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?
Luke said that just then, a man came (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἦλθεν ἀνὴρ) named Jairus (ᾧ ὄνομα Ἰάειρος), a leader of a synagogue (καὶ οὗτος ἄρχων τῆς συναγωγῆς ὑπῆρχεν). He fell at Jesus’ feet (καὶ πεσὼν παρὰ τοὺς πόδας). He begged Jesus (Ἰησοῦ παρεκάλει αὐτὸν) to come to his house (εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ). This episode about the healing of this synagogue leader’s daughter can also be found in Matthew, chapter 9:18 and Mark, chapter 5:22. Matthew never mentioned his name, Jairus, but Mark did, just like Luke here. Mark said that one of the leaders of a synagogue named Jairus came forward. Seeing Jesus, he fell at the feet of Jesus, as if to worship him. Technically, the Jewish synagogue did not have structured roles, but Jairus was obviously an important person in some unnamed synagogue that might have been close by. Matthew only called this man a generic leader or ruler of a synagogue. Apparently, this took place while Jesus was speaking to the people. This unnamed leader came and knelt before Jesus. Certainly, this was an important Jewish person asking Jesus for help. Do you know the leaders in your Church?
Next Zechariah, via Luke, turned to the present day. He wanted to be rescued or saved (ῥυσθέντας) from the hands of his enemies (ἐκ χειρὸς ἐχθρῶν). Thus, he might serve God (λατρεύειν αὐτῷ) without fear (ἀφόβως) in holiness (ἐν ὁσιότητι) and righteousness (καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ) before God (ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ) all the days of his life (πάσαις ταῖς ἡμέραις ἡμῶν). Zachariah wanted to continue to worship the Lord, God, correctly during his whole life.
Matthew, chapter 15:25, has something similar. Mark did not initially identify this woman. However, Mark said that a woman immediately heard about Jesus (ἀλλ’ εὐθὺς ἀκούσασα γυνὴ περὶ αὐτοῦ). She had a little daughter with an unclean spirit, possessed by a demon (ἧς εἶχεν τὸ θυγάτριον αὐτῆς πνεῦμα ἀκάθαρτον). She was not asking for a cure for herself, but for her daughter. She came and bowed down before Jesus in worship at his feet (ἐλθοῦσα προσέπεσεν πρὸς τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ).
This episode about the healing of this synagogue leader’s daughter can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:18 and Luke, chapter 8:40. Matthew never mentioned his name, but Luke did, just like Mark here. Mark said that one of the leaders of the synagogue (καὶ ἔρχεται εἷς τῶν ἀρχισυναγώγων), named Jairus (ὀνόματι Ἰάειρος) came forward. Seeing Jesus, he fell at the feet of Jesus, as if to worship him (καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν πίπτει πρὸς τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ). Technically, the Jewish synagogue did not have structured roles, but Jairus was obviously an important person in some unnamed synagogue that might have been close by.
There is something similar to this in Luke, chapter 4:31, where Jesus was teaching on the Sabbath in Capernaum. Jesus and his entourage of at least 4 disciples went, traveled, or entered Capernaum (Καὶ εἰσπορεύονται εἰς Καφαρναούμ). When suddenly the Sabbath came (καὶ εὐθὺς τοῖς σάββασιν), Jesus entered the synagogue (εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν) and taught there (ἐδίδασκεν). Matthew, chapter 4:13, mentioned that Jesus set up his home in Capernaum. John, chapter 2:12, said that he went with his family to Capernaum for a few days. Capernaum was about 20 miles northeast of Nazareth, probably a fishing village of about 1,500 people at that time, on the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee, in the old Israelite tribal territory of Zebulun and Naphtali. Synagogues were a new thing in the first century CE, something like local Jewish town hall meetings, but also as centers of study and worship, obviously outside of Jerusalem and its Temple. There may have been some sort of Sabbath worship taking place. Jesus with his disciples went there, which would not have been unusual. However, the fact that he taught there might seem a little strange, if not invited.
There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 12:15, and in Luke, chapter 20:23. Jesus was aware of their evil intentions (γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὴν πονηρίαν αὐτῶν). He called them hypocrites (ὑποκριταί). He wanted to know why they were testing or tempting him (εἶπεν Τί με πειράζετε). This idea of testing or tricking Jesus was a common theme in this gospel as in chapter 4:7, at the time of his temptations at the beginning of his ministry, as well as in chapter 16:1, when the Pharisees were asking for signs, and in chapter 19:3, when they were asking about divorce. Jesus referred to them as hypocrites in chapter 6:2-5, when they were praying in public places, and in chapter 6:16, when they were fasting, as well as in chapter 15:7, when they were dishonoring their parents in order to worship in the Temple.
This is similar to Mark, chapter 7:25, where the Canaanite woman came to Jesus (ἡ δὲ ἐλθοῦσα). She knelt before him in worship (προσεκύνει αὐτῷ). She addressed Jesus as the Lord (λέγουσα Κύριε) and asked for his help (βοήθει μοι). She was very insistent.
Just like in Luke, chapter 4:8, the wording is the same, indicating a common source, perhaps Q. Once again, Jesus had a very direct response (τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς). He simply told Satan or the devil to go away (Ὕπαγε, Σατανᾶ). Then he referred to another scriptural writing (γέγραπται γάρ) from Deuteronomy, chapter 6:13. This was again a simple statement that you should only worship and serve the Lord your God (γάρ Κύριον τὸν θεόν σου προσκυνήσεις). You should serve him alone (καὶ αὐτῷ μόνῳ λατρεύσεις). It looks like the devil would not be successful with any of these temptations. In Deuteronomy, chapter 6:13, Yahweh had said they should only fear and serve Yahweh and swear by his name only.
This 3rd and final temptation was the 2nd temptation in Luke, chapter 4:5-8. The wording is the same, indicating a shared common source, perhaps Q. This time, the devil took Jesus to an exceeding high mountain (Πάλιν παραλαμβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν λίαν). He then showed him all the great kingdoms of the world with all their splendor and glory (καὶ δείκνυσιν αὐτῷ πάσας τὰς βασιλείας τοῦ κόσμου καὶ τὴν δόξαν αὐτῶν). Then he asked Jesus to worship him. If Jesus fell down and worshipped him (ἐὰν πεσὼν προσκυνήσῃς μοι), the devil would then give all these kingdoms with their glory to him (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ταῦτά σοι πάντα δώσω). Somehow this devil thought that he was in control of all the nations in the world. Perhaps the early followers of Jesus thought that the world outside Jerusalem was under the power of the devil. For many Christians, this seemed like a stupid temptation since God, the Father and his Son, already controlled the world.