The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 18

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The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 18 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 10-19-2012

1 Then He spoke to them a parable, in reference to the necessity for them always to pray and not to falter, 2 saying: “There was a certain judge in some city who feared not Yahweh and respected not man. 3 And there was a widow in that city and she began saying to him ‘Exact vengeance for me from my opponent.’

The verb ἄρχω (756, 757) is merely “to begin” here. Used with the Participle “saying”, it implies that the woman “began and continued”, which Liddell & Scott explain in their definition of the word at ἄρχω I., 5.

4 Yet for a time he desired it not. But afterwards he said to himself, ‘Even if I do not fear Yahweh, nor do I respect man, 5 indeed on account of this widow causing me trouble I shall avenge her, lest in result of her coming she wears me out.’”

She wears me out” or “she annoys me greatly”, both of which are metaphorical renderings of ὑπωπιάζῃ με, which literally means “she would hit my eye”. The verb ὑπωπιάζω (5299), which appears elsewhere in the N.T. only at I Corinthians 9:27 where Paul uses it literally, is “to strike one under the eye...Passive to have a black eye...” (Liddell & Scott).

6 Then said the Prince “Hear what the unrighteous judge says!

The Codex Sinaiticus (א) wants the word for hear, where the clause would be read as a question: “What does the unrighteous judge say?”

7 Now would Yahweh not at all bring about vengeance for His elect, those who are crying out to Him day and night, and have forbearance with them? 8 I say to you that He shall bring about vengeance for them with haste! But coming then shall the Son of Man find faith upon the earth?”

Many liken the widow to Israel: for Yahweh has, technically speaking, died on the cross of Christ. The elect, of course, have a new husband in the risen Christ, who is the living God. Paul tells the assembly at Corinth, lost Israelites whom he had brought to Christianity, at 2 Corinthians 11:2: “For I admire you with zeal of Yahweh; for I have joined you to one Husband, to present a chaste virgin to Christ.” However the comparison of the widow to Israel is unnecessary, and Yahweh our God is certainly not an unrighteous judge.

Psalm 7: “11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” However the same verse, from the Septuagint, reads thus: “God is a righteous judge, and strong, and patient, not inflicting vengeance every day.” Whatever way the original of the verse was intended, perhaps both statements are pertinent here.

This discourse began with the passage at Luke 17:20, after Christ had healed the lepers and then the Pharisees had asked Him when the Kingdom of Heaven would come. Christ then warned that “The days are coming when you shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you shall not see. 23 And they shall say to you ‘Behold, He is there!’ or ‘Behold, He is here!’ You should not depart nor give pursuit. ” He then warned that at the time of His appearance, which would be quite sudden, that life would once again be as it was in the days of Noah, and in Sodom and Gomorrah, where things such as race-mixing, beastiality (popularly misspelled bestiality), sodomy, and all types of other sexual and moral deviancies dominated society. So this parable of the unrighteous judge is given in the context of these things which are to be extant at His coming.

This entire discourse reflects the very same situation which the people of God find themselves in today. If even the unrighteous judge ultimately vindicates the woman simply because she would not relent from her appeals to him, then the remnant of the righteous people of God who cry out to Him in this time will certainly be vindicated by Yahweh their God, who is a righteous judge. Yet that remnant, we are told here, should be crying out for such justice both day and night. Even then it seems that the judgement of Yahweh tarries, for which the apostle Peter wrote in his second epistle (2 Peter 3): “3 knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers with scoffing going according to their own desires 4 and saying 'Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers have fallen asleep, all things continue thusly from the beginning of creation!'” Therefore Christ asks, “But coming then shall the Son of Man find faith upon the earth?” That is our challenge today, to seek the truth and to maintain our faith in it, so that we are not found joined to the deviants of society.

From the King James Apocrypha, The Wisdom of Salomon, chapter 3: "1 But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. 2 In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, 3 And their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. 4 For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. 5 And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself. 6 As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. 7 And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. 8 They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.

Psalm 58: “10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. 11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.”

