12:1 Meanwhile, 1 when many thousands of the crowd had gathered so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus 2 began to speak first to his disciples, “Be on your guard against 3 the yeast of the Pharisees, 4 which is hypocrisy. 5 12:2 Nothing is hidden 6 that will not be revealed, 7 and nothing is secret that will not be made known. 12:3 So then 8 whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered 9 in private rooms 10 will be proclaimed from the housetops. 11
12:4 “I 12 tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, 13 and after that have nothing more they can do. 12:5 But I will warn 14 you whom you should fear: Fear the one who, after the killing, 15 has authority to throw you 16 into hell. 17 Yes, I tell you, fear him! 12:6 Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? 18 Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 12:7 In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; 19 you are more valuable than many sparrows.
12:8 “I 20 tell you, whoever acknowledges 21 me before men, 22 the Son of Man will also acknowledge 23 before God’s angels. 12:9 But the one who denies me before men will be denied before God’s angels. 12:10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the person who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit 24 will not be forgiven. 25 12:11 But when they bring you before the synagogues, 26 the 27 rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you should make your defense 28 or what you should say, 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment 29 what you must say.” 30
12:13 Then 31 someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell 32 my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 12:14 But Jesus 33 said to him, “Man, 34 who made me a judge or arbitrator between you two?” 35 12:15 Then 36 he said to them, “Watch out and guard yourself from 37 all types of greed, 38 because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 12:16 He then 39 told them a parable: 40 “The land of a certain rich man produced 41 an abundant crop, 12:17 so 42 he thought to himself, 43 ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 44 12:18 Then 45 he said, ‘I 46 will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 12:19 And I will say to myself, 47 “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ 12:20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life 48 will be demanded back from 49 you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 50 12:21 So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, 51 but is not rich toward God.”
12:22 Then 52 Jesus 53 said to his 54 disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry 55 about your 56 life, what you will eat, or about your 57 body, what you will wear. 12:23 For there is more to life than food, and more to the body than clothing. 12:24 Consider the ravens: 58 They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds 59 them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! 12:25 And which of you by worrying 60 can add an hour to his life? 61 12:26 So if 62 you cannot do such a very little thing as this, why do you worry about 63 the rest? 12:27 Consider how the flowers 64 grow; they do not work 65 or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 12:28 And if 66 this is how God clothes the wild grass, 67 which is here 68 today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, 69 how much more 70 will he clothe you, you people of little faith! 12:29 So 71 do not be overly concerned about 72 what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not worry about such things. 73 12:30 For all the nations of the world pursue 74 these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 12:31 Instead, pursue 75 his 76 kingdom, 77 and these things will be given to you as well.
12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is well pleased 78 to give you the kingdom. 12:33 Sell your possessions 79 and give to the poor. 80 Provide yourselves purses that do not wear out – a treasure in heaven 81 that never decreases, 82 where no thief approaches and no moth 83 destroys. 12:34 For where your treasure 84 is, there your heart will be also.
12:35 “Get dressed for service 85 and keep your lamps burning; 86 12:36 be like people 87 waiting for their master to come back from the wedding celebration, 88 so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 12:37 Blessed are those slaves 89 whom their master finds alert 90 when he returns! I tell you the truth, 91 he will dress himself to serve, 92 have them take their place at the table, 93 and will come 94 and wait on them! 95 12:38 Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night 96 and finds them alert, 97 blessed are those slaves! 98 12:39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief 99 was coming, he would not have let 100 his house be broken into. 12:40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” 101
12:41 Then 102 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” 103 12:42 The Lord replied, 104 “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, 105 whom the master puts in charge of his household servants, 106 to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? 12:43 Blessed is that slave 107 whom his master finds at work 108 when he returns. 12:44 I tell you the truth, 109 the master 110 will put him in charge of all his possessions. 12:45 But if 111 that 112 slave should say to himself, 113 ‘My master is delayed 114 in returning,’ and he begins to beat 115 the other 116 slaves, both men and women, 117 and to eat, drink, and get drunk, 12:46 then the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not foresee, and will cut him in two, 118 and assign him a place with the unfaithful. 119 12:47 That 120 servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or do what his master asked 121 will receive a severe beating. 12:48 But the one who did not know his master’s will 122 and did things worthy of punishment 123 will receive a light beating. 124 From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, 125 and from the one who has been entrusted with much, 126 even more will be asked. 127
12:49 “I have come 128 to bring 129 fire on the earth – and how I wish it were already kindled! 12:50 I have a baptism 130 to undergo, 131 and how distressed I am until it is finished! 12:51 Do you think I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 132 12:52 For from now on 133 there will be five in one household divided, three against two and two against three. 12:53 They will be divided, 134 father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
12:54 Jesus 135 also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, 136 you say at once, ‘A rainstorm 137 is coming,’ and it does. 12:55 And when you see the south wind 138 blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and there is. 12:56 You hypocrites! 139 You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how can you not know how 140 to interpret the present time?
