Withdrawal from Galilee - Part 2

Course: Introduction to the New Testament: Gospel and Acts

Lecture: Withdrawal from Galilee - Part 2


PART I

I. Jesus' Claims in John 5-11

We want to go back to Matthew, Luke and John and take additional information from those Gospels and integrate it into Mark’s outline. We first begin with the Gospel of John as the Gospel accounts for Jesus’ numerous pilgrimages to Jerusalem at different festival times. The only Gospel writer to describe these trips prior to his final Passover; John’s supplementary information spans the greatest chronological periods of all Jesus’ great Galilean ministry. John’s chapters 5-11 are the seven chapters that present a unifying theme, especially for chapters 5-10, showing Jesus as the fulfilment of these festivals. Thus, the literal rituals of Judaism are being fulfilled in and hence, are no longer requirements for God’s people, though they can still be meaningfully celebrated, especially for Christians of Jewish origins. But they are being transposed into a higher key as Jesus shows that the spiritual reality to which they originally pointed are now coming to pass in the central function of his life and ministry. These are also chapters where many of Jesus’ most exhausted Christological claims appear, including the famous ‘I am’ sayings. To illustrate the PowerPoint slide, reminds us of how Jesus replies to the criticism of him working on the Sabbath. This happens after the healing of the paralytic in the opening verses of chapter 5 and the declaration, ‘My Father is working and I am working.’ Perhaps originally taken from what C.H.Dodd and A. Hunter have suggested as a small parable, entitled ‘The Apprentices Son’. But in context Jesus, in essence, is claiming that because God does not rest from his work of creating life or taking life or upholding the universe providentially by his power on any given Sabbath.

So Jesus has the prerogative to work as well, but the logical holds only if he, in some sense, is divine and not human. Since the offspring of the Sons of Israel were commanded to cease labor on the seventh day, Saturday or the Sabbath of the week. The first of the ‘I am’ sayings in John’s Gospel comes after the feeding of the five thousand and the walking on the water when he refers to himself as the ‘Bread of Life’ in his sermon in the Capernaum synagogue, Chapter 6:35. It is John alone who declares that this took place at the Passover. And hence, we have the imaginary of the fulfillment of Festival of the Unleavened Bread in the spiritual bread that Christ provides. The Festival of Tabernacles was known particularly for two rituals, the daily procession of priest from the Pool of Siloam reciting from Isaiah 12:8, ‘with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.’ And the brightly lit giant candle labret in the Temple, erected especially for this feast with daily services until the eighth and greatest day of the feast in which the candle labret was left unlit and a service of darkness ensued. Into the context of these rituals, Jesus comes declaring, ‘if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.’ Just as he had earlier spoken to the Samaritan woman in chapter 4, being able to provide living water so that she would never again thirst. In 7:37 and again in 8:12 and 9:5, he declares himself as the Light of the World, the latter of these two passages, in the context of the miracle of the healing of the man born blind, a powerful enacted object lesson and a miraculous one of the more spiritual meaning of Jesus’ claim to be the light of the world.

In between these two references, appears what is perhaps the most dramatic of the ‘I am’ sayings and perhaps the most dramatic of all the Christological claims, namely in the text of John 8:58, ‘before Abraham was, I am,’ using the ego ame of the divine name of Exodus 3:14 when Moses heard the voice of God speaking to him through the burning bush and disclosing his identity as the ‘I Am Who I Am’, the eternal sovereign existing one. Then in John 10:7-11, we have Jesus as the gate for the sheep and the Good Shepherd, a text which need not represent separate metaphors though they certainly may give the background of the imagery of a single shepherd with a small flock out in the wilderness at night on his own with just a small stoned corral. The shepherd actually slept in the doorway as a night time protector of the flock. Moving beyond the chapters that explicitly involve Jesus in Jerusalem during festival time or working and teaching with John specifically citing that it was festival time. We get the very dramatic claim in the context of the healing and resurrection of Lazarus that Jesus, himself, is the resurrection and the light.