9 Then He also spoke to some of those who are persuaded by themselves, that they are righteous and are despisers of everyone else, this parable: 10 “Two men were going up to the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. 11 The Pharisee stood praying these things to himself: ‘Yahweh, I give thanks to you that I am not as the rest of men, robbers, unrighteous, adulterers, or even as this tax-collector. 12 I fast twice each week, I give a tenth of all of whatever I should gain.’

The phrase “twice each week” is literally “twice each Sabbath”, the term “Sabbath” referring to either the Sabbath period of seven days, or the Sabbath day itself, the seventh day. The phrase rendered “first [day] of the week” in the King James Version at I Corinthians 16:2 is literally “first of the Sabbath”, the day after the Sabbath and start of a new seven-day period. I know of no Greek word for week. Greek-speaking Hebrews used the term to designate the Sabbath period of seven days, as well as the Sabbath day itself.

13 But the tax-collector stood afar off not having desire to nor raising his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast saying ‘Yahweh, make propitiation for me, a wrongdoer!’ 14 I say to you, he going down to his house is justified beyond the other, because everyone who is exalting himself shall be humbled, and he humbling himself shall be exalted.”

The Pharisee boasted that he was not a sinner, and proclaimed his own righteousness through his fulfillment of tithes and his fasting, which are in that manner no better than rituals – things which men perform merely to display their own justification, as if they could save themselves through that display. Yet the self-righteous are, as Luke explains, “despisers of everyone else”, and therefore they are not lovers of their brethren, but claim license through their pretentious conduct to exalt themselves over their brethren. In contrast, the tax-collector presented a humble countenance, and simply admitted being a sinner, asking God for forgiveness. Most of today's churchgoers have patterned their lives after the Pharisee, and not after the tax collector.

Yet this is a warning purposely given after the parable of the unrighteous judge, where Christ tells us that His elect in the earth must continue to pray for vindication from the wicked. These statements of Christ are not disconnected. If we believe that we have the truth and that we are walking in The Way, we cannot use that as a license to vaunt ourselves over our brethren still walking in the world. With our understanding, we must not become as the Pharisee.

15 Then they also brought to Him the infants in order that He hold them, but seeing it the students admonished them. 16 But Yahshua called out to them saying “Let the children come to Me and do not prevent them, for of such as these is the Kingdom of Yahweh. 17 Truly I say to you: Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of Yahweh as a child by no means may enter into it!”

For of such as these is the Kingdom of Yahweh”. The Kingdom of Yahweh is not within us, it is among us, and if we are genetic Israel, it consists of us. Our God loves His children.

Clifton Emahiser made a good observation some years ago, when he explained that one must accept the Kingdom of Yahweh as a child, because a child has no agendas, no preconceived notions, no underlying motives, but a mind which is free from all presuppositions and false premises. When we learn the Kingdom message, which is founded upon the truth of the Covenants of God, which many may call Christian Israel Identity today, then we must wipe the slate clean of all which we think we know about the Scripture, and encounter it again as a child would learn – with a clear mind. We cannot put new wine into old Catholic or Lutheran or Anglican or Baptist bottles, or put a new patch on old Catholic or Lutheran or Anglican or Baptist garments.

18 And one of the leaders questioned Him saying “Good Teacher, what should I do that I may inherit eternal life?” 19 And Yahshua said to him “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except one, Yahweh.

All goodness comes from God and all men are base, therefore we should always seek to humble ourselves. The “good teacher” appellation was used by the Pharisee to flatter Christ. We often vacillate in weakness to those who smother us with flattery. The reply by Christ was designed to reject the flattery, and to make that rejection clear to the flatterer. Proverbs 29:5: “A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.” Beware of the flatterer, who is attempting to entrap you in his own agenda.

20 Know the commandments: You should not commit adultery, you should not murder, you should not steal, you should not testify falsely, honor your father and mother.”

Of course while all ten commandments are not vociferated here, they are elsewhere in the Gospel. Leviticus 18:5: “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.” Yet the phrase “live in them” would have been better translated “have life by them”, as the Christogenea New Testament translates the words of Paul, who quotes this passage of Leviticus at Galatians 3:12: “Now the law is not from faith, but 'he who practices these things shall have life by them.'” However we have all broken the law, and therefore require the mercy of our God if we are to live. Therefore only God is good.

