Luke 6:1-16

Luke 6:1-16
Narrative Lectionary 324


IOne sabbathII while Jesus was goingIII through the grainfields,IV

Notes on verse 1a

I {untranslated} = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
II “sabbath” = sabbaton. From Hebrew shabbath (sabbath); from shabath (to rest, stop, repose, cease working; by implication, to celebrate). This is the sabbath. It can also be used as shorthand for a week i.e. the time between two sabbaths.
III “going” = diaporeuomai. 5x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + poreuomai (to go, travel, journey, or die; transporting things from one place to another and focuses on the personal significance of the destination)}. This is to travel through, pass.
IV “grainfields” = sporimos. 3x in NT – all in parallel passages in the gospels. From sporos (a sowing, the seed for planting); from speiro (to sow seed, spread, scatter); perhaps from spao (to pull, to draw a sword). This is a field that is sown, such as a grain field.

his disciplesV plucked some heads of grain,VI rubbedVII them in their hands,VIII and ateIX them. 

Notes on verse 1b

V “disciple” = 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.
VI “heads of grain” = stachus. 5x in NT. Perhaps from histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is a head of grain.
VII “rubbed” = psocho. 1x in NT. From psao (to rub) OR from psallo (o twang, play, sing psalms, pluck a stringed instrument such as a harp); {from psao (see above)}. This is to rub as rubbing kernels from their husks or rub to pieces.
VIII “hands” = cheir. This is the hand in a literal sense. Figuratively, the hand is the means a person uses to accomplish things so it can also mean power, means, or instrument.
IX “ate” = esthio. This is to eat or figuratively to devour or consume like rust.

But some of the PhariseesX said, “Why are you doingXI what is not lawfulXII on the sabbath?” 

Notes on verse 2

X “Pharisees” = Pharisaios. From Aramaic peras (to divide, separate) and from Hebrew parash (to make distinct, separate, scatter). This is a Pharisee, a member of a Jewish sect active in the 1st century. Their name meant separate in the sense of wanting to live a life separated from sin. Whereas the Sadducees were part of the priestly line and inherited their religious position and responsibilities, Pharisees were regular people who studied the scriptures and offered guidance to regular folk. Sadducees were often wealthier and willing to sacrifice their identity to rub elbows with Roman society. Pharisees were often more concerned with what it meant to follow God without compromising what made them different as followers of God. Sadducees primarily believed in that which was written down (the first five books of the Bible) and Pharisees believed in the Bible and the traditions of the elders. Pharisees had a very wide range of interpretations and diversity of opinion. Their standard mode of religious engagement was lively debate with one another. To argue religion with another teacher was to recognize that they had something of value to offer.
XI “doing” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
XII “is…lawful” = exesti. From ek (out, out of) + eimi (to be, exist). This is what is permitted or what is allowed under the law. It can mean what is right, what holds moral authority, or, more broadly, something that is shown out in public.

JesusXIII answered, “Have you not readXIV what DavidXV did when he and his companionsXVI were hungry?XVII 

Notes on verse 3

XIII “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
XIV “read” = anaginosko. From ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is literally to know again – to recognize, read, or discern.
XV “David” = Dauid. From Hebrew David (David); from the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”
XVI “companions” = ho + meta + autos + eimi. Literally “those who were with him.”
XVII “were hungry” = peinao. From peina (hunger); related to penomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is to hunger, be needy, or desire earnestly. It can be being famished in a definitive sense or in comparison to someone or something else. Figuratively, this means to crave.

He entered the houseXVIII of GodXIX and took and ateXX the breadXXI of the Presence,XXII which it is not lawful for any but the priestsXXIII to eat,XXIV and gave some to his companions?” 

Notes on verse 4

XVIII “house” = oikos. This is house – the building, the household, the family, descendants, the temple.
XIX “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
XX “ate” = phago. This is to eat or figuratively to consume like rust does.
XXI “bread” = artos. Perhaps from airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is bread or a loaf. It is a loaf as raised.
XXII “Presence” = prothesis. 12x in NT. From protithemi (to set before, purpose, plan, determine, put in a public display); {from pro (before, earlier than, ahead, prior) + tithemi (to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense; properly, this is placing something in a passive or horizontal position)}. This is a setting forth – a proposal, predetermination, purpose. It can also mean something that is sacred or consecrated so it can be used for the showbread or sacred bread.
XXIII “priests” = hiereus. From hieros (sacred, something sacred, temple, holy, set apart; something consecrated to God or a god). This is a priest, used for Jewish and Gentile priests.
XXIV “eat” = phago. Same as “ate” in v4. See note XX above.

