Rebuke the disciples (Lk 19:39-19:39)

“Some of the Pharisees

In the crowd

Said to Jesus.

‘Teacher!

Order your disciples

To stop!’”

 

καί τινες τῶν Φαρισαίων ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτόν Διδάσκαλε, ἐπιτίμησον τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου.

 

Only Luke mentioned this problem with the Pharisees.  Some of the Pharisees (καί τινες τῶν Φαρισαίων) who were in the crowd (ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου) spoke to Jesus (εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτόν), calling him teacher (Διδάσκαλε).  They asked him to contain, rebuke, or order his disciples to stop (ἐπιτίμησον τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου) with their shouts.  Notice that Luke mentioned that these Pharisees were in the crowd with his disciples.  They also were respectful, calling Jesus a teacher.  However, they wanted his disciples to stop this public display of affection for Jesus.  They felt that only Jesus could put an end to this boisterous celebration.  Have you ever been to an outdoor religious celebration?

Children and the kingdom of God (Lk 18:16-18:16)

“But Jesus

Called the disciples.

He said.

‘Let the little children

Come to me!

Do not stop them!

It is to such

As these

That the kingdom of God

Belongs.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς προσεκαλέσατο αὐτὰ λέγων Ἄφετε τὰ παιδία ἔρχεσθαι πρός με καὶ μὴ κωλύετε αὐτά· τῶν γὰρ τοιούτων ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ

 

Luke indicated that Jesus called his disciples (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς προσεκαλέσατο αὐτὰ).  He told them to let the little children come to him (λέγων Ἄφετε τὰ παιδία ἔρχεσθαι πρός με).  They were not to stop them (καὶ μὴ κωλύετε αὐτά), since the kingdom of God belonged to them (τῶν γὰρ τοιούτων ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This story about Jesus and the little children can be found in Mark, chapter 10:14-16, and Matthew, chapter 19:14, but slightly different.  Mark said that Jesus saw what was going on (ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  He was indignant or angry with his disciples (ἠγανάκτησεν).  Once again, there was a little dispute between Jesus and his disciples.  He said to them (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) to let the little children come to him (Ἄφετε τὰ παιδία ἔρχεσθαι πρός με).  They were not to stop or hinder them (μὴ κωλύετε αὐτά).  They belonged to the kingdom of heaven (τῶν γὰρ τοιούτων ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Matthew indicated that Jesus said (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν) to his disciples that the little children should not be forbidden to come to him (Ἄφετε τὰ παιδία καὶ μὴ κωλύετε αὐτὰ ἐλθεῖν πρός με).  They belonged to the kingdom of heaven (τῶν γὰρ τοιούτων ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν).  Once again, there was a difference between Mark with the “kingdom of God” and Matthew with the “kingdom of heaven.”  Then Matthew indicated that Jesus laid his hands on them (καὶ ἐπιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῖς) before he traveled from there on his way (ἐπορεύθη ἐκεῖθεν).  This was not in the Mark or Luke.  Thus, Jesus favored the little children.  There was no mention of infants in any of these gospel stories, except for Luke at the beginning.  Do you think that priests and ministers should bless little children?

 

The Levite passed by (Lk 10:32-10:32)

“Thus,

Likewise

A Levite,

When he came

To the place

Saw him.

He passed by

On the other side.”

 

ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Λευείτης κατὰ τὸν τόπον ἐλθὼν καὶ ἰδὼν ἀντιπαρῆλθεν

 

Luke continued his unique story.  Jesus said that a Levite also (ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Λευείτης) came to this same place (κατὰ τὸν τόπον ἐλθὼν) on the road.  He saw the wounded man (καὶ ἰδὼν).  Then he too crossed over to the other side of the road (ἀντιπαρῆλθεν), so as not to engage with this man.  The same questions can be asked of this Jewish Levite that were asked about the priest.  Was it because of ritual purity?  Was he in a hurry, so that he did not have time to stop?  Did he simply not care?  Was it too much of a bother?  Normally, the Levites do not come in for much criticism in the gospel narratives.  Levites were sons of Levi, and tied to ritualistic practice at the Temple.  For instance, the father of John the Baptist was Zechariah and his mother Elizabeth, both of them were descendants of Aaron.  Zechariah was a priest in the Jerusalem Temple, while Elizabeth was from a Levite family.  These Levites had Temple duties.  Thus, they were religious ritual leaders in the Jewish community.  Both the priest and the Levite represented the upper religious strata of the Jewish community.  Do you think that religious leaders should set an example by their lifestyle?