21 Then he said “All these things I have kept from youth!” 22 And hearing it Yahshua said to him: “Then one thing is left for you: All whatever you have, sell and distribute to the poor, and you shall have treasure in the heavens. Then come, follow Me.” 23 But hearing these things he had become very grieved, for he was exceedingly wealthy.

The man has his life, for being a child of Adam he shall live forever. As it is written in the Wisdom of Salomon, at 2:23: “For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.” Yet if the man had forsaken his earthly riches and distributed them to the needy, he was told that he “shall have treasure in the heavens”. The man rejected that promise in exchange for the immediate yet temporary comforts of this world.

24 Then seeing him Yahshua said:

The additional words found in the King James Version, “that he was very sorrowful”, are not found in the oldest manuscripts. The Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th Edition (NA27), following the Codices Alexandrinus (A), Bezae (D), Washingtonensis (W), the 6th century Codex 078, and the Majority Text, has “Then seeing him, becoming grieved Yahshua said...”, although the NA27 marks the additional words as doubtful. The text of the Christogenea New Testament follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B).

How difficultly those having riches enter into the Kingdom of Yahweh!

The word χρῆμα (5536), also found at Mark 10:23 and 24; Acts 4:37, 8:18 and 20, and 24:26, is here in the plural “riches”. The word is actually “a thing that one uses or needs: in plural goods, property, money, gear, chattels...” (Liddell & Scott). It may therefore have been rendered merely as property, “How difficultly those having property enter into the Kingdom of Yahweh!”

The Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Bezae (D) have “shall enter into”, as do the Codices Alexandrinus (A), Washingtonensis (W), the 6th century Codex 078, and the Majority Text although they vary in the order of the words. The text follows the Codex Vaticanus (B).

In either case, it is certainly evident that those who in this life have riches, or property, certainly do enter into the Kingdom of Heaven if indeed they were born from above in the first place (John 3:3). They only do so at the grace of God, and not of their own merits.

25 Indeed it is easier for a camel to enter through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Yahweh.”

The Codices Alexandrinus (A), Bezae (D) and the 6th century Codex designated as P all have “to pass through”. The phrase “eye of a needle is literally “the hole of a needle”. Different words are used among the manuscripts for both “hole” (τρῆμα in the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B) and Bezae (D), τρυμαλιά in the Codices Alexandrinus (A), Washingtonensis (W), and the Majority Text) and for “needle” (βελόνη in the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B) and Bezae (D), and ῥαφίς in the Codices Alexandrinus (A), Washingtonensis (W), and the Majority Text).

There is a story, often repeated by people who are, or who at least think they are well read, that the term “eye of a needle” refers to a special gate in the city walls which men may enter into at night, but which is too small for a camel. This commentator has not read every ancient history book, but has indeed read a great many of them, and has found no substantiation at all for this claim in reference to this passage. Where Christ said “hole of a needle”, He must have been referring to what we today call the eye of a literal needle.

26 And those listening said “Then who is able to be saved?” 27 So He said “Things impossible with men are possible with Yahweh!”

The Old Testament clearly promises that all Israel shall be saved, and that all of the sins of the children of Israel shall be forgiven. There are no stated exceptions to those promises anywhere in Scripture. Even though at least most of the children of Israel certainly do not deserve it, Yahweh shall keep His promises. However we must be mindful that, if it were up to us alone, we could never save ourselves. Rituals and pretenses of righteousness are all mere vanity, they turn us into fools and benefit us in nothing.

We see that the rich man would not give away his wealth and follow Yahshua Christ, God incarnate. The wealthy have often traded away righteousness for their wealth, neglecting the will of God and the love of kinsmen in order to pursue or to keep riches. James 1:11: “For the sun rises with burning heat and parches the grass and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed. Thusly also the wealthy with his purposes wastes away.” One cannot serve God and accumulate riches, and if one has wealth, while one's brethren are hungry, what sort of steward is one over blessings provided by God? In today's society, there are probably not many true White men or women who have managed to accumulate and retain great wealth. However those of the children of Israel who are wealthy shall indeed be saved, but cannot justly anticipate much of a reward in Heaven.

