Who was justified? (Lk 18:14-18:14)

“I tell you!

This man went down

To his house

Justified

Rather than the other.

All

Who exalt themselves,

Will be humbled.

But all

Who humble themselves

Will be exalted.”

 

λέγω ὑμῖν, κατέβη οὗτος δεδικαιωμένος εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ παρ’ ἐκεῖνον· ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὑψῶν ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται, ὁ δὲ ταπεινῶν ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται.

 

Luke has Jesus conclude this parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector that is only found in this gospel.  Luke indicated that Jesus said with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν) that this man, the tax collector, went down to his house justified (κατέβη οὗτος δεδικαιωμένος εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ) rather than the other man, the Pharisee (παρ’ ἐκεῖνον).  Then he added a remark that all who exalt themselves (ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὑψῶν ἑαυτὸν), will be humbled (ταπεινωθήσεται).  But all who humble themselves (ὁ δὲ ταπεινῶν ἑαυτὸν), will be exalted (ὑψωθήσεται).  This was also in in Matthew, chapter 23:12, where Jesus said that whoever exalted themselves would be humbled (Ὅστις δὲ ὑψώσει ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται,).  On the other hand, anyone who humbled themselves would be exalted (καὶ ὅστις ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται).  This role reversal was an indication of the end times in MatthewLuke mentioned this earlier in chapter 14:11, word for word, when Jesus said that all who exalted themselves (ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὑψῶν ἑαυτὸν) would be humbled (ταπεινωθήσεται).  On the other hand, all those who humbled themselves (καὶ ὁ ταπεινῶν ἑαυτὸν), would be exalted (ὑψωθήσεται), but within a different context also.  Do you humble or exalt yourself?

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Humility (Lk 14:11-14:11)

“All who exalt themselves

Will be humbled!

Those who humble themselves

Will be exalted!”

 

ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὑψῶν ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται, καὶ ὁ ταπεινῶν ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that all who exalted themselves (ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὑψῶν ἑαυτὸν) would be humbled (ταπεινωθήσεται).  On the other hand, all those who humbled themselves (καὶ ὁ ταπεινῶν ἑαυτὸν), would be exalted (ὑψωθήσεται).  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:11-12, and chapter 20:26, but within different contexts.  There Jesus said that whoever wanted to be great among them must be their servant or waiter (ἀλλ’ ὃς ἐὰν θέλῃ ἐν ὑμῖν μέγας γενέσθαι, ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος).  Whoever wanted to be first among them (καὶ ὃς ἂν θέλῃ ἐν ὑμῖν εἶναι πρῶτος) must be their slave (ἔσται ὑμῶν δοῦλος).  Clearly, Jesus wanted his new leaders not to be like the gentile Roman leaders or the Jewish religious leaders.  They were to be true leaders who served their people, as they practiced servant leadership, not dictatorial leadership.  Jesus said that the greatest among them would be their servant (ὁ δὲ μείζων ὑμῶν ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος).  Like here, whoever exalted themselves would be humbled (Ὅστις δὲ ὑψώσει ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται,).  On the other hand, anyone who humbled themselves would be exalted (καὶ ὅστις ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται).  This role reversal was an indication of the end times.  Do you humble yourself?

Greatness and humility (Mt 23:11-23:12)

“The greatest

Among you

Will be your servant.

All who exalt themselves

Will be humbled.

All who humble themselves

Will be exalted.”

 

ὁ δὲ μείζων ὑμῶν ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος.

Ὅστις δὲ ὑψώσει ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται, καὶ ὅστις ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται.

 

There is something similar in Luke, chapter 14:11 and Matthew, chapter 20:26, when Jesus said that whoever wanted to be great among them must be their servant or waiter.  Whoever wanted to be first among them must be their slave.  Clearly, Jesus wanted his new leaders not to be like the gentile Roman leaders or the Jewish religious leaders, but to be like the apostles in the question about the greatest among them in chapter 18:1-4 of this work.  They were to be true leaders who served their people, as they practiced servant leadership, not dictatorial leadership.  Jesus said that the greatest among them would be their servant (ὁ δὲ μείζων ὑμῶν ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος).  Whoever exalted themselves would be humbled (Ὅστις δὲ ὑψώσει ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται,).  On the other hand, anyone who humbled themselves would be exalted (καὶ ὅστις ταπεινώσει ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται).  This role reversal was an indication of the end times.

The simple explanation of the parable (Mt 20:16-20:16)

“Thus,

The last will be first.

The first will be last.”

 

Οὕτως ἔσονται οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι.

 

This simple explanation of the parable of the day laborers is unique to Matthew.  Thus, the last ones will be the first ones (Οὕτως ἔσονται οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι) and the first ones will be the last ones (καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι).  There are no special places in the kingdom of heaven.  There will be a role reversal.  Those who think that they were first here on earth will be the opposite in the kingdom of heaven.  The last will be the first.  This long parable was nothing more than a repeat of the same saying that was earlier in chapter 19:30 with similar statements in Mark, chapter 10:31 and Luke, chapter 13:30.  Thus, a change in status was part of the kingdom of heaven.

Yahweh judges (Ps 110:5-110:7)

“Yahweh is at your right hand.

He will shatter kings

On the day of his wrath.

He will execute judgment

Among the nations.

He will fill them with corpses.

He will shatter heads

Over the wide earth.

He will drink

From the stream by the path.

Therefore he will lift up his head.”

This short psalm ends with Yahweh giving this king, probably David, the power to judge. Thus the Christian interpretation of the Messiah as king, priest, and judge would be based on this psalm. Here there is a role reversal from the first verse as Yahweh is at the king’s right hand. Now this is a king who shatters other kings on the day of wrath. He too will execute judgment on the other nations as well. He will fill their countries with corpses. He will shatter their heads on the earth. He will drink from the streams along the pathway so that he will lift up his head. Yes, this is a difficult psalm to understand, so that the Davidic Christian messianic interpretation is certainly possible.