Luke 22:25 MEANING

Luke 22:25
(25) The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them.--See Notes on Matthew 20:25; Mark 10:42. The repetition of the same words that had then been spoken in answer to the petition of the sons of Zebedee, suggests the probability that they were again prominent in the strife for pre-eminence.

Are called benefactors.--This takes the place of "their great ones exercise authority upon them," in St. Matthew and St. Mark. Antiochus VII. of Syria, and Ptolemy III. of Egypt, were examples of kings who had borne the title of Euergetes, or benefactor. There is apparently an emphasis on "are called" as contrasted with "let him become," in the next verse. The world gave the title of "benefactor" to those who were great in power only. In Christ's kingdom true greatness was to be attained by benefiting others in the humblest services.

Verse 25. - Are called benefactors (εὐεργέται). Those who were listening knew well how utterly false these high-sounding human titles often were. Αὐεργέτης (Euergetes), Benefactor, was the well-known title appropriated by Ptolemy Euergetes and other hated royal tyrants well known to the Jewish people.

22:21-38 How unbecoming is the worldly ambition of being the greatest, to the character of a follower of Jesus, who took upon him the form of a servant, and humbled himself to the death of the cross! In the way to eternal happiness, we must expect to be assaulted and sifted by Satan. If he cannot destroy, he will try to disgrace or distress us. Nothing more certainly forebodes a fall, in a professed follower of Christ, than self-confidence, with disregard to warnings, and contempt of danger. Unless we watch and pray always, we may be drawn in the course of the day into those sins which we were in the morning most resolved against. If believers were left to themselves, they would fall; but they are kept by the power of God, and the prayer of Christ. Our Lord gave notice of a very great change of circumstances now approaching. The disciples must not expect that their friends would be kind to them as they had been. Therefore, he that has a purse, let him take it, for he may need it. They must now expect that their enemies would be more fierce than they had been, and they would need weapons. At the time the apostles understood Christ to mean real weapons, but he spake only of the weapons of the spiritual warfare. The sword of the Spirit is the sword with which the disciples of Christ must furnish themselves.And he said unto them,.... The disciples; that is, Jesus said to them, as the Syriac and Persic versions express:

the kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; by which our Lord would dissuade his disciples from seeking to introduce a superiority over one another, since this was the practice of the Heathens, of the men of the world, of ignorant Gentiles; whereas Christ's kingdom was a spiritual kingdom, and not of this world, and therefore, not to be managed in such a way.

And they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors; either by themselves, or by their court flatterers, to cover their ambition, tyranny, and cruelty. Two of the King's of Egypt were called by the name Euergetes (p); the word that is here used, and translated "benefactors"; and it was commonly given to other kings, princes, and men in power: so Cyrus was called by the Armenians; Antigonus by the Greeks; and Phylacus among the Persians: the same name was given to Mithridates king of Pontus, to Titus Aelius Hadrianus, to Menander, to Marcus Aurelius Severus, and to Cato Uticensis, and others (q).

(p) Alex. ab. Alexandro Genial. Dier. l. 1. c. 2.((q) Vid. Cuper. Inscript. & Marmora. p. 283, 284.

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