Luke indicated that their response (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν) was simple and precise. “The Lord needs it (Ὁ Κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει).” Was this some sort of secret password to show who they were? This is similar to Mark, chapter 11:6, where Mark said that the response of these two disciples was what they had been prepared to say. They told these bystanders (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτοῖς) what Jesus had told them to say (καθὼς εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς). Thus, these people in this town allowed these unnamed disciples to take the colt with them (καὶ ἀφῆκαν αὐτούς). Mission accomplished! How would these bystanders know about the master?
Luke uniquely indicated that Zacchaeus ran ahead (καὶ προδραμὼν εἰς τὸ ἔμπροσθεν) of everyone. He then climbed up a sycamore tree (ἀνέβη ἐπὶ συκομορέαν) in order to see Jesus (ἵνα ἴδῃ αὐτόν), because Jesus was about to pass that way (ὅτι ἐκείνης ἤμελλεν διέρχεσθαι). Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use the word συκομορέαν, that means a fig-mulberry tree, a sycamore fig, or a sycamore tree. This small rich tax collector ran ahead of everybody and climbed up a tree so that he could see Jesus when he passed by, an ingenious way to get a look at the celebrity who was in town. Luke was the only synoptic with this story of Zacchaeus. Would you climb a tree to see a celebrity?
Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus also mentioned Lot from Genesis, chapter 19:24. Jesus said that on the day when Lot left Sodom (ᾗ δὲ ἡμέρᾳ ἐξῆλθεν Λὼτ ἀπὸ Σοδόμων), it rained fire (ἔβρεξεν πῦρ) and sulphur or brimstone (καὶ θεῖον) from heaven (ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ). It destroyed all of them (καὶ ἀπώλεσεν πάντας). It would be like those days on the day (κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ ἔσται ᾗ ἡμέρᾳ) that the Son of Man would be revealed (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἀποκαλύπτεται). In other words, the destruction of the world at the time of Noah and the destruction of the town of Sodom at the time of Lot were a foretaste of the end times. It would come unexpectedly. However, the conclusion was to be expected. The comparison was explicit. The Son of Man would come like in the olden days of destruction. Are you prepared for the coming of the Son of Man at the end times?
Only Luke has this story about the curing of the ten lepers. Luke indicated that this one cured leper prostrated himself or fell on his face (καὶ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον) at Jesus’ feet (παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ). He thanked Jesus (εὐχαριστῶν αὐτῷ). It turns out that he was a Samaritan (καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν Σαμαρείτης). As this town was on the border between Galilee and Samaria, one of these lepers was a Samaritan. Luke once again emphasized the role of a Samaritan. In fact, this Samaritan leper was the only cured leper to return and prostrate himself at the feet of Jesus, thanking him. The others went on their way to see the Jewish priests in Jerusalem for the ritual cleansing. Was this cured leper Samaritan not going to go to the Judean priest for a cleansing anyway, since he would have gone to Mt. Gerizim? Have you ever felt not like part of the group?
Luke continued this parable. Jesus said that this slave returned (καὶ παραγενόμενος ὁ δοῦλος). Then he reported (ἀπήγγειλεν) to his master, the lord (τῷ κυρίῳ), all these things (ταῦτα). The owner of the house (ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης) then became very angry (τότε ὀργισθεὶς). He told his slave (εἶπεν τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ) to go out at once (Ἔξελθε ταχέως) into the streets (εἰς τὰς πλατείας) and the lanes of the town (καὶ ῥύμας τῆς πόλεως,). He was to bring in the poor (καὶ τοὺς πτωχοὺς), the crippled (καὶ ἀναπήρους), the blind (καὶ τυφλοὺς), and the lame (καὶ χωλοὺς) in there (ὧδε). Once again, there are some differences with Matthew, chapter 22:8-9, who was less descriptive of those who were invited this time. Jesus said that this king told his slaves (τότε λέγει τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ) that the wedding feast was ready (Ὁ μὲν γάμος ἕτοιμός ἐστιν). Those originally invited were not worthy or deserving of his invitation (οἱ δὲ κεκλημένοι οὐκ ἦσαν ἄξιοι). Therefore, they were to go into the main streets or the meeting places on the roads (πορεύεσθε οὖν ἐπὶ τὰς διεξόδους τῶν ὁδῶν). Then they should invite everyone or as many as they could find to this wedding banquet (καὶ ὅσους ἐὰν εὕρητε καλέσατε εἰς τοὺς γάμους). This king was intent on having this wedding dinner. However, Luke extended the new invitations to the vulnerable in our society, the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame, a slightly different perspective. Who would you invite to a dinner feast?
