Those who rise from the dead (Lk 16:31-16:31)

“Abraham

Said to him.

‘If they do not listen

To Moses

And the prophets,

Neither will they

Be convinced,

Even if someone

Rises

From the dead.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ Εἰ Μωϋσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀκούουσιν, οὐδὲ ἐάν τις ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ πεισθήσονται.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus concluded that Abraham said to the rich man (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ) that if his brothers had not listened to Moses and the prophets (Εἰ Μωϋσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀκούουσιν), neither would they be convinced or persuaded (πεισθήσονται), if someone rose from the dead (οὐδὲ ἐάν τις ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ).  Abraham was clear.  They had the Torah of Moses and the written teachings of the prophets.  What else did they need?  Thus, they would not be moved to repentance even if a dead man appeared to them.  This is of course was an indication of what would happen with Jesus in his resurrection.  Would you change your mind if a dead person appeared to you?

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The power of the law (Lk 16:17-16:17)

“It is easier

For heaven

And earth

To pass away,

Than for one stroke

Of a letter

Of the law

To be dropped.”

 

εὐκοπώτερον δέ ἐστιν τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν παρελθεῖν ἢ τοῦ νόμου μίαν κεραίαν πεσεῖν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that it was easier (εὐκοπώτερον δέ ἐστιν) for heaven (τὸν οὐρανὸν) and earth (καὶ τὴν γῆν) to pass away (παρελθεῖν), than for one stroke of a letter of the law to be dropped (ἢ τοῦ νόμου μίαν κεραίαν πεσεῖν).  Nothing in the Law or the Torah could be changed or dropped, plain and simple.  This saying is similar to Mark, chapter 13:31, and Matthew, chapter 5:18, with a few exceptions.  Matthew has this as a great Jesus solemn pronouncement for his disciples (ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν).  The next phrase is the same in Luke and Mark.  Heaven and earth would not pass away (ἕως ἂν παρέλθῃ ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ) until the law was fully accomplished (ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου, ἕως ἂν πάντα γένηται).  Matthew, like Luke here, is even more specific with a detailed remark about the fact that not even an iota of the Law or not one stroke of a letter would go away (ἰῶτα ἓν ἢ μία κεραία οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου), before the Law was fully accomplished.  Iota was the Greek word for the Hebrew yod, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  Mark indicated that it was the words of Jesus, and not the Law, that would not change.  Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, chapter 3:31, would further expand on this idea of upholding the law.  In Matthew, chapter 24:35, and in Luke, chapter 21:33, Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away (ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ παρελεύσονται), but his words would not pass away (οἱ δὲ λόγοι μου οὐ μὴ παρελεύσονται).  This was a simple statement about the enduring quality of the words of Jesus.  Here, however, it is the words of the law that would not pass away, not the words of Jesus.  Which is more important for you, the law or the words of Jesus?

Loaded with burdens (Lk 11:46-11:46)

“Jesus said.

‘Woe to you!

Lawyers!

You load people

With burdens

Hard to bear!

You,

Yourselves,

Do not lift

A finger

To ease them.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς νομικοῖς οὐαί, ὅτι φορτίζετε τοὺς ἀνθρώπους φορτία δυσβάστακτα, καὶ αὐτοὶ ἑνὶ τῶν δακτύλων ὑμῶν οὐ προσψαύετε τοῖς φορτίοις.

 

Then Luke indicated that Jesus turned on these lawyers, also.  Jesus cursed them also (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς νομικοῖς οὐαί).  They had loaded people with hard burdens to bear (ὅτι φορτίζετε τοὺς ἀνθρώπους φορτία δυσβάστακτα).  At the same time, they did not lift a finger to ease their burdens (καὶ αὐτοὶ ἑνὶ τῶν δακτύλων ὑμῶν οὐ προσψαύετε τοῖς φορτίοις).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:4, where Jesus said that the Pharisees and the Scribes, not the lawyers, tied up heavy burdens on the people that were hard or oppressive to bear.  They put these burdens on the shoulders of other men, but they themselves were unwilling to lift a finger to help them remove these burdens.  These heavy burdens of the Torah may have been their multiple perplexing oral interpretations of the law rather than the law itself that was usually considered a blessing.  Here in Luke, Jesus was talking about lawyers, who may have been Pharisaic lawyers of the Law of Moses, who also would not help others in any way.  Do you know any religious lawyers?

Jesus takes his three trusted apostles to pray (Lk 9:28-9:28)

“Now about eight days

After these sayings,

Jesus took with him

Peter,

John,

And James.

They went up

On a mountain

To pray.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους ὡσεὶ ἡμέραι ὀκτὼ, καὶ παραλαβὼν Πέτρον καὶ Ἰωάνην καὶ Ἰάκωβον ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι.

