Zacchaeus defends himself (Lk 19:8-19:8)

“Zacchaeus stood there.

He said

To the Lord.

‘Look!

Lord!

I will give

To the poor

Half of my possessions.

If I have defrauded

Anyone of anything,

I will pay back

Four times as much.’”

 

σταθεὶς δὲ Ζακχαῖος εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Κύριον Ἰδοὺ τὰ ἡμίσειά μου τῶν ὑπαρχόντων, Κύριε, τοῖς πτωχοῖς δίδωμι, καὶ εἴ τινός τι ἐσυκοφάντησα ἀποδίδωμι τετραπλοῦν.

 

Luke indicated that Zacchaeus stood there (σταθεὶς δὲ Ζακχαῖος).  He then said to the Lord Jesus (εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Κύριον), calling him Lord (Κύριε) that he was willing to give to the poor (τοῖς πτωχοῖς δίδωμι) half of his possessions (Ἰδοὺ τὰ ἡμίσειά μου τῶν ὑπαρχόντων).  He said that if he had defrauded anyone of anything (καὶ εἴ τινός τι ἐσυκοφάντησα), he was willing to pay it back 4 times as much (ἀποδίδωμι τετραπλοῦν).  Once again, Luke used the Greek word ἐσυκοφάντησα, that means to accuse falsely or defraud people, that was not found in any of the other Greek biblical writers.  Zacchaeus made a big deal about how he was not like the other tax collectors.  Despite his wealth, he was willing to give half of it away to some unnamed poor people.  Anytime, he was accused of defrauding people, he would give them 4 times what they were claiming.  This restoration of 4 times goes back to Exodus, chapter 22:1, about stealing sheep.  The thief had to pay four sheep for any one stolen sheep.  Thus, Zacchaeus seemed like a very fair person, leaning over backwards to help people.  Yet he was still wealthy.  Luke was the only synoptic with this story of Zacchaeus.  How do you treat people who claim that you are defrauding them?

Hired servant (Lk 15:19-15:19)

“I am no longer worthy

To be called

Your son.

Treat me

Like one

Of your hired hands.”

 

οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου· ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου.

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the prodigal son was going to say to his father that he was no longer worthy to be called his son (οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου).  Instead, he wanted to be treated like one of his hired hands (ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου).  Luke was the only writer in the biblical literature to use this term μισθίων 3 times within this story.  μισθίων means a paid worker, a hired servant, or a hireling, but certainly not a slave.  This unique term indicated that his father had hired people to work on his farm.  Apparently, he did not use slaves.  Have you ever disgraced your parents?

Love your neighbor (Lk 10:27-10:27)

“You shall love

Your neighbor

As yourself.”

 

καὶ τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.

 

Luke indicated that the lawyer said that they should love their neighbor (καὶ τὸν πλησίον σου) as themselves (ὡς σεαυτόν), using the second person plural.  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:3, where Mark indicated that Jesus, not the lawyer, replied that the 2nd commandment was like the 1st one. since it was about love.  Not only were they to love God, but they were to love their neighbors as themselves.  There were no other commandments greater than these 2 commandments of love.   Everything was based on the love of God and neighbor.  Matthew, chapter 22: 38-39 had Jesus reply also, not the lawyer, that they were to love their neighbors as themselves, since all the commandments of the law and the prophets hung on these two commandments.  This second commandment was based on Leviticus, chapter 19:11-18, that has become the basic fundamental cornerstone of Judaism and Christianity.  Leviticus further explained the Ten Commandments and your neighbor.  They were not to steal or deal falsely with their neighbor.  They should not lie, swear, or defraud their neighbor.  They were not to keep the wages of a laborer, or revile the deaf or the blind.  They should not render an unjust judgment, since they should treat the poor and the great with equal justice.  They should not slanderer or profit from the blood of their neighbors.  They were not to hate in their heart any of their relatives.  They should not take vengeance or bear a grudge, because they should love their relatives and neighbors as themselves.  All the commandments of the law and the prophets depended on these two commandments of loving God and your neighbor.  Do you love your neighbor?

Do to others! (Lk 6:31-6:31)

“Do to others

As you would have them

Do to you!”

