God knows your heart (Lk 16:15-16:15)

“Jesus

Said to the Pharisees.

‘You are those

Who justify yourselves

In the sight

Of others.

However,

God knows

Your hearts.

What is prized

By human beings

Is an abomination

In the sight

Of God.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ δικαιοῦντες ἑαυτοὺς ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ὁ δὲ Θεὸς γινώσκει τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν· ὅτι τὸ ἐν ἀνθρώποις ὑψηλὸν βδέλυγμα ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Once again, this is a unique statement of Luke, not found in the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus reproved the Pharisees.  He said to them (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that they tried to justify themselves (Ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ δικαιοῦντες ἑαυτοὺς) in the sight of other men (ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀνθρώπων).  However, God knows their hearts (ὁ δὲ Θεὸς γινώσκει τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν).  What is prized or exalted by humans (ὅτι τὸ ἐν ἀνθρώποις ὑψηλὸν) is an abomination or cursed in the sight of God (βδέλυγμα ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Once again, Jesus continued with his diatribe against the Pharisees.  The value system of the Pharisees was not in sync with the value system of God.  They wanted to look good before their fellow men, so as to be praised.  However, whatever humans praise, God does not.  Do you love human praise?

The found sheep (Lk 15:5-15:5)

“When the shepherd

Has found it,

He lays it

On his shoulders,

Rejoicing.”

 

καὶ εὑρὼν ἐπιτίθησιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὤμους αὐτοῦ χαίρων,

 

Luke had Jesus continue his story or parable.  When this shepherd found the lost sheep (καὶ εὑρὼν), he would lay it on his shoulders (ἐπιτίθησιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὤμους αὐτοῦ), rejoicing (χαίρων).  This parable of the lost sheep can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:13, with some minor changes, indicating a Q source.  Jesus then had a solemn pronouncement (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  If this shepherd had found his one lost sheep (καὶ ἐὰν γένηται εὑρεῖν αὐτό), would he rejoice over that more than over the 99 sheep that had never wandered away (ὅτι χαίρει ἐπ’ αὐτῷ μᾶλλον ἢ ἐπὶ τοῖς ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα τοῖς μὴ πεπλανημένοις)?  Every single sheep was precious in the sight of this good shepherd.  Do you think that everyone is precious in the sight of God?

Tell him what you have seen (Lk 7:22-7:22)

“Jesus answered them.

‘Go!

Tell John!

What you have seen

And heard.

The blind

Receive their sight.

The lame

Walk.

The lepers

Are cleansed.

The deaf

Hear.

The dead

Are raised up.

The poor

Have good news

Brought to them.’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πορευθέντες ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰωάνει ἃ εἴδετε καὶ ἠκούσατε· τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν, χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν, λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται, καὶ κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν, νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται, πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται·

 

Luke said that Jesus answered the disciples of John (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).  He told them to go tell John (Πορευθέντες ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰωάνει) what they had seen and heard (ἃ εἴδετε καὶ ἠκούσατε).  The blind ones receive their sight (τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν).  The lame walk (χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν).  The lepers are cleansed (λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται).  The deaf hear (καὶ κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν).  The dead are raised up (νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται).  The poor have good news brought to them (πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται).  This is almost word for word like Matthew, chapter 11:4-5, indicating a possible Q source.  Jesus responded or answered these disciples and their main question.  He told them to report back to John after their journey what they had heard and seen.  Then Jesus listed what he had been doing.  The blind people have recovered their sight.  The lame people were walking around.  The lepers were cleansed.  The deaf were able to hear.  The dead were raised up.  The poor and destitute people were getting good news brought to them.  This is a very strong response, as if to say that he was the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed one, something that Jesus did not do often.  This messianic expectation was based on Isaiah, chapter 35:4-6, when the savior, their God would come with a vengeance to make up for past problems.  He would come to save them.  Isaiah seems to indicate that there would be a reversal of fortune, a change in the ways that things happen.  The blind would see.  The deaf would hear.  The lame would run.  The mute people would speak.  Have you had a change in your life?

Curing people (Lk 7:21-7:21)

“Jesus had just then

Cured many people

Of diseases,

Of severe afflictions,

And of evil spirits.

He had given sight

To many

Who were blind.”

 

ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἐθεράπευσεν πολλοὺς ἀπὸ νόσων καὶ μαστίγων καὶ πνευμάτων πονηρῶν, καὶ τυφλοῖς πολλοῖς ἐχαρίσατο βλέπειν.

 

Luke has an introductory comment that was not in Matthew, before he gave the response of Jesus.  Luke stated that at that very hour (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ), Jesus had just then cured or healed many people (ἐθεράπευσεν πολλοὺς) of diseases (ἀπὸ νόσων), of severe afflictions (καὶ μαστίγων), and of evil spirits (καὶ πνευμάτων πονηρῶν).  He had given sight to many blind people (καὶ τυφλοῖς πολλοῖς ἐχαρίσατο βλέπειν).  In other words, Jesus was a miracle worker.  Have you ever seen a miracle worker?

