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?

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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?

Camel and the eye of a needle (Lk 18:25-18:25)

“It is easier

For a camel

To go through

The eye of a needle

Than for a rich man

To enter

The kingdom of God.”

 

εὐκοπώτερον γάρ ἐστιν κάμηλον διὰ τρήματος βελόνης εἰσελθεῖν ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that it was easier for a camel (εὐκοπώτερον γάρ ἐστιν κάμηλον) to go through the eye of a needle (διὰ τρήματος βελόνης εἰσελθεῖν) than for a rich man (ἢ πλούσιον) to enter the kingdom of God (εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν).  This saying about wealth and the camel going through the eye of a needle can be found in Mark, chapter 10:25, and Matthew, chapter 19:24, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that it would be easier (εὐκοπώτερόν ἐστιν) for a camel to go or pass through the eye of a needle (κάμηλον διὰ τῆς τρυμαλιᾶς τῆς ῥαφίδος διελθεῖν), that was used for sewing, than for a wealthy rich man to enter the kingdom of God (ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν).  In Matthew, once again, this was a solemn proclamation of Jesus (πάλιν δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν).  He said that it would be easier (εὐκοπώτερόν ἐστιν) for a camel to go through the eye of a sewing needle (κάμηλον διὰ τρήματος ῥαφίδος εἰσελθεῖν) than for a wealthy rich man to enter the kingdom of God (ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This was a follow up to the obstacles of wealth.  Notice that Matthew followed the other two gospels by using kingdom of God (τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) rather than his usual kingdom of heaven (τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν), as in the preceding verses.  Everyone knew that it would be impossible for a camel to go through a sewing needle eye or a needle opening.  There was no needle gate in Jerusalem, since this was about a sewing needle.  Do you see wealth as a problem?

Sit at the table (Lk 17:7-17:7)

“Who among you

Would say

To your slave,

Who had just come in

From plowing

Or tending sheep

In the field.

‘Come here at once!

Take your place

At the table’?”

 

Τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν δοῦλον ἔχων ἀροτριῶντα ἢ ποιμαίνοντα, ὃς εἰσελθόντι ἐκ τοῦ ἀγροῦ ἐρεῖ αὐτῷ Εὐθέως παρελθὼν ἀνάπεσε,

 

Once again, Luke uniquely has a saying of Jesus that is not in the other synoptic gospels.  Jesus asked who among them would say to their slave (Τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν δοῦλον), who had just come in from the field (ὃς εἰσελθόντι ἐκ τοῦ ἀγροῦ), after plowing (ἔχων ἀροτριῶντα) or tending the sheep (ἢ ποιμαίνοντα), to immediately take his place reclining at the table with them (ἐρεῖ αὐτῷ Εὐθέως παρελθὼν ἀνάπεσε).  Obviously, slavery was considered okay.  Slaves were in a separate category from the land owners.  No one would invite his slave to share a meal with them.  Does that sound harsh to you?

Forgiveness (Lk 17:4-17:4)

“If the same person

Sins against you

Seven times

A day,

Yet turns back

To you

Seven times,

And says.

‘I repent!’

You must forgive!”

 

καὶ ἐὰν ἑπτάκις τῆς ἡμέρας ἁμαρτήσῃ εἰς σὲ καὶ ἑπτάκις ἐπιστρέψῃ πρὸς σὲ λέγων Μετανοῶ, ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if the same person sinned against you (ἁμαρτήσῃ εἰς σὲ) 7 times a day (καὶ ἐὰν ἑπτάκις τῆς ἡμέρας), yet turned back to you 7 times (καὶ ἑπτάκις ἐπιστρέψῃ πρὸς σὲ), and said that he repented (Μετανοῶ, ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ), you must still forgive him (ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ).  There is something like this saying in Matthew, chapter 18:21-22, although there was no mention of Peter here in LukeMatthew indicated that Peter took on a specific leadership role.  He wanted to know how many times he should forgive his brother’s sins?  Peter wanted to know how often he should forgive his brother who had sinned against him (ποσάκις ἁμαρτήσει εἰς ἐμὲ ὁ ἀδελφός μου καὶ ἀφήσω αὐτῷ).  Peter thought that 7 would be a good number.  Was 7 times enough (ἕως ἑπτάκις)?  Most Jewish people had forgiven offenses 3 times.  3 strikes and you were out.  Peter seemed overly generous in his attempts at forgiveness.  Jesus surprised Peter with a solemn declaration (λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦ) by telling him to forgive his brother’s sins not just 7 times (Οὐ λέγω σοι ἕως ἑπτάκις) but 490 times, 7*70 (ἀλλὰ ἕως ἑβδομηκοντάκις ἑπτά).  However, this saying about 7*70 was unique to Matthew, who was the only one who ever used this number ἑβδομηκοντάκις ἑπτά in the New Testament literature.  This number, nevertheless, could be found in Genesis, chapter 4:24 when Cain and Lamech were talking about violent revenge.  Lamech wanted his vengeance 7*70.  Was this number an attempt to indicate infinity before we had that term?  490 seems overly generous in any circumstances.  However, here in Luke, it might be even more since forgiveness was expected 7 times each day.  How many times do you forgive people?

 

The brother’s sins (Lk 17:3-17:3)

“Pay attention to yourself!

If your brother disciple

Sins,

You must rebuke

The offender.

If there is repentance,

You must forgive.”

 

προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς. ἐὰν ἁμάρτῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου, ἐπιτίμησον αὐτῷ, καὶ ἐὰν μετανοήσῃ, ἄφες αὐτῷ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to pay attention (προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς).  If a brother disciple sinned (ἐὰν ἁμάρτῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου), they must rebuke the offender (ἐπιτίμησον αὐτῷ).  If there is repentance (καὶ ἐὰν μετανοήσῃ), they must forgive him (ἄφες αὐτῷ).  This saying about the sinning brother is something similar in Matthew, chapter 18:15, perhaps indicating a Q source, with some minor changes.  Luke wanted the one offended to forgive the original offense.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that if one of your brothers had sinned against you (Ἐὰν δὲ ἁμαρτήσῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου), point out that fault or rebuke him (ὕπαγε ἔλεγξον αὐτὸν), when the two of you are alone (μεταξὺ σοῦ καὶ αὐτοῦ μόνου).  If he listened to you (ἐάν σου ἀκούσῃ), you have regained your brother (ἐκέρδησας τὸν ἀδελφόν σου).  There was no mention of any forgiveness here.  Is this a blood brother or a fellow disciple of Jesus brother?  It appears to be a fellow follower of Jesus.  Forgiveness was important.  Matthew had a more elaborate process of rebuking and forgiving.  How do you forgive people?

Renounce all things! (Lk 14:33-14:33)

“Therefore,

None of you

Can become

My disciple,

If you do not

Give up

Your possessions.”

 

οὕτως οὖν πᾶς ἐξ ὑμῶν ὃς οὐκ ἀποτάσσεται πᾶσιν τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ ὑπάρχουσιν οὐ δύναται εἶναί μου μαθητής.

 

Once again, this is a stark unique saying of Jesus, only found in Luke.  Jesus said that none of them (οὕτως οὖν πᾶς ἐξ ὑμῶν) could become his disciples (οὐ δύναται εἶναί μου μαθητής), if they did not give up their possessions (ὃς οὐκ ἀποτάσσεται πᾶσιν τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ ὑπάρχουσιν).  Quite clearly, Jesus said that the only people who could be his disciples were those who gave up their possessions, no ifs or buts.  Are you willing to give up all your possessions for Jesus?