The teachings of Messiah, 9:51-19:44

1. The kingdom and its message, 9:51-10:42

iv] Who receives the kingdom?


Following the mission of the 70/72, 10:1-20, Jesus reminds his disciples that, unlike the unrepentant cities who have rejected the gospel, they stand blessed because they have received and minister the kingdom message.


Those who proclaim the kingdom message are uniquely blessed.


i] Context: See 9:51-56. Who receives the kingdom? serves as the fourth episode in the section The kingdom and its message, 9:51-10:42. In this section Luke tells us that the message of the kingdom concerns deliverance, not judgement, and that gaining this deliverance must take priority in our life. None-the-less, even though Satan is brought low, 10:17-20, many will still reject the message, v1-16, resting in their own righteousness, v25-37. Inevitably, the capacity of the message to engage and renew derives from the gracious nature of our God and Father exercised through his Son, v21-24.


ii] Structure: Who receives the kingdom?:

Jesus gives a thanksgiving and blessing, v21-24:

Thanksgiving, v21:

"I praise you, Lord of heaven and earth, because ....."

Affirmation, v22:

"all things have been committed to me by my Father. ......"

Blessing, v23-24:

"blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For ....."


iii] Interpretation:

The passage before us consists of three sayings providing encouragement to missioners under pressure: a statement of praise / thanksgiving to God, v21, an affirmation of Christ's messianic credentials, v22, and a beatitude directed to the disciples, v23-24.

"God reveals his mysteries through Jesus. And he reveals them not to the sophisticated initiate, but to the unlearned", Danker, v21-22. "There is great blessing in experiencing the effects of Jesus' ministry (ie. the revelation of God's mysteries), since kings and prophets longed for these days. Promises of old are now being fulfilled", Bock, v23-24. The disciples have received and minister the mysteries of the kingdom revealed to them by the Father, through the Son, and therefore they have come to experience what the great ones of Israel longed to experience, namely the promised dawning of the kingdom of God.


The unique relationship that exists between the Father and the Son and "those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him", v22. "The Son has whatever the sinner needs", Hendriksen. The first clause states that everything has been handed over by the Father to the Son. The second and third clauses come with numerous variants.

The most important variant is the absence of the statement that the Son is only known by the Father which then gives the sense "all things have been transmitted to the Son by the Father, so that the Son alone is privy to the Father and is able to reveal him to others", Evans. Another variant at this point reverses the order such that we have "no one knows who the Father is except the Son, and who is the Son except the Father", giving primacy to the Son's knowledge of the Father in the clause, with the Father's knowledge of the Son serving as a balancing doctrinal statement.

Either way, the point is that "only the Father and the Son know each other", Marshall, and so therefore "only the son can reveal the Father." "The mutual knowledge of the Father and Son is not the goal of the present saying, but only forms the basis for the final clause of the verse where the real intention becomes clear", Nolland. The point being made by the fourth and final clause is that this knowledge is bestowed at the Son's initiative and at his discretion.


iv] Synoptics:

See 3:1-20.. The first two saying, v21-22 (loosely linked by apokaluptw, "to reveal") are found in Matthew, 11:25-27, although in a different context. It has been noted that the language is similar to John's gospel, but the vocabulary is quite different, cf., Jn.10:15, 17:22. The third saying, v23-24 (possibly two conjoined sayings), is similarly found in Matthew's gospel, 13:16-17, although again within a different context and with a different intended meaning. It is usually argued that Matthew and Luke sourced this saying material from Q.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 10:21

Jesus' jubilation, v21-24: i] Saying #1. A thanksgiving for the divine revelation made manifest in Christ, v21. "At that moment Jesus was inspired with joy", Phillips. The mission of the seventy disciples might not have been a great success, but the missioners themselves are enthused; Satan was brought low. So, Jesus bursts into thanksgiving. Addressing the Father, Jesus gives thanks that a band of repentant sinners, rather than the self-righteous religious officials of the day, have come to experience the revelation of God's long-promised kingdom. What the prophets of the past longed for, Jesus' band of followers, fishermen and like, saw unfold before their very eyes. The Law and the Prophets were until John the Baptist, but now the kingdom of God is at hand.

en auth/ th/ w{ra/ "at that time" - in the hour itself. Temporal prepositional phrase, possible an Aramaism; "at that moment", Fitzmyer.

hgalliasato (agalliaw) aor. "Jesus, full of Joy" - he was full of joy, gladness, exaltation. Particularly of an exuberant religious joy expressed toward God. The nominative subject "Jesus" is found in some manuscripts, but the reading is not strong. At any rate, "Jesus " is obviously intended.

en + dat. "through" - in, by [the holy spirit]. This preposition is a variant reading, but the dative tw/ pneumati tw/ aJgiw/ still gives either a local, or instrumental sense, expressing sphere, "in" = "under the influence of", or means, as NIV, "by means of." "Holy", tw/ aJgiw/, is not found in some manuscripts. It makes more sense that Jesus would be rejoicing within his own spirit, within his own psyche, but then this is a good reason for dropping "holy". On the other hand, the desire to create a trinitarian text encourages the addition of "holy". The phrase "exulted in the Holy Spirit" is without "parallel in the Scriptures", Metzger, although note Lk.1:47. "At that moment Jesus himself was inspired with joy, and exclaimed", Phillips.

