Christ and David (Lk 20:41-20:41)

“Then Jesus

Said to them.

‘How can they say

That the Christ,

The Messiah,

Is David’s son?’”

 

Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς Πῶς λέγουσιν τὸν Χριστὸν εἶναι Δαυεὶδ υἱόν;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked them (Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς) how they could say (Πῶς λέγουσιν) that the Christ Messiah would be the son of David (τὸν Χριστὸν εἶναι Δαυεὶδ υἱόν)?  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:41-42, and Mark, chapter 12:35, but Jesus was sparing with the Pharisees and the Scribes, not a vague “they,” as here in Luke.  However, Mark was closer to Luke.  Mark said while Jesus was teaching in the Temple (διδάσκων ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ), he questioned them saying (Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἔλεγεν) how can the Scribes say (Πῶς λέγουσιν οἱ γραμματεῖς) that the Messiah Christ is the son of David (ὅτι ὁ Χριστὸς υἱὸς Δαυείδ ἐστιν)?  This was a complex question that Jesus posed to them.  He seemed to imply that the Christ Messiah was the son of David.  Matthew indicated that the Pharisees had gathered together (Συνηγμένων δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων) around Jesus.  Thus, he asked them a simple question (ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  Here Jesus posed the question (λέγων) whose son would the Messiah Christ be (Τί ὑμῖν δοκεῖ περὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ; τίνος υἱός ἐστιν)?  The Pharisees responded (λέγουσιν) that the Messiah Christ would be the son of David (αὐτῷ Τοῦ Δαυείδ).  This was the traditional Jewish response based on Psalm 110:1, that the Messiah would be the son or descendant of David.  How was Jesus the son of David?

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The people against Jesus (Lk 20:20-20:20)

“Thus,

They watched Jesus.

They sent spies,

Who pretended

To be righteous themselves.

They tried

To trap him.

Thus,

They might hand him over

To the jurisdiction

And authority

Of the governor.”

 

Καὶ παρατηρήσαντες ἀπέστειλαν ἐνκαθέτους ὑποκρινομένους ἑαυτοὺς δικαίους εἶναι, ἵνα ἐπιλάβωνται αὐτοῦ λόγου, ὥστε παραδοῦναι αὐτὸν τῇ ἀρχῇ καὶ τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ τοῦ ἡγεμόνος 

 

Luke said that the chief priests and the Scribes were watching Jesus very closely (Καὶ παρατηρήσαντες).  They sent spies (ἀπέστειλαν ἐνκαθέτους).  Luke used the word ἐνκαθέτους, that means hired to lie in wait, lying in wait, or a spy, as the only time this word appeared in all the Greek biblical literature.  They pretended to be honest righteous men themselves (ὑποκρινομένους ἑαυτοὺς δικαίους εἶναι).  Luke has another unique usage of the word ὑποκρινομένους that means to reply, to answer on a stage, to pretend, or act the part.  They were trying to trap or catch Jesus with his own words (ἵνα ἐπιλάβωνται αὐτοῦ λόγου).  Thus, they might be able to hand him over (ὥστε παραδοῦναι αὐτὸν) to the rule or jurisdiction (τῇ ἀρχῇ) and authority of the Roman client governor (καὶ τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ τοῦ ἡγεμόνος).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:15-16, and in Mark, chapter 12:13.  Mark said that the Pharisees sent some of their own people to Jesus (Καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν πρὸς αὐτόν τινας τῶν Φαρισαίων).  The Pharisees were always testing or tempting Jesus and his disciples, but they were not mentioned in Luke.  They also sent along some Herodians (καὶ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν), who were the followers or political supporters of King Herod Antipas, the Roman client tetrarch king of Galilee, the one who had John the Baptist beheaded.  Both these groups were out to trap Jesus or catch him by using his own words against him (ἵνα αὐτὸν ἀγρεύσωσιν λόγῳ).  Matthew said that the Pharisees went away (Τότε πορευθέντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι) for a while, but they plotted or gathered together (συμβούλιον ἔλαβον) to entrap or entangle Jesus in what he had said (ὅπως αὐτὸν παγιδεύσωσιν ἐν λόγῳ).  These Pharisees sent their own disciples to Jesus (καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν αὐτῷ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτῶν), along with some Herodians (μετὰ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν), just like Mark had mentioned.  They were out to trick or trap Jesus.  Have you ever tried to trap anyone?

