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?

Why are you untying the colt? (Lk 19:33-19:33)

“As they were untying

The colt,

Its owners asked them.

‘Why are you untying

The colt?’”

 

λυόντων δὲ αὐτῶν τὸν πῶλον εἶπαν οἱ κύριοι αὐτοῦ πρὸς αὐτούς Τί λύετε τὸν πῶλον;

 

Luke said that that as these two disciples were untying the young colt (λυόντων δὲ αὐτῶν τὸν πῶλον), its owners or masters asked them (εἶπαν οἱ κύριοι αὐτοῦ πρὸς αὐτούς) why were they untying this colt (Τί λύετε τὸν πῶλον)?  This is similar to Mark, chapter 11:5, since Matthew had nothing about this.  Mark said that some of the bystanders (καί τινες τῶν ἐκεῖ ἑστηκότων), not the owners, spoke to Jesus’ two unnamed disciples (ἔλεγον αὐτοῖς).  They asked them what they were doing (Τί ποιεῖτε)?  Why were they untying the colt (λύοντες τὸν πῶλον)?  Jesus had told them to expect these kinds of questions.  Would you question someone who was taking your animal?

Everybody needs food and clothing (Lk 12:30-12:30)

“The nations

Of the world

Seek after

All these things.

Your Father knows

That you need them.”

 

ταῦτα γὰρ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τοῦ κόσμου ἐπιζητοῦσιν· ὑμῶν δὲ ὁ Πατὴρ οἶδεν ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the nations of the world (τὰ ἔθνη τοῦ κόσμου) seek after (ἐπιζητοῦσιν) all these things (ταῦτα γὰρ πάντα).  However, your Father (ὑμῶν δὲ ὁ Πατὴρ) knows (οἶδεν) that you need them (ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων).  Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:32, had a similar Jesus saying, indicating a common Q source, as the same theme continued.  Matthew attacked the gentile, non-Jewish people, what Luke called “the nations of the world”.  Matthew had Jesus say that those were the kinds of questions that gentiles sought or asked about (πάντα γὰρ ταῦτα τὰ ἔθνη ἐπιζητοῦσιν).  Their heavenly Father knew about everything that they needed (οἶδεν γὰρ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος ὅτι χρῄζετε τούτων ἁπάντων).   They should not be worried, since their heavenly Father would take care of them, unlike all the other gentile, non-Jewish countries who needed to worry.  Do you worry a lot?

The Levite passed by (Lk 10:32-10:32)

“Thus,

Likewise

A Levite,

When he came

To the place

Saw him.

He passed by

On the other side.”

 

ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Λευείτης κατὰ τὸν τόπον ἐλθὼν καὶ ἰδὼν ἀντιπαρῆλθεν

 

Luke continued his unique story.  Jesus said that a Levite also (ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Λευείτης) came to this same place (κατὰ τὸν τόπον ἐλθὼν) on the road.  He saw the wounded man (καὶ ἰδὼν).  Then he too crossed over to the other side of the road (ἀντιπαρῆλθεν), so as not to engage with this man.  The same questions can be asked of this Jewish Levite that were asked about the priest.  Was it because of ritual purity?  Was he in a hurry, so that he did not have time to stop?  Did he simply not care?  Was it too much of a bother?  Normally, the Levites do not come in for much criticism in the gospel narratives.  Levites were sons of Levi, and tied to ritualistic practice at the Temple.  For instance, the father of John the Baptist was Zechariah and his mother Elizabeth, both of them were descendants of Aaron.  Zechariah was a priest in the Jerusalem Temple, while Elizabeth was from a Levite family.  These Levites had Temple duties.  Thus, they were religious ritual leaders in the Jewish community.  Both the priest and the Levite represented the upper religious strata of the Jewish community.  Do you think that religious leaders should set an example by their lifestyle?

Eternal life (Lk 10:25-10:25)

“Just then,

A certain lawyer

Stood up

To test Jesus.

He said.

‘Teacher!

What must I do

To inherit eternal life?’”

