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Saturday, April 27, 2024

Gospel of Luke - Chapters 5-10 Notes

Chapter 5


Lake of Gennesarat is the Sea of Galilee. Jesus sees two boats and gets into Simon's boat and begins to teach from there. The apostles have a great catch due to Jesus. Simon Peter we should note has a home and a boat so financially he is doing pretty well here. This huge catch that happens here is essentially a huge miracle and they have just made a lot of money that can help them out. It touches Simon Peter because he is dependent on this financially to make a living. The dead water we find here is teeming with life (fish). God gives life to the world in Genesis and this is supposed to be a reference to that here. Jesus commands nature here and Peter has picked up on it in some sense. Jesus next calls these four fishermen to be His disciples and they end up giving up on their livelihood here to follow Jesus. 


Jesus cleanses a leper (probably someone with Hason's Disease). The only way they would be allowed back into society would be for a leper to show the high priest that they were cured. Jesus merely cures him with a word. He is willing to cleanse the leper and simply says with authority: "Be Clean".

This leper risks a death sentence coming into society to see Jesus. Jesus does something seen as risky in society too by touching this leper to heal him. This man has probably not had someone touch him in many years, perhaps even decades of isolation. 

Jesus then goes off to pray.


Jesus heals a man who is paralyzed and tells him to get up and walk. Pharisees and scribes are listening to Him teach and they question Him. These people care about their friend's well being so much that they cut open the roof to get to Jesus and are rewarded for their faithfulness to Christ and their faithfulness that Jesus will be able to heal him. The Pharisees freak out over this because Jesus says "Your sins are forgiven" and they realize, theologically, according to the OT, that only God could do this. If Jesus is the one forgiving sin, then He is God. Jesus also knows their thoughts. He does this miracle to show them and make it clear that He is God and Messiah. He is making a point to show them and yet He calls Himself Son of Man or Son of Adam to also show He is a man. 


Jesus calls Levi/Matthew, a tax collector, and also a Roman collaborator. Levi/Matthew leaves his cushy job that pays him greatly, though it is through unethical means, to follow Jesus. St. Luke probably shows this to show that following Jesus may involve persecution, martyrdom, and giving up things in life like your job and your wealth. 


An issue over fasting comes up. Jesus talks about the bridegroom and references 4 Esdras. The destruction of the First Temple (by Babylon) is used metaphorically with a bride and a bridegroom. Jesus is using this to allude to His death here. Here they are also found celebrating the New Covenant. 

[By 110 AD the Pharisees (Reform Judaism) were fasting Saturday and Sunday while the Early Church added fasts to Wednesday and Friday for the death and resurrection of Christ]

Jesus talks about old and new wineskins. New wines need to be in a new wineskin and they can't work in the old otherwise it will tear. Jesus is telling them that they need to be new and stop drinking the old wine. Right now they are choosing the Old Covenant over the New Covenant. 

Chapter 6


Jesus is walking through a grainfield and the Pharisees see them taking food on the Sabbath. They question why His disciples are doing this and Jesus responds by pointing to 1 Samuel when David was on the run and they took the showbread in the Tabernacle. They broke the Law there to eat. David is King then and a prototype for the Messiah. Previously in Chapter 5, they had argued only God can forgive sin and Jesus did not argue because He is God. He says here that He is also the Law-Giver, and Lord of the Sabbath. Therefore, it is okay to do this because He is God. The Sabbath Law was made before the 10 Commandments were given. It was there in Genesis. Before Mosaic Law was the Sabbath Law.


Next Sabbath, He taught at a synagogue again: The scribes and Pharisees are back at it again and Jesus asks whether it is good to do good or evil on a Sabbath. The Pharisees don't respond so Jesus heals the man with the withered hand. In private, they then get angry and begin devising plots for revenge. 


Jesus calls His disciples, the 12. This includes Judas, the traitor. Jesus goes to pray atop a mountain and chooses them. Jesus will choose about 70/72 and 120 but this specific 12 Disciples? Why 12? Because the apostles will represent the Old Testament's Tribes of Israel. 


Crowds came to hear and see Him and be healed. Luke distinguishes again between sick and demon-possessed people. The Greco-Roman people weren't ignorant or primitives. They would likely consider us Americans to be primitive in our morality. These people have come from Jew and Gentile lands. Jesus has started with His own people but He is also here for all people. 


