The chief priests and Scribes wanted Jesus (Lk 20:19-20:19)

“The chief priests

And the Scribes

Wanted

To lay hands

On Jesus

At that very hour.

But they feared

The people.”

 

Καὶ ἐζήτησαν οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς ἐπιβαλεῖν ἐπ’ αὐτὸν τὰς χεῖρας ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν λαόν

 

Luke said that the Scribes (οἱ γραμματεῖς) and the chief priests (καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) wanted to lay hands on Jesus (Καὶ ἐζήτησαν…ἐπιβαλεῖν ἐπ’ αὐτὸν τὰς χεῖρας) at that very hour (ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ,).  However, they feared the people (καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν λαόν).  There is something similar in Matthew chapter 21:46, and Mark, chapter 12:12.  However, there are different groups named in each gospel. Mark said that the unnamed “they” were trying or seeking to get a hold of or arrest Jesus (Καὶ ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι).  However, they were afraid of the crowd (καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν ὄχλον).  Thus, they left him (καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν) and went away (ἀπῆλθον).  Matthew said that the chief priests and the Pharisees wanted to arrest or seize Jesus (καὶ ζητοῦντες αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι).  However, they feared the crowds (ἐφοβήθησαν τοὺς ὄχλους) who regarded him as if he were a prophet (ἐπεὶ εἰς προφήτην αὐτὸν εἶχον).  In fact, the idea of Jesus as a prophet still exists until today, but Matthew was the only one who called him a prophet.  Luke had named the chief priests and the Scribes, but not the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the elders or presbyters.  Mark simply used the vague “they”.  Matthew, on the other hand, had the chief priests and the Pharisees seeking Jesus, but not the Scribes, the Sadducees, the elders or presbyters.  This was an assertion that the various Jewish religious leaders were out to get Jesus.  Are you out to get anyone?

They did not know (Lk 20:7-20:7)

“Thus,

They answered

That they did not know

Where it came from.”

 

καὶ ἀπεκρίθησαν μὴ εἰδέναι πόθεν.

 

Luke indicated that the Jewish Jerusalem religious leaders answered (καὶ ἀπεκρίθησαν) that they did not know where (μὴ εἰδέναι πόθεν) the baptism of John the Baptist came from.  This same response to Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:27, and Mark, chapter 11:33, almost word for word to each other.  Mark said that the chief priests, the Scribes, and the elders responded to Jesus (καὶ ἀποκριθέντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ).  They said that they did not know (λέγουσιν Οὐκ οἴδαμεν) the value, origins, or power of the baptism of John the Baptist.  Matthew said that the chief priests and elders responded to Jesus (καὶ ἀποκριθέντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἶπαν) that they did not know (Οὐκ οἴδαμεν) the origins or power of the baptism of John the Baptist.  This non-response was better than an aggravating response.  Have you ever pleaded ignorance when you were too embarrassed to answer a question?

The baptism from heaven (Lk 20:5-20:5)

“They discussed it

With one another.

They said.

‘If we say,

‘From heaven.’

He will say.

‘Why did you

Not believe him?’”

 

οἱ δὲ συνελογίσαντο πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς λέγοντες ὅτι Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, ἐρεῖ Διὰ τί οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ;

 

Luke indicated that these Jewish religious leaders considered it with one another, among themselves (οἱ δὲ συνελογίσαντο πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς).  Once again, this is a unique word of Luke, συνελογίσαντο that means to reckon, to compute, reason, or consider, that cannot be found in any other Greek biblical literature.  They said (λέγοντες ὅτι) that if they answered from heaven (Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ), then they would be asked why they did not believe in John (ἐρεῖ Διὰ τί οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ).  This argument or discussion among the Jewish leaders can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:25, and Mark, chapter 11:31, almost word for word.  Mark said that the high priests, Scribes, and the elders argued or discussed with each other (καὶ διελογίζοντο πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς).  If they said that John’s baptism was from heaven (λέγοντες·Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ), then Jesus would ask them why they had not believed in John the Baptist (ἐρεῖ Διὰ τί οὖν οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ)?  Matthew said that the high priests and the elders argued with each other (οἱ δὲ διελογίζοντο ἐν ἑαυτοῖς).  If they said that John’s baptism was from heaven (λέγοντες· Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ), then Jesus would ask them why they had not believed in John the Baptist (ἐρεῖ ἡμῖν Διὰ τί οὖν οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ)?  Although, this was a real option, these Jewish religious leaders did not want to go there.  Have you ever stumped a person with a tricky 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?

What authority? (Lk 20:2-20:2)

“They said to Jesus.

