Monday, June 27, 2016

Proclaiming the Nearness of God's Reign

Below is a rough translation and some initial comments regarding Luke 10:1-11, the gospel reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the seventh Sunday after Pentecost.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell of the 12 going on a missionary journey, but Luke alone records the sending of the 70 (or 72). On the one hand, it is fascinating to see that, out of the many crowds that all of the gospel writers describe, there are at least 70 who are willing to go and proclaim the nearness of the reign of God. The end of c.9 was about some whom Jesus called or who expressed a longing to follow Jesus, but who would not make the sacrifice necessary to follow. C.10, on the other hand, shows that there were others quite willing to make sacrifices in order to participate in the message of the reign of God.

Your comments are always welcomed.

1 Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ἀνέδειξεν  κύριος ἑτέρους ἑβδομήκοντα [δύο], καὶ ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς ἀνὰ δύο [δύο] πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ εἰς πᾶσαν πόλιν καὶ τόπον οὗ ἤμελλεν 
αὐτὸς ἔρχεσθαι. 
Yet after these things the lord appointed seventy [-two] others, and sent them up two [by two] before his face into every city and place where he himself intended to go.
ἀνέδειξεν: AAI 3s, ἀναδείκνυμι, 1) to proclaim any one as elected to office  2) to announce as appointed a king, general, etc.  3) to lift up anything on high and exhibit it for all to behold 
ἀπέστειλεν: AAI 3s, ἀποστέλλω, 1) to order (one) to go to a place appointed 
ἤμελλεν: IAI 3s, μέλλω, 1) to be about  1a) to be on the point of doing or suffering something  1b) to intend, have in mind, think to
ἔρχεσθαι: PMInf, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come 
1. Some manuscripts say 70, others 72. I have no skin in this debate.
2. In 9:52, Jesus “sent messengers before his face” (καὶ ἀπέστειλεν ἀγγέλους πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ) when he had “set his face” to journeying into Jerusalem (αὐτὸς τὸ πρόσωπον ἐστήρισεν τοῦ πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ, 9:51). While this pericope seems set off by a chapter division, this act of sending the seventy (-two) is still a part of the journeying story that began in 9:51. What this phrase means, exactly, is unclear to me, but it was not just a mental decision – the Samaritan village in c.9 that refused to harbor those who were making arrangements for Jesus did so “because his face was going into Jerusalem” (ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ).
3. It is curious that Jesus would send the workers into places where he himself was going to go, after having set his face toward Jerusalem. They are going where he will go. What does that say for the missional church? I usually think of the reverse, that the missional church goes to places where Christ is “always already redemptively present” (a phrase I use often in my book, Talking About Evangelism). Perhaps that term is more appropriate when speaking of the risen Christ than it was when speaking of the Christ who is making his way toward Jerusalem, and everything that is in store for him there.

2 ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς,  μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς, οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι: δεήθητε οὖν 
τοῦ κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ ὅπως ἐργάτας ἐκβάλῃ εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ. 
Yet he was saying to them, “The harvest plentiful, but the workers few; therefore, beg to the lord of the harvest that he might throw workers into his harvest.”
ἔλεγεν: IAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
δεήθητε: APImpv 2p, δέομαι, to need, to want; then, to make known one's need, urgently request, supplicate, beseech.
ἐκβάλῃ: AASubj 3s, ἐκβάλλω, 1) to cast out, drive out, to send out  1a) with notion of violence  1a1) to drive out (cast out)  1a2) to cast out
1. The μὲν sets up a contrast with the δὲ that follows, so I’m leaving it untranslated.
2. It is a little curious that, as workers are being sent into the field, Jesus instructs them to pray that God would send workers into the field. This feels like Luke giving his community an example story and encouraging them to pray for others do to likewise.

