The people did not like the nobleman (Lk 19:14-19:14)

“But the citizens

Of his country

Hated this nobleman.

They sent

A delegation

After him.

They said.

‘We do not want

This man

To rule over us.’”

 

οἱ δὲ πολῖται αὐτοῦ ἐμίσουν αὐτόν, καὶ ἀπέστειλαν πρεσβείαν ὀπίσω αὐτοῦ λέγοντες Οὐ θέλομεν τοῦτον βασιλεῦσαι ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said the citizens of this country hated or detested this nobleman (οἱ δὲ πολῖται αὐτοῦ ἐμίσουν αὐτόν), without any indication of how they formed this opinion.  They sent a delegation after him (καὶ ἀπέστειλαν πρεσβείαν ὀπίσω αὐτοῦ) to go to that distant country to tell the authorities there that they did not want this man to rule over them (λέγοντες Οὐ θέλομεν τοῦτον βασιλεῦσαι ἐφ’ ἡμᾶς).  Once again, Luke used a word that only appears here among all the Greek biblical writings, πρεσβείαν that means seniority, embassy, a delegation, or eldership.  There was nothing like this in Matthew.  Some of the people living there did not want to have this nobleman as their ruler, so they may have sent a delegation to the Roman Emperor with this message.  Have you ever signed a petition or went to a local government meeting to complain about something?

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The good news (Lk 16:16-16:16)

“The law

And the prophets

Were in effect

Until John came.

Since then,

The good news

Of the kingdom of God

Is proclaimed.

Everyone

Tries to enter it

By force.”

 

Ὁ νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται μέχρι Ἰωάνου· ἀπὸ τότε ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ εὐαγγελίζεται καὶ πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the law (Ὁ νόμος) and the prophets (καὶ οἱ προφῆται) were in effect until John came (μέχρι Ἰωάνου).  Since then (ἀπὸ τότε), the good news has been proclaimed (εὐαγγελίζεται) about the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Everyone tries to enter it by force (καὶ πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται).  The law and the prophets were the two major parts of the Hebrew Bible.  John the Baptist represented some sort of turning point.  His preaching about the kingdom of God meant that the days of the law and prophets were numbered.  There is something similar, but in a different context with a different meaning in Matthew, chapter 11:12-13.  There Jesus talked about the days of John the Baptist until the present (ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ ἕως ἄρτι), not a very long time.  The kingdom of heaven has suffered violence (ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται).  What kind of violence was taking place in the heavenly kingdom?  Did this mean that so many people were violently seeking the kingdom of heaven that John was talking about?  Is this some kind of violence within the kingdom of heaven?  Were these violent people trying to get into the kingdom of heaven?  The next sentence seems to support this idea that violent people wanted to seize the kingdom of heaven by force (καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν).  In Matthew, chapter 17:11-13, Jesus compared John to Elijah.  Like here in Luke, all the prophets and the law had prophesied until the time of John the Baptist (πάντες γὰρ οἱ προφῆται καὶ ὁ νόμος ἕως Ἰωάνου ἐπροφήτευσαν).  Then Jesus said that John was the new Elijah (αὐτός ἐστιν Ἡλείας), the one who was to come (ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι).  However, they had to be willing to accept this (καὶ εἰ θέλετε δέξασθαι).  Anyone who had ears to hear should listen to this (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω).  Clearly, something fundamental changed with John the Baptist and his proclamation of the kingdom of God.  How were John and Jesus connected in their preaching?  What is your opinion about John the Baptist?

Who do they say that I am? (Lk 9:18-9:18)

“Once when Jesus

Was praying alone,

With only the disciples

Near him,

He asked them.

‘Who do the crowds

Say that I am?’”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν προσευχόμενον κατὰ μόνας συνῆσαν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταί, καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτοὺς λέγων Τίνα με οἱ ὄχλοι λέγουσιν εἶναι;

 

Luke said that one time when Jesus was praying alone (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν προσευχόμενον κατὰ μόνας), with only the disciples near him (συνῆσαν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταί,), he questioned them (καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτοὺς λέγων) about who did the crowds say that he was (Τίνα με οἱ ὄχλοι λέγουσιν εἶναι)?  This question about who Jesus is can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:13, and Mark, chapter 8:27, as well as here, but there are major differences.  Here in Luke, he was not traveling in Caesarea Philippi, as he was in Mark and Matthew, but all alone with his disciples praying.  Mark said that Jesus was with his disciples on his way towards the village of Caesarea Philippi, an ancient gentile Roman city, about 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee at the southeastern base of Mount Hermon, where there was a shrine to the Greek god Pan, in today’s Golan Heights.  Jesus then asked his closest disciples who they thought that he was.  In Matthew, Jesus asked them about the Son of Man, but not specifically himself.  In Matthew, Jesus asked or questioned his disciples who did people think the Son of Man was?  Jesus wanted to know what the people were thinking about him, so he asked his disciples their opinion.   Who do you think that Jesus is?

