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?
“When his disciples,
Do you want us
To command fire
To come down
And consume them?’”
ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης εἶπαν Κύριε, θέλεις εἴπωμεν πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς;
Luke continued his unique story about this trip in Samaria. He noted that Jesus’ disciples (δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ), James and John (Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάνης), the Zebedee brothers, the sons of thunder, saw (ἰδόντες) what this village did. They asked Jesus (καὶ Ἰωάνης εἶπαν), calling him Lord (Κύριε), if he wanted them (θέλεις) to call down fire (εἴπωμεν πῦρ) from heaven (ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ) in order to consume them (καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς). Elijah, in 2 Kings, chapter 1:9-16, called down fire to consume the 100 messengers of the northern Israelite King of Samaria, King Ahaziah. Did John and James want to do something like that? Have you ever been so mad that you wanted to destroy some people?
“But the people
Did not receive Jesus,
Because his face
καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν, ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ
Now there was a note of discord here. Luke continued his unique story of Jesus traveling through Samaria, on his way to Jerusalem. Luke noted that the people of this Samaritan town did not want to receive Jesus (καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν), because he was only passing by on his way to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ). These Samaritans did not look favorably on the Jerusalem pilgrims who passed by their towns on the way to the Temple. After all, Jesus had steadfastly set his face (ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον) to go there, not stopping or staying to worship at Mount Gerizim in Samaria. Thus, Jesus was not welcome, if he was going to the Judean place of worship in Jerusalem, and just visiting or passing through here. Would you be upset if someone said that they were planning to visit someone else but just stopped by?
“As Jesus approached
The gate of the town,
A dead man
Being carried out.
He was his mother’s
She was also a widow.
A large crowd
From the town
Was with her.”
ὡς δὲ ἤγγισεν τῇ πύλῃ τῆς πόλεως, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐξεκομίζετο τεθνηκὼς μονογενὴς υἱὸς τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ αὐτὴ ἦν χήρα, καὶ ὄχλος τῆς πόλεως ἱκανὸς ἦν σὺν αὐτῇ.
Luke has this unique story about the widow at Nain, since he had a soft spot for widows. Luke said that as Jesus approached (ὡς δὲ ἤγγισεν) the gate of the town of Nain (ῇ πύλῃ τῆς πόλεως), he saw a dead man being carried out (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐξεκομίζετο τεθνηκὼς). He was his mother’s only son (μονογενὴς υἱὸς τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ). She was also a widow (καὶ αὐτὴ ἦν χήρα). There was a large crowd of mourners from the town with her (καὶ ὄχλος τῆς πόλεως ἱκανὸς ἦν σὺν αὐτῇ). They would bury people in cemeteries outside the town gates. Thus, Jesus and his entourage saw this take place outside the town. There were many people with his poor widow, mourning his death, as they prepared to bury him. They must have learned somehow that she was a widow burying her only son. Is losing an only child that difficult? Or is losing a husband more difficult?
To a town
And a large crowd
Went with him.”
Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς ἐπορεύθη εἰς πόλιν καλουμένην Ναΐν, καὶ συνεπορεύοντο αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ ὄχλος πολύς.
Luke has this unique story about the town of Nain, a small Galilean town about 23 miles southwest of Capernaum and about 6 miles southeast of Nazareth. This took place the day after the events with the centurion (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς). Jesus went to a town called Nain (ἐπορεύθη εἰς πόλιν καλουμένην Ναΐν). His disciples (οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ) with a large crowd (καὶ ὄχλος πολύς) also went with him (καὶ συνεπορεύοντο αὐτῷ). There is no indication why they went to this small town that is not mentioned elsewhere in the biblical works, but only here in Luke. Have you ever lived in a small town?
“When they heard this,
All in the synagogue
καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες θυμοῦ ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ ἀκούοντες ταῦτα,
Luke continued his unique story. He said that all the people in the synagogue (ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ) in Nazareth, when they had heard this (ἀκούοντες ταῦτα), they were filled with rage (καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες θυμοῦ). After telling these 2 episodes about these 9th century BCE prophets that helping non-Israelites a 1,000 years earlier, this crowd was not pleased. In fact, they were really angry that Jesus was not going to do any miracles there.
“There were also many lepers
At the time
Of the prophet Elisha.
None of them
καὶ πολλοὶ λεπροὶ ἦσαν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ ἐπὶ Ἑλισαίου τοῦ προφήτου, καὶ οὐδεὶς αὐτῶν ἐκαθαρίσθη εἰ μὴ Ναιμὰν ὁ Σύρος.
Luke then cited another unique story about the prophet Elisha, the prophet who followed Elijah in the 9th century BCE. He too was well known for his exploits in the first 13 chapters of 2 Kings. This episode was about Naaman, the commander of the Aramean army, who suffered from some kind of leprosy. Naaman asked his king if he could go get a cure from a prophet he had heard about. Elisha told the king to send Naaman to him so that he could cure him. He told Naaman to wash himself 7 times in the Jordan River. This made Naaman very upset. Finally, he went and immersed himself 7 times in the Jordan River. Thus, he was cured of his leprosy, as found in 2 Kings, 5:1-14. Luke said that there were also many lepers (καὶ πολλοὶ λεπροὶ ἦσαν) in Israel (ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ) at the time of the prophet Elisha (ἐπὶ Ἑλισαίου τοῦ προφήτου). None of them were cleansed (καὶ οὐδεὶς αὐτῶν ἐκαθαρίσθη), except Naaman, the Syrian (εἰ μὴ Ναιμὰν ὁ Σύρος). Syrian and Aramean are almost the same. The key idea was that someone other than an Israelite was cured.