II. Jesus Fulfills Jewish Festivals

As we look on the next slide, we can see these key points of fulfillment summarized. The festival in chapter 5 was an unnamed one. It is an important debate whether this was Tabernacles or Passover in terms of trying to determine if Jesus’ ministry is to be viewed as two plus years spanning three Passovers or three plus years spanning four Passovers. But in terms of the point of the immediate episode of the healing of the paralytic, it is the conflict that emerges over the weekly Sabbath festival or feast that is the most significant. We have already commented on Passover time and Jesus as the Bread of Life, Tabernacles and Jesus as Living Waters and the Light of the World. What we see is the Good Shepherd discourse progresses is that in 10:22, if we are not to understand that Jesus is already at the Feast of Dedication, then the text jumps fairly seamlessly to Hanukkah, the December holiday in which Jews commemorated the liberation of Israel under the Maccabees after the desecration of the Temple by Antiochus Epiphanes. Recall our first lecture on the historical and political background to the New Testament.

Speaking of himself as the good or noble shepherd is not meant to call to mind so much the nurturing, caring imaginary of an Old Testament text like Psalm 23 with its famous words about the Lord being my Shepherd but more likely texts such as those spanning Ezekiel 34 – 36 referring to shepherds as leaders and even ruler kings in Israel and also the wicked shepherds that Israel had to suffer under, leading to the exile forming the backdrop of so much of Ezekiel’s prophecy. But now we are into the messianic and eschatological forward looking part of Ezekiel. So that Jesus in John 10 presumably is implying that he is the messianic shepherd who will replace the corrupt shepherds in Israel, an interpretation that fit the continuing conflict between Jesus and the Jewish leaders in the fourth Gospel. It’s interesting to pause and reflect on more timeless applications of these central themes in the sections of John and paralleled in the synoptics which overlap with Jesus’ great Galilean ministry. If it is coming to Jesus in faith and entrusting one’s life to him that brings about true Sabbath rest, one thinks of Jesus’ words in Matthew 11 where he invites all who listen to him, ‘to come to me who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.’

III. Contrasts in John 5-11

This contrasts Jesus invitation with the oral sayings of the Pharisees imposed as the Mishnah and Talmud which would later enunciate up to thirty nine different categories of work prohibited on the Sabbath. That which was meant to be a liberating festival, could easily be distorted into a time of being scrupulously obsessed with what a person could or could not do. One wonders if our modern western world with its obsession with work performance and workers working record long hours and also record numbers of family members in the work force with record number of jobs to try to make ends meet or supply and finance a debt or create a life style which is unrealistic for the family income but which is desirable and achievable for a period of time. We encounter it in schools, in the workplace, in sports; we also encounter this in competitions. Should the church and Christian communities be something of an oasis from this driving performance? But it would appear that we have yet to extend too much creative thought into thinking what this might look like and as a result, simply transfer that same driving motive of performance to our entire Christian context.

What about Jesus as the Bread of Life? At Passover time, at the festival that commemorates Israel’s physical liberation by God through the Exodus. We seek people’s physical liberation including countries around the world where non-democratic governments hinder what our politicians call our national interest. Is this particularly and perfectly appropriate? Or individual Christians to determine which government policies they wish to support? Should not the church, an oasis form that kind of driving force as well? We may choose to work momentarily through democratic processes to bring about political decisions that we believe would be easy for most Christians and the most beneficial for our people. But let us never confuse that with God’s primary way of working for his social and political purposes in the world which has always been through the community of God’s people, the church.

Or again, consider Jesus as the Living Water and the Light of the World. But like all rituals, especially those that are repeated daily or seasonally or both. Such rituals can easily devolve into something done more out of tradition and more out of rote memory than full hearted participation. Of course, this can be applied to any religion, and Christianity is as guilty with its own repeated or mindless rituals. And not only in the high church where more immediate examples of such rituals show themselves, but in any form of church practice where one simply does the same thing, time after time, with little thought given to why one does it as one functions solely out of habit. This often challenges those who would suggest constructive changes; especially those who don’t want to continue in the same way of doing things.

The next slide moves us to John 10 showing Jesus as the Good Shepherd vs all of the corrupt or wicked masters. That can be easily contemporized to other times and places when we simply brainstorm and take stock of who are all the other potential masters, whether humans or other religions, whether mammon or materialism, whatever becomes the most consuming allegiances in our lives. Continuing on in chapter 10 in that part of the Gospel where it is unambiguous, celebrating the liberation of the Maccabees. Jesus declares himself to be the true liberator who in the first instance does not necessarily bring political independence or liberation for the people in whatever state they find themselves. But rather he calls them to lay down their lives for their friends, to follow him who is the Good Shepherd, like beautiful sheep and by the language of Mark and the synoptics to take up their cross daily, even to the point of death, if that should be what is required of them. The devil attempted to tempt Jesus at the outset of his ministry to bypass the way of the Cross. And the devil will continue to try to tempt all of Jesus’ followers to do the same, one way of another in some point in their lives.

