith healer?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that he would show them whom they ought to fear (ὑποδείξω δὲ ὑμῖν τίνα φοβηθῆτε). They were to fear those (φοβήθητε), who after killing them (τὸν μετὰ τὸ ἀποκτεῖναι), had the authority or power (ἔχοντα ἐξουσίαν) to cast them into hell or Gehenna (ἐμβαλεῖν εἰς τὴν γέενναν). Then with a solemn declaration (ναί, λέγω ὑμῖν), he said that those were the people they ought to fear (τοῦτον φοβήθητε). This is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:28, indicating a Q source. Jesus, via Matthew, warned his followers that they should fear or be afraid (φοβεῖσθε δὲ μᾶλλον) of the people who can destroy both their soul and their body (τὸν δυνάμενον καὶ ψυχὴν καὶ σῶμα ἀπολέσαι) by sending them to hell or Gehenna (ἐν γεέννῃ). Both Luke and Matthew used this Greek word for hell, “γεέννῃ,” or the English Gehenna that was based on the Hebrew word Gehinnom that was the name of the valley south of Jerusalem where burning child sacrifices would take place. However, only Matthew, not Luke, talked about the soul, ψυχὴν. Are you worried about going to hell?
Luke continued with a diatribe against the Pharisees. Luke indicated that the crowd gathered by the thousands (Ἐν οἷς ἐπισυναχθεισῶν τῶν μυριάδων τοῦ ὄχλου), so that they trampled on one another (ὥστε καταπατεῖν ἀλλήλους). This was the first mention of a problem with crowd control. Jesus then began first to speak to his disciples (ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ πρῶτον). He told them that they should be aware (Προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς) of the yeast (ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης) that is the hypocrisy (ἥτις ἐστὶν ὑπόκρισις) of the Pharisees (τῶν Φαρισαίων). This saying about the yeast of the Pharisees can be found in Mark, chapter 8:16, and Matthew, chapter 16:6, but there are slight differences. Mark and Luke did not mention the Sadducees, but Matthew did. Matthew said that Jesus told his disciples to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matthew had a clear rebuff of both these groups and their growing yeast, leaven, or power that was expanding, but there was no mention of the Scribes. For Mark and Matthew, this discussion took place about bread on a boat trip. The disciples discovered that they had no food when they landed on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. However, Mark said that it took place while they were still in the boat. Mark was the only one to mention Herod, the Roman appointed political leader in Galilee. Mark said that Jesus cautioned or instructed his disciples. They were to watch out for and be aware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod. This was a clear rebuff of both the Pharisees and Herod. Their growing yeast, leaven, or power was expanding. Here, it is a simple warning against the Pharisees only. Do you know anybody who is a hypocrite?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that he had given these special 70 disciples (ἰδοὺ δέδωκα ὑμῖν) the authority (τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ) to tread on (πατεῖν ἐπάνω) snakes (ὄφεων) and scorpions (καὶ σκορπίων). They had the authority over all the power (καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν δύναμιν) of the enemy (τοῦ ἐχθροῦ). Nothing would hurt them (καὶ οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς οὐ μὴ ἀδικήσει). This is another unique saying of Jesus only found in Luke because he was the only one to mention these 70 special disciples and their return. The enemy mentioned here was Satan. This idea that nothing will hurt them can also be found at the end of the gospel of Mark, chapter 16:18, as well as Psalm 91:13, that they would dash the snakes. This is the same psalm that was cited in the temptations of Jesus. Do you know anyone who is not hurt by snakes or scorpions?
Luke uniquely said that the seventy disciples returned (Ὑπέστρεψαν δὲ οἱ ἑβδομήκοντα) with joy or grace (μετὰ χαρᾶς). They said to Jesus, calling him Lord (λέγοντες Κύριε), the demons (καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια) had submitted to them (ὑποτάσσεται ἡμῖν) in Jesus’ name (ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου). Only Luke had anything to say about these 70 disciples. Like the 12 apostles when they returned, these disciples were happy. They pointed out to Jesus that even the evil spirit demons were submitting to them when they mentioned Jesus’ name. Thus, the power of Jesus would continue. These apostles and disciples would carry on his work. Do you think that today’s disciples of Jesus can make evil spirits submit to them?