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?