The resurrection, angels, and spirits (Acts 23:8)

“The Sadducees say

That there is no resurrection,

Nor angels,

Nor spirit.

The Pharisees

Acknowledge all of them.”

Σαδδουκαῖοι γὰρ λέγουσιν μὴ εἶναι ἀνάστασιν μήτε ἄγγελον μήτε πνεῦμα, Φαρισαῖοι δὲ ὁμολογοῦσιν τὰ ἀμφότερα.

The author of Acts indicated that the Sadducees say (Σαδδουκαῖοι γὰρ λέγουσιν) that there is no resurrection (μὴ εἶναι ἀνάστασιν), nor angels (μήτε ἄγγελον), nor spirit (μήτε πνεῦμα).  The Pharisees (Φαρισαῖοι δὲ) acknowledged or professed (ὁμολογοῦσιν) all of them (τὰ ἀμφότερα).  There was a clear distinction between the Pharisees and the Sadducees about the bodily resurrection.  The Pharisees also favored angels and spirits more than the Sadducees.  Thus, there was a real distinction between the two Jewish groups.  Were you aware that Pharisees believed in angels and spirits?

No more questions (Lk 20:40-20:40

“They no longer

Dared

To ask him

Another question.”

 

οὐκέτι γὰρ ἐτόλμων ἐπερωτᾶν αὐτὸν οὐδέν.

 

Luke uniquely said here that the Sadducees no longer dared to ask him another question (οὐκέτι γὰρ ἐτόλμων ἐπερωτᾶν αὐτὸν οὐδέν).  Case closed.  Time to move on to a new subject.  This complete victory for Jesus in this discussion about the resurrection can only be found here in Luke.  Do you stop asking questions when you are satisfied?

God and Moses (Lk 20:37-20:37)

“The dead are raised.

Moses showed this

In the story

About the bush.

There

He speaks

Of the Lord as

The God of Abraham,

The God of Isaac,

And the God of Jacob.”

 

ὅτι δὲ ἐγείρονται οἱ νεκροὶ, καὶ Μωϋσῆς ἐμήνυσεν ἐπὶ τῆς Βάτου, ὡς λέγει Κύριον τὸν Θεὸν Ἀβραὰμ καὶ Θεὸν Ἰσαὰκ καὶ Θεὸν Ἰακώβ

 

Luke indicated that Jesus justified the resurrection, that the dead are raised up (ὅτι δὲ ἐγείρονται οἱ νεκροὶ).  Jesus used the example of Moses at the thorn bush (καὶ Μωϋσῆς ἐμήνυσεν ἐπὶ τῆς Βάτου), when he called Yahweh or the Lord (ὡς λέγει Κύριον) the God of Abraham (τὸν Θεὸν Ἀβραὰμ), the God of Isaac (καὶ Θεὸν Ἰσαὰκ), and the God of Jacob (καὶ Θεὸν Ἰακώβ).  Jesus continued with this same explanation that can also be found in Matthew, chapter 22:31-32, and Mark, chapter 12:26.  They all refer to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus, chapter 3:6, a mysterious theophany, that is implied without being explicitly mentioned here.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that the dead will rise up (περὶ δὲ τῶν νεκρῶν ὅτι ἐγείρονται).  Jesus then reminded the Sadducees that they had not read the correct book of Moses (οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε ἐν τῇ βίβλῳ Μωϋσέως).  Jesus then referenced this saying of Yahweh to Moses at the bush (ἐπὶ τοῦ Βάτου).  Yahweh God spoke to Moses saying (πῶς εἶπεν αὐτῷ λέγων) that he was the God of Abraham (Ἐγώ ὁ Θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ), the God of Isaac (καὶ Θεὸς Ἰσαὰκ), and the God of Jacob (καὶ Θεὸς Ἰακώβ).  Matthew indicated that Jesus reminded the Sadducees that they had not read the correct sayings of God (οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑμῖν ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ λέγοντος), concerning the resurrection of the dead (περὶ δὲ τῆς ἀναστάσεως τῶν νεκρῶν).  He did not say “the correct book” as in Mark.  He then referenced the saying of Yahweh to Moses at the burning bush, that he was the God of Abraham (Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ), the God of Isaac (καὶ ὁ Θεὸς Ἰσαὰκ), and the God of Jacob (καὶ ὁ Θεὸς Ἰακώβ).  Do you believe in your resurrection in the afterlife?