 

καὶ καθὼς θέλετε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς ὁμοίως.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his followers to do the same to others (ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς ὁμοίως), like they would wish other men to do to them (καὶ καθὼς θέλετε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι).  Once again, this was in the second person plural imperative.  Matthew, chapter 7:12, has something similar, perhaps indicating a common Q source.  This saying is often known throughout the world as the philosophical golden rule.  Matthew said that whatever you wanted other men to do to you (Πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν θέλητε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι), you should do to them the same (οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς).  Matthew emphasized that this was already in the Hebrew Torah, the Law and among the various Judaic prophets, while Luke never mentioned the Law and the prophets.  Pure and simple, treat other people the way that you would want to be treated.

The twelve apostles (Lk 6:13-6:13)

“When day came,

He called his disciples.

He chose

Twelve of them,

Whom he named apostles.”

 

καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἡμέρα, προσεφώνησεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐκλεξάμενος ἀπ’ αὐτῶν δώδεκα, οὓς καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν,

 

Luke said that when daylight or the day came (καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἡμέρα), Jesus called his disciples (προσεφώνησεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  However, he chose twelve of them (καὶ ἐκλεξάμενος ἀπ’ αὐτῶν δώδεκα), whom he named apostles (οὓς καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν).  The number 12 corresponded to the number of sons of Jacob or the 12 tribes of Israel.  These 12 had what was later referred to as apostolic authority.  Jesus thus established or picked out these 12 disciples to carry on his work.  The distinction was that disciples were learners or followers.  The apostles, on the other hand, were to be sent out on a mission to do something.  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 3:13-14, where Jesus called these special disciples, apostles, also.  Jesus called these 12 that he wanted to be with him.  They, of course, came to him.  Matthew, chapter 10:1, said that Jesus gave these 12 apostles authority to cast out unclean spirits just as he had done.  Jesus summoned or called his 12 apostles to give them spiritual authority over unclean or impure spirits.  Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons.  They were also able to cure, treat, or heal all diseases and illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness.  In other words, Jesus was giving his own power or authority to cast out evil spirits and heal people to these 12 apostles.  This was a big deal.

You did not treat the least or lowly people well (Mt 25:45-25:45)

“Then he will answer them.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

Just as you did

Not do it

To one of the least

Of these people,

You did not

Do it to me.’”

 

τότε ἀποκριθήσεται αὐτοῖς λέγων Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐφ’ ὅσον οὐκ ἐποιήσατε ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν ἐλαχίστων, οὐδὲ ἐμοὶ ἐποιήσατε.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that the king or the Son of Man would answer them (τότε ἀποκριθήσεται αὐτοῖς) with a solemn proclamation (λέγων Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  They had not helped the least of these people or the small ones as he called them (ἐφ’ ὅσον οὐκ ἐποιήσατε ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν ἐλαχίστων).  No longer is this just about family members or brothers, they were neglecting or not helping him (οὐδὲ ἐμοὶ ἐποιήσατε) these not important people.  The weak or the lesser people were part of God’s family.  Failure to treat them correctly was a failure to treat Jesus correctly.

The authority of the twelve disciples (Mt 10:1-10:1)

“Jesus summoned

His twelve disciples.

He gave them

Authority

Over unclean spirits,

To cast them out.

They were able

To cure

Every disease,

As well as every sickness.”

 

Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς δώδεκα μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν πνευμάτων ἀκαθάρτων ὥστε ἐκβάλλειν αὐτὰ καὶ θεραπεύειν πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν.

 

This section about the authority of the 12 disciples or apostles is similar to Mark, chapter 3:14 and Luke, chapter 9:1.  Jesus summoned or called to him (Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος) his 12 disciples (τοὺς δώδεκα μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  He gave them spiritual authority over unclean or impure spirits (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν πνευμάτων ἀκαθάρτων).  Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons (ὥστε ἐκβάλλειν αὐτὰ).  They were also able to cure, treat, or heal all diseases and illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness (καὶ θεραπεύειν πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν).  In other words, Jesus was giving his own power or authority to cast out evil spirits and heal people to these 12 disciples.  This was a big deal.  The number 12 corresponded to the number of sons of Jacob or the 12 tribes of Israel.  This will be referred to later as the apostolic authority.  Jesus thus established these 12 disciples to carry on his work in casting out or exorcising evil spirits and curing people of their illnesses.