The dialogue with the blind beggar (Lk 18:40-18:41)

“When he came near,

Jesus asked him.

‘What do you want me

To do for you?’

He said.

‘Lord!

Let me see again!’”

 

ἐγγίσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτόν

Τί σοι θέλεις ποιήσω; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Κύριε, ἵνα ἀναβλέψω.

 

Luke indicated that when the blind beggar came near to Jesus (ἐγγίσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ), he asked him (ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτόν) what he wanted Jesus to do for him (Τί σοι θέλεις ποιήσω).  The blind beggar replied (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν), calling Jesus the Lord (Κύριε), that he wanted to see again (ἵνα ἀναβλέψω).  Both Mark, chapter 10:51, and Matthew, chapter 20:32-33, are similar.  Mark indicated that Jesus responded to Bartimaeus (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  He wanted to know what he wished that Jesus could do for him (εἶπεν Τί θέλεις ποιήσω).  The blind Bartimaeus replied to Jesus (ὁ δὲ τυφλὸς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) by addressing him as Rabbi or master teacher (Ῥαββουνεί).  He wanted to see again, to regain his sight (ἵνα ἀναβλέψω).  This did not seem that unusual.  Matthew said that Jesus called (ἐφώνησεν αὐτοὺς) the two blind men.  He wanted to know what they wanted him to do for them (καὶ εἶπεν Τί θέλετε ποιήσω ὑμῖν).  They then called Jesus Lord (λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Κύριε).  They wanted their eyes opened (ἵνα ἀνοιγῶσιν οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἡμῶν) so that they could see.  In all three synoptics, the blind man or men wanted to see again, a simple request.  Do you want to see better?

Possible and impossible things (Lk 18:27-18:27)

“But Jesus replied.

‘What is impossible

For mortals

Is possible

With God.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Τὰ ἀδύνατα παρὰ ἀνθρώποις δυνατὰ παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ ἐστιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said or replied (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that what was impossible for mortal men (Τὰ ἀδύνατα παρὰ ἀνθρώποις) was possible with God (δυνατὰ παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ ἐστιν).  This saying about the power of God and the impotence of humans can be found in Mark, chapter 10:27, and Matthew, chapter 19:26, but slightly different, although Mark and Matthew were similar.  Mark said that Jesus looked at them (ἐμβλέψας αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  Then he told them (λέγει) that this would be impossible for mortal men (Παρὰ ἀνθρώποις ἀδύνατον), but not with God (ἀλλ’ οὐ παρὰ Θεῷ).  All things are possible with God (πάντα γὰρ δυνατὰ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ), since he could do everything.  In Matthew, Jesus looked at them (ἐμβλέψας δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) and told them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that this would be impossible for mortal men (Παρὰ ἀνθρώποις τοῦτο ἀδύνατόν ἐστιν), but with God, all things were possible (παρὰ δὲ Θεῷ πάντα δυνατά), since he could do everything.  This could be an allusion to Genesis, chapter 18:14, when Sarah laughed when she was told she was going to have a son or the prophet Jeremiah, chapter 32:17, when he was talking about creation.  What humans are not able to do, God is able to do.  Does God save wealthy people?

Did all that (Lk 18:21-18:21)

“He replied.

‘I have kept

All these

Since my youth.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ταῦτα πάντα ἐφύλαξα ἐκ νεότητος.

 

Luke indicated that this ruler replied (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that he had kept all these commandments (Ταῦτα πάντα ἐφύλαξα) since his youth (ἐκ νεότητος).  This comment can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:20, and Matthew, chapter 19:20, but slightly different, with Luke closer to Mark, who indicated that this man responded to Jesus (ὁ δὲ ἔφη αὐτῷ).  Once again, he called Jesus “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε).”  He said that he had kept or observed all these commandments (ταῦτα πάντα ἐφυλαξάμην) from his youth (ἐκ νεότητός μου).  In Matthew, this person was identified as a young man, who responded to Jesus (λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ νεανίσκος).  He said that he had kept or observed all these commandments (Ταῦτα πάντα ἐφύλαξα).  Mark and Luke added “from his youth,” but in Matthew he was still a young man.  What was he still lacking (τί ἔτι ὑστερῶ)?  This seems like a very forthright righteous person who was trying to do the best that he could.  Have you been a faithful commandment follower since your youth?

The mustard seed (Lk 17:6-17:6)

“The Lord replied.

‘If you had faith

The size of

A mustard seed,

You could say

To this mulberry tree,

‘Be rooted up!

Be planted

In the sea!’’

