Show me the coin! (Lk 20:23-20:24)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Show me a denarius!

Whose head

And whose title

Does it bear?’

They said.

‘The Emperor Caesar’s.’”

 

εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς

Δείξατέ μοι δηνάριον· τίνος ἔχει εἰκόνα καὶ ἐπιγραφήν; οἱ δὲ εἶπαν Καίσαρος.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) to show him a denarius (Δείξατέ μοι δηνάριον), which was a Roman coin.  He asked them whose image or head and title or inscription did it have (τίνος ἔχει εἰκόνα καὶ ἐπιγραφήν)?  They said it was the Emperor Caesar’s head and title (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν Καίσαρος).  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:19-21, and in Mark, chapter 12:15-16, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus wanted to see the coin that was used for paying the Roman poll tax.  Thus, they brought Jesus one of these small silver Roman coins, a denarius. (φέρετέ μοι δηνάριον).  Jesus then asked them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) whose image and whose inscription title (Τίνος ἡ εἰκὼν αὕτη καὶ ἡ ἐπιγραφή) were on this coin?  They answered him (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ) that the image and inscription belonged to the Emperor Caesar (Καίσαρος).  Matthew indicated that Jesus wanted to see the coin that was used for paying the poll tax (ἐπιδείξατέ μοι τὸ νόμισμα τοῦ κήνσου).  They brought or presented him with a small silver Roman coin, a denarius (οἱ δὲ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ δηνάριον).  He then asked them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) whose image and whose inscription title (Τίνος ἡ εἰκὼν αὕτη καὶ ἡ ἐπιγραφή) were on this coin?  They answered (λέγουσιν) that the image and inscription belonged to Emperor Caesar (Καίσαρος).  This was a simple question with a simple answer. Jesus wanted them to bring him the Roman coin, a denarius, worth a little more than a US dollar.  He wanted to see what coin was being used for paying the Roman poll tax.  What kind of money do you use?

Loaded with burdens (Lk 11:46-11:46)

“Jesus said.

‘Woe to you!

Lawyers!

You load people

With burdens

Hard to bear!

You,

Yourselves,

Do not lift

A finger

To ease them.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς νομικοῖς οὐαί, ὅτι φορτίζετε τοὺς ἀνθρώπους φορτία δυσβάστακτα, καὶ αὐτοὶ ἑνὶ τῶν δακτύλων ὑμῶν οὐ προσψαύετε τοῖς φορτίοις.

 

Then Luke indicated that Jesus turned on these lawyers, also.  Jesus cursed them also (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς νομικοῖς οὐαί).  They had loaded people with hard burdens to bear (ὅτι φορτίζετε τοὺς ἀνθρώπους φορτία δυσβάστακτα).  At the same time, they did not lift a finger to ease their burdens (καὶ αὐτοὶ ἑνὶ τῶν δακτύλων ὑμῶν οὐ προσψαύετε τοῖς φορτίοις).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:4, where Jesus said that the Pharisees and the Scribes, not the lawyers, tied up heavy burdens on the people that were hard or oppressive to bear.  They put these burdens on the shoulders of other men, but they themselves were unwilling to lift a finger to help them remove these burdens.  These heavy burdens of the Torah may have been their multiple perplexing oral interpretations of the law rather than the law itself that was usually considered a blessing.  Here in Luke, Jesus was talking about lawyers, who may have been Pharisaic lawyers of the Law of Moses, who also would not help others in any way.  Do you know any religious lawyers?

Jesus was upset (Lk 9:41-9:41)

“Jesus answered.

‘O faithless generation!

O perverse generation!

How much longer

Must I be with you?

How much longer

Must I bear with you?

Bring your son here!’”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ὦ γενεὰ ἄπιστος καὶ διεστραμμένη, ἕως πότε ἔσομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς καὶ ἀνέξομαι ὑμῶν; προσάγαγε ὧδε τὸν υἱόν σου.

 

Jesus appeared to be exasperated with them.  Luke indicated that Jesus answered by saying (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν) that they were a faithless (Ὦ γενεὰ ἄπιστος) and perverted generation (καὶ διεστραμμένη).  He wanted to know how many more days he would have to be with them (ἕως πότε ἔσομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς)?  How much longer would he have to put up with them (καὶ ἀνέξομαι ὑμῶν)?  Finally, he said to the man to bring his son (προσάγαγε ὧδε τὸν υἱόν σου).  The response of Jesus to the father of the incurable epileptic son can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:17, Mark, chapter 9:19, and here in Luke, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus responded to them, as he called them out as a faithless generation.  Almost in desperation, he wondered how much longer he was going to be with them and how much longer would he have to bear with them.  He told them to bring the boy to him.  Matthew said that Jesus reprimanded his disciples, as Jesus called them out as a faithless, corrupt, and perverse generation.  He also wondered how much longer he was going to be with them and how much longer he had to put up with them.  He told them to bring the boy to him.  Have you ever been exasperated with certain people?