This is a sermon given: The Sermon on the Plain, not the Sermon on the Mountain. Jesus is on a level plane with them all here. Some bible critics try to argue Matthew and Luke contradict each other here in their gospel accounts but this is absurd. Jesus preaches in a different place here and Jesus also preaches more than one sermon to people and sometimes, as we all do, people repeat themselves and their messages. St. Luke records the Beatitudes and the Woes. This sermon is different from the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are you poor. Blessed are you who hunger NOW. Blessed are you who weep NOW. Those who are oppressed and being screwed and taken advantage of by the wicked will get their rewards. 

Luke records curses. "Woe" is used here - a cuss word equivalent at that time. 


Those who prize their vices and this stuff now will be last. Will you long for the temporary things of this world and chase after them or will you chase after the eternal things and chase after God? Christ aims this at His disciples mostly but obviously, it applies to the general audience and ourselves. 


He is talking to the crowd but directly calls out the Pharisees. They cannot listen and refuse to listen to Him. We should all take this to heart not to try and take revenge but focus instead on love.

"You will be sons of the Most High" - You will be like Jesus the Son. He is the Image of the Father (eikon). Theosis is seen here. Through theosis, we who follow God will be like God. 


Jesus talks about the Last Judgment here. Do you want to stand condemned? No? Then be merciful to others like God wants to be with all of us. Jesus preaches here about hypocrisy. 


Continues on... Be a good tree and bear good fruit. Strive for a good reputation. Repentance is turning and fighting a disease and curing it. We can only start on this by building on a good foundation.

Chapter 7


When Jesus finishes preaching, He enters Capernaum. A centurion's servant is dying and sends Jewish elders to Him to come. They beg Him to because he has built them a synagogue and it is clear that this centurion is a god-fearer, a Gentile who believes in Yahweh. In this Gentile's home, these Jews were being in someone funding it. Paul and the Apostles later would use the houses like this as churches. This centurion is also a Roman soldier, well-off, and most Jews at this time would have counted him mostly as an enemy. 

[Note that polygamy until the 11th CE was practiced in Judaism. Christians were the ones to begin instituting monogamy and one marriage]

This Roman knew enough about their culture of cleanliness that he didn't go directly to Jesus as well but sent Jews to speak to Him. In places like Corinth, we know that Romans paid for Jewish synagogues and buildings to be built.

The goal of Roman life was excellence and magnificence, to be a high-profile person. They would therefore fund and help a building be built. There was no separation between church and state back then and they saw temples much in the same way that we see a library - as a part of the community. When the Christians eventually would not participate in this, the Roman people would think they were odd and believe they were anarchists who were trying to wreck and destroy the community. 

There was also a Roman fad at the time where they were very interested in Jews and Yahweh because Yahweh had no statuary and they found this odd. They are all fascinated about what is in the Temple and some even were aware that there was no Ark of the Covenant there any longer in the 2nd Temple so nothing was in there. This confounded Greco-Roman people and they believed that Jews practiced SOLA MENTES which means worship only in the mind. In other words, they thought it was a philosophical religion. 

A lot of St. Paul's earliest converts were god-fearing Gentiles. The Gentiles actually convert en masse because they don't have to do a lot of the things Jews do such as circumcision and when Christians live this way, this inevitably began to also hit Jewish synagogues' funding in the pocketbooks.

The centurion considers himself unworthy so he sends word that Christ doesn't have to come to his home. He says this out of pure respect because Jesus would have then entered an "unclean" home. Here is Jesus, who is essentially a homeless peasant and this Roman centurion shows Him the utmost respect here and acknowledges as well that Jesus has the authority to command diseases like he does Roman soldiers. It is very clear as well that the Centurion knows that Jesus is God and Messiah from this. He acknowledges that Jesus isn't like the OT prophets and is God Incarnate by His actions. The centurion's faithfulness heals his servant. This also shows us that Israel is faithless and doesn't know God while this Roman Gentile is faithful and knows who He is. 