Finally, we will reflect on Jesus as the resurrection and the life. It is only eternity that will last and therefore count, despite all of the scriptural mandates to make the most of every moment that God gives us in this world. And therefore, Jesus as the resurrection and the life contrasts with anyone and anything that would limit our focus merely to life in this world.

IV. Gospels and Acts

Now, we turn to the major segments and material in the Gospel of Matthew and to the format which we have used already of having the students to reflect on different aspects of exegesis. The in class exercise accompanying this portion of this lecture includes the following statements and claims which are based on passages from Jesus’ teaching. However, each discloses one or more exegetical fallacies to the careful reader. Make sure you, as the student, read the synopsis in the Bible carefully and in context which may include a few verses or several paragraphs. Then do your best to determine what is wrong with your assigned statement. Consider the following:

In Matthew 10:8, Jesus commands his disciples to raise the dead, to heal the sick, to cleanse lepers and to cast out demons. You don’t have to be a charismatic to realize that God still uses his followers at time to heal the sick and to declare lepers ritually clean and to help them to become physically clean. Therefore, we can assume that he may at times use us to raise the dead. If only we would believe him and look for the opportunity. So there are a number of ways to consider this short paragraph. On the one hand, there do appear on rare occasions, well documented instances of God’s people within a very short time of what appear to be certified physical death; being resurrected in the sense of being brought back to full human life though all of them including those who Jesus raised would die again. On the other hand, it’s not obvious and universally agreed that such miraculous claims have been documented and even if they have, it is perhaps less justifiable to find Biblical supply for this fact simply from this particular passage. Our Bible verse in 10:8 appears in the context of Jesus missionary discourse that forms all of chapter ten, begins with words which are universally understood to be limited to this particular mission of sending the twelve disciples out to Israel because they were to go first to the lost sheep of Israel. We know after the resurrection that Jesus rescinded this, changing it to all the nations of the world and not merely to the lost sheep of Israel.

But if this paragraph or this portion of Jesus’ missionary discourse which most pointedly deals with the restrictions for this single foray by the twelve initial followers of Jesus extends to the end of verse 15. Most of the details in this segment would very much appear to sit this restriction, depending on others for gold, silver, copper, extra clothing, sandals, a walking stick etc. staying with people and one family the entire time they’re in one particular community depending on their hospitality, etc. Then it seems very unlikely that we should take any or all of verse 8 out of this larger context and thus, based on this verse alone, that these miracles must be intended to be repeated throughout church history. Once we get to 10:16, a transitional verse and certainly 10:17; then from there to the end of the chapter we have predictions of various kinds of hostilities which the disciples didn’t experience until after resurrection of Jesus. And therefore, it is clear that Jesus is looking beyond this initial mission with the kinds of commands and perditions that he makes. But he may well being doing so in two clear cut stages of the discourse. So it is not fair to assume that prior to verse 16 that there is anything that is necessarily looking beyond this immediate mission.


PART II

(This lecture is a continuation of Part 2a and pacifically the student exercise that began near the end of the lecture 2a.)

V. Sermon on Humility and Forgiveness

This is the second unique discourse from Matthew’s central section for discussion by students. Matthew 10:23 is one of the passages discussed in whether Jesus predicted his return in the life time of his followers. The verse reading, ‘I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes,’ may well be looking far beyond Jesus reuniting with the twelve disciples here or even his coming again at the resurrection of giving of the Spirit at Pentecost, but due to history, the cities of Israel and locations, indeed, of Jewish communities anywhere in the world will not have been fully evangelized by the end.

In response, Matthew 18:21-22 commands us to forgive others without limit, even if it goes against the grain of our human nature and modern society which always consists of demanding one’s rights. A husband who has frequently abandoned his family keeps coming home coming to be forgiven; the family must do so, however, how often it happens. There are a number of ways that this invites discussion. One could make it more pointed and use an example of domestic violence or abuse. The overall chapter context in Matthew 18 is a sermon on humility and forgiveness which focuses primarily on humility in the first fourteen verses, demonstrated positively in entering the Kingdom like a little child. And then more negatively, a warning against causing any of these little ones, whether little children or Jesus’ spiritual children, to sin. The necessary humility on part of the disciples is then juxtaposed with the parable of the lost sheep which can be seen without much of a stretch; it would appear to reflect God’s willingness to humble himself and seek and save that which is lost. As we move to the immediate context of verses 21–22, Jesus turns more to the issue of forgiveness and the most significant observation from the next PowerPoint slide is that these two verses teach unlimited forgiveness is sandwiched inside two dramatic passages that at first glance would appear to involve withholding forgiveness.

