Bible 911 Luke

This edition of Bible 911 is from Luke and is found in the story of the feeding of the five thousand. Why would Jesus feed 5,000 people and then feed 4,000 more soon after that? How does this miracle fit into the Kingdom timeline of Jesus heading to Passover? What does each Gospel add to the narrative to form a “big picture”? Whom did Jesus want to perform this miracle?

A Little Background

Luke was a Greek doctor that was known as a traveling companion of Paul. He wrote the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts for a person known as Theophilus. Since “most excellent Theophilus” means “strongest God friend” I have to wonder if that was a play on words or some hidden meaning. In Luke 1:1-3 he makes it clear that he has done a lot of research and feels he should write an account of what he knows. It seems that Luke follows the basic timeline in Matthew and Mark but puts events and stories together differently to achieve a smooth tale for Theophilus.

Luke is the only writer to include the narrative about the 72 disciples who were sent out. I think because of this, a tradition was started that he was part of those 72 disciples. We do not know this as a fact.    

Feeding the 5,000

Luke 9: 11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. (KJV) Luke’s telling of this miracle starts in verse 10 and runs through verse 17. The story of feeding the 5, 000 is one of a few events that make it into all four Gospels. The stories are basically the same. They are found in Matthew 14, John 6, and Mark 6.

John adds about the little boy’s lunch (In my tradition, that is John Mark, his nephew.) People have picked Feeding to be one of the seven miracles that show Jesus as Lord. Really, John has more miracles than just seven, but this sign was given for a reason. I think it mirrors the feeding of Israel in the wilderness, something tradition said the Messiah had to do to prove Himself. It is possible that Jesus added the feeding of the 4,000 after He refused to give the Pharisees a sign, just because He was Jesus.

I wish to highlight that this period was part of Jesus’s final push before He went to Jerusalem to die. Luke 9:11 says that He welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom, and healed those who needed it. The pattern of teaching about the kingdom of God/Heaven and healing the sick is well established in the Gospels and Acts. It makes you wonder what happened.

This list is compiled from all four Gospels. It may be missing parts from your favorite telling, just include them for your study. In my long-running study of the Kingdom, I noticed that in Matthew, mentions of John the Baptist and blocks/levels of specific teaching on the Kingdom go hand-in-hand. Here are twelve events that are associated with the feeding of the 5,000 and His preparation for Jerusalem.     

  1.  The Twelve are sent out and John the Baptist is killed.
  2. Jesus is seeking quiet time and feeds 5,000+ people.
  3. Jesus walks on water.
  4. John 6:15 The Bread of Life.
  5. Questioned about clean and unclean practices, and His authority.
  6. The group goes to Tyre and the Decapolis for specific healings.
  7. 4,000+ are fed.
  8. Matthew 16:1 is a demand for a sign.
  9. Yeast of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herod.
  10. Peter’s confession and Jesus predicts His death.
  11. The Transfiguration for the inner circle, while talking to Moses and Elijah.
  12. 72 are sent out to prepare the way to go to Jerusalem.  

As Master Teacher, Jesus provided hands-on learning opportunities and evaluation experiences for His students. The Twelve being sent out filled both of these learning events. In Luke 9:13 it is clear that Jesus wanted them to feed the crowd, that is a master-level evaluation. The students did not pass that test. So, Jesus began a reteach by feeding the 5,000 and walking on water. (A miracle to rival opening the Red Sea.)

Jesus was preparing the Disciples for the “ride into Jerusalem” and Pentecost. (Remember, Judas Iscariot, was present for these events.) Jesus still had His time on the East Bank and then the trek to the Mount of Olives and His Sermons on the Two Mounts.

Observations, Questions, and Comments

  • What did Jesus do when the disciples were out on their missionary trips?  Search and see if you can find any clues.
  • Jesus did reach out to Gentiles during His trips to Tyre and the Decapolis. These stops foreshadowed the work the Disciples were charged with.
  • 5,000+ people eating without washing their hands, which must have aggravated the Pharisees.  
  • Jesus told the disciples many times that He was to die. Not sure they listened well.

