18
Prayer and the Parable of the Persistent Widow
1 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. Jesus#tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. told them a parable to show them they should always#tn Or “should pray at all times” (L&N 67.88). pray and not lose heart.#sn This is one of the few parables that comes with an explanation at the start: …they should always pray and not lose heart. It is part of Luke’s goal in encouraging Theophilus (1:4). 2 He said,#tn Grk “lose heart, saying.” This is a continuation of the previous sentence in the Greek text, but a new sentence was started here in the translation by supplying the pronominal subject “He.” “In a certain city#tn Or “town.” there was a judge#sn The judge here is apparently portrayed as a civil judge who often handled financial cases. who neither feared God nor respected people.#tn Grk “man,” but the singular ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used as a generic in comparison to God. 3 There was also a widow#sn This widow was not necessarily old, since many people lived only into their thirties in the 1st century. in that city#tn Or “town.” who kept coming#tn This is an iterative imperfect; the widow did this on numerous occasions. to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For#tn Grk “And for.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. a while he refused, but later on#tn Grk “after these things.” he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor have regard for people,#tn Grk “man,” but the singular ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used as a generic in comparison to God. 5 yet because this widow keeps on bothering me, I will give her justice, or in the end she will wear me out#tn The term ὑπωπιάζω (Jupwpiazw) in this context means “to wear someone out by continual annoying” (L&N 25.245). by her unending pleas.’”#tn Grk “by her continual coming,” but the point of annoyance to the judge is her constant pleas for justice (v. 3). 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says!#sn Listen to what the unrighteous judge says! The point of the parable is that the judge’s lack of compassion was overcome by the widow’s persistence. 7 Won’t#tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated. God give justice to his chosen ones, who cry out#sn The prayers have to do with the righteous who cry out to him to receive justice. The context assumes the righteous are persecuted. to him day and night?#tn The emphatic particles in this sentence indicate that God will indeed give justice to the righteous. Will he delay#sn The issue of delay has produced a whole host of views for this verse. (1) Does this assume provision to endure in the meantime? Or (2) does it mean God restricts the level of persecution until he comes? Either view is possible. long to help them? 8 I tell you, he will give them justice speedily.#tn Some argue this should be translated “suddenly.” When vindication comes it will be quick. But the more natural meaning is “soon.” God will not forget his elect and will respond to them. It may be that this verse has a prophetic perspective. In light of the eternity that comes, vindication is soon. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith#sn Will he find faith on earth? The Son of Man is looking for those who continue to believe in him, despite the wait. on earth?”
The Parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector
9 Jesus#tn Grk “He”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity. also told this parable to some who were confident that they were righteous and looked down#tn Grk “and despised.” This is a second parable with an explanatory introduction. on everyone else. 10 “Two men went up#sn The temple is on a hill in Jerusalem, so one would go up to enter its precincts. to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee#sn See the note on Pharisees in 5:17. and the other a tax collector.#sn See the note on tax collectors in 3:12. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself like this:#tn Or “stood by himself and prayed like this.” The prepositional phrase πρὸς ἑαυτόν (pros eauton, “to/about himself”) could go with either the aorist participle σταθείς (staqeis, “stood”) or with the imperfect verb προσηύχετο (proshuceto, “he prayed”). If taken with the participle, then the meaning would seem at first glance to be: “stood ‘by himself’,” or “stood ‘alone’.” Now it is true that πρός can mean “by” or “with” when used with intransitive verbs such as ἵστημι ({isthmi, “I stand”; cf. BDAG 874 s.v. πρός 2.a), but πρὸς ἑαυτόν together never means “by himself” or “alone” in biblical Greek. On the other hand, if πρὸς ἑαυτόν is taken with the verb, then two different nuances emerge, both of which highlight in different ways the principal point Jesus seems to be making about the arrogance of this religious leader: (1) “prayed to himself,” but not necessarily silently, or (2) “prayed about himself,” with the connotation that he prayed out loud, for all to hear. Since his prayer is really a review of his moral résumé, directed both at advertising his own righteousness and exposing the perversion of the tax collector, whom he actually mentions in his prayer, the latter option seems preferable. If this is the case, then the Pharisee’s mention of God is really nothing more than a formality. ‘God, I thank#sn The Pharisee’s prayer started out as a thanksgiving psalm to God, but the praise ended up not being about God. you that I am not like other people:#tn Here the plural Greek term ἀνθρώπων (anqrwpwn) is used as a generic and can refer to both men and women (NASB, NRSV, “people”; NLT, “everyone else”; NAB, “the rest of humanity”). extortionists,#tn Or “swindlers” (BDAG 134 s.v. ἅρπαξ 2); see also Isa 10:2; Josephus, J. W. 6.3.4 [6.203]. unrighteous people,#sn A general category for “sinners” (1 Cor 6:9; Lev 19:3). adulterers – or even like this tax collector.