Then he said to them, “The Son of ManXXV is lordXXVI of the sabbath.”

Notes on verse 5

XXV “Man” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
XXVI “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.

XXVIIOn anotherXXVIII sabbath he entered the synagogueXXIX and taught,XXX and there was a man there whose rightXXXI hand was withered.XXXII 

Notes on verse 6

XXVII {untranslated} = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note I above.
XXVIII “another” = heteros. This is other, another, different, strange. It is another of a different kind in contrast to the Greek word allos, which is another of the same kind. This could be a different quality, type, or group.
XXIX “synagogue” = sunagoge. From sun (with, together with, closely associated) + ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, go, drive). Literally, this is a bringing together, a place of assembly. The term can be used for the people or for the place where they assemble. It is also sometimes used of Christian churches in the New Testament. So, this is synagogue, assembly, congregation, or church. This is where the word “synagogue” comes from.
XXX “taught” = didasko. From dao (learn). This is to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge. In the New Testament, this is almost always used for teaching scripture.
XXXI “right” = dexios. Perhaps from dechomai (to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome; to receive in a literal or figurative sense). This is right, right side, or the right hand.
XXXII “withered” = xeros. 8x in NT. This is dry, arid, withered. It can also refer to dry land or imply something that is shrunken.

The scribesXXXIII and the Pharisees watchedXXXIV him to see whether he would cureXXXV on the sabbath, so that they might findXXXVI an accusationXXXVII against him. 

Notes on verse 7

XXXIII “scribes” = grammateus. From gramma (what is drawn or written so a letter of the alphabet, correspondence, literature, learning); from grapho (to write). This is a writer, scribe, or secretary. Within Judaism, it was someone learned in the Law, a teacher. Also used in the Bible of the town-clerk of Ephesus. See Sirach 38:24-39:11 for a lengthier, positive passage about who scribes were and what they meant in society.
XXXIV “watched” = paratereo. 6x in NT. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + tereo (to guard, observe, keep, maintain, or preserve; figuratively, spiritual watchfulness; guarding something from being lost or harmed; fulfilling commands, keeping in custody, or maintaining; figuratively can mean to remain unmarried.); { teros (a guard or a watch that guards keep); perhaps related to theoreo (gazing, beholding, experiencing, discerning; looking at something to analyze it and concentrate on what it means; the root of the word “theatre” in that people concentrate on the action of the play to understand its meaning); from theaomai (to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit); from thaomai (to gaze at a spectacle; to look at or contemplate as a spectator; to interpret something in efforts to grasp its significance); from theoros (a spectator or envoy)}. This is to watch or observe carefully due to personal interest.
XXXV “cure” = 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.
XXXVI “find” = heurisko. This is to find, learn, or obtain. It is to discover something, which generally implies a period of searching for it. This is to find in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the word “heuristic” comes from.
XXXVII “accusation” = kategoreo. From kategoros (prosecutor or accuser; used in legal context, but also of Satan); {from kata (down, against, throughout, among) + agoreuo (speaking in the assembly)} OR {from kata (see above) + agora (assembly, forum, marketplace, town square); {from ageiro (to gather)}}. This is to accuse, charge, or prosecute. This is where the word “category” comes from, but it is in the sense of applying logic and offering proof.

Even though he knewXXXVIII what they were thinking,XXXIX he said to the manXL who had the withered hand,

Notes on verse 8a

XXXVIII “knew” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
XXXIX “thinking” = dialogismos. 14x in NT. From dialogizomai (to consider, have a back and forth debate with an uncertain conclusion; multiple confused minds reinforcing a faulty conclusion); {from dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + logizmai (to compute or reckon up, to count; figuratively, it is coming to a conclusion or decision using logic; taking an inventory in a literal or figurative sense); {from logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; here, word as an account or accounting; can also be a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; by implication, a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); from lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. This is reasoning, plotting, argument, discussion that reinforces faulty reasoning, debate.
XL “man” = aner. Related to “Man” in v5. See note XXV above.

“ComeXLI and standXLII here.” He got upXLIII and stood there. 

Notes on verse 8b

XLI “come” = 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.
XLII “stand” = histemi. Related to “heads of grain” in v1. See note VI above.
XLIII “got up” = anistemi. Related to “heads of grain” inv1 & “stand” in v8. From ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + histemi (see note VI above). This is to raise up, rise, appear. It is to stand up literally or figuratively. Can also mean to resurrect.

Then Jesus said to them, “I askXLIV you, is it lawful to do goodXLV or to do harmXLVI on the sabbath, to saveXLVII lifeXLVIII or to destroyXLIX it?” 

