Sunday, November 26, 2017

THE END OF THE TEMPLE - LUKE 20:45 - 21:24

Jesus Warns the People About the Scribes

Having won the arguments with the Scribes and stumped them with his questions regarding David and his Lord, Jesus warned the people about them. He said the warning to the disciples, but did it in the hearing of all the people. (45)

The scribes studied and taught the scriptures. They made copies of the Old Testament. They were scholars.

But Jesus warned that they also liked to look important. He said they walked around in long robes. Their dress was distinctive from that of common men. It showed they did not do manual labor and that they were financially successful. The implication was that God blessed them with wealth as a reward for their righteous works. It reminds us of the prosperity preachers of today who wear expensive clothes, live in mansions, own jets and hold that up as a blessing from God that shows how great they are. It is quite a contrast to God who looks, not on outward appearance, but on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)

They loved long greetings in the marketplace. Long greetings would entail elaborate statements of their worth and status. People today still love titles.

They also loved the best seats at synagogue and at feasts. This was like sitting at the head table at a banquet. Again it is about recognition of their important status. They loved this.

They were also pretentious in public prayers, making elaborate statements for show rather than actual communication with God. (47)

They were hypocrites.

One problem with this hypocrisy is that you may begin to fool yourself. You pretend to be spiritual so often that you believe your own lie and think you are spiritual. At that point you are doomed, because you have lost the ability to repent, to seek the Lord and to live for him rather than yourself.

Their hypocritical religious life led to a hypocritical ethical life. Jesus said they devoured widow’s houses. They took houses away from poor widows. This is bad enough on the surface, but when you recount all God said in the Old Testament about justice in the treatment of widows, you see this statement as one of serious condemnation. For example, Exodus 22:22 says “you shall not mistreat any widow”. Deuteronomy 10:18 says that God executes justice for widows.

Widows in that society were defenseless. They were vulnerable. Often they were poor, having no income and no one to support them. That is why God takes up their cause and says we must also. But the scribes took advantage of them.

Jesus said they will receive the greater condemnation. (47) And remember these words are spoken by the one who will judge the world.Those who are in ministry are held to a higher standard. All who live hypocritically face judgment, but those who live hypocritically in ministry face greater condemnation.

Jesus warned the disciples about the scribes because they were not who they appeared to be and the disciples could not trust them.

A Widow Gives All

Luke here employs another comparison, telling two stories to make a contrast. In contrast to the wealthy scribes who took advantage of widows, a poor widow is the focus of this story.

The background to this story is the Passover. Thousands of Jews came from all over to Jerusalem and to the temple at this time. They made offerings There were 13 offering boxes with an opening like the bell of a trumpet. Jesus watched rich people put in their offerings. He could tell they were rich by their dress, but also by how long they took to put all the coins in the box. It is likely that many of them made a show of this.

Then came the widow. She put in two copper coins. They had such a small value it hardly counted: about one four-hundred of a shekel each. But Jesus did not compare how much she gave to how much the rich gave; his comparison was how much she gave in relation to what she had. She gave all she had to live on.

Rich people are often lauded for their gifts, and that is not all bad. But, Jesus looks and honors sacrificial giving more than large donations. This widow gave it all.

The widow gave her whole self to God. As Jesus previously said that where your treasure is is where your heart is, her heart was clearly with God. In contrast, the scribes’ hearts treasure and hearts were on earth, with themselves, their riches and their status. Jesus praised the widow and condemned the scribes.

The End of the Temple

The temple was quite impressive. After Herod renovated and expanded it, it was covered with gold plates that dazzled in the sun. It had marble of pure white. It was decorated with precious gems. People pointed this all out to Jesus.

Rather than admire the temple, Jesus said it would be destroyed. He said “the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down”. (6) That dramatic statement got the attention of the disciples. They wanted to know when it would happen and what would be the warning signs. (7)

The first thing the Lord said about this was a warning not to be led astray. (8) Many will come and claim to be Christ Returned and will say the end is near. Jesus said not to follow them.

Jesus also said that there would be wars and tumults, but his disciples should not be terrified because the end will not be at once. Jesus’ instruction is to not be afraid.

Jesus also said there would be earthquakes, famines, and cosmic signs. The Jewish writer, Josephus, recorded the appearance of a comet. All of these things happened before the temple was destroyed. There were many wars. The Jews rebelled against Rome beginning in 66 A.D., leading to the invasion by Rome.

But, Jesus said, before these things happen (“all this”), the disciples will suffer persecution. Their opponents will lay hands on them, deliver them up to synagogues (meaning the rulers of the Jews) and some will be put in prison. They will brought before kings and governors for the sake of Jesus’ name.  Sadly, Jesus went on to say that their families and friends would even deliver them up to their adversaries. (16) They would be hated for the sake of Jesus’ name. (17)

Again, all these things happened before the temple was destroyed. The Book of Acts records many such things. Peter and John were taken before the Council and high priest. (Acts 4:5) They were warned not to preach about Jesus and were threatened.

