The kingdom of God (Lk 17:20-17:20)

“Once,

Jesus

Was asked

By the Pharisees,

When the kingdom of God

Was coming?

He answered.

‘The kingdom of God

Is not coming

With observable signs.’”

 

Ἐπερωτηθεὶς δὲ ὑπὸ τῶν Φαρισαίων πότε ἔρχεται ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς καὶ εἶπεν Οὐκ ἔρχεται ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ μετὰ παρατηρήσεως,

 

Luke uniquely indicated that the Pharisees questioned Jesus (Ἐπερωτηθεὶς δὲ ὑπὸ τῶν Φαρισαίων) about when the kingdom of God was coming (πότε ἔρχεται ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  He answered them by saying (ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς καὶ εἶπεν) that the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) was not coming with observable signs or careful watching (Οὐκ ἔρχεται…μετὰ παρατηρήσεως).  Once again, Luke used a Greek word παρατηρήσεως, meaning observation or careful watching, that was only found here and nowhere else in the Greek biblical literature.  Thus, no amount of careful watching or looking for signs would help them discover when the kingdom of God was coming.  This discussion between the Pharisees and Jesus about the meaning of the kingdom of God and when it was to come was, of course, of interest to the followers of Jesus also.  When do you think that the kingdom of God is coming?

The kingdom of God (Lk 14:15-14:15)

“One of the dinner guests,

On hearing this,

Said to Jesus.

‘Blessed is anyone

Who will eat bread

In the kingdom of God!’”

 

Ἀκούσας δέ τις τῶν συνανακειμένων ταῦτα εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μακάριος ὅστις φάγεται ἄρτον ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke uniquely continued with this dinner party among the Pharisees.  Luke indicated that one of the dinner guests reclining at table with Jesus heard Jesus talk about the end times (Ἀκούσας δέ τις τῶν συνανακειμένων ταῦτα).  He said to Jesus (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that anyone would be blessed, fortunate or happy (Μακάριος) if they could eat bread (ὅστις φάγεται ἄρτον) in the kingdom of God (ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This Pharisee seemed to appreciate that the end times were coming when they would eat bread in the kingdom of God.  Would you like an earthly reward or a heavenly reward?

The kingdom of God (Lk 13:20-13:20)

“Again,

Jesus said.

‘To what

Should I compare

The kingdom of God?’”

 

Καὶ πάλιν εἶπεν Τίνι ὁμοιώσω τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus once again asked (Καὶ πάλιν εἶπεν) what he could compare the kingdom of God to (Τίνι ὁμοιώσω τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ)?  Jesus was once again trying to figure out how to explain the kingdom of God.  This indication of another parable can also be found in in Matthew, chapter 13:33, indicating a Q source.  Jesus, via Matthew, told them another short parable (Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς), not using the phrase kingdom of God, but explicitly calling it a parable.  Do you know how to make good comparisons?

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?

The kingdom of God (Lk 10:9-10:9)

“Heal

Their sick people!

Say to them!

‘The kingdom of God

Has come

Near to you.’”

 

καὶ θεραπεύετε τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ ἀσθενεῖς, καὶ λέγετε αὐτοῖς Ἤγγικεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told these 70 disciples to heal the sick people (καὶ θεραπεύετε τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ ἀσθενεῖς).  There was no mention of casting out demons or evil spirits.  They were to tell the people (καὶ λέγετε αὐτοῖς) that the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) had come near to them (Ἤγγικεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς).  There was no exact equivalent to this passage in the other gospels.  However, Matthew, chapter 10:8 said that the 12 apostles were to do what Jesus had been doing.  They were to heal or cure the sick or ailing people.  They were to raise up the dead, a difficult task.  They were to cleanse the lepers, and cast out the demons.  Since they had not paid to get this gift to be an apostle, so thus they should not receive any payment for their work as an apostle.  They should give freely of their own time since this was not a money-making project.  The idea of the kingdom of God coming near was also present in Matthew, chapter 10:7.  There, Jesus wanted the 12 apostles to go and proclaim that the kingdom of heaven was at hand or near.  This was exactly the same teaching as John the Baptist, word for word, as in Matthew, chapter 3:2.  This connection of the message of John and Jesus was very strong in MatthewLuke was more precise, since the kingdom of God was coming near, they ought to be alert.  Do you think that the kingdom of God is close at hand?

Understanding the parables (Lk 8:10-8:10)

“Jesus said.

‘To you

It has been given

To know the secrets

Of the kingdom

Of God.

But to others,

I speak in parables.

Thus,

Looking,

They may not perceive!

Listening,

They may not understand!’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ὑμῖν δέδοται γνῶναι τὰ μυστήρια τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ, τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς ἐν παραβολαῖς, ἵνα βλέποντες μὴ βλέπωσιν καὶ ἀκούοντες μὴ συνιῶσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) to his disciples that they would be able to understand the secrets (Ὑμῖν δέδοται γνῶναι τὰ μυστήρια) of the kingdom of God (τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ).  But to others (τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς), he would be speaking in parables or riddles (ἐν παραβολαῖς).  Thus, these people might look (ἵνα βλέποντες), but not see (μὴ βλέπωσιν).  They might listen (καὶ ἀκούοντες), but not understand (μὴ συνιῶσιν).  This response of Jesus about the meaning of parables can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:11-12, and Matthew, chapter 13:11-15, and here.  Matthew and Mark also said that Jesus told his disciples that they had been given knowledge concerning the secret mysteries about the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God.  However, this was not granted to others.  Matthew had Jesus explain that those who had more knowledge, even more abundant knowledge would be given to them.  However, those who had nothing, even what little they had would be taken away.  The reason that Jesus spoke in parables was that some people might see, but not perceive what they saw, while other people might hear but not understand what they have heard.  For people outside their disciple group, everything was still in parables or riddles.  Only those on the inside would understand these parables, while those outside the inner circle of Jesus would not understand these riddles.  This was almost like a gnostic interpretation of knowledge, where only the elite insiders had a true secret knowledge about the mysteries and the kingdom of God and heaven.  Matthew also had a long citation from Isaiah, chapter 6:9-10, about the people unable to understand, while Luke, and Mark had only a short summary statement.  Isaiah told the Israelite people that they were listening without comprehending.  They were looking without understanding.  Their hearts were dull and their eyes and ears were closed.  They were experiencing and listening, but they could not hear or understand.  Do you understand what you see and hear?

Preach the gospel (Lk 4:43-4:43)

“But Jesus

Said to them.

‘I must proclaim

The good news

Of the kingdom of God

To the other towns also.

I was sent

For this purpose.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὅτι Καὶ ταῖς ἑτέραις πόλεσιν εὐαγγελίσασθαί με δεῖ τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὅτι ἐπὶ τοῦτο ἀπεστάλην.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς) that it was his duty (με δεῖ) to proclaim or preach the good news (εὐαγγελίσασθαί) about the kingdom of God (τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) to the other towns or cities also (ὅτι Καὶ ταῖς ἑτέραις πόλεσιν).  He was sent for that purpose (ὅτι ἐπὶ τοῦτο ἀπεστάλην).  There is something similar in Mark. chapter 1:37-38, but there was no explicit message about proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.  Mark simply recounted that Jesus said to his followers that they were going into the nearby neighboring towns or villages.  Thus, he could proclaim or preach his unspecified message there.  That was what he came to do, since it was time to get to work.  Jesus had to move on to the other nearby towns and villages to proclaim his message.