Luke indicated that Jesus said that the first slave came forward (παρεγένετο δὲ ὁ πρῶτος) and said to the nobleman lord (λέγων Κύριε), that he turned his original mina into 10 more minas (ἡ μνᾶ σου δέκα προσηργάσατο μνᾶς). Once again, this is the only Greek biblical use of the word προσηργάσατο, that means to work or gain besides, or produce in addition.This nobleman’s original investment had made 10 times more than what he had originally. This first slave had turned his one mina into 10 minas. Matthew, chapter 25:20, had something similar, as if a Q source. In Matthew, the first slave only doubled his investment. Jesus said that the one slave who had received the five talents (καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ τὰ πέντε τάλαντα λαβὼν) came forward with 5 more talents (προσήνεγκεν ἄλλα πέντε τάλαντα). He explained to his lord and master (λέγων Κύριε) that he had been given 5 talents (πέντε τάλαντά μοι παρέδωκας), but now he had made, acquired, or gained 5 more talents (ἴδε ἄλλα πέντε τάλαντα ἐκέρδησα). He had doubled his investment as a wise trader. However, Luke’s trader had a higher rate of return with less money. Have you ever traded money in investments?
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 the father turned to his son, calling him son (Τέκνον). He said to him (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he was always with him (σὺ πάντοτε μετ’ ἐμοῦ εἶ). All that that belonged to the father belonged to him, this oldest son (καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐμὰ σά ἐστιν). Who does the oldest son represent? Is it the Pharisees, or the newly forming righteous followers of Jesus? These are honest hard-working people trying to do God’s will. What was the big deal about this sinning brother? Why not just forget about him? Which brother do you feel more like?
Luke uniquely indicated that that there were great large crowds traveling with Jesus (Συνεπορεύοντο δὲ αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί). He was no longer going to places where crowds gathered. They were traveling with him now. He turned to them (καὶ στραφεὶς). He was about to talk to them about the cost of being a disciple of Jesus. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), the German Lutheran theologian wrote the Cost of Discipleship (1937), outlining the problems of being a Christian in Nazi Germany, when he argued against cheap grace, the easy way out. Do you go along with the crowd?
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?
Luke indicated that Jesus turned the questions back on his inquisitors. If Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebul (εἰ δὲ ἐγὼ ἐν Βεελζεβοὺλ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια), how were their own exorcist sons able to cast out evil spirits (οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν ἐν τίνι ἐκβάλλουσιν)? Let them be your judges (διὰ τοῦτο αὐτοὶ ὑμῶν κριταὶ ἔσονται). Matthew, chapter 12:27 noted that if Satan was casting out Satan, then he was divided against himself. If Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebul, how were their own sons or other exorcists able to cast out demons? Therefore, their own sons would be their judges. Mark did not have this question and the argument about how their own sons or other exorcists were able to cast out demons. What do you think about exorcism?
However, Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus turned around (στραφεὶς) to these two apostles. He was not going to have any fire from heaven. He rebuked both James and John (δὲ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς). This was not the first or last time that Jesus would be upset with his apostles. A Byzantine text added that Jesus said something to them. He said that they did not know (Οὐκ οἴδατε) what spirit was in them (οἵου πνεύματός ἐστε ὑμεῖς). Do you think that you have ever upset God?
Luke said that when Jesus heard this (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἀκούσας), he replied to the synagogue leader (ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ) that he should not fear (Μὴ φοβοῦ), but only believe (μόνον πίστευσον), because she would be saved (καὶ σωθήσεται). Mark chapter 5:36, was similar to Luke here, almost word for word. However, Matthew did not have this conversation, since the child was dead from the beginning. Mark said that Jesus overheard what they were talking about. He then turned to this synagogue leader and told him not to fear, but only believe. Belief was a key element in many of these healing cases with Jesus. Would you believe in Jesus at a time of death?
Luke indicated that Jesus asked his disciples (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς) where was their faith (Ποῦ ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν)? They were afraid (φοβηθέντες), but amazed (δὲ ἐθαύμασαν) at the same time. They said to one another (λέγοντες πρὸς ἀλλήλους). Who is this (Τίς ἄρα οὗτός ἐστιν) that commands (ἐπιτάσσει) even the winds (ὅτι καὶ τοῖς ἀνέμοις) and the water (καὶ τῷ ὕδατι)? Both the winds and the water obey him (καὶ ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ). This rebuke of Jesus can also be found in Matthew, chapter 8:26-27, and Mark, chapter 4:40-41, in a somewhat similar manner. Mark said that Jesus then turned to his followers and asked them why they were afraid? Was it because they still had no faith? Jesus called out his disciples for their lack of faith or trust, while showing his great power. Perhaps, this was a slap at some of the early Christian followers of Jesus, who lacked a strong belief in him. These male disciples of Jesus were filled with great fear or awe. They said to one another who is this man? Both the winds and the seas obey or listen to him. Matthew said that these disciples of Jesus marveled or were amazed at what they had just seen take place. They wondered out loud what kind of man that Jesus was? Both the winds and the seas obey him. Jesus was the Lord of nature and weather. Do you believe that Jesus can control the winds and the water?
Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus turned to this woman and said to her in the second person singular (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῇ) that her sins were forgiven (Ἀφέωνταί σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι). There is nothing about her being important as in Mark, chapter 14:9, and Matthew, chapter 26:13. However, for her it was more important that her sins were forgiven. How do you feel when your sins are forgiven?
Luke said that when Jesus heard all this (ἀκούσας δὲ ταῦτα ὁ Ἰησοῦς), he was amazed or marveled at him (ἐθαύμασεν αὐτόν). He turned to the crowd that followed him (καὶ στραφεὶς τῷ ἀκολουθοῦντι αὐτῷ ὄχλῳ). He said (εἶπεν) with a solemn pronouncement (Λέγω ὑμῖν) that he had not found any such great faith in Israel (οὐδὲ ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ τοσαύτην πίστιν εὗρον). This response of Jesus to the centurion was exactly the same as in Matthew, chapter 8:10, perhaps indicating a Q source. Matthew said that when Jesus heard the response of this centurion, he marveled, wondered, admired, or was amazed. He then turned to speak to his followers with a solemn pronouncement. He had not found anyone in Israel with so great of faith like this Roman, non-Jewish, centurion. His great belief, faith, and trust in the power of Jesus would be demanded of all the Jesus followers. Do you have faith like this Roman centurion?