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?
Luke uniquely had Jesus present another contemporary event that is not attested elsewhere. This time it was about a difficult to ascertain tower of Siloam in the old southern part of Jerusalem that accidently killed 18 people. Jesus wanted to know if these 18 people (ἢ ἐκεῖνοι οἱ δέκα οκτὼ) upon whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed (ἐφ’ οὓς ἔπεσεν ὁ πύργος ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτούς) were worse sinners (δοκεῖτε ὅτι αὐτοὶ ὀφειλέται ἐγένοντο) than all the other people living in Jerusalem (παρὰ πάντας τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τοὺς κατοικοῦντας Ἱερουσαλήμ)? Did this accidental death mean that these people were sinners? Are people who die an accidental death worse than people who die at home in bed? Do you know anyone who died in an accident?
The unique answer in Luke was also simple. Jesus said “No (οὐχί)” with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν). These Galileans were no worse than anyone else. All of them present there, if they did not repent or have a change of heart, a metanoia (ἀλλ’ ἐὰν μὴ μετανοῆτε), they would all perish just like these Galileans (πάντες ὁμοίως ἀπολεῖσθε). Repentance for all was important, no matter what kind of death you might endure. How do you want to die?
Next Luke uniquely indicated how Jesus used this contemporary event to make a point. Jesus asked them (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) if they thought (Δοκεῖτε) that these Galileans (ὅτι οἱ Γαλιλαῖοι οὗτοι) suffered this way (ὅτι ταῦτα πεπόνθασιν) because they were worse sinners than all the other Galileans (ἁμαρτωλοὶ παρὰ πάντας τοὺς Γαλιλαίους ἐγένοντο)? Jesus wanted to know if they thought that Galileans who got killed offering their sacrifice at the Temple were worse sinners than the other Galileans. Is it worse to die in Church? Does the type of death that you endure indicate what kind of sinner you were?
Luke said that, a spirit seized this young boy (καὶ ἰδοὺ πνεῦμα λαμβάνει αὐτόν). All at once (καὶ ἐξαίφνης), he shrieked or cried out (κράζει). This evil spirit convulsed him (καὶ σπαράσσει αὐτὸν) until he was foaming (μετὰ ἀφροῦ,). It bruised him (συντρῖβον αὐτόν), so that it would scarcely leave him alone (καὶ μόλις ἀποχωρεῖ ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ). This story of the man with the incurable epileptic son can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:15, Mark, chapter 9:18, and here in Luke, but there are differences in all 3 accounts. Apparently, this man’s son was an epileptic, possessed by the devil. This description of the young man’s suffering in Mark and Luke differed from Matthew, who had the child suffer very badly, falling into fire and water. However, Mark had even a more descriptive narrative of what was happening to this young man. He said that whenever the spirit seized him, it dashed or threw him down. This young boy would foam at the mouth. He would grind or gnash his teeth. He would become rigid as he was wasting or withering away. This sounded worse than Luke. Have you ever seen a person in an epileptic seizure?
Luke indicated that Jesus said to his 12 apostles that wherever they did not receive them or welcome them (καὶ ὅσοι ἂν μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς), as they were leaving that town (ἐξερχόμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης), they were to shake the dust off their feet (τὸν κονιορτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν ἀποτινάσσετε) as a testimony or witness against them (εἰς μαρτύριον ἐπ’ αὐτούς). Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:14-15, and Mark, chapter 6:11. Mark indicated that Jesus said that if any place would not receive them or listen to their words, they were to leave that place. They should shake off the dust from their feet, as a witness or testimony against them. This indicated that the dust of that house was useless. Some orthodox texts have the statement about Sodom and Gomorrah that was in Matthew, chapter 10:15, where Jesus make a comparison between those places that had rejected them with the famous wicked cities of Genesis, chapter 18:20-19:29, Sodom and Gomorrah. Matthew indicated that Jesus said that if anyone would not receive them or listen to their words, they should leave that house or town. They were to shake off the dust from their feet, indicating that the dust of that house or town was useless. Matthew had Jesus make a comparison between these non-welcoming towns that had rejected them with the famous wicked cities of Genesis. This was a solemn statement that it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on judgment day than these towns that had rejected his disciples. They had lacked hospitality to the followers of. Jesus, so that they were worse than those terrible cities in Genesis. Do you know a town worse than Sodom and Gomorrah?
