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?

The parable about the rented vineyard (Lk 20:9-20:9)

“Jesus began

To tell the people

This parable.

‘A man planted

A vineyard.

He leased it

To tenants.

He went to another country

For a long time.’”

 

Ἤρξατο δὲ πρὸς τὸν λαὸν λέγειν τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην. ἄνθρωπος ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα, καὶ ἐξέδετο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς, καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν χρόνους ἱκανούς.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus began to tell the people another parable (Ἤρξατο δὲ πρὸς τὸν λαὸν λέγειν τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην) about a certain man who planted a vineyard (ἄνθρωπος ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα).  He then leased it to farmer tenants (καὶ ἐξέδετο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς).  However, he went abroad to another country for a long time (καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν χρόνους ἱκανούς).  This parable about the absentee vineyard landowner can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:33, and Mark, chapter 12:1, with more details about this vineyard.  Mark said that Jesus began to speak to them in parables (Καὶ ἤρξατο αὐτοῖς ἐν παραβολαῖς λαλεῖν).  This story was about a male landowner who planted a vineyard (ἀμπελῶνα ἄνθρωπος ἐφύτευσεν).  He then put a fence around this vineyard (καὶ περιέθηκεν φραγμὸν) and dug a wine press (καὶ ὤρυξεν ὑπολήνιον).  He even built a fortified watchtower (καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον), so that it was a very nice vineyard.  This story is reminiscent of the allegory of the vineyard from Isaiah, chapter 5:1-2.  Isaiah had a song about a friend’s fertile field.  He also dug out stones and planted choice vines.  He put a tower in the middle to look over the vineyard with a carved wine vat there also.  However, he got bad grapes instead of good grapes.  Clearly, he did not get what he expected.  However, this landowner here leased his land or rented it to farmer tenants (καὶ ἐξέδετο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς).  Then he left that region and went away to another country (καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν).  Matthew also indicated that Jesus wanted them to listen to another parable (Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἀκούσατε) about a male landowner (Ἄνθρωπος ἦν οἰκοδεσπότης), who planted a vineyard (ὅστις ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα).  He then put a fence around it (καὶ φραγμὸν αὐτῷ περιέθηκεν) and dug a wine press in it (καὶ ὤρυξεν ἐν αὐτῷ ληνὸν).  He even built a fortified watchtower (καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον).  This seemed like a very nice vineyard, much like in Mark.  However, this landowner also leased or rented this land to farmer tenants (καὶ ἐξέδετο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς).  Then he left that region and went away to another country (ἀπεδήμησεν).  These last two things, renting and leaving the land, will cause him a problem.  Have you had a problem with tenants?

The stones would cry out (Lk 19:40-19:40)

“Jesus answered.

‘I tell you!

If these disciples

Were silent,

The stones

Would shout out!’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Λέγω ὑμῖν ἐὰν οὗτοι σιωπήσουσιν, οἱ λίθοι κράξουσιν.

 

Thus, only Luke has this unique response of Jesus.  With a solemn pronouncement (Λέγω ὑμῖν) Jesus answered (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) that if he were to silence his disciples (ἐὰν οὗτοι σιωπήσουσιν), the stones would shout out the same message anyway (οἱ λίθοι κράξουσιν).  According to Luke, Jesus had a quick response to these Pharisees.  If he had his disciples stop shouting, the very stones in the road would shout out in their place.  The shouting would continue, no matter what.  Has anyone ever told you to stop praising Jesus?

 

Half will be taken away (Lk 17:34-17:34)

“I tell you!

On that night,

There will be two

In one bed.

One will be taken.

The other left.”

 

λέγω ὑμῖν, ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ ἔσονται δύο ἐπὶ κλίνης μιᾶς, ὁ εἷς παραλημφθήσεται καὶ ὁ ἕτερος ἀφεθήσεται·

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said with a solemn pronouncement that he told them (λέγω ὑμῖν) on that night (ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτὶ), there would be two in one bed (ἔσονται δύο ἐπὶ κλίνης μιᾶς).  One would be taken (ὁ εἷς παραλημφθήσεται), but the other would be left (καὶ ὁ ἕτερος ἀφεθήσεται).  Only half the people would be taken during the end times, even from the same house.  It is difficult to discover what criteria would be used to determine one from the other.  Will it be completely random?

Do not fall for false claims (Lk 17:23-17:23)

“They will say

To you.

‘Look there!”

Or

‘Look here!’

Do not go!

Do not follow them!”

