The colt (Lk 19:30-19:30)

“Jesus said.

‘Go into the village

Ahead of you!

As you enter it,

You will find

A colt tied there,

That has never

Been ridden.

Untie it!

Bring it here!’”

 

λέγων Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν κατέναντι κώμην, ἐν ᾗ εἰσπορευόμενοι εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον, ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς πώποτε ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν, καὶ λύσαντες αὐτὸν ἀγάγετε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told (λέγων) these two disciples to go into the village ahead of them (Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν κατέναντι κώμην).  They were to enter the village (ἐν ᾗ εἰσπορευόμενοι) and find a colt tied there (εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον), that had never been ridden or that no man had ever sat on (ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς πώποτε ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν).  They were to untie it (καὶ λύσαντες αὐτὸν) and then bring it back (ἀγάγετε) to Jesus.  Jesus wanted these two unnamed disciples to go into the village in front of them to get a tied up unbroken colt and bring it back to him.  This sounded simple enough.  Both Matthew, chapter 21:2, and Mark, chapter 11:2 are similar, but Matthew had a colt and a donkey, while Luke and Mark had merely a colt.  Mark said that Jesus told the two unnamed disciples (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) to go into the village that was just ahead of them (Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν κώμην τὴν κατέναντι ὑμῶν).  There immediately on entering the village (καὶ εὐθὺς εἰσπορευόμενοι εἰς αὐτὴν), they would find a colt tied up (εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον).  This was a colt that no person had ever ridden on before (ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς οὔπω ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν).  Jesus told these two unnamed disciples to untie it (λύσατε αὐτὸν) and bring it back to him (καὶ φέρετε).  In Matthew, Jesus told the two disciples (λέγων αὐτοῖς) to travel into the village that was just ahead of them (Πορεύεσθε εἰς τὴν κώμην τὴν κατέναντι ὑμῶν).  There they would immediately find a donkey tied up (καὶ εὐθὺς εὑρήσετε ὄνον δεδεμένην) with a young colt next to it (καὶ πῶλον μετ’ αὐτῆς) also tied up.  Jesus told these two disciples to untie (λύσαντες) both of them.  Then they were to bring or guide them back to him (ἀγάγετέ μοι).  Matthew alone spoke about the donkey and the colt, not just the colt.  Otherwise, everything was pretty much the same in all three synoptic gospels.  Apparently, Jesus and his disciples always traveled on foot or by boat, but never riding animals.  Have you ever ridden on a donkey?

Children and the kingdom of God (Lk 18:16-18:16)

“But Jesus

Called the disciples.

He said.

‘Let the little children

Come to me!

Do not stop them!

It is to such

As these

That the kingdom of God

Belongs.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς προσεκαλέσατο αὐτὰ λέγων Ἄφετε τὰ παιδία ἔρχεσθαι πρός με καὶ μὴ κωλύετε αὐτά· τῶν γὰρ τοιούτων ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ

 

Luke indicated that Jesus called his disciples (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς προσεκαλέσατο αὐτὰ).  He told them to let the little children come to him (λέγων Ἄφετε τὰ παιδία ἔρχεσθαι πρός με).  They were not to stop them (καὶ μὴ κωλύετε αὐτά), since the kingdom of God belonged to them (τῶν γὰρ τοιούτων ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This story about Jesus and the little children can be found in Mark, chapter 10:14-16, and Matthew, chapter 19:14, but slightly different.  Mark said that Jesus saw what was going on (ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  He was indignant or angry with his disciples (ἠγανάκτησεν).  Once again, there was a little dispute between Jesus and his disciples.  He said to them (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) to let the little children come to him (Ἄφετε τὰ παιδία ἔρχεσθαι πρός με).  They were not to stop or hinder them (μὴ κωλύετε αὐτά).  They belonged to the kingdom of heaven (τῶν γὰρ τοιούτων ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Matthew indicated that Jesus said (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν) to his disciples that the little children should not be forbidden to come to him (Ἄφετε τὰ παιδία καὶ μὴ κωλύετε αὐτὰ ἐλθεῖν πρός με).  They belonged to the kingdom of heaven (τῶν γὰρ τοιούτων ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν).  Once again, there was a difference between Mark with the “kingdom of God” and Matthew with the “kingdom of heaven.”  Then Matthew indicated that Jesus laid his hands on them (καὶ ἐπιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῖς) before he traveled from there on his way (ἐπορεύθη ἐκεῖθεν).  This was not in the Mark or Luke.  Thus, Jesus favored the little children.  There was no mention of infants in any of these gospel stories, except for Luke at the beginning.  Do you think that priests and ministers should bless little children?

 

The younger son squanders his property (Lk 15:13-15:13)

“A few days later,

The younger son

Gathered all he had.

He traveled

To a distant country.

There he squandered

His property

In dissolute living.”

 

καὶ μετ’ οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας συναγαγὼν πάντα ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς χώραν μακράν, καὶ ἐκεῖ διεσκόρπισεν τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ ζῶν ἀσώτως.