Severe man (Lk 19:21-19:21)

“I was afraid of you!

You are a harsh man!

You take

What you did not deposit.

You reap

What you did not sow.”

 

ἐφοβούμην γάρ σε, ὅτι ἄνθρωπος αὐστηρὸς εἶ, αἴρεις ὃ οὐκ ἔθηκας, καὶ θερίζεις ὃ οὐκ ἔσπειρας.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this third slave said that he was afraid (ἐφοβούμην) of the lord nobleman, because this nobleman was a harsh or severe man (γάρ σε, ὅτι ἄνθρωπος αὐστηρὸς εἶ).  Once again, Luke used a word αὐστηρὸς, that means harsh, severe, grim, strict, exacting, or rigid, that is not found elsewhere in the Greek biblical literature.  This man took what he had not deposited (αἴρεις ὃ οὐκ ἔθηκας).  He reaped what he had not sown (καὶ θερίζεις ὃ οὐκ ἔσπειρας).  This was similar to Matthew, chapter 25:24, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus, via Matthew, indicated that this slave said to his master or lord (εἶπεν Κύριε) that he knew that his master was a harsh or hard man (ἔγνων σε ὅτι σκληρὸς εἶ ἄνθρωπος), because he would reap or harvest crops where he had not sown them (θερίζων ὅπου οὐκ ἔσπειρας).  He even gathered crops where he had not scattered seeds (καὶ συνάγων ὅθεν οὐ διεσκόρπισας).  This third slave in each story was afraid of this harsh or severe demanding master.  Do you know someone who is very demanding?

 

The Son of Man will be like lightning (Lk 17:24-17:24)

“As the lightning

Flashes

And lights up

The sky

From one side

To the other,

So will the Son of man

Be in his day.”

 

ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἀστράπτουσα ἐκ τῆς ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανὸν εἰς τὴν ὑπ’ οὐρανὸν λάμπει, οὕτως ἔσται ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that as the lightning flashes (ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἀστράπτουσα) and lights up the sky (ἐκ τῆς ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανὸν) from one side of the sky to the other (εἰς τὴν ὑπ’ οὐρανὸν λάμπει), so will the Son of man be (οὕτως ἔσται ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) in his day (ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ αὐτοῦ).  Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use the word ἀστράπτουσα that means to lighten and flash forth.  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:27, indicating a Q source, about the Son of Man coming like lightening, but in a more succinct way.  In Matthew, Jesus said that as the lightning came from the east (ὥσπερ γὰρ ἡ ἀστραπὴ ἐξέρχεται ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν) but flashed or shined in the west (καὶ φαίνεται ἕως δυσμῶν), so the Parousia or the second coming of the Son of Man would happen (οὕτως ἔσται ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  Wherever the corpse was (ὅπου ἐὰν ᾖ τὸ πτῶμα), there the vultures gathered (ἐκεῖ συναχθήσονται οἱ ἀετοί).  The Son of Man was a clear reference to Jesus in his return, the Parousia, who would return like a flash of lightening.  The vultures or eagles were a reference to the Roman soldiers with their eagle symbols.  There was nothing about the corpses and the eagles or vultures here in Luke, just the lightning flash.  However, later in this chapter, verse 37, there was a mention of the corpses and these vultures.  Are you afraid of lightning?

The younger son squanders his property (Lk 15:13-15:13)

“A few days later,

The younger son

Gathered all he had.

He traveled

To a distant country.