Notes on verse 9

XLIV “ask” = eperotao. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + erotao (asking a question or making an earnest request; used when one anticipates special consideration for their request); {from eromai (to ask) OR from ereo (to say, tell, call, speak of)}. This is to question, interrogate, seek, or demand. The questioner is at an advantage – in a preferred position when they make their question.
XLV “do good” = agathopoeio. Related to “doing” in v2. 10x in NT. From agathopoios (a do-gooder or virtuous person; someone who does intrinsically good things); {from agathos (good, a benefit, or a good thing; good by its very nature, inherently good) + poieo (see note XI above)}. This is to do good or to do right.
XLVI “do harm” = kakopoeio. Related to “doing” in v2 & “do good” in v9. 4x in NT. From kakopoios (evildoer, someone who injures, a criminal); {from kakos (bad, evil, harm, ill; evil that is part of someone’s core character – intrinsic, rotted, worthless, depraved, causing harm; deep inner malice that comes from a rotten character; can be contrasted with the Greek poneros, which is that which bears pain – a focus on the miseries and pains that come with evil; also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue) + poieo (see note XI above)}. This is to do evil, to sin, to injure.
XLVII “save” = sozo. From sos (safe, rescued, well). This is to save, heal, preserve, or rescue. Properly, this is taking someone from danger to safety. It can be delivering or protecting literally or figuratively. This is the root that “savior” and “salvation” come from in Greek.
XLVIII “life” = psuche. From psucho (to breathe, blow). This is breath, the breath of life, the self, individual, soul. This is the word for that which makes a person unique – their identity, will, personality, affections. This isn’t the soul as the immortal part of us, but as our individuality. It is also not life as a general concept, but specific to people. This is where the words psyche and psychology come from.
XLIX “destroy” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.

10 After looking aroundL at all of them, he said to him, “Stretch outLI your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored.LII 11 But they were filledLIII with furyLIV and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

Notes on verses 10-11

L “looking around” = periblepo. 7x in NT- 6x in Mark & 1x in Luke. From peri (about, concerning, around, encompassing) + blepo (to see, used primarily in the physical sense; figuratively, seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, beware, and acting on the visual information). This is to survey, look around closely, gaze about.
LI “stretch out” = ekteino. 16x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + teino (to stretch, extend, strain). This is to stretch out, reach, lay hands on. Can also be used for casting an anchor.
LII “restored” = apokathistemi. Related to “heads of grain” in v1 & “stand” in v8 & “got up” in v8. 8x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + kathistemi (to appoint, set in order or set in place, constitute, give standing or authority, put in charge); {from kata (down, against, throughout, among) + histemi (see note VI above)}. This is to restore something to its original place or status. It can be give back, set up again or, figuratively, to restore full freedom or liberty. This word can also be used of healing – restoring full health.
LIII “filled” = pleitho. This is to fill to the highest level possible – to accomplish, supply, or complete.
LIV “fury” = anoia. Related to “read” in v3. 2x in NT. From a (not, without) + nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect); {from noos (mind); probably from the base as ginosko (see note XIV above)}. This is literally no mind – it is madness as a description of irrational or mindless actions. It is foolishness, madness or intense anger (as deriving from irrationality of inability to think things through).

12 LVNow during those days he went out to the mountain to pray;LVI and he spent the night in prayerLVII to God. 

Notes on verse 12

LV {untranslated} = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note I above.
LVI “pray” = proseuchomai. From pros (advantageous for, at, toward) + euchomai (to wish, make a request, pray). This is to pray or pray for, to worship or supplicate. It is more literally exchanging one’s own wishes for God’s.
LVII “prayer” = proseuche. Related to “pray” inv12. From proseuchomai (see note LVII above). This is prayer, worship, or a place where one prays.

13 And when day came,LVIII he calledLIX his disciples and choseLX twelve of them, whom he also namedLXI apostles:LXII 

Notes on verse 13

LVIII “came” = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note I above.
LIX “called” = prosphoneo. 7x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + phoneo (to call out, summon, shout, address; making a sound whether of an animal, a person, or an instrument); from phone (voice, sound, tone or noise; also a language or dialect); probably from phemi to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is to call to, address, give a speech, summon, exclaim.
LX “chose” = eklego. Related to “thinking” in v8. From ek (from, from out of) + lego (see note XXXIX above). This is to choose, select, elect.
LXI “named” = onomazo. Related to “read” in v3 & “fury” in v11. 10x in NT. From onoma (name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation; thought to include something of the essence of the person and not separate from the person); {may be from ginosko (see note XIV above)}. This is to name, call a name, profess.
LXII “apostles” = apostolos. From apostello (to send, send away, send forth as a messenger, to commission); {from apo (from, away from) + stello (to set, arrange, prepare, provide for)}. This is a messenger – someone sent out on a mission as an envoy or delegate. It can also refer to someone set at liberty. Generally, this is a messenger who is meant to be a representative of the one who sent them. They are thus, set apart on a mission literally or figuratively.

