Wisdom (Lk 21:15-21:15)

“I will give you

Words

And wisdom,

That none of your opponents

Will be able

To withstand

Or contradict.”

 

ἐγὼ γὰρ δώσω ὑμῖν στόμα καὶ σοφίαν, ᾗ οὐ δυνήσονται ἀντιστῆναι ἢ ἀντειπεῖν ἅπαντες οἱ ἀντικείμενοι ὑμῖν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that he would give them (ἐγὼ γὰρ δώσω ὑμῖν) words or more precisely a mouth to speak (στόμα) wisdom (καὶ σοφίαν) that none of their opponents (ᾗ οὐ… ἅπαντες οἱ ἀντικείμενοι ὑμῖν) would be able to withstand (δυνήσονται ἀντιστῆναι) or contradict (ἀντειπεῖν).  Mark chapter 13:11, and Matthew, chapter 10:20, had a somewhat similar saying of Jesus.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that they were to say (τοῦτο λαλεῖτε) whatever would be given to them (ἀλλ’ ὃ ἐὰν δοθῇ ὑμῖν) at that hour in time (ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ).  They would not be speaking (οὐ γὰρ ἐστε ὑμεῖς οἱ λαλοῦντες), but the Holy Spirit would be speaking (ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον) for them.  Matthew, also indicated that Jesus said that they would not be speaking (οὐ γὰρ ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ λαλοῦντες), but the Spirit of their Father would be speaking through them (ἀλλὰ τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ Πατρὸς ὑμῶν τὸ λαλοῦν ἐν ὑμῖν).  Both Mark and Matthew emphasized that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father, would speak for them and through them, so that they did not have to worry or prepare anything beforehand.  Luke never mentioned the Holy Spirit, who otherwise appeared quite often in this gospel, like Mark and Matthew did.  Instead, Luke emphasized that Jesus himself would give them important words of wisdom.  Have you ever gotten words from the Holy Spirit?

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Bear testimony (Lk 21:13-21:13)

“This will give you

An opportunity

To testify.”

 

ἀποβήσεται ὑμῖν εἰς μαρτύριον.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this persecution would give them an opportunity (ἀποβήσεται ὑμῖν) to testify as a witness or a martyr (εἰς μαρτύριον).  This verse is somewhat similar to Mark, chapter 13:10, with a hint of this in Matthew, chapter 24:14.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that the good news of the gospel (τὸ εὐαγγέλιον) must first be proclaimed (πρῶτον δεῖ κηρυχθῆναι) to all the gentile nations (καὶ εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη).  That would be a difficult task, certainly putting the end times at a further distance.  This mission to the gentile nations was a trademark of the Gospel of Mark with its emphasis on the gentile non-Jewish Christians.  Matthew had the same idea in chapter 10:22, and also in chapter 24:14, where Jesus said that this gospel, this good news of the kingdom (τοῦτο τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας) would be preached (καὶ κηρυχθήσεται) throughout the whole inhabited world (ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ οἰκουμένῃ), as a witness or testimony to all the gentile nations (εἰς μαρτύριον πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν).  Then the end would come (καὶ τότε ἥξει τὸ τέλος).  Matthew seemed to set a precondition before the coming of the end times that the gospel would be preached throughout the whole known world.  Luke was more restrained here simply saying that there was an opportunity to be a witness or martyr.  Would you be a Christian martyr?

Render to Caesar (Lk 20:25-20:25)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Then give

To the Emperor Caesar

The things

That are the Emperor Caesar’s!