Herod wants to see Jesus (Lk 9:9-9:9)

“Herod said.

‘I beheaded John!

Who is this

About whom

I hear such things?’

He tried

To see him.”

 

εἶπεν δὲ Ἡρῴδης Ἰωάνην ἐγὼ ἀπεκεφάλισα· τίς δέ ἐστιν οὗτος περὶ οὗ ἀκούω τοιαῦτα; καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν αὐτόν.

 

Luke indicated that Herod said (εἶπεν δὲ Ἡρῴδης) that he had beheaded John (Ἰωάνην ἐγὼ ἀπεκεφάλισα).  Who then was this Jesus (τίς δέ ἐστιν οὗτος) about whom he had heard such things (περὶ οὗ ἀκούω τοιαῦτα)?  He wanted to see Jesus (καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν αὐτόν).  There is nothing like this in Matthew, but in Mark, chapter 6:16, there was something similar.  King Herod had his own opinion.  He believed that Jesus was John resurrected.  Mark said that when Herod heard about this, he had no doubt.  He said that it was John, whom he beheaded, that was raised up in Jesus.  Herod saw an equivalence between John the Baptist and Jesus.  Thus, here in Luke, he wanted to see Jesus, which was not in the other gospel stories.  How would you compare John the Baptist to Jesus?

The reading of the scroll to the king (Jer 36:21-36:23)

“Then King Jehoiakim

Sent Jehudi

To get the scroll.

He took it

From the chamber

Of Elishama the secretary.

Jehudi read it to the king

With all the officials

Who stood beside the king.

The king was sitting

In his winter apartment.

It was the ninth month.

There was a fire burning

In the brazier before him.

As Jehudi read

Three or four columns,

The king would cut them off

With a penknife.

He would then throw them

Into the fire

In the brazier,

Until the entire scroll

Was consumed in the fire

That was in the brazier.”

The king was not satisfied with a mere report about the scroll. He wanted the scroll itself. Thus he sent Jehudi to get the scroll and read it to them. Jehudi went back to the chamber of the secretary, Elishama, where the scroll was. He got it and came back to the king. There he read it to the king and all the royal officials. Since the king was at his winter home, there was a fire in the brazier or the fireplace, a brass coal burning stove. Thus as Jehudi read the scroll, King Jehoiakim would take 3 or 4 columns of it, cut them with a small knife that they used for the trimming of writing reeds. Then he would throw these pieces of the scroll into the fire, until they were all burned up. Thus you get some idea of the king’s opinion about the writings of Jeremiah via Baruch.

Elihu is eager to give his opinion (Job 32:15-32:22)

“They are discomfited.

They answer no more.

They have not a word to say.

Am I to wait?

They do not speak.

They stand there.

They answer no more?

I also will give my answer.

I also will declare my opinion.

I am full of words.

The Spirit within me constrains me.

My heart is like wine that has no vent.

My heart is like new wineskins.

My heart is ready to burst.

I must speak!

Then I may find relief.

I must open my lips and answer!

I will not show partiality to any person.

I will not use flattery toward anyone.

I do not know how to flatter.

My Creator would soon put an end to me!”

These men were dismayed since they had no more answers. How much longer should Elihu wait before he spoke? Elihu wanted to speak and give his opinion since he was full of words. He was so eager to speak. His heart was like wine trying to burst out of wineskins. He had to speak to gain relief. He was not going to show partiality not use flattery since he did not know how to use flattery. If he did use flattery then his creator would put an end to him.

Elihu was afraid to speak because of his young age (Job 32:6-32:10)

“Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered.

‘I am young in years.

You are aged.

Therefore I was timid and afraid

To declare my opinion to you.

I said.

‘Let days speak!

Let many years teach wisdom!’

But truly it is the Spirit in a mortal,

The breath of the Almighty Shaddai,

That makes him understand.

It is not the old that are wise.

The aged do not understand what is right.

Therefore I say.

‘Listen to me!

Let me also declare my opinion!’”

Elihu said that he was young, which is why he had not spoken yet. The others were older so that he was timid and afraid to insert his opinion. He had hoped that he could learn from their wisdom. However, their so-called aged wisdom was lacking. It was the breath and the Spirit of the almighty Shaddai that brought understanding and wisdom. Elihu went on the offensive as he said that old people are not wise. They do not understand what is right. He wanted them to listen to him and his opinion.