Simon Peter (Lk 22:31-22:31)

“Simon!

Simon!

Listen!

Satan has demanded

To sift

All of you

Like wheat.”

Σίμων, Σίμων, ἰδοὺ ὁ Σατανᾶς ἐξῃτήσατο ὑμᾶς τοῦ σινιάσαι ὡς τὸν σῖτον·

This verse is unique to Luke, since the prediction of Peter’s denial does not come until after they are in the Mount of Olives area in Mark, chapter 14:29, and Matthew, chapter 26:33.  However, this was at the Last Supper here in Luke and in John, chapter 13:36-38, where Jesus told Peter that he could not follow him.  Luke indicated that Jesus said to Simon (Σίμων Σίμων), not calling him Peter, that he should listen (ἰδοὺ) because Satan (ὁ Σατανᾶς) was going to sift him like wheat (ἐξῃτήσατο ὑμᾶς τοῦ σινιάσαι ὡς τὸν σῖτον).  Luke used two Greek words that are not found in any other Greek biblical literature.  First there was ἐξῃτήσατο, to ask for oneself, demand, or beg earnestly.  Then there is the word σινιάσαι, meaning to sift, prove by trials, or winnow.  Thus, Satan was demanding Peter to do something and control him, as if he were wheat grains.  Only Luke here talked about Satan entering into Simon Peter, much like Judas Iscariot, since he was like harvested wheat grain.  Do you believe that Satan has ever tempted you?

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Peter responds (Lk 9:20-9:20)

“Jesus said to them.

‘But who do you say

That I am?’

Peter answered.

‘The Messiah,

The Christ

Of God.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς Ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα με λέγετε εἶναι; Πέτρος δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked his disciples (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς) who did they say that he was (Ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα με λέγετε εἶναι)?  Peter answered (Πέτρος δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς) that he was the Messiah, the Christ of God (εἶπεν Τὸν Χριστὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This same question and response of Peter can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:15-17, Mark, chapter 6:29 and John, 6:69, but all slightly different.  Mark said that Jesus was questioning his disciples who was it that they thought or said that he was.  Jesus thus put them to the test.  This was not about what others said or thought, but about their understanding of Jesus.  Who did they think Jesus was?  Mark said that Peter replied to the generic question of Jesus immediately.  He said that Jesus was the Christ or the Messiah that they were expecting in Israel.  Matthew indicated that Jesus asked his disciples who they thought or said that he was.  Was he the Son of Man or someone else?  Simon Peter replied to the question of Jesus immediately.  He said that Jesus was the Christ or the Messiah that they were expecting in Israel.  Jesus was the son of the living God, not just merely the son of God.  Peter, as the leader of this new group of Jesus followers, asserted this important belief about Jesus.  For the first time, Jesus was called the Christ, the Messiah.  Here Peter, in the name of the nascent Christian community, proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ.  Are the Greek “Christ” and the Hebrew “Messiah” the same?  Matthew was the only one who had Peter say that Jesus was the son of the living God.  Matthew was also the only one that mentioned the special relationship that Peter had with his Father in heaven.  However, Peter gave a strong positive response in all four versions.  Matthew also had Jesus respond to Peter, but that was not in Mark or Luke.  Jesus said that Simon was blessed, because flesh and blood or humans had not revealed this saying of his, but Jesus’ heavenly Father had done so.  Thus, Peter had a special relationship with the Father in heaven.  Peter, as the leader of this new group of Jesus followers, asserted this important belief about Jesus.  Matthew, more than any of the other gospel writers, emphasized the role of Peter as the leader of the early Christian community, the disciples, and the apostles of Jesus.  Who is your human Christian leader?

The final two apostles (Lk 6:16-6:16)

“The last two were

Judas,

The son of James,

And Judas Iscariot,

Who became a traitor.”

 

καὶ Ἰούδαν Ἰακώβου, καὶ Ἰούδαν Ἰσκαριὼθ, ὃς ἐγένετο προδότης,

 

Luke said that the last two apostles were both called Judas (καὶ Ἰούδαν), the son of James (Ἰακώβου), and Judas Iscariot (καὶ Ἰούδαν Ἰσκαριὼθ), who became a traitor (ὃς ἐγένετο προδότης).  These last two are problematic for different reasons.  One of these names is similar to Mark, chapter 3:18-19 and Matthew, chapter 10:4, Judas Iscariot, who was on all 3 lists of apostles, with some unfavorable comment about him as a traitor.  However, he was excluded from the list in the in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 1:13.  As far the other Judas was concerned, there is some more confusion, since he does not appear in Matthew and Mark, who only list a Thaddeus.  Luke and the Acts listed him as Jude or Judas, the son of James, not Thaddeus.  Are these two-different people or just two different names?  Is this Jude Thaddeus like Simon Peter and Levi Matthew?  Did he have both a Jewish and a Greek name?

 

Levi follows Jesus (Lk 5:28-5:28)

“Levi got up.

He left everything.

He followed Jesus.”

 

καὶ καταλιπὼν πάντα ἀναστὰς ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ.