exomologoumai (exomologew) pres. "I praise" - [and said] i acknowledge = confess, thank, praise, extol (when addressing God). "To praise is a liturgical word of thanksgiving in the LXX, especially frequent in the psalms", Evans. "I thank you Father, Lord of heaven and earth", Barclay.

soi dat. pro. "you" - you. Dative of direct object after the ek prefix verb "to confess / praise."

pater (hr roV) voc. "Father" - father. Here as a vocative, but the next usage is an articular nominative used instead of the vocative.

tou ouranou (oV) gen. "of heaven" - [lord] of heaven [and earth]. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / subordination; "Lord over ...." "Heaven" may just mean "sky", so "Lord of the world." The phrase "Lord of heaven and earth" stands in apposition to "Father".

oJti "because" - that. Introducing a causal clause explaining why Jesus praises the Father, but it could also be recitative, expressing what Jesus thanks the Father for, "that you have hidden .....", ESV.

apekruyaV (apokruptw) aor. "you have hidden" - you concealed, hid. The divine mysteries are hidden and revealed at the same time = the paradox of revelation.

tauta pro. "these things" - these things. Accusative direct object of the verb "to hide." The identity of "these things" is unstated. Certainly "the knowledge of God's will", Creed, but also possibly "events of eschatological significance", Davies. It seems likely that the reference is to the hidden knowledge / wisdom from God which Jesus has revealed to his disciples; a unique divine knowledge shared between the Father and the Son, and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal that knowledge. This knowledge was once hidden, even from the "wise and learned", but through Jesus it is now revealed to nhpioiV, "little children." Presumably Jesus is again using this term for his disciples (Matthew's context), and here in Luke, the seventy missioners. This once hidden, now revealed knowledge, Paul calls "God's wisdom, a mystery (musthrion) that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began", 1Cor.2:7, "the mystery hidden for long ages, but now disclosed to the Lord's people", Col.1:26, "the mystery of the gospel", Eph.6:19, namely, that the kingdom of God is at hand.

apo + gen. "from" - from. Expressing separation; "away from."

sunetwn adj. "learned" - [the wise and] intelligent. Without an article, so referring to a class, here particularly religious Israel. Kingdom truth cannot be discovered, but can only be known by revelation - it is beyond the wise, but available to those with a childlike faith.

nhpioiV dat. adj. "little children" - [and you revealed them] to childlike = young children. The adjective is used as a substantive, dative of indirect object. Not "immature believers", but rather believers, "people open to the grace of God." "Showing them to mere children", Phillips.

nai "yes" - yes. Expressing an affirmative response, here to a statement; "indeed".

oJti "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why God has hidden, but then revealed this knowledge.

emprosqen sou "your" - before you. "Before you" = "to you", a Semitism.

eudokia adj. "good pleasure" - [it was] well-pleasing. Predicate adjective. God's response of pleasure / delight (= favour??), is most often related to his Son and the salvation of his repentant people; "for such was your gracious will", NRSV.


ii] Saying #2. Affirmation, v22: Jesus, having given praise and thanksgiving to the Father for the bestowal of a once hidden, but now revealed knowledge / mystery to his disciples, Luke goes on to record a linked saying from his received tradition (Q??) which serves as an acknowledgment of the divine source of that knowledge. In doing so, he records high Christology, revealing something of the nature of Jesus' relationship with the Father, a relationship more evident in the gospel of John, cf., 3:35-36, 5:19-30, 10:15, 17:1-5. Luke has already used the term "Son of God", but this to identify messianic status rather than filial relationship.

There are numerous textual variants for this verse. The most important variant is the loss of "no one knows who the Son is except the Father", a statement which interrupts the flow of the verse and is actually counted by "and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." So, the verse may well express the sense "All things concerning the coming kingdom have been communicated to the Son by the Father, so that the Son alone understands the Father's will on this matter and is able to reveal it to others"

straqeiV proV touV maqhtaV epein "-" - turning to the disciples he said. This variant is probably a homoioarcton (in copying a text, the eye of the scribe skips from one word to a similar word further down the page), so Metzger, but it does serve to make the point that Jesus is now addressing the disciples.

panta neut. adj. "all things" - all things. Nominative subject of the verb "to hand over." As with tauta, "these things", v21, the identity of "all things" is unstated. The general consensus seems to be that "all things" includes "these things", but they are not one in the same. Yet, given the linking of the two independent sayings, v21, 22, by the key word "to reveal", it seems likely that the things consist of what is revealed.

paredoqh (paradidwmi) aor. pas. "have been committed" - was handed over, given over, transferred, entrusted. Lenski suggests that this punctiliar aorist refers to the incarnation, Hendriksen suggests "the entire process", everything that the Son has received from the Father. Possibly "all power and authority has been delegated to me by the Father", but this is more a "Son of Man" statement reflecting Dan.7:13. Given the context and the fact that this word is "often used of passing on traditional teaching", Fitzmyer, the sense is more likely "all knowledge has been transmitted to me by the Father" and this (understood) "in my ministry and for the good of human beings", Fitzmyer. So, "knowledge / revelation", but in this context, the gospel.