The next day, Jesus goes to Nain. There is a funeral happening on the way out and we find a dead son and a widowed peasant woman here. The widowed woman has no rights whatsoever and her only son and child are dead. She can now only beg in a town full of poor peasants. When the Lord, Jesus saw her He had compassion on her and told the young man to rise saying, "Do not weep". The young man begins speaking and is now alive. [Compassion was associated with the spleen so here the Greek actually says that Christ spleened for her, a very human emotion].

Everyone fears Him and realizes that Jesus is a Great Prophet and says God has visited His people. This report goes throughout all of Judaea and the region. These Jews don't say that He is God Incarnate because they think He is only a prophet. This is deliberately done here by St. Luke to show again that the Gentile centurion's faith is superior.


John's disciples report these things to him. John asks if He is the Messiah or not. "Are you the Coming One or is there another?" 

We understand the OT prophets today but back then, they did not know. They were still piecing these prophecies together. Some sects of Judaism thought that there might even be two messiahs. Some of the Dead Sea Scrolls have two messiahs, one a priest and the other a king messiah. Some even said there would be a literal or figurative Elijah and then a Messiah. 

So John the Baptist here is asking Jesus which one He is and getting clarification from someone who he knows can clarify. That hour, Jesus cured many diseases, and injuries, and gave sight to the blind. Jesus then gives them a visual and tells John's disciples a passage from Isaiah. Jesus' answer is that He is the One that Isaiah spoke of. 

"Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me". He is explaining that He will not do as they expect Messiah will do. He talks about John the Baptist and then to the crowd: Clarifying that John the Baptist is more than just a prophet but is actually the prophesied Forerunner to the Messiah. John is Elijah, the one in the wild who paves the way for the Messiah. 

Refers to King Herod when he asks if they went to go to see a wimp. 

John is the one prophesied in Malachi. The Forerunner is the greatest OT prophet aside from Jesus Christ. The sinners find forgiveness while the Pharisees are pissed. 

[Note: Even Josephus, who decided that Rome was Messiah, said John the Baptist was a holy prophet and thought that 70 AD was a judgment for the unjust death of John]

"This generation" (genos) is used here. It refers to a people group, ethnicity, the men of this ethnicity? This is Jewish people.

John the Forerunner gave them bad news and you people rejected him. Now the Messiah comes with good news, forgiveness, healing, etc. and they say He is a drunk and reject Him too. They will not listen. 


"And then..." after that, next happened...

A Pharisee (Simon) asks Jesus to eat with him. A woman comes with an alabaster flask of oil and washes his feet with her tears. The centurion respected Jesus. This Pharisee doesn't and wants to check Him out for Himself and test Him. 

Simon the Pharisee judges this woman as evil and that Jesus lets her even touch His feet. 

Jesus then tells the Pharisee that He has been disrespected by him while the woman Simon calls a sinner is doing all she can to honor Him the best she can and knows how to. This Pharisee already rejected John the Baptist and he will reject Jesus. He is cutting himself off from God. This woman has not. 

Jesus gives a story to Simon the Pharisee about two debtors who owe 50 denari and 500 denari. He asks which debtor should get more love from if he forgives them. 

He speaks to the woman and Simon, as equals, and tells him how she is forgiven because she loves much. Simon was there to judge Jesus and wasn't going to change. Her sins are forgiven for she loved much and Jesus' point to Simon is that because you love so little you won't receive much forgiveness. Salvation is presented as repentance and living in love and better in love. Their life must be transformed. Those who sat at the table begin freaking out when Jesus forgives her of her sin because again they know only God can do this so who is Jesus? God Incarnate obviously. 

This story is obviously put here to juxtapose the Centurion's (Gentile nations) faithfulness and willingness to choose Yahweh and Simon the Pharisee's (Israel) faithlessness. 

Chapter 8


And it happened - it came to pass - a new section of St. Luke's gospel here. Jesus is proclaiming the Gospel. Luke also mentions women here.

Mary Magdeline - is not a prostitute but she is someone delivered by seven evil spirits - demons. There is no proof that she ever was one but there is proof that she biblically was demon-possessed. 

Joanna - wife of Chuza, a steward of King Herod and Susanna. These women had some money and helped fund Jesus' missions. St. Luke mentions them both likely because at this time they are still alive and can corroborate the evidence and the claims Luke makes. Mentioning women at this time was also a big deal to Greco-Roman peoples and would have been seen as scandalous because back then women had no rights and were seen in negative ways often. 


