The kingdom of God (Lk 13:18-13:18)

“Jesus said therefore.

‘What is the kingdom

Of God like?

To what

Should I compare it?’”

 

Ἔλεγεν οὖν Τίνι ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ τίνι ὁμοιώσω αὐτήν;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked (Ἔλεγεν οὖν) what the kingdom of God was like (Τίνι ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ)?  What could he compare it to (καὶ τίνι ὁμοιώσω αὐτήν)?  Jesus was trying to figure out how to explain the kingdom of God.  Could he find anything comparable?  This saying of Jesus about the kingdom of God can also be found in Mark, chapter 4:30, who might have been the source of this saying.  Mark reported that Jesus said (Καὶ ἔλεγεν) what can we compare the kingdom of God with (Πῶς ὁμοιώσωμεν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ)?  What parable will we use for it (ἢ ἐν τίνι αὐτὴν παραβολῇ θῶμεν)?  Jesus wanted to know how to explain the kingdom of God with a good parable.  That is basically the same as here in Luke, but Luke did not mention any parable usage.  How would you explain the Kingdom of God?

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Full of light (Lk 11:36-11:36)

“If then your whole body

Is full of light,

With no part

In darkness,

It will be

As full of light

As when a lamp

Gives you light

With its rays.”

 

εἰ οὖν τὸ σῶμά σου ὅλον φωτεινόν, μὴ ἔχον μέρος τι σκοτεινόν, ἔσται φωτεινὸν ὅλον ὡς ὅταν ὁ λύχνος τῇ ἀστραπῇ φωτίζῃ σε.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that if their whole body (εἰ οὖν τὸ σῶμά σου) was full of light (ὅλον φωτεινόν), with no part in total darkness (μὴ ἔχον μέρος τι σκοτεινόν), it will be full of light (ἔσται φωτεινὸν ὅλον).  Thus, it will be like a lamp (ὡς ὅταν ὁ λύχνος) that shines or gives light with its rays (τῇ ἀστραπῇ φωτίζῃ σε).  Many ancient societies believed that the eye was the source of the light for seeing.  If there was no darkness in a person, they would be like a bright light.  Notice, that throughout history, holy people were usually portrayed with a halo light around them, emphasizing light and goodness.  This was an inner light that would shine with its bright light.  Your body would be like a lampstand shining light on the whole world.  Do you light up a room when you arrive?

 

They had leftovers (Lk 9:17-9:17)

“They all ate.

They were filled.

What was leftover

Was gathered up.

There were

Twelve baskets

Of broken pieces.”

 

καὶ ἔφαγον καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν πάντες, καὶ ἤρθη τὸ περισσεῦσαν αὐτοῖς κλασμάτων κόφινοι δώδεκα.

 

Luke said that they all ate (καὶ ἔφαγον) until they were filled or satisfied (καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν πάντες).  What was leftover was gathered up (καὶ ἤρθη τὸ περισσεῦσαν), so that there were 12 baskets of broken pieces (αὐτοῖς κλασμάτων κόφινοι δώδεκα).  This is the only miracle that is recorded in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:20, Mark, chapter 6:42-44, and John, chapter 6:12, plus here, but there were slight differences.  All the synoptic gospels have the same wording, so that Mark may be the source.  All agree that there were 12 baskets of food left over, symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles.  They also agree that it was about 5,000 men.  Obviously, there was no exact count taken.  Only Matthew added the remark about women and the children.  Mark said that they took up 12 full hand baskets of the broken pieces of bread, and the pieces of fish.  Those who ate the loaves and fish were about 5,000 men.  Certainly, it was a miraculous feeding.  Matthew said that everyone ate some food.  They were all satisfied or filled, but there was no mention of anything to drink.  They took up the leftover broken pieces or fragments of food, so that it filled 12 full baskets, a very symbolic number.  Those who ate were about 5,000 men, not counting the women and the children, who would have been on the edges of this large crowd of men.  Without a doubt, this was a very big crowd to feed.  What is the largest crowd that you ever ate with?

The woman touched the garment of Jesus (Lk 8:44-8:44)

“She came up

Behind Jesus.

She touched

The fringe

Of his clothes.

Instantly,

Her bleeding stopped.”

 

προσελθοῦσα ὄπισθεν ἥψατο τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ, καὶ παραχρῆμα ἔστη ἡ ῥύσις τοῦ αἵματος αὐτῆς.

