The people against Jesus (Lk 20:20-20:20)

“Thus,

They watched Jesus.

They sent spies,

Who pretended

To be righteous themselves.

They tried

To trap him.

Thus,

They might hand him over

To the jurisdiction

And authority

Of the governor.”

 

Καὶ παρατηρήσαντες ἀπέστειλαν ἐνκαθέτους ὑποκρινομένους ἑαυτοὺς δικαίους εἶναι, ἵνα ἐπιλάβωνται αὐτοῦ λόγου, ὥστε παραδοῦναι αὐτὸν τῇ ἀρχῇ καὶ τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ τοῦ ἡγεμόνος 

 

Luke said that the chief priests and the Scribes were watching Jesus very closely (Καὶ παρατηρήσαντες).  They sent spies (ἀπέστειλαν ἐνκαθέτους).  Luke used the word ἐνκαθέτους, that means hired to lie in wait, lying in wait, or a spy, as the only time this word appeared in all the Greek biblical literature.  They pretended to be honest righteous men themselves (ὑποκρινομένους ἑαυτοὺς δικαίους εἶναι).  Luke has another unique usage of the word ὑποκρινομένους that means to reply, to answer on a stage, to pretend, or act the part.  They were trying to trap or catch Jesus with his own words (ἵνα ἐπιλάβωνται αὐτοῦ λόγου).  Thus, they might be able to hand him over (ὥστε παραδοῦναι αὐτὸν) to the rule or jurisdiction (τῇ ἀρχῇ) and authority of the Roman client governor (καὶ τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ τοῦ ἡγεμόνος).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:15-16, and in Mark, chapter 12:13.  Mark said that the Pharisees sent some of their own people to Jesus (Καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν πρὸς αὐτόν τινας τῶν Φαρισαίων).  The Pharisees were always testing or tempting Jesus and his disciples, but they were not mentioned in Luke.  They also sent along some Herodians (καὶ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν), who were the followers or political supporters of King Herod Antipas, the Roman client tetrarch king of Galilee, the one who had John the Baptist beheaded.  Both these groups were out to trap Jesus or catch him by using his own words against him (ἵνα αὐτὸν ἀγρεύσωσιν λόγῳ).  Matthew said that the Pharisees went away (Τότε πορευθέντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι) for a while, but they plotted or gathered together (συμβούλιον ἔλαβον) to entrap or entangle Jesus in what he had said (ὅπως αὐτὸν παγιδεύσωσιν ἐν λόγῳ).  These Pharisees sent their own disciples to Jesus (καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν αὐτῷ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτῶν), along with some Herodians (μετὰ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν), just like Mark had mentioned.  They were out to trick or trap Jesus.  Have you ever tried to trap anyone?

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I am not going to tell you (Lk 20:8-20:8)

“Then Jesus

Said to them.

‘Neither will I tell you

By what authority

I am doing

These things.’”

 

καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Οὐδὲ ἐγὼ λέγω ὑμῖν ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus then said to these Jerusalem religious leaders (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that he was not going to tell them (Οὐδὲ ἐγὼ λέγω ὑμῖν) by what authority he was doing these things (ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ).  Matthew, chapter 21:27, and Mark, chapter 11:33 have something similar, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus then told them (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγει αὐτοῖς) that he would not tell them by what authority he was doing these things (Οὐδὲ ἐγὼ λέγω ὑμῖν ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ).  Matthew also indicated that Jesus then told them (ἔφη αὐτοῖς καὶ αὐτός) that he would not tell them by what authority he was doing these things (Οὐδὲ ἐγὼ λέγω ὑμῖν ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ).  Jesus had made his point, pure and simple.  They could not answer his question, so that he was not going to answer their question.  Have you ever refused to answer a question?

 

A question for you (Lk 20:3-20:3)

“Jesus answered them.

‘I will also ask you

A question.