28 Then Petros said “Look, we leaving our own things have followed you!”

The Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Washingtonensis (W), and the Majority Text have “Look, we have left all and have followed You!” The text of the Christogenea New Testament follows the Codices Vaticanus (B) and Bezae (D).

29 And He said to them: “Truly I say to you, that there is no one who has left a house or wife or brother or parents or children because of the Kingdom of Yahweh 30 who would by no means recover many times more in this time, and eternal life in the age which is coming!”

One should never have to forsake a Christian family. As Paul says at 1 Timothy 5:8: “Now if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially of kin, he has denied the faith and is inferior to one of the faithless.” However a sinful family partaking in the immorality of a corrupt society, which is still the subject here from the end of chapter 17, a Christian must choose to depart from. Once having departed, a Christian may find a much greater family in other Christians who have done likewise.

My own travels this summer are the best example that I can offer of the veracity of this statement. I left my home in New York on a long journey to meet many of my Identity Christian brethren, and indeed I found many brothers and sisters and houses and children, and many excellent people took me into their homes as though they were my own. That is the Christian example: that we treat our brethren as though whatever we have is theirs. In the body of Christ, there should be no want of fellowship nor communion.

31 Then taking aside the twelve He said to them, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things written by the prophets for the Son of Man shall be completed.

The Codex Bezae has “all things concerning the Son of Man”, but either way the meaning is clear, and we see what is meant where the apostle John says in his gospel, at John 19:28: “With this, Yahshua seeing that He had already finished all things, in order that the writing would be completed, He says: 'I thirst!'”All things being finished simply means that all of the prophecies in Scripture concerning or alluding to the ministry and the passion of the Christ were then fulfilled. Many people, especially the Preterists, take John 19:28 to indicate that all things written in the prophets were fulfilled in Christ, however that is wrong. It merely intends that all things written concerning Christ were fulfilled. Many other prophecies concerning men and nations were not yet fulfilled, nor are they all even now.

32 For He shall be handed over to the heathens, and mocked and abused and spat upon 33 and being scourged they shall slay Him, and in the third day He shall be resurrected.”

The use of the word ἔθνος in the New Testament is poorly misunderstood even by most scholars. τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, the word ἔθνος (1484) along with the Definite Article in the Dative Plural case here is to the heathens. The word ἔθνος is usually, and properly, nation, yet it must in certain contexts be translated people, as the Christogenea New Testament has done on occasion, and this is especially true when the people being described consist of more than one nationality, in which case the common word for people, λαός (2992), is inappropriate. A λαός is properly a people as a collective unit whether the word is used in the singular or plural. Where a group which consists of people of various ethnic backgrounds is not properly considered as such a unit, it is therefore called after the plural forms of ἔθνος, as today we may use the term ethnicities. The diverse tribes of people in any given place in the empire were by the Greeks called ethnicities, the plural forms of the word ἔθνος being employed to describe them. This is a secondary use of the term ἔθνος in the New Testament, apart from the use of the term to describe the nations of the Greco-Roman οἰκουμένη. [The transition of a people from nation to empire always seems to be accompanied by changes in language, and confusion over the meanings of terms.] Examples where ἔθνος is translated as people in the Christogenea New Testament are found at Mark 11:17; Acts 8:9 (where the King James Version also translated ἔθνος as people), Acts 13:46 and 48, Acts 18:6 and 1 Corinthians 12:2. In his Septuagint translation, Sir Francis Brenton has people for ἔθνος at Leviticus 20:2, and I have not yet checked his renderings elsewhere.

The scriptural as well as the historical records are clear, that the Edomites in Judaea were primarily responsible for the Crucifixion, having gained the political and ecclesiastical leadership of the nation, although both the Romans and many of the true Israelites in Judaea were unwitting accomplices. The scriptural record also attests that both Judaeans and Romans spat on and abused Yahshua Christ, as evident comparing Matthew 26:67, Mark 14:65 and Matthew 27:30, Mark 15:19. So Christ was handed over not to a people, a λαός, but to peoples, which the Greeks used the word ἔθνος in the plural to describe, and therefore in this context ἔθνος must be translated as people. Yet the Christogenea New Testament often employs the word “heathen” to signify a people in opposition to God and Christ – regardless of their race – and that is the reason for employing it here.

