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?

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What is your authority? (Mk 11:28-11:28)

“They said to Jesus.

‘By what authority

Are you doing

These things?

Who gave you

This authority

To do them?’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγον αὐτῷ Ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιεῖς; ἢ τίς σοι ἔδωκεν τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην ἵνα ταῦτα ποιῇς;

 

This questioning of the authority of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:23, and Luke, chapter 20:2, 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)?  This seemed like a legitimate question since Jesus was not a Levitical priest or an ordained rabbi.  They wanted to know where he came from and what he was trying to do.

A leper wanted to be clean (Mk 1:40-1:40)

“A leper

Came to Jesus.

Begging,

And kneeling,

He said to Jesus.

‘If you choose,

You can make me

Clean.’”

 

Καὶ ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτὸν λεπρὸς παρακαλῶν αὐτὸν καὶ γονυπετῶν λέγων αὐτῷ ὅτι Ἐὰν θέλῃς δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι.

 

Luke, chapter 5:12, has something similar, but the man was covered with leprosy.  However, the request was the same as here.  Matthew, chapter 8:2, was closer to Mark here, almost word for word, indicating that Mark might be the source.  However, Matthew had the leper call Jesus “Lord”.  Mark, like Matthew said that a leper came to Jesus (Καὶ ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτὸν λεπρὸς).  Leprosy was some kind of skin disease that was usually found among poor people.  Today, there are about 2,000,000 people with leprosy or Hansen’s disease, mostly in India, Indonesia, and Brazil.  The Greek word “λεπρὸς” used here is a broader definition of leprosy than just Hansen’s disease.  Leprosy was a religious problem also.  What to do about it was clearly defined in Leviticus, chapters 13-14.  Leprosy in the wide sense was considered unclean and had religious connotations, since only a Levitical priest could declare a person clean with a distinct ritual for cleansing the leper.  As a leper, you were considered unclean and not fit to live in normal communal life.  This leper was begging or imploring Jesus (παρακαλῶν αὐτὸν) as he knelt (καὶ γονυπετῶν) before him as to offer obedience to him.  Then he said (λέγων αὐτῷ) that if Jesus wanted to (ὅτι Ἐὰν θέλῃς), he could make him clean (δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι).  This leper was asking Jesus to make him clean, so that he could join normal Jewish society again.

Where did Jesus get his authority? (Mt 21:23-21:23)

“When Jesus entered

The Temple,

The chief priests

And the elders of the people

Came to him,

As he was teaching.

They said.

‘By what authority

Are you doing these things?

Who gave you

This authority?’”

 

Καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν προσῆλθον αὐτῷ διδάσκοντι οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τοῦ λαοῦ λέγοντες Ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιεῖς; καὶ τίς σοι ἔδωκεν τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην;

 

This questioning of the authority of Jesus can be found in Mark, chapter 11:27-28, and Luke, chapter 20:1-2, almost word for word.  When Jesus entered the Temple (Καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν), the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) or the high priest with the presbyters or elders of the people (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τοῦ λαοῦ) approached him as he was teaching (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ διδάσκοντι).  They wanted to know by what authority was he doing all these things (Ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιεῖς) in the Temple?  Who gave him his authority (καὶ τίς σοι ἔδωκεν τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην;)?  This seemed like a legitimate question since Jesus was not a Levitical priest or an ordained rabbi.  They wanted to know where he came from and what he was trying to do.

The ingratitude of Israel (Isa 43:22-43:24)

“Yet you did not call upon me!

O Jacob!

But you have been weary of me!

O Israel!

You have not brought me

Your sheep

For burnt offerings!

You have not honored me

With your sacrifices!

I have not burdened you

With offerings.

I have not wearied you

With frankincense.

You have not bought me sweet cane

With money.

You have not satisfied me

With the fat of your sacrifices.

But you have burdened me

With your sins.

You have wearied me

With your iniquities.”

Once again, Second Isaiah uses the first person singular for Yahweh, as he complains about the ingratitude of the Israelites. Notice that he calls them both Jacob and Israel. They were not calling on Yahweh, since they have been weary of him. They have not been bringing burnt offerings, sacrifices, and other offerings of frankincense. They have not brought any sweet cane or money. This sounds like a Levitical priest complaining about the lack of good sacrifices. Instead of fat sacrifices, they have burdened and wearied Yahweh with their sins and iniquities.   This also sounds like a settled people with a temple altar.