Children of God (Lk 20:36-20:36)

“Indeed,

They cannot die

Anymore,

Because they are

Like angels.

They are children

Of God,

Being children

Of the resurrection.”

 

οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀποθανεῖν ἔτι δύνανται, ἰσάγγελοι γάρ εἰσιν, καὶ υἱοί εἰσιν Θεοῦ τῆς ἀναστάσεως υἱοὶ ὄντες.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus gave an explanation.  He said that in the resurrection they would not be able to die anymore or be mortal (οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀποθανεῖν ἔτι δύνανται), because they would be like angels (ἰσάγγελοι γάρ εἰσιν).  Once again, this is unique usage of the word ἰσάγγελοι in the Greek biblical literature that means equal to angels or like the angels.  They would be children or sons of God (καὶ υἱοί εἰσιν Θεοῦ), because they were children or sons of the resurrection (τῆς ἀναστάσεως υἱοὶ ὄντες).  This is quite a profound theological statement.  The resurrected humans would be like angels so that marriage and procreation would be out of the question.  Both Matthew, chapter 22:30, with Mark, chapter 12:25, almost word for word, have simpler statements about humans being angels in heaven.  Mark simply said that they would all be like angels in heaven (ἀλλ’ εἰσὶν ὡς ἄγγελοι ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς).  Matthew simply said they would all be like angels in heaven (ὡς ἄγγελοι ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ εἰσιν).  Thus, these humans would take on an angelic way of life, with no reason to procreate in marriage.  Would you like a sexless angelic heaven?

Whose wife? (Lk 20:33-20:33)

“In the resurrection,

Therefore,

Whose wife

Will this woman be?

Seven brothers

Had married her.”

 

ἡ γυνὴ οὖν ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει τίνος αὐτῶν γίνεται γυνή; οἱ γὰρ ἑπτὰ ἔσχον αὐτὴν γυναῖκα.

 

Luke indicated these Sadducees asked Jesus in the resurrection time (ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει), whose wife would this woman be (ἡ γυνὴ οὖν…τίνος αὐτῶν γίνεται γυνή), since all 7 brothers had married her (οἱ γὰρ ἑπτὰ ἔσχον αὐτὴν γυναῖκα).  This story with the 7 brothers married to one woman was the set up for this question about the afterlife.  The Sadducees asked whose wife would she be among these 7 brothers in the resurrected life?  They were testing Jesus and questioning the concept of the resurrection after death.  This kicker question of the Sadducees can also be found in Matthew, chapter 22:28, and in Mark, chapter 12:23, almost word for word.  Mark said that in the resurrection (ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει), when they would rise up again (ὅταν ἀναστῶσιν), the Sadducees wanted to know whose wife would she be (τίνος αὐτῶν ἔσται γυνή)?  All 7 of these brothers had married her (οἱ γὰρ ἑπτὰ ἔσχον αὐτὴν γυναῖκα).  Matthew indicated that these Sadducees asked about the future resurrection (ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει οὖν).  Whose wife of the 7 brothers would she be (τίνος τῶν ἑπτὰ ἔσται γυνή)?  All 7 brothers had married her (πάντες γὰρ ἔσχον αὐτήν).  They assumed that the afterlife would be a continuation of this present earthly life.  What would happen to people who had multiple husbands or wives?  How was Jesus going to answer their tricky question?  Would you be confused in the future eternal life?

