Luke indicated that Jesus saw a poor widow (εἶδεν δέ τινα χήραν πενιχρὰν) put in two small copper coins (βάλλουσαν ἐκεῖ λεπτὰ δύο). Only Mark, chapter 12:42, has something similar, since Matthew did not mention this incident. Mark indicated that Jesus said that this one poor widow came to the treasury (καὶ ἐλθοῦσα μία χήρα πτωχὴ). She put in two small copper coins (ἔβαλεν λεπτὰ δύο). A λεπτὰ “lepton” copper coin was the smallest Greek coin and often called a “mite”. Two of these “lepton” copper coins was worth a penny or a κοδράντης (ὅ ἐστιν κοδράντης). This κοδράντης “quadrans” was the smallest Roman copper coin. This was a very small amount of money that this poor widow put into the Temple treasury. Do you give pennies away?
Luke indicated that Jesus looked up (Ἀναβλέψας δὲ). He saw (εἶδεν τοὺς) rich people (πλουσίους) putting, casting, or dropping their gifts into the treasury (βάλλοντας εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον τὰ δῶρα αὐτῶν). Only Mark, chapter 21:41, has something similar, but in a more expansive form, while Matthew did not mention this incident. Mark said that Jesus sat down opposite the treasury (Καὶ καθίσας κατέναντι τοῦ γαζοφυλακίου), that was a room in the Temple. This room probably had many large containers, probably twelve receptacles for the various Israelite tribes, to put gifts into. He watched how the crowds of people put money into the treasury containers (ἐθεώρει πῶς ὁ ὄχλος βάλλει χαλκὸν εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον). Many rich people put in large sums of money (καὶ πολλοὶ πλούσιοι ἔβαλλον πολλά). There is nothing extraordinary about rich people giving lots of money to the Temple treasury. This seemed normal enough. Do you contribute to religious organizations?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that when the tenants saw this beloved son (ἰδόντες δὲ αὐτὸν) of the vineyard owner, they discussed it among themselves (οἱ γεωργοὶ διελογίζοντο πρὸς ἀλλήλους). They decided or said (λέγοντες) that this was the heir (Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ κληρονόμος) to the vineyard. If they killed him (ἀποκτείνωμεν αὐτόν), the inheritance would be theirs or go to them (ἵνα ἡμῶν γένηται ἡ κληρονομία). This parable about the wicked tenants planning to kill the heir of the vineyard can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:38, and Mark, chapter 12:7, almost word for word. Mark said that Jesus continued his story by saying that instead of respecting the son of the landowner, these tenants saw this son as an heir to the vineyard. They said to themselves (ἐκεῖνοι δὲ οἱ γεωργοὶ πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς εἶπαν) that he was the heir (ὅτι Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ κληρονόμος). They were going to kill him (δεῦτε ἀποκτείνωμεν αὐτόν), thinking that they would get his inheritance (καὶ ἡμῶν ἔσται ἡ κληρονομία). Matthew indicated that when the tenants saw the son of the landowner (οἱ δὲ γεωργοὶ ἰδόντες τὸν υἱὸν), they said to themselves (εἶπον ἐν ἑαυτοῖς) that he was the heir (Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ κληρονόμος). They were going to kill him (δεῦτε ἀποκτείνωμεν αὐτὸν), thinking that they would get his inheritance (καὶ σχῶμεν τὴν κληρονομίαν αὐτοῦ). They were really dumb. Would you ever think of getting rid of someone?
Luke uniquely said that as Jesus came near (Καὶ ὡς ἤγγισεν) to Jerusalem, he saw the city (ἰδὼν τὴν πόλιν) and wept over it (ἔκλαυσεν ἐπ’ αὐτήν). However, this was the second time that he lamented about the situation in Jerusalem as he had earlier in chapter 13:33-34 about Jerusalem killing its prophets. Jesus sadly entered the city after the rousing entrance in the preceding verses. He was acutely aware of the sufferings and problems to come for himself, the city, and its people. Have you ever wept over a city?