 

καὶ ἐροῦσιν ὑμῖν Ἰδοὺ ἐκεῖ, Ἰδοὺ ὧδε· μὴ ἀπέλθητε μηδὲ διώξητε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus remarked that people would tell them (καὶ ἐροῦσιν ὑμῖν) to look here (Ἰδοὺ ἐκεῖ) and there (Ἰδοὺ ὧδε).  They were not to go and follow them (μὴ ἀπέλθητε μηδὲ διώξητε).  This was similar to earlier in this chapter, 17:21.  This is also somewhat similar to Mark, chapter 13:21, and Matthew, chapter 24:23, who were almost word for word to each other.  Mark said that Jesus warned his disciples that if anyone said to them that the Messiah Christ was there (καὶ τότε ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ Ἴδε ὧδε ὁ Χριστός), or if they said look here (Ἴδε ἐκεῖ), they were not to believe it (μὴ πιστεύετε).  They were not to be misled by rumors about the Christ Messiah.  Matthew said that Jesus warned his disciples that if anyone said to them to look because the Messiah Christ was there (τότε ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ Ἰδοὺ ὧδε ὁ Χριστός, ἤ Ὧδε), they were not to believe it (μὴ πιστεύσητε).  Many people might lead them astray, by saying that they were the Messiah Christ in order to deceive them.  Apparently, there were many deceptive Jewish messianic leaders who were saying that they were the Christ Messiah.  John the Baptist was an example of a messianic leader in the 1st century CE.  Other political Jewish leaders had messianic ambitions also, especially those who led the revolt against the Romans in the 2nd half of the 1st century.  Jesus was warning against all of them.  Have you ever been misled by a religious leader?

Prepare supper (Lk 17:8-17:8)

“Would you not rather say

To him.

‘Prepare supper

For me!

Put on your apron!

Serve me

While I eat

And drink!

Later,

You shall eat

And drink’?”

 

ἀλλ’ οὐχὶ ἐρεῖ αὐτῷ Ἑτοίμασον τί δειπνήσω, καὶ περιζωσάμενος διακόνει μοι ἕως φάγω καὶ πίω, καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα φάγεσαι καὶ πίεσαι σύ;

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said that they would say to their slave (ἀλλ’ οὐχὶ ἐρεῖ αὐτῷ), who was returning from the field, that he should prepare the supper for him (Ἑτοίμασον τί δειπνήσω).  Instead, this land owner would tell the slave to put on his apron or gird himself (καὶ περιζωσάμενος), so that this slave might serve him (διακόνει μοι), while he ate and drank (ἕως φάγω καὶ πίω).  Then later after all this had been taken care when the owner had eaten and drank (καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα), then the slave would be allowed to eat and drink (φάγεσαι καὶ πίεσαι σύ).  There clearly was a caste system.  The slaves did not eat with their land owners.  They would have to serve their master, before they could eat their own food.  What do you think about this kind of system?

Acknowledge Jesus Christ (Lk 12:8-12:8)

“I tell you!

Everyone

Who acknowledges me

Before others,

The Son of Man

Will also acknowledge

Before the angels of God.”

 

λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν, πᾶς ὃς ἂν ὁμολογήσῃ ἐν ἐμοὶ ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων, καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὁμολογήσει ἐν αὐτῷ ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀγγέλων τοῦ Θεοῦ·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν) that everyone who acknowledges Jesus before other men (πᾶς ὃς ἂν ὁμολογήσῃ ἐν ἐμοὶ ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων), the Son of Man (καὶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) would also acknowledge them before (ὁμολογήσει ἐν αὐτῷ ἔμπροσθεν) the angels of God (τῶν ἀγγέλων τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:32.  There was also something similar in Mark, chapter 8:38 and earlier in Luke, chapter 9:26, where it was more about not being ashamed of Jesus.  Matthew said that everyone who acknowledged or confessed Jesus before other men, Jesus was also going to acknowledge them before his Father in heaven, not the angels of God as here.  Mark reported that Jesus said that those who were ashamed of him and his words, the Son of Man would also be ashamed of them when he comes.  The Son of Man was going to come in the glory of his Father, with the holy angels, a clear indication of the end times.  Then the Son of Man would repay or judge everyone for what they had done on that judgment day.  Luke earlier indicated that Jesus said that those who were ashamed of him and his words, the Son of Man would be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and his holy angels.  Jesus said that he would be ashamed of those who were ashamed of him at the judgment end times.  Are you ashamed of Jesus?