Luke

10:21-24

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

1. The meaning and acceptance of the kingdom message, 9:51-10:42

iv] Who receives the kingdom?

Synopsis

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 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 once longed to experience, namely the promised day of salvation.

 
Teaching

"God reveals his mysteries through Jesus. And he reveals them not to the sophisticated initiate, but to the unlearned", Danker. "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.

 
Issues

i] Context: See 9:51-56. Who receives the kingdom? serves as the fourth episode in the section The meaning and acceptance of the kingdom 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: This passage, Who receives the kingdom? presents as follows:

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 I tell you that ....."

 

iii] Interpretation:

The passage before us consists of three sayings: 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. The first two sayings 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. The third saying, which is 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.

 

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 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] 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] A thanksgiving for the divine revelation made manifest in Christ, v21. "At that moment Jesus was inspired with joy", J.B. Phillips. The mission of the seventy disciples might not have been a great success, but the missioners themselves are enthused. People had indeed believed; Satan was brought low. So, Jesus bursts into thanksgiving. Addressing the Father, he gives thanks that repentant sinners, rather than the self-righteous, have come to experience the long-promised day of salvation.

en auth/ th/ w{ra/ "at that time" - in the hour itself. Temporal prepositional phrase, possible anAramaism; "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 title "Jesus" is actually found in some manuscripts, but the reading is not strong. At any rate, "Jesus " is obviously the subject.

en + dat. "through [the Holy Spirit]" - 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 space/sphere, "in" = "under the influence of", or means, as NIV. "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" - 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" - Dative of direct object after to verb "I praise."

pater (hr roV) voc. "Father" - The next usage is an articular nominative used instead of the vocative.

kurie (oV) voc. "Lord" - Variant "Lord of heaven."

tou ouranou (oV) gen. "of heaven [and earth]" - The genitive is adjectival, of subordination; "Lord over ...." "Heaven" may just mean "sky", so "Lord of the world."

oJti "because" - that. Here expressing cause/reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why Jesus praises the Father.

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" - Unstated as to the identity of "these things". Certainly "the knowledge of God's will", Creed, but also possibly "events of eschatological significance", Davies.

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

sunetwn adj. "learned" - intelligent. Without an article so referring to a class, here particularly religious Israel.

apekaluyaV (apokaluptw) aor. "revealed" - you revealed. "Showing them to mere children", Phillips.

nhpioiV dat. adj. "little children" - childlike. The adjective is used as a substantive, dative of indirect object. Not "immature believers", but rather "people open to the grace of God."

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

oJti "for" - Expressing cause/reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why God has hidden and revealed.

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

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

 
v22

ii] Affirmation, v22: God the Father has vested all authority in the Son to both reveal and enact this promised day. When it comes to salvation, only the Son is privy to the Father's will and its realization is at his initiative and discretion.

straqeiV proV touV maqhtaV epein "-" - turning to the disciples he said. This variant is probably a homoioarcton, so Metzger, but it does serve to make the point that Jesus is now addressing the disciples.

panta "all things" - The same problem as with "these things" above, in that they are not identified. See, "have been committed" below.

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, such "knowledge / revelation" is not just static information, but like the creative word it comes with the power to realize its intended end. A person does not just see and hear the divine word, but experiences it.

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

upo + gen. "by [my Father]" - Expressing agency.

ei mh "except" - This construction establishes a condition.

oJ uiJoV "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.

w|/ ean + subj. "those to whom" - to whomever, anyone to whom. Simply classed as introducing an indefinite relative clause, dative of indirect object, although technically introducing the protasis of a 3rd. class conditional clause where the apodosis is assumed; "to whomever, as the case may be, the Son wills to reveal him (the Father) then, he (the Father) will be revealed to him."

boulhtai (boulomai) pres. subj. "chooses" - wishes, wills, considers carefully. Jesus' proclamation of the gospel is indeed, at times, incomprehensible, particularly when he presents kingdom parables for the purpose of confusing those who claim to see. Yet, for the seeker, the repentant sinner, Jesus' message is not incomprehensible, for in the end all who seek find. The act of the Son's will is not an act whereby he chooses those he intends to make known the divine revelation (other than the distinction between those who see / the self righteous and the blind / the repentant sinner / humble). 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. "The Son is well able to reveal the Father to anyone he wants to."

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

 
v23

iii] 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 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 have witnessed the fulfilment of the covenant promises in Christ.

strafeiV (strefw) aor. pas. part. "then he turned" - having turned. The participle is adverbial, temporal, as NIV. The passive is reflective, turn oneself. Does this mean that Jesus turns from the 70 missioners to now address the 12?

kat idian "privately" - according to one's own. The preposition kata + acc. functions adverbially forming an idiomatic phrase. Variant, usually viewed as sourced from Mark. "While they were alone", TH.

makarioi adj. "blessed" - blessed, happy, fortunate. 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 ones seeing. 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.

 
v24

gar "for" - Here expressing cause/reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why the disciples are blessed, "because ....".

uJmin dat. "[I tell] 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" - "Righteous men" in Matthew. Israel's faithful religious and social leaders of old.

idein (oJraomai) aor. inf. "[wanted] to see" - [willed] to see. As with akouete, "to hear", the infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "willed". The ancient remnant of Israel willed to see/hear (realize the fulfilment of) the coming age of salvation, but for them it was in the future, whereas for Jesus' disciples, the long-promised "eschatological salvation" is realized, cf. Nolland.

a} pro. "what" - Introducing a relative clause which serves as the object of the verbal phrase "wanted to see."

 

Luke Introduction

Exposition

 

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