#sn Note what the Pharisee assumes about the righteousness of this tax collector by grouping him with extortionists, unrighteous people, and adulterers. 12 I fast twice#sn The law only required fasting on the Day of Atonement. Such voluntary fasting as this practiced twice a week by the Pharisee normally took place on Monday and Thursday. a week; I give a tenth#tn Or “I tithe.” of everything I get.’ 13 The tax collector, however, stood#tn Grk “standing”; the Greek participle has been translated as a finite verb. far off and would not even look up#tn Grk “even lift up his eyes” (an idiom). to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, be merciful#tn The prayer is a humble call for forgiveness. The term for mercy (ἱλάσκομαι, Jilaskomai) is associated with the concept of a request for atonement (BDAG 473-74 s.v. 1; Ps 51:1, 3; 25:11; 34:6, 18). to me, sinner that I am!’#tn Grk “the sinner.” The tax collector views himself not just as any sinner but as the worst of all sinners. See ExSyn 222-23. 14 I tell you that this man went down to his home justified#sn The prayer that was heard and honored was the one given with humility; in a surprising reversal it was the tax collector who went down to his home justified. rather than the Pharisee.#tn Grk “the other”; the referent (the Pharisee, v. 10) has been specified in the translation for clarity. For everyone who exalts#sn Everyone who exalts himself. See Luke 14:11. Jesus often called for humility and condemned those who sought honor. himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus and Little Children
15 Now people#tn Grk “they.” were even bringing their babies#tn The term βρέφος (brefos) here can refer to babies or to toddlers (2:12, 16; Acts 7:19; 2 Tim 3:15; 1 Pet 2:2). to him for him to touch.#tn Grk “so that he would touch them.” Here the touch is connected with (or conveys) a blessing (cf. Mark 10:16; also BDAG 126 s.v. ἅπτω 2.c). But when the disciples saw it, they began to scold those who brought them.#tn Grk “the disciples began to scold them.” In the translation the referent has been specified as “those who brought them,” since otherwise the statement could be understood to mean that the disciples began scolding the children rather than their parents who brought them. 16 But Jesus called for the children,#tn Grk “summoned them”; the referent (the children) has been specified in the translation for clarity. saying, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God#sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21. belongs to such as these.#sn The kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Children are a picture of those whose simple trust illustrates what faith is all about. The remark illustrates how everyone is important to God, even those whom others regard as insignificant. 17 I tell you the truth,#tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.” whoever does not receive#sn On receive see John 1:12. the kingdom of God like a child#sn The point of the comparison receive the kingdom of God like a child has more to do with a child’s trusting spirit and willingness to be dependent and receive from others than any inherent humility the child might possess. will never#tn The negation in Greek used here (οὐ μή, ou mh) is very strong. enter it.”
The Wealthy Ruler
18 Now#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic. a certain ruler#sn Only Luke states this man is a ruler (cf. the parallels in Matt 19:16-22 and Mark 10:17-22, where the questioner is described only as “someone”). He is probably a civic leader of some kind, a leader in the society. asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”#sn The rich man wanted to know what he must do to inherit eternal life, but Jesus had just finished teaching that eternal life was not earned but simply received (18:17). See the similar question about inheriting eternal life in Luke 10:25. 19 Jesus#tn Grk “And Jesus.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. said to him, “Why do you call me good?#sn Jesus’ response, Why do you call me good?, was designed to cause the ruler to stop and think for a moment about who Jesus really was. The following statement No one is good except God alone seems to point the man in the direction of Jesus’ essential nature and the demands which logically follow on the man for having said it. No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’”#sn A quotation from Exod 20:12-16 and Deut 5:16-20. Jesus cited the parts of the ten commandments that relate to how others should be treated. 