3 ὑπάγετε: ἰδοὺ ἀποστέλλω ὑμᾶς ὡς ἄρνας ἐν μέσῳ λύκων. 
Go; behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. 
ὑπάγετε: PAImpv 2p, ὑπάγω, 1) to lead under, bring under  2) to withdraw one's self, to go away, depart
ἰδοὺ: An aorist middle imperative of εἶδον (to see) which, serves as a particle serving to call attention. Some dictionaries will not list it as a verb.
ἀποστέλλω: PAI 1s, ἀποστέλλω, 1) to order (one) to go to a place appointed 
1. The metaphor changes dramatically here, making the case that either v.2 or v.3 might be an insertion. The scarcity motif of great harvest/few workers is a different kind of challenge than the danger motif of sheep/wolves. One interpretive question is whether we read vv. 4-11 as describing the work of the harvest (for which there is need of more workers) or the danger of being sent out as sheep among wolves. I am opting for the 2nd metaphor as the reigning lens for reading vv.4-11, since v.4 begins with emphasizing the sent ones’ vulnerability and dependence. Even if we read the following verses through the metaphor of sheep among wolves, the danger seems to be in being rejected, rather than being eaten alive or killed. We may be looking at two layers of meaning: Jesus’ seventy (-two) disciples facing possible rejection and Luke’s community facing possible death. 

4 μὴ βαστάζετε βαλλάντιον, μὴ πήραν, μὴ ὑποδήματα, καὶ μηδένα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν 
ἀσπάσησθε. 
Do not carry a moneybag, or wallet, or water skin, and you are not to greet anyone along the way.
βαστάζετε: PAImpv 2p, βαστάζω, 1) to take up with the hands
ἀσπάσησθε: AMSubj 2p, ἀσπάζομαι, 1) to draw to one's self 1a) to salute one, greet, bid welcome, wish well to  1b) to receive joyfully, welcome
1. The response to the scarcity and/or danger of workers is for the seventy (-two) to go out with their own scarcity and vulnerability – in total dependence on others for food, shelter, drink and protection.
2. The definitions of ἀσπάζομαι seem to indicate that “greeting anyone along the way” is an elaborate process, not just a brief stopping to say “Hi.”

5 εἰς ἣν δ' ἂν εἰσέλθητε οἰκίαν, πρῶτον λέγετε, Εἰρήνη τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ.
Into whatever house you may enter, first say, “Peace to this house.”
εἰσέλθητε: AASubj 2p, εἰσέρχομαι, 1) to go out or come in: to enter
λέγετε: PAImpv 2p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
1. Here, Jesus begins the instructions on entering the house. In v.10, he uses identical language on entering the city.

 6 καὶ ἐὰν ἐκεῖ  υἱὸς εἰρήνης, ἐπαναπαήσεται ἐπ' αὐτὸν  εἰρήνη ὑμῶν: εἰ δὲ μήγε, 
ἐφ' ὑμᾶς ἀνακάμψει.
And if a son of peace should be there, your peace will be settled on him; but if not, it will return to you.
: PASubj, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
ἐπαναπαήσεται: FPI 3s, ἐπαναπαύομαι, 1) to cause to rest upon anything  2) to rest upon anything  3) to settle upon, fix its abode upon
ἀνακάμψει: FAI 3s, ἀνακάμπτω, 1) to bend back, to turn back  2) to return
1. The phrase, “a son of peace,” seems to need no explanation to the seventy (-two) or to Luke’s readers. I could use an explanation myself. 
2. The reification of peace is curious language. Pronouncing “Peace” is not just speaking a word or expressing a sentiment, it is conferring a real entity that either rests on someone or returns to someone. In the story of “Legion,” demons also seem to need a place and are not just sent off ‘wherever’ when cast out. There is a sense of a closed universe, in which things like “peace” do not just ‘disappear’ but only re-locate. This verse also challenges our nominal tendencies to imagine that words are mere words.

