Faith and sight (Lk 18:42-18:42)

“Jesus said to him.

‘Receive your sight!

Your faith

Has saved you.’”

 

καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἀνάβλεψον· ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to this blind beggar (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he should receive his sight (Ἀνάβλεψον), because his faith (ἡ πίστις σου) had saved him (ἡ πίστις σου).  Both Matthew, chapter 20:34, and Mark, chapter 10:52, are similar.  Matthew said that Jesus was moved with compassion and pity on both blind men (σπλαγχνισθεὶς δὲ), so that he touched their eyes (ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἥψατο τῶν ὀμμάτων αὐτῶν).  Immediately (καὶ εὐθέως), they regained their sight (ἀνέβλεψαν) and followed him (καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ).  Mark, like Luke, did not mention compassion or pity.  Neither did Jesus touch his eyes.  Instead, Mark indicated that Jesus told Bartimaeus to go (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ὕπαγε), because his faith had healed him (ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε).  Does faith play an important role in your life?

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Who is this for? (Lk 12:41-12:41)

“Peter said.

‘Lord!

Are you telling

This parable

For us

Or for everyone?’”

 

Εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Πέτρος Κύριε, πρὸς ἡμᾶς τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην λέγεις ἢ καὶ πρὸς πάντας;

 

Luke had a unique question from Peter.  Peter asked Jesus (Εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Πέτρος), calling him Lord (Κύριε).  Was he about to tell this parable (τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην λέγεις) for them (πρὸς ἡμᾶς) or for everyone (ἢ καὶ πρὸς πάντας)?  There seemed to be some confusion among the apostles about the role of these parables.  Were they for everyone or just for his disciples?  Do you like the parables of Jesus?

The little child (Lk 9:47-9:47)

“But Jesus

Became aware

Of their inner thoughts.

He took

A little child.

He put this child

By his side.”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἰδὼς τὸν διαλογισμὸν τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν, ἐπιλαβόμενος παιδίον ἔστησεν αὐτὸ παρ’ ἑαυτῷ,

 

Luke said that Jesus became aware of their inner heart thoughts (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἰδὼς τὸν διαλογισμὸν τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν).  He took a little child (ἐπιλαβόμενος παιδίον).  He put this child by his side (ἔστησεν αὐτὸ παρ’ ἑαυτῷ).  This talk about Jesus and the little child can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:2, as well as Mark, chapters 9:36, with some changes.  Mark said that Jesus took a little child.  He then placed this little child in the middle or among his disciples.  He held the child in his arms and then he spoke to his apostles.  Matthew indicated that Jesus put an emphasis on becoming like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Jesus called or summoned a little child.  He placed this little child in the middle of his disciples.  Then he made a solemn proclamation that they had to change or convert to become like little children.  Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of heaven   Whoever became humble like this little child in their midst, would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  The greatest in heaven would be the simple humble little children or those who acted like children, without power and depending on other people.  What do you think the role of children should be?

The Holy Spirit and Jesus (Lk 3:22-3:22)

“The Holy Spirit

Descended upon Jesus

In a bodily form,

Like a dove.”

 

καὶ καταβῆναι τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον σωματικῷ εἴδει ὡς περιστερὰν ἐπ’ αὐτόν,

 

The role of the Holy Spirit after the baptism of Jesus was very important. Matthew, chapter 3:16, Mark, chapter 1:10, and John, chapter 1:32, are almost the same as here.  Luke said that the Holy Spirit (τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον) descended (καὶ καταβῆναι) upon Jesus (ἐπ’ αὐτόν) in a bodily form (σωματικῷ εἴδει), like a dove (ὡς περιστερὰν).  John did not mention a dove, but he said that John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descend and remain on Jesus.  In Matthew and Mark, Jesus saw the Holy Spirit as a dove descend on him.  This all took place after the baptism itself.   Just as the dove after the great flood in Genesis, chapter 8:8-12, heralded a new age, so too Jesus would preach the good news in this new age.  With his prophetic vocation, Jesus had the power to begin his public ministry of healing and exorcising.  The later concept of the anointing of Jesus with the Spirit referred to this action of the dove, after his baptism in the Jordan River.  There was a clear distinction between the baptism of Jesus himself, and the specific dove bestowal of the Spirit that followed.  Despite the fact that there was no indication of any real anointing in any of these baptismal accounts of Jesus, the coming of the Spirit, in the form of a dove, was considered a symbolic anointing of Jesus within the Judaic prophetic line.  This incident functioned as the basis for an understanding of Jesus’ metaphorical anointing to become “the anointed one,” “Christ.”  This symbolic metaphorical anointing action gathered many of the Hebrew bible strands of a messianic king, a sacerdotal high priest, a servant, and a prophet into this one event.  Within this process, the messianic time began with a pre-figuration of what was going to take place at the later Pentecost event, when the fullness of the Spirit came to all the followers of Jesus.