They did not understand (Lk 18:34-18:34)

“But the twelve apostles

Understood

Nothing about

All these things.

In fact,

What he said

Was hidden

From them.

They did not grasp

What was said.”

 

καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐδὲν τούτων συνῆκαν, καὶ ἦν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο κεκρυμμένον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν, καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκον τὰ λεγόμενα.

 

Luke uniquely added that 12 apostles did not understood anything about all these things (καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐδὲν τούτων συνῆκαν) about his future death and resurrection.  In fact, what Jesus said was hidden from them (καὶ ἦν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο κεκρυμμένον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν), because they did not grasp what he said (καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκον τὰ λεγόμενα).  Despite Jesus’ attempt to inform his elite 12 apostles, they still did not understand what he was talking about.  This is somewhat similar to earlier in chapter 9:45, where Luke said that the disciples did not understand this saying of Jesus (οἱ δὲ ἠγνόουν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο), because its meaning was veiled or concealed from them (καὶ ἦν παρακεκαλυμμένον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν).  Thus, they could not comprehend it (ἵνα μὴ αἴσθωνται αὐτό).  However, they were afraid (καὶ ἐφοβοῦντο) to ask Jesus (ἐρωτῆσαι αὐτὸν) about the meaning of this saying (περὶ τοῦ ῥήματος τούτου).  This saying about the reaction of the disciples can also be found in Matthew, chapter 17:23, and Mark, chapter 9:32.  Mark, like Luke, said that the disciples did not understand what Jesus was talking about.  They were afraid to ask or question him about this.  Once again, Mark indicated that the disciples did not seem to understand everything that was going on around them.  Matthew, on the other hand, said that on hearing this, the disciples were greatly vexed, pained, or distressed, since this was shocking news to them.  Do you always understand what Jesus is talking about?

Bear the cross (Lk 14:27-14:27)

“Whoever does not carry

His cross

And follow me,

Cannot be my disciple.”

 

ὅστις οὐ βαστάζει τὸν σταυρὸν ἑαυτοῦ καὶ ἔρχεται ὀπίσω μου, οὐ δύναται εἶναί μου μαθητής.

 

Luke then had Jesus utter this famous saying about whoever does not carry his own cross (ὅστις οὐ βαστάζει τὸν σταυρὸν ἑαυτοῦ) and follow after him (καὶ ἔρχεται ὀπίσω μου), cannot be or is not able to be his disciple (οὐ δύναται εἶναί μου μαθητής).  This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:38.  Matthew had Jesus repeat this remark that whoever did not take up his cross (καὶ ὃς οὐ λαμβάνει τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ) and follow after Jesus (καὶ ἀκολουθεῖ ὀπίσω μου,), was not worthy of him (οὐκ ἔστιν μου ἄξιος).  Matthew, chapter 16:24, had Jesus tell his disciples (Τότε ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ) that if anyone wanted to become his follower (Εἴ τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἐλθεῖν), they would have to deny themselves (ἀπαρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν).  They would have to take up their cross (καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ) and follow him (καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι).  Mark, chapter 8:34, has the carrying of the cross as a condition of discipleship.  If you did not take up your cross (καὶ ὃς οὐ λαμβάνει τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ) and follow after Jesus (καὶ ἀκολουθεῖ ὀπίσω μου), you were not worthy of Jesus (οὐκ ἔστιν μου ἄξιος).  This assumes knowledge of the cross and suffering of Jesus.  To be a follower of Jesus, you had to follow him and take up his cross.  The hanging on the cross was the Roman way of punishment and execution.  After the death and resurrection of Jesus, the cross became a symbol of the death of Jesus.  Are you willing to take up the cross of Jesus?

Go tell the fox Herod (Lk 13:32-13:32)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Go!

Tell that fox

For me!

‘Listen!

I am casting out

Demons!

I perform cures

Today

And tomorrow!

