They were bringing infants (Lk 18:15-18:15)

“People were bringing

Even infants

To Jesus.

Thus,

He might touch them.

When the disciples

Saw this,

They sternly ordered them

Not to do it.”

 

Προσέφερον δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ τὰ βρέφη ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅπτηται· ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμων αὐτοῖς.

 

Luke indicated that people were bringing even infants to Jesus (Προσέφερον δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ τὰ βρέφη).  Thus, he might touch them (ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅπτηται).  However, when the disciples saw this (ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ), they sternly ordered or rebuked them not to do that (ἐπετίμων αὐτοῖς).  This story about the little children can be found in Mark, chapter 10:13, and Matthew, chapter 19:13, almost word for word.  Mark said that people were bringing little children, not infants as in Luke, to Jesus (Καὶ προσέφερον αὐτῷ παιδία), so that he might touch them (ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅψηται).  However, the disciples spoke sternly or admonished those people (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς) who brought these children to Jesus.  Matthew said that little children were brought to Jesus (Τότε προσηνέχθησαν αὐτῷ παιδία), so that he might lay his hands on them (ἵνα τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιθῇ αὐτοῖς) and pray for them (καὶ προσεύξηται), which was not in Mark or Luke.  However, the disciples spoke sternly or admonished those (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς) who brought them to Jesus.  There seemed to be a conflict between Jesus, who valued little children or infants in the Jewish tradition, and his disciples, who wanted to keep them away from Jesus.  Do you like little children?

 

The Pharisee and the tax collector (Lk 18:10-18:10)

“Two men

Went up

Into the Temple

To pray.

One was

A Pharisee.

The other was

A tax collector.”

 

Ἄνθρωποι δύο ἀνέβησαν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν προσεύξασθαι, ὁ εἷς Φαρισαῖος καὶ ὁ ἕτερος τελώνης.

 

Luke has Jesus tell a parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector that is only found in this gospel.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that two men (Ἄνθρωποι δύο) went up into the Temple (ἀνέβησαν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν) to pray (προσεύξασθαι).  One was a Pharisee (ὁ εἷς Φαρισαῖος).  The other was a tax collector (καὶ ὁ ἕτερος τελώνης).  Both of these men were well intentioned, since they went to the Temple to pray to God, a good thing.  Socially, they were of two different strata.  The Pharisee was a pillar of Jewish society as an interpreter of the Mosaic Law.  The tax collector, on the other hand, was considered a traitor to the Jewish community, since he worked for the Roman Empire, the occupation force.  These tax collectors were often compared to public sinners.  The contrast was real and set out at the beginning of this story.  Is there a social strata in your religious culture?

Pray (Lk 18:1-18:1)

“Then Jesus told them

A parable

About the need

To pray always.

Do not grow weary!”

 

Ἔλεγεν δὲ παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς πρὸς τὸ δεῖν πάντοτε προσεύχεσθαι αὐτοὺς καὶ μὴ ἐνκακεῖν,

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the judge to emphasize the importance of prayer.  Right from the beginning, he had Jesus tell them the purpose of the parable, rather than a secret that they would have to figure out.  Then Jesus told them a parable (Ἔλεγεν δὲ παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς) about the need or duty to always pray (πρὸς τὸ δεῖν πάντοτε προσεύχεσθαι αὐτοὺς).  They were not to lose heart or grow weary (καὶ μὴ ἐνκακεῖν).  Do you remember to always pray?

I bought oxen (Lk 14:19-14:19)

“Another said.

‘I have bought

Five yoke of oxen.

I am going

To try them out.

Please!

I pray you,

Accept my regrets!’”

 

καὶ ἕτερος εἶπεν Ζεύγη βοῶν ἠγόρασα πέντε, καὶ πορεύομαι δοκιμάσαι αὐτά· ἐρωτῶ σε, ἔχε με παρῃτημένον.

 

Luke uniquely had Jesus talk about another excuse.  Jesus said that another person told the inviting slave (καὶ ἕτερος εἶπεν) that he had just purchased or bought 5 pair of oxen (Ζεύγη βοῶν ἠγόρασα πέντε).  Luke was the only biblical writer to use the term Ζεύγη, meaning a pair, yoke, or team.  This man was going to try them out (καὶ πορεύομαι δοκιμάσαι αὐτά).  He too, politely (ἐρωτῶ σε) asked to be excused (ἔχε με παρῃτημένον).  Matthew, chapter 22:6-7, instead of these individual excuses, had the king’s servants beat up.  Thus, this king destroyed the original invited people.  However, there was nothing like that here in Luke.  Have you ever beat up people inviting you to a dinner or have you been respectful?