14 Simon,LXIII whom he named Peter,LXIV and his brotherLXV Andrew,LXVI

Notes on verse 14a

LXIII “Simon” = Simon. From Hebrew Shimon (Simon – Jacob’s son and his tribe); from shama (to hear, often implying attention and obedience). This is Simon, meaning “he who hears.”
LXIV “Peter” = Petros. Related to petra (large rock that is connected and or projecting like a rock, ledge, or cliff; can also be cave or stony ground). This is Peter, a stone, pebble, or boulder.
LXV “brother” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
LXVI “Andrew” = Andreas. Related to “Man” in v5 & “man” in v8. 13x in NT. From aner (see note XXV above). This is Andrew, meaning manly.

 and James,LXVII and John,LXVIII and Philip,LXIX and Bartholomew,LXX 

Notes on verse 14b

LXVII “James” = Iakobos. From Hebrew Yaaqov (Jacob); from the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is James, meaning heel grabber or usurper.
LXVIII “John” = Ioannes. Related to “Jesus” in v3. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); {from YHVH (see note XIII above) + 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.”
LXIX “Philip” = Philippos. From philos (dear, beloved, a friend, an associate; friendship with personal affection, a trusted confidante; love from personal experience with another person) + hippos (horse). This is Philip, meaning one who loves horses or is fond of horses.
LXX “Bartholomew” = Bartholomaios. 4x in NT. From Aramaic bar (son, age); {Aramaic corresponding to ben (son literal or figurative; also, grandson, subject, nation); from banah (to build or obtain children)} + Talmay (Talmay, meaning “plowman” or “ridged”); {from the same as telem (furrow or ridge; root may mean to accumulate)}. This is Bartholomew, meaning “son of Tolmai.”

15 and Matthew,LXXI and Thomas,LXXII and James son of Alphaeus,LXXIII and Simon, who was calledLXXIV the Zealot,LXXV 

Notes on verse 15

LXXI “Matthew” = Matthaios. Related to “Jesus” in v3 & “John” in v14. 5x in NT. From maththaios (Matthew); from Hebrew mattityahu (Matthew, “gift of the Lord”); {from mattanah (gift, offering of sacrifice, present, bribe); {from mattan (gift, reward, to give); from natan (to give, put, set, offer; to give literally or figuratively)} + YHVH (see note XIII above)}. This is Matthew or Matthaeus, meaning “give of the Lord” or “given of the Lord.” See
LXXII “Thomas” = Thomas. 11x in NT. From Hebrew toam (twin). This is Thomas, meaning twin.
LXXIII “Alphaeus” = Alphaios. 5x in NT. From Hebrew halap (to exchange, renew, traverse). This is Alphaeus, which shares a root with Clopas. It means “traverse” or “exchange.” See
LXXIV “called” = kaleo. Related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on). This is to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud.
LXXV “Zealot” = Zelotes. 8x in NT. From zeloo (jealous, eager for, burning with zeal, deeply committed, envy); from zelos (eagerness or zeal on the one hand or rivalry and jealousy on the other; burning anger or burning love) perhaps from from zeo (to boil, be hot, ferment, bubble, boil, or glow; used figuratively for being fervent or earnest). This is zealous or a zealot – someone eagerly devoted to someone or something. This is where the word “zealot” comes from.

16 and JudasLXXVI son of James, and Judas Iscariot,LXXVII who becameLXXVIII a traitor.LXXIX

Notes on verse 16

LXXVI “Judas” = Ioudas. From Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judah or Judas, meaning praised.
LXXVII “Iscariot” = Iskariotes. 11x in NT. From Hebrew probably ish (man, husband); {perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be frail, feeble)} + qirya (city); {Aramaic corresponding to qiryah (city, building); from qarah (to happen, meet, bring about)}. Iscariot means person from Kerioth.
LXXVIII “became” = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note I above.
LXXIX “traitor” = prodotes. 3x in NT. From prodidomi (to give first, betray); {from pro (before, earlier, above) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is treacherous, a betrayer, one who surrenders.

Image credit: “Wheat Fields in Elah Valley” in Israel by Davidbena, 2018.

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