 

Luke said that Levi got up (ἀναστὰς).  He left everything (καὶ καταλιπὼν πάντα).  He followed Jesus (ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ).  Both Mark, chapter 2:14, and Matthew, chapter 9:9, said almost the same thing.  They said that Levi got up and followed Jesus without any need to explain why or how he was doing this.  At this point in other two gospels, Levi or Matthew was the 5th named apostle after the brothers Simon Peter and Andrew, and the Zebedee brothers James and John.  However, for Luke, he was only the 4th, since Luke did not mention Andrew at all.

They follow Jesus (Lk 5:11-5:11)

“When they had brought

Their boats

To land,

They left everything.

They followed Jesus.”

 

καὶ καταγαγόντες τὰ πλοῖα ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν, ἀφέντες πάντα ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ.

 

Luke has a simple statement compared to Mark and Matthew.  He said that when these fishermen had brought their boats to land (καὶ καταγαγόντες τὰ πλοῖα ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν), they left everything (ἀφέντες πάντα).  They followed Jesus (ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ).  This is like Mark, chapter 1:19-20, or Matthew, chapter 4:19-20.  There Jesus said to them to come and follow after him, since he was going to make them fishers of human people.  They immediately left their nets and followed or accompanied Jesus, like an Israelite prophetic call, since Jesus had spoken directly to these two men.  He issued an invitation that seemed like a command at the same time.  They followed after Jesus, no matter what.  Like the Hebrew prophets, their response was immediate, without any hesitation.  They left their fishing nets, as both Simon Peter and Andrew, his brother, became disciples of Jesus.  The other two brothers, James and John left both their boat and also their father Zebedee.  However, in Luke, there was no mention of Andrew, the brother of Simon, or any direct formal call to these fishermen.  The results were the same.  There were either 3 or 4 new full disciples of Jesus.

The other apostles (Mk 3:18-3:18)

Then there was

Andrew,

And Philip,

And Bartholomew,

And Matthew,

And Thomas,

And James

The son of Alphaeus,

And Thaddaeus,

And Simon,

The Cananaean.”

 

καὶ Ἀνδρέαν καὶ Φίλιππον καὶ Βαρθολομαῖον καὶ Μαθθαῖον καὶ Θωμᾶν καὶ Ἰάκωβον τὸν τοῦ Ἁλφαίου καὶ Θαδδαῖον καὶ Σίμωνα τὸν Καναναῖον

 

This section about naming the 12 apostles is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:3-4, and Luke, chapter 6:14-16.  This list can also be compared to the list in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 1:13.  Except for Matthew and Andrew, the other 6 apostles are not mentioned by name elsewhere in the gospels.  Andrew (καὶ Ἀνδρέαν), the brother of Simon, is first here, but without being called his brother.  Then there was Philip (Φίλιππον), Bartholomew (καὶ Βαρθολομαῖον), Matthew (καὶ Μαθθαῖον), not called Levi, Thomas (καὶ Θωμᾶν), James, the son of Alphaeus (Ἰάκωβον τὸν τοῦ Ἁλφαίου), Thaddaeus (καὶ Θαδδαῖον), Simon the Cananaean (καὶ Σίμωνα τὸν Καναναῖον).  Obviously, this Simon may have not been Jewish since he is called a Cananaean.  Sometimes, this may have been a reference to the Zealots.  In Mark 2:14, Levi or Matthew was called the son of Alphaeus as James is here.  However, Thaddaeus was only listed by Matthew and Mark, while Luke and the Acts listed him as Jude or Judas, the son of James, not Thaddaeus.  Are these two-different people or just two different names?  Is this Jude Thaddeus like Simon Peter and Levi Matthew?  Did he have a Jewish and a Greek name?

The call of Levi (Mk 2:14-2:14)

“As Jesus was walking along,

He saw Levi,

The son of Alphaeus,

Sitting

At the tax booth.

He said to him.

‘Follow me!’

He got up.

He followed him.”

 

καὶ παράγων εἶδεν Λευεὶν τὸν τοῦ Ἀλφαίου καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον, καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ἀκολούθει μοι. καὶ ἀναστὰς ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ

 

Luke, chapter 5:27-28, and Matthew, chapter 9:9, are similar to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this event.  However, there are some significant differences.  Matthew called this man Matthew instead of Levi, his Jewish name.  Luke followed Mark in calling him Levi.  Matthew and Luke did not mention his father, but Mark did.  It is strange that Matthew did not mention the name of his father.  Jesus was walking along (καὶ παράγων), when he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus (εἶδεν Λευεὶν τὸν τοῦ Ἀλφαίου), sitting in his tax office, toll booth, or tax booth (καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον).  Jesus simply said to him (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ) to follow him (Ἀκολούθει μοι).  Then Levi got up and followed him (καὶ ἀναστὰς ἠκολούθησεν αὐτῷ) without any need to explain why or how he was doing this.  At this point in the gospel of Mark, as in the other gospels, Levi was the 5th named apostle after the brothers Simon Peter and Andrew, and the brothers James and John.