Make this stone into bread (Lk 4:3-4:3)

“The devil

Said to Jesus.

‘If you are

The Son of God,

Command this stone

To become

A loaf of bread!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ διάβολος Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, εἰπὲ τῷ λίθῳ τούτῳ ἵνα γένηται ἄρτος.

 

Once again, this is the same as Matthew, chapter 4:3, nearly word for word.  Luke said that this devil spoke to Jesus (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ διάβολος) after he had endured this 40 day fast.  Jesus was really hungry at this time.  Then this devil taunted Jesus by telling him that if he was truly the son of God (Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ), he could just say the word and make a stone turn into a loaf of bread (εἰπὲ τῷ λίθῳ τούτῳ ἵνα γένηται ἄρτος).  Then Jesus could eat this loaf of bread and take away his hunger.  This terminology of the “Son of God” indicated a special relationship with God.  Matthew called this devil, the tempter.

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The sources (Lk 1:2-1:2)

“These events

Were handed down

To us

By those

Who from the beginning

Were eyewitnesses

And servants

Of the word.”

 

καθὼς παρέδοσαν ἡμῖν οἱ ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς αὐτόπται καὶ ὑπηρέται γενόμενοι τοῦ λόγου,

 

Luke clearly says where his sources are coming from, unlike the other gospel writers.  He said that these things or events were handed down to him (καθὼς παρέδοσαν ἡμῖν) by people who were with Jesus from the beginning (οἱ ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς).  These were the eyewitnesses (αὐτόπται) and those being the servants or ministers (καὶ ὑπηρέται γενόμενοι) of the word (τοῦ λόγου), the early disciples and apostles of Jesus.  Luke was a second-generation Christian, since many of these events would have taken place before he was born.  Therefore, he was going to rely on those who were with Jesus from the beginning.  These early ministers or Jesus followers would be an important source for Luke.

Jesus spoke in parables (Mk 4:33-4:34)

“Jesus spoke the word

To them

With many such parables.

Thus,

They were able

To hear it.

He did not speak

To them

Except in parables.

But he explained

Everything in private

To his disciples.”

 

Καὶ τοιαύταις παραβολαῖς πολλαῖς ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον, καθὼς ἠδύναντο ἀκούειν·

χωρὶς δὲ παραβολῆς οὐκ ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς, κατ’ ἰδίαν δὲ τοῖς ἰδίοις μαθηταῖς ἐπέλυεν πάντα.

 

This explanation of the importance of parables is similar to Matthew, chapter 13:34.  Jesus, via Mark, presented the word (ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον), using many parables (Καὶ τοιαύταις παραβολαῖς πολλαῖς) so that they were able to hear them (καθὼς ἠδύναντο ἀκούειν).  In fact, he told hem nothing that was not a parable (χωρὶς δὲ παραβολῆς οὐκ ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς).  He only spoke in parables.  However, he explained everything in private for his disciples (κατ’ ἰδίαν δὲ τοῖς ἰδίοις μαθηταῖς ἐπέλυεν πάντα).  Both Mark and Matthew underlined the role of parables in their gospel stories.  Matthew, chapter 13:35, uniquely cited a prophecy from Psalm 78:2, that Mark had not mentioned.  Jesus was going to open his mouth in parables about the old-fashioned sayings, like the wisdom writers.  The parables were a way of conveying wisdom, with only the initiated, his disciples, able to understand them.

Explanation of the good seeds (Mk 4:20-4:20)

“These are the seeds

Sown on the good soil.

They hear the word.

They accept it.

They bear fruit,

Thirty,

Sixty,

And a hundredfold.”

 

καὶ ἐκεῖνοί εἰσιν οἱ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν τὴν καλὴν σπαρέντες, οἵτινες ἀκούουσιν τὸν λόγον καὶ παραδέχονται καὶ καρποφοροῦσιν ἓν τριάκοντα καὶ ἓν ἑξήκοντα καὶ ἓν ἑκατόν

 

This explanation of the good seeds can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that the seeds sown on good soil (καὶ ἐκεῖνοί εἰσιν οἱ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν τὴν καλὴν σπαρέντες) are the people who hear the word (οἵτινες ἀκούουσιν τὸν λόγον).  They accept it (καὶ παραδέχονται).  They then bear good fruit (καὶ καρποφοροῦσιν).  They yield either thirtyfold (ἓν τριάκοντα), sixtyfold (καὶ ἓν ἑξήκοντα), or a hundredfold (καὶ ἓν ἑκατόν).  Mathew, chapter 13:23, has the reverse order of 100, 60, and 30, while Luke, chapter 8:15, has no number on the fruits of the harvest.  Only about 25% of the seeds sown were effective.  Thus, only about 25% of the people hearing the word of the kingdom will follow it.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.  The seeds or the word that fell on the path, on the rocky ground, or the thorns were ineffective.  However, even among the effective seeds that were on good soil, the word would have different results.  Some would yield 30 times, some 60, and some 100.  There was no magic formula.  The circumstances among the good hearers would also bring about a variety of responses and effectiveness.

