The dogs licked his sores (Lk 16:21-16:21)

“Lazarus longed

To satisfy

His hunger

With what fell

From the rich man’s table.

Even the dogs

Would come

And lick his sores.”

 

καὶ ἐπιθυμῶν χορτασθῆναι ἀπὸ τῶν πιπτόντων ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης τοῦ πλουσίου· ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ κύνες ἐρχόμενοι ἐπέλειχον τὰ ἕλκη αὐτοῦ.

 

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?

 

Tower of Siloam (Lk 13:4-13:4)

“Or those eighteen,

Who were killed

When the tower

Of Siloam

Fell on them,

Do you think

That they were

Worse offenders

Than all the others

Living in Jerusalem?”

 

ἢ ἐκεῖνοι οἱ δέκα οκτὼ ἐφ’ οὓς ἔπεσεν ὁ πύργος ἐν τῷ Σιλωὰμ καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτούς, δοκεῖτε ὅτι αὐτοὶ ὀφειλέται ἐγένοντο παρὰ πάντας τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τοὺς κατοικοῦντας Ἱερουσαλήμ;

 

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?

Repent (Lk 13:3-13:3)

“No!

I tell you!

But unless you repent

You will all perish

As they did!”

 

οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀλλ’ ἐὰν μὴ μετανοῆτε, πάντες ὁμοίως ἀπολεῖσθε.

 

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?

 

Sin and punishment (Lk 13:2-13:2)

“Jesus asked them.

‘Do you think

That these Galileans,

Suffered in this way

Because they were

Worse sinners

Than all the other Galileans?’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Δοκεῖτε ὅτι οἱ Γαλιλαῖοι οὗτοι ἁμαρτωλοὶ παρὰ πάντας τοὺς Γαλιλαίους ἐγένοντο, ὅτι ταῦτα πεπόνθασιν; 

 

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?

 

A spirit seized him (Lk 9:39-9:39)

“Suddenly,

A spirit seized

The boy.

All at once,

He cried out.

This evil spirit

Convulsed him

Until he was foaming.

It bruised him.

It would scarcely

Leave him.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ πνεῦμα λαμβάνει αὐτόν, καὶ ἐξαίφνης κράζει καὶ σπαράσσει αὐτὸν μετὰ ἀφροῦ, καὶ μόλις ἀποχωρεῖ ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ συντρῖβον αὐτόν

 

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?

Shake off the dust! (Lk 9:5-9:5)

“Wherever

They did not welcome you,

As you are leaving

That town,

Shake the dust

Off your feet,

As a testimony

Against them.”

 

καὶ ὅσοι ἂν μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐξερχόμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης τὸν κονιορτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν ἀποτινάσσετε εἰς μαρτύριον ἐπ’ αὐτούς.

 

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?

The woman with flowing blood (Lk 8:43-8:43)

“A woman

Had been suffering

From flowing blood

For twelve years.

Although she had spent

All that she had

On physicians,

No one

Could cure her.”

 

καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος ἀπὸ ἐτῶν δώδεκα, ἥτις οὐκ ἴσχυσεν ἀπ’ οὐδενὸς θεραπευθῆναι

 

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?