 

Luke said that this woman came up behind Jesus (ροσελθοῦσα ὄπισθεν).  She touched the fringe of his cloak (ἥψατο τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ).  Instantly, her bleeding stopped (καὶ παραχρῆμα ἔστη ἡ ῥύσις τοῦ αἵματος αὐτῆς).  This woman touching Jesus can also be found in Matthew, chapter 9:21, and Mark, chapter 5:27-29, so that Mark might be the source.  Mark said that this woman had heard about Jesus, so that she came up behind him with the crowd all around Jesus.  She wanted to touch his cloak, with no mention of the fringes or edges of Jesus’ clothes.  She was saying to herself, that if she only touched his cloak or garment, she would be healed or cured.  Immediately, her flowing blood dried up or stopped when she touched it.  She realized in her body that she was healed from her disease.  This woman was aware of what was happening to her own body as she was healed.  Matthew said that she came up behind Jesus, because she wanted to touch the fringe or the tassel edge of his cloak.  These fringes (κρασπέδου) or bottom tassels often reminded people about the 10 commandments.  She was thinking to herself, that if she only touched his cloak or garment, she would be healed or cured.  She had a plan to help herself by touching the garment of Jesus.  Have you ever tried to touch someone in a crowd?

The woman with flowing blood (Lk 8:43-8:43)

“A woman

Had been suffering

From flowing blood

For twelve years.

Although she had spent

All that she had

On physicians,

No one

Could cure her.”

 

καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος ἀπὸ ἐτῶν δώδεκα, ἥτις οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἀπ’ οὐδενὸς θεραπευθῆναι

 

This episode about the woman with flowing blood interrupted the story about the synagogue leader and his dying daughter.  However, it can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:20, Mark, chapter 5:25, and Luke here.  Thus, Mark might be the source.  Luke said that a woman had been suffering from flowing blood (καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος) for 12 years (ἀπὸ ἐτῶν δώδεκα).  Although she had spent all that she had on physicians (ἰατροῖς προσαναλώσασα ὅλον τὸν βίον), no one could cure her (ἥτις οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἀπ’ οὐδενὸς θεραπευθῆναι).  This phrase about spending all her money on physicians was only in the Byzantine text.  Mark, like Luke, who probably followed him, said that she had suffered from flowing blood, rather than hemorrhages.  All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding.  Mark and Luke had a more elaborate story, about her background.  Mark said that she had endured or greatly suffered much under many physicians.  Thus, she had spent all her money.  Instead of helping her get better, she had actually become worse.  She was in a desperate situation.  Interesting enough, the word that Matthew used for hemorrhages (αἱμορροοῦσα) is only found there, but nowhere else in the biblical literature.  Mark and Luke said that she had flowing blood.  All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding.  Could you suffer something for 12 years?

Your mother and brothers want to see you (Lk 8:20-8:20)

“Jesus was told.

‘Your mother

And your brothers

Are standing outside,

Wanting to see you.’”

 

ἀπηγγέλη δὲ αὐτῷ Ἡ μήτηρ σου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου ἑστήκασιν ἔξω ἰδεῖν θέλοντές σε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus was told (ἀπηγγέλη δὲ αὐτῷ) that his mother (Ἡ μήτηρ σου) and his brothers (καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου) were standing outside (ἑστήκασιν ἔξω), wanting to see him (ἰδεῖν θέλοντές σε).  Mark, chapter 3:32, and Matthew, chapter 12:47, have something similar, almost word for word, so that Mark might be the source of this saying.  Mark indicated that someone from the crowd sitting around Jesus said that he should look because his mother, his brothers, and his sisters were outside wanting to talk to him.  Matthew and Luke never mentioned anything about his sisters, only his brothers, who were all unnamed.  Matthew said that his relatives sent for Jesus, as someone told him that his mother and brothers were outside wanting to talk to him.  Were they not allowed to come into where he was talking?  Would you stop what you were doing to talk to your close family members?

The seeds on the path (Lk 8:5-8:5)

“A sower

Went out

To sow his seeds.

As he sowed,

Some fell

On the path.

They were trampled on.

The birds

Of the air

Ate them up.”

 

Ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπεῖραι τὸν σπόρον αὐτοῦ. καὶ ἐν τῷ σπείρειν αὐτὸν ὃ μὲν ἔπεσεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν, καὶ κατεπατήθη, καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατέφαγεν αὐτό.

 

This sower parable can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:4, and Mark, chapter 4:4, and here in Luke, with Matthew closer to Mark.  Thus, Mark might be the source of this parable.  This first section was about the unsuccessful seeds.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that a sower or farmer went out to sow his seeds (Ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπεῖραι τὸν σπόρον αὐτοῦ).  As he sowed (καὶ ἐν τῷ σπείρειν αὐτὸν), some seeds fell on the path or road (ὃ μὲν ἔπεσεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν).  They were trampled on (καὶ κατεπατήθη).  Then the birds of the air ate them up (αὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατέφαγεν αὐτό).  Mark wanted everyone to listen as he said that they should see that this farmer went out to sow his seeds.  Matthew and Mark said that the first group of seeds fell on the walking path, so that the birds devoured them.  They did not mention that these seeds were trampled on.  Thus, this first group of seeds were unsuccessful for this farmer.  Does it matter how you plant seeds?