Angels will protect you (Lk 4:11-4:11)

“‘On their hands,

They will bear you up.

Thus,

You will not dash

Your foot

Against a stone.’”

 

καὶ ὅτι ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε μή ποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου.

 

Luke is very similar to Matthew, chapter 4:6.  Once again, the devil had said that if Jesus was truly the Son of God, he could throw himself down.  Then God’s angels would catch him.  Luke indicated that the devil, citing Psalm 91:11-12, said that God would command these angels to protect him.  With their hands, they would bear him up (καὶ ὅτι ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε), as if angels had hands.  Thus, he would not dash or strike his foot against a stone (μή ποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου).  These angels would catch him in their hands so that his feet would never touch the ground.  Yahweh, in this original psalm was going to send his angels to protect the good ones, so that they would never stub their feet on any stones.

The good news about a son (Lk 1:13-1:13)

“Your prayer

Has been heard.

Your wife,

Elizabeth,

Will bear you

A son.

You will name him

John.”

 

διότι εἰσηκούσθη ἡ δέησίς σου, καὶ ἡ γυνή σου Ἐλεισάβετ γεννήσει υἱόν σοι, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰωάνην·

 

Luke then has this good news for Zechariah.  The heart of this message was that he was going to have a son.  This angel said that his prayer, supplication, or entreaty had been heard (διότι εἰσηκούσθη ἡ δέησίς σου).  His wife Elizabeth would bear him son (αὶ ἡ γυνή σου Ἐλεισάβετ γεννήσει υἱόν σοι).  He was to name or call him John (καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰωάνην).  This was a nice simple message, nothing complicated.  God was going to grant this barren old couple a son who should be called John.

The fig tree (Mk 11:13-11:13)

“Seeing

In the distance,

A fig tree in leaf,

Jesus went to see

Whether perhaps

He could find

Anything on it.

When he came to it,

He found nothing

But leaves.

It was not the season

For figs.”

 

καὶ ἰδὼν συκῆν ἀπὸ μακρόθεν ἔχουσαν φύλλα ἦλθεν εἰ ἄρα τι εὑρήσει ἐν αὐτῇ, καὶ ἐλθὼν ἐπ’ αὐτὴν οὐδὲν εὗρεν εἰ μὴ φύλλα· ὁ γὰρ καιρὸς οὐκ ἦν σύκων.

 

This story about Jesus seeing the fig tree can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:19.  Luke, chapter 13:6-9, also has a parable about a fig tree that would not bear fruit.  The stories in Matthew and Mark are slightly different.  Mark said that Jesus saw a fig tree from a distance (καὶ ἰδὼν συκῆν ἀπὸ μακρόθεν), not by the side of the road, as in Matthew.  This fig tree had leafy branches (ἔχουσαν φύλλα).  Jesus went to see if he could find any fruit on it (ἦλθεν εἰ ἄρα τι εὑρήσει ἐν αὐτῇ).  When he came over to the tree (καὶ ἐλθὼν ἐπ’ αὐτὴν), he found no fruit (οὐδὲν εὗρεν), only leaves (εἰ μὴ φύλλα), the same as Matthew had indicated.  However, here Mark pointed out that it was not the season for figs (ὁ γὰρ καιρὸς οὐκ ἦν σύκων).

 

Give water in the name of Christ (Mk 9:41-9:41)

“Whoever gives you

A cup of water

To drink,

Because you bear

The name of Christ,

Truly!

I say to you!

He will

By no means

Lose his reward.”

 

Ὃς γὰρ ἂν ποτίσῃ ὑμᾶς ποτήριον ὕδατος ἐν ὀνόματι, ὅτι Χριστοῦ ἐστε, ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐ μὴ ἀπολέσῃ τὸν μισθὸν αὐτοῦ.

 

This verse of Mark is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:42, but not in LukeMatthew had the gift of water to the little ones, not the disciples.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that whoever gave them a cup of cold water to drink (Ὃς γὰρ ἂν ποτίσῃ ὑμᾶς ποτήριον ὕδατος), because they bear the name of Christ (ἐν ὀνόματι, ὅτι Χριστοῦ ἐστε), would be rewarded.  Jesus spoke with a solemn pronouncement (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  They would not lose their reward (οὐ μὴ ἀπολέσῃ τὸν μισθὸν αὐτοῦ).  Why would they lose their reward anyhow?  Once again, Jesus spoke with authority.  There is an explicit mention of Christ (Χριστοῦ) that was rare in Mark.  People would not lose anything by giving cold water to his Christian disciples, a very small gesture.