Acts 5 records the arrest and imprisonment of the apostles. They were freed by an angel. Then they were brought before the Council again and told not to teach in Jesus’ name. They were beaten.

Paul was beaten, imprisoned, taken before the governors and the emperor. He was ultimately killed. Stephen was stoned to death. Men and women were imprisoned. James was killed. Peter was killed. Christians were burned by the emperor Nero. Others were crucified. All of this occurred before the temple was destroyed.

Notice, though, that Jesus did not say these things to scare the disciples, but to prepare them and assure them. In fact, he said this persecution was their opportunity to witness and he would give them words to say that no one could contradict. (15)

The experiences of Peter and Paul recorded in Acts show that Jesus did what he said he would do. Repeatedly, the disciples answered the authorities in words that could not be rebutted. All through history, Christians have given bold witness in persecution.  

Verses 16 and 18 seem to contain a contradiction. In verse 16, Jesus says some of them will be put to death. Yet, in verse 18, Jesus said “not a hair of our head will perish”.

Verse 18 is not meant to be literal, but a saying meaning that their eternal life could not be taken away or damaged. If it meant physical life, verse 19 would not make sense in context. Their perseverance in the face of persecution would show that they had “gained their lives” or had eternal life. The word translated “lives” (psyche) here could be translated “souls” as it was in the King James Version. Their souls would be saved if they endured in faith through the persecution. Perseverance shows our faith is genuine.

After these events, or types of events, will come the event that shows the destruction of Jerusalem is actually about to occur. When Jerusalem is surrounded by enemies, the desolation of the city is near. (20) When the city is surrounded, those in Judea should flee to the mountains. Those who are in Jerusalem should depart and no one outside the city should enter it. It will be a time of great distress.

That is because the destruction of the city is sure to happen. It is a matter of God’s vengeance for rejecting and killing his son. (22) It is God’s wrath against the Jewish people of the time. (23) They would be killed and others taken as captives. All of this happened with the Roman invasion in 70 A.D.

In this time of wrath, we also see mercy. God gave Jerusalem about 40 years to repent. Jesus also provided a way of escape, words of grace. He told his followers to flee to the mountains and to avoid the city. He protected his followers by telling them how to escape destruction.

The destruction of the temple was also a sign that the system of temple sacrifice had to be destroyed. Since Jesus had offered the once for all sufficient sacrifice for sin, no other sacrifice should be given. And since Jesus had promised that he and the Father would dwell within his followers, the old temple was no longer the dwelling place of God and should not stand against the true temple, the body of Christ.

Jesus also said Jerusalem will be trampled until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. This may indicate a time will come when the Jews repent. In Paul wrote that, if the Jews do not continue in their unbelief, they will be grafted into God’s people again. (Romans 11:23) He wrote that a partial hardening came upon Israel until “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in”. (11:25) That indicates that at the end of the time of the Gentiles, Israel may repent and again become part of God’s people.

In conclusion, we see that Jesus warned and prepared his disciples for the persecution to come. We can learn from these warnings as well. We also see that every word spoken about the destruction of the temple and the city was fulfilled. You can read Josephus’ book on the Wars of the Jews for his account.

We also see that the destruction of the temple is a type of the final judgment of the world, the “day of the Lord”. On that day the Lord will judge and act against all who have rejected his Son. We do not know the exact day that will occur, so it is important that each of us make sure we believe and commit our lives to Christ.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Paying Taxes

When Jesus told the Parable of the Wicked Tenants, the scribes and priests realized Jesus was condemning them. They were the wicked tenants. They were angry and wanted to remove him so that their authority would not be challenged. (19)

They were afraid to punish him themselves, though, because the people loved to hear him teach. Also, the Jews could not impose the death penalty. Only the Romans could do that.

The alternative the priests came up with was to follow Jesus and listen to him teach, hoping to get him to say something that would allow them to turn him over to the Romans for violating Roman law. When it says they wanted to deliver him to the governor, that meant the Roman governor. The governor at that time was Pontius Pilate.

In order to trap Jesus, they asked him, after a bit of flattery, if it was lawful to give tribute, or taxes, to Caesar. (22) By “lawful”, they meant the Jewish law, the Law of Moses. The Jews really hated being under Roman rule, so the question would interest all of the crowd. Plus, some Jews believed paying tribute to Caesar was denying loyalty to God as their lord and king. If Jesus said to pay the tax, some would think of him as a traitor, just as they regarded the tax collectors as traitors.

On the other hand, if Jesus said it was not lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, he would violate Roman law and they could have him arrested and punished by the Romans.

