To drive out
Those who were
Selling things there.”
Καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν ἤρξατο ἐκβάλλειν τοὺς πωλοῦντας,
Luke simply said that Jesus entered the Temple in Jerusalem (Καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν). Then he began to drive out those who were selling things there (ἤρξατο ἐκβάλλειν τοὺς πωλοῦντας). This description of Jesus in the Temple can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:12, almost word for word with Mark, chapter 11:15. However, they had more details in both of these accounts than the short summary here in Luke. In John, chapter 2:14-16, there was an even more elaborate description, but this action took place at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, not at the end as here and other synoptics. Mark described how Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem (Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα). When they entered the Temple (Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸ ἱερόν), Jesus began to drive out or throw out (ἤρξατο ἐκβάλλειν) those who was selling (τοὺς πωλοῦντας), or buying (καὶ τοὺς ἀγοράζοντας) animals for the sacrifice offerings in the Temple (ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ). John said that Jesus had whips. He overturned the tables of the money-changers (καὶ τὰς τραπέζας τῶν κολλυβιστῶν), who converted foreign coins into the Temple shekels for the Temple offerings. He also overturned the chairs or the seats of those who were selling doves (καὶ τὰς καθέδρας τῶν πωλούντων τὰς περιστεράς κατέστρεψεν) for the Temple sacrifices. Matthew described how Jesus entered the Jerusalem Temple (Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὸ ἱερόν). Then Jesus drove out or threw out everyone who was selling, exchanging, or buying animals for the sacrifice offerings in the Temple (καὶ ἐξέβαλεν πάντας τοὺς πωλοῦντας καὶ ἀγοράζοντας ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ). He overturned the tables of the money-changers (καὶ τὰς τραπέζας τῶν κολλυβιστῶν κατέστρεψεν). He also overturned the chairs or the seats of those who were selling doves (καὶ τὰς καθέδρας τῶν πωλούντων τὰς περιστεράς) for the Temple sacrifices. All these people were functionaries of the Temple. They were trying to help people make the right sacrificial offerings there. Obviously, they made money from these sales, but this was the normal customary thing in the Temple. Jesus upset these people with this somewhat violent action. Up until this point, Jesus had been very mild mannered. Are you mild mannered or violent in your reactions to things that displease you?
Into the Temple
The other was
A tax collector.”
Ἄνθρωποι δύο ἀνέβησαν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν προσεύξασθαι, ὁ εἷς Φαρισαῖος καὶ ὁ ἕτερος τελώνης.
Luke has Jesus tell a parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector that is only found in this gospel. Luke indicated that Jesus said that two men (Ἄνθρωποι δύο) went up into the Temple (ἀνέβησαν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν) to pray (προσεύξασθαι). One was a Pharisee (ὁ εἷς Φαρισαῖος). The other was a tax collector (καὶ ὁ ἕτερος τελώνης). Both of these men were well intentioned, since they went to the Temple to pray to God, a good thing. Socially, they were of two different strata. The Pharisee was a pillar of Jewish society as an interpreter of the Mosaic Law. The tax collector, on the other hand, was considered a traitor to the Jewish community, since he worked for the Roman Empire, the occupation force. These tax collectors were often compared to public sinners. The contrast was real and set out at the beginning of this story. Is there a social strata in your religious culture?
“Then Jesus told them
About the need
To pray always.
Do not grow weary!”
Ἔλεγεν δὲ παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς πρὸς τὸ δεῖν πάντοτε προσεύχεσθαι αὐτοὺς καὶ μὴ ἐνκακεῖν,
Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the judge to emphasize the importance of prayer. Right from the beginning, he had Jesus tell them the purpose of the parable, rather than a secret that they would have to figure out. Then Jesus told them a parable (Ἔλεγεν δὲ παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς) about the need or duty to always pray (πρὸς τὸ δεῖν πάντοτε προσεύχεσθαι αὐτοὺς). They were not to lose heart or grow weary (καὶ μὴ ἐνκακεῖν). Do you remember to always pray?
Said to the disciples.
‘The days are coming
When you will long
To see one of the days
Of the Son of Man.
You will not experience it.’”
Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητάς Ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι ὅτε ἐπιθυμήσετε μίαν τῶν ἡμερῶν τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἰδεῖν καὶ οὐκ ὄψεσθε.