Luke indicated that everyone who saw this (καὶ ἰδόντες πάντες) began to grumble (διεγόγγυζον). They said (λέγοντες) that Jesus had gone to stay with a sinful man (ὅτι Παρὰ ἁμαρτωλῷ ἀνδρὶ εἰσῆλθεν καταλῦσαι). Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use the term διεγόγγυζον, that means to murmur among themselves, murmur greatly, or continue murmuring.All the people knew that Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector and thus working with and for the foreign governing Romans. These tax collectors were more political and distained because of their corruption and wealth. Now Jesus was going to stay with what many considered a public sinner, a tax collector. Luke was the only synoptic with this story of Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector. Would you stay with someone who was a known public sinner?
Luke said that immediately (καὶ παραχρῆμα), the blind beggar regained his sight (ἀνέβλεψεν). He followed Jesus (καὶ ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ), glorifying God (δοξάζων τὸν Θεόν). All the people (καὶ πᾶς ὁ λαὸς), when they saw it (ἰδὼν), gave praise to God (ἔδωκεν αἶνον τῷ Θεῷ). Mark, chapter 10:52, and Matthew, chapter 20:34, had something similar, but without anything about praise or glory. Mark said that immediately (καὶ εὐθὺς), Bartimaeus regained his sight (ἀνέβλεψεν) and followed Jesus on his way (καὶ ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ), as Bartimaeus became a disciple of Jesus. There was no physical contact in this healing of the blind man in Luke and Mark. The two blind men in Matthew also became disciples of Jesus. However, Matthew did not mention their faith explicitly as in Mark and Luke. Do you wear corrective lenses to improve your eyesight?
Only Luke has this story about the curing of the ten lepers. Luke indicated that one of these 10 lepers (εἷς δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν) saw that he was healed (ἰδὼν ὅτι ἰάθη). He turned back (ὑπέστρεψεν). He praised or glorified God (δοξάζων τὸν Θεόν) with a loud voice (μετὰ φωνῆς μεγάλης). Only one of these 10 lepers praised God. The other 9 just went on their way to see the Jerusalem priests for the ritual cleansing. Would you be the one or the nine?
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 the rich man was living in torment (ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις) in Hades (καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἅιδῃ), the Greek name for hell, a permanent place of damnation as opposed to the vague Hebrew afterlife Sheol, the place of the dead. This rich man looked up or lifted up his eyes (ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ). He saw Abraham (ὁρᾷ Ἀβραὰμ), far away (ἀπὸ μακρόθεν), with Lazarus in his bosom (καὶ Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ). Both Abraham and Lazarus were together, but far away since there was a clear difference between where the rich man and Lazarus with Abraham were. Just as in life, there was a difference between the rich man and Lazarus, so too in death. Do you believe that there will be options in the afterlife?
This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories. Luke indicated that Jesus said that this prodigal son set off to go to his father (καὶ ἀναστὰς ἦλθεν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ἑαυτοῦ). While he was still far away (ἔτι δὲ αὐτοῦ μακρὰν ἀπέχοντος), his father saw him (εἶδεν αὐτὸν ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ). He was filled with compassion (καὶ ἐσπλαγχνίσθη). He ran to him (καὶ δραμὼν). He put his arms around him or fell upon his neck (ἐπέπεσεν ἐπὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ) and he kissed him (καὶ κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν). In case there was any doubt, the father was going to accept the prodigal sinning son without any conditions. There was not even an “I’m sorry!” from the son. This compassionate father ran out to embrace him before he even got close to their house. Obviously, he was out in the fields working. Do you feel closer to the wasteful repentant prodigal son or the compassionate forgiving father?
Luke uniquely said that Jesus saw her (ἰδὼν δὲ αὐτὴν). He then called her over near to him (ὁ Ἰησοῦς προσεφώνησεν). He then said to her (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ), calling her woman (Γύναι), that she would be set free from her ailment or sickness (ἀπολέλυσαι τῆς ἀσθενείας σου). Obviously, Jesus would have noticed this bent over lady, which is often common among older men and women because of osteoporosis or weakening of the backbone. He called her over to cure her of her infirmity. He was going to see her free from the evil spirit that had caused this problem. Have you ever seen a person recover from being bent over?