Tribute to Caesar (Lk 20:22-20:22)

“Is it lawful

For us

To pay taxes

To Caesar,

The Roman Emperor,

Or not?”

 

ἔξεστιν ἡμᾶς Καίσαρι φόρον δοῦναι ἢ οὔ;

 

Luke indicated this group asked whether it was lawful for them (ἔξεστιν ἡμᾶς) to pay taxes (φόρον δοῦναι) to Caesar (Καίσαρι), the Roman Emperor, or not (ἢ οὔ)?  This is similar to Matthew, chapter 22:17, and Mark, chapter 12:14, but slightly different.  They wanted to know what Jesus thought about the Roman tax law.  Mark said that they asked him whether it was lawful to pay the poll tax to Caesar or not (ἔξεστιν δοῦναι κῆνσον Καίσαρι ἢ οὔ)?  They wanted to know the practical answer about whether they should pay this tax or not (δῶμεν ἢ μὴ δῶμεν)?  Matthew indicated that these Pharisee disciples and the Herodians tried to trick Jesus.  They wanted to know what Jesus thought about the Roman tax.  They asked him (εἰπὸν οὖν ἡμῖν) what did he think (τί σοι δοκεῖ).  Was it lawful to pay the poll tax to Caesar or not (ἔξεστιν δοῦναι κῆνσον Καίσαρι ἢ οὔ)?  Rome had an annual personal census tax of one denarius worth about $1.50 USA, not that much.  However, many of the Roman tax collectors were considered sinners.  Jesus, on the other hand, had a milder view of these tax collectors.  He appeared to accept the Roman rule and its taxing policies.  As the political party of the Romans, the Herodians were there.  The Israelites with the Pharisees were there also.  Thus, his answer might offend someone.  In fact, some Jewish zealots refused to pay any civil tax to the emperor.  Do you like to pay taxes?

Forbid the non-followers of Jesus (Lk 9:49-9:49)

“John answered.

‘Master!

We saw someone

Casting out demons

In your name.

We tried

To stop him,

Because he

Does not follow you

With us.’”

 

Ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰωάνης εἶπεν Ἐπιστάτα, εἴδομέν τινα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ἐκβάλλοντα δαιμόνια, καὶ ἐκωλύομεν αὐτὸν, ὅτι οὐκ ἀκολουθεῖ μεθ’ ἡμῶν

 

Luke said that John (δὲ ὁ Ἰωάνης), one of the apostles, questioned Jesus (Ἀποκριθεὶς), calling him Master (Ἐπιστάτα).  He said (εἶπεν) that they saw someone (εἴδομέν τινα) casting out demons (ἐκβάλλοντα δαιμόνια) in Jesus’ name (ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου).  They tried to stop him (καὶ ἐκωλύομεν αὐτὸν), because he was not a Jesus follower with them (ὅτι οὐκ ἀκολουθεῖ μεθ’ ἡμῶν).  There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 9:38, but not in MatthewLuke continued to follow the structure of Mark, who indicated that John, presumably John the son of Zebedee, approached Jesus.  He called Jesus “teacher (Διδάσκαλε),” not Master (Ἐπιστάτα) as here in Luke.  He said that they had seen someone casting out demons in the name of Jesus, who was not a follower of Jesus, like them.  This unnamed exorcist was apparently not one of Jesus’ disciples.  Perhaps he may have been originally one of Jesus’ disciples, but left this group.  They tried to stop or prevent him from doing the exorcisms in the name of Jesus, precisely because he was not a fellow follower or disciple of Jesus.  Do you think that someone can be a follower of Jesus without belonging to your Christian group?

 

What evil has he done? (Mk 15:14-15:14)

“Pilate asked them.

‘What evil has he done?’

But they shouted

All the more.

‘Crucify him!’”

 

ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Τί γὰρ ἐποίησεν κακόν; οἱ δὲ περισσῶς ἔκραξαν Σταύρωσον αὐτόν.

 

Something similar to this dialogue between Pilate and the crowd can be found in Matthew, chapter 27:23.  Mark said that Pilate tried to reason with the crowd.  He asked them (ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) what evil or bad thing had Jesus done (Τί γὰρ ἐποίησεν κακόν)?  But they shouted all the more loudly (οἱ δὲ περισσῶς ἔκραξαν) that he was to be crucified (Σταύρωσον αὐτόν).  The crowd that had loved Jesus for all his miracles and preaching now wanted him dead as they had turned on him.  Have you ever turned on Jesus?

Conclusion: Passion, Resurrection and Great Commission

 

This gospel concluded with the events of the last week of Jesus, a main preoccupation of all four gospels.  Jesus had entered Jerusalem in triumph.  He held a last supper and prayed to be spared.  He was betrayed by Judas.  Then he was tried by the Jewish leaders and before The roman governor Pontius Pilate.  Jesus was crucified as king of the Jews and mocked by all.  At his death, there was an earthquake, when the veil of the Temple was cut in two, and the saints rose from their tombs.  Mary Magdalene and the other women discovered the empty tomb.  Jesus told them to tell the disciples to meet him in Galilee.

There was a plot to kill Jesus.  Jesus spoke to his disciples and gave his fourth prediction about the death of the Son of Man.  Then the chief priests and the elders gathered to plot the arrest of Jesus.  However, before that, there was an anointing by the unnamed women in Bethany as she poured oil on Jesus.  Others wanted to know why she was wasting oil.  Jesus said that she had done a good thing by anointing him for burial.  Thus, she would be remembered.  Meanwhile, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

Then they made the preparations for the Passover.  Where would the Passover be?  There was a house for the Passover meal, as the disciples prepared for the Passover evening meal.  Jesus announced the betrayal.  Who would betray Jesus?  This betrayer would be cursed, as Judas spoke out.  At the Last Supper Eucharist, Jesus said that this was his body and blood with eschatological implications.

