I am not going to tell you (Lk 20:8-20:8)

“Then Jesus

Said to them.

‘Neither will I tell you

By what authority

I am doing

These things.’”

 

καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Οὐδὲ ἐγὼ λέγω ὑμῖν ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus then said to these Jerusalem religious leaders (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that he was not going to tell them (Οὐδὲ ἐγὼ λέγω ὑμῖν) by what authority he was doing these things (ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ).  Matthew, chapter 21:27, and Mark, chapter 11:33 have something similar, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus then told them (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγει αὐτοῖς) that he would not tell them by what authority he was doing these things (Οὐδὲ ἐγὼ λέγω ὑμῖν ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ).  Matthew also indicated that Jesus then told them (ἔφη αὐτοῖς καὶ αὐτός) that he would not tell them by what authority he was doing these things (Οὐδὲ ἐγὼ λέγω ὑμῖν ἐν ποίᾳ ἐξουσίᾳ ταῦτα ποιῶ).  Jesus had made his point, pure and simple.  They could not answer his question, so that he was not going to answer their question.  Have you ever refused to answer a question?

 

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They did not know (Lk 20:7-20:7)

“Thus,

They answered

That they did not know

Where it came from.”

 

καὶ ἀπεκρίθησαν μὴ εἰδέναι πόθεν.

 

Luke indicated that the Jewish Jerusalem religious leaders answered (καὶ ἀπεκρίθησαν) that they did not know where (μὴ εἰδέναι πόθεν) the baptism of John the Baptist came from.  This same response to Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:27, and Mark, chapter 11:33, almost word for word to each other.  Mark said that the chief priests, the Scribes, and the elders responded to Jesus (καὶ ἀποκριθέντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ).  They said that they did not know (λέγουσιν Οὐκ οἴδαμεν) the value, origins, or power of the baptism of John the Baptist.  Matthew said that the chief priests and elders responded to Jesus (καὶ ἀποκριθέντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ εἶπαν) that they did not know (Οὐκ οἴδαμεν) the origins or power of the baptism of John the Baptist.  This non-response was better than an aggravating response.  Have you ever pleaded ignorance when you were too embarrassed to answer a question?

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?

What to do? (Lk 6:11-6:11)

“But they

Were filled

With fury.

They discussed

With one another

What they might do

To Jesus.”

 

αὐτοὶ δὲ ἐπλήσθησαν ἀνοίας, καὶ διελάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους τί ἂν ποιήσαιεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ.

 

Luke said that they were filled with rage or fury (ὐτοὶ δὲ ἐπλήσθησαν ἀνοίας).  They discussed with one another (καὶ διελάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους) what they might do to Jesus (τί ἂν ποιήσαιεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ).  Matthew, chapter 12:14, and Mark, chapter 3:6, are similar to Luke.  However, Mark was the only one to mention both the Pharisees and the Herodians.  Matthew mentioned just the Pharisees, while Luke used the vague “they”.  Mark said that the Pharisees conspired with the Herodians against Jesus.  They wondered how they could destroy or kill him.  The Herodians were not a religious group but a political group that backed the Galilean governor Herod Antipas (4-39 CE).  Right from the beginning, there was this animosity between Jesus and the religious leaders of the Pharisees and the local political leaders of Herod.  Matthew has this episode end with only the Pharisees getting together to conspire to destroy Jesus.  However, the wording was a little different among these synoptic writers, but all these people conspired on how to grab, destroy, or kill Jesus.

Chief priests mock Jesus (Mk 15:31-15:31)

“In the same way,

The chief priests,

Along with the Scribes,

Were also mocking him

Among themselves.

Saying.

‘He saved others!

He cannot save himself!’”

 

ὁμοίως καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς ἐμπαίζοντες πρὸς ἀλλήλους μετὰ τῶν γραμματέων ἔλεγον Ἄλλους ἔσωσεν, ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται σῶσαι

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:41-42.  However, Mark did not mention the elders nor anything about the Son of God.  In Luke, chapter 23:35-36, there is only a mention of leaders and soldiers, without any specific indication of which leaders.  On the other hand, there is nothing similar in John.  Mark said that the chief priests (καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) were mocking Jesus among one another or among themselves (ἐμπαίζοντες πρὸς ἀλλήλους) with the Scribes (μετὰ τῶν γραμματέων), in the same way as those passing by (ὁμοίως).  These religious leaders said that Jesus had saved others (ἔλεγον Ἄλλους ἔσωσεν).  Why could he not save himself (ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται σῶσαι)?  They seemed to take a sense of self satisfaction that they had Jesus right where they wanted him.

The mocking passerby people (Mk 15:29-15:30)

“Those who passed by

Derided Jesus.

They were shaking

Their heads.

Saying.

‘Aha!

You who would destroy

The Temple

And build it

In three days,

Save yourself!

Come down

From the cross!’”

 

Καὶ οἱ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν καὶ λέγοντες Οὐὰ ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν καὶ οἰκοδομῶν ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις,

σῶσον σεαυτὸν καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:39-40.  In Luke, chapter 23:35-37, the religious leaders and the soldiers were doing the mocking, not the passersby people.  However, John did not have anyone making remarks about Jesus.  Mark said that some people passing by abused and derided Jesus (Καὶ οἱ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν).  They shook their heads at Jesus (κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν).  They said “Aha! (Οὐὰ),” as they reminded Jesus that he had said (καὶ λέγοντες) if the Temple was destroyed (ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν), he would rebuild it in three days (καὶ οἰκοδομῶν ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις).  They told Jesus to save himself (σῶσον σεαυτὸν).  Why didn’t he come down from the cross (καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ)?  The taunting of these people seemed to turn on Jesus’ own words.  It would be surprising if many people came by the cross.

Judas came with a group of people (Mk 14:43-14:43)

“Immediately,

While Jesus

Was still speaking,

Judas,

One of the twelve,

Arrived.

There was

A crowd

With him.

They had swords

And clubs.

They included

The chief priests,

The Scribes,

And the elders.”

 

Καὶ εὐθὺς ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος παραγίνεται ὁ Ἰούδας εἷς τῶν δώδεκα, καὶ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ὄχλος μετὰ μαχαιρῶν καὶ ξύλων παρὰ τῶν ἀρχιερέων καὶ τῶν γραμματέων καὶ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:46.  Luke, chapter 22:47, is somewhat similar, but does not mention the Jewish religious groups.  John, chapter 18:2-3, is more detailed, since he mentioned the police and a detachment of soldiers, as well as the Pharisees.  Mark said that immediately as Jesus was still speaking (Καὶ εὐθὺς ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος), Judas, one of the 12 apostles, arrived on the scene (παραγίνεται ὁ Ἰούδας εἷς τῶν δώδεκα).  He had with him a large crowd of people (καὶ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ὄχλος) with swords (μετὰ μαχαιρῶν) and clubs (καὶ ξύλων).  Mark seems to indicate that the chief priests (παρὰ τῶν ἀρχιερέων), the Scribes (καὶ τῶν γραμματέων) and the elders or presbyters (καὶ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων) were there, while Matthew had these religious leaders sending the crowd.  Apparently, these leaders were expecting some resistance from Jesus and his followers.  Thus, they had a large armed group of people with Judas.  In John’s more descriptive account, Judas knew where to find Jesus because they had often been there at this place.  He said that they also brought lanterns and torches.  Mark and the other gospel writers never mentioned the Sadducees, while only John mentioned the Pharisees, and Mark was the only one to mention the Scribes.