The great condemnation (Lk 20:47-20:47)

“The Scribes

Devour

Widows’ houses.

They say long prayers

For the sake of appearance.

They will receive

A greater condemnation.”

 

οἳ κατεσθίουσιν τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσεύχονται· οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his condemnation of the Scribes.  He said that the Scribes devour widows’ houses (οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν).  They say long prayers for the sake of appearance (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι).  They will receive the greater condemnation (οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα).  Mark, chapter 12:40, and Matthew, chapter 23:14, are almost word for word like here in Luke.  They all talked about how these Scribes took advantage of widows and pretended to be men of prayer.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that these Scribes devoured widows’ houses (οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν), the same as Luke.  What did he mean by that?  They obviously took advantage of the generosity of widows.  For the sake of appearances, these Scribes said long prayers (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι).  Thus, they would receive a great severe condemnation (οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα.) for their behavior.  Once again, there was no mention of any Pharisees, just the Scribes.  In Matthew, this first part of the opening verse is exactly the same as the preceding verse.  Woe to you (Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν)!  Scribes (γραμματεῖς)!  Woe to you!  Pharisees (καὶ Φαρισαῖοι)!  Hypocrites (ὑποκριταί)!  There is no doubt that here Jesus was cursing both the Scribes and the Pharisees, who were devouring widow’s houses (ὅτι κατεσθίετε τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν), as they were taking advantage of widows.  They also made long lengthy prayers (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι), so that they would look better and more pious.  However, they were about to receive a greater condemnation (διὰ τοῦτο λήψεσθε περισσότερον κρίμα) than they had expected.  Once again, the major difference was the role of the Pharisees in Matthew, that is not in Luke or Mark.  Are you a hypocrite?

Beware of the Scribes! (Lk 20:46-20:46)

“Beware of the Scribes!

They like

To walk around

In long robes.

They love

To be greeted

With respect

In the market places.

They love

To have the best front seats

In the synagogues.

They love

The front places of honor

At banquets.”

 

Προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων τῶν θελόντων περιπατεῖν ἐν στολαῖς καὶ φιλούντων ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις,

 

Luke had Jesus deliver a diatribe against the Scribes.  Jesus said to be aware of the Scribes (Προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων), because they like to walk around in long robes (τῶν θελόντων περιπατεῖν ἐν στολαῖς).  They love to be greeted with respect in the market places (φιλούντων ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς).  They love to have the best front seats in the synagogues (καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς).  They love the front places of honor at banquets (καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις).  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:38-39, and Matthew, chapter 23:6-7 who had a much longer diatribe against both the Scribes and the Pharisees.  Mark indicated that as Jesus taught (Καὶ ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ), he told them to be aware of the Scribes (ἔλεγεν Βλέπετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων).  These Scribes walked around in long robes (τῶν θελόντων ἐν στολαῖς περιπατεῖν).  They loved to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces (καὶ ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς).  They loved the front seats in the assembly synagogues (καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς).  They loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts (καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις).  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that both the Pharisees and the Scribes loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts (φιλοῦσιν δὲ τὴν πρωτοκλισίαν ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις) and the best or front seats in the assembly synagogues (καὶ τὰς πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς).  They loved to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces (καὶ τοὺς ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς).  They loved to have people call them rabbi (καὶ καλεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων Ῥαββεί), since this was an Aramaic term that generally meant great teacher or master.  While Luke and Mark only mentioned the Scribes, Matthew also named the Pharisees along with the Scribes as being these elite social butterflies.  Do you like the front row seats?

Lord and son (Lk 20:44-20:44)

“Thus,

David calls him

Lord!

How can he be

His son?”