They went to the Mount of Olives.  Jesus predicted that the apostles would scatter.  He was going to go to Galilee.  Peter said that he would never desert Jesus.  Then Jesus warned Peter about his desertion, but Peter was adamant that he would never deny Jesus.

They went to Gethsemane as Jesus took his three favorite apostles.  He prayed to his Father while these apostles slept.  There was a second prayer of Jesus, as he came a second time to the sleeping apostles.  He prayed a third time.  Then Jesus woke them up.

Judas arrived and kissed Jesus, as they then seized Jesus.  Someone cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave.  However, Jesus told them to put their swords away as the disciples fled.

Jesus went before Caiaphas the high priest, while Peter followed Jesus to the courtyard of the high priest.  They were looking for false testimony.  Finally, two witnesses came forward.  The high priest spoke and Jesus responded.  He called the words of Jesus blasphemy, as they mocked Jesus.  Peter’s denied Jesus three time and then he remembered Jesus’ words.

The elders and Pharisees planned to kill Jesus.  They would deliver Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor.  Meanwhile, Judas repented, but he hung himself.  He returned the pieces of silver to the Temple, but it was used to purchase a graveyard called the Field of Blood to fulfill a prophecy of Jeremiah.

Jesus went before Pilate as he asked him if he was the king of the Jews?  However, Jesus did not respond.  The governor was going to release one prisoner at the festival time.  However, the people wanted the prisoner Barabbas rather than Jesus.  Pilate got a warning from his wife.  Nevertheless, the crowd wanted to crucify Jesus.  Pilate claimed that he was innocent of his blood but the crowds said that his blood be on us.  Barabbas was then released.  Jesus went to the governor’s head quarters where the Roman soldiers mocked him.

They prepared Jesus for the crucifixion.  They got Simon of Cyrene to help with the cross as they went to Golgotha.  They divided his garments and wrote on the cross Jesus, King of the Jews.  There were two robbers who derided and and taunted Jesus, just like the Jewish religious leaders had mocked Jesus.

Darkness fell over the land as Jesus died.  The cry of Jesus was interpreted as a call to Elijah.  They gave him sour wine to drink.  Would Elijah save Jesus?  When Jesus died, the Temple curtain was torn in two.  Tombs opened and the dead rose and appeared in Jerusalem.  He truly was  the Son of God.

There were women from Galilee, especially the women called Mary.  Joseph of Arimathea got the body of Jesus and put it in his tomb as the women called Mary were vigilant.  Meanwhile, there was a gathering with Pilate, since the Jewish religious leaders wanted to have the tomb secure.  Thus, a custodial guard was set up at the tomb.

The two Marys visited the tomb, where there was another earthquake with an angel at the tomb.  The guards were afraid, but the angel speaks to the women to tell them to let the disciples know what happened.  The women left the tomb and Jesus appeared to them.  Meanwhile, the guards told the chief priests in Jerusalem what had happened.  These religious leaders paid the guards to tell everyone that someone stole the body of Jesus while they were sleeping.  Thus, this stolen body story spread.

After the resurrection, the remaining eleven disciples returned to an unnamed mountain in Galilee.  There the post-resurrection Jesus gave them authority in heaven and on earth with his great commission:  They were to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them with a Trinitarian formula.  They were to follow his commandments because Jesus would be with them until the end of time.

Jesus goes to the governor’s head quarters (Mt 27:27-27:27)

“Then the soldiers

Of the governor

Took Jesus

Into the praetorium,

The governor’s headquarters.

They gathered

The whole cohort

Around him.”

 

Τότε οἱ στρατιῶται τοῦ ἡγεμόνος παραλαβόντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν εἰς τὸ πραιτώριον συνήγαγον ἐπ’ αὐτὸν ὅλην τὴν σπεῖραν.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:16, while Luke does not have this episode.  Matthew said that the Roman soldiers of the governor (Τότε οἱ στρατιῶται τοῦ ἡγεμόνος) took Jesus (παραλαβόντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν) into the praetorium (εἰς τὸ πραιτώριον) or courtyard.  This governor’s headquarters or home of Pilate was the ancient palace of Herod the Great, who tried to have Jesus killed in the prologue of this gospel.  There they gathered a whole cohort or battalion of about 500-600 Roman soldiers around Jesus (συνήγαγον ἐπ’ αὐτὸν ὅλην τὴν σπεῖραν).  The Jews were no longer in this scene around Jesus here.

They all got up (Mt 25:7-25:7)

“Then all those bridesmaids

Got up.

They trimmed

Their lamps.”

 

τότε ἠγέρθησαν πᾶσαι αἱ παρθένοι ἐκεῖναι καὶ ἐκόσμησαν τὰς λαμπάδας ἑαυτῶν.

 

This parable story is unique to Matthew.  Jesus continued with this parable.  All those 10 bridesmaids got up (τότε ἠγέρθησαν πᾶσαι αἱ παρθένοι ἐκεῖναι).  They trimmed or decorated their lamps so that they would be in good order (καὶ ἐκόσμησαν τὰς λαμπάδας ἑαυτῶν) for the procession.  All of these 10 bridesmaids tried to get their lamps or lanterns ready.

The king is troubled about Daniel (Dan 6:14-6:14)

“When the king,

Heard the charge,

He was very much distressed.

He was determined

To save Daniel.

Until the sun went down,

He made every effort

To rescue him.”

The king, on the other hand, was not too worried about his decree. When he heard the charges against Daniel, he was a little upset and concerned about him. He was determined to save Daniel from the lions. He tried everything to figure out how to rescue Daniel. Finally, the sun set. With that, so did Daniel’s chances of help dim.