Luke 19: 47-48 – Reaction of Jerusalem Leaders

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The reaction of the Temple authority in this episode is mainly based on Mark’s gospel (Mk 11, 18). At first, Luke sums up JesusJerusalem ministry with a summary statement (Lk 19, 47a) composed by him. Then he adds the Markan summary. Jesus’ main activity in Jerusalem is restricted to the Temple and consisted in teaching. It is striking that there are no healing and exorcism, no miracles in Jerusalem or in the Temple. Jesus’ sole activity is teaching on the will of God and true worship. In the Lukan gospel Jesus is opposed by the religious leaders of Jerusalem because of his daily teaching of the people. In Mark’s gospel, we may recall, such reaction was linked to Jesus’ action of the cleansing of the Temple. As stated earlier, in Luke the very action of cleansing of the Temple of all that is unsuited to God is to prepare it and make it a place fit for his teaching ministry.

The reason why the leaders of the people want to do away with him is also related in Luke’s gospel with Jesus teaching (Lk 19, 47; cf. 20, 1-2). Luke does not say that the opposition to Jesus arises from all, but only from the chief priests and scribes, and from the leaders. These are the people who will finally succeed in having him put to death. In thus referring to the opposition to Jesus, Luke foreshadows the final opposition to Jesus to be described in the Passion narrative. The ordinary people are presented as hanging on to Jesus’ words with admiration. For Luke this sharp contrast between the attitude of the leaders and the people is significant.

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