Give to God

The things

That are God’s.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Τοίνυν ἀπόδοτε τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) to give back to the Emperor Caesar (Τοίνυν ἀπόδοτε τὰ Καίσαρος), the things that are of the Emperor Caesar’s (Καίσαρι)!  However, give to God the things that are God’s (καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:21, and in Mark, chapter 12:17, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus responded to them (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) by telling them to give to the Roman emperor Caesar the things that belonged to the emperor (Τὰ Καίσαρος ἀπόδοτε Καίσαρι).  At the same time, they should give to God the things that belong to God (καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ).  Matthew said that Jesus responded to them (τότε λέγει αὐτοῖς) by telling them to give to the Roman emperor Caesar the things that belonged to the emperor (Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι).  At the same time, they should give to God the things that belong to God (καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ).  Jesus appeared to accept the Roman rule and its taxing policies.  He also had a milder view of their tax collectors.  With this ambiguous answer, Jesus avoided offending Jewish nationalists and the Roman Empire party and its officials.  Thus, the Roman and Jewish parties were both satisfied and unsatisfied at the same time.  If everything belonged to God, do not pay this tax.  If everything belonged to the Roman Empire, pay the tax.  The choice was theirs.  He was not going to tell them what to do.  This statement of Jesus has become the basic Christian understanding of the relationship between religious churches and civilian states.  Do you see a difference between Church regulations and civic state regulations?

The tenants beat the slave (Lk 20:10-20:10)

“When the harvest time came,

The vineyard owner

Sent a slave

To the tenants.

Thus,

They might give him

His share

Of the produce

Of the vineyard.

But the tenants

Beat him.

They sent him away

Empty-handed.”

 

καὶ καιρῷ ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς τοὺς γεωργοὺς δοῦλον, ἵνα ἀπὸ τοῦ καρποῦ τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος δώσουσιν αὐτῷ· οἱ δὲ γεωργοὶ ἐξαπέστειλαν αὐτὸν δείραντες κενόν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that when the harvest time came (καὶ καιρῷ), this land owner sent a slave to these tenants (ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς τοὺς γεωργοὺς δοῦλον), so that they might give him (δώσουσιν αὐτῷ) his share of the produce from the vineyard (ἵνα ἀπὸ τοῦ καρποῦ τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος).  However, the tenants beat him (δείραντες).  They sent him away empty-handed (οἱ δὲ γεωργοὶ ἐξαπέστειλαν αὐτὸν…κενόν).  This parable about the wicked tenants can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:34-35, and Mark, chapter 12:2-3.  Mark said that when the harvest season time came, the right time (τῷ καιρῷ), the landowner sent a slave (καὶ ἀπέστειλεν…δοῦλον), to these tenants or renters (πρὸς τοὺς γεωργοὺς).  He was to collect or receive (λάβῃ) from these tenant farmers (ἵνα παρὰ τῶν γεωργῶν) his share of the fruit produced from this vineyard (ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος).  This all seemed very reasonable.  However, these tenant farmers seized this slave (καὶ λαβόντες αὐτὸν).  They beat him (ἔδειραν).  Then they sent him away empty-handed (καὶ ἀπέστειλαν κενόν).  There was only one slave in both these accounts, instead of the 3 different slaves that Matthew indicated that Jesus talked about at this harvest time.  Matthew remarked that Jesus said that when the time came when the grapes were ripe for picking (ὅτε δὲ ἤγγισεν ὁ καιρὸς τῶν καρπῶν), the landowner sent his slaves (ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ), not one slave, to these tenants or renters (τοὺς γεωργοὺς) to collect his fruit produce (λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ).  However, these tenant farmers seized his slaves (καὶ λαβόντες οἱ γεωργοὶ τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ).  They beat one slave (ὃν μὲν ἔδειραν).  Then they killed another slave (ὃν δὲ ἀπέκτειναν) and stoned still another slave (ὃν δὲ ἐλιθοβόλησαν).  These tenant farmers were not very nice.  Only Matthew had the 3 different slaves rather than the one slave as in Luke and Mark.  They were also more destructive in Matthew.  Have you been a good tenant?

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?

Zacchaeus defends himself (Lk 19:8-19:8)

“Zacchaeus stood there.

He said

To the Lord.

‘Look!

Lord!

I will give

To the poor

Half of my possessions.

If I have defrauded

Anyone of anything,

I will pay back

Four times as much.’”

