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?

Nothing to eat (Lk 15:16-15:16)

“He would gladly

Have filled himself

With the pods

That the pigs

Were eating.

However,

No one gave him

Anything to eat.”

 

καὶ ἐπεθύμει γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν αὐτοῦ ἐκ τῶν κερατίων ὧν ἤσθιον οἱ χοῖροι, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδίδου αὐτῷ.

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this prodigal son was longing to fill his belly or would have gladly filled himself (καὶ ἐπεθύμει γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν αὐτοῦ) with the pods (ἐκ τῶν κερατίων) that the pigs were eating (ὧν ἤσθιον οἱ χοῖροι).  Once again, this is a unique word of Luke, κερατίων that does not appear in any of the other biblical literature writings that means a dark brown pea pod of the carob tree.  However, no one gave him anything to eat (καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδίδου αὐτῷ).  This prodigal son was forced to feed the unclean pigs, while he himself was still hungry.  I wonder why he did not eat some of these brown pea pods.  Perhaps, it may have been culturally inappropriate.  Have you ever been really so hungry that you would eat anything?

The Samaritan pays for his upkeep (Lk 10:35-10:35)

“The next day,

The Samaritan

Took out

Two denarii.

He gave them

To the innkeeper.

He said.

‘Take care of him!

When I come back,

I will repay you

Whatever more

You spend.”

 

καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν αὔριον ἐκβαλὼν δύο δηνάρια ἔδωκεν τῷ πανδοχεῖ καὶ εἶπεν Ἐπιμελήθητι αὐτοῦ, καὶ ὅ τι ἂν προσδαπανήσῃς ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ ἐπανέρχεσθαί με ἀποδώσω σοι.

 

Luke continued his unique story.  Jesus said that the next day (καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν αὔριον), this Samaritan took out and gave two denarii (ἐκβαλὼν δύο δηνάρια ἔδωκεν) to the innkeeper (τῷ πανδοχεῖ).  He told (καὶ εἶπεν) this innkeeper to take care of the wounded man (Ἐπιμελήθητι αὐτοῦ).  When he would come back or return (ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ ἐπανέρχεσθαί), he would repay the innkeeper (με ἀποδώσω σοι) whatever more he would have to spend for the care of the wounded man (καὶ ὅ τι ἂν προσδαπανήσῃς).  Now the story is more interesting.  Not only did this Samaritan help the person in need, but he was going to continue to help him.  He did not hand him off without assuring that he would be well taken care of.  This was beyond the call of duty.  This Samaritan had already spent a day with the wounded person, but now he was going to pay for his further care.  Who does that?  There did not seem to be any prior relationship with this person and the Samaritan.  He was doing all this out of the goodness of his heart.  One denarius was equivalent to a day’s pay, about $.25 USA dollar.  This was a reasonable amount.  Would you do anything like this?

Jesus cures the son (Lk 9:42-9:42)

“While the boy

Was coming to Jesus,

The demon threw him down

With convulsions.

But Jesus rebuked

The unclean spirit.

He healed the boy.

He gave him back

To his father.”

 

ἔτι δὲ προσερχομένου αὐτοῦ ἔρρηξεν αὐτὸν τὸ δαιμόνιον καὶ συνεσπάραξεν· ἐπετίμησεν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ, καὶ ἰάσατο τὸν παῖδα καὶ ἀπέδωκεν αὐτὸν τῷ πατρὶ αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke said that while the young man was coming to Jesus (ἔτι δὲ προσερχομένου αὐτοῦ), the demon threw him down to the ground (ἔρρηξεν αὐτὸν τὸ δαιμόνιον) with convulsions (καὶ συνεσπάραξεν).  But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit (πετίμησεν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ).  He healed the boy (καὶ ἰάσατο τὸν παῖδα).  He gave him back to his father (καὶ ἀπέδωκεν αὐτὸν τῷ πατρὶ αὐτοῦ).  Both Matthew, chapter 17:18 and Luke here have a summary of a more detailed longer statement from Mark, chapter 9:20-27, about this mute epileptic boy.  Mark said that they brought the boy to Jesus.  However, when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it immediately convulsed the boy.  The boy fell on the ground and began to roll around, foaming at the mouth.  In fact, Jesus got to see what the father had described to him earlier.  Jesus asked the father of this boy how long had these convulsions been happening to him.  The father said that it had been happening since his childhood.  This evil spirit would often cast him into both fire and water, as Matthew had mentioned, in order to destroy him.  Then the father asked Jesus, if he was able to do anything to help his son.  He wanted Jesus to have pity and compassion on him and his son.  Jesus said to him that all things could be done for the one who believed.  Belief was the key ingredient for any success in this area.  The father of the child cried out that he believed, but he wanted help with his unbelief.  This was a strong statement of belief that also recognized unbelief at the same time.  Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit.  He directly commanded this unclean evil spirit that had kept this boy from speaking and hearing to come out of him, never again to enter him.  Jesus then got rid of the unclean spirit that was in this boy in a public act in front of a crowd.  After crying out and terribly convulsing the boy with spasms, the evil spirit came out of the boy, who became a corpse.  Most of the people said that the boy was dead.  Could this boy live without the evil spirit in him?  Jesus took the boy by the hand.  He lifted him up, so that he rose up, and was able to stand up on his feet by himself.  The boy was not dead.  There was a clear equivalence between the illness of epilepsy and demonic possession.  Once the devil or evil spirits had left the boy, he was cured of his various ailments.  Have you ever dealt with an epileptic?