 

Luke said that about 8 days (ὡσεὶ ἡμέραι ὀκτὼ), after these sayings (Ἐγένετο δὲ μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους), Jesus took with him (καὶ παραλαβὼν) Peter (Πέτρον), John (καὶ Ἰωάνην), and James (καὶ Ἰάκωβον), his 3 favorite apostles.  They went up on a mountain (ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος) to pray (προσεύξασθαι).  Going to a special mountain after these sayings can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:1, Mark, chapter 9:2, and here in LukeMark and Matthew are exactly the same, almost word for word, but Luke talked about 8 days and going to pray on a mountain.  Mark said that this activity took place 6 days later, probably after the proclamation of Peter about Jesus being the Christ messiah.  Jesus took with him Peter, and the 2 sons of Zebedee, James and John.  There was no mention of Peter’s brother Andrew.  Jesus brought these 3 disciples to an unnamed high mountain, presumably near the Sea of Galilee.  There was no mention of any prayer.  Matthew, like Mark, said that this activity took place 6 days later, not 8 days as in Luke.  Jesus took with him Peter, James, and his brother John.  Jesus brought these 3 disciples to an unnamed high mountain, presumably near the Sea of Galilee, probably Mount Tabor in lower Galilee or Mount Hermon near Caesarea Philippi, much further north.  They were alone by themselves, not with any of the other apostles or disciples.  Going up on a high mountain was an attempt to have a special communication with God, just as Moses had done in the Torah.  Jesus was transfigured or transformed in front of these 3 apostles.  Was this a foretaste of the resurrected Jesus Christ?  Do you expect to see a transfigured Jesus Christ?

Lending money (Lk 6:34-6:34)

“If you lend

To those from whom

You hope

To receive,

What credit is that

To you?

Even sinners

Lend to sinners,

To receive

As much again.”

 

καὶ ἐὰν δανίσητε παρ’ ὧν ἐλπίζετε λαβεῖν, ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστίν; καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἁμαρτωλοῖς δανίζουσιν ἵνα ἀπολάβωσιν τὰ ἴσα.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued that if they lent money (καὶ ἐὰν δανίσητε παρ’) to those from whom they hoped to receive it back (παρ’ ὧν ἐλπίζετε λαβεῖν), what credit or gift was that to them (ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστίν).  Even sinners lend to sinners (καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἁμαρτωλοῖς δανίζουσιν), to receive as much back again (ἵνα ἀπολάβωσιν τὰ ἴσα).  Matthew, chapter 5:42, had something similar about lending money.  If someone wished to borrow money from them, they should not refuse them or turn them away.  These were tough difficult recommendations, but actually based on the Torah.  People were expected to give charity and at the same time offer interest free loans.  How generous are you with your money?

Do not ask for your goods back! (Lk 6:30-6:30)

“If anyone

Takes away

Your goods,

Do not ask

For them again.”

 

καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἴροντος τὰ σὰ μὴ ἀπαίτει.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if anyone was taking away their goods (καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἴροντος τὰ σὰ), they were not to ask for them back again (μὴ ἀπαίτει).  Matthew, chapter 5:42, was somewhat similar when he indicated that Jesus said that if someone wished to borrow money from you, you should not refuse them or turn them away (καὶ τὸν θέλοντα ἀπὸ σοῦ δανίσασθαι μὴ ἀποστραφῇς).  These were tough difficult recommendations, but actually based on the Torah.  Would you be so tolerant?

Jesus taught in the synagogues (Lk 4:15-4:15)

“He began

To teach

In their synagogues.

He was praised

By everyone.”

 

καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδίδασκεν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν, δοξαζόμενος ὑπὸ πάντων.

 

Luke said that Jesus began to teach (καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδίδασκεν) in their synagogues (ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν).  This is a unique statement of Luke, but the idea was present in the other gospel stories.  Matthew mentioned synagogues 9 times, in chapters 4:23, 6:2, 6:5, 9:35, 10:17, 12:9, 13:54, 23:6, and 23:34, while Mark mentioned them 11 times, in chapters 1:21, 1:23, 1:29, 1:39, 3:1, 5:22, 5:36, 5:38, 12:38, 12:39, and 13:9.  The synagogue was a new developing Jewish established gathering place.  An assembly of Jewish people might take place in a building, since some places may not have been able to afford a special multi-purpose building.  Synagogues were a new thing in the first century BCE, becoming something like a local Jewish town hall meeting place as a center of study and worship, obviously outside of Jerusalem and its Temple.  There may have been some sort of Sabbath worship taking place there with readings from the Torah and the prophets, with perhaps a sermon or explanation.  Jesus with his disciples went there, which would not have been unusual.  However, the fact that he taught there might seem a little strange, if he was not invited.  However, Luke said that Jesus was praised or glorified by everyone (δοξαζόμενος ὑπὸ πάντων).