James said, “My brothers (ἀδελφοί μου)! Not many (Μὴ πολλοὶ) of you should become (γίνεσθε) teachers (διδάσκαλοι). You know (εἰδότες) that (ὅτι) we who teach will be judged (κρίμα) with greater (μεῖζον) strictness (μεῖζον).” James indicated that he as a teacher was held to a higher standard. Not many of his readers would be able to reach that standard. James called his readers his brothers again. He explained that he had to be careful in what he taught because he would be judged by the results of his teaching. Should teachers be held to a higher standard?
Luke indicated that Jesus asked them (Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς) how they could say (Πῶς λέγουσιν) that the Christ Messiah would be the son of David (τὸν Χριστὸν εἶναι Δαυεὶδ υἱόν)? There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:41-42, and Mark, chapter 12:35, but Jesus was sparing with the Pharisees and the Scribes, not a vague “they,” as here in Luke. However, Mark was closer to Luke.Mark said while Jesus was teaching in the Temple (διδάσκων ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ), he questioned them saying (Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἔλεγεν) how can the Scribes say (Πῶς λέγουσιν οἱ γραμματεῖς) that the Messiah Christ is the son of David (ὅτι ὁ Χριστὸς υἱὸς Δαυείδ ἐστιν)? This was a complex question that Jesus posed to them. He seemed to imply that the Christ Messiah was the son of David. Matthew indicated that the Pharisees had gathered together (Συνηγμένων δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων) around Jesus. Thus, he asked them a simple question (ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς). Here Jesus posed the question (λέγων) whose son would the Messiah Christ be (Τί ὑμῖν δοκεῖ περὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ; τίνος υἱός ἐστιν)? The Pharisees responded (λέγουσιν) that the Messiah Christ would be the son of David (αὐτῷ Τοῦ Δαυείδ). This was the traditional Jewish response based on Psalm 110:1, that the Messiah would be the son or descendant of David. How was Jesus the son of David?
Luke said that some of the Scribes (ποκριθέντες δέ τινες τῶν γραμματέων), but not Sadducees, answered that Jesus, their teacher (εἶπαν Διδάσκαλε) had spoken well (καλῶς εἶπας). Matthew, chapter 22:33, noted that when the crowds heard this (καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ ὄχλοι), they were astonished or amazed (ἐξεπλήσσοντο) at his teaching (ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ), while Mark did not have any further remarks. Had Jesus given a good answer?
Luke, along with the other synoptics has this confrontation between Jesus and the chief priests and the Scribes about the authority of Jesus. Luke said that one day it happened (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν), that Jesus was teaching the people (διδάσκοντος αὐτοῦ τὸν λαὸν) in the Temple (ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ). He was preaching the good news or evangelizing (καὶ εὐαγγελιζομένου). However, the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς), the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς), with the elders or presbyters (σὺν τοῖς πρεσβυτέροις) came to him (ἐπέστησαν). This questioning of the authority of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:23, and Mark, chapter 11:27, almost word for word. Mark said that when Jesus and his disciples again came to Jerusalem (Καὶ ἔρχονται πάλιν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus was walking in the Temple (καὶ ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ περιπατοῦντος αὐτοῦ), not teaching as in Luke and Matthew. The chief priests or the high priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) with the presbyters or the elders (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι) approached Jesus (ἔρχονται πρὸς αὐτὸν). Matthew said that when Jesus entered the Temple (Καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν), the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) or the high priest with the presbyters or elders of the people (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τοῦ λαοῦ) approached him as he was teaching (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ διδάσκοντι). Matthew, however, did not mention the Scribes, but the other 2 gospel stories did. Have you ever approached someone as they were teaching?
Luke said that these chief priests, Scribes, and other leaders could not find anything (καὶ οὐχ εὕρισκον τὸ) that they could do (τὸ τί ποιήσωσιν), since all the people were spellbound or hanging on the words that they heard from Jesus (ὁ λαὸς γὰρ ἅπας ἐξεκρέμετο αὐτοῦ ἀκούων). Once again, this word ἐξεκρέμετο, meaning to hang from, hang upon the lips of a speaker, to listen closely or hang out, is only found in Luke, and not in any other Greek biblical writings. There was something similar in Mark, chapter 11:17. Mark said that the leaders were afraid of Jesus (ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ αὐτόν), because the whole crowd (πᾶς γὰρ ὁ ὄχλος) was spellbound or astonished (ἐξεπλήσσετο) by his teaching (πὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ). There was nothing like this in Matthew. Have you ever heard a speaker who was spellbinding to you?
