(1) The opening verse forms a transition from the Sermon; its closeness in form to Mt. 7:28a; 8:5a, shows that it has been taken from a common source, but each Evangelist has modified it in his own way. ἐπειδή diff. Mt. ὅτε, here means ‘after’ (BD 4551), but normally means ‘since’ (11:6; Acts 13:46; 14:12; 15:24; Paul, 5x). πληρόω (1:20; et al.) means ‘to finish a task’, and stresses the significance of the Sermon as a decisive piece of teaching by Jesus; cf. 21:24; Acts 12:25; 13:25; 14:26; 19:21. Matthew uses τελέω in the same sense, here and at the conclusion of Jesus’ other discourses; cf. Lk. 2:39; et al. πάντα τὰ ῥήματα αὐτοῦ, a Lucan phrase, corresponds to Mt. τοὺς λόγους τούτους. ἀκοή means ‘ear’ (Acts 17:20) or ‘hearing’ (Acts 28:26); cf. the similar phrase εἰς τὰ ὦτα 1:44; Acts 11:22. The second half of the verse is from Q but resembles Mk. 2:1 (which Luke omits at 5:17).
(2) In Matthew’s version of the story, the centurion approaches Jesus and explains the plight of his servant. Here, however, Luke describes the situation before telling how the centurion sent messengers to Jesus to seek for help. For the opening genitive in a story, cf. 12:16. ἑκατοντάρχου will be the genitive of ἑκατοντάρχης (7:6; 23:47; Acts, 13x), diff. Mt. ἑκατόνταρχος (cf. AG s.vv.). It is the Greek equivalent to Mark’s Latinism κεντυρίων (Mk. 15:39, 44f.). There were no Roman forces in Galilee before AD 44 (Sherwin-White, 123f.), and therefore the man must have been a member of Herod Antipas’s soldiery who were organised on Roman lines; his nationality is not stated, but he was not a Jew (cf. 7:5, 9), nor is there any indication that he was a proselyte. The sick man was his δοῦλος; cf. 7:3, 8, 10. Luke also uses παῖς (1:54; et al.) in 7:7, which must here mean ‘servant’.
The same word is used throughout in Mt. (8:6, 8, 13), and also in Jn. 4:51 (cf. 4:49), where, however, it means ‘son’. Bultmann, 39 n. and Manson, Sayings, 64, suggest that an original παῖς, meaning ‘son’, has been misinterpreted by Luke to mean ‘slave’: cf. the distinction between παῖς and δοῦλος in 7:7f., and the fact that in a similar rabbinic story it was the son of Rabban Gamaliel who was ill (Ber. 34b). But the reasoning is inconclusive: the use of δοῦλος in 7:8 is natural in the context of a command being given, and the use of παῖς in 7:7 stresses the affection of the centurion for his slave. δοῦλος is, therefore, Luke’s correct synonym for παῖς. The slave was ill: κακῶς ἔχω (5:31) is not a Lucan phrase and probably comes from the source. He was at the point of death (cf. AG s.v. μέλλω), and was thus too ill to be brought to Jesus. The description is similar to that in Jn. 4:47, but according to Matthew the boy was paralysed and in great pain. Luke adds that he was ἔντιμος to his master, a word that here means ‘honoured, respected’ (14:8; Phil. 2:29), rather than ‘precious, valuable’ (1 Pet. 2:4, 5), and indicates why the centurion was so concerned over him; Luke’s own concern for the inferior members of society is perhaps also reflected.
(3) The change of subject is abrupt, but is prepared for by the position of ἑκατοντάρχου in the previous sentence. ἀκούω περί is a Lucan combination. πρεσβύτερος, ‘elder’ (literal use, 15:25), is used of Jewish elders, 9:22; 20:1; 22:52. Elsewhere it refers to members of the Sanhedrin, but here to leaders in the local community who acted as the disciplinary body of the synagogue (G. Bornkamm, TDNT VI, 660f.; Schürer, II: 1, 150–154). The absence of the article suggests that not all of the group (usually seven in number) were sent. The addition τῶν Ἰουδαίων (cf. 23:3, 37, 38, 51) is natural in a story dealing with Jewish-gentile relationships and is probably intended by Luke to stress this aspect of the story (cf. W. Gutbrod, TDNT III, 376). The participle ἐρωτῶν expresses the centurion’s purpose (cf. 7:6, 19; 10:25; MH III, 157) in asking for Jesus to come and cure the slave; διασῴζω, ‘to cure’ (Acts 27:43f.; 28:1, 4; Mt. 14:36; ‘to bring safely through’, Acts 23:24; 1 Pet. 3:20*), perhaps indicates the dangerous character of the illness (Schlatter, 252).
