Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that they would say to their slave (ἀλλ’ οὐχὶ ἐρεῖ αὐτῷ), who was returning from the field, that he should prepare the supper for him (Ἑτοίμασον τί δειπνήσω). Instead, this land owner would tell the slave to put on his apron or gird himself (καὶ περιζωσάμενος), so that this slave might serve him (διακόνει μοι), while he ate and drank (ἕως φάγω καὶ πίω). Then later after all this had been taken care when the owner had eaten and drank (καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα), then the slave would be allowed to eat and drink (φάγεσαι καὶ πίεσαι σύ). There clearly was a caste system. The slaves did not eat with their land owners. They would have to serve their master, before they could eat their own food. What do you think about this kind of system?
Luke indicated that Jesus wanted to justify his behavior. Thus, he told them (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτοὺς) this parable (τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην λέγων). This parable of the lost sheep can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:12, with some minor changes. Perhaps this is a Q source. Matthew indicated that Jesus asked them to think (Τί ὑμῖν δοκεῖ) about these things or this parable, although he did not call it a parable like Luke did here. Do you like stories or parables?
Luke once again uniquely had this response of Jesus, which was the same as previously. This response of Jesus in Luke was simple. Jesus said “No (οὐχί)” with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν). All of them present there, if they did not repent or have a change of heart, a metanoia (ἀλλ’ ἐὰν μὴ μετανοήσητε), they would all perish, just like these people upon whom the wall fell down on (πάντες ὡσαύτως ἀπολεῖσθε). Tragic death did not mean that you were a sinner. Repentance for all was important. Do you think that anyone deserves to die?
Luke uniquely had Jesus present another contemporary event that is not attested elsewhere. This time it was about a difficult to ascertain tower of Siloam in the old southern part of Jerusalem that accidently killed 18 people. Jesus wanted to know if these 18 people (ἢ ἐκεῖνοι οἱ δέκα οκτὼ) upon whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed (ἐφ’ οὓς ἔπεσεν ὁ πύργος ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτούς) were worse sinners (δοκεῖτε ὅτι αὐτοὶ ὀφειλέται ἐγένοντο) than all the other people living in Jerusalem (παρὰ πάντας τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τοὺς κατοικοῦντας Ἱερουσαλήμ)? Did this accidental death mean that these people were sinners? Are people who die an accidental death worse than people who die at home in bed? Do you know anyone who died in an accident?
Next Luke uniquely indicated how Jesus used this contemporary event to make a point. Jesus asked them (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) if they thought (Δοκεῖτε) that these Galileans (ὅτι οἱ Γαλιλαῖοι οὗτοι) suffered this way (ὅτι ταῦτα πεπόνθασιν) because they were worse sinners than all the other Galileans (ἁμαρτωλοὶ παρὰ πάντας τοὺς Γαλιλαίους ἐγένοντο)? Jesus wanted to know if they thought that Galileans who got killed offering their sacrifice at the Temple were worse sinners than the other Galileans. Is it worse to die in Church? Does the type of death that you endure indicate what kind of sinner you were?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should not think (δοκεῖτε) that he came to bring peace to the earth (ὅτι εἰρήνην παρεγενόμην δοῦναι ἐν τῇ γῇ). With a solemn pronouncement (οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν), he said the opposite. He had come to bring discord or divisions (ἀλλ’ ἢ διαμερισμόν). This διαμερισμόν is a unique word of Luke that means breaking up, discord, or hostility. Luke used this word instead of the normal word of Matthew, “the sword μάχαιραν”. This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:34, indicating a Q source. Matthew indicated that Jesus said that he had come to bring divisions because he was a disrupter. They should not think (Μὴ νομίσητε) that Jesus had come to bring peace on earth (ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν). He had not come to bring peace (οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην), but quite the opposite, to bring the sword (ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν), much like the ancient Hebrew prophets, especially Ezekiel, chapter 38:21. The sword meant war not peace. Jesus was not a peacemaker, but a sign of contradiction. Well, there goes the prince of peace. Have you ever thought about Jesus as a disrupter?
