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 Lord needs it.’”
οἱ δὲ εἶπαν ὅτι Ὁ Κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει.
Luke indicated that their response (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν) was simple and precise. “The Lord needs it (Ὁ Κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει).” Was this some sort of secret password to show who they were? This is similar to Mark, chapter 11:6, where Mark said that the response of these two disciples was what they had been prepared to say. They told these bystanders (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτοῖς) what Jesus had told them to say (καθὼς εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς). Thus, these people in this town allowed these unnamed disciples to take the colt with them (καὶ ἀφῆκαν αὐτούς). Mission accomplished! How would these bystanders know about the master?
“Jesus said to him.
‘Why do you call me
No one is good
But God alone.’”
εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν; οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς εἰ μὴ εἷς ὁ Θεός.
Luke indicated that Jesus said to him (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς). Why did he call Jesus good (Τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν), since no one was good except God alone (οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς εἰ μὴ εἷς ὁ Θεός)? This response of Jesus can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:18-19, and Matthew, chapter 19:17, but slightly different, since Luke and Mark are closer to each other, almost word for word. They both had this man call Jesus the good teacher. Mark said that Jesus responded to him (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) by asking a question. Why did he call Jesus good (Τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν)? No one person was good (οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς). God alone was good (εἰ μὴ εἷς ὁ Θεός). In this response, Jesus appears to distance himself from the good God. Matthew did not mention that there was only one good one, God, as in Luke and in Mark, since this man was only looking for a good deed. Jesus responded (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) to this question by asking a question. Why did he ask about good (Τί με ἐρωτᾷς περὶ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ), since there was only one good one (εἷς ἐστιν ὁ ἀγαθός)? Then Jesus gave the classic answer for those who wanted to enter eternal life (εἰ δὲ θέλεις εἰς τὴν ζωὴν εἰσελθεῖν). He should keep the commandments or laws (τήρει τὰς ἐντολάς), since there had been a question about what good deed he could do. Jesus’ response was the commandments. Do you follow the commandments of God?
“Anyone who divorces
And marries another,
From her husband,
Πᾶς ὁ ἀπολύων τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ καὶ γαμῶν ἑτέραν μοιχεύει, καὶ ὁ ἀπολελυμένην ἀπὸ ἀνδρὸς γαμῶν μοιχεύει.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that anyone who put away or divorced his wife (Πᾶς ὁ ἀπολύων τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ), and married another woman (καὶ γαμῶν ἑτέραν), committed adultery (μοιχεύει). Whoever married (γαμῶν) a woman, divorced from her husband (καὶ ὁ ἀπολελυμένην ἀπὸ ἀνδρὸς), committed adultery (μοιχεύει). This response of Jesus to his disciples can be found also in Matthew, chapter 19:9, where there was also an emphasis on divorce as adultery. Mark, chapter 10:11-12 indicated that Jesus said to his disciples (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) that whoever divorced his wife (Ὃς ἂν ἀπολύσῃ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ) and married another woman (καὶ γαμήσῃ ἄλλην), committed adultery against her (μοιχᾶται ἐπ’ αὐτήν). Jesus had taken the stronger stance of no divorce. There was no exception about sexual misconduct as in Matthew. In Jewish society, women could not divorce their husbands, but in Roman society or among the gentiles, women could divorce their husbands. Mark indicated that Jesus gave the same rebuke to the women as he given to the men. If a woman divorced her husband (καὶ ἐὰν αὐτὴ ἀπολύσασα τὸν ἄνδρα αὐτῆς), and married someone else (γαμήσῃ ἄλλον), she committed adultery (μοιχᾶται). There were no exceptions, not even for spousal abuse. The new marriage was adulterous. In Matthew, Jesus responded to the Pharisees (λέγει αὐτοῖς). He said that Moses allowed them to divorce their wives (Ὅτι Μωϋσῆς …ἐπέτρεψεν ὑμῖν ἀπολῦσαι τὰς γυναῖκας ὑμῶν) because they were so hard-hearted, perverse, and obstinate (πρὸς τὴν σκληροκαρδίαν ὑμῶν). However, as he had noted earlier, this was not so from the beginning (ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς δὲ οὐ γέγονεν οὕτως). Then in a solemn proclamation (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν) he said that whoever divorced his wife and married another woman committed adultery (ὅτι ὃς ἂν ἀπολύσῃ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ…καὶ γαμήσῃ ἄλλην, μοιχᾶται), except for the sexual immorality or fornication (μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ) of his wife. Jesus had taken the stronger stance of no divorce, but gave one exception, the sexual misconduct of the wife, much like some of the stricter Jewish rabbis at that time. This exception was not in Mark or here in Luke. Do you think that there should be exceptions for divorce?