7 ἐν αὐτῇ δὲ τῇ οἰκίᾳ μένετε, ἐσθίοντες καὶ πίνοντες τὰ παρ' αὐτῶν, ἄξιος γὰρ  
ἐργάτης τοῦ μισθοῦ αὐτοῦ. μὴ μεταβαίνετε ἐξ οἰκίας εἰς οἰκίαν. 
Yet remain in the house itself, eating and drinking the things from them, for the worker worthy of his wages. Do not move around out of a house into a house.
μένετε: PAImpv 2p, μένω, 1) to remain, abide 
ἐσθίοντες: PAPart npm, ἐσθίω, 1) to eat 
πίνοντες: PAPart npm, πίνω, 1) to drink 
μεταβαίνετε: PAImpv 2p, μεταβαίνω, 1) to pass over from one place to another, to remove, depart
1. There is a delightful presumption built into this verse that relies partly, I assume, on a 1st century understanding of hospitality. One might think that an uninvited guest, who shows up needing hospitality in order to bring the message that the reign of God is near, would want to stay only a day or two and act as a supplicant, not wanting to be a burden. Jesus prescribes, instead, that the guest is a worker, worthy of room and board as wages and that s/he should stay put. It presumes that the ‘peace’ that is conferred is a valuable gift, not simply a nice thing to say when asking for a place to stay. 

8 καὶ εἰς ἣν ἂν πόλιν εἰσέρχησθε καὶ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐσθίετε τὰ παρατιθέμενα ὑμῖν, 
And into whatever place you may enter and which may welcome you, eat that which is set before you,
εἰσέρχησθε: PMSubj 2p, εἰσέρχομαι, 1) to go out or come in: to enter  
δέχωνται: PMSubj 3p, δέχομαι, 1) to take with the hand  1a) to take hold of, take up  2) to take up, receive  2a) used of a place receiving one
ἐσθίετε: PAImpv, ἐσθίω, 1) to eat 
παρατιθέμενα: PPPart apn, παρατίθημι, 1) to place beside or near or set before  1a) food, i.e. food placed on a table  1b) to set before
1. The ‘eating’ here seems to carry a different connotation than in v.7. There, the issue is that the missionary is entitled to eat, without feeling as if s/he is asking too much. Here, it seems that the missionary is encouraged to accept hospitality, perhaps without regard to scruples about what one eats. Maybe I’m taking that too far, but it has ever been an ongoing question for missionaries (near and far) whether or not to maintain a personal scruple or to adopt the habits of those to whom they have been sent. For Luke’s community, particularly if one keeps the story of Acts 10 in mind, perhaps it was more of an issue.
2. The word “welcome” (δέχομαι) is important in 9:48 regarding how whoever welcomes one sent in Jesus’ name welcomes Jesus and the God who sent Jesus. It also appears in 9:53, about a Samaritan town who did not receive Jesus because his face was set toward Jerusalem.
3. The combination of the place where the disciple may enter and where they may be welcomed shows the active and receptive sides of missional work. The sent one goes out vulnerable and yet confident that s/he is bringing genuine peace, a gift that is worthy of expecting hospitality and provisions. At the same time, the recipient has the freedom to welcome and host or to reject. The disciple does not intrude like an empire.

9καὶ θεραπεύετε τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ ἀσθενεῖς, καὶ λέγετε αὐτοῖς, Ἤγγικεν ἐφ' ὑμᾶς  
βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ. 
And heal the sick in it, and say to them, “The Reign of God has come near to you.”
θεραπεύετε: PAImpv, 2p, θεραπεύω, 1) to serve, do service  2) to heal, cure, restore to health
λέγετε : PAImpv, 2p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
Ἤγγικεν: PerfAI 3s, ἐγγίζω, 1) to bring near, to join one thing to another  2) to draw or come near to, to approach
1. By the way, heal the sick wherever you stay. Sounds too easy? It should be no easier to say, “The Reign of God has come near to you.”  

