The sons of this age (Lk 20:34-20:34)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Those who belong

To this age

Marry

And are given

In marriage.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου γαμοῦσιν καὶ γαμίσκονται,

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said to the Sadducees (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) that those who belong to this age, the sons of this age (Οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου), marry (γαμοῦσιν) and are given in marriage (καὶ γαμίσκονται).  Both Matthew, chapter 22:29, and Mark, chapter 12:24, are almost word for word, with Jesus flat out telling the Sadducees that they were wrong, without mentioning the present age.  However, this reprimand by Jesus is not here in LukeMatthew indicated that Jesus answered the Sadducees (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) by telling them that they were wrong, deceived, or lead astray (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πλανᾶσθε).  They did not know the scriptures or the writings (μὴ εἰδότες τὰς γραφὰς).  They also did not know the power or purpose of God (μηδὲ τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Mark said that Jesus responded to the Sadducees (ἔφη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) by telling them that they were wrong, deceived, or led astray (Οὐ διὰ τοῦτο πλανᾶσθε).  They did not know the scriptures or the writings (μὴ εἰδότες τὰς γραφὰς).  They also did not know the power or purpose of God (μηδὲ τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Simply put, they were ill-informed or stupid.  Luke did not use this kind of language.  Do you think that some people are stupid?

Render to Caesar (Lk 20:25-20:25)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Then give

To the Emperor Caesar

The things

That are the Emperor Caesar’s!

Give to God

The things

That are God’s.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Τοίνυν ἀπόδοτε τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) to give back to the Emperor Caesar (Τοίνυν ἀπόδοτε τὰ Καίσαρος), the things that are of the Emperor Caesar’s (Καίσαρι)!  However, give to God the things that are God’s (καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:21, and in Mark, chapter 12:17, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus responded to them (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) by telling them to give to the Roman emperor Caesar the things that belonged to the emperor (Τὰ Καίσαρος ἀπόδοτε Καίσαρι).  At the same time, they should give to God the things that belong to God (καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ).  Matthew said that Jesus responded to them (τότε λέγει αὐτοῖς) by telling them to give to the Roman emperor Caesar the things that belonged to the emperor (Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι).  At the same time, they should give to God the things that belong to God (καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ).  Jesus appeared to accept the Roman rule and its taxing policies.  He also had a milder view of their tax collectors.  With this ambiguous answer, Jesus avoided offending Jewish nationalists and the Roman Empire party and its officials.  Thus, the Roman and Jewish parties were both satisfied and unsatisfied at the same time.  If everything belonged to God, do not pay this tax.  If everything belonged to the Roman Empire, pay the tax.  The choice was theirs.  He was not going to tell them what to do.  This statement of Jesus has become the basic Christian understanding of the relationship between religious churches and civilian states.  Do you see a difference between Church regulations and civic state regulations?

Divide the property (Lk 15:12-15:12)

“The younger son

Of them said

To his father.

‘Father!

Give me

The share

Of the property

That will belong

To me.’

Thus,

The father divided

His property

Between them.”

 

καὶ εἶπεν ὁ νεώτερος αὐτῶν τῷ πατρί Πάτερ, δός μοι τὸ ἐπιβάλλον μέρος τῆς οὐσίας. ὁ δὲ διεῖλεν αὐτοῖς τὸν βίον.

 

This long parable story about the two sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the younger son said to his father (καὶ εἶπεν ὁ νεώτερος αὐτῶν τῷ πατρί), very respectfully calling him “father (Πάτερ)” that he wanted the share of the property that was going to belong to him (δός μοι τὸ ἐπιβάλλον μέρος τῆς οὐσίας).  Thus, the father obliged.  He divided his property between the two of them (ὁ δὲ διεῖλεν αὐτοῖς τὸν βίον).  This is a simple story.  The younger son wanted his inheritance early, which was an unusual request, since inheritances would not take place until the death of his father.  Nevertheless, the father said ok, without consulting with the older son.  Has there been a fight in your family about inheritances?

Render to Caesar (Mk 12:17-12:17)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Give to the emperor Caesar

The things

That are the emperor Caesar’s.

Give to God

The things

That are God’s.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Τὰ Καίσαρος ἀπόδοτε Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:21, and in Luke, chapter 20:25, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus responded to them (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) by telling them to give to the Roman emperor Caesar the things that belonged to the emperor (Τὰ Καίσαρος ἀπόδοτε Καίσαρι).  At the same time, they should give to God the things that belong to God (καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ).  Jesus appeared to accept the Roman rule and its taxing policies, as he also had a milder view of their tax collectors.  With this ambiguous answer, Jesus avoided offending Jewish nationalists and the Roman Empire party and its officials.  Thus, the Roman and Jewish parties were both satisfied and unsatisfied at the same time.  If everything belonged to God, do not pay this tax.  If everything belonged to the Roman empire, pay the tax.  The choice was theirs.  He was not going to tell them what to do.  This statement of Jesus has become the basic Christian understanding of the relationships between religious church organizations and state civic organizations.

Foundation stories

Some stories are foundational.  The American founding fathers had their stories.  The Irish often speak of the “Faith of our Fathers”.  These stories give us a vision of reality.  There is a master narrative around which we organize and give meaning to our lives.  In the same way, we live the Christian story about Jesus.  Each one of us has a foundation story that gives us an identity in our community.  Each business has a foundation story that is part mythic, yet operative.  The American Manifest Destiny shows how the story justified the expansion.  We are a land of opportunity, based on many stories, maybe within your own family.  Everyone can live out their dreams.  Creation stories show how we belong to the world and what our purpose for being here is.  Isolated reading is not right either.  This is not a naive reading, since the stories are inspired blended accounts.

The bad proverb (Ezek 18:1-18:4)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘What do you mean

By repeating

This proverb

Concerning

The land of Israel?

‘The parents have eaten

Sour grapes.

The children’s teeth

Are set on edge.’

As I live,

Says Yahweh God!

‘This proverb

Shall no more

Be used by you

In Israel.

Know

That all lives are mine!

The life of the parent

Is mine.

The life of the child

Is mine.

It is only the person

Who sins

That shall die.’”

Yahweh was talking about personal responsibility rather than suffering for the sins of one’s parents. This proverb about parents eating sour grapes, while the effect would be on their children’s teeth is also found in Jeremiah, chapter 29. Here Yahweh asked them why they were repeating this proverb, because he wanted them to stop using this proverb in Israel. Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that all lives, both the parents and their children, belong to him. The person who sins will die. No one else will die. There is no collective guilt passed on from father to son.

The unfaithful ones (Jer 5:10-5:11)

“Go up through her vine-rows!

Destroy them!

But do not make a full end!

Strip away her branches!

They are not Yahweh’s.

The house of Israel

Has been utterly faithless to me.

The house of Judah

Has been utterly faithless to me,’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh told Jeremiah to go into their vineyards and destroy them, but not completely. Yahweh wanted him to strip away the branches that did not belong to Yahweh. Both the house of Israel to the north and the house of Judah, in the south, had been utterly faithless to him. Yahweh was clear.