‘Tell us!

By what authority

Are you doing

These things?

Who is it

Who gave you

This authority?’”

 

καὶ εἶπαν λέγοντες πρὸς αὐτόν Εἰπὸν ἡμῖν ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιεῖς, ἢ τίς ἐστιν ὁ δούς σοι τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην;

 

Luke indicated that these chief priests, Scribes, and elders asked Jesus (καὶ εἶπαν λέγοντες πρὸς αὐτόν) by what authority he was doing all these things (Εἰπὸν ἡμῖν ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιεῖς)?  They wanted him to tell them who gave him this authority (ἢ τίς ἐστιν ὁ δούς σοι τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην)?  These questions seemed like legitimate inquiries, since Jesus was not a Levitical priest or an ordained rabbi.  This questioning of the authority of Jesus can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:23, and Mark, chapter 11:28, almost word for word.  Mark said that these chief priests, Scribes, and elders asked Jesus (καὶ ἔλεγον αὐτῷ) by what authority was he doing all these things (Ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιεῖς) in the Temple?  Who gave him his authority to do all these things (ἢ τίς σοι ἔδωκεν τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην ἵνα ταῦτα ποιῇς)?  Matthew said that they wanted to know by what authority was he doing all these things (Ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιεῖς)?  Who gave him his authority (καὶ τίς σοι ἔδωκεν τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην)?  This important Jewish Jerusalem delegation came to Jesus with a legitimate question.  They wanted to know where he came from and what he was trying to do.  Have you ever questioned the authority of anyone?

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?

They seek to destroy Jesus (Lk 19:47-19:47)

“Everyday,

Jesus was teaching

In the Temple.

The chief priests,

The Scribes,

And the leaders

Of the people

Kept looking

For a way

To kill him.”

 

Καὶ ἦν διδάσκων τὸ καθ’ ἡμέραν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ· οἱ δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν ἀπολέσαι καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι τοῦ λαοῦ,

 

Luke said that everyday Jesus was teaching in the Temple (Καὶ ἦν διδάσκων τὸ καθ’ ἡμέραν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ).  The chief priests (οἱ δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς), the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς), and the other leaders of the people (καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι τοῦ λαοῦ,) kept looking for a way to kill or destroy Jesus (ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν ἀπολέσαι).  There were no Pharisees or Sadducees mentioned here, but these other people were trying to figure out a way to kill Jesus.  There was something similar in Mark, chapter 11:17.  Mark said that the chief priests and the Scribes heard about this incident in the Temple (καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς).  Thus, they kept seeking or looking for a way to destroy or kill Jesus (καὶ ἐζήτουν πῶς αὐτὸν ἀπολέσωσιν).  This cleansing of the Temple may have been the immediate event that caused the Jerusalem elders to be suspicious of Jesus.  However, there was nothing like this in Matthew.  Would you be suspicious if someone disrupted your religious services?

The seventy (Lk 10:1-10:1)

“After this,

The Lord

Appointed seventy others.

He sent them

On ahead of him,

In pairs,

Into every town

And place

Where he himself

Intended to go.”

 

Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ἀνέδειξεν ὁ Κύριος ἑτέρους ἑβδομήκοντα, καὶ ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς ἀνὰ δύο πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ εἰς πᾶσαν πόλιν καὶ τόπον οὗ ἤμελλεν αὐτὸς ἔρχεσθαι.

 

Luke uniquely spoke about these 70 disciples.  He said that after these comments (Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα) about the demands of discipleship, the Lord (ὁ Κύριος), not Jesus, appointed 70 others disciples (ἀνέδειξεν ἑτέρους ἑβδομήκοντα), who were not the 12 apostles.  He sent them on ahead of him or his face (πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ), in pairs (καὶ ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς ἀνὰ δύο), into every town and place (εἰς πᾶσαν πόλιν καὶ τόπον) where he himself intended to go (οὗ ἤμελλεν αὐτὸς ἔρχεσθαι).  They were to be his front men or advance people.  There was no mention of these 70 disciples in the other gospel stories, only here in Luke.  This group of 70 was reminiscent of the elders with Moses in Numbers, chapter 11:24-25, where Moses gathered the 70 elders of the people around the tent.  Then Yahweh took some of the Spirit that was upon him and put it upon the 70 elders.  These elders temporarily prophesied.  This sharing of power may have helped Moses, since God gave some of the power of his spirit to these 70 elders.  Thus, the Jerusalem Jewish Sanhedrin had 70 members.  These 70 missionaries of Jesus went out in pairs, two by two, a common practice in the early Church.  Mark, chapter 6:7, said that Jesus sent out his 12 apostles in pairs, two by two, also.  Interesting enough, the activities of these 70 missionaries seem to be much like the 12 apostles as described earlier in chapter 9:2-4.  Have you ever been on a missionary expedition?