(4) The participle of παραγίνομαι, ‘to come, arrive, be present’ (Lucan), is used adverbially: ‘and when they came, they besought …’ The use of the imperfect of παρακαλέω (Mt. 8:5; v. 1. ἠρώτων א D f13 700 al; Diglot) in a continuous sense does not indicate that Jesus was unwilling to respond, but rather that the elders were willing to press his case eagerly (σπουδαίως), and perhaps that they felt that Jesus might consider it improper to help a gentile. ὅτι introduces direct speech (1:25 note). While ἄξιος (3:8) often expresses human unworthiness of divine grace (Acts 13:46), here it has no theological connotation, but simply refers to the public reputation of a man held in esteem by his fellows (cf. W. Foerster, TDNT I, 379f.). The construction of the adjective with the relative pronoun is a Latinism (dignus est qui …, BD 53b, 379); with the future indicative παρέξῃ (6:29) the clause expresses result (cf. 7:27; 11:6; 1 Cor. 2:16; 4:17).
(5) Jews use the term ἔθνος to refer to themselves over against gentiles (23:2; Acts 10:22; et al.; Jn. 11:48–52; 18:35). The centurion is regarded as worthy of help from a Jewish prophet because of his loving attitude to the Jewish people. He showed this especially by building the (local) synagogue for them. The giving of contributions by gentiles towards the upkeep of synagogues is well attested: t. Meg. 3:5 (224) (SB IV:1, 142f.); cf. Creed, 101; W. Schrage, TDNT VII, 813f. That a gentile should have built the synagogue itself, however, is unusual. Possibly he was simply a large, or the main, benefactor. The opportunities for personal enrichment in the police force were good, even for an honest man (Easton, 95), and therefore the centurion could have had the means to give. The implication of the account for the early church is that, if even Jews thought such a man worthy of help from Jesus, Jewish Christians should see no barriers to the acceptance of similar people (cf. Acts 10:2) into the church (Schürmann, I, 392).
Marshall, I. H. (1978). The Gospel of Luke: a commentary on the Greek text (pp. 279–280). Paternoster Press.
The Tree of Jesus’ Life is a view of Christ’s matchless life and work.
It follows the order contained in the scriptures, beginning with Christ’s pre-existence with the Father throughout eternity.
Next come the prophetic announcements of His coming, the bright stars of prophecy that arose in the sky of Jewish history foretelling the appearance of a mighty Savior. (These do not appear on the Tree. See II. The Prophetic Christ below.) Then come the facts concerning His infancy and early life, including the silent years of His obscurity.
Suddenly He emerges from His home in Nazareth and begins His public career. The events of His ministry are arranged on the tree as nearly as possible to the order in which they appear in the New Testament record. There is a considerable difference of opinion concerning the sequence of events of some portions of Christ’s work, but they are arranged here according to the best harmonies of the gospels.
Thompson, F. C., & Jauchen, J. S. (1997). Thompson Chain Harmonies and Illustrations (p. 2143). B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co., Inc.
(44) Jesus’ announcement to the disciples regarding the passion is preceded by a demand for attention which serves to highlight the subsequent incomprehension which they showed. The phrase is a Hebraism, but has no precise equivalent in the LXX: for the use of τίθημι in this way cf. 21:14; Mal. 2:2 (but with καρδία), and for εἰς τὰ ὦτα cf. Ex. 17:14 (but with δίδωμι; cf. Je. 9:20). Hence the closest equivalent is Ex. 17:14 MT. It is not clear whether Luke is following a source which reflected a Hebrew phrase or whether he has produced a Septuagintal-sounding phrase. It is also debated whether τοὺς λόγους τούτους refers backwards to ‘these things’, in which case the thought is: ‘strengthen your faith by recollecting the mighty acts which you have seen, for the Son of man is to be betrayed’ (Lagrange, 279; Rengstorf, 124, takes λόγους to refer to the words of the crowds in praise of Jesus); alternatively, most scholars take ‘these words’ to be the immediately following prediction of the passion, with γάρ epexegetic (Schürmann, I, 573 n. 143), and this is on the whole more likely.
