Your eye (Lk 11:34-11:34)

“Your eye

Is the lamp

Of your body.

If your eye

Is sound,

Your whole body

Is full of light.

But if it is evil,

Your body

Is full of darkness.”

 

ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου. ὅταν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς ᾖ, καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινόν ἐστιν· ἐπὰν δὲ πονηρὸς ᾖ, καὶ τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινόν

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that their eye (ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου) was the lamp of their body (ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν).  If their eye was clear, sound, or healthy (ὅταν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς ᾖ), their whole body would be full of light (καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινόν ἐστιν).  But if it was evil (ἐπὰν δὲ πονηρὸς ᾖ), their body was then full of darkness (καὶ τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινόν).  This saying of Jesus is similar to what was in Matthew, chapter 6:22-23, so that it may be from the Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the eye was the lamp of the body (Ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός).  If there was a healthy clear sound eye (ἐὰν οὖν ᾖ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς), then you would have a whole body full of light (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινὸν ἔσται).  This is the only time that the word “ἁπλοῦς” is used in the New Testament literature.  Both Luke and Matthew used it here, since it means simple, sound, clear, or perfect.  If, on the other hand, your eye was not healthy or evil (ἐὰν δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρὸς ᾖ), your whole body would be full of darkness (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινὸν ἔσται).  Notice that Matthew and Luke did not use the opposite of clear, but chose the more common word for evil, “πονηρὸς.”  Thus, you had an evil eye.  On the other hand, both Luke and Matthew used a word that appears only here, “σκοτεινὸν,” to talk about a full total darkness.  If the light that is in you is dark (εἰ οὖν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἐν σοὶ σκότος ἐστίν), that is a really great darkness (τὸ σκότος πόσον).  Light and darkness was a common theme among the early Christians.  Light was good, but darkness was evil.  The connection of light to the eye was natural, since the sense of blindness and darkness centered around the eyes.  The good-eyed person, like the good-hearted person, was compassionate, while the evil-eyed person, like a hard-hearted person, was selfish and miserly.  Do you have good eyes or evil eyes?

Jesus responds (Mk 14:62-14:62)

“Jesus said.

‘I am!

You will see

The Son of Man

Seated

At the right hand

Of the Power.

He will come

With the clouds

Of heaven.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἐγώ εἰμι, καὶ ὄψεσθε τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ δεξιῶν καθήμενον τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ ἐρχόμενον μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.

 

This is almost word for word at times in Matthew, chapter 26:64.  In Luke, chapter 22:67-70, there is something similar, but there is nothing like this in John, chapter 18.  Mark said that Jesus replied to the high priest (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν), pure and simple in the first person singular “I am (Ἐγώ εἰμι).”  He was the Messiah Christ and the Son of the Blessed One.  There was no ambiguity as in Matthew, “because you have said so”.  This answer is direct and unambiguous.  There was no more Messianic secret.  Then Jesus told him that he would see the Son of Man (καὶ ὄψεσθε τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) seated at the right hand of the Power, Yahweh, or God, the Father (ἐκ δεξιῶν καθήμενον τῆς δυνάμεως).  He would come on or with the clouds of heaven (καὶ ἐρχόμενον μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  Jesus gave a strong theological response that the end times were near when the Son of Man, himself, would appear with the heavenly clouds.  Jesus was and is the Christ Messiah, case closed.

The seven brothers and the one wife died (Mk 12:22-12:22)

None of the seven brothers

Left any children.

Last of all,

The woman herself died.”

 

καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ οὐκ ἀφῆκαν σπέρμα. ἔσχατον πάντων καὶ ἡ γυνὴ ἀπέθανεν.

 

This story about the death of the woman who had married 7 brothers can be found in Matthew, chapter 22:26-27, and in Luke, chapter 20:31-32, but there was no explicit mention of them being childless as in MatthewMark said that none of the 7 brothers had any children or offspring (καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ οὐκ ἀφῆκαν σπέρμα).  Finally, last of all, this woman widow herself died (ἔσχατον πάντων καὶ ἡ γυνὴ ἀπέθανεν).  This was a nice simple but very improbable story.