Verses 15–20 introduce the issue of church discipline and a series of mandated steps in the hopes of producing repentance and reconciliation where two parties are estranged. The worth case scenario, if no moves toward repentance occur at all, it ultimately creates a lack of fellowship. Verses 18-20, often taken out of context, would appear to be affirming heavens ratification of believers following God’s ordained process for confrontation. Then on the other side of verses 21-22 comes the parable of the unforgiving servant, which the climax of the parable could be viewed as teaching unlimited forgiveness even without repentance. But in the context of one who has claimed to have repented or at least begs for a delay for the calling in of his debts. He never demonstrated the forgiveness of a small sum owed to him by a fellow subordinate as shown in the passage which had been bestowed upon him. So how do we put this altogether? The very short parallel in Luke 17:3-4 would confirm our conviction that there indeed is to be unlimited forgiveness whether or not there is repentance. But we need to be reminded as the parable of the unforgiving servant; professions of repentance are vacuous without some change of behavior. Without, as John the Baptist said earlier in his ministry, the fruits there is no repentance.

The Hebrew concept behind the verb: shub, to repent, expresses a radical change of mind toward sin and implies a conscious moral separation from sin and a decision to forsake it and agree with God. It is to turn around and walk in a different direction. The Greek word for repent: metanoeó, comes from a root that means to change one’s mind, thus means a change of behavior. However falteringly, demonstrating at least the first steps towards a full-fledged transformation in one’s life must be present to constitute true repentance. Behavior that simply repeats over and over again and the same sins without seeking intervention, without acknowledgement that the process is not working or effecting change without the help of fellow believers, perhaps where they are available and professionally trained. Believers cannot be called repentant and just continue with business as usual. To be around such a person is what counselors call enabling, which in God’s eyes, makes matters worse rather than better because it supports and perpetuates the offender in a cycle of inappropriate behavior.

VI. Additional Discussions

Now let’s turn to the Gospel of Luke and our final PowerPoint slide for this lecture. Once again, it reminds us of the overall map of Israel or Palestine in New Testament times, as you’ve noted before when we were looking at the line graphs of each Gospel. Luke is the Gospel that actually deletes the withdrawal from Galilee, including the theological withdrawal that proceeds it to form what source critics often calls, ‘his great omission’. And this is probably, for geographical reasons, because of his hour glass or extended Chiastic outline of Luke/Acts and Jesus’ departure from Galilee and the north and the east would have created a disruption of this inverse parallelism. But beginning in Luke 9:15, it is also noticed in that introduction in Luke’s Gospel and carrying on to the middle of chapter 18 is a section largely unparalleled in Mark. It is primarily comprised of the teachings of Jesus, though not exclusively. All set under the shadow of the cross by the theological headline of Luke 9:51 in which Luke as narrator writes, ‘as the time approached to be taken up into heaven, Jesus resolutely sat out for Jerusalem.’ This is scarcely a straight line journey. It is not even necessarily a chronologically narrated journey.

Paradoxically, there are fewer references to time and place in these nine chapters than in any other significant multiple chapter sections of the four Gospels. A strange phenomenon for that which has been called a travel narrative and for that very reason some scholars simply prefer to refer to this part of the Gospel as Luke’s central section. But the two references that do appear, one inputs Jesus at the home of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42, though it is only from John’s account that we learn that it took place in Bethany. This was virtually a suburb of Jerusalem as we might call it today and then again in Luke chapter 17:11 where Jesus is travelling on the border between Galilee and Samaria. Much closer to the end of the central section but now apparently back far closer to Jesus’ home in Nazareth and Capernaum. Just as he seems to be on the verge of venturing into Jerusalem very early in the central section, a further clue that Luke has most likely ranged his material topically to hit key themes. And we have even suggested with the chart in the textbook that Luke may have created a topical sequence based on an underlining core source of a collection of Jesus’ parables, unique to Luke’s central section. This initial parable source, chiastic sequenced though Luke has not preserved the chiasm through his additional material or at least preserved its visibility clearly. But he used the core parables as spring boards for the themes which he wishes to form in the major topical divisions of this central section.