The actual prediction is brief. Again the subject is the Son of man (9:22 note). Both Luke and Matthew have a form of words in which μέλλω with the infinitive replaces Mark’s simple present tense, and correctly reproduces the future sense of the underlying Aramaic participle (Jeremias, Theology, I, 281). The verb παραδίδωμι (1:2; 4:6) can be used of the ‘handing over’, i.e. betrayal, of Jesus by Judas (22:4; et al.); here, however, it is used in the passive of the action of God (cf. the force of ‘it is necessary’ and ‘as it is written’ in the other passion predictions) in handing over Jesus to death (cf. Rom. 4:25; 8:31f.; the usage is passed over in silence by F. Büchsel, TDNT II, 169–173; see W. Popkes, Christus Traditus, Zürich, 1967). εἰς χεῖρας is a non-Greek expression and represents Aramaic lı̂ḏê (J. Jeremias, TDNT V, 715), and the vague ἀνθρώπων can represent an Aramaic benê ʾenās̆āʾ which gives a play on words with bar ʾenās̆āʾ at the beginning of the saying (Jeremias, Theology, I, 282; TDNT V, 715). The statement says nothing about death or resurrection and is cryptic in meaning; it is not obvious why Luke should have abbreviated Mark’s form so drastically, unless he is under the influence of a parallel tradition (cf. C. Colpe, TDNT VIII, 444, 457). In any case, the form of wording is independent of that in Mk. 8:31 and represents a second tradition of the passion prediction which in all probability reflects the teaching of Jesus himself (9:21f. note; Patsch, 196f.).
(45) Luke takes over Mark’s statement that the disciples did not understand this saying; for ἀγνοέω cf. Acts 13:27; 17:23. He develops the thought independently. The saying was hidden from them; the use of παρακαλύπτω** with ἀπό is a Hebraism (Ezk. 22:26; cf. BD 1553), and the passive again indicates divine action; this is confirmed by the ἵνα clause which should be understood as expressive of purpose (E. Stauffer, TDNT III, 327 n. 43; cf. 8:10) rather than simply of result (so most commentators); perhaps we should classify it as ‘intended result’. αἰσθάνομαι**, ‘to understand’, occurs here only (G. Delling, TDNT I, 187f.). Following Mk., Luke adds that the disciples were afraid to ask Jesus (ἐρωτῆσαι, diff. Mk. ἐπερωτῆσαι which is found in some MSS of Lk. and adopted by Diglot); was their fear that of hearing more explicitly something that they did not want to hear (Schürmann, I, 573)? If so, the disciples were a long way from obeying the command that followed the first prediction of the passion, 9:23–27.
x. Strife Among the Disciples 9:46–48
Each of the three passion predictions in Mk. is followed by a section in which the inability of the disciples to comprehend the teaching of Jesus about self-sacrifice is illustrated by their worldly attitudes. In the case of the first prediction this is seen in the response of Peter (Mk. 8:32f.). In the remaining two the desire of the disciples for position and prestige emerges. Luke retains this motif in the present case, and indeed accentuates it. By removing Mark’s geographical setting, in the same way as in 9:43, and abbreviating the beginning of the pericope, he has heightened the contrast between the prediction of the passion and the disciples’ ignorance of what Jesus really meant. Jesus knows—apparently intuitively—the jealous thoughts of the disciples; he places a child in their midst, and then draws an object lesson. In Mk. the response of Jesus falls into two parts, Mk. 9:35 and 37, separated by the action with the child; Luke has combined the two statements into one in reverse order, so that what seemed to him to be the main lesson in Mk. now comes at the end as a climax. It is the one who is least in importance who is really the greatest. This principle is illustrated in the fact that Jesus regards the person who welcomes and pays attention to a child, commonly regarded in the ancient world as of no importance, as receiving Jesus, and thus receiving God himself.