Eternal punishment or reward (Mt 25:46-25:46)

“These evil ones

Will go away

Into eternal punishment.

But the righteous

Will go

Into eternal life.”

 

καὶ ἀπελεύσονται οὗτοι εἰς κόλασιν αἰώνιον, οἱ δὲ δίκαιοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that these left side goat unrighteous people would go into a long eternal torment or punishment (καὶ ἀπελεύσονται οὗτοι εἰς κόλασιν αἰώνιον), while the righteous would go into a long eternal life existence (οἱ δὲ δίκαιοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον).  The reward or punishment was simple, eternal torment or eternal life.

The woman who married seven brothers (Mt 22:25-22:27)

“Now there were seven brothers

Among us.

The first one married.

Then he died

Childless.

He left his widow wife

To his brother.

The second did the same.

As also did the third,

Down to the seventh.

Last of all,

The woman herself died.”

 

ἦσαν δὲ παρ’ ἡμῖν ἑπτὰ ἀδελφοί· καὶ ὁ πρῶτος γήμας ἐτελεύτησεν, καὶ μὴ ἔχων σπέρμα ἀφῆκεν τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ·

ὁμοίως καὶ ὁ δεύτερος καὶ ὁ τρίτος, ἕως τῶν ἑπτά·

ὕστερον δὲ πάντων ἀπέθανεν ἡ γυνή.

 

This story about the woman who married 7 brothers can be found in Mark, chapter 12:20-22, and in Luke, chapter 20:29-32, almost word for word.  Thus, this story was fairly well known.  There were 7 brothers among them (ἦσαν δὲ παρ’ ἡμῖν ἑπτὰ ἀδελφοί).  The first one married (καὶ ὁ πρῶτος γήμας).  Then he died (ἐτελεύτησεν).  He was childless since he had no descendants or offspring (καὶ μὴ ἔχων σπέρμα).  Thus, he left his widowed wife to his brother (ἀφῆκεν τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ).  Likewise, the same thing happened to the 2nd and 3rd brother all the way down to the 7th brother (ὁμοίως καὶ ὁ δεύτερος καὶ ὁ τρίτος, ἕως τῶν ἑπτά).  Last of all, this woman widow herself died (ὕστερον δὲ πάντων ἀπέθανεν ἡ γυνή).  This was a nice simple but improbable story.

The explanation that many are called, but few chosen (Mt 22:14-22:14)

“Many are called.

But few are chosen.”

 

Πολλοὶ γάρ εἰσιν κλητοὶ, ὀλίγοι δὲ ἐκλεκτοί

 

This is unique to Matthew.  Jesus’ explanation of this parable was simple.  Many were called or invited (Πολλοὶ γάρ εἰσιν κλητοὶ), but few were chosen (Πολλοὶ γάρ εἰσιν κλητοὶ).  However, this parable has only one person rejected from the wedding banquet because of not having the wedding garment.  Many were called and then some were killed or punished because they refused the invitation.  However, many did come to the wedding feast in the end.  Obviously, this is a reference to the teaching of Jesus.  He spoke to many people and large crowds.  Thus, this invitation went out to many people.  However, only a few, as in this case the 12 apostles or the other disciples, were chosen to follow him.  Nevertheless, it would be difficult to be a follower of Jesus.

A question for a question (Mt 21:24-21:24)

“Jesus answered them.

‘I will also ask you

One question.

