Render to Caesar (Lk 20:25-20:25)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Then give

To the Emperor Caesar

The things

That are the Emperor Caesar’s!

Give to God

The things

That are God’s.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Τοίνυν ἀπόδοτε τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) to give back to the Emperor Caesar (Τοίνυν ἀπόδοτε τὰ Καίσαρος), the things that are of the Emperor Caesar’s (Καίσαρι)!  However, give to God the things that are God’s (καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:21, and in Mark, chapter 12:17, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus responded to them (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) by telling them to give to the Roman emperor Caesar the things that belonged to the emperor (Τὰ Καίσαρος ἀπόδοτε Καίσαρι).  At the same time, they should give to God the things that belong to God (καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ).  Matthew said that Jesus responded to them (τότε λέγει αὐτοῖς) by telling them to give to the Roman emperor Caesar the things that belonged to the emperor (Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι).  At the same time, they should give to God the things that belong to God (καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ).  Jesus appeared to accept the Roman rule and its taxing policies.  He also had a milder view of their tax collectors.  With this ambiguous answer, Jesus avoided offending Jewish nationalists and the Roman Empire party and its officials.  Thus, the Roman and Jewish parties were both satisfied and unsatisfied at the same time.  If everything belonged to God, do not pay this tax.  If everything belonged to the Roman Empire, pay the tax.  The choice was theirs.  He was not going to tell them what to do.  This statement of Jesus has become the basic Christian understanding of the relationship between religious churches and civilian states.  Do you see a difference between Church regulations and civic state regulations?

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Bad treatment for the Son of Man (Lk 18:32-18:32)

“The Son of Man

Will be handed over

To the gentiles.

He will be mocked.

He will be insulted.

He will be spat upon.”

 

παραδοθήσεται γὰρ τοῖς ἔθνεσιν καὶ ἐμπαιχθήσεται καὶ ὑβρισθήσεται καὶ ἐμπτυσθήσεται,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the Son of Man would be handed over to the gentiles (παραδοθήσεται γὰρ τοῖς ἔθνεσιν), the non-Israelites, obviously the Romans.  He would be mocked or ridiculed (καὶ ἐμπαιχθήσεται), insulted (καὶ ὑβρισθήσεται), and spat upon (καὶ ἐμπτυσθήσεται).  There was no clear statement about who was doing all this here in Luke, as there was in Mark and Matthew, where the chief priests and Scribes, but not the Pharisees or Sadducees, were betraying or handing over Jesus to the gentiles.  This was the 3rd prediction of the future sufferings of Jesus.  Luke had mentioned it in chapter 9:22 and 9:44-45.  Mark, chapter 10:33, and Matthew, chapter 20:18, have something similar to this.  Mark also had this as the 3rd prediction about the death of Jesus as he had mentioned it in chapters 8:31-33 and 9:30-32.  Jesus told his trusted 12 leaders that they were going up to Jerusalem (ὅτι Ἰδοὺ ἀναβαίνομεν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), where the Son of Man would be handed over to the chief priests and the Scribes (καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδοθήσεται τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν καὶ τοῖς γραμματεῦσιν).  These chief priests and Scribes were going to condemn him to death (καὶ κατακρινοῦσιν αὐτὸν εἰς θανάτῳ).  They would, in turn, hand him over to the gentiles (καὶ παραδώσουσιν αὐτὸν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν), meaning the Romans.  In Matthew, this would be the 3rd prediction of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection, after chapters 16:21 and 17:22-23.  Yet this is the most descriptive explanation.  Jesus told his trusted 12 leaders that they were going to Jerusalem (Ἰδοὺ ἀναβαίνομεν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα).  There the Son of Man would be handed over to the chief priests of Jerusalem and the Scribes (καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδοθήσεται τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν καὶ γραμματεῦσιν).  These priests and Scribes were going to condemn him to death (καὶ κατακρινοῦσιν αὐτὸν εἰς θάνατον).  They would, in turn, hand him over to the gentiles (καὶ παραδώσουσιν αὐτὸν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν), obviously the Romans.  These imminent predictions were about the future sufferings of the Son of Man, Jesus, in Jerusalem.  Would you like to know about your future sufferings?

Just like Lot (Lk 17:28-17:28)

“Likewise,

Just as it was

In the days

Of Lot.

They were eating.

They were drinking.

They were buying.

They were selling.

They were planting.

They were building.”

 

ὁμοίως καθὼς ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Λώτ· ἤσθιον, ἔπινον, ἠγόραζον, ἐπώλουν, ἐφύτευον, ᾠκοδόμουν

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus also mentioned Lot from Genesis, chapter 19.  Jesus said likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot (ὁμοίως καθὼς ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Λώτ), they were eating (ἤσθιον), drinking (ἔπινον), buying (ἠγόραζον), selling (ἐπώλουν), planting (ἐφύτευον), and building (ἐφύτευον).  This was much the same as the statement about Noah.  At the time of Lot, the nephew of Abraham, they too were carrying on normal activities.  In other words, people assume that nothing will happen to them.  What do you know about Lot?