10 εἰς ἣν δ' ἂν πόλιν εἰσέλθητε καὶ μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐξελθόντες εἰς τὰς πλατείας 
αὐτῆς εἴπατε, 
Into whatever city you may enter and may not welcome you, having gone out into their street say,
εἰσέλθητε: AASubj 2p, εἰσέρχομαι, 1) to go out or come in: to enter
δέχωνται: PMSubj 3p, δέχομαι, 1) to take with the hand  1a) to take hold of, take up  2) to take up, receive  2a) used of a place receiving one
ἐξελθόντες: AAPart npm, ἐξέρχομαι, 1) to go or come forth of 
εἴπατε: AAImpv 2p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
COMPARE
v.5:      εἰς ἣν δ' ἂν εἰσέλθητε οἰκίαν “Into whatever house you may enter”
v.10:   εἰς ἣν δ' ἂν πόλιν εἰσέλθητε  “Into whatever city you may enter”

11Καὶ τὸν κονιορτὸν τὸν κολληθέντα ἡμῖν ἐκ τῆς πόλεως ὑμῶν εἰς τοὺς πόδας ἀπομασσόμεθα ὑμῖν: πλὴν τοῦτο γινώσκετε ὅτι ἤγγικεν  βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ.
“Even the dust which has joined to us out of your city into the feet we wipe off to you; but know this that the reign of God has come near.”
κολληθέντα: APPart asm κολλάω, to glue together. In NT middle or passive aorist, to adhere, cleave to; to become one's servant or follower.
ἀπομασσόμεθα: PMI 1p, ἀπομάσσομαι, 1) to wipe off  
γινώσκετε: PAImpv 2p, γινώσκω, 1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel  
ἤγγικεν: PerfAI 3s, ἐγγίζω, 1) to bring near, to join one thing to another  2) to draw or come near to, to approach 
1. In Matt. 10:14 and Luke 9:5, Jesus gives this same instruction about wiping dust off of one’s feet, adding in Lk.9:5 “as a testimony to/against them.” In Acts 13:51, we see only occasion when a disciple actually does this – Paul and Barnabas in Antioch Pisidia.
2. Most commentators agree that this is a form of giving a testimony, but it is not clear whether it is ‘against’ or ‘to’ them. If ‘against,’ it could be a public dissing, which is how many commentators see it. However, it could be a testimony ‘to’ them: To those who have refused to offer hospitality, this could be a public sign that one is not there to take anything, not even the dust that accumulates on one’s feet. It is a public shaming, one would think, as a way of showing the extreme failure of the city as hosts. A guest might be rejected if the potential hosts surmised that the guest was there to take advantage of them. But, if they only receive what is due to them and nothing more, not even the city’s dust, the shame falls on the host. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Outright Rejection and Hesitant Responses


Below is a rough translation and some initial comments regarding the gospel lesson for the 6th Sunday after Pentecost, Luke 9:51-62.
This reading seems to contain two pericopes. Verses 51-56 is the story of Jesus preparing to stay at an village of Samaritans but being denied, and the harsh reaction by James and John. Verses 57-62 are a series of brief dialogues between Jesus and some who are either called to follow or who offer to follow. Each has stipulations and Jesus does not seem sympathetic with those stipulations.
I welcome your comments.