12:57 “And 141 why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 12:58 As you are going with your accuser before the magistrate, 142 make an effort to settle with him on the way, so that he will not drag you before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, 143 and the officer throw you into prison. 12:59 I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid the very last cent!” 144
1 tn The phrase ἐν οἷς (en Jois) can be translated “meanwhile.”
2 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
3 tn According to L&N 27.59, “to pay attention to, to keep on the lookout for, to be alert for, to be on your guard against.” This is another Lukan present imperative calling for constant vigilance.
4 sn See the note on Pharisees in 5:17.
5 sn The pursuit of popularity can lead to hypocrisy, if one is not careful.
6 tn Or “concealed.”
7 sn I.e., be revealed by God. The passive voice verbs here (“be revealed,” be made known”) see the revelation as coming from God. The text is both a warning about bad things being revealed and an encouragement that good things will be made known, though the stress with the images of darkness and what is hidden in vv. 2-3 is on the attempt to conceal.
8 tn Or “because.” Understanding this verse as a result of v. 2 is a slightly better reading of the context. Knowing what is coming should impact our behavior now.
9 tn Grk “spoken in the ear,” an idiom. The contemporary expression is “whispered.”
10 sn The term translated private rooms refers to the inner room of a house, normally without any windows opening outside, the most private location possible (BDAG 988 s.v. ταμεῖον 2).
11 tn The expression “proclaimed from the housetops” is an idiom for proclaiming something publicly (L&N 7.51). Roofs of many first century Jewish houses in Judea and Galilee were flat and had access either from outside or from within the house. Something shouted from atop a house would be heard by everyone in the street below.
12 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
13 sn Judaism had a similar exhortation in 4 Macc 13:14-15.
14 tn Grk “will show,” but in this reflective context such a demonstration is a warning or exhortation.
15 sn The actual performer of the killing is not here specified. It could be understood to be God (so NASB, NRSV) but it could simply emphasize that, after a killing has taken place, it is God who casts the person into hell.
16 tn The direct object (“you”) is understood.
17 sn The word translated hell is “Gehenna” (γέεννα, geenna), a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew words ge hinnom (“Valley of Hinnom”). This was the valley along the south side of Jerusalem. In OT times it was used for human sacrifices to the pagan god Molech (cf. Jer 7:31; 19:5-6; 32:35), and it came to be used as a place where human excrement and rubbish were disposed of and burned. In the intertestamental period, it came to be used symbolically as the place of divine punishment (cf. 1 En. 27:2, 90:26; 4 Ezra 7:36).
18 sn The pennies refer to the assarion, a small Roman copper coin. One of them was worth one sixteenth of a denarius or less than a half hour’s average wage. Sparrows were the cheapest thing sold in the market. God knows about even the most financially insignificant things; see Isa 49:15.
19 sn Do not be afraid. One should respect and show reverence to God (v. 5), but need not fear his tender care.
20 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
21 tn Or “confesses.”
22 tn Although this is a generic reference and includes both males and females, in this context “men” has been retained because of the wordplay with the Son of Man and the contrast with the angels. The same is true of the occurrence of “men” in v. 9.
23 sn This acknowledgment will take place at the judgment. Of course, the Son of Man is a reference to Jesus as it has been throughout the Gospel. On Jesus and judgment, see 22:69; Acts 10:42-43; 17:31.
24 sn Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit probably refers to a total rejection of the testimony that the Spirit gives to Jesus and the plan of God. This is not so much a sin of the moment as of one’s entire life, an obstinate rejection of God’s message and testimony. Cf. Matt 12:31-32 and Mark 3:28-30.
25 tn Grk “it will not be forgiven the person who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit.”
26 sn The saying looks at persecution both from a Jewish context as the mention of synagogues suggests, and from a Gentile one as the reference to the rulers and the authorities suggests.
sn See the note on synagogues in 4:15.
27 tn Grk “and the,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
28 tn Grk “about how or what you should say in your defense,” but this is redundant with the following clause, “or what you should say.”
