As I have encouraged you to do when starting new segments always pay careful attention to the detail and ask yourself questions. What questions do you have related to this short segment which would help your understanding? Are there elements which puzzle you? Are there questions of understanding which strike you? Are there points of comparison between the gospel writers which strike you as strange or require an explanation? Notice how unique Luke’s segment appears. Just seeing the block of green in short segment like this tells you something.
If you step back and take in the wider perspective you will be struck by how Luke has structured this part of his gospel around the reactions or responses of the witnesses. This chapter of his gospel has been largely based on the response of various people to the events surrounding Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. At the beginning of the chapter we see the way events switch back and forth between the Sanhedrin, the Roman authorities and the populace at large. Following the events of the crucifixion we see the people watch, the leaders scoff, Pilate attempts to free Him and the people themselves, spurred on by the leaders, call for blood. In Luke’s account the soldiers mock Him, one of those crucified with Him scorns Him but the other responds with compassion. In the segment before us, we have the response of a Roman officer, the crowd’s mass response and the contrast between the group of friends and the women who have followed Him since Galilee. Luke continues in this way with the witnesses he gathers for the events which follow. Again it is like the movie Vantage Point as I referred to in early Gems (1192, 1247), where we see the events from different points of view. This structure is purposeful. What is Luke doing here?
Pay careful attention to the unique elements of Luke’s account and contrast them with the other synoptic writers. There are some interesting things to find. I will give you the time to find them first before we start to pull it apart. This short segment is packed full of interesting things. I am in the process of deciding how much detail to go into as we come to investigate just what it is that Luke is saying in this segment. In the following Gem we will begin pulling it apart but for now simply list the features that strike you and the questions you are left with after reading the passage carefully and comparing the accounts. At least this time you have the comparative segments coloured for you. We will start by comparing the questions we have come up with. Remember learning to ask the right questions is the first key to understanding.
To teach is to learn twice over.
Knowledge does not come to us in details, but in flashes of light from heaven. Henry David Thoreau
Don’t go back to less just because you are too impatient to wait for the best! Wendy Treat
Trying to be "normal" can make you crazy. Ian
Only dead fish go with the flow! Ian