21 The man#tn Grk “And he”; the referent (the ruler mentioned in v. 18) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. replied, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed#tn Grk “kept.” The implication of this verb is that the man has obeyed the commandments without fail throughout his life, so the adverb “wholeheartedly” has been added to the translation to bring out this nuance. all these laws#tn Grk “these things.” The referent of the pronoun (the laws mentioned by Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.sn While the rich man was probably being sincere when he insisted I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws, he had confined his righteousness to external obedience. The rich man’s response to Jesus’ command to give away all he had revealed that internally he loved money more than God. since my youth.”#sn Since my youth. Judaism regarded the age of thirteen as the age when a man would have become responsible to live by God’s commands. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have#sn See Luke 14:33. and give the money#tn The words “the money” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context. to the poor,#sn See Luke 1:50-53; 6:20-23; 14:12-14. and you will have treasure#sn The call for sacrifice comes with a promise of eternal reward: …you will have treasure in heaven. Jesus’ call is a test to see how responsive the man is to God’s direction through him. Will he walk the path God’s agent calls him to walk? For a rich person who got it right, see Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. in heaven. Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the conversation. come, follow me.” 23 But when the man#tn Grk “he”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity. heard this he became very sad,#tn Or “very distressed” (L&N 25.277). for he was extremely wealthy. 24 When Jesus noticed this,#tc ‡ The phrase περίλυπον γενόμενον (perilupon genomenon, “[When Jesus saw him] becoming sad”) is found in the majority of mss (A [D] W Θ Ψ 078 Ë13 33vid Ï latt sy), and it is not unknown in Lukan style to repeat a word or phrase in adjacent passages (TCGNT 143). However, the phrase is lacking in some significant mss (א B L Ë1 579 1241 2542 co). The shorter reading is nevertheless difficult to explain if it is not original: It is possible that these witnesses omitted this phrase out of perceived redundancy from the preceding verse, although intentional omissions, especially by several and varied witnesses, are generally unlikely. NA27 places the words in brackets, indicating doubts as to their authenticity.tn Grk “him.” he said, “How hard#sn For the rich it is hard for wealth not to be the point of focus, as the contrast in vv. 28-30 will show, and for rich people to trust God. Wealth was not an automatic sign of blessing as far as Jesus was concerned. it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!#sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle#sn The eye of a needle refers to a sewing needle, one of the smallest items one might deal with on a regular basis, in contrast to the biggest animal of the region. (The gate in Jerusalem known as “The Needle’s Eye” was built during the middle ages and was not in existence in Jesus’ day.) Jesus is saying rhetorically that this is impossible, unless God (v. 27) intervenes. than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard this said, “Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of thought. who can be saved?”#sn The assumption is that the rich are blessed, so if they risk exclusion, who is left to be saved? 27 He replied, “What is impossible#sn The term impossible is in the emphatic position in the Greek text. God makes the impossible possible. for mere humans#tn The plural Greek term ἄνθρωποις (anqrwpois) is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women (cf. NASB 1995 update, “people”). Because of the contrast here between mere mortals and God (“impossible for men…possible for God”) the phrase “mere humans” has been used in the translation. is possible for God.” 28 And Peter said, “Look, we have left everything we own#tn Or “left our homes,” “left our possessions”; Grk “left our own things.” The word ἴδιος (idios) can refer to one’s home (including the people and possessions in it) or to one’s property or possessions. Both options are mentioned in BDAG 467 s.v. 4.b. See also I. H. Marshall, Luke (NIGTC), 688; D. L. Bock, Luke (BECNT), 2:1488. to follow you!”#tn Grk “We have left everything we own and followed you.” Koine Greek often used paratactic structure when hypotactic was implied. 29 Then#tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. Jesus#tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. said to them, “I tell you the truth,#tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.” there is no one who has left home or wife or brothers#tn The term “brothers” could be understood as generic here, referring to either male or female siblings. However, it is noteworthy that in the parallel passages in both Matt 19:29 and Mark 10:29, “sisters” are explicitly mentioned in the Greek text. or parents or children for the sake of God’s kingdom 30 who will not receive many times more#sn Jesus reassures his disciples with a promise that (1) much benefit in this life (many times more) and (2) eternal life in the age to come will be given. in this age#tn Grk “this time” (καιρός, kairos), but for stylistic reasons this has been translated “this age” here. – and in the age to come, eternal life.”#sn Note that Luke (see also Matt 19:29; Mark 10:30; Luke 10:25) portrays eternal life as something one receives in the age to come, unlike John, who emphasizes the possibility of receiving eternal life in the present (John 5:24).