Explanation of the seeds among the thorns (Mk 4:18-4:19)

“Others are the seeds

Sown among thorns.

They are those

Who hear the word,

But the cares

Of the world,

The lure of wealth,

And the desire

For other things

Come in.

They choke the word.

It yields nothing.”

 

καὶ ἄλλοι εἰσὶν οἱ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας σπειρόμενοι· οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ τὸν λόγον ἀκούσαντες

καὶ αἱ μέριμναι τοῦ αἰῶνος καὶ ἡ ἀπάτη τοῦ πλούτου καὶ αἱ περὶ τὰ λοιπὰ ἐπιθυμίαι εἰσπορευόμεναι συνπνίγουσιν τὸν λόγον, καὶ ἄκαρπος γίνεται.

 

This explanation about the seeds among the thorns can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels.  Matthew, chapter 13:22, and Luke, chapter 8:14, have this saying in an abbreviated fashion.  Mark explained that Jesus said that these seeds sown among the thorns (καὶ ἄλλοι εἰσὶν οἱ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας σπειρόμενοι) were the ones who heard the word (οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ τὸν λόγον ἀκούσαντες).  However, the cares and anxiety of this present world or times (καὶ ἡ μέριμνα τοῦ αἰῶνος), as well as the allure or deceit of material wealth (καὶ ἡ ἀπάτη τοῦ πλούτου), along with the various desires for other things (καὶ αἱ περὶ τὰ λοιπὰ ἐπιθυμίαι εἰσπορευόμεναι) choked or crowded out the word (συνπνίγουσιν τὸν λόγον).  Thus, it yielded nothing (καὶ ἄκαρπος γίνεται).  The thorns were the everyday cares about physical riches and various pleasures that choked off the growth of the seeds or the word.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.

Explaining the seeds on rocky ground (Mk 4:16-4:17)

“These are the seeds sown

On rocky ground.

When they hear

The word,

Immediately,

They receive it

With joy.

But they did not have

Their own roots,

Only temporary ones.

Then,

When trouble

Or persecution

Arises

On account of the word,

Immediately,

They fall away.”

 

καὶ οὗτοί εἰσιν ὁμοίως οἱ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπειρόμενοι, οἳ ὅταν ἀκούσωσιν τὸν λόγον εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνουσιν αὐτόν,

καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιροί εἰσιν, εἶτα γενομένης θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ διὰ τὸν λόγον εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζονται.

 

This explanation of the seeds sown on the rocky ground can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:20-21, and Luke, chapter 8:13, almost word for word to here.  Mark said that Jesus explained that the seeds sown on the rocky ground (καὶ οὗτοί εἰσιν ὁμοίως οἱ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπειρόμενοι) were like the people who heard the word (οἳ ὅταν ἀκούσωσιν τὸν λόγον), and immediately received it with joy (εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνουσιν αὐτόν).  Yet these seedlings did not have their own roots (καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς), but only temporary roots (ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιροί εἰσιν).  When trouble, tribulation, or persecution arose (εἶτα γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ), because of the word (διὰ τὸν λόγον), they immediately stumbled and fell away (εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζεται).  Once again, the seeds are the word.  Listening to the word was not enough if it did not resonate or take root.  Due to this rocky ground, the early excitement of receiving the word was not good enough to sustain a continual adherence to the word.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.

Jesus was in a crowded place (Mk 2:2-2:2)

“So many people

Gathered around

So that there was

No longer room

For them,

Not even in front of the door.

He was preaching

The word to them.”

 

καὶ συνήχθησαν πολλοὶ, ὥστε μηκέτι χωρεῖν μηδὲ τὰ πρὸς τὴν θύραν, καὶ ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον.

 

This is unique to Mark, but not unusual.  Mark said that so many people gathered around his house (καὶ συνήχθησαν πολλοὶ) that there was no longer room or space for them there (ὥστε μηκέτι χωρεῖν), not even in front of the door (μηδὲ τὰ πρὸς τὴν θύραν).  He was preaching the word to them (καὶ ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον).  Once again, there was not a specific message here in Mark, just the word in general.