Luke said that everyday Jesus was teaching in the Temple (Καὶ ἦν διδάσκων τὸ καθ’ ἡμέραν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ). The chief priests (οἱ δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς), the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς), and the other leaders of the people (καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι τοῦ λαοῦ,) kept looking for a way to kill or destroy Jesus (ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν ἀπολέσαι). There were no Pharisees or Sadducees mentioned here, but these other people were trying to figure out a way to kill Jesus. There was something similar in Mark, chapter 11:17. Mark said that the chief priests and the Scribes heard about this incident in the Temple (καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς). Thus, they kept seeking or looking for a way to destroy or kill Jesus (καὶ ἐζήτουν πῶς αὐτὸν ἀπολέσωσιν). This cleansing of the Temple may have been the immediate event that caused the Jerusalem elders to be suspicious of Jesus. However, there was nothing like this in Matthew. Would you be suspicious if someone disrupted your religious services?
Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (λέγων αὐτοῖς) that it was written (Γέγραπται) that my house shall be a house of prayer (Καὶ ἔσται ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς). However, they had made it into a den or hideout of robbers or thieves (ὑμεῖς δὲ αὐτὸν ἐποιήσατε σπήλαιον λῃστῶν). This first citation about the house of prayer is from 3rd Isaiah, chapter 56:7, while the second citation about how they have made his Temple into a den of robbers is from Jeremiah, chapter 7:11. These biblical citations of Jesus in the Temple can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:13, and Mark, chapter 11:17, almost word for word. John, chapter 2:16-17, was slightly different, since he used a citation from Psalm 69:9, where the Psalmist or David had great zeal for the house of Yahweh that he was about to construct. Mark said that Jesus was teaching (καὶ ἐδίδασκεν). He asked them if they knew where it was written in Scripture (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Οὐ γέγραπται) that his house shall be called a house of prayer (ὅτι Ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς κληθήσεται) for all the nations (πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν). Matthew and Luke did not mention all the nations. However, the Temple functionaries were making it into a den or hideout of robbers or bandits (ὑμεῖς δὲ πεποιήκατε αὐτὸν σπήλαιον λῃστῶν). Likewise, Matthew said that Jesus told them that it was written in Scripture (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Γέγραπται) that his house shall be called a house of prayer (Ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς κληθήσεται). However, they were making it into a den or hideout of robbers or bandits (ὑμεῖς δὲ αὐτὸν ποιεῖτε σπήλαιον λῃστῶν). In all cases, Jesus was upset that the Jerusalem Temple house of prayer had been hijacked by a bunch of thieves and robbers. What kind of house of prayer do you pray in?
Luke uniquely has this statement about Jesus, but statements in the other gospels indicate something similar. Luke said that Jesus went through (Καὶ διεπορεύετο) one town (κατὰ πόλεις) and village after another (καὶ κώμας). He was teaching (διδάσκων), as he was making progress (καὶ πορείαν ποιούμενος) on his way toward Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα). Although Jesus went through various little towns and villages, he was always teaching about the kingdom of God. However, his main goal was to go to Jerusalem. Perhaps, he was not in Samaritan territory anymore. Do you have a goal in mind that you are trying to reach?
Luke uniquely had Jesus continue with this parable story of the fig tree. Jesus said that this fig tree owner spoke to his gardener (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τὸν ἀμπελουργόν). He told him that for 3 years (Ἰδοὺ τρία ἔτη ἀφ’ οὗ), he had come looking for fruit on this fig tree (ἔρχομαι ζητῶν καρπὸν ἐν τῇ συκῇ ταύτῃ). However, he did not find any (καὶ οὐχ εὑρίσκω). He told the gardener to cut it down (ἔκκοψον αὐτήν) because it was only wasting the soil (ἵνα τί καὶ τὴν γῆν καταργεῖ). In other words, this fig tree did not have any fruit for 3 years. Why not get rid of it? The 3 years may represent the 3 years that Jesus was preaching and teaching with little results. Have you ever been disappointed for 3 straight years?
Luke uniquely said that Martha had a sister (καὶ τῇδε ἦν ἀδελφὴ) called Mary (καλουμένη Μαριάμ). There were many women called Mary in the gospel stories. This Mary sat down at the Lord’s feet (καὶ παρακαθεσθεῖσα πρὸς τοὺς πόδας τοῦ Κυρίου) and listened to his words (ἤκουεν τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ). This was a common position for the disciples to take. It also was common for women to sit at the feet of men to listen to them. Was she a disciple of Jesus? Notice that Jesus was called the Lord (Κυρίου), not Jesus. Certainly, this Mary was very attuned to the teaching of Jesus. Are you willing to listen to the teaching of Jesus?