On the third day,

I will finish

My work!’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πορευθέντες εἴπατε τῇ ἀλώπεκι ταύτῃ Ἰδοὺ ἐκβάλλω δαιμόνια καὶ ἰάσεις ἀποτελῶ σήμερον καὶ αὔριον, καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ τελειοῦμαι.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus responded to these Pharisees (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).  Jesus told them to go tell that fox Herod (Πορευθέντες εἴπατε τῇ ἀλώπεκι ταύτῃ) that he, Jesus, was casting out demons (Ἰδοὺ ἐκβάλλω δαιμόνια) and performing cures (καὶ ἰάσεις ἀποτελῶ).  He was doing this today (σήμερον), tomorrow (καὶ αὔριον), and on the 3rd day (καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ) until he finished his work (τελειοῦμαι).  Earlier in Luke, there were comments about John the Baptist and Herod.  Here, however, there is nothing about John the Baptist at all.  This little unique saying in Luke had Jesus refer to Herod as a fox, either indicating that he was shrewd or trying to insult him.  There was also an allusion to the 3rd day or the day of the Lord’s resurrection.  Jesus had not yet finished his work in Galilee or Perea.  Has anyone ever called you a fox?

Tell no one (Lk 9:21-9:21)

“Jesus sternly ordered them.

He commanded them

Not to tell anyone.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἐπιτιμήσας αὐτοῖς παρήγγειλεν μηδενὶ λέγειν τοῦτο,

 

Luke said that Jesus sternly ordered them (ὁ δὲ ἐπιτιμήσας αὐτοῖς) and commanded them (παρήγγειλεν) not to tell anyone (μηδενὶ λέγειν τοῦτο).  This warning about the messianic secret can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:20, Mark, chapter 8:30, and here.  However, this warning came right after Peter’s response in Mark and Luke, since they did not have the unique Matthew comment about the reward for Peter.  Jesus, in some ironic way, did not want the people to know that he was the Messiah or the Christ.  Thus, the name “Jesus Christ” did not take hold until after his death and resurrection.  Mark simply said that Jesus sternly ordered, instructed, or charged his disciples that they were not to tell anyone that Jesus was the Christ or the Israelite Messiah.  Matthew also said that Jesus sternly ordered, instructed, or charged his disciples so that they were not to tell anyone that he was the Christ or the Israelite Messiah, just like he had done earlier.  This messianic secret was even stronger in Mark.  Only the elite followers of Jesus knew that he was the Christ messiah, much like a gnostic special knowledge.  How much knowledge do you have about Jesus?

Jesus tells the young man to rise up (Lk 7:14-7:14)

“Then the Lord

Came forward.

He touched the bier.

The pall bearers

Stood still.

The Lord said.

‘Young man!

 I say to you!

Arise!’”

 

καὶ προσελθὼν ἥψατο τῆς σοροῦ, οἱ δὲ βαστάζοντες ἔστησαν, καὶ εἶπεν Νεανίσκε, σοὶ λέγω, ἐγέρθητι.

 

Luke uniquely said that the Lord Jesus came forward (καὶ προσελθὼν) and touched the funeral bier (ἥψατο τῆς σοροῦ).  The pall bearers stood still (οἱ δὲ βαστάζοντες ἔστησαν).  The Lord told the young man (καὶ εἶπεν Νεανίσκε) with a solemn pronouncement of I say to you (σοὶ λέγω), rise up (ἐγέρθητι).  Luke used the pronoun he to speak about the Lord.  This would have been a shocking thing to touch the funeral bier, since it made people unclean to touch a dead person.  Thus, the pall bearers were taken back.  However, the command of Jesus telling the young man to get up meant that he was not dead.  This is the first instance of a man being raised from the dead, but it is only found here in Luke, not elsewhere.  This would be a big deal, not just curing people of illness and diseases, or chasing demons out of people.  This was a raising from the dead, a foretaste of the resurrection.  Have you ever heard of a young man getting up from a funeral casket?