 

Καὶ ἰδοὺ νομικός τις ἀνέστη ἐκπειράζων αὐτὸν λέγων Διδάσκαλε, τί ποιήσας ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω;

 

Luke said that just then, a certain lawyer stood up (Καὶ ἰδοὺ νομικός τις ἀνέστη) to test Jesus (ἐκπειράζων αὐτὸν).  He said, calling Jesus a teacher (λέγων Διδάσκαλε), what did he have to do to inherit eternal life (τί ποιήσας ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω)?  Although there was a question like this in all 3 synoptics, there are nuanced differences.  Matthew, chapter 22:35-36, had a Pharisee lawyer ask the question about the greatest commandment, and not about eternal life.  Mark, chapter 12:28, had a Scribe, not a Pharisee lawyer ask the same question about the greatest commandment.  In Luke, here, there was an unnamed lawyer, probably an expert in the Mosaic law, who wanted to know about how to gain eternal life.  Mark had this unnamed Scribe approach Jesus, because he had heard the disciples discussing, disputing, or arguing with each other.  He saw how Jesus had answered their questions so well.  He was not there to test him, as here in Luke and Matthew, but he did question Jesus.  Matthew had a lawyer, who was a Pharisee, question Jesus to explicitly test him.  This Pharisee lawyer probably was someone skilled in the Mosaic law.  He addressed Jesus in a very respectful tone calling him “Teacher” or rabbi (Διδάσκαλε), like Luke.  He wanted to know which commandment of the law was the greatest, since there were 613 commandments in late Judaism.  Thus, it would seem like a legitimate question with so many commandments or laws.  Luke had the question about eternal life, but the other 2 synoptics questioned Jesus about the most important commandment.  These questions were related, but not the same.  3 different people, with different motives, posed this question.  Do you question people to learn something or to test them?

The mother and brothers of Jesus (Lk 8:19-8:19)

“Then Jesus’ mother

And his brothers

Came to him.

But they could not reach him

Because of the crowd.”

 

Παρεγένετο δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ μήτηρ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ οὐκ ἠδύναντο συντυχεῖν αὐτῷ διὰ τὸν ὄχλον.

 

Luke said that Jesus’ mother (ἡ μήτηρ) and his brothers (καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ) came to him (Παρεγένετο δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν).  However, they could not reach him (καὶ οὐκ ἠδύναντο συντυχεῖν αὐτῷ) because of the crowd (διὰ τὸν ὄχλον).  Mark, chapter 3:31, and Matthew, chapter 12:46, have something similar.  Mark said that his mother and brothers came to see Jesus, but apparently, they could not reach him because of the crowd, so that they were standing outside.  Matthew said that while Jesus was still speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers were standing outside.  They wanted to speak to him.  This brings up all kinds of questions.  Who were these unnamed brothers?  To what extent was Jesus estranged from his family?  According to Matthew, Jesus had been near to John the Baptist and his early apostles Peter, Andrew, John, James and Matthew.  These brothers could be biological brothers, half-brothers from a first marriage of Joseph, or cousin relatives.  The Hebrew and Aramaic language did not have a distinctive word for cousins, so that the word “brother” was often used to mean more than a true biological brother.  However, the Greek language did have a specific word for cousins.  Just as today, people sometimes refer to others as brothers or sisters, when there is no biological link.  The traditional belief of Christians, even through the Reformation period, had been that Mary was a virgin, so that Jesus was her only divine son.  Thus, here the unnamed mother and the unnamed brothers of Jesus were outside wanting to speak to Jesus.  In Mark, chapter 6:3, and Matthew, chapter 13:55–56, there are explicit names for the brothers of Jesus.  They clearly were relatives of Jesus, but exactly how close a relative is not clear.  Do you know all your relatives?

Jesus spoke about John (Lk 7:24-7:24)

“When John’s messengers

Had gone,

Jesus began

To speak

To the crowds

About John.

‘What did you go out

Into the wilderness

To look at?

A reed shaken

By the wind?’”

 

Ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων Ἰωάνου ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς ὄχλους περὶ Ἰωάνου Τί ἐξήλθατε εἰς τὴν ἔρημον θεάσασθαι; κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον;

 

Luke indicated that after John’s messengers had gone (Ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων Ἰωάνου), Jesus began to speak (ἤρξατο λέγειν) to the crowds (πρὸς τοὺς ὄχλους) about John the Baptist (περὶ Ἰωάνου).  These questions are word for word like Matthew, chapter 7:24, indicating a possible Q source.  Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John.  He asked them what did they go out into the wilderness to look at (Τί ἐξήλθατε εἰς τὴν ἔρημον θεάσασθαι)?  Was it a reed shaken by the wind (κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον)?  Matthew indicated the same when he said that as these disciples of John were leaving on their journey, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John.  He asked them these questions.  Why did they go out into the wilderness to see John?  Was he a reed shaking in the wind?  This idea of the plentiful reeds waving in the desert would be compared to the luxury of a royal palace.  What do you think of John the Baptist?