Authority (Lk 22:25-22:25)

“Jesus

Said to them.

‘The kings of the gentiles

Lord it over them.

Those exercising authority

Over them

Are called benefactors.’”

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Οἱ βασιλεῖς τῶν ἐθνῶν κυριεύουσιν αὐτῶν, καὶ οἱ ἐξουσιάζοντες αὐτῶν εὐεργέται καλοῦνται.

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his apostles (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that the kings of the gentiles (Οἱ βασιλεῖς τῶν ἐθνῶν) lord it over them (κυριεύουσιν αὐτῶν).  Those exercising authority over them (καὶ οἱ ἐξουσιάζοντες αὐτῶν) were called benefactors (εὐεργέται καλοῦνται).  Once again, only Luke has this Greek word εὐεργέται among all the Greek biblical writers, meaning a doer of good, a benefactor, or a well-doer.  This often referred to the rulers or kings who saw themselves as doing good for their people.  There was something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 20:25, that is almost word for word with Mark, chapter 10:42.  Mark said that Jesus called his 12 apostolic leaders to himself (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) because of this dispute among them.  He said to them (λέγει αὐτοῖς) that they knew that the recognized gentile rulers (Οἴδατε ὅτι οἱ δοκοῦντες ἄρχειν τῶν ἐθνῶν), the Romans and the Greeks, lorded it over their people (κατακυριεύουσιν αὐτῶν).  Their great men acted like tyrants, exercising authority (καὶ οἱ μεγάλοι αὐτῶν κατεξουσιάζουσιν αὐτῶν).  Matthew indicated that Jesus called his 12 leaders to himself (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς προσκαλεσάμενος αὐτοὺς) because of this dispute among them.  He told them that they knew that the gentile rulers, the Romans and the Greeks, lorded it over their people (ἶπεν Οἴδατε ὅτι οἱ ἄρχοντες τῶν ἐθνῶν κατακυριεύουσιν αὐτῶν).  Their great men acted like tyrants, exercising authority (καὶ οἱ μεγάλοι κατεξουσιάζουσιν αὐτῶν).  Jesus explained that this autocratic power system, sometimes dictatorial, within the Roman Empire system was the way of the world.  Luke said that these dictators often referred to themselves as benevolent do-good dictators.  Do you think that authorities can do good things?

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