“They could not
καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν ἀνταποκριθῆναι πρὸς ταῦτα.
Luke uniquely showed that this response of Jesus shut them up. The lawyers and Pharisees could not reply or respond to this saying of Jesus (καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν ἀνταποκριθῆναι πρὸς ταῦτα). Thus, Luke ended this conversation with the Pharisees about this cured dropsy man. How do you end a conversation?
“But he will say.
‘I tell you!
I do not know
Where you come from.
All you evildoers!’”
καὶ ἐρεῖ λέγων ὑμῖν Οὐκ οἶδα πόθεν ἐστέ· ἀπόστητε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ πάντες ἐργάται ἀδικίας.
Luke continued with the response of Jesus with a solemn pronouncement (καὶ ἐρεῖ λέγων ὑμῖν) that he did not know where they came from (Οὐκ οἶδα πόθεν ἐστέ). They were to go away from him (ἀπόστητε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ), since they were all evildoers, workers of evil (πάντες ἐργάται ἀδικίας). This verse is somewhat similar to Matthew, chapter 7:23, from the Sermon on the Mount, perhaps a Q source. Jesus was going to declare to them that he never knew them, because they were evildoers. Just as David had told the evildoers to depart in Psalm 6:13, Jesus wanted these evildoers to leave him alone. Who were these evil doers? They seem like friendly disciples of Jesus. What evil had they done to make them unworthy on the final judgment day? The answer was not clear. Would you consider yourself an evil doer?
“Jesus said to them.
‘Strive to enter
Through the narrow door!
I tell you!
Many will try
And will not be able.’”
ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς
Ἀγωνίζεσθε εἰσελθεῖν διὰ τῆς στενῆς θύρας, ὅτι πολλοί, λέγω ὑμῖν, ζητήσουσιν εἰσελθεῖν καὶ οὐκ ἰσχύσουσιν.
Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) that they were to strive (Ἀγωνίζεσθε) to enter (εἰσελθεῖν) through the narrow door (διὰ τῆς στενῆς θύρας). With a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν), Jesus said that many people (ὅτι πολλοί) would try to enter (ζητήσουσιν εἰσελθεῖν), but not be able to do so (καὶ οὐκ ἰσχύσουσιν). This saying of Jesus is somewhat similar to Matthew, chapter 7:13-14, where it was part of the Sermon on the Mount, not a response to a question. Matthew had Jesus go into great detail about the narrow gate and not a door. Jesus wanted them to enter the narrow gate (ἰσέλθατε διὰ τῆς στενῆς πύλης). Matthew in his description of the wide or spacious gate (ὅτι πλατεῖα ἡ πύλη καὶ εὐρύχωρος) used two words for wide and spacious, “πλατεῖα” and “εὐρύχωρος,” that never appear elsewhere in the New Testament. The easy way of the wide gate led to destruction (ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ἀπώλειαν). Many people were entering through this wide destructive easy gate (καὶ πολλοί εἰσιν οἱ εἰσερχόμενοι δι’ αὐτῆς). On the other hand, the narrow gate (ὅτι στενὴ ἡ πύλη) had a difficult way, leading to life (καὶ τεθλιμμένη ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ζωήν). Only a few people were able to find their way through this difficult hard narrow life filled gate (καὶ ὀλίγοι εἰσὶν οἱ εὑρίσκοντες αὐτήν). This idea of two ways can be found also in Deuteronomy, chapter 30:15-20, and among other religions with the way of death and the way of life. The early Christian teachings of the Didache used this concept, as did many other dualistic religions that pointed to the choice of life or death, good or bad. As you had basic choices in life, God was giving you this choice, life and prosperity with the narrow gate or death and adversity with the wide gate. You had a choice between two gates. The choice of path was yours. Do you prefer the wide or the narrow door?