Free from infirmity (Lk 13:12-13:12)

“When Jesus saw her,

He called her over.

He said to her.

‘Woman!

You are set free

From your ailment.’”

 

ἰδὼν δὲ αὐτὴν ὁ Ἰησοῦς προσεφώνησεν καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ Γύναι, ἀπολέλυσαι τῆς ἀσθενείας σου,

 

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?

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The Samaritan (Lk 10:33-10:33)

“But a Samaritan,

While traveling,

Came near him.

When he saw him,

He was moved

With pity.”

 

Σαμαρείτης δέ τις ὁδεύων ἦλθεν κατ’ αὐτὸν καὶ ἰδὼν ἐσπλαγχνίσθη,

 

Luke continued his unique story.  Jesus said that a Samaritan (Σαμαρείτης), while traveling (δέ τις ὁδεύων), came near to this wounded man (ἦλθεν κατ’ αὐτὸν).  When he saw him (καὶ ἰδὼν), he was moved with pity (ἐσπλαγχνίσθη).  Who then is this Samaritan?  Samaritans lived in Samaria, between Judea and Galilee.  This was the territory that had been formerly assigned to Ephraim and Manasseh.  The Samaritans were part of the former Northern Kingdom of Israel with the city of Samaria as their capital city, after the death of Solomon.  There was an example of kindness by the northern tribes in 2 Chronicles, chapter 28:12-15, but that was long before the bitterness set in between Samaria and Judea.  Over time, since the 8th century BCE, they had become a distinct ethnic group that was in dispute with the Judean Jews, since the territory of Samaria was between Judea and Galilee.  They became bitter enemies with the Jews of Judea in particular.  Luke showed Jesus interacting with the Samaritans more than any of the other gospel writers.  Luke had uniquely mentioned that Jesus had gone into some Samaritan villages in chapter 9:52-56.  It might even be questioned, why would this Samaritan be on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem?  Nevertheless, this unnamed Samaritan like the unnamed priest and Levite, came on the scene.  Unlike the other two prominent Jewish religious leaders, this Samaritan was moved with pity.  Samaritans were the underclass among the Judeans.  They worshiped a false Jewish God with their Samaritan Torah at the destroyed Mount Gerizim.  They were not at the top of Jewish society, quite the opposite.  Can someone at the bottom of a society do anything good?

The Levite passed by (Lk 10:32-10:32)

“Thus,

Likewise

A Levite,

When he came

To the place

Saw him.

He passed by

On the other side.”

 

ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Λευείτης κατὰ τὸν τόπον ἐλθὼν καὶ ἰδὼν ἀντιπαρῆλθεν

 

Luke continued his unique story.  Jesus said that a Levite also (ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Λευείτης) came to this same place (κατὰ τὸν τόπον ἐλθὼν) on the road.  He saw the wounded man (καὶ ἰδὼν).  Then he too crossed over to the other side of the road (ἀντιπαρῆλθεν), so as not to engage with this man.  The same questions can be asked of this Jewish Levite that were asked about the priest.  Was it because of ritual purity?  Was he in a hurry, so that he did not have time to stop?  Did he simply not care?  Was it too much of a bother?  Normally, the Levites do not come in for much criticism in the gospel narratives.  Levites were sons of Levi, and tied to ritualistic practice at the Temple.  For instance, the father of John the Baptist was Zechariah and his mother Elizabeth, both of them were descendants of Aaron.  Zechariah was a priest in the Jerusalem Temple, while Elizabeth was from a Levite family.  These Levites had Temple duties.  Thus, they were religious ritual leaders in the Jewish community.  Both the priest and the Levite represented the upper religious strata of the Jewish community.  Do you think that religious leaders should set an example by their lifestyle?

The priest went by (Lk 10:31-10:31)

“Now by chance,

A priest

Was going down

That road.

When he saw him,

He passed by

On the other side.”

 

κατὰ συγκυρίαν δὲ ἱερεύς τις κατέβαινεν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν ἀντιπαρῆλθεν.