Luke uniquely has this statement about Jesus, but statements in the other gospels indicate something similar. Luke said that Jesus went through (Καὶ διεπορεύετο) one town (κατὰ πόλεις) and village after another (καὶ κώμας). He was teaching (διδάσκων), as he was making progress (καὶ πορείαν ποιούμενος) on his way toward Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα). Although Jesus went through various little towns and villages, he was always teaching about the kingdom of God. However, his main goal was to go to Jerusalem. Perhaps, he was not in Samaritan territory anymore. Do you have a goal in mind that you are trying to reach?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that the Wisdom of God (διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἡ σοφία τοῦ Θεοῦ εἶπεν) said that he would send them prophets (Ἀποστελῶ εἰς αὐτοὺς προφήτας) and apostles (καὶ ἀποστόλους). However, they would kill (ἀποκτενοῦσιν) and persecute (καὶ διώξουσιν) some of them (καὶ ἐξ αὐτῶν). There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:34, perhaps a Q source, about the killing of prophets. Jesus said, via Matthew, that he was going to send them prophets, sages or wise men, and scribes, the heroes of the Hebrew Scripture and the Mosaic Law. However, instead of respecting them, they were going to kill some, crucify some, and flog or scourge some in their synagogues. They were going to go from town to town persecuting some also. Jesus had mentioned the possibility of death or crucifixion for his followers earlier. Luke had Jesus slightly more restrained here. He mentioned the Wisdom of God (ἡ σοφία τοῦ Θεοῦ) as he had done earlier in chapter 7:35, either indicating Holy Scripture or the personification of wisdom. What do you know about the wisdom of God?
Luke indicated that Jesus told the 70 disciples what they were to say and do, just like the 12 apostles in chapter 9:4. They were to say (εἴπατε), in the street of any town that did not welcome them, that they they were going to wipe off even the dust (Καὶ τὸν κονιορτὸν) of their town (ἐκ τῆς πόλεως) that clung to their feet (τὸν κολληθέντα ἡμῖν…εἰς τοὺς πόδας), as a protest against them (ἀπομασσόμεθα ὑμῖν). Nevertheless, they should know (πλὴν τοῦτο γινώσκετε) that the kingdom of God has come near (ὅτι ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ). Earlier Luke, chapter 9:4, had indicated that Jesus said to his 12 apostle that wherever town did not welcome them, as they were leaving that town, they were to shake the dust off their feet as a testimony or witness against them. Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:14-15, and Mark, chapter 6:11. Mark indicated that Jesus said that if any place would not receive them or listen to their words, they were to leave that place. They should shake off the dust from their feet, as a witness or testimony against them. This indicated that the dust of that house was useless. Despite their unwelcome attitude, Jesus wanted these 70 disciples to let the people of this town know that the kingdom of God was near. Have you ever shaken the dust of your feet in front of anyone as a protest?
Luke uniquely had Jesus continue to emphasize what he had just said. Whenever they entered a town (καὶ εἰς ἣν ἂν πόλιν εἰσέρχησθε) where people welcomed them (καὶ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς), they were to eat (ἐσθίετε) what was set before them (τὰ παρατιθέμενα ὑμῖν). Luke was the only one of the gospel writers to mention that these 70 disciples should eat what they were given, instead of being picky and demanding special food. Perhaps this was also an indication that they might be able to accept non-kosher food if that is all that somebody had available. Are you picky about what you eat?
Luke indicated that Jesus said to the 70 disciples that they were to remain in the same house (ἐν αὐτῇ δὲ τῇ οἰκίᾳ μένετε). They should eat (ἔσθοντες) and drink (καὶ πίνοντες) whatever they were provided (τὰ παρ’ αὐτῶν). Jesus said that the laborer deserved to be paid or was worthy of his wages (ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τοῦ μισθοῦ αὐτοῦ). They were not to move around (μὴ μεταβαίνετε) from house to house (ἐξ οἰκίας εἰς οἰκίαν). This is similar to what Luke, chapter 9:4 indicated that Jesus said to his 12 apostles. There Jesus told the apostles that whatever house they entered, they were to stay there and leave from there. Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:11, and Mark, chapter 6:10. Mark indicated that Jesus had a very simple message about where to stay. Wherever they entered a house, they should stay there in one place until they left. They should not switch places. Matthew also had Jesus give a very simple message about where to stay when they entered a town or village. They should try to find a place to stay with someone who was worthy, honorable, or suitable. They should not switch places. They should stay in that one place until they left. They were not to go wandering around. Find a suitable person and place! Then stay there! This message to the 12 apostles and 70 disciples was the same. Matthew, chapter 10:10 also indicated that these laborers deserved their food, just like Luke here. Luke even indicated that they should eat and drink whatever they get, and not be picky. Where do you stay when you travel?