Luke 24:20 explicitly identifies those primarily responsible for the Crucifixion, where the two men speaking on the road to Emmaous explain: “20 And how the high priests and our leaders gave Him over to a judgment of death and they crucified Him.”

34 Yet they understood not one of these things, and this saying was hidden from them and they did not discern the things being spoken.

From Luke chapter 24, the apostle records the remembrance of these words amongst the disciples: “6 ... Remember that He had spoken to you yet being in Galilaia, 7 saying ‘it is necessary for the Son of Man to be handed over into the hands of sinful men, and to be crucified, and to be resurrected in the third day’. 8 And they remembered His words.”

A similar statement is recorded in Mark chapter 9, verses 30 through 32: “30 And having departed from there they went along through Galilaia, and He did not wish that anyone should know, 31 for He instructed His students and said to them that the Son of Man is handed over into the hands of men, and they slay Him, and dying after three days He shall arise. 32 But they did not perceive the statement, and they were afraid to ask Him.”

From the similar account in Mark, we see that the disciples did not want to face the truth which Christ was telling them. However here in Luke we learn that on this occasion they could not, for “this saying was hidden from them and they did not discern the things being spoken.” It is the providence of God to determine those of us who understand something, and those of us who don't, and regardless of what we ourselves do, we cannot escape His providence. Christ Himself after His resurrection had walked with the two men on the road to Emmaous, yet they did not perceive that it was Him until, as we read at Luke 24:31, “their eyes were opened and they recognized Him.”

35 Then it happened upon His coming near to Iericho, a certain blind man sat by the road begging. 36 And hearing the crowd passing through he inquired what this could be. 37 So they announced to him that “Yahshua the Nazoraian is passing by.”

The term in Greek is Nazoraian and it appears only here in Luke, but seven times in Acts, twice in Matthew and thrice in John. In Mark only Nazarene is used, as it also appears in Luke 4:34 and 24:19 (all according to the Moulton-Geden Concordance to the Greek Testament). While Nazarene is the more proper way to say “of Nazareth” in Greek, the distinction between these two words seems to be one of form and not of meaning.

The town of Nazareth was evidently not mentioned in the Old Testament. Yet its name seems to come from the Hebrew word netser (5342), for branch, rather than being related to the Hebrew word for the ancient sect of the Nazirites. The terms Nazoraian and Nazarene should by no means be confused with Nazirite, since neither Christ nor the apostles had followed the requirements demanded of that ancient priesthood. Rather, if the word which gave the village Nazareth its name came from the (feminine form of the) Hebrew word netser, which is quite plausible, then Christ wearing the appellation fulfills in name some of other Old Testament prophecies concerning Him, which are found in Isaiah and Zechariah:

Zechariah 3: “8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. 9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.”

Zechariah 6: “12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: 13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”

Now in the passages of Zechariah, the word for branch is tsemach (6780), however the prophecy is nevertheless fulfilled in Christ. Calling Him “Yahshua the Nazoraian” is tantamount to calling Him “Yahshua the branch”. In Isaiah 11:1 the word for branch is indeed netser, where it says: “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots”.

38 And he yelled saying “Yahshua Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Here we have a blind man who sees, or at least he saw what was most important to see. In the preceding verses, Yahshua told His disciples exactly what was going to happen to Him, and they could not see it, even having both eyes and the benefit of the company of the Christ Himself.

39 Then those leading the way admonished him, that he should be silent. But by much more he cried out “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 So Yahshua stopping commanded that he be brought to Him, then approaching him He inquired of him: 41 “What do you wish that I should do for you?” And he said “Prince, that I may see again!” 42 And Yahshua said to him “See again! Your faith has preserved you!” 43 And immediately his sight recovered and he followed Him, extolling Yahweh. And all the people seeing gave praise to Yahweh.

We, praying that our eyes be opened, should be so blessed as this blind man if indeed they are. Luke 11: “9 ... Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened for you. 10 For all who are asking shall receive and he who is seeking shall find and to him knocking it shall be opened. ” If you seek the truth, and then only if Yahweh wills it, you shall indeed find it no matter your current degree of blindness.

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