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?
This was an admission by Jewish religious leaders, the chief priests and the Pharisees, as named in Matthew chapter 21:45-46, and Luke, chapter 20:19, but not here, about the deteriorating situation. 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). They realized or knew that Jesus had told this parable against them (ἔγνωσαν γὰρ ὅτι πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὴν παραβολὴν εἶπεν), the wicked evil tenants of the vineyard. The landowner was God the Father. The slaves were the Israelite prophets, while Jesus was the son of the Father. Thus, they left him (καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν) and went away (ἀπῆλθον). This will not turn out well.
This idea of arresting Jesus can be found in Mark, chapter 12:12, and Luke, chapter 20:19, but with slightly different wordings. 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 is the only one who calls him a prophet.
This mention of Herod being afraid of John the Baptist can be found only in Mark, chapter 6:18-20, and here. John had called out Herod for his marriage with Herodias, his brother’s recently divorced wife. John had told Herod (ἔλεγεν γὰρ ὁ Ἰωάνης αὐτῷ) that It was not lawful for him to have her as his wife (Οὐκ ἔξεστίν σοι ἔχειν αὐτήν). Even though Herod wanted to put John to death (καὶ θέλων αὐτὸν ἀποκτεῖναι), he was afraid of the large crowds of people (ἐφοβήθη τὸν ὄχλον), because they regarded John as a prophet (ὅτι ὡς προφήτην αὐτὸν εἶχον).
A particular form of American Evangelicalism developed in the 1920s to combat the secular culture after World War I, during the Roaring Twenties with its jazz age Gatsby morality. From 1890-1920 over 20,000,000 people, mostly Roman Catholic Europeans, immigrated into the major American cities. These new immigrants brought an end to the Victorian morals with their gambling and their bootlegging alcohol drinking during the Prohibition era. The League of Nations and the growth of international communism were other factors. Most fundamentalists were against the scriptural criticism of Protestant liberalism and the various other modernism trends. They feared losing their world, because others were aggressively posing a threat to their traditions. This was an apocalyptic view of history, where the past was great, the present cloudy and the future assured.
The rulers and the remaining people of Jerusalem gathered to hear the voice of Yahweh, via the prophet Haggai. This included the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, and the high priest Joshua, as mentioned earlier. They would obey Haggai as the voice of Yahweh, since they feared Yahweh. Yahweh had sent them Haggai as a prophet to speak in his name.
Azariah pointed out that they were going to follow God with all their heart. They feared him and were seeking his presence. However, they did not want to be put to shame. They wanted God’s patience and mercy to come to them.
Baruch wanted God not to remember the iniquities of their ancestors. Instead he wanted God to remember his own power and his name. They, the Israelite exiles, were going to praise God whom they feared in their hearts, during this exilic time. They were going to call on his name. They wanted the stain of their ancestor’s sins removed. They were scattered in this exile, reproached, cursed, and punished. It was their ancestors who had given up on the Lord, their God, not them.
Yahweh, via Jeremiah, wanted to know if they had amnesia. They seem to have forgotten the crimes of their ancestors, the kings of Judah. They have forgotten the crimes of the royal wives, their own crimes, and those of their wives that were committed in Judah and on the streets of Jerusalem. They have never shown any kind of contrition for their transgressions. They have not feared Yahweh, since they do not walk in his law or his statutes that were given to their ancestors.
How then did they end up in the city of Jerusalem? Their explanation was simple. With the coming of King Nebuchadnezzar (605-562 BCE) of Babylon, they moved to safety in or around Jerusalem. They feared for their lives because of the Babylonian invasion with their Chaldean and Aramean troops. Thus they took refuge in Jerusalem. Obviously, they were a little out of place there with their strange life style ways.