All his sayings,
In the hearing
Of the people,
He entered Capernaum.”
Ἐπειδὴ ἐπλήρωσεν πάντα τὰ ῥήματα αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰς ἀκοὰς τοῦ λαοῦ, εἰσῆλθεν εἰς Καφαρναούμ.
Luke said that after Jesus had finished all his sayings (Ἐπειδὴ ἐπλήρωσεν πάντα τὰ ῥήματα αὐτοῦ), which the people had heard (εἰς τὰς ἀκοὰς τοῦ λαοῦ), he entered Capernaum (εἰσῆλθεν εἰς Καφαρναούμ). This story can be found in Matthew, chapter 8:5, and John, chapter 4:46, with of course some variations. Jesus once again returned to Capernaum, his headquarters in Galilee, implying that Jesus had finished with his sermon on the plain or the mountain. Mark, chapter 2:1, indicated that Capernaum was now his new home. Capernaum was a fishing village of about 1,500 people, on the northwest seaside corner of the Sea of Galilee. According to Matthew, chapter 4:13, Capernaum had become Jesus’ own home town. Have you always lived in the same hometown?
At his disciples.
‘Blessed are you
Who are poor!
The kingdom of God.”
Καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ εἰς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἔλεγεν Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοί, ὅτι ὑμετέρα ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ.
Luke said that Jesus looked up at his disciples (Καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ εἰς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ). He said (ἔλεγεν) that the poor are blessed or happy (Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοί), using the second person plural. Their reward would be the kingdom of God (ὅτι ὑμετέρα ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ). This sermon on the plain is somewhat similar to the sermon on the mount in Matthew, chapters 5-7. Most people speak about the 8 beatitudes of Jesus on the mountain, since they feature the key points of Jesus’ preaching that was founded on the Hebrew Scriptures. What does “blessed (Μακάριοι)” mean? This Greek word Μακάριοι appeared over 68 times in the Greek Septuagint Old Testament, especially in the Psalms. God will bless these people, so that they will be the fortunate ones, the happy ones, the wise ones. There are echoes of Psalm 32, where the happy and blessed ones are those who have had their sins forgiven, since they have no deceit in their hearts. The blessed people are the poor, the hungry, the mourners, and those being persecuted. Number one is the poor. However, right off the bat, there is a difference with Matthew. chapter 5:3, who used the term the “poor in spirit (οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι).” What did Matthew mean by this “poor in spirit” or spiritual poverty? There is a whole Judaic tradition about the oppressed poor and the humble of the land, as in the prophets Isaiah, chapter 61:1 and 66:2, and Zephaniah, chapter 2:3, but that was not spiritual poverty. Perhaps, this was more like the lack of concern for material things, whether you are actually poor or not. For Luke, it was black or white, poor or not. The 2nd major difference was the reward. Matthew talked about what they would possess, the kingdom of the heavens (ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν), while Luke said it was the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ), plain and simple.
Matthew had 3 chapters devoted to Jesus and his preaching on the mount or hill. This Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus that emphasize his moral teaching, the first of his 5 discourses. early in the ministry of Jesus. Luke had something similar in his sermon on the plain. This sermon is the longest continuous section of Jesus speaking in the New Testament, containing the central tenets of Christian discipleship. Thus, it had become the most widely quoted and best known of the teachings of Jesus, with the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer. These Jesus sayings echo the highest ideals of Jesus’ teachings on spirituality and compassion with acts of mercy, providing both temporal and spiritual benefits. Jesus also used many metaphors in his sermon. He reinterpreted the Ten Commandments, particularly about lying, killing and adultery. The teachings of this sermon have been a key element of Christian ethics with its demanding high moral standards. Christians were to be perfect with a Christian righteousness. There have been many different interpretations of this demanding ethical life. Was this only for clergy and monks? Is it only an impossible ideal? Should we take this literally? Is this only an interim ethic or a future ethic? Is this the basis of the social gospel and Christian existentialism? What value do these ideals have for our lives today?