Baptism with the Holy Spirit (Lk 3:16-3:16)

“He will baptize you

With the Holy Spirit

And fire.”

 

αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν Πνεύματι Ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 3:11, Mark, chapter 1:8, and John, chapter 1:33.  Luke indicated that John said that this mightier one to come was going to baptize them with the Holy Spirit (αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν Πνεύματι Ἁγίῳ) and fire (καὶ πυρί).  Matthew and Luke, mentioned fire with the Holy Spirit, but Mark did not.  The role of the Holy Spirit seemed important because he was going to use purifying fire in the baptismal washing.  There was a clear difference between the baptism of John with water for repentance and that of the later Christians with or in the Holy Spirit.  Perhaps there was some doubt among the early followers of Jesus about the role of baptism.

The Jewish high priests (Lk 3:2-3:2)

“The high-priest

Was Annas

And Caiaphas.”

 

ἐπὶ ἀρχιερέως Ἄννα καὶ Καϊάφα,

 

Luke further set the historical background, as he indicated that there were two Jewish high priests (ἐπὶ ἀρχιερέως) Annas (Ἄννα) and Caiaphas (καὶ Καϊάφα).  The role of the Jewish high priest in Jerusalem was determined by the Roman authorities.  Annas had been the high priest from 6-15 CE, before he was deposed.  His sons took over, but eventually Caiaphas, his son in law, became the high priest from 18-36 CE, the correct timeframe for the activities of John and Jesus.  Annas had some prestige, connection, or power over Caiaphas as the former high priest and father in law.

He will be like Elijah (Lk 1:17-1:17)

“With the spirit

And power

Of Elijah,

He will go

Before the Messiah.

He will turn

The hearts

Of parents

To their children.

He will turn

The disobedient

To the wisdom

Of the righteous.

He will

Make ready

A people

Prepared for the Lord.”

 

καὶ αὐτὸς προελεύσεται ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ ἐν πνεύματι καὶ δυνάμει Ἡλεία, ἐπιστρέψαι καρδίας πατέρων ἐπὶ τέκνα καὶ ἀπειθεῖς ἐν φρονήσει δικαίων, ἑτοιμάσαι Κυρίῳ λαὸν κατεσκευασμένον.

 

Luke then introduced the concept of Elijah to this new child. The role of Elijah can be found also in Mark, chapter 9:11, as well as in Matthew, chapter 17:11, where the disciples of Jesus asked him why the Scribes said that Elijah the prophet had to come first.  The prophet Malachi, chapter 4:5, had also foretold the coming of Elijah.  Malachi had said that Yahweh was going to send the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of Yahweh would come.  Jesus did not disagree with this comment.  He responded by reiterating that Elijah was indeed coming to restore all things.  There was no doubt about the role of Elijah, a 9th century BCE northern Israel prophet, as in the Elijah cycle in 1 Kings, chapter 17-19.  He dominated late Jewish thought.  In Matthew, Jesus had a clear link of Elijah to John the Baptist, since he was the new Elijah.  Here Luke said that this child would precede or go first before the Lord (καὶ αὐτὸς προελεύσεται ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ).  He would have the spirit and the power of Elijah (ἐν πνεύματι καὶ δυνάμει Ἡλεία).  Then he would turn the hearts of parents to their children (ἐπιστρέψαι καρδίας πατέρων ἐπὶ τέκνα), as well as turn the disobedient ones into wise righteous ones (καὶ ἀπειθεῖς ἐν φρονήσει δικαίων).  He would prepare people to be disposed to get ready for the Lord (ἑτοιμάσαι Κυρίῳ λαὸν κατεσκευασμένον), by teaching about repentance and restoring families.  This child was going to be the forerunner for the Messiah, since all the prophets and the law had predicted this right up until the time of this child John.