Who will give you true riches? (Lk 16:11-16:11)

“If then,

You have not been faithful

With the dishonest wealth,

Who will entrust

To you

The true riches?”

 

εἰ οὖν ἐν τῷ ἀδίκῳ μαμωνᾷ πιστοὶ οὐκ ἐγένεσθε, τὸ ἀληθινὸν τίς ὑμῖν πιστεύσει; 

 

Once again, this is a unique statement of Luke, not found in the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that if they had not been faithful (εἰ οὖν…πιστοὶ οὐκ ἐγένεσθε) with dishonest wealth (ἐν τῷ ἀδίκῳ μαμωνᾷ), who would entrust to them true riches (ἀληθινὸν τίς ὑμῖν πιστεύσει)?  If they have not handled the mammon or dishonest money correctly, who would give them true wealth?  Do you handle money well?

The faithful ones (Lk 16:10-16:10)

“Whoever is faithful

In a very little thing

Is faithful also

In much.

Whoever is dishonest

In a very little thing

Is dishonest also

In much.”

 

ὁ πιστὸς ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ καὶ ἐν πολλῷ πιστός ἐστιν, καὶ ὁ ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ ἄδικος καὶ ἐν πολλῷ ἄδικός ἐστιν.

 

Once again, this is a unique statement of Luke, not found in the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that whoever was faithful or trustworthy (ὁ πιστὸς) with very small things (ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ) would be faithful or trustworthy (πιστός ἐστιν) also with much things (καὶ ἐν πολλῷ).  On the other hand, whoever was dishonest (ἄδικος) in very little things (καὶ ὁ ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ) would be dishonest (ἄδικός ἐστιν) also with much things (καὶ ἐν πολλῷ).  This was another common sense saying of Jesus, only here in Luke.  How you treated little things, honestly or dishonestly, would be how you would handle big things.  How do you handle little things?

The son admits he is a sinner (Lk 15:21-15:21)

“Then the son

Said to him.

‘Father!

I have sinned

Against heaven

And before you.

I am no longer worthy

To be called

Your son.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτῷ Πάτερ, ἥμαρτον εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου, οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου.

 

This long parable story about the prodigal son can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the son said to his father (εἶπεν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτῷ Πάτερ) that he had sinned (ἥμαρτον) against heaven (εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν) and his own father (καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου).  He was no longer worthy to be called his son (οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου).  Some of the Greek texts have the ending sentence of verse 19, where he wanted to be treated like one of his hired hands (ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου).  This seems to be a very true contrite statement, since the words are exactly what he was thinking when he decided to return home.  Thus, this prodigal son confessed his sins and asked for repentance, after his father had already accepted him back.  Have you ever confessed that you are a sinner?

Shake off the dust! (Lk 9:5-9:5)

“Wherever

They did not welcome you,

As you are leaving

That town,

Shake the dust

Off your feet,

As a testimony

Against them.”

 

καὶ ὅσοι ἂν μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐξερχόμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης τὸν κονιορτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν ἀποτινάσσετε εἰς μαρτύριον ἐπ’ αὐτούς.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his 12 apostles that wherever they did not receive them or welcome them (καὶ ὅσοι ἂν μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς), as they were leaving that town (ἐξερχόμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης), they were to shake the dust off their feet (τὸν κονιορτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν ἀποτινάσσετε) as a testimony or witness against them (εἰς μαρτύριον ἐπ’ αὐτούς).  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:14-15, and Mark, chapter 6:11.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that if any place would not receive them or listen to their words, they were to leave that place.  They should shake off the dust from their feet, as a witness or testimony against them.  This indicated that the dust of that house was useless.  Some orthodox texts have the statement about Sodom and Gomorrah that was in Matthew, chapter 10:15, where Jesus make a comparison between those places that had rejected them with the famous wicked cities of Genesis, chapter 18:20-19:29, Sodom and Gomorrah.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that if anyone would not receive them or listen to their words, they should leave that house or town.  They were to shake off the dust from their feet, indicating that the dust of that house or town was useless.  Matthew had Jesus make a comparison between these non-welcoming towns that had rejected them with the famous wicked cities of Genesis.  This was a solemn statement that it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on judgment day than these towns that had rejected his disciples.  They had lacked hospitality to the followers of. Jesus, so that they were worse than those terrible cities in Genesis.  Do you know a town worse than Sodom and Gomorrah?