The priest went by (Lk 10:31-10:31)

“Now by chance,

A priest

Was going down

That road.

When he saw him,

He passed by

On the other side.”

 

κατὰ συγκυρίαν δὲ ἱερεύς τις κατέβαινεν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν ἀντιπαρῆλθεν.

 

Luke uniquely continued this story or parable about who is my neighbor.  Jesus said that by chance (κατὰ συγκυρίαν), a certain Jewish priest (δὲ ἱερεύς τις) was going down (κατέβαινεν) this same road (ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐκείνῃ).  He saw the badly wounded man (καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν), but he passed by on the other side of the road (ἀντιπαρῆλθεν).  There is a lot of speculation on why this priest did not help this man.  Was it because of ritual purity?  Was he in a hurry, so that he did not have time to stop?  Did he simply not care?  Was it too much of a bother?  Certainly, a Jewish priest had standing in the Jewish community.  Other than the high priest, he represented the most important level of Jewish society.  What is certain is that this high-ranking religious leader did not engage in any way with the afflicted man on the other side of the road.  He clearly saw him, as he specifically crossed over to the other side, so as not to be bothered by him.  The ritual purity argument has been raised since a priest could not touch a corpse.  However, there was no mention of a dead body.  Do you always have an excuse on why you do not help other wounded people?

Not against you (Lk 9:50-9:50)

“But Jesus

Said to him.

‘Do not stop him!

Whoever

Is not against you

Is for you.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν Ἰησοῦς Μὴ κωλύετε· ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν καθ’ ὑμῶν, ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐστιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told them (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν Ἰησοῦς) not to stop (Μὴ κωλύετε) this exorcist who was casting out demons in the name of Jesus.  Jesus said that whoever is not against them (ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν καθ’ ὑμῶν) is for them (ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐστιν).  There is a similar statement to this in Mark, chapter 9:39-40, but not in MatthewMark indicated that Jesus told them not to stop or prevent this exorcist who used his name.  Jesus said that no one who did a deed of exorcistic power in his name would be able to easily or readily speak evil of him, after what they had done.  You were a friend until you became an enemy.  If they were not against Jesus, then they must be for him.  Do you think that anybody is really against you?

Forbid the non-followers of Jesus (Lk 9:49-9:49)

“John answered.

‘Master!

We saw someone

Casting out demons

In your name.

We tried

To stop him,

Because he

Does not follow you

With us.’”

 

Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰωάνης εἶπεν Ἐπιστάτα, εἴδομέν τινα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ἐκβάλλοντα δαιμόνια, καὶ ἐκωλύομεν αὐτὸν, ὅτι οὐκ ἀκολουθεῖ μεθ’ ἡμῶν

 

Luke said that John (δὲ ὁ Ἰωάνης), one of the apostles, questioned Jesus (Ἀποκριθεὶς), calling him Master (Ἐπιστάτα).  He said (εἶπεν) that they saw someone (εἴδομέν τινα) casting out demons (ἐκβάλλοντα δαιμόνια) in Jesus’ name (ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου).  They tried to stop him (καὶ ἐκωλύομεν αὐτὸν), because he was not a Jesus follower with them (ὅτι οὐκ ἀκολουθεῖ μεθ’ ἡμῶν).  There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 9:38, but not in MatthewLuke continued to follow the structure of Mark, who indicated that John, presumably John the son of Zebedee, approached Jesus.  He called Jesus “teacher (Διδάσκαλε),” not Master (Ἐπιστάτα) as here in Luke.  He said that they had seen someone casting out demons in the name of Jesus, who was not a follower of Jesus, like them.  This unnamed exorcist was apparently not one of Jesus’ disciples.  Perhaps he may have been originally one of Jesus’ disciples, but left this group.  They tried to stop or prevent him from doing the exorcisms in the name of Jesus, precisely because he was not a fellow follower or disciple of Jesus.  Do you think that someone can be a follower of Jesus without belonging to your Christian group?

 

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?