A big crowd comes and Jesus gives a parable here. He explains the parable to the apostles and it is self-explanatory. He tells all the disciples too (including the women). He tells this parable purposely to confuse some people so they have no excuse when they don't bother to listen or repent in the first place. Jesus quotes Isaiah here. The seed represents different people. 


He gives another example to people to take heed of how they hear what is said. In the same way, in a modern context, you would not put a flashlight under your bed, you would not waste your lamp oil. God will reveal all. Christ is here continuing the Parable of the Sower.


The crowd sees Jesus' family there and tells Him they are there desiring to see Him. His response here is not him disowning His family. People use this verse and take it out of context. 

"My mother and brothers are THESE who hear the word of God and do it". He is saying what makes them His family is THEY follow God. It is positive what Jesus says here and He has said this AFTER His parable of the Sower with an application. The idea is that YOU can be part of HIS FAMILY too if YOU follow God. There is no negative participles in the Greek here. 


Next, on a certain day, Jesus and the Apostles ride a boat and a storm takes place, and the boat takes water. Jesus is asleep and so they wake Him up and then Jesus commands the sea to calm. This shows us here that He is God Incarnate and also that He is stronger than Baal a storm deity/demon. 

Jonah was asleep too like this. Jonah knew Yahweh controlled the sea and storm. The sailors were pagan and ultimately prayed and trusted in their gods (demons) first. The disciples do not even bother to pray at all. They panic. This is why Jesus asks them, "Where is your faith"? Shows how frail we all are who claim to be faithful Christians. 


They sailed to the country of the Gadarenes - Gentile lands. When He lands there, a naked demoniac is there in the tombs. He has been living there with scavengers and unclean animals. Jesus and the demons then converse. The demon Legion knows who Jesus is. Contrast this with the disciples earlier. 

The Oracle of Delphi was possessed by Apollos. People often in Gentile lands regularly tried to be possessed by the demons. They would have festivals like that of the Baccheus festivals. In the modern day, we still see this done in Voodoo religion where they try to be possessed by the Loa. This demoniac probably partook in rituals and was then possessed by a demon. Jesus exorcised the demon and put the spirits in pigs. These spirits torment and destroy this man so Jesus sends them into pigs and they drown themselves because they can only torment and destroy.

The Gadarenes have Jesus depart. He ruined their pig business and saw the demoniac sane and just chilling out, without demons. Jesus literally only spoke and the demons left him. Jesus restores order. The Gentiles recognize Jesus is very powerful and they are afraid of Him so He leaves by boat. They probably were also questioning literally everything because of this and recognized they would have to change their entire life, culture, and religion if He stayed. The man wants to go with Jesus but He sends him back to his own people, back to their Gentile land, to tell them what God has done for him. 


Jesus returns and Jairus, a synagogue chief (meaning he paid for it and is the primary benefactor) asks for Jesus to help him as his 12-year-old daughter is dying. As Jesus heads there, a Jewish woman who has been bleeding for twelve years touches Jesus and is healed immediately. She confesses she touched Him and is unclean and has touched a Rabbi in the middle of a large crowd. Jesus praises her instead of condemning her and then goes to Jairus' daughter and raises her, reviving her from death. 

Chapter 9


Luke again here distinguishes demons and diseases. Jesus touches and fixes the natural and spiritual issues. The ancients had concepts and ideas about science and they were not primitives. Jesus gathers the Twelve and gives them authority over all demons and diseases, like a sheriff deputizing the deputy. Jesus can do this because He is God. He sends them off to heal and evangelize and has them take nothing for their journey. The Kingdom has come and is here currently. 

What would they be preaching? Not the same gospel in Acts. They proclaim that in Acts. They are proclaiming verbally, the Kingdom of God here and showing it is currently here and are showing it is hereby healing people. They are still unclear of how Jesus is establishing this Kingdom but here it is. Jesus sends them off around Galilee villages where they rely on God and people. 


They tell good news. If they accept it, keep it. If not, depart. When these people hear the Kingdom of God is here, they mostly think, "God is coming and will set things straight". Jesus doesn't do as expected though. Instead of a message of war, he sends out weak people with no armor! 

