This author asked these Christians to accept human authorities for the sake of Jesus Christ. They were to accept the authority of the emperor and the governors, who were here to punish wrong and praise good. God’s will is that these Christians would silence the foolish ignorant people through their own goodness. As servants of God, they were free people. However, they should not use this freedom as a pretext for evil. They were to honor everyone, God, their fellow believers, and the emperor. Do you honor God, your fellow humans, and your civil leaders?
“When they bring you
Before the synagogues,
And the authorities,
Do not worry
About how you are
To defend yourselves
Or what you are to say!”
ὅταν δὲ εἰσφέρωσιν ὑμᾶς ἐπὶ τὰς συναγωγὰς καὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰς ἐξουσίας, μὴ μεριμνήσητε πῶς ἢ τί ἀπολογήσησθε ἢ τί εἴπητε
Luke indicated that Jesus told his disciples that when they were brought before the synagogues (ὅταν δὲ εἰσφέρωσιν ὑμᾶς ἐπὶ τὰς συναγωγὰς), the rulers or the people in charge (καὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς), and the authorities (καὶ τὰς ἐξουσίας), they were not to worry or be anxious (μὴ μεριμνήσητε) about how they were to defend themselves (πῶς ἢ τί ἀπολογήσησθε) or what they would say (ἢ τί εἴπητε). Equivalent passages to this can be found in Mark, chapter 13:11, and Matthew, chapter 10:19. Matthew indicated that Jesus told his disciples not to worry or be anxious (μὴ μεριμνήσητε), when they were handed over (ὅταν δὲ παραδῶσιν ὑμᾶς) to these courts or tribunals. They should not worry about how or what they should say (πῶς ἢ τί λαλήσητε). Mark indicated that Jesus told his disciples not to worry beforehand or be anxious about what to say (μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε τί λαλήσητε), when they were handed over and brought to trial (καὶ ὅταν ἄγωσιν ὑμᾶς παραδιδόντες). Luke was more detailed in pointing out who and where they would be tried, both in the religious synagogues and before the Roman civic rulers and authorities. Are you open to listening to the Holy Spirit?
“When he learned
From the centurion
That Jesus was dead,
καὶ γνοὺς ἀπὸ τοῦ κεντυρίωνος ἐδωρήσατο τὸ πτῶμα τῷ Ἰωσήφ.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:58. Luke, chapter 23:52, and John, chapter 19:38, who simply had this short statement, without any comment from Pilate. Mark said when Pilate learned from the centurion (καὶ γνοὺς ἀπὸ τοῦ κεντυρίωνος) that Jesus was dead, he granted the body to Joseph (ἐδωρήσατο τὸ πτῶμα τῷ Ἰωσήφ). Thus, the body of Jesus left the control of the Roman and the Jewish authorities. However, there was no mention of the bodies of the other two robbers who had been crucified with Jesus.
The more they are honored
With the most generous kindness of their benefactors,
The more proud they become.
They not only seek to injure our subjects,
But in their inability to stand prosperity,
They even undertake to scheme against their own benefactors.
They not only take away thankfulness from others,
But carried away
By the boasts of those who know nothing of goodness,
They even assume that they will escape
The evil-hating justice of God,
Who always sees everything.
Often many of those
Who are set in places of authority
Have been made in part responsible
For the shedding of innocent blood.
They have been involved in irremediable calamities.
By the persuasion of friends
Who have been entrusted
With the administration of public affairs,
These men by the false trickery
Of their evil natures
Beguile the sincere goodwill of their sovereigns.”
Once again, this is found in the Greek text only, not in the Hebrew text. Some people have been blessed by God and benefactors. However, they can become proud. They sought to injure our Persian subjects and even their own benefactors. They are not thankful but evil in the sight of God who sees everything. This is especially bad when irresponsible authorities try to shed blood. By false trickery and their evil nature they beguile the goodwill of kings. This is a veiled reference to Haman, since this and the other decree are both from the same person, King Artaxerxes. He cannot contradict himself, since Haman wrote the first decree and Mordecai wrote this one.