 

This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that a few days later or not too many days later (καὶ μετ’ οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας), this younger son gathered all that he had (συναγαγὼν πάντα ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς), without any indication of how much stuff he actually had.  He then traveled or went away to a distant country (ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς χώραν μακράν), since he did not stay close to home.  There he squandered his property in dissolute living (καὶ ἐκεῖ διεσκόρπισεν τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ ζῶν ἀσώτως).  Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term ἀσώτως that means prodigal or extravagantly wasteful, because of loose living in a debauched, profligate lifestyle.  Thus, this story came to be known as the prodigal son.  In other words, this young son took off for a Las Vegas kind of city in a faraway place.  There he spent his new-found inheritance very quickly in a number of stupid ways.  It is not clear how he was able to convert his inheritance property into cash, but presumably he did.  Have you ever thought about running away and spending a lot of money foolishly?

How many will be saved? (Lk 13:23-13:23)

“Someone asked him.

‘Lord!

‘Will only a few

Be saved?’”

 

Εἶπεν δέ τις αὐτῷ Κύριε, εἰ ὀλίγοι οἱ σῳζόμενοι;

 

Luke uniquely indicated that someone along the way asked Jesus (Εἶπεν δέ τις αὐτῷ), as he traveled, addressing him as the “Lord (Κύριε).”  They wanted to know if only a few people would be saved (εἰ ὀλίγοι οἱ σῳζόμενοι)?  This was a main concern among apocalyptic people who were concerned about the end times.  Will they be left behind?  Was salvation for many or just a few?  This has been a continuing question among Christians since the very beginning, but emphasized with John Calvin (1509-1564) and around millennium moments.  Do you think that many or few people will be saved?

They went to another village (Lk 9:56-9:56)

“Then Jesus

Went on

To another village.”

 

καὶ ἐπορεύθησαν εἰς ἑτέραν κώμην.

 

Luke had a simple solution to this problem in his unique story of Jesus on the way to Jerusalem in Samaria.  They simply went on to another Samaritan village that might be more hospitable.  Luke said that Jesus traveled on (καὶ ἐπορεύθησαν) to another village (εἰς ἑτέραν κώμην).  However, a Byzantine text had Jesus say that the Son of Man (ὁ γὰρ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) had not come to destroy human life (οὐκ ἦλθεν ψυχὰς ἀνθρώπων ἀπολέσαι), but to save it (ἀλλὰ σῶσαι).  Thus, this little adventure into Samaria that only Luke described came to an end.  Have you ever been in an area where you were not well received?

Going to Jerusalem (Lk 9:51-9:51)

“When the days

Drew near

For Jesus

To be taken up,

He set his face

Steadfastly

To go to

Jerusalem.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὸς τὸ πρόσωπον ἐστήρισεν τοῦ πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ,

 

Luke said that when the days drew near (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας) for Jesus to be taken up (τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ), he steadfastly set his face (καὶ αὐτὸς τὸ πρόσωπον ἐστήρισεν τοῦ) to go to Jerusalem (πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ).  Jesus’ move from Galilee to Judea can also be found in Matthew, chapter 19:1-2, and Mark, chapter 10:1, with Matthew closer to Mark, who said that Jesus left that place, presumably Galilee.  He went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan.  Thus, Jesus moved south towards Jerusalem.  However, he traveled on the other eastern side of the Jordan River, so that he did not have to go into Samaria, just the opposite as here in LukeMark, like Matthew, emphasized the crowds that gathered around Jesus.  Just as in Galilee, Jesus again began to teach the people in Judea.  Mark had Jesus teaching the crowds instead of healing these people, as in Matthew.  Matthew said that when Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea, beyond the Jordan.  Thus, Jesus moved south towards Jerusalem.  However, he traveled on the other side of the Jordan River, on the east side of Jordan, so that he did not have to go into Samaria.  He definitely was leaving Galilee.  Luke was more definitive on where he was going, since he steadfastly set his face towards Jerusalem.  Have you ever decided to go some place?

Gerasenes (Lk 8:26-8:26)

“Then they arrived

At the country

Of the Gerasenes,

Which is opposite Galilee.”

 

Καὶ κατέπλευσαν εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γερασηνῶν, ἥτις ἐστὶν ἀντιπέρα τῆς Γαλιλαίας.

 

Luke said that Jesus and his disciples sailed down (Καὶ κατέπλευσαν) to the country of the Gerasenes (εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γερασηνῶν), which was opposite Galilee (ἥτις ἐστὶν ἀντιπέρα τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:28, Mark, chapter 5:1, as well as Luke here, have Jesus cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  They went to the country or region of the Gerasenes.  Matthew called it Gadarenes, while Luke called it Gerasenes, like Mark.  This might be one of two different towns on the east bank of the Jordan in the Decapolis territory, a group of 10 cities.  One was called Gadara, about 6 miles away from the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee, near where the Sea of Galilee ran into the Jordan River.  Today, it is in the country of Jordan, known as Umm Qais.  The other Decapolis town was called Gerasa, a town about 40 miles from the Sea of Galilee, which would be more inconsistent with this story.  Nevertheless, this was Gentile territory with only a few Jewish people there.  Jesus had traveled over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee to its southern tip, to one of the 10 cities of the Decapolis territory.  Have you ever traveled to an area where they had different religious beliefs than you?