The fact that Luke has altered Mark’s order suggests that it is not entirely logical. Mark in fact contains two separate lessons at this point, and each has parallels elsewhere. To Mk. 9:35 corresponds Mk. 10:43f. par. Lk. 22:26; and to Mk. 9:37 corresponds Lk. 10:16 (cf. Mt. 10:40–42; Jn. 13:20). To the same set of motifs also belongs Mk. 10:13–16. It seems probable that two originally separate traditions have been linked together by Mark in a section (Mk. 9:33–50) which displays other signs of compilation; Luke has then tied them together more closely. Mk. 9:33f. forms a brief pronouncement story; the motif of the disciples’ wrangling for positions of honour is well attested in different sources and is historically credible (cf. Lk. 14:8–10; Schmid, Mark 178), and the reply of Jesus is also so well attested as to leave no doubt of its authenticity, although the precise wording and significance may be uncertain. The saying about receiving a child in Mk. 9:37 belongs to a different circle of ideas in which the worth of children is emphasised (Mk. 9:42).*
(46) Luke has dropped Mark’s introduction with its reference to a house in Capernaum, since it is unnecessary in his scheme of thought. He also drops Mark’s account of Jesus’ question to the disciples about a dispute which they had had while on their journey, and replaces it by an editorial comment that a dispute had arisen among them. For διαλογισμός cf. 2:35 note; it corresponds here to Mk. διαλογίζομαι. The rest of the verse corresponds closely to the parallel account in 22:24 where Luke uses φιλονεικία**. For the form of the question, τὸ τίς ἄν …, cf. 1:62 note. The question concerns which of them was the greatest (μείζων used for a superlative), not who might be greater than the disciples as a group. The question is concerned with greatness in the sense of rank, position and prestige (cf. W. Grundmann, TDNT IV, 529–541, especially 531–533).
(47) In Mk. it is implicit that Jesus knows intuitively what the disciples refused to tell him about their dispute; Luke states it explicitly: Jesus knows without being told what is still going on in their hearts, the contentious thoughts that are still present (cf. 5:22; 6:8). For εἰδώς (𝔓75 א B 700 al sy sa), ἰδών (A C D W Γ Δ Θ f13 pm latt bo; TR) and γνούς (f1) appear as variants; εἰδώς has better early attestation, although it is difficult to see why it should have been altered if original (cf. Metzger, 24, 148). Luke omits the verbal reply of Jesus at this point (cf. v. 48b) and passes straight on to his action in taking a child. ἐπιλαμβάνομαι, ‘to take hold of, grasp, catch’, is Lucan (14:4; 20:20, 26; 23:26; with the acc., as here, Acts 9:27; 16:19; 18:17, instead of the more usual gen.), diff. Mk. λαμβάνω. Jesus makes the child stand beside himself, παρʼ ἑαυτῷ, diff. Mk. ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν. The place beside Jesus suggests honour for the child, and the action replaces the description of Jesus’ embracing the child which is found in Mk., a rather human trait which Luke omits (cf. 18:15–17 diff. Mk., and Luke’s general avoidance of attributing human emotions to Jesus).
(48a) The action is followed by interpretation. It has been argued, to be sure, that it was the ‘interpretation’ which gave rise to the creation of the action (Bultmann, 65; Schweizer, Markus, 109; Schürmann, I, 577). Since, however, the other forms of the saying do not refer to children, we should have to assume that, first of all, the saying was adapted to refer to children for no apparent reason, and that then the scene was created to go with it. This seems less likely than the supposition that the scene and the saying belong together, although not necessarily in their present context.
The saying falls into two parts. The first part states: whoever receives this child in my name receives me. δέχομαι is used in the sense of welcoming and caring for a person (cf. W. Grundmann, TDNT II, 50–54), whereas in other forms of the saying the thought is more of showing faith and respect (cf. Schmid, Mark, 179). Luke has τοῦτο τὸ παιδίον, diff. Mk. ἓν τῶν τοιούτων παιδίων. The change is significant. Whereas in Mk. the saying is concerned with an attitude towards children and the reference to children is in general terms (cf. Mt. for an even clearer wording), in Luke the saying is concerned with the disciples and their attitude to the present situation in which a child is before them: whichever of them is prepared to receive a child will receive Jesus. (A different explanation of the change in wording is given by Schürmann, I, 576f., who identifies ‘this child’ with ‘the one who is least’ in v. 48b.)