Jesus blessed the loaves and fishes (Lk 9:16-9:16)

“Taking

The five loaves

And the two fish,

Jesus looked up

To heaven.

He blessed them.

He broke them.

He gave them

To the disciples

To set before

The crowd.”

 

λαβὼν δὲ τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας, ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς καὶ κατέκλασεν, καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς παραθεῖναι τῷ ὄχλῳ.

 

Luke said that Jesus took (λαβὼν) the 5 loaves (δὲ τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους) and the 2 fish (καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας).  He looked up to heaven (ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν).  He blessed them (εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς).  He broke them (καὶ κατέκλασεν).  He gave them to his disciples (αὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς) to set before the crowd (παραθεῖναι τῷ ὄχλῳ).  This is the only blessing miracle that is recorded in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:18-19, Mark, chapter 6:41, and John, chapter 6:12, plus here.  The blessing of the bread and the fish was exactly the same in all the synoptic gospels, but merely summarized in John.  This feeding of a large group of people harkens back to the Exodus story, chapter 16:1-36, about the manna and the quails in the wilderness.  Yet the blessing itself has almost a foretaste of the Eucharistic Last Supper of Jesus, when Jesus blessed and broke the bread.  Mark said that Jesus took the 5 loaves and the 2 fish.  He looked up to heaven.  He blessed them.  Then he broke up the loaves of bread into pieces.  He gave the loaves of bread to his disciples.  They, in turn, set the broken pieces of bread or served them to the crowd.  Jesus also divided or shared the 2 fish among them all, something that Luke did not mention explicitly.  Matthew indicated that Jesus told his disciples to bring him the food, the 5 loaves of bread and the 2 fish.  Then he ordered or directed the crowd to sit down on the grass.  He took the 5 loaves and the 2 fish.  He looked up to heaven.  He blessed them.  Then he broke the loaves of bread and the fishes into pieces.  He gave the loaves of bread to his disciples.  They, in turn, gave them to the crowd.  This almost sounds like a large later distribution of Holy Communion.  Have you ever been to a large communion service?

The power of the twelve (Lk 9:1-9:1)

“Then Jesus called

The twelve apostles together.

He gave them power

And authority

Over all the demons,

As well as

The power

And authority

To cure diseases.”

 

Συνκαλεσάμενος δὲ τοὺς δώδεκα ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δύναμιν καὶ ἐξουσίαν ἐπὶ πάντα τὰ δαιμόνια καὶ νόσους θεραπεύειν·

 

Luke said that Jesus called the 12 apostles together (Συνκαλεσάμενος δὲ τοὺς δώδεκα).  He gave them (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς) power (δύναμιν) and authority (καὶ ἐξουσίαν) over all the demons (πάντα τὰ δαιμόνια).  He also gave them the power and authority to cure diseases (καὶ νόσους θεραπεύειν).  This section about the power, the authority, and the mission of the 12 disciples or apostles is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:1, and Mark, chapter 6:7.  Mark said that Jesus summoned or called his 12 apostles, as he began to send them out 2 by 2.  He gave them authority over unclean or impure spirits.  Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons.  However, Mark did not mention curing diseases, illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness, just casting out the evil spirits that might have been the cause of their illnesses.  Matthew said that Jesus summoned or called to him his 12 disciples.  He called them disciples rather than the ambiguous “12.”  He gave them spiritual authority over unclean or impure spirits.  Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons.  They were also able to cure, treat, or heal all diseases, illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness.  In other words, Jesus was giving his own power or authority to cast out evil spirits and heal people to these 12 disciples or apostles.  This was a big deal.  The number 12 corresponded to the number of sons of Jacob or the 12 tribes of Israel.  This authority will be referred to later as the apostolic authority.  Jesus thus established these 12 disciples or apostles to carry on his work in casting out or exorcising evil spirits and curing people of their illnesses.  What do you think about this apostolic authority?

No kisses (Lk 7:45-7:45)

“You gave me

No kiss.

However,

From the time

I came in,

She has not stopped

Kissing my feet.”

 

φίλημά μοι οὐκ ἔδωκας· αὕτη δὲ ἀφ’ ἧς εἰσῆλθον οὐ διέλειπεν καταφιλοῦσά μου τοὺς πόδας.

 

Luke uniquely had Jesus continue to reprimand Simon, the Pharisee, for his lack of hospitality compared to this sinning woman.  Jesus said that Simon gave him no greeting kiss (φίλημά μοι οὐκ ἔδωκας) when he came into his house.  This woman, on the other hand, since he came in (αὕτη δὲ ἀφ’ ἧς εἰσῆλθον), had not stopped kissing his feet (οὐ διέλειπεν καταφιλοῦσά μου τοὺς πόδας).  What a contrast?  Do you greet people with a kiss?