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ καὶ 
αὐτὸς τὸ πρόσωπον ἐστήρισεν τοῦ πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ,
Yet it happened in the fulfilling of the days of his being taken up and he firmly set his face to the journeying into Jerusalem. 
Ἐγένετο : AMI 3s, γίνομαι,  1) to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive
συμπληροῦσθαι: PPInf, συμπληρόω, 1) to fill completely  1a) of the hold of a ship  2) to complete entirely, be fulfilled: of time
ἐστήρισεν : AAI 3s, στηρίζω, 1) to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix  2) to strengthen, make firm  3) to render constant, confirm, one's mind 
πορεύεσθαι: PMInf, πορεύομαι, 1) to lead over, carry over, transfer  1a) to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on  one's journey
1. This is an odd reference and foreshadowing, for Luke to speak of the “fulfilling of the days of [Jesus] being taken up.”
- The “fulfilling” is the same way that Luke introduces the story of the Day of Pentecost. In that story, I have often felt that the events of Pentecost, particularly as Peter interprets it through the prophecy of Joel, actually fulfill the original meaning and purpose of the festival of weeks (another name for Pentecost). If that logic holds and if Luke is using this term similarly here, the use of συμπληρόω suggests that the journey to Jerusalem is – in Luke’s theology – the means by which Jesus fulfills the ascension. That could be different from saying, for example, that the point of this journey is the cross or even the resurrection. It would shift the focus to the ascension as the point.
- However, the noun for “taken up, ἀναλήμψεως, is different than the verb that Luke uses in 24:51 when Luke says that Jesus was ἀναφέρω, “carried up” into heaven.
2. The terms “face” (πρόσωπον) and “journeying” (πορεύομαι) will appear over the next 2 verses also, with πορεύομαι appearing throughout the pericope. 


 52καὶ ἀπέστειλεν ἀγγέλους πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ. καὶ πορευθέντες εἰσῆλθον εἰς κώμην Σαμαριτῶν, ὡς ἑτοιμάσαι αὐτῷ:
And he sent messengers before his face.  And having journeyed, they entered into a village of Samaritans, in order to prepare for him.
ἀπέστειλεν : AAI 3s, ἀποστέλλω, 1) to order (one) to go to a place appointed  2) to send away, dismiss 
πορευθέντες: AAPart npm, πορεύομαι, 1) to lead over, carry over, transfer  1a) to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on  one's journey 
εἰσῆλθον: AAI 3pl, εἰσέρχομαι, 1) to go out or come in: to enter 
ἑτοιμάσαι : AAInf, ἑτοιμάζω, 1) to make ready, prepare 
1. The word for “messengers” is the same word that is translated “angels” in other stories, most notably the birth narratives.
2. The word “prepare” (ἑτοιμάζω) gets quite a workout in Luke’s gospel. See the list below for more information.

 53καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν, ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον εἰς 
Ἰερουσαλήμ.
And they did not welcome him, because his face was journeying into Jerusalem. 
ἐδέξαντο : AMI 3pl, δέχομαι, 1) to take with the hand  1a) to take hold of, take up  2) to take up, receive 
ἦν: IAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
πορευόμενον : PMPart, nns, πορεύομαι, 1) to lead over, carry over, transfer  1a) to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on  one's journey 
1. The lack of “receiving” Jesus was more than a personal slight. It speaks of the deep cultural value of hospitality. In addition, just prior to this pericope Jesus said: “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me....” Lk. 9:48
2. The antipathy between Jews and Samaritans is thick in this story. We remember that it is after this story in Luke that Jesus tells a parable making a Samaritan the hero because of his cross-cultural rendering of hospitality.

 54 ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης εἶπαν, Κύριε, θέλεις εἴπωμεν 
πῦρ καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἀναλῶσαι αὐτούς;
Yet having seen, the disciples James and John said, “Lord, do you want that we might command fire to come down from the heaven and to consume them?”
ἰδόντες : AAPart, nmpl, ὁράω, 1) to see with the eyes  2) to see with the mind, to perceive, know 
εἶπαν: AAI 3p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
θέλεις: PAI 2s, θέλω, 1) to will, have in mind, intend  
εἴπωμεν : AASubj, 1pl, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
καταβῆναι: AAInf, καταβαίνω, 1) to go down, come down, descend
ἀναλῶσαι : AAInf, ἀναλίσκω, 1) to expend  1a) to consume, e.g. spend money  2) to consume, use up, destroy 
1. There may be some irony at work here, with J&J wanting to call down fire from heaven, after Luke has introduced this story as about Jesus’ being taken up.
2. And when did James and John become mighty fire-callers, anyway?