These are two sites from a web search about events in all four Gospels. I am adding these for reference.

10 Events Seen in All 4 Gospels (whatchristianswanttoknow.com)

The Bible in a Year: Seven stories that all the same in all 4 Gospels (sylviabibleinayear.blogspot.com)

Fighting Words

This post about fighting words is a spinning-off of the post War and Rumors. This is not a complete study of fighting words. These Greek words have different English words they are translated into like strife, quarrel, boxing, and others. I used the NIV, Mounce Reverse-Interlinear, Strong’s Concordance, and the KJV to do this study.

Logomachia-G3055-1 Timothy 6:3-5. Fighting about words. It is used only once in the Bible.

Agōnizomai-G75-John 18:36 and 1Timothy 6:12 (the first word). This refers to a person fighting in public.

Agōn-G73-1Timothy 6:12 (Second word), 2 Timothy 4:7. This refers to where the fight is occurring, like a stadium.

Machomai-G3164-James 4:2. To fight, quarrel, contend or dispute. It is used in Acts 7:26 and other verses.

Polemeō-G4170-James 4:2 and Revelation 2:16. To quarrel, fight, battle, or make war.

Pykteuō-G4438-1 Corinthians 9:26. To box, fight, or beat with your fist. The object of this is beating (derō) the air.

Strateia-G4752-2 Corinthians 10:4. Military service or campaign. This word is also in 1 Timothy 1:18. In most translations, it has two “war or fight” words, but in the Mounce Interlinear, it only has one. It could be read-look at the prophecies about you and have a good campaign. I do not envy translators.

Theomachos-G2314-Acts 5:39. Fighting or opposing God. Theomachos is used only once in the Bible.

James 4:1 also has words that describe fighting/quarreling and disputes. It is polemos-G4171. Again, different translations will give you different words. This word is also used for battle or war.

Linguistics (study of words) is not a simple academic field. Combine that with dogma and you have a difficult task, to say the least. Latin, Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew may still be in use in one form or another, but I feel we do not understand how the original people used these words and phrases. My case-in-point is all of the musical terms and not-understood lines in the Hebrew text. If you really want to feel bad, wade into the tenses and break down of the ancient Greek text. Yes, these may be necessary but they are not for everyone.

I believe there is a good understanding and many faithful renderings of Scripture. It is distressing to see a modern Logomachia over Scripture. My prayer is that we do not extend this into a Theomachos over His plan and purpose for His Church. (They may have been used once in the New Testament but letters today would repeat them many times.)

As I pondered all of this, a strange comparison came into view. The original language that the New Testament was written in was Greek, not Latin. But it did not take long to convert Scripture and most religious writings into Latin. Greek was more for the common people and Latin was for knowledgeable people. Latin was favored by the learned- science, theology, and other subjects taught in universities. For what it is worth, the greatest thing the Reformers did was to translate the Bible out of a dying language to one that the people could understand.

The comparison and contrast I saw were the two trees in the Garden-one was for Knowledge and the other was for Life. Jesus’ teachings on the Kingdom, with miracles confirming His words, were new treasures given to bring life to hurting people. This is why the Pharisees and Sadducees opposed Him, Jesus’ teachings clarified and used Scripture in a way that went against their knowledge. (Of course, claiming to be the Son of Man also got under their knowledge-skin and dogma.)

The modern fighting over words is now with liberal, woke, post-modernist who are changing the God-given uses of words into something different, something anti-God.  

The Sermons on the Mounts-War and Rumors

In Matthew 24 Jesus has finished His sermons on the Temple Mount, for the leaders and the crowds, and is going to the Mount of Olives. The disciples comment about the stones of the Second Temple, built by Herod, and Jesus predicts they are coming down. (Rome accomplished this in 70 A.D.) Back on the Mount of Olives, the disciples ask when the end will come, this is the start of several lessons about the end times and the kingdom of God. Jesus, in Matthew 24:6, uses the phrase, “wars and rumors of war”. Mark 13:7 and Luke 21:9 also are references, Luke has the term revolutions.