 

σταθεὶς δὲ Ζακχαῖος εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Κύριον Ἰδοὺ τὰ ἡμίσειά μου τῶν ὑπαρχόντων, Κύριε, τοῖς πτωχοῖς δίδωμι, καὶ εἴ τινός τι ἐσυκοφάντησα ἀποδίδωμι τετραπλοῦν.

 

Luke indicated that Zacchaeus stood there (σταθεὶς δὲ Ζακχαῖος).  He then said to the Lord Jesus (εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν Κύριον), calling him Lord (Κύριε) that he was willing to give to the poor (τοῖς πτωχοῖς δίδωμι) half of his possessions (Ἰδοὺ τὰ ἡμίσειά μου τῶν ὑπαρχόντων).  He said that if he had defrauded anyone of anything (καὶ εἴ τινός τι ἐσυκοφάντησα), he was willing to pay it back 4 times as much (ἀποδίδωμι τετραπλοῦν).  Once again, Luke used the Greek word ἐσυκοφάντησα, that means to accuse falsely or defraud people, that was not found in any of the other Greek biblical writers.  Zacchaeus made a big deal about how he was not like the other tax collectors.  Despite his wealth, he was willing to give half of it away to some unnamed poor people.  Anytime, he was accused of defrauding people, he would give them 4 times what they were claiming.  This restoration of 4 times goes back to Exodus, chapter 22:1, about stealing sheep.  The thief had to pay four sheep for any one stolen sheep.  Thus, Zacchaeus seemed like a very fair person, leaning over backwards to help people.  Yet he was still wealthy.  Luke was the only synoptic with this story of Zacchaeus.  How do you treat people who claim that you are defrauding them?

Follow me! (Lk 18:22-18:22)

“When Jesus

Heard this,

He said to him.

‘There is one thing

Still lacking.

Sell all

That you own!

Distribute

The money

To the poor!

You will have treasure

In heaven.

Then come!

Follow me!’”

 

ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἔτι ἕν σοι λείπει· πάντα ὅσα ἔχεις πώλησον καὶ διάδος πτωχοῖς, καὶ ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει μοι.

 

Luke indicated that when Jesus heard this (ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς), he said to this ruler (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that there was only one thing still lacking (Ἔτι ἕν σοι λείπει).  He should go and sell all that he owned (πάντα ὅσα ἔχεις πώλησον) and distribute this money to the poor (καὶ διάδος πτωχοῖς).  Thus, he would have treasure in heaven (καὶ ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς).  Then he should come and follow Jesus (καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει μοι).  This call to perfection can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:21, and Matthew, chapter 19:21, but slightly different.  Mark said that Jesus looked at this man (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ) and loved him (ἠγάπησεν αὐτὸν).  Jesus said to him (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he only lacked one thing or he fell short in one area (Ἕν σε ὑστερεῖ).  This man would have to go (ὕπαγε) and sell his possessions or whatever he had (ὅσα ἔχεις πώλησον).  Then he should give this money or the proceeds to the poor or destitute people (καὶ δὸς πτωχοῖς).  He no longer would have earthly wealth, but he would then have a treasure in heaven (καὶ ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν οὐρανῷ).  Finally, he could become a follower or accompany Jesus (καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει μοι).  In Matthew, Jesus issued his ultimatum (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) on how to be perfect or complete (Εἰ θέλεις τέλειος εἶναι).  The young man would have to sell his possessions (ὕπαγε πώλησόν σου τὰ ὑπάρχοντα).  Then he would have to give the money proceeds to the poor or destitute people (καὶ δὸς πτωχοῖς).  He no longer would have earthly wealth, but he would then have a treasure in heaven (καὶ ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν οὐρανοῖς).  Finally, he could become a follower or accompany Jesus (καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει μοι).  Like many of these sayings, Jesus had very high standards and difficult demands.  There was no equivocation.  Are you willing to sell everything and follow Jesus?