 

Go through the roof (Lk 5:19-5:19)

“But they found

No way

To bring him in,

Because of the crowd.

They went up

On the roof.

They let him down,

With his bed,

Through the tiles

Into the middle

Of the crowd,

In front of Jesus.”

 

καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες ποίας εἰσενέγκωσιν αὐτὸν διὰ τὸν ὄχλον, ἀναβάντες ἐπὶ τὸ δῶμα διὰ τῶν κεράμων καθῆκαν αὐτὸν σὺν τῷ κλινιδίῳ εἰς τὸ μέσον ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Ἰησοῦ.

 

Luke said that these men could not find a way to bring him into the house (καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες ποίας εἰσενέγκωσιν αὐτὸν), because of the crowd (διὰ τὸν ὄχλον).  Thus, they went up on the roof housetop (ἀναβάντες ἐπὶ τὸ δῶμα).  They let the paralyzed man down (καθῆκαν αὐτὸν), still on his bed (σὺν τῷ κλινιδίῳ), through the tiles (διὰ τῶν κεράμων) in the middle of the crowd (εἰς τὸ μέσον), in front of Jesus (ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Ἰησοῦ).  Although Matthew, chapter 9:2, never mentioned this roof opening, Mark, chapter 2:4, said that they were not able to bring this paralytic to Jesus.  Thus, they dug through or gouged out a hole in the roof, so that they let down the paralyzed man lying on his bed through this hole in the roof.  This large crowd of people would have this paralyzed man on a bed come through the roof in the middle of the house.  What a sight!  As a little kid, this story really struck me.  The story in Luke had a tile roof, while in Mark, it was like a mud roof.

The citation from Isaiah (Lk 4:18-4:19)

“The Spirit of the Lord

Is upon me.

Because

He has anointed me

To bring good news

To the poor.

He has sent me

To proclaim release

To the captives.

He has sent me

To give recovery

Of sight

To the blind.

He has sent me

To let the oppressed

Go free.

He has sent me

To proclaim the year

Of the Lord’s favor.’”

 

Πνεῦμα Κυρίου ἐπ’ ἐμέ, οὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέν με εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς, ἀπέσταλκέν με κηρῦξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀνάβλεψιν, ἀποστεῖλαι τεθραυσμένους ἐν ἀφέσει,

κηρῦξαι ἐνιαυτὸν Κυρίου δεκτόν.

 

This is unique to Luke, who used this citation from Isaiah, chapter 61:1.  Jesus read or said that the Spirit of the Lord was upon him (Πνεῦμα Κυρίου ἐπ’ ἐμέ), because God had anointed him (ὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέν με) to bring good news to the poor or oppressed (εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς).  Some Orthodox texts have the healing of the brokenhearted (συντετριμμένους τὴν καρδίαν) also.  God has sent him (ἀπέσταλκέν με) to proclaim the release to the captives (κηρῦξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν).  He has sent him to give recovery or sight to the blind (καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀνάβλεψιν), although there was no mention of the blind in Isaiah.  He has sent him to let the oppressed go free (ἀποστεῖλαι τεθραυσμένους ἐν ἀφέσει).  He has sent him to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (κηρῦξαι ἐνιαυτὸν Κυρίου δεκτόν), which is exactly the same as Isaiah, chapter 61:2.  The Spirit of Yahweh was upon him, who had been anointed, either like a priestly or a royal anointing.  However, the primary mission was not cultic, but rather social in nature, what we might call social justice.  Having been called by the Spirit and anointed by Yahweh, he was sent out with a simple generic mission.  Bring good news to the oppressed.  This good news concept was later adapted by the early followers of Jesus who talked about the good news of the gospel.  This basic mission included binding up the broken hearted and freeing prisoners.  This servant or prophet was sent out to proclaim a year of Yahweh’s favor.

The man could see clearly (Mk 8:25-8:25)

“Then Jesus

Laid his hands

On his eyes again.

He looked intently.

His sight was restored.

He saw everything clearly.”

 

εἶτα πάλιν ἐπέθηκεν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ, καὶ διέβλεψεν καὶ ἀπεκατέστη, καὶ ἐνέβλεπεν τηλαυγῶς ἅπαντα.

 

This story of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida was unique to Mark. Then Jesus laid his hands on the blind man’s eyes again (εἶτα πάλιν ἐπέθηκεν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ).  This time the blind man opened his eyes intently (καὶ διέβλεψεν).  His sight was fully restored (καὶ ἀπεκατέστη).  Now he began to see everything clearly (καὶ ἐνέβλεπεν τηλαυγῶς ἅπαντα).  Thus, this second stage of clear vision needed another physical act to complete the healing of this blind man.  Perhaps, that is why Matthew and Luke did not include this story in their gospels.