55 στραφεὶς δὲ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς.
But/And having turned to them, he rebuked/honored them. 
στραφεὶς : APPart, nms, στρέφω, 1) to turn, turn around  2) to turn one's self (i.e. to turn the back to one 
ἐπετίμησεν: ἐπιτιμάω, 1) to show honour to, to honour  ...  3) to adjudge, award, in the sense of merited penalty  4) to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely  4a) to admonish or charge sharply
1. The word ἐπιτιμάω is translated “rebuke” across the board, but it could also mean “honor.” That is a very elastic word!
2. Later manuscripts have more in vv. 55 and 56, making it clear that this is a rebuke. The brevity of earlier manuscripts leaves it more ambiguous.

 56καὶ ἐπορεύθησαν εἰς ἑτέραν κώμην.
And they journeyed into another village.
ἐπορεύθησαν: API 3p, πορεύομαι, 1) to lead over, carry over, transfer  1a) to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on  one's journey  
1. This new village is not identified as either Samaritan or not.

 57Καὶ πορευομένων αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ εἶπέν τις πρὸς αὐτόν, Ἀκολουθήσω σοι ὅπου ἐὰν ἀπέρχῃ.
And as they were journeying on the road, a certain man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you may go.” 
πορευομένων: PMPart, gmpl, πορεύομαι, 1) to lead over, carry over, transfer  1a) to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on  one's journey 
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
Ἀκολουθήσω: FAI 1sg, ἀκολουθέω, 1) to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant,  accompany him 
ἀπέρχῃ: 2s, PMSubj, ἀπέρχομαι, 1) to go away, depart  1a) to go away in order to follow any one, go after him, to  follow his party, follow him as a leader 
1. The word ἀκολουθέω (follow) has inspired a fascinating book by Robert Scharlemann called The Reason of Following, in which Scharlemann describes the immediate, unconditional responses that Jesus’ call to follow evokes in the disciples’ call stories. Here, however, the responses are hesitant and conditional.  
2. Likewise, just prior to our pericope, the disciples try to stop someone from driving out demons in Jesus’ name, because he did not follow them. Jesus’ reaction is a rather capacious, “Whoever is not against us is for us.” Here, it seems that following is a much more difficult matter.

 58καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ  Ἰησοῦς, Αἱ ἀλώπεκες φωλεοὺς ἔχουσιν καὶ τὰπετεινὰ τοῦ 
οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνώσεις,  δὲ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἔχει ποῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν 
κλίνῃ.
And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and birds of the heaven (have) nests, but the son of man has nowhere he may lay the head.” 
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
ἔχουσιν: PAI 3p, ἔχω, 1) to have, i.e. to hold
ἔχει: PAI 3s, ἔχω, 1) to have, i.e. to hold
κλίνῃ: PASubj, 3s, κλίνω, 1) transitively  1a) to incline, bow  1b) to cause to fall back  1c) to recline  1c1) in a place for repose 
1. Jesus will refer to Herod as “that fox” in Lk. 13:32. Likewise, the “birds of the heaven” were illustrative of those that destroy seeds in the parable of the soils (c.8). Are the references to ‘foxes’ and ‘birds’ here strictly related to animal habitats or do they presume the previous analogical meanings?
2. We should note that the man who offered to follow Jesus drops from the scene entirely. We do not know what his response was to hearing this reality of following Jesus but it seems that many preachers/commentators assume that he turned back instead. 