Another Prediction of Jesus’ Passion
31 Then#tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. Jesus#tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. took the twelve aside and said to them, “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem,#map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.#tn Or “fulfilled.” Jesus goes to Jerusalem by divine plan as the scripture records (Luke 2:39; 12:50; 22:37; Acts 13:29). See Luke 9:22, 44. 32 For he will be handed over#sn The passive voice verb be handed over does not indicate by whom, but other passages note the Jewish leadership and betrayal (9:22, 44). to the Gentiles; he will be mocked,#sn See Luke 22:63; 23:11, 36. mistreated,#tn Or “and insulted.” L&N 33.390 and 88.130 note ὑβρίζω (Jubrizw) can mean either “insult” or “mistreat with insolence.” and spat on.#sn And spat on. Later Luke does not note this detail in the passion narrative in chaps. 22-23, but see Mark 14:65; 15:19; Matt 26:67; 27:30 where Jesus’ prediction is fulfilled. 33 They will flog him severely#tn Traditionally, “scourge” (the term means to beat severely with a whip, L&N 19.9). BDAG 620 s.v. μαστιγόω 1. states, “Of the beating (Lat. verberatio) given those condemned to death…J 19:1; cf. Mt 20:19; Mk 10:34; Lk 18:33.” Here the term has been translated “flog…severely” to distinguish it from the term φραγελλόω (fragellow) used in Matt 27:26; Mark 15:15. and kill him. Yet#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast present in this context. on the third day he will rise again.” 34 But#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast. the twelve#tn Grk “they”; the referent (the twelve, v. 31) has been specified in the context for clarity. understood none of these things. This#tn Grk “And this.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated. saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp#sn This failure of the Twelve to grasp what Jesus meant probably does not mean that they did not understand linguistically what Jesus said, but that they could not comprehend how this could happen to him, if he was really God’s agent. The saying being hidden probably refers to God’s sovereign timing. what Jesus meant.#tn Grk “the things having been said.” The active agent, Jesus, has been specified for clarity, and “said” has been translated as “meant” to indicate that comprehension of the significance is really in view here.
Healing a Blind Man
35 As#tn Grk “Now it happened that as.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. Jesus#tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been supplied in the translation for clarity. approached#tn The phrase is “he drew near to” (19:29; 24:28). It is also possible the term merely means “is in the vicinity of.” Also possible is a reversal in the timing of the healing and Zacchaeus events for literary reasons as the blind man “sees” where the rich man with everything did not. Jericho,#map For location see Map5-B2; Map6-E1; Map7-E1; Map8-E3; Map10-A2; Map11-A1. a blind man was sitting by the road begging. 36 When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was going on. 37 They#tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated. “They” could refer to bystanders or people in the crowd. told him, “Jesus the Nazarene is passing by.” 38 So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the blind man learning that Jesus was nearby. he called out,#tn Grk “called out, saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. “Jesus, Son of David,#sn Jesus was more than a Nazarene to this blind person, who saw quite well that Jesus was Son of David. He understood what Luke 7:22-23 affirms. There was a tradition in Judaism that the Son of David (Solomon) had great powers of healing (Josephus, Ant. 8.2.5 [8.42-49]). have mercy#sn Have mercy on me is a request for healing (cf. 17:13). It is not owed the man. He simply asks for God’s kind grace. on me!” 39 And those who were in front#sn That is, those who were at the front of the procession. scolded#tn Or “rebuked.” The crowd’s view was that surely Jesus would not be bothered with someone as unimportant as a blind beggar. him to get him to be quiet, but he shouted#sn Public opinion would not sway the blind man from getting Jesus’ attention. The term shouted is strong as it can be used of animal cries. even more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 So#tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the beggar’s cries. Jesus stopped and ordered the beggar#tn Grk “ordered him”; the referent (the blind beggar, v. 35) has been specified in the translation for clarity. to be brought to him. When the man#tn Grk “he”; the referent (the beggar) has been specified in the translation for clarity. came near, Jesus#tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied,#tn Grk “said.” “Lord, let me see again.”#tn Grk “Lord, that I may see [again].” The phrase can be rendered as an imperative of request, “Please, give me sight.” Since the man is not noted as having been blind from birth (as the man in John 9 was) it is likely the request is to receive back the sight he once had. 42 Jesus#tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. said to him, “Receive#tn Or “Regain” (see the note on the phrase “let me see again” in the previous verse). your sight; your faith has healed you.”#tn Grk “has saved you,” but in a nonsoteriological sense; the man has been delivered from his disability. 43 And immediately he regained#tn Or “received” (see the note on the phrase “let me see again” in v. 41). his sight and followed Jesus,#tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. praising#sn The presence of God’s work leads again to joy, with both the beggar and the people praising God (1:64; 2:20; 5:25-26; 7:16; 13:13; 17:15; 19:37). God. When#tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. all the people saw it, they too#tn The word “too” has been supplied for stylistic reasons. gave praise to God.
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