I tell you!
But unless you repent
You will perish
Just as they did.”
οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀλλ’ ἐὰν μὴ μετανοήσητε, πάντες ὡσαύτως ἀπολεῖσθε.
Luke once again uniquely had this response of Jesus, which was the same as previously. This response of Jesus in Luke was simple. Jesus said “No (οὐχί)” with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν). All of them present there, if they did not repent or have a change of heart, a metanoia (ἀλλ’ ἐὰν μὴ μετανοήσητε), they would all perish, just like these people upon whom the wall fell down on (πάντες ὡσαύτως ἀπολεῖσθε). Tragic death did not mean that you were a sinner. Repentance for all was important. Do you think that anyone deserves to die?
“‘What is your verdict?’
‘He deserves death.’
Then they spat
In his face.
They struck him.
Some slapped him.
‘Prophesy to us!
Who is it
That struck you?’”
τί ὑμῖν δοκεῖ; οἱ δὲ ἀποκριθέντες εἶπαν Ἔνοχος θανάτου ἐστίν.
Τότε ἐνέπτυσαν εἰς τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐκολάφισαν αὐτόν, οἱ δὲ ἐράπισαν
λέγοντες Προφήτευσον ἡμῖν, Χριστέ, τίς ἐστιν ὁ παίσας σε;
This is something similar in Mark, chapter 14:64-65. There is nothing like this in Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 18. Matthew said that the high priest turned to the rest of the council there. What is your verdict? What do you think (τί ὑμῖν δοκεῖ)? The members of the council that included priests, presbyters, elders, and scribes answered (οἱ δὲ ἀποκριθέντες εἶπαν) that Jesus was deserving of death (Ἔνοχος θανάτου ἐστίν.). Technically, they could not condemn Jesus to death since only the Roman authorities could impose a death penalty. However, they were not reluctant to abuse him with spitting, punching, slapping, and taunting. Thus, they spat at him in his face (Τότε ἐνέπτυσαν εἰς τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ). They struck him with a fist (καὶ ἐκολάφισαν αὐτόν), while others slapped him with an open hand (οἱ δὲ ἐράπισαν). They said that he, the Christ Messiah (Χριστέ), should prophesize to them (λέγοντες Προφήτευσον ἡμῖν) who was it that struck him (τίς ἐστιν ὁ παίσας σε). Thus, this secret Jewish leaders’ night trial came to an inglorious end.
“How can I pardon you?
Your children have forsaken me.
They have sworn by those
Who are not gods.
When I fed them to the full,
They committed adultery.
They trooped to the houses of prostitutes.
They were well-fed lusty stallions.
Each was neighing for his neighbor’s wife.
Shall I not punish them for these things?
Shall I not bring retribution
On a nation such as this?’
Yahweh wanted to know from Jeremiah how he could pardon the people of Jerusalem. Their children had given up on Yahweh. They were swearing to things that were not gods at all. Even after he had fed them to the full, they went and committed adultery. They ran off to the houses of prostitution with their full bellies, like lusty stallions. They were always seeking their neighbor’s wife, like a horse neighing after them. Should they not be punished for such things? This nation deserves retribution.
“You are righteous.
You rule all things righteously.
It is deemed alien to your power
To condemn anyone
Who does not deserve to be punished.
Your strength is the source of righteousness.
Your sovereignty over all
Causes you to spare all.
You show your strength
When people doubt
The completeness of your power.
You rebuke any insolence
Among those who know it.
Although you are sovereign in strength,
You judge with mildness.
You govern us
With great forbearance.
You have power to act
Whenever you choose.”
God is righteous (δίκαιος) and strongly rules righteously. Thus he punishes everyone who deserves it. His strength is the source of his righteousness (ἰσχύς σου δικαιοσύνης ἀρχή). Because he has power over all, he is able to spare some people. Some see this as a weakness, but it only shows the completeness of his power. God judges with mildness and forbearance, even though he has the power to act whenever he wants to.