What to do? (Lk 16:3-16:3)

“Then the house manager

Said to himself.

‘What shall I do?

My master

Is taking away

This position

Of house manager

From me.

I am not strong enough

To dig.

I am ashamed

To beg.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ ἐν ἑαυτῷ ὁ οἰκονόμος Τί ποιήσω, ὅτι ὁ κύριός μου ἀφαιρεῖται τὴν οἰκονομίαν ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ; σκάπτειν οὐκ ἰσχύω, ἐπαιτεῖν αἰσχύνομαι.

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this house manager said to himself (εἶπεν δὲ ἐν ἑαυτῷ ὁ οἰκονόμος).  What should he do (Τί ποιήσω)?  His master or lord was taking away his position as house manager from him (ὅτι ὁ κύριός μου ἀφαιρεῖται τὴν οἰκονομίαν ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ).  He was not strong enough to dig (σκάπτειν οὐκ ἰσχύω), but he was too ashamed to beg also (ἐπαιτεῖν αἰσχύνομαι).  What should he do with his unemployment?  What would you do if you were suddenly unemployed?

Faith heals (Lk 8:48-8:48)

“Jesus said to her.

‘Daughter!

Your faith

Has made you well!

Go in peace!’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ Θυγάτηρ, ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε· πορεύου εἰς εἰρήνην

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to her (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ), calling her daughter (Θυγάτηρ), that her faith had saved her or made her well (ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε).  Using the second person singular imperative, he told her that she was to go in peace (πορεύου εἰς εἰρήνην).  This ending to the healing of this woman with the flowing blood was nearly the same in Matthew, chapter 9:22, and Mark, chapter 5:34.  Mark had pretty much the same narrative as Luke.  Like the other healings, Jesus said to this woman that her faith had healed, cured, or saved her.  He called her “daughter (Θυγάτηρ).”  He told her to go in peace.  This woman was cured of her affliction or disease, as faith was a key ingredient in this healing, as in every healing.  Matthew was slightly different.  He said that Jesus realized that power had gone forth from him.  Jesus then turned around and saw her.  He realized what she was thinking.  Like the other times, Jesus said that her faith had saved or cured her.  He called her “daughter (θύγατερ).”  He told her to have courage and take heart.  With that, this woman was cured at that very hour, rather than at the initial touching of the garment, as in the other 2 synoptics.  Faith was a key ingredient in all these healings.  How strong is your faith?

The Holy One of God (Lk 4:34-4:34)

“‘Let us alone!

What have you

To do with us?

Jesus of Nazareth!

Have you come

To destroy us?

I know

Who you are!

The Holy One of God!’”

 

Ἔα, τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί, Ἰησοῦ Ναζαρηνέ; ἦλθες ἀπολέσαι ἡμᾶς; οἶδά σε τίς εἶ, ὁ Ἅγιος τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Matthew, chapter 8:29, has something similar, but it was not in a Capernaum synagogue, but in Gadarenes and it was 2 demonic spirits, not one as here.  Mark, chapter 1:24 is similar to here, word for word.  On the other hand, Mark, chapter 5:7, as well as Luke, chapter 8;28 had these demoniacs speak to Jesus with somewhat similar words.  Here Luke said that the evils spirits in this man spoke to Jesus.  He asked Jesus of Nazareth (Ἰησοῦ Ναζαρηνέ) what he had to do with them (Ἔα, τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί).  Had Jesus come to destroy or kill them (ἦλθες ἀπολέσαι ἡμᾶς)?  He said that he knew who he was (οἶδά σε τίς εἶ), the Holy One of God (ὁ Ἅγιος τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Matthew had them say that Jesus had come to torment them, not destroy them, since the time of the final judgment day had not arrived.  This unclean spirit world was alive and active in first century Israelite culture.  The term “Holy One of God” had been applied to the prophet Elisha in 2 Kings, chapter 4:9, as another name for a prophet, which was not as strong as the “Son of God,” a more powerful term.  Thus, the evil spirits were able to recognize Jesus of Nazareth as a special person.

Jesus grew (Lk 2:40-2:40)

“The child grew.

He became strong.

Filled with wisdom.

