Zacchaeus (Lk 19:2-19:2)

“A man was there

Named Zacchaeus.

He was a chief tax collector.

He was rich.”

 

Καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ ὀνόματι καλούμενος Ζακχαῖος, καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν ἀρχιτελώνης, καὶ αὐτὸς πλούσιος

 

Only Luke uniquely talked about this man in Jericho (Καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ), named Zacchaeus (ὀνόματι καλούμενος Ζακχαῖος), who was a rich (καὶ αὐτὸς πλούσιος) chief tax collector or head of a customs house (καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν ἀρχιτελώνης).  Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term ἀρχιτελώνης, that means a chief tax collector, head of a custom-house, chief tax-gatherer, or publican.  Zacchaeus was an important man in Jericho because of his wealth and his position in charge of tax collecting there.  His very name, Zacchaeus, meant righteous or upright in Hebrew.  Luke was the only synoptic with this story of Zacchaeus.  What do you think about people who work for the IRS and collect taxes?

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Another parable (Lk 18:9-18:9)

“Jesus also told

This parable

To some people

Who trusted in themselves.

They believed that

They were righteous.

They regarded others

With contempt.”

 

Εἶπεν δὲ καὶ πρός τινας τοὺς πεποιθότας ἐφ’ ἑαυτοῖς ὅτι εἰσὶν δίκαιοι καὶ ἐξουθενοῦντας τοὺς λοιποὺς τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην.

 

Luke has Jesus tell another parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector that is only found in this gospel.  Luke indicated that Jesus said (Εἶπεν δὲ) that some people trusted in themselves (Εἶπεν δὲ καὶ πρός τινας τοὺς πεποιθότας ἐφ’ ἑαυτοῖς) that they were righteous (ὅτι εἰσὶν δίκαιοι).  They regarded or despised others with contempt (καὶ ἐξουθενοῦντας τοὺς λοιποὺς).  Thus, here was this parable (τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην) for them.  Jesus explicitly called this a parable that was meant for these self-righteous people who trusted in themselves.  At the same time, they looked down on others.  Do you look down on others?

The shrewd one (Lk 16:8-16:8)

“His master commended

This dishonest manager

Because he had acted

Shrewdly.

The children

Of this age

Are more shrewd

In dealing

With their own generation

Than are

The children of light.”

 

καὶ ἐπῄνεσεν ὁ κύριος τὸν οἰκονόμον τῆς ἀδικίας ὅτι φρονίμως ἐποίησεν· ὅτι οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου φρονιμώτεροι ὑπὲρ τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ φωτὸς εἰς τὴν γενεὰν τὴν ἑαυτῶν εἰσιν

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this lord or master commended or praised this dishonest manager (καὶ ἐπῄνεσεν ὁ κύριος τὸν οἰκονόμον τῆς ἀδικίας) because he had acted shrewdly (ὅτι φρονίμως ἐποίησεν).  Once again, this term φρονίμως, meaning shrewdly, sensibly, wisely, or prudently, is unique to Luke among all the New Testament writers.  Jesus said that the children of this age (ὅτι οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου) were shrewder (φρονιμώτεροι) in dealing with their own generation (εἰς τὴν γενεὰν τὴν ἑαυτῶν εἰσιν) than are the sons or the children of light (ὑπὲρ τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ φωτὸς).  The sons of light are the righteous ones.  However, those people of this generation were more prudent, sensible, wise, or shrewd compared to the followers of Jesus, who tended to be imprudent in the eyes of the world.  Are you shrewd in business dealings?

The resurrection of the just (Lk 14:14-14:14)

“You will be blessed!

Because they cannot

Repay you.

You will be repaid

At the resurrection

Of the righteous!”

 

καὶ μακάριος ἔσῃ, ὅτι οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἀνταποδοῦναί σοι· ἀνταποδοθήσεται γάρ σοι ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει τῶν δικαίων.

 

Luke uniquely has Jesus explain why inviting the poor, the lame, the crippled, and the blind was a good thing to do.  Jesus said that they would be blessed, happy, and fortunate (καὶ μακάριος ἔσῃ).  These unfortunate people would not be able to repay them with another reciprocal dinner party, (ὅτι οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἀνταποδοῦναί σοι).  However, they would be repaid (ἀνταποδοθήσεται γάρ σοι) at the resurrection of the righteous (ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει τῶν δικαίων).  In other words, they would receive a heavenly reward at the end times.  They should not be that concerned about getting an earthly reward of another dinner invitation, when an eternal reward was available.  Will you be blessed now or at the resurrection of the righteous?

The blood of Abel (Lk 11:51-11:51)

“From the blood

Of Abel

To the blood

Of Zechariah,

Who perished

Between the altar

And the sanctuary.