29 tn Grk “in that very hour” (an idiom).
30 tn Grk “what it is necessary to say.”
31 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
32 sn Tell my brother. In 1st century Jewish culture, a figure like a rabbi was often asked to mediate disputes, except that here mediation was not requested, but representation.
33 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
34 tn This term of address can be harsh or gentle depending on the context (BDAG 82 s.v. ἄνθρωπος 8). Here it is a rebuke.
35 tn The pronoun ὑμᾶς (Jumas) is plural, referring to both the man and his brother; thus the translation “you two.”
36 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
37 tn See L&N 13.154 for this use of the middle voice of φυλάσσω (fulassw) in this verse.
38 tn Or “avarice,” “covetousness.” Note the warning covers more than money and gets at the root attitude – the strong desire to acquire more and more possessions and experiences.
39 tn Grk “And he.” Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the connection to the preceding statement.
40 tn Grk “a parable, saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated here.
41 tn Or “yielded a plentiful harvest.”
42 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate that this is a result of the preceding statement.
43 tn Grk “to himself, saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated here.
44 sn I have nowhere to store my crops. The thinking here is prudent in terms of recognizing the problem. The issue in the parable will be the rich man’s solution, particularly the arrogance reflected in v. 19.
45 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
46 sn Note how often the first person pronoun is present in these verses. The farmer is totally self absorbed.
47 tn Grk “to my soul,” which is repeated as a vocative in the following statement, but is left untranslated as redundant.
48 tn Grk “your soul,” but ψυχή (yuch) is frequently used of one’s physical life. It clearly has that meaning in this context.
49 tn Or “required back.” This term, ἀπαιτέω (apaitew), has an economic feel to it and is often used of a debt being called in for repayment (BDAG 96 s.v. 1).
50 tn Grk “the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” The words “for yourself” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.
51 sn It is selfishness that is rebuked here, in the accumulation of riches for himself. Recall the emphasis on the first person pronouns throughout the parable.
52 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. Jesus’ remarks to the disciples are an application of the point made in the previous parable.
53 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
54 tc αὐτοῦ (autou, “his”) is lacking in Ì45vid,75 B 1241 c e. Although the addition of clarifying pronouns is a known scribal alteration, in this case it is probably better to view the dropping of the pronoun as the alteration in light of its minimal attestation.
55 tn Or “do not be anxious.”
56 tc Most
57 tc Some
58 tn Or “crows.” Crows and ravens belong to the same family of birds. English uses “crow” as a general word for the family. Palestine has several indigenous members of the crow family.
59 tn Or “God gives them food to eat.” L&N 23.6 has both “to provide food for” and “to give food to someone to eat.”
60 tn Or “by being anxious.”
61 tn Or “a cubit to his height.” A cubit (πῆχυς, phcu") can measure length (normally about 45 cm or 18 inches) or time (a small unit, “hour” is usually used [BDAG 812 s.v.] although “day” has been suggested [L&N 67.151]). The term ἡλικία (Jhlikia) is ambiguous in the same way as πῆχυς. Most scholars take the term to describe age or length of life here, although a few refer it to bodily stature (see BDAG 435-36 s.v. 1.a for discussion). Worry about length of life seems a more natural figure than worry about height. However, the point either way is clear: Worrying adds nothing to life span or height.
62 tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text.
63 tn Or “why are you anxious for.”
64 tn Traditionally, “lilies.” According to L&N 3.32, “Though traditionally κρίνον has been regarded as a type of lily, scholars have suggested several other possible types of flowers, including an anemone, a poppy, a gladiolus, and a rather inconspicuous type of daisy.” In view of the uncertainty, the more generic “flowers” has been used in the translation.
65 tn Traditionally, “toil.” Although it might be argued that “work hard” would be a more precise translation of κοπιάω (kopiaw) here, the line in English scans better in terms of cadence with a single syllable.
66 tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text.
67 tn Grk “grass in the field.”
68 tn Grk “which is in the field today.”
69 tn Grk “into the oven.” The expanded translation “into the fire to heat the oven” has been used to avoid misunderstanding; most items put into modern ovens are put there to be baked, not burned.
sn The oven was most likely a rounded clay oven used for baking bread, which was heated by burning wood and dried grass.
70 sn The phrase how much more is a typical form of rabbinic argumentation, from the lesser to the greater. If God cares for the little things, surely he will care for the more important things.
71 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate a conclusion drawn from the previous illustrations.