The grace of God

Was upon him.”

 

Τὸ δὲ παιδίον ηὔξανεν καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο πληρούμενον σοφίᾳ, καὶ χάρις Θεοῦ ἦν ἐπ’ αὐτό.

 

Interesting enough, Luke has Jesus grow in wisdom in the same way that John had done earlier in chapter 1:80.  Growth implies movement from an inferior stage to a higher stage.  Clearly, this was an important part of showing the human side of Jesus.  Luke said that the child Jesus grew (Τὸ δὲ παιδίον ηὔξανεν).  He became a strong person (καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο), filled with wisdom (πληρούμενον σοφίᾳ), because the grace or favor of God (καὶ χάρις Θεοῦ) was upon him (ἦν ἐπ’ αὐτό).  This also implies that God the Father favored or graced him, showing the distinction between God the Father and God the Son.  Jesus was a special child.

 

The child grew (Lk 1:80-1:80)

“The child grew.

He became strong

In spirit.

He was

In the wilderness

Until the day

He appeared openly

To Israel.”

 

Τὸ δὲ παιδίον ηὔξανεν καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο πνεύματι, καὶ ἦν ἐν ταῖς ἐρήμοις ἕως ἡμέρας ἀναδείξεως αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὸν Ἰσραήλ.

 

Luke concluded his remarks about John by saying that this child, John, continued to grow (Τὸ δὲ παιδίον ηὔξανεν), just like every other child.  This concept of the growing child will also be present with Jesus in the next chapter.  John became strong in spirit (καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο πνεύματι) as he grew stronger spiritually.  He was in the wilderness or desert (καὶ ἦν ἐν ταῖς ἐρήμοις), just like the Israelites during the Exodus, until the day he appeared openly to Israel (ἕως ἡμέρας ἀναδείξεως αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὸν Ἰσραήλ).  It is hard to figure out what an open or public appearance was, since there would be no big announcement or advertisement like today.

The man with the unclean spirit (Mk 5:2-5:3)

“When Jesus

Stepped out of the boat,

Immediately,

A man

Out of the tombs,

With an unclean spirit,

Met him.

He lived

Among the tombs.

No one could restrain him

Any more,

Even with chains.”

 

καὶ ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ πλοίου, εὐθὺς ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ ἐκ τῶν μνημείων ἄνθρωπος ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ,

ὃς τὴν κατοίκησιν εἶχεν ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν, καὶ οὐδὲ ἁλύσει οὐκέτι οὐδεὶς ἐδύνατο αὐτὸν δῆσαι

 

All three synoptic gospels. Matthew, chapter 8:28 and Luke, chapter 8:26-27, have Jesus travel to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  Mark, like Luke, said that Jesus met a man as he stepped out of the boat (καὶ ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ πλοίου).  Matthew had Jesus meet 2 people possessed by the devil, who were menacing people as they passed by.  Here Mark has Jesus immediately meet one person coming out of the tombs (εὐθὺς ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ ἐκ τῶν μνημείων ἄνθρωπος) with an unclean spirit (ἐν πνεύματι ἀκαθάρτῳ).  This demonic person lived among the tombs (ὃς τὴν κατοίκησιν εἶχεν ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν).  No one could restrain or bind him (οὐδεὶς ἐδύνατο αὐτὸν δῆσαι), even with chains (καὶ οὐδὲ ἁλύσει οὐκέτι).  This was a strong violent possessed person.

Hard for rich people (Mt 19:23-19:23)

“Jesus said

To his disciples.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

It will be hard

For a rich person

To enter

The kingdom of heaven.”

 

Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πλούσιος δυσκόλως εἰσελεύσεται εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν.

 

This saying about the difficulty of rich people trying to get into the kingdom of heaven can be found in Mark, chapter 10:24, and Luke, chapter 18:16, almost word for word.  Jesus turned to his disciples (Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ) with a strong harsh solemn proclamation (Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  It would be hard or difficult for a wealthy rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven (ὅτι πλούσιος δυσκόλως εἰσελεύσεται εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν).  Wealth would clearly be an obstacle to those who wanted to enter the kingdom of heaven.