The mustard seed (Lk 17:6-17:6)

“The Lord replied.

‘If you had faith

The size of

A mustard seed,

You could say

To this mulberry tree,

‘Be rooted up!

Be planted

In the sea!’’

It would obey you.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος Εἰ ἔχετε πίστιν ὡς κόκκον σινάπεως, ἐλέγετε ἂν τῇ συκαμίνῳ ταύτῃ Ἐκριζώθητι καὶ φυτεύθητι ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ· καὶ ὑπήκουσεν ἂν ὑμῖν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus, the Lord, replied (εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος) that if they had faith (Εἰ ἔχετε πίστιν) the size of a mustard seed (ὡς κόκκον σινάπεως), they could say (ἐλέγετε) to this mulberry or sycamore tree (ἂν τῇ συκαμίνῳ ταύτῃ), be rooted up (Ἐκριζώθητι) and planted in the sea (καὶ φυτεύθητι ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ).  Luke is the only biblical writer to use the Greek term συκαμίνῳ that means a black mulberry tree or a sycamore tree that had medicinal value.  Then this tree would obey them (καὶ ὑπήκουσεν ἂν ὑμῖν).  There are expanded faith sayings that can also be found in Mark, chapter 9:28-29, and Matthew, chapter 17:19-21, who are much closer to each other.  Matthew indicated that the disciples came to Jesus privately (Τότε προσελθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ τῷ Ἰησοῦ).  They wondered why they were not able to cast out the evil spirits from that boy (κατ’ ἰδίαν εἶπον Διὰ τί ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν ἐκβαλεῖν αὐτό).  Jesus reminded them (ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐτοῖς) of their little faith (Διὰ τὴν ὀλιγοπιστίαν ὑμῶν), a term used predominately by Matthew.  Jesus came back with a solemn pronouncement (ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν) that if they had faith the size of a mustard seed (ἐὰν ἔχητε πίστιν ὡς κόκκον σινάπεως), like here in Luke, they could move mountains from here to there (ἐρεῖτε τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ Μετάβα ἔνθεν ἐκεῖ, καὶ μεταβήσεται).  Nothing would be impossible for them (καὶ οὐδὲν ἀδυνατήσει ὑμῖν).  If they had faith with prayer and fasting (εἰ μὴ ἐν προσευχῇ καὶ νηστείᾳ), they would be able to cast the evil spirits out (τοῦτο δὲ τὸ γένος οὐκ ἐκπορεύεται).  Matthew continued to emphasize the lack of faith or the little faith of the disciples of Jesus.  Mark said that the disciples wondered why they were not able to cast out the evil spirit from that boy (Ὅτι ἡμεῖς οὐκ ἠδυνήθημεν ἐκβαλεῖν αὐτό).  The disciples were concerned that they must have lacked something that made it impossible for them to get rid of this evil spirit that was in that boy.  Mark added the need for prayer.  There was no emphasis on faith as in Matthew, where Jesus talked about faith and the mustard seed.  Mark emphasized prayer, as he indicated that Jesus said that this kind of evil spirit could only be expelled (Τοῦτο τὸ γένος ἐν οὐδενὶ δύναται ἐξελθεῖν) through prayer (εἰ μὴ ἐν προσευχῇ).  Prayer might imply faith, but it is not explicit here in Luke.  Which is more important to you, faith or prayer?

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The crowd follows Jesus (Lk 9:11-9:11)

“The crowds

Found out

About him.

They followed Jesus.

He welcomed them.

He spoke to them

About the kingdom of God.

He healed

Those who needed

To be cured.”

 

οἱ δὲ ὄχλοι γνόντες ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ· καὶ ἀποδεξάμενος αὐτοὺς ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς περὶ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ τοὺς χρείαν ἔχοντας θεραπείας ἰᾶτο.

 

Luke said that the crowds found out where Jesus was (οἱ δὲ ὄχλοι γνόντες) and followed him (ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ).  Thus, Jesus welcomed them (καὶ ἀποδεξάμενος αὐτοὺς) and spoke to them (ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς) about the kingdom of God (περὶ τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ).  He healed those who needed to be cured (καὶ τοὺς χρείαν ἔχοντας θεραπείας ἰᾶτο).  A similar statement can be found in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:14, Mark chapter 6:34, and John, chapter 6:2, plus here.  Jesus continued his mission of compassion.  Mark said that when Jesus went ashore, he saw a great crowd, without any indication of the size of this crowd.  He then had compassion for them.  However, instead of curing the people as in Matthew and Luke, Mark had Jesus talk to them as being sheep without a shepherd, as in Matthew, chapter 9:36.  Then Jesus began to teach the people many things, rather than heal them.  The emphasis in Mark here was on teaching rather than healing.  Matthew, on the other hand, said that Jesus continued his mission of compassion by curing the ill and the sick people.  When Jesus went ashore, he saw a great crowd.  He then had compassion for them, so that he cured the feeble and ill people.  One of the great acts of kindness of Jesus was curing people of their diseases or sicknesses.  How do you treat sick people?

The disciples go to Bethsaida (Mk 6:45-6:45)

“Immediately,

Jesus made his disciples

Get into the boat.

They were to go on

Ahead of him,

To the other side,

To Bethsaida,

While he dismissed

The crowd.”

 

Καὶ εὐθὺς ἠνάγκασεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἐμβῆναι εἰς τὸ πλοῖον καὶ προάγειν εἰς τὸ πέραν πρὸς Βηθσαϊδάν, ἕως αὐτὸς ἀπολύει τὸν ὄχλον.

