Soldiers (Lk 3:14-3:14)

“Soldiers

Also asked him.

‘What shall we do?’

John said to them.

‘Do not intimidate

People!

Do not falsely

Accuse people!

Be content

With your wages!’”

 

ἐπηρώτων δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ στρατευόμενοι λέγοντες Τί ποιήσωμεν καὶ ἡμεῖς; καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Μηδένα διασείσητε μηδὲ συκοφαντήσητε, καὶ ἀρκεῖσθε τοῖς ὀψωνίοις ὑμῶν.

 

This final unique saying of Luke about John and his preaching was a dialogue with some soldiers, that is not found elsewhere in the biblical writings.  Luke said that some soldiers also asked John (ἐπηρώτων δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ στρατευόμενοι λέγοντες) what they should do (Τί ποιήσωμεν καὶ ἡμεῖς).  John told them (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) not to intimidate people or use false accusations (Μηδένα διασείσητε μηδὲ συκοφαντήσητε).  They should be content with their wages (καὶ ἀρκεῖσθε τοῖς ὀψωνίοις ὑμῶν).  Once again Luke has John respond with a call for justice, fairness, and honesty.  These Jewish soldiers of Herod Antipas were perhaps a little cruel or crude in their everyday life activities.

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Tax collectors (Lk 3:12-3:12)

“Even tax collectors

Came to be baptized.

They asked him.

‘Teacher!

What shall we do?’”

 

ἦλθον δὲ καὶ τελῶναι βαπτισθῆναι καὶ εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτόν Διδάσκαλε, τί ποιήσωμεν;

 

This is another one of the unique sayings of Luke about John and his preaching that is not found elsewhere in the biblical writings.  Luke said that even tax collectors came to be baptized (ἦλθον δὲ καὶ τελῶναι βαπτισθῆναι).  They asked John (καὶ εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτόν), as their teacher (Διδάσκαλε), what they should do (τί ποιήσωμεν).  Tax collectors had a special role in the biblical writings as they were considered like traitors to the Jewish people, since these were Jewish people who collected the Roman tax from the local people.  However, they seemed capable of repentance, as here they were seeking baptism from John.

Sharing (Lk 3:11-3:11)

“In reply,

John said to them.

‘Whoever has two coats,

Must share

With anyone

Who has none.

Whoever has food,

Must do likewise.’”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Ὁ ἔχων δύο χιτῶνας μεταδότω τῷ μὴ ἔχοντι, καὶ ὁ ἔχων βρώματα ὁμοίως ποιείτω.

 

Luke continued with his unique sayings about John and his preaching that are not found elsewhere in the biblical writings.  Luke said that John responded to them (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) that whoever had two coats or tunics (Ὁ ἔχων δύο χιτῶνας) must share with someone who has none (μεταδότω τῷ μὴ ἔχοντι).  Whoever has food (καὶ ὁ ἔχων βρώματα), must likewise share their food (ὁμοίως ποιείτω).  John was preaching the idea of sharing clothing and food as a primary action for those who followed John and his teachings about repentance.

What shall we do? (Lk 3:10-3:10)

“The crowds

Asked him.

‘What then should we do?’”

 

Καὶ ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν οἱ ὄχλοι λέγοντες Τί οὖν ποιήσωμεν;

 

Now there are a series of unique sayings of Luke about John and his preaching that are not found elsewhere in the biblical writings.  Apparently, there were a number of questions that people were asking John.  Luke said that the crowds asked him (Καὶ ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν οἱ ὄχλοι λέγοντες) what should they do (Τί οὖν ποιήσωμεν)?  John was considered to be a moral teacher.  Thus, the crowds of people who came to repent with baptism wanted to know what were they to do now that they were baptized.  What did repentance look like?

First narrative

This first narrative began with the baptism of Jesus and his preaching about the kingdom of heaven.  Once again, there are five sections.  First there was the preaching of John the Baptist with his message of repentance.  Matthew made a comparison of the prophet Isaiah with John, including a description of John.  People went to John at the Jordan River where he baptized people.  John was against the Pharisees and the Sadducees, since he felt that the children of Abraham should not be presumptuous.  However, there was a powerful one yet to come when the chaff would burn.

The second section was about the baptism of Jesus, as he came to John.  However, John did not want to baptize Jesus, but Jesus insisted.  At the baptism of Jesus, a voice declared that Jesus was the beloved son, as the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended on Jesus.  Thus, John the Baptist and Jesus remain linked together.

The third section was about the temptations of Jesus in the desert.  Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights.  Then Jesus had his first temptation with his response.  After the second and third temptations and responses of Jesus, the devil left.

The fourth section had Jesus return to Galilee after the arrest of John the Baptist.  He went to Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee.  Like the prophet Isaiah and John the Baptist, Jesus taught a call for repentance.

The fifth and final section was the call of the first four disciples.  The first two brother fishermen called were Simon and Andrew, who became his first two disciples.  Then he called James and John, the sons of Zebedee.  Then Jesus taught and healed in Galilee, where he was a faith healer with great crowds.

 

Jesus spoke to his disciples (Mt 26:1-26:1)

“When Jesus had finished

All these sayings,

He spoke

To his disciples.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς πάντας τοὺς λόγους τούτους, εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ

 

This is unique to Matthew.  When Jesus had finished or completed all these sayings (Καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς πάντας τοὺς λόγους τούτους), he then spoke to his disciples (εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ).  Basically, Matthew was indicating that the public ministry, his preaching, his sayings, and parables were now complete.  From now on, he would only speak with his trusted disciples, and more particularly with his 12-man leadership team of apostles.  There would be no more large crowds listening to Jesus.

Who is the Lord for David? (Mt 22:43-22:45)

“Jesus said to them.

‘How is it then

That David,

Inspired by the Spirit,

Calls him Lord?

Saying.

‘The Lord said

To my Lord.

‘Sit at my right hand,

Until I put your enemies

Under your feet.’

If David thus calls him Lord,

How can he be his son?’”

 

λέγει αὐτοῖς Πῶς οὖν Δαυεὶδ ἐν Πνεύματι καλεῖ αὐτὸν Κύριον λέγω

Εἶπεν Κύριος τῷ Κυρίῳ μου Κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν σου;

εἰ οὖν Δαυεὶδ καλεῖ αὐτὸν Κύριον, πῶς υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ἐστιν;

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:35-37, and Luke, chapter 20:41-44, almost word for word.  Jesus said to these Pharisees (λέγει αὐτοῖς).  What did David mean when, inspired by the Spirit, he called the future Messiah, a son of David, “Lord” (Πῶς οὖν Δαυεὶδ ἐν Πνεύματι καλεῖ αὐτὸν Κύριον λέγω).  Jesus then cited Psalm 110:1, where David said that the Lord said to his Lord to sit at his right hand (Εἶπεν Κύριος τῷ Κυρίῳ μου Κάθου ἐκ δεξιῶν μου).  He should sit there until he put all his enemies under his feet (ἕως ἂν θῶ τοὺς ἐχθρούς σου ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν σου).  Jesus then posed the big question.  How can David call the Messiah Lord (εἰ οὖν Δαυεὶδ καλεῖ αὐτὸν Κύριον) if he is the son of David (πῶς υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ἐστιν)?  This is a trick question.  Why would David call his future son or descendant his own Lord, master, or greater than him?  The response was that Jesus, the Son of Man, and descendant of David, was greater than David.  Peter repeated this citation of Psalm 110 in his preaching in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2:34-35, also.