Herod the tetrarch hears this and freaks out because St. John the Forerunner had just been beheaded and some were telling him that John had risen from the dead. Herod wants to see Jesus and is worried and paranoid. This isn't hope; it is concern and dear because he wants to keep his power and position in society and this Jesus might screw that up and overthrow it all for him. Herod is put here in contrast to Jesus. Herod is a king and has military and political power and yet is afraid while Jesus has nothing, is a peasant, and has real power. 


The apostles return. Jesus and them go to a place of seclusion. The multitude follows and so the apostles say to send them off and Jesus responds "You give them something to eat". The apostles retort with a snarky response since they have five loaves and two fish and have to feed 5000 people (plus women and children). Jesus feeds them all. They were all sent out by themselves with nothing and God took care of all of them. The apostles don't get it but God would provide for them to feed these people. This also is here to remind us all of God feeding the Hebrews in the desert. Jesus blesses and breaks the bread. They even reported having leftovers. 


Jesus asks who the disciples think He is. He knows many have said He is Elijah or John the Baptist as one of the old prophets. Peter answers that He is "The Anointed One of God" - the Christos - Messiah. 


Jesus tells them not to say that He is Christ because it is not His time yet to suffer. Jesus tells them not to speak and then tells them how things will happen. He says He will suffer and be rejected and then be killed, and then be resurrected after three days. This is not how they expect the Messiah to do things. Be killed? Resurrect? Rejected? All of this is not the expectation. They had thought Jesus would be a warrior who sets all things straight. Christ does but it is through the Cross that He will do this. 


In context, take up your cross and follow Me... If you wish to follow you must die with Me. If you don't, you will lose your life (eternal life) (condemnation). What good is it if you are Ceasar and lose your soul? 

"There are some here who shall not taste death until they see the Kingdom of God". He has just said that we are all going to be defeated, be killed, but you will see the Kingdom of God? They think that they want a king that dominates all Gentiles but that is not it. David's kingdom may have been great but what good was it if you died a sinner? The problem is not the Gentiles, it is sin. Sin gets them exiled from Eden. It gets them exiled from God's presence. He calls them to repentance so they can begin the process of restoration. Jesus is dealing with sin and death, the real problem, and this is why He brings up the Resurrection and Last Judgment language here. 


Eight days. Transfiguration. They go to Mount Tabor and Jesus takes Peter, James, and John of Zebedee with Him. As He prays, He changes. Moses and Elijah appear and speak of His death in Jerusalem, a foretaste of the Resurrection. Moses' body had disappeared and Elijah was taken. They have glorified bodies here, pointing to the Resurrection. They were sleepy and this woke them all up. Peter says something goofy here. We then get a cloud here that comes and God talks (echoes of Exodus are shown here). They hear from God face-to-face. They kept quiet about all this until later.


They come down from Mount Tabor and a man in the multitude asks Jesus to heal his only child who is demon-possessed, and says that the apostles couldn't exorcise it. 

[The 1st Resurrection of Revelation - the resurrection (spiritual) between His 2nd Coming and the resurrection of the dead - The intermediate state right now saints are with the God of the Living awaiting the Resurrection of the dead and the 2nd Coming]

"Generation" [Gk. genos] [family group] O' faithless and perverse people! Reference to Moses when he finds idols. Reference to the OT and their wickedness. 


The crowd is amazed. Jesus heals more people. He says "Listen". He says He will be betrayed and they don't get it and are scared to ask and don't want to know either. 


The Twelve debate about who would be the greatest of them so Jesus takes a child to show they must be low like a slave to be greatest. 


Self explanatory. The man was working for Jesus and was not 2nd class. 


They enter a Samaritan (half-breed Jews) village and they reject Him. James and John get mad and they ask if Christ wants to destroy them. Jesus rebukes them and they go to another village. Jesus wants to save them too. He loves all people because they aren't our enemies. The devil is. Christ restores ALL ISRAEL. This includes Samaritans too. 


Someone says He will follow Christ. Christ's point is that there will be conflicts if you follow Jesus. Your life was as a Gentile going to change as you couldn't participate any longer in most of Greco-Roman life any longer. 

Chapter 10


Jesus sends out the 70. Two by two to go to each city. He almost tells the same to the Twelve that He did before. St. Luke makes a point that "the harvest is great. Labor is few". 