72 tn Grk “do not seek,” but this could be misunderstood to mean that people should make no attempt to obtain their food. The translation “do not be overly concerned” attempts to reflect the force of the original.
73 tn The words “about such things” have been supplied to qualify the meaning; the phrase relates to obtaining food and drink mentioned in the previous clause.
74 tn Grk “seek.”
75 tn Grk “seek,” but in the sense of the previous verses.
76 tc Most
77 sn His (that is, God’s) kingdom is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21.
78 tn Or perhaps, “your Father chooses.”
79 sn The call to sell your possessions is a call to a lack of attachment to the earth and a generosity as a result.
80 tn Grk “give alms,” but this term is not in common use today.
81 tn Grk “in the heavens.”
82 tn Or “an unfailing treasure in heaven,” or “an inexhaustible treasure in heaven.”
83 tn The term σής (shs) refers to moths in general. It is specifically the larvae of moths that destroy clothing by eating holes in it (L&N 4.49; BDAG 922 s.v.). See Jas 5:2, which mentions “moth-eaten” clothing.
84 sn Seeking heavenly treasure means serving others and honoring God by doing so; see Luke 6:35-36.
85 tn Grk “Let your loins be girded,” an idiom referring to the practice of tucking the ends of the long cloak (outer garment) into the belt to shorten it in preparation for activities like running, etc.
86 sn Keep your lamps burning means to be ready at all times.
87 tn That is, like slaves (who are mentioned later, vv. 37-38), although the term ἀνθρώποις (anqrwpoi") is used here. Since in this context it appears generic rather than gender-specific, the translation “people” is employed.
88 sn An ancient wedding celebration could last for days (Tob 11:18).
89 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 7:2.
90 tn Or “watching”; Grk “awake,” but in context this is not just being awake but alert and looking out.
91 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”
92 tn See v. 35 (same verb).
93 tn Grk “have them recline at table,” as 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away.
94 tn The participle παρελθών (parelqwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
95 sn He…will come and wait on them is a reversal of expectation, but shows that what Jesus asks for he is willing to do as well; see John 13:5 and 15:18-27, although those instances merely foreshadow what is in view here.
96 sn The second or third watch of the night would be between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. on a Roman schedule and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on a Jewish schedule. Luke uses the four-watch schedule of the Romans in Acts 12:4, so that is more probable here. Regardless of the precise times of the watches, however, it is clear that the late-night watches when a person is least alert are in view here.
97 tn Grk “finds (them) thus”; but this has been clarified in the translation by referring to the status (“alert”) mentioned in v. 37.
98 tn Grk “blessed are they”; the referent (the watchful slaves, v. 37) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
99 sn On Jesus pictured as a returning thief, see 1 Thess 5:2, 4; 2 Pet 3:10; Rev 3:3; 16:15.
100 tc Most
101 sn Jesus made clear that his coming could not be timed, and suggested it might take some time – so long, in fact, that some would not be looking for him any longer (at an hour when you do not expect him).
102 tn Grk “And Peter.” Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the connection to the preceding statement.
103 sn Is the parable only for disciples (us) or for all humanity (everyone)? Or does Peter mean for disciples (us) or for the crowd (everyone)? The fact that unfaithful slaves are mentioned in v. 46 looks to a warning that includes a broad audience, though it is quality of service that is addressed. This means the parable focuses on those who are associated with Jesus.
104 tn Grk “And the Lord said.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
105 tn Or “administrator,” “steward” (L&N 37.39).
106 tn This term, θεραπεία (qerapeia), describes the group of servants working in a particular household (L&N 46.6).
107 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 7:2.
108 tn That is, doing his job, doing what he is supposed to be doing.
109 tn Grk “Truly (ἀληθῶς, alhqw"), I say to you.”
110 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the master) has been specified in the translation for clarity. See also Luke 19:11-27.
111 tn In the Greek text this is a third class condition that for all practical purposes is a hypothetical condition (note the translation of the following verb “should say”).
112 tn The term “that” (ἐκεῖνος, ekeino") is used as a catchword to list out, in the form of a number of hypothetical circumstances, what the possible responses of “that” servant could be. He could be faithful (vv. 43-44) or totally unfaithful (vv. 45-46). He does not complete his master’s will with knowledge (v. 47) or from ignorance (v 48). These differences are indicated by the different levels of punishment in vv. 46-48.
113 tn Grk “should say in his heart.”
114 tn Or “is taking a long time.”
115 sn The slave’s action in beginning to beat the other slaves was not only a failure to carry out what was commanded but involved doing the exact reverse.