With this background, let’s see what you would do with the remaining snippets of exegesis in this exercise. First, look at Luke 11:42 where Jesus castigates the Pharisees for tithing every crop they raise but neglect ‘justice and the love of God.’ Clearly their priorities were misplaced, nevertheless he says they were right not to neglect tithing and therefore tithing is mandatory for Christians today. Whatever else one says about this passage in light of our introduction to this central section, we need to be reminded that this is Jesus’ teaching before the Cross. Teaching under the shadow of the Cross but during the period in which the Mosaic Law was still in force as a requirement for Jewish people and those who want to become rightly related to God through Judaism. And thus, he says the theology is impeccable, tithing is an Old Testament mandate though tithing even small spices takes a backseat considerably to the major moral theme to the Hebrew Scriptures. But nothing in a rebuke to the Jewish leaders about commands for their age and era being broken proves anything one way or the other for how Jesus would want his followers to live after the Cross after the shift of the ages with the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost. And it is significant to observe that post Pentecost there are no commands to tithing, no commands for giving ten percent as a law to the Lord’s work. It’s worth noting that even in the Old Testament, when this law was enforced; it amounted to three tithes averaging twenty three and a third percent annually. Someone insists that the Old Testament laws of tithing are still enforce. Make sure that they give twenty three and a third percent with three and a third percent designated to the poor, ten percent designated for the festivals in Jerusalem and ten percent designated for the Levites and the upkeep of the Temple, for whatever they might see corresponding to analogies in the Christian era referring to. But I’ll leave the reader to reflect on my comments of 2nd Corinthians 8-9 in the next study of the Epistles and Revelation for further detail.

Another snippet of exegesis, at first glance, is the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:16-21 which seems to condemn the man for being rich. In verse 21, it becomes clear that his problem was that he was not rich toward God; he was not a true believer. As it is accessible for Christians to accumulate all the wealth they want as long as they continue a vibrant relationship with Jesus. This is a subtle paragraph. It is very easy to fall off the tightrope on either of two sides in the text like this one and other similar ones. There is no passage in either Testament that teaches salvation or damnation by socioeconomic standings. And both Testaments are clear that it is safe in Yahweh, revealed at the time of Jesus to be now incarnate, in Christ; this is what saves a person. And it is also clear in both Testaments that genuine salvation brings genuine spiritual transformation, how be it, in fits and starts with lapses that jumps forward and backward, probably detailed in unique fashion for every individual believer who has ever lived. So the first part of this snippet of exegesis is accurate, despite what the opening five verses of the parable might appear to say. Verse 21 does make it clear that ultimately the man was condemned because he had no relationship with the God of Israel.

But the second and final portion of the snippet does not follow; accumulating all the wealth that someone wants may be in fragrant disobedience to what the Spirit of Christ is trying to get a person to do with their wealth, however much they feel they have a vibrant relationship with Jesus. There may be abuses of their wealth that are inappropriate. It is striking that the Greek pronoun ‘I’ or its corresponding verbal suffix appears eight times in this short parable. ‘I will do this, I will do that,’ with no thought of anyone else though the story is set is a world where seventy to eighty percent of all Israelites were at the poverty line or barely above or even below. If our response to the previous snippet of exegesis is not to say that because tithing is no longer mandatory in the New Testament age, people may give to the Lord’s work less than generously. But insist that at times generous or sacrificial giving may well require giving far beyond ten percent. Then it certainly can’t be true that Christians can simply accumulate wealth endlessly without giving generously and sacrificially from their surplus. (2nd Corinthians 8-9)

Two more brief points for thought: Luke 14:25-33 are not verses to be preached in any evangelistic message. These are verses for the mature Christian. To an unsaved world, we must stress the free grace of Christ. Salvation is an entirely undeserved gift, and then once a person is saved we can gradually explain the demands of the Gospel, little by little as they are able to handle them. To tell unbelievers that they must count the cost of coming to Christ (Verse 28) or using the harsh language of this passage about hating parents and surrendering all, risks confusing them greatly and making them think that they can or must earn their salvation. We see that from the outset as Luke makes it clear that Jesus’ audience here is the crowds. In fact, a careful study of Luke’s central section discloses that Luke carefully alternates in blocks of teaching material between Jesus in front of the crowd and Jesus alone with his disciples. Many in the crowds would not have been true followers of his. So these teachings are by no means in their original context limited for their audience to his most devoted followers. What actually confuses an unsaved world than those who respond and come to salvation are often even more confused at a later date in so stressing the free grace of Christ that we refuse to include the demands of the Gospel. We accept Jesus as both Savior and Lord recall Luke 2:11 and compare Romans 10:9-10.