There are many able to take and accept Christ but not enough evangelicals. Jesus says the Last Judgment will be worse and make the day, that was for Sodom, look tolerable.

Jesus gives a woe to Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. He says if Tyre and Sidon had seen Jesus they would have repented like Jonah with Ninevah. They get Jesus Himself and reject Him so they are to be held more accountable.

"He who hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me". If you've heard from the 70, you've heard from Jesus Himself. 

The 70 are excited. They just told "demons" (false gods) what to do. The things/demons worshipped by Gentiles are under His authority. Jesus says "I saw Satan fall from heaven". He was there when He cast Satan from heaven. He has the authority because He is God Incarnate. 

He says "Don't be impressed because of this power. Be happy you are finding salvation and will find your name in the Book of Life". Jesus rejoices in the Spirit of God and thanks God for them. He loves the outcasts, the downtrodden, and the never-do-wells. The way we know who God is is through Jesus Christ, God the Son. Through Jesus, God the Son enters Creation. The Father, uncreated God. Apart from Christ, we don't know God.


Samaria is in between Jerusalem. They are despised by Jews as they are considered half-breeds. Samaria was just mad at Jesus in Chapter 9 for worshipping in Jerusalem instead of Samaria and at Mount Gemitrim. James and John wanted to destroy them earlier like Jonah wanted Ninevah to be destroyed. This is spiritually not a good space to be in. 

"Manner of spirit" - they did not understand who God is. They speak wrongly. For context, we should keep this in mind with anyone we perceive to be "the enemy". Christ is here to save these people. 

The apostles were going through or had just gone through and also, because they earlier wanted to smite Samaria, Jesus gives them this parable. 

A Pharisee scholar (lawyer) stands up and tries to test Jesus in an adversarial way with this question, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?"

Jesus answers with a question, what is written in the Law? What is your reading of it? 

The lawyer responds with quotes from Deuteronomy 28. 

Jesus says he has answered correctly. 

The lawyer, wants to try and structure the argument to win and have Jesus agree with his argument, so he asks, "Who is my neighbor?" Who do I have to love? My literal neighbor? Jews? Even Romans? Jesus answers with the Great Samaritan parable story. 

A man from Jerusalem to Jericho is attacked by bandits and left for dead. A priest from Jerusalem sees him and walks off. According to the Torah, if he touches a nearly dead or dead man and he's bleeding out, he is unclean. Pharisees would say the priest is justified to walk away. Next, a Levite man finds him and he would be counted unclean too so he doesn't help him. 

A Samaritan, a half-breed the Jews considered unclean and heretical, has compassion and helps the man. The Samaritan also takes him to an inn, gives the innkeeper two denari, and says he'll pay back if need be to pay more. Jesus asks which one was more of a neighbor. 

The Lawyer responds: the one who showed Mercy. 

"Go and do likewise" - Jesus. We must love God and love ALL people and though there is Law, there is Mercy. The Law points to Mercy. You're not clean if you're being non-neighborly. 

The purpose of the Torah/Law was to clean yourself, not to follow it to a tee to the point of violating it by not loving another person. The Pharisees miss the point of the Law. It is the writing of the Torah vs. the spirit of the Torah argument. The whole purpose of the Torah is that it points to Jesus. 

Were the rules made so we couldn't help people? No. That is absurd. 


We are told in this, it is in Bethany (John's Gospel). Martha's house (slums of Jerusalem). They are poor and show hospitality to Jesus. Mary, her sister listens to Jesus. Disciple - student; one who "sat at one's feet" - an idiom for that.

Martha is trying to serve and feels like she's being screwed around a bit since her sister is seemingly doing nothing with this small group of people. She tells Jesus to tell her to help her serve so Jesus responds and tells her that she's doing good but is missing the point. Mary is His disciple and she should be one too and come listen to Him and hear Him. This is a big deal that He is saying this because Luke is writing to Greco-Roman Gentiles. Women were seen as so inferior in fact that unfortunately, rape was only seen as a crime because it was a crime against the man of the house. Gentiles reading St. Luke's Gospel would see women here as a disciple is very important because Luke is saying that Jesus sees women as equal to men so treat them as such. Following Christ inverts the social order of the 1st CE and even today. 

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