116 tn The word “other” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.
117 tn Grk “the menservants and the maidservants.” The term here, used in both masculine and feminine grammatical forms, is παῖς (pais), which can refer to a slave, but also to a slave who is a personal servant, and thus regarded kindly (L&N 87.77).
118 tn The verb διχοτομέω (dicotomew) means to cut an object into two parts (L&N 19.19). This is an extremely severe punishment compared to the other two later punishments. To translate it simply as “punish” is too mild. If taken literally this servant is dismembered, although it is possible to view the stated punishment as hyperbole (L&N 38.12).
119 tn Or “unbelieving.” Here the translation employs the slightly more ambiguous “unfaithful,” which creates a link with the point of the parable – faithfulness versus unfaithfulness in servants. The example of this verse must be taken together with the examples of vv. 47-48 as part of a scale of reactions with the most disobedient response coming here. The fact that this servant is placed in a distinct group, unlike the one in vv. 47-48, also suggests ultimate exclusion. This is the hypocrite of Matt 24:51.
120 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
121 tn Grk “or do according to his will”; the referent (the master) has been specified in the translation for clarity. This example deals with the slave who knew what the command was and yet failed to complete it.
122 tn Grk “did not know”; the phrase “his master’s will” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the contemporary English reader.
123 tn Grk “blows.”
124 tn Grk “will receive few (blows).”
125 tn Grk “required from him”; but the words “from him” are redundant in English and have not been translated.
126 sn Entrusted with much. To be gifted with precious responsibility is something that requires faithfulness.
127 tn Grk “they will ask even more.”
128 sn This mission statement, “I have come to bring fire on the earth,” looks to the purging and division Jesus causes: See Luke 3:9, 17; 9:54; 17:29 for fire, 5:32; 7:34; 9:58; 12:51 for the topic of mission.
129 tn Grk “cast.” For βάλλω (ballw) in the sense of causing a state or condition, see L&N 13.14.
130 sn The figure of the baptism is variously interpreted, as some see a reference (1) to martyrdom or (2) to inundation with God’s judgment. The OT background, however, suggests the latter sense: Jesus is about to be uniquely inundated with God’s judgment as he is rejected, persecuted, and killed (Ps 18:4, 16; 42:7; 69:1-2; Isa 8:7-8; 30:27-28; Jonah 2:3-6).
131 tn Grk “to be baptized with.”
132 tn Or “hostility.” This term pictures dissension and hostility (BDAG 234 s.v. διαμερισμός).
133 sn From now on is a popular phrase in Luke: 1:48; 5:10; 22:18, 69; see Mic 7:6.
134 tn There is dispute whether this phrase belongs to the end of v. 52 or begins v. 53. Given the shift of object, a connection to v. 53 is slightly preferred.
135 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here καί (kai) has been translated as “also” and δέ (de) has not been translated.
136 sn A cloud rising in the west refers to moisture coming from the Mediterranean Sea.
137 tn The term ὄμβρος (ombro") refers to heavy rain, such as in a thunderstorm (L&N 14.12).
138 sn The south wind comes from the desert, and thus brings scorching heat.
139 sn In Luke, the term hypocrites occurs here, in 6:42, and in 13:15.
140 tc Most
141 tn Jesus calls for some personal reflection. However, this unit probably does connect to the previous one – thus the translation of δέ (de) here as “And” – to make a good spiritual assessment, thus calling for application to the spiritual, rather than personal, realm.
142 sn The term magistrate (ἄρχων, arcwn) refers to an official who, under the authority of the government, serves as judge in legal cases (see L&N 56.29).
143 sn The officer (πράκτωρ, praktwr) was a civil official who functioned like a bailiff and was in charge of debtor’s prison. The use of the term, however, does not automatically demand a Hellenistic setting (BDAG 859 s.v.; K. H. Rengstorf, TDNT 8:539; C. Maurer, TDNT 6:642).
144 tn Here the English word “cent” is used as opposed to the parallel in Matt 5:26 where “penny” appears, since the Greek word there is different and refers to a different but similar coin.
sn This cent was a lepton, the smallest coin available. It was copper or bronze, worth one-half of a quadrans or 1/128 of a denarius. The parallel in Matt 5:26 mentions the quadrans instead of the lepton. The illustration refers to the debt one owes God and being sure to settle with him in the right time, before it is too late. Some interpreters, however, consider it to be like Matt 5:26, which has similar imagery but a completely different context.