You tell me!’”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Ἐρωτήσω ὑμᾶς κἀγὼ λόγον, καὶ εἴπατέ μοι

 

Luke indicated that Jesus answered them (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς).  He was also going to ask them to respond (καὶ εἴπατέ μοι) to one question (Ἐρωτήσω ὑμᾶς κἀγὼ λόγον).  This question of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:24, and Mark, chapter 11:29, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus responded to the question of the high priests, the Scribes, and the elders (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) with a question of his own.  He was going to ask them one question (Ἐπερωτήσω ὑμᾶς ἕνα λόγον).  If they answered him (καὶ ἀποκρίθητέ μοι), he would then tell them by what authority he did all these things (καὶ ἐρῶ ὑμῖν ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ).  Matthew indicated that Jesus responded to the high priest and the elders’ question (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπ εν αὐτοῖς) with a question of his own.  He was going to answer their question if they answered his one question (Ἐρωτήσω ὑμᾶς κἀγὼ λόγον ἕνα).  If they answered him (ὃν ἐὰν εἴπητέ μοι), he would then tell them by what authority he did all these things (κἀγὼ ὑμῖν ἐρῶ ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ).  This also seems like a fair response.  Jesus had one question for them.  If they answered that, he would answer their question, nice and simple.  Have you ever questioned anyone who questioned you?

Jerusalem officials come to Jesus (Lk 20:1-20:1)

“One day,

Jesus was teaching

The people

In the Temple.

He was preaching

The good news.

The chief priests

And the Scribes

Came

With the elders.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν διδάσκοντος αὐτοῦ τὸν λαὸν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ καὶ εὐαγγελιζομένου ἐπέστησαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς σὺν τοῖς πρεσβυτέροις,

 

Luke, along with the other synoptics has this confrontation between Jesus and the chief priests and the Scribes about the authority of Jesus.  Luke said that one day it happened (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν), that Jesus was teaching the people (διδάσκοντος αὐτοῦ τὸν λαὸν) in the Temple (ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ).  He was preaching the good news or evangelizing (καὶ εὐαγγελιζομένου).  However, the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς), the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς), with the elders or presbyters (σὺν τοῖς πρεσβυτέροις) came to him (ἐπέστησαν).  This questioning of the authority of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:23, and Mark, chapter 11:27, almost word for word.  Mark said that when Jesus and his disciples again came to Jerusalem (Καὶ ἔρχονται πάλιν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus was walking in the Temple (καὶ ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ περιπατοῦντος αὐτοῦ), not teaching as in Luke and Matthew.  The chief priests or the high priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) with the presbyters or the elders (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι) approached Jesus (ἔρχονται πρὸς αὐτὸν).  Matthew said that when Jesus entered the Temple (Καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν), the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) or the high priest with the presbyters or elders of the people (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τοῦ λαοῦ) approached him as he was teaching (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ διδάσκοντι).  Matthew, however, did not mention the Scribes, but the other 2 gospel stories did.  Have you ever approached someone as they were teaching?

The nobleman (Lk 19:12-19:12)

 

“Thus,

Jesus said.

‘A nobleman

Went

To a distant country

To get royal power

For himself.

Then he would return.’”

 