War or Battle

We do not tend to think of these as the same thing, but in the Greek (Strong’s 4171) they are the same word or from the same root word-polemos. There are a few times polemos is translated as the word fight. The occurrence of this word/idea is rare in the Gospels but not in the Epistles. (Mounce Reverse Interlinear NT) The above verses account for most times it is translated as war with Luke 14:31 being the other time, it talks about a king planning a war.

I find it interesting that Paul and the other Epistle writers talk about war, battles, and fighting more than Jesus did.

Rumor

Akoe (Strong’s G 189) is the Greek word for a rumor. This is a root for many words that deal with hearing or reports.

In studying the idea of rumors, I found two Old Testament verses that cover rumors very well. These are from the NIV.

Jeremiah 51:46 tells us to not lose heart because a new rumor shows up every year.

Ezekiel 7:26-Calamity upon calamity will come, and rumor upon rumor.

The major difference between then and now is these reports can appear in minutes instead of months.

Fight

To introduce the difference between fight and battle and not talk a little about it now, did not seem right. In the New Testament, several words (5 to 8) are translated as the word fight. They indicate levels of conflict and possible places. One is strictly about fighting over words.

On the Mounts

 For those that want to think Jesus just walked about saying love, love; I will point to these sermons before His death. These interactions should be classified as fighting and the whole morning in the Temple as battle after battle, or a war.

The types and shadows of these days started with Abraham leading Isaac to the mount to be sacrificed, Joshua’s journey into the Promised Land, David’s return after the death of Absalom, and Elisha’s trip to Mt Carmel.

Jesus cleansed the Temple and ended the curse of fig leaf acts started by Adam and Eve. He silenced the religious leaders and prophesied the end of the Second Temple. Jesus’ sorties from the east bank included raising a dead man, healing blind eyes, and bringing a sinner back to the Father. He cried over Jerusalem and announced His death, then still did a victory ride into the city to fulfill the words of Zechariah 9:9.

Yes, there have been wars and reports of wars, how could we expect anything else. Come, Lord Jesus!

Many or Polys

Greek Interlinear Bibles can be the start of grand studies, like this one about many or polys. This study started in John 15:5 with us bearing much fruit and then went to Matthew 24 or Holy Tuesday when Jesus was teaching on the Mount of Olives. (Now, if you are a Greek scholar, please bear with me, I am not.) Polys and its various forms can be translated-many, much, great, loud, and various other words that speak to these ideas. Poly in science class was always many of something, so I am stuck on that. In John, I like the sound of many fruits, not just one type or a lot of just one thing. The Strong’s number is G4118 and several others. Matthew 2:18 is another verse that could be affected. Ramah’s voice weeping with many mourning (people) and a lot of it is probably what happened.

Matthew 21—25 is currently catching my attention because of the Sermons on the Two Mounts. Seven polys in Chapter 24 are a lot, and it led to a verse in John that I found interesting. His disciples asked Jesus about His second coming, so this is one of the several pure-teachings (non-parables) He gave that day. The references below are KJV, I added the Bold effect. I used Bible Gateway.

Matthew 24

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

(If these verses and that teaching upset you, may I suggest you learn about Jesus and the work He did on the cross. Fear and doubt are not from Jesus. Producing much fruit will help also.)

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

All of this led to John 6:66-From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. The back story of that verse is important. Jesus had fed the 5,000 and the people liked the free meal ticket. In verses 57 and 58, Jesus said He was the heavenly mana, and that people needed to be eating His flesh and living forever. Cannibalism is not okay and I am sure the crowd went with that thought first. Another level of stumbling occurred because Jesus implied that His work was greater than what Moses had done. One more level is that Jesus claimed to be from heaven and that He could supply life everlasting.

Personally, I loved the 666 of the reference and how it perfectly matched with the end-time message in Matthew 24. God has a sense of humor!