Luke indicated that Jesus told his disciples to think about the ravens (κατανοήσατε τοὺς κόρακας). They neither sow (ὅτι οὔτε σπείρουσιν) nor reap (οὔτε θερίζουσιν). They have neither a storehouse (οἷς οὐκ ἔστιν ταμεῖον) nor a barn (οὐδὲ ἀποθήκη). Yet God feeds them (καὶ ὁ Θεὸς τρέφει αὐτούς). Of how much more value are you than the birds (πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμεῖς διαφέρετε τῶν πετεινῶν). Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:26, has a similar Jesus saying, almost word for word, indicating a common Q source. Luke called the birds ravens, but Matthew did not. Matthew had Jesus tell his disciples to look and see the birds of the heavenly skies (ἐμβλέψατε εἰς τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ). These birds did not sow or scatter (ὅτι οὐ σπείρουσιν) or gather crops (οὐδὲ συνάγουσιν) into a granary or barn (εἰς ἀποθήκας). They were freeloaders. Yet they were able to eat off the land, because the heavenly Father fed them (καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τρέφει αὐτά). Are the disciples or followers of Jesus not more valuable than these birds (οὐχ ὑμεῖς μᾶλλον διαφέρετε αὐτῶν)? Matthew said the Father fed the birds, but Luke said that it was God who fed them. Birds did not do any farm work, yet they did not have to worry about food. Are you worried about where your next meal is coming from?
Luke uniquely had this parable story about waking up a friend in the middle of the night. Luke indicated that Jesus told his disciples (Καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) this parable. He asked them, who among them had a friend (Τίς ἐξ ὑμῶν ἕξει φίλον)? Obviously, some of them had friends. If they were to go to their friend (καὶ πορεύσεται πρὸς) at midnight (μεσονυκτίου), and say to him (καὶ εἴπῃ αὐτῷ), good friend (Φίλε), lend me 3 loaves of bread (χρῆσόν μοι τρεῖς ἄρτους), what do you think he would do? Most of us would say leave us alone. After all there were no fast food 24-hour service places to get food. Luke has Jesus take up this question after his presentation on how to pray the Our Father. What if you have a sudden visitor and not enough food? What to do? Wake up your next-door neighbor friend! I do not know if that is a good idea. Let’s see what happens. Would you wake up a neighbor in the middle of the night?
Luke continued his unique story. Jesus asked the obvious question. Which one of these three people (τίς τούτων τῶν τριῶν) did he think was a neighbor to this man (πλησίον δοκεῖ σοι γεγονέναιn) who fell among the robbers (τοῦ ἐμπεσόντος εἰς τοὺς λῃστάς)? Like most of the parables of Jesus, the moral is usually very clear. This was no exception. Jesus then asked this lawyer who had asked the question about who his neighbor was, what did he think? Who did the neighborly thing? Which one of these 3 individuals, the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan did the right thing? A neighbor is not a physical presence but an active deed done to someone in need. Are you a good neighbor?
Luke indicated that Jesus then asked this possessed man (ἐπηρώτησεν δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς) what his name was (Τί σοι ὄνομά ἐστιν)? The man responded (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that his name was “Legion (Λεγιών),” because many demons had entered him (ὅτι εἰσῆλθεν δαιμόνια πολλὰ εἰς αὐτόν). There is nothing like this question in the Matthew gospel story. However, this is similar to Mark, chapter 5:9. This famous question and answer has taken on a life of its own in many apocalyptic works about evil spirits. Mark indicated that Jesus questioned this man with the unclean spirit about what his name was? It was common in most expulsions of evil spirits to know the name of the one being expelled, in order to control them. The man with the unclean spirit responded to Jesus that his name was “Legion (Λεγιὼν ὄνομά μοι),” a Latin term. A Roman legion would have been about 6,000 men. Thus, the unclean spirit was responding that he had many unclean spirits, perhaps as many as 6,000. What do you think about unclean evil spirits?