εἶπεν οὖν Ἄνθρωπός τις εὐγενὴς ἐπορεύθη εἰς χώραν μακρὰν λαβεῖν ἑαυτῷ βασιλείαν καὶ ὑποστρέψαι.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (εἶπεν οὖν) that a nobleman (Ἄνθρωπός τις εὐγενὴς) went to a distant country (ἐπορεύθη εἰς χώραν μακρὰν) to get royal power for himself (λαβεῖν ἑαυτῷ βασιλείαν).  After that, he would return later (καὶ ὑποστρέψαι).  This might have been a hint about the local leaders going to Rome to get their royal powers.  It may also be about Jesus going to heaven and then returning at the last judgment or the Second Coming.  However, there was the overriding theme of the need for responsibility, productivity, and not laziness.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 25:14, where the story is about a man with a household of slaves and not a nobleman as here.  The slaves were given money to take care of things while the rich man was gone.  In Matthew, Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven would be like a man going on a journey (Ὥσπερ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ἀποδημῶν).  This very generous man called or summoned his slaves (ἐκάλεσεν τοὺς ἰδίους δούλους) to entrust them or give them his property and possessions, while he was gone (καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτοῖς τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ).  In Mark, 13:34, Jesus said that the end times would be like a man going on a journey (ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος).  He left his house (ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ).  He gave his slaves the authority (καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν) to perform their own individual tasks (ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ).  He commanded a doorkeeper to stand watch over this whole situation (καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ).  However, the story for Mark ended there, unlike Luke and Matthew that have more details about the slaves in this household.  What do you do when you go on a long journey?

Watch out for Gehenna! (Lk 12:5-12:5)

“But I will warn you

Whom to fear.

Fear him who,

After he has killed you,

Has authority

To cast you

Into Gehenna!

Yes!

I tell you!

Fear him!”

 

ὑποδείξω δὲ ὑμῖν τίνα φοβηθῆτε· φοβήθητε τὸν μετὰ τὸ ἀποκτεῖναι ἔχοντα ἐξουσίαν ἐμβαλεῖν εἰς τὴν γέενναν. ναί, λέγω ὑμῖν, τοῦτον φοβήθητε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that he would show them whom they ought to fear (ὑποδείξω δὲ ὑμῖν τίνα φοβηθῆτε).  They were to fear those (φοβήθητε), who after killing them (τὸν μετὰ τὸ ἀποκτεῖναι), had the authority or power (ἔχοντα ἐξουσίαν) to cast them into hell or Gehenna (ἐμβαλεῖν εἰς τὴν γέενναν).  Then with a solemn declaration (ναί, λέγω ὑμῖν), he said that those were the people they ought to fear (τοῦτον φοβήθητε).  This is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:28, indicating a Q source.  Jesus, via Matthew, warned his followers that they should fear or be afraid (φοβεῖσθε δὲ μᾶλλον) of the people who can destroy both their soul and their body (τὸν δυνάμενον καὶ ψυχὴν καὶ σῶμα ἀπολέσαι) by sending them to hell or Gehenna (ἐν γεέννῃ).  Both Luke and Matthew used this Greek word for hell, “γεέννῃ,” or the English Gehenna that was based on the Hebrew word Gehinnom that was the name of the valley south of Jerusalem where burning child sacrifices would take place.  However, only Matthew, not Luke, talked about the soul, ψυχὴν.  Are you worried about going to hell?

Nothing will hurt you (Lk 10:19-10:19

“See!

I have given you

Authority

To tread

On snakes

And scorpions.

I have given you

Authority

Over all the power

Of the enemy.

Nothing will

Hurt you.”

 

ἰδοὺ δέδωκα ὑμῖν τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πατεῖν ἐπάνω ὄφεων καὶ σκορπίων, καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ, καὶ οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς οὐ μὴ ἀδικήσει.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that he had given these special 70 disciples (ἰδοὺ δέδωκα ὑμῖν) the authority (τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ) to tread on (πατεῖν ἐπάνω) snakes (ὄφεων) and scorpions (καὶ σκορπίων).  They had the authority over all the power (καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν δύναμιν) of the enemy (τοῦ ἐχθροῦ).  Nothing would hurt them (καὶ οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς οὐ μὴ ἀδικήσει).  This is another unique saying of Jesus only found in Luke because he was the only one to mention these 70 special disciples and their return.  The enemy mentioned here was Satan.  This idea that nothing will hurt them can also be found at the end of the gospel of Mark, chapter 16:18, as well as Psalm 91:13, that they would dash the snakes.  This is the same psalm that was cited in the temptations of Jesus.  Do you know anyone who is not hurt by snakes or scorpions?