If you tell me

The answer,

Then I will also tell you

by what authority

I do these things.’”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπ εν αὐτοῖς Ἐρωτήσω ὑμᾶς κἀγὼ λόγον ἕνα, ὃν ἐὰν εἴπητέ μοι, κἀγὼ ὑμῖν ἐρῶ ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ·

 

This question of Jesus can be found in Mark, chapter 11:29, word for word, and Luke, chapter 20:3, almost word for word.  Jesus responded to the high priest and the elders’ question (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπ εν αὐτοῖς) with a question of his own.  He was going to answer their question if they answered his one question (Ἐρωτήσω ὑμᾶς κἀγὼ λόγον ἕνα).  If they answered him (ὃν ἐὰν εἴπητέ μοι), he would then tell them by what authority he did all these things (κἀγὼ ὑμῖν ἐρῶ ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ).  This also seems like a fair response.  Jesus had one question for them.  If they answered that, he would answer their question, nice and simple.

When you welcome a little child, you welcome Jesus (Mt 18:5-18:5)

“Whoever welcomes

One such little child,

In my name,

Welcomes me.”

 

καὶ ὃς ἐὰν δέξηται ἓν παιδίον τοιοῦτο ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου, ἐμὲ δέχεται·

 

This saying about the welcoming of the little child and Jesus can also be found in Mark, chapter 9:37, and Luke, chapter 9:48, with some minor changes.  Whoever welcomed, received, or accepted such a little child (καὶ ὃς ἐὰν δέξηται ἓν παιδίον τοιοῦτο) in Jesus’ name (ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου), welcomed Jesus (ἐμὲ δέχεται).  There was no mention of a relationship to the Father that was in other gospel sayings.  Pure and simple, anyone who accepted this little child in Jesus’ name, welcomed Jesus.

A child is the greatest (Mt 18:2-18:4)

“Jesus summoned a little child.

He put him

Among them.

He said.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

Unless you change,

Unless you become

Like little children,

You will never enter

The kingdom of heaven.

Whoever becomes humble

Like this little child,

Will be the greatest

In the kingdom of heaven.’”

 

καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος παιδίον ἔστησεν αὐτὸ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν

καὶ εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐὰν μὴ στραφῆτε καὶ γένησθε ὡς τὰ παιδία, οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν.

ὅστις οὖν ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὡς τὸ παιδίον τοῦτο, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ μείζων ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν.

 

This saying about the humble child as the greatest in heaven can also be found in Mark, chapters 9:36 and 10:15, as well as Luke, chapters 9:47 and 18:16-17, with some minor changes.  Jesus put an emphasis on becoming like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Jesus called or summoned a little child (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος παιδίον).  He placed this little child in the middle of his disciples (ἔστησεν αὐτὸ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν).  Then he made a solemn proclamation ‘Truly! I say to you!’ (καὶ εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  They had to change or convert to become like little children (ἐὰν μὴ στραφῆτε καὶ γένησθε ὡς τὰ παιδία).  Otherwise, they would never enter the kingdom of heaven (οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν).  Whoever became humble like this little child in their midst (ὅστις οὖν ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὡς τὸ παιδίον τοῦτο), would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ μείζων ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν).  The greatest in heaven would be the simple humble little children or those who acted like children, without power and dependent on other people.

The parables (Mt 13:3-13:3)

“Jesus told them

Many things

In parable sayings.”

 

αὶ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς πολλὰ ἐν παραβολαῖς λέγων.

 

A similar statement can be found in Mark, chapter 4:2.  This is the beginning of the parable section in Matthew.  Jesus told them many things in parables (αὶ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς πολλὰ ἐν παραβολαῖς λέγων).  Parables were one of the many literary forms in the biblical literature.  These parables of Jesus can be found in all the synoptic gospels since they represent about 1/3 of Jesus’ teachings.  These simple and memorable stories conveyed important messages, central to the teachings of Jesus.  Many of Jesus’s parables refer to simple everyday events.  The word “parable” can also refer to a riddle, as it was used in the Old Testament.  The use of parables was a natural teaching method that fit into the tradition of the time of Jesus.  Matthew has 23 parables of which 11 are unique.  There are 2 unique parables in Mark and 18 unique parables in LukeMatthew and Luke share 4 parables, while Matthew, Mark and Luke share 6 parables.  Many of these parables have been subjects of art and literature, especially during the Middle Ages.