The fool (Lk 12:20-12:20)

“But God said to him.

‘Fool!

This very night

Your life

Is being demanded

Of you.

The things

You have prepared,

Whose will they be?’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός Ἄφρων, ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ τὴν ψυχήν σου ἀπαιτοῦσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ· ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας, τίνι ἔσται;

 

Luke uniquely continued with this story as Jesus indicated that God said to this rich land owner (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Θεός) that he was a fool, calling him that (Ἄφρων).  A fool was a harsh title, meaning that someone who had no concern for God.  That very night (ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ), God would demand or require the soul or the life of this rich fool (τὴν ψυχήν σου ἀπαιτοῦσιν ἀπὸ σοῦ).  Who would get all the things that he had prepared (ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας, τίνι ἔσται)?  The best laid plans of men and mice often go astray.  Instead of enjoying his long indulgent luxurious life, this rich man was about to die.  Then the question remained, who would enjoy all the riches that he had attained?  Death is the only certainty in life.  The only question is when?  Work as if you were going to live forever, but live your life and pray as if you are going to die tonight.  Time’s up!  When do you anticipate your death?

The friendly request (Lk 11:5-11:5)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Suppose one of you

Has a friend.

Would you go

To him

At midnight?

Would you say

To him.

`Friend!

Lend me

Three loaves

Of bread!’”

 

Καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Τίς ἐξ ὑμῶν ἕξει φίλον, καὶ πορεύσεται πρὸς αὐτὸν μεσονυκτίου καὶ εἴπῃ αὐτῷ Φίλε, χρῆσόν μοι τρεῖς ἄρτους,

 

Luke uniquely had this parable story about waking up a friend in the middle of the night.  Luke indicated that Jesus told his disciples (Καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) this parable.  He asked them, who among them had a friend (Τίς ἐξ ὑμῶν ἕξει φίλον)?  Obviously, some of them had friends.  If they were to go to their friend (καὶ πορεύσεται πρὸς) at midnight (μεσονυκτίου), and say to him (καὶ εἴπῃ αὐτῷ), good friend (Φίλε), lend me 3 loaves of bread (χρῆσόν μοι τρεῖς ἄρτους), what do you think he would do?  Most of us would say leave us alone.  After all there were no fast food 24-hour service places to get food.  Luke has Jesus take up this question after his presentation on how to pray the Our Father.  What if you have a sudden visitor and not enough food?  What to do?  Wake up your next-door neighbor friend!  I do not know if that is a good idea.  Let’s see what happens.  Would you wake up a neighbor in the middle of the night?

Forgiveness (Lk 11:4-11:4)

“Forgive us

Our sins!

We ourselves

Forgive everyone

Indebted to us.”

 

καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν, καὶ γὰρ αὐτοὶ ἀφίομεν παντὶ ὀφείλοντι ἡμῖν·

Luke indicated that Jesus said that we should ask the Father to forgive our sins (καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν).  Afterall, we ourselves have forgiven everyone indebted to us (καὶ γὰρ αὐτοὶ ἀφίομεν παντὶ ὀφείλοντι ἡμῖν).  Matthew, chapter 6:12, said that we should ask the Father to forgive our debts (καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰ ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν).  This includes whatever we owe to God, because our sins have put us in debt to God.  If we ask for forgiveness, that assumes that we have forgiven our own debtors (ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν).  This saying about forgiveness seems similar to Matthew, chapter 6:14-15, that came right after the “Our Father” prayer.  Basically, the heavenly Father would forgive those people who have forgiven others for their missteps or trespasses.  On the other hand, if you did not forgive others, your heavenly Father would not forgive you your trespasses.  You can see how the idea of trespasses, instead of debtors, came to be part of the “Our Father.”  Mark, chapter 11:25, indicated that Jesus said that whenever they would stand and pray, they should forgive others, especially if they have anything against anyone.  Then their heavenly Father would forgive them for their missteps or trespasses.  What are these trespasses?  The Greek word “τὰ παραπτώματα” means to fall away after being close, a lapse, a deviation from the truth, an error, a slip up, relatively unconscious, or non-deliberate.  Apparently, this was not a serious offense, something like daily implied insensitive insults.  However, they still had to forgive the trespasses of others to be forgiven by the heavenly father.  You can see how the idea of trespasses took on a greater significance over debtors in this great prayer to the Father.  Do you forgive other people?