There he squandered

His property

In dissolute living.”

 

καὶ μετ’ οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας συναγαγὼν πάντα ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς χώραν μακράν, καὶ ἐκεῖ διεσκόρπισεν τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ ζῶν ἀσώτως.

 

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 a few days later or not too many days later (καὶ μετ’ οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας), this younger son gathered all that he had (συναγαγὼν πάντα ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς), without any indication of how much stuff he actually had.  He then traveled or went away to a distant country (ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς χώραν μακράν), since he did not stay close to home.  There he squandered his property in dissolute living (καὶ ἐκεῖ διεσκόρπισεν τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ ζῶν ἀσώτως).  Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term ἀσώτως that means prodigal or extravagantly wasteful, because of loose living in a debauched, profligate lifestyle.  Thus, this story came to be known as the prodigal son.  In other words, this young son took off for a Las Vegas kind of city in a faraway place.  There he spent his new-found inheritance very quickly in a number of stupid ways.  It is not clear how he was able to convert his inheritance property into cash, but presumably he did.  Have you ever thought about running away and spending a lot of money foolishly?

Great crowds (Lk 14:25-14:25)

“Now large crowds

Were traveling

With Jesus.

He turned to them.”

 

Συνεπορεύοντο δὲ αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί, καὶ στραφεὶς

 

Luke uniquely indicated that that there were great large crowds traveling with Jesus (Συνεπορεύοντο δὲ αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί).  He was no longer going to places where crowds gathered.  They were traveling with him now.  He turned to them (καὶ στραφεὶς).  He was about to talk to them about the cost of being a disciple of Jesus.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), the German Lutheran theologian wrote the Cost of Discipleship (1937), outlining the problems of being a Christian in Nazi Germany, when he argued against cheap grace, the easy way out.  Do you go along with the crowd?

Beware of the Pharisees (Lk 12:1-12:1)

“Meanwhile,

The crowd gathered

By the thousands,

So that they trampled

On one another.

Jesus began to speak,

First to his disciples.

‘Beware of the yeast

Of the Pharisees,

That is,

Their hypocrisy.’”

 

Ἐν οἷς ἐπισυναχθεισῶν τῶν μυριάδων τοῦ ὄχλου, ὥστε καταπατεῖν ἀλλήλους, ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ πρῶτον Προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης, ἥτις ἐστὶν ὑπόκρισις, τῶν Φαρισαίων.

 

Luke continued with a diatribe against the Pharisees.  Luke indicated that the crowd gathered by the thousands (Ἐν οἷς ἐπισυναχθεισῶν τῶν μυριάδων τοῦ ὄχλου), so that they trampled on one another (ὥστε καταπατεῖν ἀλλήλους).  This was the first mention of a problem with crowd control.  Jesus then began first to speak to his disciples (ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ πρῶτον).  He told them that they should be aware (Προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς) of the yeast (ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης) that is the hypocrisy (ἥτις ἐστὶν ὑπόκρισις) of the Pharisees (τῶν Φαρισαίων).  This saying about the yeast of the Pharisees can be found in Mark, chapter 8:16, and Matthew, chapter 16:6, but there are slight differences.  Mark and Luke did not mention the Sadducees, but Matthew did.  Matthew said that Jesus told his disciples to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Matthew had a clear rebuff of both these groups and their growing yeast, leaven, or power that was expanding, but there was no mention of the Scribes.  For Mark and Matthew, this discussion took place about bread on a boat trip.  The disciples discovered that they had no food when they landed on the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  However, Mark said that it took place while they were still in the boat.  Mark was the only one to mention Herod, the Roman appointed political leader in Galilee.  Mark said that Jesus cautioned or instructed his disciples.  They were to watch out for and be aware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.  This was a clear rebuff of both the Pharisees and Herod.  Their growing yeast, leaven, or power was expanding.  Here, it is a simple warning against the Pharisees only.  Do you know anybody who is a hypocrite?