 

Δαυεὶδ οὖν αὐτὸν Κύριον καλεῖ, καὶ πῶς αὐτοῦ υἱός ἐστιν;

 

Luke left this question unanswered.  Jesus asked them, since David called the Messiah Christ Lord (Δαυεὶδ οὖν αὐτὸν Κύριον καλεῖ), how can he be his son (καὶ πῶς αὐτοῦ υἱός ἐστιν)?  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:45-46, and Mark, chapter 12:37.  However, there it was a complete victory for Jesus.  What did David mean when he called the future Messiah Christ, a son of David?  The traditional belief was that the Messiah Christ would be the son or descendant of David.  Jesus then posed this big question.  Mark indicated that Jesus asked how could David call the Messiah Lord (αὐτὸς Δαυεὶδ λέγει αὐτὸν Κύριον) and yet be his son, the son of David (καὶ πόθεν αὐτοῦ ἐστιν υἱός)?  This was a trick question.  Why would David call his future son or descendant his own Lord or master, or consider him greater?  The implication was that Jesus, the Son of Man, and descendant of David, was greater than David.  Peter, in fact, repeated this citation of Psalm 110 in his preaching in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2:34-35, also.  Only Mark had the comment that a large crowd was listening to Jesus with delight or gladly (Καὶ ὁ πολὺς ὄχλος ἤκουεν αὐτοῦ ἡδέως).  Matthew indicated that neither the Pharisees nor anyone else were able to give him any kind of verbal response (καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδύνατο ἀποκριθῆναι αὐτῷ λόγον).  Matthew remarked that from that day on (ἀπ’ ἐκείνης τῆς ἡμέρας), no one dared to ask him any more questions (οὐδὲ ἐτόλμησέν τις…ἐπερωτῆσαι αὐτὸν οὐκέτι), as this was a complete verbal victory for Jesus against the Pharisees.  Have you ever left anyone speechless?

Christ and David (Lk 20:41-20:41)

“Then Jesus

Said to them.

‘How can they say

That the Christ,

The Messiah,

Is David’s son?’”

 

Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς Πῶς λέγουσιν τὸν Χριστὸν εἶναι Δαυεὶδ υἱόν;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked them (Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς) how they could say (Πῶς λέγουσιν) that the Christ Messiah would be the son of David (τὸν Χριστὸν εἶναι Δαυεὶδ υἱόν)?  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:41-42, and Mark, chapter 12:35, but Jesus was sparing with the Pharisees and the Scribes, not a vague “they,” as here in Luke.  However, Mark was closer to Luke.  Mark said while Jesus was teaching in the Temple (διδάσκων ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ), he questioned them saying (Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἔλεγεν) how can the Scribes say (Πῶς λέγουσιν οἱ γραμματεῖς) that the Messiah Christ is the son of David (ὅτι ὁ Χριστὸς υἱὸς Δαυείδ ἐστιν)?  This was a complex question that Jesus posed to them.  He seemed to imply that the Christ Messiah was the son of David.  Matthew indicated that the Pharisees had gathered together (Συνηγμένων δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων) around Jesus.  Thus, he asked them a simple question (ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  Here Jesus posed the question (λέγων) whose son would the Messiah Christ be (Τί ὑμῖν δοκεῖ περὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ; τίνος υἱός ἐστιν)?  The Pharisees responded (λέγουσιν) that the Messiah Christ would be the son of David (αὐτῷ Τοῦ Δαυείδ).  This was the traditional Jewish response based on Psalm 110:1, that the Messiah would be the son or descendant of David.  How was Jesus the son of David?

The Sadducees (Lk 20:27-20:27)

“Some Sadducees,

Those who say

That there is

No resurrection,

Approached Jesus.

They questioned him.”

 

Προσελθόντες δέ τινες τῶν Σαδδουκαίων, οἱ ἀντιλέγοντες ἀνάστασιν μὴ εἶναι, ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν

 

