Luke 7:18-23

Luke 7:18-23
A Women’s Lectionary 24


18 The disciplesA of JohnB reportedC all these things to him. So John summonedD twoE of his disciples 

Notes on verse 18

A “disciples” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.
B “John” = Ioannes. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel); {from havah (to become); from hayah (to be, exist, happen)} + chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is John, meaning “the Lord has been gracious.”
C “reported” = apaggello. From apo (from, away from) + aggello (to announce, report); {from aggelos (angel, messenger); probably from ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, drive)}. This is to report, declare, bring word. It is an announcement that emphasizes the source.
D “summoned” = proskaleo. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud); {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is to call to oneself, summon.
E “two” = duo. This is two or both.

19 and sentF them to the LordG to ask,H “Are you the one who is to come,I or are we to wait forJ another?”K 

Notes on verse 19

F “sent” = pempo. This is to send, put forth, or dispatch. This often refers to a temporary errand. It is sending someone with a focus on the place they departed from. By contrast, another Greek word, hiemi, emphasizes the destination and yet another word, stello, focuses on the motion that goes with the sending.
G “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
H “ask” = lego. This is to speak, say, name, call, command. It is generally to convey verbally.
I “come” = erchomai. This is to come or go.
J “wait for” = prosdokao. 16x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + dokeuo (to watch). This is to await, anticipate, expect, look for.
K “another” = allos. This is other, another. Specifically, it is another of a similar kind or type. There is a different word in Greek that speaks of another as a different kind (heteros).

20 When the menL had comeM to him, they said, “John the BaptistN has sentO us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come,P or are we to wait for another?’” 

Notes on verse 20

L “men” = aner. This is man, male, husband, or fellow. It can also refer to an individual.
M “come” = paraginomai. From para (from beside, by) + ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is to arrive, appear, reach. It implies appearing publicly.
N “Baptist” = Baptistes. 12x in NT. From baptizo (to submerge, wash, or immerse; used specially for baptism); from bapto (to dip or dye; to entirely cover with liquid, to stain). This is baptizer or Baptist. The term is only used for John the Baptist.
O “sent” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.
P “come” = erchomai. Same as “come” in v19. See note I above.

21 Jesus had just thenQ curedR manyS people of diseases,T plagues,U

Notes on verse 21a

Q “just then” = en + ekeinos + ho + hora. Literally, “at that very hour.” Hora is a set time or period, an hour, instant, or season. This is where the word “hour” comes from.
R “cured” = therapeuo. From therapon (servant, attendant, minister); perhaps from theros (properly heat and so used for summer); from thero (to heat). This is to serve, care, attend, heal, or cure. Since it means to attend to, it can be used for doctors, but also for those who serve God. So, it can mean worship. This is where the word “therapy” comes from.
S “many” = polus. This is much, often, plenteous – a large number or a great extent.
T “diseases” = nosos. 11x in NT. This refers to a disease that is chronic and enduring. It can also be used for a moral failing.
U “plagues” = mastix. 6x in NT. Probably from massaomai (to chew, gnaw, consume); from masso (to handle, squeeze). This is a whip that had leather straps with metal bits sewn onto them. It is figurative for great pain, suffering, disease, or plague. It is a Roman whip used on criminals, the flagellum.

and evilV spirits,W and had givenX sightY to many who were blind.Z 

Notes on verse 21b

V “evil” = poneros. From poneo (to toil); related to ponos (pain, trouble, labor, distress, suffering; toil, which implies anguish); from the base of penes (a laborer, poor person, starving or indigent person; someone who works for their living); from pernomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is bad, evil, wicked, malicious, grievous, or toilsome. Properly, it is something that bears pain – it emphasizes the miseries and pains that come with evil. By contrast, the Greek kakos refers to evil as part of someone’s core character. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue. This word can mean ill, diseased, morally culpable, derelict, vicious, malicious, or guilt. It can also refer to the devil or sinners.
W “spirits” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breathe, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
X “given” = charizomai. From charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); from chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is to extend grace or favor, to grant forgiveness, to pardon or rescue.
Y “sight” = blepo. This is literally to see – it is primarily used in the physical sense. However, figuratively it can be seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, and acting on the visual information. It can also mean beware.
Z “blind” = tuphlos. Derivation unclear. Perhaps from tuphoo (to be conceited, foolish, puffed up, haughty; properly, to blow smoke; figuratively being muddled or cloudy in mind; poor judgment that harms spiritual clarity; also, being covered with smoke – so filled with pride); from tuphos (smoke, vanity, arrogance); from tupho (to raise smoke, smolder, slowly consume without flame). This is blind or a blind person – perhaps in the sense of smoke making things opaque and impossible to see. This is blind literally or figuratively.