On the one hand, it is perfectly appropriate to champion and work hard to preserve the notion that no action in a life style of following Christ ever by themselves or in combination somehow completing an unfinished an act at the time of a person’s salvation merit that person’s justification in Christ sight. On the other hand, as we have already noticed in the context of the parable of the rich fool and elsewhere, genuine repentance bears genuine fruit. Good works do flow inevitably and inexorably in different ways in different people from saving faith and the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is perfectly appropriate therefore to use all kinds of illustrations and dramatic language and hyperbole to stress that it is possible that one who comes to Christ may have to give up everything, even life itself, as the countless who have by martyred throughout church history have come to learn. If one, in principle, is unwilling to accept the notion of total surrender, if one consciously holds back certain areas of one’s life and says, ‘sure, I will accept the free gift but don’t ask me to turn my life over to Jesus as full Lord,’ then one is not becoming a saved person.

And finally, the footnote in the RSV of Luke 17-21 says that this verse could be translated, ‘the Kingdom of God is within you.’ The NIV actually prefers this reading and puts this in their footnote. So it seems likely that Jesus was saying that the present aspect of the Kingdom was entirely internal and invisible, probably equivalent today what we would call Christ’s reign in our hearts. Every outward and invisible manifestation of the Kingdom still awaits his future return. Whatever else, one might want to say here in the immediate context, paying attention to one’s audience as we did in the last passage, is the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders who are not Christ’s followers and therefore it would be highly unlikely that Jesus would say to them, the Kingdom of God, God’s dawning messianic reign, his kingly power, his domination is within these hostile Jewish leaders as if they were somehow truly Jesus’ followers. But in the context of all of the miracles and signs Jesus has worked, being compared and contrasted in your mist makes very good sense. The cosmic signs will come later, they are not for now, but there is plenty within the first coming of Jesus and not merely these spectacular miracles but also his teachings and his remarkable demeanor that should point out the present inaugurated Kingdom.

But notice how the solutions to all of these examples from Luke take on an even greater pungency and unity in theme when seen as part of the central section as Jesus travelling under the shadow of the Cross looming ever larger on the horizon, if not literally but at least spiritually. One understands justice in the love of God rather than laws about tithing, one would know about the need for the Cross. One would know about the need to give sacrificially to the poor rather than exalting oneself materially. One would realize about the potential cost that has to be counted if one is to follow in one’s master’s footsteps. One would recognize that in contrast to any equivocal signs that can only be interpreted so as to point to Jesus as King. It may be the very equivocal and paradoxical signs of Jesus’ willingness to go to the Cross that most demonstrate the beginnings of God’s Kingdom on earth, not yet in all of his triumphant fullness.

There are countless other teachings in Luke’s central section. At some point or another in a brief set of survey lectures like this one, there are entire passages that we simply must skip. We have, however, talked about a method for interpreting parables and parables do dominate large sections of Luke’s central section if our theory of a Chiastic parable sources is right, they form the very structural backbone of this portion of Luke’s Gospel. And then in the other teachings of Jesus that are so-called ‘Q’ tradition. Therefore finds parallels in Matthew in other contexts that we either have already discussed or will discuss later. Our textbook goes on to comment on a number of the other unique Luke section of the travel narrative although quite briefly. But we would recommend to readers who want to follow up on passages otherwise untreated. The series of commentaries at three different levels and formats on Gospel of Luke by Darrel Boch, long time professor of New Testament at Dallas Seminary and now research professor of both New Testament and Spiritual Formations. His large two volume commentary will answer any question anyone might have about any text in this Gospel and for those who require something more brief, is IVP New Testament commentary succeeds and the NIV Application Commentary which is also offered on the Gospel of Luke, summarizes an even briefer compass of the original meaning of Luke’s text but then goes into very helpful and considerable detail as do all volumes in that series on issues of bridging from ancient into the modern context and then on to contemporary significance.