Luke indicated that that Jesus said to the disciples (Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητάς) that the days were coming (Ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι) when they would long to see (ὅτε ἐπιθυμήσετε…ἰδεῖν) one of the days of the Son of Man (μίαν τῶν ἡμερῶν τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου). However, they would not experience it (καὶ οὐκ ὄψεσθε). This hints at something that Mark, chapter 13:19, had Jesus say that there would be rough period before the end times arrived. His wording had a hint of Daniel, chapter 12:1 and Joel, chapter 2:2, who talked about the Day of Yahweh. Mark indicated that Jesus said that at the end times that there would be such suffering or tribulation (ἐκεῖναι θλῖψις) that no one had ever seen anything like it since the beginning of the world until now (οἵα οὐ γέγονεν τοιαύτη ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως ἣν ἔκτισεν ὁ Θεὸς ἕως τοῦ νῦν). In fact, there never will be any kind of suffering like this at any time (καὶ οὐ μὴ γένηται). This was going to be bad, nothing like it had ever happened before. This would be the unique end times. Luke was not as foreboding here. What do you expect the end times to be like?
“Anyone who divorces
And marries another,
From her husband,
Πᾶς ὁ ἀπολύων τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ καὶ γαμῶν ἑτέραν μοιχεύει, καὶ ὁ ἀπολελυμένην ἀπὸ ἀνδρὸς γαμῶν μοιχεύει.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that anyone who put away or divorced his wife (Πᾶς ὁ ἀπολύων τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ), and married another woman (καὶ γαμῶν ἑτέραν), committed adultery (μοιχεύει). Whoever married (γαμῶν) a woman, divorced from her husband (καὶ ὁ ἀπολελυμένην ἀπὸ ἀνδρὸς), committed adultery (μοιχεύει). This response of Jesus to his disciples can be found also in Matthew, chapter 19:9, where there was also an emphasis on divorce as adultery. Mark, chapter 10:11-12 indicated that Jesus said to his disciples (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) that whoever divorced his wife (Ὃς ἂν ἀπολύσῃ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ) and married another woman (καὶ γαμήσῃ ἄλλην), committed adultery against her (μοιχᾶται ἐπ’ αὐτήν). Jesus had taken the stronger stance of no divorce. There was no exception about sexual misconduct as in Matthew. In Jewish society, women could not divorce their husbands, but in Roman society or among the gentiles, women could divorce their husbands. Mark indicated that Jesus gave the same rebuke to the women as he given to the men. If a woman divorced her husband (καὶ ἐὰν αὐτὴ ἀπολύσασα τὸν ἄνδρα αὐτῆς), and married someone else (γαμήσῃ ἄλλον), she committed adultery (μοιχᾶται). There were no exceptions, not even for spousal abuse. The new marriage was adulterous. In Matthew, Jesus responded to the Pharisees (λέγει αὐτοῖς). He said that Moses allowed them to divorce their wives (Ὅτι Μωϋσῆς …ἐπέτρεψεν ὑμῖν ἀπολῦσαι τὰς γυναῖκας ὑμῶν) because they were so hard-hearted, perverse, and obstinate (πρὸς τὴν σκληροκαρδίαν ὑμῶν). However, as he had noted earlier, this was not so from the beginning (ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς δὲ οὐ γέγονεν οὕτως). Then in a solemn proclamation (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν) he said that whoever divorced his wife and married another woman committed adultery (ὅτι ὃς ἂν ἀπολύσῃ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ…καὶ γαμήσῃ ἄλλην, μοιχᾶται), except for the sexual immorality or fornication (μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ) of his wife. Jesus had taken the stronger stance of no divorce, but gave one exception, the sexual misconduct of the wife, much like some of the stricter Jewish rabbis at that time. This exception was not in Mark or here in Luke. Do you think that there should be exceptions for divorce?
“Someone asked him.
‘Will only a few
Εἶπεν δέ τις αὐτῷ Κύριε, εἰ ὀλίγοι οἱ σῳζόμενοι;
Luke uniquely indicated that someone along the way asked Jesus (Εἶπεν δέ τις αὐτῷ), as he traveled, addressing him as the “Lord (Κύριε).” They wanted to know if only a few people would be saved (εἰ ὀλίγοι οἱ σῳζόμενοι)? This was a main concern among apocalyptic people who were concerned about the end times. Will they be left behind? Was salvation for many or just a few? This has been a continuing question among Christians since the very beginning, but emphasized with John Calvin (1509-1564) and around millennium moments. Do you think that many or few people will be saved?