 

Luke uniquely continued this story or parable about who is my neighbor.  Jesus said that by chance (κατὰ συγκυρίαν), a certain Jewish priest (δὲ ἱερεύς τις) was going down (κατέβαινεν) this same road (ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐκείνῃ).  He saw the badly wounded man (καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν), but he passed by on the other side of the road (ἀντιπαρῆλθεν).  There is a lot of speculation on why this priest did not help this man.  Was it because of ritual purity?  Was he in a hurry, so that he did not have time to stop?  Did he simply not care?  Was it too much of a bother?  Certainly, a Jewish priest had standing in the Jewish community.  Other than the high priest, he represented the most important level of Jewish society.  What is certain is that this high-ranking religious leader did not engage in any way with the afflicted man on the other side of the road.  He clearly saw him, as he specifically crossed over to the other side, so as not to be bothered by him.  The ritual purity argument has been raised since a priest could not touch a corpse.  However, there was no mention of a dead body.  Do you always have an excuse on why you do not help other wounded people?

John and James want to set a fire (Lk 9:54-9:54)

“When his disciples,

James

And John,

Saw this,

They said.

‘Lord!

Do you want us

To command fire

To come down

From heaven

And consume them?’”

 

ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης εἶπαν Κύριε, θέλεις εἴπωμεν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς;

 

Luke continued his unique story about this trip in Samaria.  He noted that Jesus’ disciples (δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ), James and John (Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης), the Zebedee brothers, the sons of thunder, saw (ἰδόντες) what this village did.  They asked Jesus (καὶ Ἰωάνης εἶπαν), calling him Lord (Κύριε), if he wanted them (θέλεις) to call down fire (εἴπωμεν πῦρ) from heaven (ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ) in order to consume them (καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς).  Elijah, in 2 Kings, chapter 1:9-16, called down fire to consume the 100 messengers of the northern Israelite King of Samaria, King Ahaziah.  Did John and James want to do something like that?  Have you ever been so mad that you wanted to destroy some people?

Forbid the non-followers of Jesus (Lk 9:49-9:49)

“John answered.

‘Master!

We saw someone

Casting out demons

In your name.

We tried

To stop him,

Because he

Does not follow you

With us.’”

 

Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰωάνης εἶπεν Ἐπιστάτα, εἴδομέν τινα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ἐκβάλλοντα δαιμόνια, καὶ ἐκωλύομεν αὐτὸν, ὅτι οὐκ ἀκολουθεῖ μεθ’ ἡμῶν

 

Luke said that John (δὲ ὁ Ἰωάνης), one of the apostles, questioned Jesus (Ἀποκριθεὶς), calling him Master (Ἐπιστάτα).  He said (εἶπεν) that they saw someone (εἴδομέν τινα) casting out demons (ἐκβάλλοντα δαιμόνια) in Jesus’ name (ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου).  They tried to stop him (καὶ ἐκωλύομεν αὐτὸν), because he was not a Jesus follower with them (ὅτι οὐκ ἀκολουθεῖ μεθ’ ἡμῶν).  There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 9:38, but not in MatthewLuke continued to follow the structure of Mark, who indicated that John, presumably John the son of Zebedee, approached Jesus.  He called Jesus “teacher (Διδάσκαλε),” not Master (Ἐπιστάτα) as here in Luke.  He said that they had seen someone casting out demons in the name of Jesus, who was not a follower of Jesus, like them.  This unnamed exorcist was apparently not one of Jesus’ disciples.  Perhaps he may have been originally one of Jesus’ disciples, but left this group.  They tried to stop or prevent him from doing the exorcisms in the name of Jesus, precisely because he was not a fellow follower or disciple of Jesus.  Do you think that someone can be a follower of Jesus without belonging to your Christian group?

 

A great crowd (Lk 9:37-9:37)

“On the next day,

When they had come down

From the mountain,

A great crowd

Met Jesus.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ τῇ ἑξῆς ἡμέρᾳ κατελθόντων αὐτῶν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους συνήντησεν αὐτῷ ὄχλος πολύς

 

Luke said that on the next day (Ἐγένετο δὲ τῇ ἑξῆς ἡμέρᾳ), after the transfiguration, when they had come down from the mountain (κατελθόντων αὐτῶν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους), a great crowd met Jesus (συνήντησεν αὐτῷ ὄχλος πολύς).  Mark, chapter 9:14-15, and Matthew, chapter 17:14 are somewhat similar.  Jesus came to his disciples and saw a great crowd around them.  Mark said that some Scribes were arguing or discussing with them, but there was no indication what they were discussing or arguing about.  As Jesus left his small group of disciples, a large crowd came towards him.  Mark said that suddenly a large crowd saw Jesus, so that they were amazed or overcome with awe, since he was like a celebrity.  They all ran forward to greet him.  Have you ever been in a crowd when a celebrity appeared?