It would obey you.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος Εἰ ἔχετε πίστιν ὡς κόκκον σινάπεως, ἐλέγετε ἂν τῇ συκαμίνῳ ταύτῃ Ἐκριζώθητι καὶ φυτεύθητι ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ· καὶ ὑπήκουσεν ἂν ὑμῖν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus, the Lord, replied (εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος) that if they had faith (Εἰ ἔχετε πίστιν) the size of a mustard seed (ὡς κόκκον σινάπεως), they could say (ἐλέγετε) to this mulberry or sycamore tree (ἂν τῇ συκαμίνῳ ταύτῃ), be rooted up (Ἐκριζώθητι) and planted in the sea (καὶ φυτεύθητι ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ).  Luke is the only biblical writer to use the Greek term συκαμίνῳ that means a black mulberry tree or a sycamore tree that had medicinal value.  Then this tree would obey them (καὶ ὑπήκουσεν ἂν ὑμῖν).  There are expanded faith sayings that can also be found in Mark, chapter 9:28-29, and Matthew, chapter 17:19-21, who are much closer to each other.  Matthew indicated that the disciples came to Jesus privately (Τότε προσελθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ τῷ Ἰησοῦ).  They wondered why they were not able to cast out the evil spirits from that boy (κατ’ ἰδίαν εἶπον Διὰ τί ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν ἐκβαλεῖν αὐτό).  Jesus reminded them (ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐτοῖς) of their little faith (Διὰ τὴν ὀλιγοπιστίαν ὑμῶν), a term used predominately by Matthew.  Jesus came back with a solemn pronouncement (ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν) that if they had faith the size of a mustard seed (ἐὰν ἔχητε πίστιν ὡς κόκκον σινάπεως), like here in Luke, they could move mountains from here to there (ἐρεῖτε τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ Μετάβα ἔνθεν ἐκεῖ, καὶ μεταβήσεται).  Nothing would be impossible for them (καὶ οὐδὲν ἀδυνατήσει ὑμῖν).  If they had faith with prayer and fasting (εἰ μὴ ἐν προσευχῇ καὶ νηστείᾳ), they would be able to cast the evil spirits out (τοῦτο δὲ τὸ γένος οὐκ ἐκπορεύεται).  Matthew continued to emphasize the lack of faith or the little faith of the disciples of Jesus.  Mark said that the disciples wondered why they were not able to cast out the evil spirit from that boy (Ὅτι ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν ἐκβαλεῖν αὐτό).  The disciples were concerned that they must have lacked something that made it impossible for them to get rid of this evil spirit that was in that boy.  Mark added the need for prayer.  There was no emphasis on faith as in Matthew, where Jesus talked about faith and the mustard seed.  Mark emphasized prayer, as he indicated that Jesus said that this kind of evil spirit could only be expelled (Τοῦτο τὸ γένος ἐν οὐδενὶ δύναται ἐξελθεῖν) through prayer (εἰ μὴ ἐν προσευχῇ).  Prayer might imply faith, but it is not explicit here in Luke.  Which is more important to you, faith or prayer?

They have Moses (Lk 16:29-16:29)

“Abraham replied.

‘They have Moses

And the prophets!

They should listen

To them!’”

 

λέγει δὲ Ἀβραάμ Ἔχουσι Μωϋσέα καὶ τοὺς προφήτας· ἀκουσάτωσαν αὐτῶν.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that Abraham replied to this tormented rich man (λέγει δὲ Ἀβραάμ) that his brothers had Moses (Ἔχουσι Μωϋσέα) and the prophets (καὶ τοὺς προφήτας).  Why wouldn’t they listen to them (ἀκουσάτωσαν αὐτῶν).  Abraham had a sharp response to this rich man.  They already had Moses and prophets.  What more do they want?  They, like him, were not listening.  Do you listen to religious authorities?

 

Take a discount (Lk 16:7-16:7)

“Then the manager

Asked another debtor.

‘How much do you owe?’

He replied.

‘A hundred containers

Of wheat.’

The manager said to him.

‘Take your bill!

Make it eighty!’”

 

ἔπειτα ἑτέρῳ εἶπεν Σὺ δὲ πόσον ὀφείλεις; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ἑκατὸν κόρους σίτου. λέγει αὐτῷ Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα καὶ γράψον ὀγδοήκοντα.

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the house manager asked another debtor (ἔπειτα ἑτέρῳ εἶπεν) how much did he owe his master (Σὺ δὲ πόσον ὀφείλεις).  This debtor replied (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that he owed 100 cors or containers of wheat (Ἑκατὸν κόρους σίτου).  Once again, Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term κόρους that means a cor, about 15 bushels, a dry measure, equivalent to 120 gallons.  This dishonest manager then told him (λέγει αὐτῷ) to take his bill (Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα) and make it 80 cors (καὶ γράψον ὀγδοήκοντα).  This was only a 20% discount or a reduction from 1,500 bushels to 1,200 bushels of wheat.  This corrupt manager was not as kind to this debtor, compared to the first debtor.  Is debt a good thing to have?

Your brother has come home (Lk 15:27-15:27)

“The servant replied.

‘Your brother

Has come home.

Your father

Has killed

The fatted calf,

Because he

Got him back

Safe

And sound.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὅτι Ὁ ἀδελφός σου ἥκει, καὶ ἔθυσεν ὁ πατήρ σου τὸν μόσχον τὸν σιτευτόν, ὅτι ὑγιαίνοντα αὐτὸν ἀπέλαβεν.

 

This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the servant replied to the older son (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that his brother had come home (ὅτι Ὁ ἀδελφός σου ἥκει).  Then his father had killed or sacrificed (καὶ ἔθυσεν ὁ πατήρ σου) the fatted calf (τὸν μόσχον τὸν σιτευτόν), because he had him back safe and sound in good health (ὅτι ὑγιαίνοντα αὐτὸν ἀπέλαβεν).  Once again, Luke is the only biblical writer who used this term σιτευτόν, that means fattened calf, 3 times in this story.  His father was happy to have his other son healthy and back with them.  He was just glad to see him.  Have you ever had a family relative show up unexpectedly?