The baptism of John (Lk 20:4-20:4)

“Did the baptism

Of John

Come from heaven?

Or

Was it

Of human origin?”

 

Τὸ βάπτισμα Ἰωάνου ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἦν ἢ ἐξ ἀνθρώπων;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked them did the baptism of John (Τὸ βάπτισμα Ἰωάνου) come from heaven (ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἦν) or was it of human origin, from men (ἢ ἐξ ἀνθρώπων)?  This question about John the Baptist and the value of his baptism can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:25, and Mark, chapter 11:30, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus asked this one question.  Did the baptism of John the Baptist (τὸ βάπτισμα τὸ Ἰωάνου) come from heaven (ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἦν) or was it of a human man-made origin (ἢ ἐξ ἀνθρώπων)?  He wanted an answer (ἀποκρίθητέ μοι).  This also seemed fair enough.  Matthew indicated that Jesus asked this one question.  Did the baptism of John the Baptist come from heaven or was it of human man-made origin (τὸ βάπτισμα τὸ Ἰωάνου πόθεν ἦν; ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἢ ἐξ ἀνθρώπων)?  All they had to do was answer this simple question about the baptism of John the Baptist.  What do you think the value of the baptism of John the Baptism was?

 

He has ten already (Lk 19:25-19:25)

“However,

They said

To the nobleman.

‘Lord!

He already

Has ten minas!’”

 

καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ Κύριε, ἔχει δέκα μνᾶς.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus remarked that the bystanders said to the nobleman (καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ), lord (Κύριε), that he already had 10 minas (ἔχει δέκα μνᾶς).  Luke seemed to understand this problem of fairness and equality, but there was no complaint in Matthew.  Is it fair to give more to people who already have a lot?

Take his money away (Lk 19:24-19:24)

“The nobleman said

To the bystanders.

‘Take the mina

From him!

Give it to the one

Who has the ten minas!’”

 

καὶ τοῖς παρεστῶσιν εἶπεν Ἄρατε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὴν μνᾶν καὶ δότε τῷ τὰς δέκα μνᾶς ἔχοντι.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus remarked that the nobleman said to the bystanders (καὶ τοῖς παρεστῶσιν εἶπεν) to take the mina from him (Ἄρατε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὴν μνᾶν) and give it to the one who had earned 10 minas (καὶ δότε τῷ τὰς δέκα μνᾶς ἔχοντι).  This seems harsh, but in sync with the character of the nobleman.  This was similar to Matthew, chapter 25:28, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus, via Matthew, said that this master or slave owner said to his people to take the one talent from this wicked lazy slave (ἄρατε οὖν ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὸ τάλαντον) and give it to the slave who already had 10 talents (καὶ δότε τῷ ἔχοντι τὰ δέκα τάλαντα).  That did not seem fair, even though it was a mild punishment.  This lazy slave ended up with nothing, but he really did not want anything.  However, the ambitious industrious slave, who had increased his money, would get even more.  Do you have enough money?

He lived with prostitutes (Lk 15:30-15:30)

“But when this son

Of yours

Came back,

Who has devoured

Your property

With prostitutes,

You killed

The fatted calf

For him!”

 

ὅτε δὲ ὁ υἱός σου οὗτος ὁ καταφαγών σου τὸν βίον μετὰ πορνῶν ἦλθεν, ἔθυσας αὐτῷ τὸν σιτευτὸν μόσχον.

 

This long parable story about the 2 sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this older son continued his complaint to his father.  He said that when his brother, his father’s son (ὅτε δὲ ὁ υἱός σου οὗτος), came back (ἦλθεν), after having devoured his property (ὁ καταφαγών σου τὸν βίον) with prostitutes (μετὰ πορνῶν), he went and killed or sacrificed the fatted calf for him (ἔθυσας αὐτῷ τὸν σιτευτὸν μόσχον).  Luke is the only biblical writer who used this term σιτευτόν, that means fattened calf, 3 times in this story.  This upset son pointed out to his father that his brother had squandered all his hard-earned property on prostitutes.  Yet he was rewarding him with a special meal celebration.  Does this seem fair to you?

The children’s bread (Mk 7:27-7:27)

“Jesus said to her.

‘Let the children

Be fed first!

It is not fair

To take the children’s bread

And throw it

To the dogs.’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτῇ Ἄφες πρῶτον χορτασθῆναι τὰ τέκνα· οὐ γάρ ἐστιν καλόν λαβεῖν τὸν ἄρτον τῶν τέκνων καὶ τοῖς κυναρίοις βαλεῖν.

 

This time Jesus answered her like in Matthew, chapter 15:26.  Mark said that Jesus responded to her (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτῇ) that the children had to be feed or satisfied first (Ἄφες πρῶτον χορτασθῆναι τὰ τέκνα).  It was not right or fair (οὐ γάρ ἔστιν καλὸν) to take the children’s food or bread (λαβεῖν τὸν ἄρτον τῶν τέκνων) and feed it, throw it, or cast it to the unclean dogs (καὶ τοῖς κυναρίοις βαλεῖν).  His food was for the children of Israel, not for the gentile dogs.

 

The punishment of the slave with one talent (Mt 25:28-25:28)

“Take the talent

From him!

Give it

To the one

With the ten talents.”

 

ἄρατε οὖν ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὸ τάλαντον καὶ δότε τῷ ἔχοντι τὰ δέκα τάλαντα·

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 19:24.  This master or slave owner said to his people to take the one talent from this wicked lazy slave (ἄρατε οὖν ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὸ τάλαντον) and give it to the slave who already had 10 talents (καὶ δότε τῷ ἔχοντι τὰ δέκα τάλαντα).  That does not seem fair, even though it is a mild punishment.  This lazy slave ends up with nothing, but he really did not want anything.  The ambitious slave who doubled his money would get even more.

Last group hired (Mt 20:6-20:7)

“About five o’clock,

The eleventh hour,

The landowner went out.

He found others standing around.

He said to them.

‘Why are you standing here

Idle all day?’

They said to him.

‘Because no one

Has hired us.’

He said to them.

‘You also go

Into the vineyard.’

 

περὶ δὲ τὴν ἑνδεκάτην ἐξελθὼν εὗρεν ἄλλους ἑστῶτας, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Τί ὧδε ἑστήκατε ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν ἀργοί;

λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Ὅτι οὐδεὶς ἡμᾶς ἐμισθώσατο. λέγει αὐτοῖς Ὑπάγετε καὶ ὑμεῖς εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew.  This landowner of the vineyard went (ἐξελθὼν) to the market square at about 5:00 PM, the eleventh hour (περὶ δὲ τὴν ἑνδεκάτην).  He found some people still standing around (εὗρεν ἄλλους ἑστῶτας) in the square.  The landowner asked them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) why were they standing around idle all day (Τί ὧδε ἑστήκατε ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν ἀργοί).  They said to him (λέγουσιν αὐτῷ) that no one had hired them (Ὅτι οὐδεὶς ἡμᾶς ἐμισθώσατο).  Thus. he told them (λέγει αὐτοῖς) to go to work in his vineyard (Ὑπάγετε καὶ ὑμεῖς εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα).  The Greek Orthodox text added the phrase about the earlier group.  He simply said that they would receive what was right, just, or fair (καὶ ὃ ἐὰν ᾖ δίκαιον λήψεσθε).  Remember, the first group had been working 11 hours before this last group began to work.