This episode about the woman with flowing blood interrupted the story about the synagogue leader and his dying daughter. However, it can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:20, Mark, chapter 5:25, and Luke here. Thus, Mark might be the source. Luke said that a woman had been suffering from flowing blood (καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος) for 12 years (ἀπὸ ἐτῶν δώδεκα). Although she had spent all that she had on physicians (ἰατροῖς προσαναλώσασα ὅλον τὸν βίον), no one could cure her (ἥτις οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἀπ’ οὐδενὸς θεραπευθῆναι). This phrase about spending all her money on physicians was only in the Byzantine text. Mark, like Luke, who probably followed him, said that she had suffered from flowing blood, rather than hemorrhages. All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding. Mark and Luke had a more elaborate story, about her background. Mark said that she had endured or greatly suffered much under many physicians. Thus, she had spent all her money. Instead of helping her get better, she had actually become worse. She was in a desperate situation. Interesting enough, the word that Matthew used for hemorrhages (αἱμορροοῦσα) is only found there, but nowhere else in the biblical literature. Mark and Luke said that she had flowing blood. All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding. Could you suffer something for 12 years?
Luke had this saying of Jesus that is almost exactly the same as in Matthew, chapter 7:3, indicating a common Q source. Jesus wanted to know why they saw the speck, the splinter, or the chip (τί δὲ βλέπεις τὸ κάρφος) in their brother’s eye (τὸ ἐν τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου), but they did not notice the log or beam in their own eye (τὴν δὲ δοκὸν ἐν τῷ ἰδίῳ ὀφθαλμῷ οὐ κατανοεῖς)? This indicated how foolish it was to correct others when you were doing worse things yourself. Are you a nag with others, while overlooking your own bad habits?
Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:14, and Luke, chapter 9:5. Mark indicated that Jesus said that if any place (καὶ ὃς ἂν τόπος) would not receive them (μὴ δέξηται ὑμᾶς) or listen to their words (μηδὲ ἀκούσωσιν ὑμῶν), they were to leave that place (ἐκπορευόμενοι ἐκεῖθεν). They should shake off the dust from their feet (ἐκτινάξατε τὸν χοῦν τὸν ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν), as a witness or testimony against them (εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς). This indicated that the dust of that house was useless. Some orthodox texts have the statement about Sodom and Gomorrah that was in Matthew, chapter 10:15 that had Jesus make a comparison between the places that had rejected them with the famous wicked cities of Genesis, chapter 18:20-19:29, Sodom and Gomorrah. He said with a solemn statement (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that it would be more tolerable (ἀνεκτότερον ἔσ) for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah (γῇ Σοδόμων καὶ Γομόρρων) on the judgment day (ἐν ἡμέρᾳ κρίσεως) than this place that rejected his disciples (ἢ τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ). They had lacked hospitality to the followers of Jesus, so that they were worse than those terrible cities in Genesis.
This is unique to Matthew, who remarked that this group of high priests and Pharisees called Pilate “Lord (λέγοντες Κύριε)!” They said that they remembered (ἐμνήσθημεν) what this impostor or deceiver had said (ὅτι ἐκεῖνος ὁ πλάνος εἶπεν), while he was still alive or living (ἔτι ζῶν). He had said that after three days (Μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας), he would rise up again (ἐγείρομαι). Thus, they wanted Pilate to command (κέλευσον οὖν) that the tomb be made secure (ἀσφαλισθῆναι τὸν τάφον) until the third day (ἕως τῆς τρίτης ἡμέρας). Otherwise, Jesus’ disciples might come and steal him away (μή ποτε ἐλθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ κλέψωσιν αὐτὸν). Then they would tell the people (καὶ εἴπωσιν τῷ λαῷ) that he had risen from the dead (Ἠγέρθη ἀπὸ τῶν νεκρῶν). Finally, this last deception or sin would be worse than the first deceptions (καὶ ἔσται ἡ ἐσχάτη πλάνη χείρων τῆς πρώτης). In other words, these Jewish leaders wanted Pilate to have guards around the tomb of Jesus because they remembered that while he was alive he said that he would arise in 3 days. Mathew has these chief priests and Pharisees predict the resurrection of Jesus.