For the significance of children in the ancient world see A. Oepke, TDNT V, 639–652. Such recognition of children takes place ‘on the basis of my name’. The phrase ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου (Mk. 9:39; 13:6; Lk. 9:49 v. 1.) has the meaning ‘on the basis of’ (H. Bietenhard, TDNT V, 277) and qualifies the action, not the recipient; elsewhere the phrase ‘on/in my name’ refers to the power to do mighty works that stems from Jesus, but here it suggests action on the basis of discipleship; it is because the audience are disciples of Jesus who has just symbolically received a child that they are to do the same. They act under his authority and according to his will (Schlatter, Matthäus, 546). At this point the saying takes a surprising turn. Instead of affirming the greatness of the person who is prepared to serve in this way, or of stating that he is like Jesus, Jesus states that to receive a child is to receive himself.
This shows that the original point of the saying is concerned with the worth of the child, and that it affirms the importance of serving the child by saying that to do so is to serve Jesus himself. The thought is the same as in Mt. 25:35–40 where it is developed at length with regard to the needy and afflicted with whom Jesus identifies himself. Cf. also the idea that to serve a disciple is to render service to Jesus himself (Mk. 9:41). The present thought is not so much that of the ‘Shaliach’ (see below) as of an identification between Jesus and the little ones on the lines of Yahweh’s close link with the needy in the OT (Schürmann, I, 576), although there is no precise parallel to this actual identification.
In the second part of the saying, however, the ‘Shaliach’ idea emerges. Jesus is the one who was sent by the Father (cf. 10:16; Jn. 12:44f.; 13:20; cf. 5:23). Hence to receive him is tantamount to receiving the Father. For this concept see especially K. H. Rengstorf, TDNT I, 414–420. The verb δέχομαι appears to have undergone a shift in meaning at this point, since it seems to refer more to obedient acceptance of Jesus as Lord than to charitable service performed to him. But this slight change of meaning is understandable, and does not necessarily imply that two different sayings have been joined together. It remains possible, however, that an original saying about caring for children has been enlarged by a clause from a separate ‘Shaliach’ saying. The clause has an implicit christological reference in that it shows that Jesus regarded himself as the messenger of God.
(48b) The saying in Mk. 9:35 is now used to form the climax of Jesus’ statement. Although the formulation is parallel, the wording is quite different and reflects the influence of parallel traditions. Jesus says that the person who is least (μικρότερος, comparative for superlative; cf. 7:28) among all the disciples (ἐν … ὑμῖν, par. 22:26) is either ‘great’ (Lagrange, 282; Schürmann, I, 577 n. 15) or ‘the greatest’ (μέγας, positive for superlative; 5:39; Zerwick, 146; cf. BD 245). But the connection of thought is obscure. 1. Leaney, 57–59, suggests that the clause refers concretely to Jesus himself as the ‘junior’ (7:28) in the group of disciples; thus it was appropriate for Jesus to use the child as a symbol for himself. The saying teaches the pre-eminence of Jesus over John the Baptist, and the original setting (the strife among the disciples) is slurred over. This interpretation reads a good deal into the text. 2. The more usual view is that Jesus is teaching that the person who is willing to take the lowest place is really great—such willingness being shown in caring for such despised members of society as children.
This appears to be the point in Mk. 9:35–37. It would follow that there can be no question of ‘greatness’ among the disciples, since the person who is prepared to act as servant has abandoned all desire for greatness (unless, of course, he is serving purely out of a desire for greatness and thus hypocritically). 3. Schürmann, I, 576f., rightly notes that the clause is concerned not with becoming great by acting as a servant but with being great. He therefore argues that ‘the least’ is the child in the midst of the disciples; the child is ‘great’, and the disciples should forget their desire for pre-eminence and be content to serve the lowly who are truly great in the eyes of God. This gives a good connection of thought. It is hard to decide between views 2. and 3., both of which give in effect the same point, but the latter perhaps gives the clearer connection of thought.
Marshall, I. H. (1978). The Gospel of Luke: a commentary on the Greek text (pp. 393–398). Paternoster Press.
1:7 For God did not give us a Spirit10 of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Notes for 1:7
10 tn Or “a spirit,” denoting the human personality under the Spirit’s influence as in 1 Cor 4:21; Gal 6:1; 1 Pet 3:4. But the reference to the Holy Spirit at the end of this section (1:14) makes it likely that it begins this way also, so that the Holy Spirit is the referent.
Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition Notes (2 Ti 1:7). Biblical Studies Press.
Biblical Studies Press. (2005). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (2 Ti 1:7). Biblical Studies Press.
The 2-minute “Daily Dose of Biblical Greek” videos are aimed at helping you read and translate Biblical Greek. Five-seven days per week, we will deliver to you a free 2-minute video in which I talk through a single Greek verse. See DailyDoseofGreek.com
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The Tree of Jesus’ Life is a view of Christ’s matchless life and work. It follows the order contained in the scriptures, beginning with Christ’s pre-existence with the Father throughout eternity. Next come the prophetic announcements of His coming, the bright stars of prophecy that arose in the sky of Jewish history foretelling the appearance of a mighty Savior. (These do not appear on the Tree. See II. The Prophetic Christ below.) Then come the facts concerning His infancy and early life, including the silent years of His obscurity. Suddenly He emerges from His home in Nazareth and begins His public career. The events of His ministry are arranged on the tree as nearly as possible to the order in which they appear in the New Testament record. There is a considerable difference of opinion concerning the sequence of events of some portions of Christ’s work, but they are arranged here according to the best harmonies of the gospels.
Thompson, F. C., & Jauchen, J. S. (1997). Thompson Chain Harmonies and Illustrations (p. 2143). B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co., Inc.
(37) Luke’s introduction uses elements from Mk. 9:9 and 13. He has added a time note τῇ ἑξῆς ἡμέρᾳ. The variant διὰ της ἡμέρας (Dit sy s c; cf. τῆς ἡμέρας, 𝔓45) perhaps reflects Jewish chronology in which the day began at sunset (Schürmann, I, 569 n. 113). For ἑξῆς cf. 7:11 note. The implication is that Luke regarded the transfiguration as taking place by night (or as followed by sunset and the new Jewish day, Lagrange, 275). So it is the next morning when Jesus and his three companions descend from the mountain; Luke has altered the tense of the participle to the aorist, since he describes what took place after the descent, whereas Mark records a conversation during the descent. Here Jesus is met by a large crowd; the other disciples are assumed to be with them (cf. 9:40). For συναντάω cf. 9:18 v. 1.
(38) As often the action begins with καὶ ἰδού (cf. v. 39). Luke substitutes his favourite ἀνήρ for Mk. εῖς; the man shouts (cf. 18:38; diff. Mk.) to Jesus for help. He addresses him as διδάσκαλε (par. Mk.), but the polite wording of his request (δέομαί σου; cf. 8:28) is Lucan style. ἐπιβλέψαι may be aorist active infinitive (Acts 26:3; 2 Cor. 10:2) or aorist middle imperative (cf. Acts 21:39; 2 Cor. 5:20; Gal. 4:12; cf. the v. 1. ἐπίβλεψον, D E W f1 pm; TR), probably the former. The verb can be used of God, to express his watchful concern for men (1:48; Jos. Ant. 1:20; Grundmann, 194f.). Matthew expresses the same idea with ἐλεέω; cf. Mk. 9:22, σπλαγχνίζομαι. Luke alone adds the detail that the boy was the only son of his father (7:12; 8:42), which heightens the pathos; it may be a deduction from Mark’s description of the father’s great concern. The word order ἐστίν μοι (W Θ pl lat; TR; Diglot) is poorly attested.
(39) The description of the boy’s condition appears in wording largely different from Mk. Mark has two accounts of the demon possession, 9:18 and 22, cf. 20, and Luke has followed his own way in dealing with them. An (evil) spirit seizes the boy (λαμβάνω, diff. Mk. καταλαμβάνω) and subjects him to sudden attacks: Luke’s ἐξαίφνης (2:13) brings out the sense of Mk. ὅπου ἐάν … It cries out inarticulately (cf. Mk. 9:26), a detail which may explain why Luke has dropped Mark’s description of the spirit as causing dumbness and deafness, although there is in fact no real contradiction involved. It rends the boy’s body (σπαράσσω, Mk. 1:26; 9:26) and causes him to foam at the mouth (ἀφρός; cf. Mk. 9:18, ἀφρίζω). It will scarcely leave him alone while it continues to wear him out; μόλις is Lucan (Acts 14:18; 27:7, 8, 16; Rom. 5:7; 1 Pet. 4:18); ἀποχωρέω (Acts 13:13; Mt. 7:23) is perhaps used as a virtual passive; συντρίβω is ‘to wear out’, ‘to bruise’, Mk. 5:4; et al. This detail is not found in Mk. who describes the frequency of the attacks over a long time (Mk. 9:21f.) rather than their persistency, but perhaps Luke has Mk. 9:26b in mind. The description corresponds to epilepsy (cf. Mt. 17:15).