22 And he answered them, “GoAA and tellBB John what you have seenCC and heard:DD

Notes on verse 22a

AA “go” = poreuomai. From poros (ford, passageway). This is to go, travel, journey, or die. It refers to transporting things from one place to another and focuses on the personal significance of the destination.
BB “tell” = apaggello. Same as “reported” in v18. See note C above.
CC “seen” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
DD “heard” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.

the blind receive their sight,EE the lameFF walk,GG

Notes on verse 22b

EE “receive…sight” = anablepo. Related to “sight” in v21. From ana (up, back, again, among, between, anew) + blepo (see note Y above). This is to look up or regain sight.
FF “lame” = cholos. 14x in NT. This is lame or limping. It can also mean missing a foot.
GG “walk” = peripateo. From peri (about, concerning, around, encompassing) + pateo (to read, trample on; to trample literally or figuratively); {from patos (trodden) OR from paio (to strike, smite, sting; a hit like a single blow)}. This is to walk. Going from Hebrew figurative language, to walk referred to how you conducted your life, how you chose to live. This word is most literally walking around. Figuratively, it is living, behaving, following, how you occupy yourself. This is where “peripatetic” comes from.

the lepersHH are cleansed,II the deafJJ hear, the deadKK are raised,LL

Notes on verse 22c

HH “lepers” = lepros. 9x in NT. From lepis (fish scale, skin flake); from lepo (to peel). This is scaly or leprous. It can also refer to a person with leprosy.
II “are cleansed” = katharizo. From katharos (clean, clear, pure, unstained; clean in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense; so, also guiltless, innocent or upright; something that is pure because it has been separated from the negative substance or aspect; spiritually clean because of God’s act of purifying). This is to cleanse, make clean, purify, purge, or declare to be clean. Like its roots, it includes cleansing in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense. Being pure or purified is not something that is only available to the rare few or the innocent. Anyone can be purified.
JJ “deaf” = kophos. 14x in NT. Perhaps from kopto (to cut, strike, cut off; beating the chest to lament and so to mourn). This is literally blunted or dull. Figuratively, it can be deaf or mute or a person who is deaf or mute.
KK “dead” = nekros. Perhaps from nekus (corpse). This is dead or lifeless, mortal, corpse. It can also be used figuratively for powerless or ineffective. It is where the word “necrotic” comes from.
LL “are raised” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.

the poorMM have good news broughtNN to them. 23 And blessedOO is anyone who takes no offensePP at me.”

Notes on verses 22d-23

MM “poor” = ptochos. From ptosso (to crouch or cower as a beggar does). This is poor or destitute – someone who is extremely poor and bowed down because of a long struggle under poverty. Properly, it means bent over so figuratively it is someone who is deeply destitute and lacking tangible resources. This is a beggar – as extremely opposite a wealthy person as possible.
NN “have good news brought” = euaggelizo. Related to “reported” in v18. From eu (well, good, rightly) + aggelos (see note C above). This is evangelize – literally to preach the good news. It can be those who hear the news, the news, or a way to say gospel.
OO “blessed” = makarios. From makar (happy); from mak– (to become long or large). This is blessed, happy, fortunate. It is when God’s grace/abundance is extended.
PP “takes…offense” = skandalizo. From skandalon (the bait or portion of the trap that closes down on the victim – the trap’s trigger; a stumbling block, offense, or cause for error; something that sets into motion a negative cause and effect; something that causes one to stumble); perhaps from kampto (to bend or bow). This is to put a stumbling block in someone’s way. Figuratively, causing someone to sin or preventing them from good action. It can also mean to shock or offend. Literally, this is falling into a trap or tripping someone up. So, here, enticing someone to sin or apostasy.

Image credit: “Preaching of Saint John the Baptist” by Giovan Francesco Rustici, 1506-1511. Photo by Sailko, 2015.

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