 

This incident is not found in Luke, but only in Matthew, chapter 14:22, and John, chapter 6:16-17.  Mark mentioned Bethsaida and John mentioned Capernaum, but Matthew did not name a place.  Mark said that Jesus made or urged his disciples to immediately get into the boat (Καὶ εὐθὺς ἠνάγκασεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἐμβῆναι εἰς τὸ πλοῖον) to go ahead of him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (καὶ προάγειν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ πέραν) to Bethsaida (πρὸς Βηθσαϊδάν).  Jesus stayed behind and dismissed the crowds (ἕως αὐτὸς ἀπολύει τὸν ὄχλον) after the great feeding.  Thus, his disciples went out in this boat without Jesus.  There was no mention of the number of disciples, but it could not have been many considering the size of these fishing boats.

Sheep without a shepherd (Mk 6:34-6:34)

“As Jesus went ashore,

He saw a great crowd.

He had compassion

For them.

Because they were

Like sheep

Without a shepherd.

He began

To teach them

Many things.”

 

Καὶ ἐξελθὼν εἶδεν πολὺν ὄχλον, καὶ ἐσπλαγχνίσθη ἐπ’ αὐτοὺς ὅτι ἦσαν ὡς πρόβατα μὴ ἔχοντα ποιμένα, καὶ ἤρξατο διδάσκειν αὐτοὺς πολλά.

 

A similar statement can be found in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:14, Luke, chapter 9:11, and John, chapter 6:2, plus here.  Jesus continued his mission of compassion.  Mark said that when Jesus went ashore (Καὶ ἐξελθὼν), he saw a great crowd (εἶδεν πολὺν ὄχλον).  There was no indication of the size of this crowd here.  He then had compassion for them (καὶ ἐσπλαγχνίσθη ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς).  However, instead of curing people as in Matthew, Mark had Jesus talk to them as being sheep without a shepherd (ὅτι ἦσαν ὡς πρόβατα μὴ ἔχοντα ποιμένα) as in Matthew, chapter 9:36.  Then Jesus began to teach the people many things (καὶ ἤρξατο διδάσκειν αὐτοὺς πολλά), rather than heal them.  The emphasis here was on teaching rather than healing.

The disciples leave in a boat (Mt 14:22-14:22)

“Immediately,

He made the disciples

Get into the boat.

They went on ahead

To the other side,

While he dismissed

The crowds.”

 

Καὶ εὐθέως ἠνάγκασεν τοὺς μαθητὰς ἐμβῆναι εἰς τὸ πλοῖον καὶ προάγειν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ πέραν, ἕως οὗ ἀπολύσῃ τοὺς ὄχλους.

 

This incident is not found in Luke, but only in Mark, chapter 6:45, and John, chapter 6:16-17.  Mark mentioned Bethsaida and John mentioned Capernaum, but Matthew did not name a place.  Jesus made or urged his disciples to immediately get into the boat (Καὶ εὐθέως ἠνάγκασεν τοὺς μαθητὰς ἐμβῆναι εἰς τὸ πλοῖον) to go ahead of him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (καὶ προάγειν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ πέραν), while he dismissed the crowds (ἕως οὗ ἀπολύσῃ τοὺς ὄχλους.) after the great feeding.  Thus, his disciples went out in this boat without Jesus.  There is no mention of the number of disciples, but it could not have been many considering the size of these fishing boats.

The sanctuary territory (Ezek 48:8-48:8)

“Adjoining the territory

Of Judah,

From the east side

To the west side,

Shall be the portion

That you shall set apart,

Twenty-five thousand cubits

In width.

In length,

It shall be equal

To one of the tribal portions,

From the east side

To the west side.

The sanctuary

Shall be in the middle of it.”

However, the similarity of Judah with the other tribes ends with the importance of the Temple sanctuary. Once again, there is a mention of east and west of Judah as in the earlier comments about the other tribal territories. However, the width of this sanctuary territory was 25,000 cubits, about 1,500 yards or a mile wide. The length was unspecified, which in itself is unusual. Nevertheless, it should be the size of one of the portions given to the other tribes. That could be very large. The sanctuary was to be right in the middle of this territory. Obviously, this was not part of the Joshua distribution, since there was no planned temple there.

The northern gate and the vestibule (Ezek 40:20-40:23

“Then he measured

The gate of the outer court

That faced north,

Its depth,

Its width.

It had three recesses

On either side.

Its pilasters,

As well as its vestibule

Were of the same size

As those of the first gate.

It depth was

Fifty cubits.

Its width was

Twenty-five cubits.

Its windows,

Its vestibule,

As well as its palm trees,

Were of the same size

As those of the gate

That faced

Toward the east.

Seven steps

Led up to it.

Its vestibule was

On the inside.

Opposite the gate

On the north,

As on the east,

Was a gate

To the inner court.

He measured

From gate to gate,

One hundred cubits.”

The bronze man moved to the northern outer court. The depth and width of the gate, its recesses or open-air rooms, its pilasters, and its vestibule were the same size as the first eastern gate, 50 cubits deep, about 80 feet, and 25 cubits wide, about 40 feet. Its windows, its vestibule, and its palm trees were the same size as on the eastern vestibule. This northern gate was the same size as the gate that faced east. There were also 7 steps that led up to it. This vestibule was on the inside, opposite the gate to the inner court. The bronze man measured 100 cubits from gate to gate, about 160 feet.