(40) Just as Gehazi was impotent apart from the presence of his master (2 Ki. 4:31; Schürmann, I, 569 n. 123), so the disciples could not cure this especially hard case of demon possession without Jesus, despite the earnest petition of the father; Luke has δέομαι, diff. Mk. λέγω, to bring out the parallelism with the father’s request to Jesus. Like Matthew he has δύναμαι, diff. Mk. ἰσχύω, which is used more fittingly of strength than ability.
(41) Jesus’ reply is apparently addressed to the father (diff. Mk. αὐτοῖς, with reference to the crowd), but it seems to refer to the people present generally, to the father who lacks faith in the power of God in the disciples, and to the disciples who lack faith in God to perform mighty works through themselves. They are members of an unbelieving generation; for γενεά cf. 7:31; 11:29–32, 50f.; 17:25; 21:32; Acts 2:40; Phil. 2:15); for ἄπιστος cf. 12:46. The wording echoes Dt. 32:20, but the OT allusion is clearer when we take into account the addition καὶ διεστραμμένη (om. a e Mcion Tert; (Diglot)), par. Mt., diff. Mk., which is reminiscent of Dt. 32:5, 20; cf. Phil. 2:15; for διαστρέφω, ‘to twist, pervert’, cf. 23:2; Acts 13:8, 10; 20:30. The phraseology thus reflects that of God when confronted by the faithless and disobedient generation in the wilderness. The addition, ‘how long shall I be with you and put up with you?’ may be reminiscent of Is. 46:4, but the point there is somewhat different. Here it is a case of impatience with the continued lack of faith shown by the people. Dibelius, 278, regarded the saying as a mythical expression by a divine being, temporarily visiting the earth. It certainly fits into the context of the transfiguration. Over against the unbelief of men Jesus acts with authority and commands that the boy be brought to him; προσάγω is more appropriate of a person than Mk. φέρω. Both Luke and Matthew add ὧδε, diff. Mk.
(42) In place of Mark’s parataxis Luke uses a neat (but illogical) genitive absolute with ἔτι (cf. 8:49 par. Mk.; and frequently). As in Mk. the boy is immediately attacked by the demon which dashes him to the ground (ῥήσσω, 5:37*) and convulses him (συνσπαράσσω, Mk. 9:20); Luke uses δαιμόνιον, diff. Mk. here. At this point Mark describes the conversation between Jesus and the father in which the latter’s plea for help is answered by a call for faith which leads in turn to the father’s confession, ‘I believe’. Luke, like Matthew, has omitted this, and thus concentrates attention on the healing power of Jesus, rather than on the lesson about faith which was obviously important for Mark. Jesus rebukes the unclean spirit (cf. 4:39; 8:24), and heals the boy (ἰάομαι; cf. Mt. θεραπεύω, diff. Mk.); then he returns him to his father; cf. 7:15, where the same compassionate gesture occurs.
(43a) The story ends with the astonishment of all present at the majesty of God. For ἐκπλήσσομαι, cf. 2:48; 4:32; Mk. 6:2; 7:3. μεγαλειότης, ‘grandeur, majesty, sublimity’, is found at Acts 19:27; 2 Pet. 1:16; cf. the stress on the ‘great’ deeds of God at Acts 2:11 (on the word, see W. Grundmann, TDNT IV, 541f.). The incident is thus seen by Luke as a sign of the powerful, saving presence of God; cf. 7:16 and 5:25; 17:16, 18. What was visible only to the chosen three on the mountain is here visible to a greater number.
Marshall, I. H. (1978). The Gospel of Luke: a commentary on the Greek text (pp. 390–392). Paternoster Press.