 59 Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς ἕτερον, Ἀκολούθει μοι.  δὲ εἶπεν, [Κύριε,] ἐπίτρεψόν μοι 
ἀπελθόντι πρῶτον θάψαι τὸν πατέρα μου.
Yet he said to another, “Follow me.”  But he said, “[Lord,] permit me having gone first to bury my father.” 
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
Ἀκολούθει: PAImpv 2s, ἀκολουθέω, 1) to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant,  accompany him
ἐπίτρεψόν : AAImp, 2s, ἐπιτρέπω, 1) to turn to, transfer, commit, instruct  2) to permit, allow, give leave
ἀπελθόντι : AAPart, dms, ἀπέρχομαι, 1) to go away, depart  1a) to go away in order to follow any one, go after him, to  follow his party, follow him as a leader 
θάψαι: AAInf, θάπτω, 1) to bury, inter 
1. In this case, Jesus initiates the conversation with a call. It is not Luke's gospel when Jesus comes to the fishers and says, "Follow me," and they leave their nets and their father in the boat to follow. Luke 5:1-11 tells that story quite differently. 

 60 εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ, Ἄφες τοὺς νεκροὺς θάψαι τοὺς ἑαυτῶν νεκρούς, σὺ δὲ 
ἀπελθὼν διάγγελλε τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ.
But he said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but having gone away, you proclaim the reign of God.” 
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
Ἄφες: AAImpv 2s, ἀφίημι, 1) to send away  1a) to bid going away or depart  ...  2) to permit, allow, not to hinder, to give up a thing to a person 
θάψαι : AAInf, θάπτω, 1) to bury, inter 
ἀπελθὼν : AAPart, nms, ἀπέρχομαι, 1) to go away, depart  1a) to go away in
order to follow any one, go after him, to  follow his party, follow him as a leader 
διάγγελλε : PAImp, 2s, διαγγέλλω, 1) to carry a message through, announce everywhere, through places, through assemblies etc. 

 61 Εἶπεν δὲ καὶ ἕτερος, Ἀκολουθήσω σοι, κύριε: πρῶτον δὲ ἐπίτρεψόν μοι ἀποτάξασθαι τοῖς εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου.
Yet another said also, “I will follow you, Lord; but first permit me to take leave of (or renounce) those in my house.” 
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
Ἀκολουθήσω: FAI 1s, ἀκολουθέω, 1) to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant,  accompany him
ἐπίτρεψόν: AAImpv 2s, ἐπιτρέπω, 1) to turn to, transfer, commit, instruct  2) to permit, allow, give leave
ἀποτάξασθαι : AMInf, ἀποτάσσομαι, 1) to set apart, separate  1a) to separate one's self, withdraw one's self from anyone  1a1) to take leave of, bid farewell to  1b) to renounce, forsake 

 62 εἶπεν δὲ [πρὸς αὐτὸν]  Ἰησοῦς, Οὐδεὶς ἐπιβαλὼν τὴν χεῖρα ἐπ'ἄροτρον καὶ 
βλέπων εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω εὔθετός ἐστιν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ.
But Jesus said [to him], “No one having put the hand on the plow and looking to the back is fit in the reign of God. 
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
ἐπιβαλὼν : AAPart, nms, ἐπιβάλλω, 1) to cast upon, to lay upon 
βλέπων :  PAPart, nms, βλέπω, 1) to see, discern, of the bodily eye  ... 1c) to turn the eyes to anything: to look at, look upon, gaze at 
ἐστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
1. I hear echoes of Lot’s wife in this comment.
2. I do not know quite what to do with these brief dialogues about following Jesus. None of the hesitations seem unreasonable, although they may be more culturally laden than they appear. Perhaps in first century saying goodbye properly and putting one’s affairs in order are time-consuming and filled with meanings that are lost on me. Or, maybe we are seeing the practical applications and costs involved in the saying, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (9:23)

Here are the uses that Luke has for prepare (ἑτοιμάζω, v.52):
...of the just; to make ready a people prepared...
...of the Lord to prepare his ways;
Which thou hast prepared before the face...
...in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of...
...the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
...things be, which thou hast provided?
...lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither...
...say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may...
...saying, Go and prepare us the passover...
...Where wilt thou that we prepare?
...room furnished: there make ready.
...unto them: and they made ready the passover.
...they returned, and prepared spices and ointments...
...the spices which they had prepared, and certain others...


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