Luke said that some Sadducees (τινες τῶν Σαδδουκαίων), those who say that there is no resurrection (οἱ ἀντιλέγοντες ἀνάστασιν μὴ εἶναι), approached Jesus (Προσελθόντες δέ).  They questioned him (ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν).  These Sadducees were another Jewish aristocratic group that was tied to the Temple.  However, they did not believe in the bodily resurrection, like the Pharisees did.  They said that there was no resurrection of the dead.  Matthew, chapter 22:23, and Mark, chapter 12:18, are similar to this statement in LukeMark said that some Sadducees came to Jesus (Καὶ ἔρχονται Σαδδουκαῖοι πρὸς αὐτόν).  They said that there was no resurrection of the dead (οἵτινες λέγουσιν ἀνάστασιν μὴ εἶναι).  They too began to question Jesus (καὶ ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν λέγοντες).  Only Matthew had this explicitly happen on the same day (Ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ) as the discussion about the Roman coin.  However, the other two gospel stories have it follow the discussion about the role of Caesar.  Some Sadducees came to Jesus (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ Σαδδουκαῖοι).  They did not believe in the bodily resurrection, since they said that there was no resurrection (λέγοντες μὴ εἶναι ἀνάστασιν).  They too came to Jesus to question him (καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν).  What do think about life after death?

Silent response (Lk 20:26-20:26)

“They were not able,

In the presence

Of the people,

To catch him

By what he said.

They were amazed

By his answer.

They became silent.”

 

καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν ἐπιλαβέσθαι αὐτοῦ ῥήματος ἐναντίον τοῦ λαοῦ, καὶ θαυμάσαντες ἐπὶ τῇ ἀποκρίσει αὐτοῦ ἐσίγησαν.

 

Luke said that these Jewish religious and Roman political leaders were not able or strong enough to catch him by what he said (καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν ἐπιλαβέσθαι αὐτοῦ ῥήματος), in the presence of the people (ἐναντίον τοῦ λαοῦ).  In fact, they themselves were amazed by his answer (καὶ θαυμάσαντες ἐπὶ τῇ ἀποκρίσει αὐτοῦ).  Thus, they became silent (ἐσίγησαν).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:22, and in Mark, chapter 12:17, where the Pharisees and Herodians were also amazed.  Mark said that when these disciples of the Pharisees and Herodians heard this response, they were amazed or marveled at Jesus (καὶ ἐξεθαύμαζον ἐπ’ αὐτῷ).  However, there was no mention of them leaving as in Matthew, or being silent as in LukeMatthew said that when these disciples of the Pharisees heard this response (καὶ ἀκούσαντες), they were amazed or marveled at it (ἐθαύμασαν).  Then, they left and went away (καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν ἀπῆλθαν).  They had failed to trip up Jesus as was their plan.  Have you ever failed to trick anyone?

Tribute to Caesar (Lk 20:22-20:22)

“Is it lawful

For us

To pay taxes

To Caesar,

The Roman Emperor,

Or not?”

 

ἔξεστιν ἡμᾶς Καίσαρι φόρον δοῦναι ἢ οὔ;

 

Luke indicated this group asked whether it was lawful for them (ἔξεστιν ἡμᾶς) to pay taxes (φόρον δοῦναι) to Caesar (Καίσαρι), the Roman Emperor, or not (ἢ οὔ)?  This is similar to Matthew, chapter 22:17, and Mark, chapter 12:14, but slightly different.  They wanted to know what Jesus thought about the Roman tax law.  Mark said that they asked him whether it was lawful to pay the poll tax to Caesar or not (ἔξεστιν δοῦναι κῆνσον Καίσαρι ἢ οὔ)?  They wanted to know the practical answer about whether they should pay this tax or not (δῶμεν ἢ μὴ δῶμεν)?  Matthew indicated that these Pharisee disciples and the Herodians tried to trick Jesus.  They wanted to know what Jesus thought about the Roman tax.  They asked him (εἰπὸν οὖν ἡμῖν) what did he think (τί σοι δοκεῖ).  Was it lawful to pay the poll tax to Caesar or not (ἔξεστιν δοῦναι κῆνσον Καίσαρι ἢ οὔ)?  Rome had an annual personal census tax of one denarius worth about $1.50 USA, not that much.  However, many of the Roman tax collectors were considered sinners.  Jesus, on the other hand, had a milder view of these tax collectors.  He appeared to accept the Roman rule and its taxing policies.  As the political party of the Romans, the Herodians were there.  The Israelites with the Pharisees were there also.  Thus, his answer might offend someone.  In fact, some Jewish zealots refused to pay any civil tax to the emperor.  Do you like to pay taxes?