Prediction about the death and resurrection (Lk 9:22-9:22)

“Jesus said.

‘The Son of Man

Must undergo

Great suffering.

He will be rejected

By the elders,

By the chief priests,

And by the Scribes.

He will be killed.

On the third day,

He will be raised up.’”

 

εἰπὼν ὅτι Δεῖ τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου πολλὰ παθεῖν καὶ ἀποδοκιμασθῆναι ἀπὸ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων καὶ ἀρχιερέων καὶ γραμματέων καὶ ἀποκτανθῆναι καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἐγερθῆνα

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his disciples (εἰπὼν) that the Son of Man had to undergo great suffering (ὅτι Δεῖ τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου πολλὰ παθεῖν).  He would be rejected (καὶ ἀποδοκιμασθῆναι) by the elders or presbyters (ἀπὸ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων), the chief priests (καὶ ἀρχιερέων), and by the Scribes (καὶ γραμματέων).  He would be killed (καὶ ἀποκτανθῆναι), but on the third day (καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ), he would be raised up (ἐγερθῆνα).  Jesus began to talk about his future suffering that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:21-23, Mark, chapter 8:31-33, and here.  All this took place right after Peter’s strong profession of faith.  Notice that the synoptics gospel writers did not blame the Pharisees or the Sadducees for the suffering and death of Jesus.  There also was no mention of the Roman authorities.  Mark said that Jesus began to teach them that it was necessary that the Son of Man undergo many great sufferings.  Jesus used the term “Son of Man” in Luke and Mark to refer to himself not “Jesus Christ,” as in Matthew.  He was going to be rejected by the elders or presbyters, the chief priests, and the Scribes.  Eventually, he would be killed.  There was no mention of Jesus going to Jerusalem here.  After 3 days, he would rise again.  Matthew disliked Jerusalem with everything and everybody attached to it.  For the first time he used the full name of Jesus Christ (Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς).  From that time on, after Jesus had put Peter in charge, Jesus Christ began to show or let his disciples know that he had to go to Jerusalem.  There he would undergo great suffering from the Israelite Jerusalem elders or presbyters, the chief priests, and the Scribes.  Eventually, he would be killed, but he would be raised up on the 3rd day.  Clearly, this was a prediction about the future suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  Whom do you blame for the death of Jesus Christ?

The centurion was not worthy (Lk 7:6-7:6)

“Jesus went

With the elders.

When he was not far

From the house,

The centurion

Sent friends

To say to him.

‘Lord!

Do not trouble yourself!

I am not worthy

To have you

Come under my roof.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐπορεύετο σὺν αὐτοῖς. ἤδη δὲ αὐτοῦ οὐ μακρὰν ἀπέχοντος ἀπὸ τῆς οἰκίας, ἔπεμψεν φίλους ὁ ἑκατοντάρχης λέγων αὐτῷ Κύριε, μὴ σκύλλου· οὐ γὰρ ἱκανός εἰμι ἵνα ὑπὸ τὴν στέγην μου εἰσέλθῃς·

 

Luke said that Jesus went with these Jewish elders (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐπορεύετο σὺν αὐτοῖς).  When he was not far from the house (ἤδη δὲ αὐτοῦ οὐ μακρὰν ἀπέχοντος ἀπὸ τῆς οἰκίας), this centurion sent his friends (ἔπεμψεν φίλους ὁ ἑκατοντάρχης) to speak to Jesus, addressing him as Lord (λέγων αὐτῷ Κύριε).  They said that Jesus should not trouble himself (μὴ σκύλλου) because this centurion was not worthy (οὐ γὰρ ἱκανός εἰμι) to have Jesus come under his roof (ἵνα ὑπὸ τὴν στέγην μου εἰσέλθῃς).  However, Jesus was willing to heal this paralyzed young man.  This saying of the centurion’s friends is exactly the same as the centurion himself in Matthew, chapter 8:8, perhaps indicating a Q source.  The Roman centurion’s friends called Jesus “Lord.”  Then there is the famous saying of this centurion and his friends that he was not worthy to have such an important man as Jesus enter into his house.  This saying about not being worthy has entered into the Roman Catholic liturgy as a prayer before receiving Holy Communion.  Do you consider yourself worthy to have Jesus enter your house?