Many thoughts or few, I found polys an exciting study. 

God Raised

The phrase “God raised” is used in both Testaments, with different emphases. That phrase graciously travels from Hebrew to Greek into Olde English, and to us. God raised up enemies for Solomon (1 Kings 11:23,14:7) when he was disobedient. Here the phrase means to strengthen someone that compares to our thoughts about Jesus coming back to life. (No, I have not done a complete word study.) God raised-Theos is God. Raised is egeiro. Strong: G1453       

This is for free. 1. A very general statement about the word “arise”. In our Old Testament, man says that the Lord should arise. In the New Testament, the Lord says that man needs to arise. (Very general statement.) 2. Joseph Prince in his devotional book for 3/23 thinks God raised Jesus because He was pleased with Him and the debt was satisfied and paid in full. Sounds good to me.   

Like my post “Jesus Knew”, I want this to be a reference work. My keywords were – resurrect, raised, and baptism. There are many stories that shadow the redemption story. Here are a few:

  • Moses’ bronze snake.
  • Jonah giving his life for the sailors and then being freed from the whale.

God gave Samson the strength to pull Baal’s temple down.

  • Isaac being freed from the rock of sacrifice.
  • Hosea redeeming his wayward wife.
  • Abel died because of his righteous obedience.
  • Passing through the Red Sea. (Going in death. Coming out new life.)
  • Passing through the Jordan River

Jesus Said – In John 11:25 Jesus told Martha that He was the: 1. I Am 2. The Resurrection 3. Life. When He talked about resurrection, it was frequently with Heaven and Marriage. He also said things would be repaid then. One teaching on the Resurrection was a reply to the Sadducees during His teaching on the Temple Mount during Holy Week. It was about Heaven and Marriage and the power of I AM (Matthew 22: 23-33).

References in Psalms that are worth noting are 80:17, 89:48, 16:10, 119:153, and 49:9. 

The next sections are my meager attempt to group verses.

Witness –  

  • Acts 2:31,32 – Peter to the crowd at Pentecost. He quotes David from Psalm 16:10.
  • Acts 3:15 – Peter and John after the healing of the cripple.
  • Acts 4:33 – The Apostles testified to the resurrection, and they had great power.
  • Acts 10:40 – How He died, and that He was afterwards. 
  • Acts 13:30 – God raised Him, and people saw Him.

Why God did it for Jesus –

  • Acts 2:24 – to free Jesus from the agony of death, because it could not hold Him.
  • Acts 13:34 + 37 – So, He would not see decay and receive the blessings of David.
  • Romans 6:4 – That we may have a new life.
  • Acts 2:32 – Jesus received the promised Holy Spirit and poured it on us.
  • 1 Peter 1:21 – To glorify Jesus, to have our faith and hope in God.

Benefits for us –

  • Acts 3:10 – To bless us by turning us from our wicked ways.
  • Acts 4:10 – Healing in His name.
  • Acts 5:30 – Jesus is at the right hand of God so Israel can repent and be forgiven.
  • Romans 4:24 – Believing that God raised Jesus is credited to us as righteousness. 
  • Romans 7:4 – That we may bear fruit for God.
  • Romans 8:21 – Creation will be freed from decay and brought into glory.
  • Romans 8:34 – Because Jesus is at the right hand of God, He is interceding for us.
  • Romans 10:9 – If we declare Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:14 – God raised Jesus, He will raise us.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:15 – If Christ was not raised, then no one can be raised from the dead. Vs 12 -58 is Paul’s treatise on the resurrection.
  • Ephesians 2:6 – We are seated with Jesus in heavenly realms.
  • 1 Peter 1:3 – We have a new birth and a living hope.

Baptism 

  • Colossians 2:12 and 3:1.
  • Romans 6:4
  • 1 Peter 3:21 and 1:21

The message of the cross (God raised Jesus) should be what we are preaching if we want to see demonstrations of the Spirit’s power. 1 Corinthians 1:18 + 2:4