moi dat. pro. "to me" - to me. Dative of indirect object.

upo + gen. "by" - by [the father of me]. Expressing agency.

tivV pro. "who" - [and no one knows] who. The interrogative pronoun introduces an indirect question which serves to explain what no one knows.

ei mh "except" - [the son is] except. Introducing a exceptive clause which establishes a contrast by designating an exception; "No one knows but the Father who the Son is", Cassirer.

oJ uiJoV "the Son" - [and who the father is except] the son. The presence of the article indicates an absolute sense is intended. This term is used often in John's gospel, but only once elsewhere in the synoptics, Mk.13:32. It does seem that the use here is filial and not messianic. The term expresses "a unique, subjective, and reciprocal relation between Jesus and God" the Father, Ellis.

kai "and" - and. Adjunctive; the Son knows the Father, "and also"; "As well as all those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him", Cassirer,

w|/ ean + subj. "those to whom" - to whomever, anyone to whom. Introducing an indefinite relative clause, dative of indirect object.

boulhtai (boulomai) pres. subj. "chooses" - [the son] wishes, wills, considers carefully. Argued by some that the revelation of saving grace is a sovereign act of divine will for those predestined for salvation. Against this is the view that Jesus chooses, as an act of sovereign grace, to reveal the divine will to those who seek it. Jesus' act of will is an exercise of "the authority of the Son as the one capable of revealing God", Green. It "is not that Jesus message is incomprehensible, but that it will not be perceived and accepted as God's message without the Son's revelatory work", Bock.

apokaluyai (apokaluptw) aor. inf. "to reveal" - to reveal him / it. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "wishes". The pronominal object "him / it" is assumed.


iii] Saying #3: Fortunate is the state of those who have experienced the age of fulfilment in Christ, v23-24. Jesus, addressing his disciples, says, "how truly fortunate are those who have the privilege of experiencing for themselves what you are experiencing, of experiencing the long-promised dawning of the kingdom of God / the day of salvation. The great ones of Israel longed to see this day and participate in it, to experience what you experience." Is Jesus saying that the disciples are fortunate in that it is their eyes which see ("how fortunate you are to see what you are seeing", Phillips), or is it "the people who see what the disciples see", Marshall, who are fortunate ("how truly happy are those whose eyes have the privilege of actually seeing for themselves what you are seeing", Junkins)? Matthew, in 13:16, has uJmwn, "your [eyes]", but clearly Luke has widened the blessed state from the immediate disciples to all disciples, to all those who witness, first-hand, or through the inspired apostolic testimony, the fulfilment of the covenant promises in Christ.

strafeiV (strefw) aor. mid./pas. part. "then he turned" - [and] having turned. The participle is adverbial, temporal, as NIV. The action is reflective, turn oneself. Does this mean that Jesus turns from the 70 missioners to now address the 12? It seems likely that Luke wants the reader to know that the blessing is for believers.

kat idian "privately" - [toward the = his disciples] according to one's own = privately [he said]. The preposition kata + acc. functions adverbially producing the idiomatic sense "privately". Variant, usually viewed as sourced from Mark. "While they were alone", TH.

makarioi adj. "blessed" - blessed, happy, fortunate. Predicate adjective; cf., other "beatitudes", 7:23, 11:28, 12:37. Being blessed of God primarily means "destined to participate in the age to come", Evans, which reality is prefigured in the ministry of Jesus, and in which ministry the disciples experience - see and hear.

oiJ bleponteV (blepw) pres. part. "that see" - [the eyes] seeing [what you see]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "eyes". Expressing "the privileged role of disciples as eyewitnesses", Fitzmyer. Their seeing is "not because they have been recipients of some particular esoteric revelation", Nolland, nor "because this is the topsy-turvy way that God works", Green, but surely because the disciples have placed themselves under the authority of Jesus the messiah, accepting that he is the source and enactor of the divine revelation.


gar "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the disciples are blessed, "because ....".

uJmin dat. "[I tell] you" - [i say] to you. Dative of indirect object.

oJti "that" - that. Here introducing a dependent statement, indirect speech, expressing the content of what Jesus is telling his disciples.

profhtai kai basileiV "prophets and kings" - prophets and kings. Nominative subject of the verb "to will." "Righteous men" in Matthew. Israel's faithful religious and social leaders of old.

idein (oJraomai) aor. inf. "to see" - [willed] to see. As with akousai, "to hear", the infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to will". The ancient remnant of Israel willed to see / hear (realise the fulfilment of) the coming kingdom of God, but for them its full realisation was in the future, whereas for Jesus' disciples, the long-promised kingdom / "eschatological salvation", Nolland, is realised.

a} pro. "what" - what [you see and did not see it, and to hear what you hear and they did not hear it]. Introducing a relative clause which serves as the object of the verbal phrase "wanted to see."


Luke Introduction


Exegetical Commentaries


[Pumpkin Cottage]