Yes!

I tell you!

It will be charged

Against this generation.”

 

ἀπὸ αἵματος Ἄβελ ἕως αἵματος Ζαχαρίου τοῦ ἀπολομένου μεταξὺ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου καὶ τοῦ οἴκου· ναί, λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐκζητηθήσεται ἀπὸ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said with a solemn proclamation (ναί, λέγω ὑμῖν) that from all the blood of Abel (ἀπὸ αἵματος Ἄβελ) to the blood of Zechariah (ἕως αἵματος Ζαχαρίου), who perished between the altar and the sanctuary (τοῦ ἀπολομένου μεταξὺ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου καὶ τοῦ οἴκου) would be charged against this generation (ἐκζητηθήσεται ἀπὸ τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης).  Matthew, chapter 23:35 is similar to this, perhaps a Q source.  Jesus said this bloodshed would be charged to the Pharisees and Scribes from the blood of the righteous Abel (ἀπὸ τοῦ αἵματος Ἅβελ τοῦ δικαίου) to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Barachiah (ἕως τοῦ αἵματος Ζαχαρίου υἱοῦ Βαραχίου).  He was murdered between the Temple sanctuary and the sacrificial altar (ὃν ἐφονεύσατε μεταξὺ τοῦ ναοῦ καὶ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου).  Abel was the brother that Cain killed in Genesis, chapter 4:8.  His just blood would cry out from the ground.  This Zechariah was a little more complicated.  2 Chronicles, chapter 24:20-22, has a Zechariah, the son of the priest Jehoiada who was stoned to death in the Temple courtyard.  As he was dying, he asked God to avenge his death.  However, Zechariah, the son of Barachiah in Zechariah, chapter 1:1, was a 6th century BCE prophet from a priestly family.  Genesis was the first book of the Hebrew Bible and 2 Chronicles was considered the last book of the Hebrew Bible.  Thus, all the innocent blood from the beginning of the world throughout Israelite history would be upon these Pharisees or this generation.  There would be a continuation of this innocent blood with Jesus himself.  How are you responsible for the death of Jesus?

They build the tombs (Lk 11:47-11:47)

“Woe to you!

You build

The tombs

Of the prophets,

Whom your ancestors

Killed.”

 

οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, ὅτι οἰκοδομεῖτε τὰ μνημεῖα τῶν προφητῶν, οἱ δὲ πατέρες ὑμῶν ἀπέκτειναν αὐτούς.

 

Luke once again had Jesus curse (οὐαὶ ὑμῖν) the Pharisees, because they built the tombs of the prophets (ὅτι οἰκοδομεῖτε τὰ μνημεῖα τῶν προφητῶν), whom their ancestors or fathers killed (οἱ δὲ πατέρες ὑμῶν ἀπέκτειναν αὐτούς).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:29, where Jesus continued to curse the Pharisees and the Scribes.  This diatribe against the hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees was how they and their ancestors had treated the prophets of Israel.  They built the tombs of the prophets and decorated the graves or these tombs of the righteous.  These Pharisees said that if they had lived in the days of their ancestors or fathers, they would not have participated in the shedding of the blood of these prophets.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the present-day Pharisees participated in the murder of the righteous prophets by decorating the graves of these holy men.  The problem was that there were not that many prophets murdered.  Do you visit cemeteries much?

The graves (Lk 11:44-11:44)

“Woe to you!

You are

Like unmarked graves.

People walk

Over them

Without realizing it.”

 

οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, ὅτι ἐστὲ ὡς τὰ μνημεῖα τὰ ἄδηλα, καὶ οἱ ἄνθρωποι οἱ περιπατοῦντες ἐπάνω οὐκ οἴδασιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued to pick on his dinner guests, the Pharisees.  Jesus cursed these Pharisees without naming them.  He said woe to them (οὐαὶ ὑμῖν) because they were like unmarked graves (ὅτι ἐστὲ ὡς τὰ μνημεῖα τὰ ἄδηλα) that people or men would walk over without realizing it (καὶ οἱ ἄνθρωποι οἱ περιπατοῦντες ἐπάνω οὐκ οἴδασιν).  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:27, where Jesus continued to curse the Pharisees and the Scribes.  There was no doubt that Jesus was cursing the Scribes and the Pharisees because of their false hearts.  They were like whitewashed tombs, that looked outwardly beautiful.  However, the inside of these unmarked tombs was full of the bones of dead people and other kinds of filth or impure things.  Thus, the Pharisees appear to look righteous on the outside to others.  However, on the inside, in their hearts, they were full of hypocrisy, iniquity, and lawlessness.  Matthew went into more detail than Luke did here, sitting with them at dinner.  Have you ever complained directly to people at a dinner party?