Luke indicated that these Jewish religious leaders considered it with one another, among themselves (οἱ δὲ συνελογίσαντο πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς). Once again, this is a unique word of Luke, συνελογίσαντο that means to reckon, to compute, reason, or consider, that cannot be found in any other Greek biblical literature. They said (λέγοντες ὅτι) that if they answered from heaven (Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ), then they would be asked why they did not believe in John (ἐρεῖ Διὰ τί οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ). This argument or discussion among the Jewish leaders can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:25, and Mark, chapter 11:31, almost word for word. Mark said that the high priests, Scribes, and the elders argued or discussed with each other (καὶ διελογίζοντο πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς). If they said that John’s baptism was from heaven (λέγοντες·Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ), then Jesus would ask them why they had not believed in John the Baptist (ἐρεῖ Διὰ τί οὖν οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ)? Matthew said that the high priests and the elders argued with each other (οἱ δὲ διελογίζοντο ἐν ἑαυτοῖς). If they said that John’s baptism was from heaven (λέγοντες· Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ), then Jesus would ask them why they had not believed in John the Baptist (ἐρεῖ ἡμῖν Διὰ τί οὖν οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ)? Although, this was a real option, these Jewish religious leaders did not want to go there. Have you ever stumped a person with a tricky question?
Luke uniquely has this comment of Jesus about the nobleman talking about his enemies (πλὴν τοὺς ἐχθρούς μου τούτους) who did not want him to be their king (τοὺς μὴ θελήσαντάς με βασιλεῦσαι ἐπ’ αὐτοὺς). He wanted them brought to him (ἀγάγετε ὧδε) so that they could kill them in his presence (καὶ κατασφάξατε αὐτοὺς ἔμπροσθέν μου). Once again, there is a unique word in Luke, κατασφάξατε, meaning to kill off, slaughter, or slay, that is not found in any of the other Greek biblical literature. This will be a bloodbath. This concludes the comments that were in verse 14, earlier in this chapter. There was nothing about this killing in Matthew, only the weeping and gnashing of teeth. Perhaps Luke combined two stories here. Do you punish people who do not like you?
This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels. Luke indicated that Jesus said that Lazarus longed to satisfy his hunger or to be fed (καὶ ἐπιθυμῶν χορτασθῆναι) with what fell from the rich man’s table (ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης τοῦ πλουσίου). Even the dogs would come and lick his sores (ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ κύνες ἐρχόμενοι ἐπέλειχον τὰ ἕλκη αὐτοῦ). Once again, Luke has a unique word use among the biblical writers of the Greek word ἐπέλειχον to lick off, lick clean, or lick up. Lazarus was treated like a dog, getting the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. However, he was even worse, since the dogs were licking his sores. Do you associate dogs with poverty?
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 this prodigal son was longing to fill his belly or would have gladly filled himself (καὶ ἐπεθύμει γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν αὐτοῦ) with the pods (ἐκ τῶν κερατίων) that the pigs were eating (ὧν ἤσθιον οἱ χοῖροι). Once again, this is a unique word of Luke, κερατίων that does not appear in any of the other biblical literature writings that means a dark brown pea pod of the carob tree. However, no one gave him anything to eat (καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδίδου αὐτῷ). This prodigal son was forced to feed the unclean pigs, while he himself was still hungry. I wonder why he did not eat some of these brown pea pods. Perhaps, it may have been culturally inappropriate. Have you ever been really so hungry that you would eat anything?
Next Luke uniquely continued with this Jesus parable. Jesus said that when you are invited to someplace (ἀλλ’ ὅταν κληθῇς), you should go and sit down or recline at the lowest place (πορευθεὶς ἀνάπεσε εἰς τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον). Then when your host who had invited you comes and sees you (ἵνα ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ κεκληκώς σε) he might say to you (ἐρεῖ σοι), “Friend (Φίλε)! Move or come up higher (προσανάβηθι ἀνώτερον)!” This προσανάβηθι is another unique word of Luke. Then you will be honored or glorified (τότε ἔσται σοι δόξα) in the presence of all those (ἐνώπιον πάντων) sitting or reclining at the table with you (τῶν συνανακειμένων σοι). In other words, take the lower seat so that you would be honored when the host noticed who you were. That assumes that the host knows who you are, otherwise, why would he have invited you? Have you ever been invited some place where you hardly knew anyone?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should not think (δοκεῖτε) that he came to bring peace to the earth (ὅτι εἰρήνην παρεγενόμην δοῦναι ἐν τῇ γῇ). With a solemn pronouncement (οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν), he said the opposite. He had come to bring discord or divisions (ἀλλ’ ἢ διαμερισμόν). This διαμερισμόν is a unique word of Luke that means breaking up, discord, or hostility. Luke used this word instead of the normal word of Matthew, “the sword μάχαιραν”. This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:34, indicating a Q source. Matthew indicated that Jesus said that he had come to bring divisions because he was a disrupter. They should not think (Μὴ νομίσητε) that Jesus had come to bring peace on earth (ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν). He had not come to bring peace (οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην), but quite the opposite, to bring the sword (ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν), much like the ancient Hebrew prophets, especially Ezekiel, chapter 38:21. The sword meant war not peace. Jesus was not a peacemaker, but a sign of contradiction. Well, there goes the prince of peace. Have you ever thought about Jesus as a disrupter?
Matthew, chapter 12:1, as well as Luke, chapter 6:1, are similar to Mark. In Matthew and Luke, the disciples were also eating the grain, but that is not explicitly mentioned here. Mark said that Jesus was going through the grain fields on the Sabbath (Καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν παραπορεύεσθαι διὰ τῶν σπορίμων). This is the only use of the word “σπορίμων” in all the biblical literature. All three synoptics use this word that meant a sown field or a grain field, so that they may have copied it from Mark. Jesus’ disciples (καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ) made their way through the field (ἤρξαντο ὁδὸν). They began to pluck the heads of the grain in the field (ποιεῖν τίλλοντες τοὺς στάχυας). This is a unique word “τίλλοντες, plucking” that only appears in the New Testament literature in this story by the three synoptics. Once again, Mark may have the source for this word. This set up the problem of plucking grain on the Sabbath.