Jesus laid hands on her (Lk 13:13-13:13)

“Jesus laid his hands

On her.

Immediately,

She stood up straight.

She began

Praising God.”

 

καὶ ἐπέθηκεν αὐτῇ τὰς χεῖρας· καὶ παραχρῆμα ἀνορθώθη, καὶ ἐδόξαζεν τὸν Θεόν.

 

Luke uniquely continued with this story.  Jesus laid his hands on this crippled woman (καὶ ἐπέθηκεν αὐτῇ τὰς χεῖρας).  Immediately (καὶ παραχρῆμα), she stood up straight or was made straight (ἀνορθώθη).  She began to praise or glorify God (καὶ ἐδόξαζεν τὸν Θεόν).  Not only did Jesus tell her that she would be cured, he actually cured her with a physical laying on hands, a gesture of power to place a good spirit where an evil spirit was before.  Have you ever seen a faith healer?

Advertisements

The woman with an infirmity for eighteen years (Lk 13:11-13:11)

“Just then,

There appeared

A woman

With a spirit

That had crippled her

For eighteen years.

She was bent over.

She was unable

To stand up straight.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ πνεῦμα ἔχουσα ἀσθενείας ἔτη δέκα οκτώ, καὶ ἦν συνκύπτουσα καὶ μὴ δυναμένη ἀνακύψαι εἰς τὸ παντελές.

 

Luke uniquely said that there was a woman (καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ) with a spirit that had crippled her (ἔχουσα ἀσθενείας) for 18 years (ἔτη δέκα οκτώ).  She was bent over (καὶ ἦν συνκύπτουσα).  This is the only appearance of the word συνκύπτουσα in the biblical literature, since it means bent forward, or doubled up.  She was unable to stand up straight or lift herself to her full height (αὶ μὴ δυναμένη ἀνακύψαι εἰς τὸ παντελές).  No one else had this story about the crippled lady, who for 18 years was possessed by some evil spirit that caused her problem.  Illness and the role of evil spirits was always connected.  Due to some evil spirit, she could not stand up straight.  Do you know anyone who is bent over?

Clear the path (Lk 3:5-3:5)

“Every valley

Shall be filled.

Every mountain

Shall be made low.

Every hill

Shall be made low.

The crooked ways

Will be made straight.

The rough ways

Will be made smooth.”

 

πᾶσα φάραγξ πληρωθήσεται καὶ πᾶν ὄρος καὶ βουνὸς ταπεινωθήσεται, καὶ ἔσται τὰ σκολιὰ εἰς εὐθείας καὶ αἱ τραχεῖαι εἰς ὁδοὺς λείας·

 

Only Luke has this continuation of the prophecy from Deutero-Isaiah.  As a further description on how to prepare the way for the Lord, Luke quoted Isaiah, chapter 40:4-5.  Every valley will be filled (πᾶσα φάραγξ πληρωθήσεται).  Every mountain and hill will be made low (καὶ πᾶν ὄρος καὶ βουνὸς ταπεινωθήσεται).  The crooked ways will be made straight (καὶ ἔσται τὰ σκολιὰ εἰς εὐθείας).  The rough ways will be made smooth (καὶ αἱ τραχεῖαι εἰς ὁδοὺς λείας).  This would be a time of upheaval.  The valleys would rise as the mountains and hills would fall.  Also, the uneven and rough places would become level and plain so that all the people would then see the glory of God revealed.

The locusts are everywhere (Joel 2:6-2:9)

“Before them,

People are in anguish.

All faces grow pale.

Like warriors,

They charge.

Like soldiers,

They scale the wall.

Each keeps

To his own course.

They do not swerve

From their paths.

They do not jostle

One another.

Each keeps

To his own track.

They burst

Through the weapons

They are not halted.

They leap upon the city.

They run upon the walls.

They climb up

Into the houses.

They enter

Through the windows,

Like a thief.”

Joel continued his description of the swarm of locusts as they attacked the city and the people in it. The people there were in aguish, as their faces turned pale. These grasshoppers charged like warriors. They scaled the walls like soldiers. These locusts stayed in formation, not wandering around. They did not try to push each other around. They were able to go straight through any barriers or weapons. They leapt into the city on its walls and in its houses. These locusts came through the windows, like a thief in the night. This plague of grasshoppers was really strong and powerful in their destruction.

The dome overhead (Ezek 1:22-1:23)

“Over the heads

Of the living creatures

There was something

Like a dome,

Shining

Like crystal,

Spread out

Above their heads.

Under the dome,

Their wings

Were stretched out straight,

One toward another.

Each of the creatures

Had two wings

Covering its body.”

There was a shining dome like a crystal chandelier over the heads of these creatures. This dome was reminiscent of the dome or firmament in the creation story of Genesis, chapter 1. Under this dome, the wings of these creatures were stretched out straight, facing each other. Each of these 4 creatures had 2 wings covering their bodies. Now, in some places there is a mention of each creature having 4 wings, as if 2 wings reached out to others.

An oracle against the rebellious people (Isa 30:9-30:11)

“They are a rebellious people!

They are faithless children!

They are children who do not hear

The instruction of Yahweh.

They say to the seers.

‘Do not see!’

They say to the prophets.

‘Do not prophesy to us what is right!

Speak to us about smooth things!

Prophesy illusions!

Leave the way!

Turn aside from the path!

Let us hear no more

About the Holy One of Israel.’”

As in chapter 1 of this book, Isaiah says that the Israelites were a rebellious people. This theme comes from the Exodus situation with Moses in the desert as found in Exodus and Numbers. These faithless children did not want to hear the instructions of Yahweh as presented by Isaiah. They told their wise men not to see. They wanted their prophets not to prophesize about truth, but rather easy smooth things. They wanted to hear about illusions. They were tired of all this talk about the Holy One of Israel. They wanted to get off the idea of the straight and narrow path.