Jesus perceived the trap. Luke says he perceived their “craftiness”. (23) The Greek word for “craftiness” is the same word Paul later used for Satan’s “cunning” in 2 Corinthians 11:3. And, being the great teacher he was, he not only gave the right answer, he gave them a visual aid.

Jesus asked for a denarius. That is a Roman coin that was about one day’s age for a laborer. The coin bears the image of Caesar. It was inscribed with the name Tiberius Caesar. It showed that the Jews used Roman money and that they were part of the Roman Empire. He used this to say they, as Caesar’s subjects, should render to Caesar what is his, and render to God the things that are God’s.

Jesus acknowledged the authority of government. He did not seek to overthrow the Romans. Taxes are the realm of government, so we should pay our taxes.

In the United States, groups periodically pop up and say they will not pay taxes because the government does not honor God, or for other reasons. But God instructs us to be subject to the authority of those who govern us.

For example, Romans 13:1 says “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities”. The Jews did not have a voice in the government. Some of you who read this do not either. Some do, but are unhappy with those who govern them. But God tells us to be subject to them.

Why does God instruct us to be subject to the authorities? The Romans passage gives us the answer. It is because all authority flows from God and those that have it have been instituted by God. If you resist it, you will incur judgment. Specifically, Paul wrote that you must pay taxes and you must give respect.

We must also pray for those who govern, that we may lead peaceful lives. (1 Timothy 2:1) Paul said it is pleasing in the sight of God.

All of these things are part of rendering to Caesar.

Sometimes government will come into conflict with the loyalty we owe to God. In that case, we must obey God. We cannot stop worshipping or proclaiming because a government says to do so. We may be required to say, as Peter said to the Sanhedrin, we must obey God rather than men. Otherwise, though, we must respect the authority of the government and those who govern us.

But we must render to God that which is his. Worship belongs to God. That is why early Christians died rather than worship Caesar. We must obey God’s commands to us even if the government prohibits it. That is rendering to God. As the denarius bore the image of Caesar, we bear the image of God both from creation and from re-creation (salvation). We must give ourselves to the Lord in worship, obedience and service.

There is no rebuttal to Jesus’ instruction, or teaching, and the priests had none.

Rebutting the Sadducees or
One Bride for Seven Brothers

Although we mostly see the Pharisees oppose Jesus, this event involves the Sadducees. The Sadducees accepted only the first five books of the Old Testament, the books of Moses. They did not accept the prophets or wisdom writings as canon. They did not believe in resurrection or eternal life.

The Pharisees were generally wealthy and powerful Jews. The High Priest was a Sadducee. The Sanhedrin was dominated by Sadducees. They may be involved at this point because the parable Jesus taught directly attacked the priests.

Since the Pharisees did not believe in the resurrection, they challenged Jesus at this point. They concocted a convoluted scenario where one of seven brothers died, the next brother took her as a wife according to Jewish law. (Deuteronomy 25:5-6) The brothers died one by one with each taking her as a wife until she was married to all seven. The question then was “in the resurrection, whose wife will the woman be”. (33)

It is a technique of debate to attack an opponent by taking their position to the extreme to ridicule it. It is called “reductio ad absurdum”.

Jesus believed in resurrection, of course. He was in Jerusalem to die and be raised. So, he taught them the reality of the resurrection from Scripture, First, though, he showed they had a misunderstanding about the nature of the resurrected person.

Jesus said those of this age marry. (34) This began with God giving Eve to Adam as his wife. But, in the next age, the age to come, those who are resurrected will not marry because they cannot die any more. One of the purposes of marriage is to have children to perpetuate the human race. That is why God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. (27)

In the life of resurrected believers, there is no death. In that sense, we will be like the angels. (36) Since there is no death, there is no need to replenish the race with children. Therefore, there is no need for marriage.  And, thus, the assumption that the Sadducees based their hypothetical on was false and irrelevant.

Jesus went on to show the Sadducees wrong by Scripture on the doctrine of resurrection. He referred to the story of Moses at the burning bush. (Exodus 3) In that event, God identified himself to Moses as the God of Moses’ father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. (Exodus 3:6)

Since God is the God of the living, and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had died a physical death, there must be a resurrection of the believing dead to life. God did not say he had been their God or was their God, but “I am” the God of those men.

Again, Jesus’ opponents had no answer for him. The Sadducees only accepted the writings of Moses as scripture and Jesus had used those very writings to prove them wrong

Interestingly, some of the scribes approved. We can assume they were Pharisees, since they believed in the resurrection.

David’s Son & David’s Lord

Jesus challenged the scribes’ understanding of the Messiah. He asked “how can they say the Christ is David’s son?”. In Matthew 22, Jesus began the conversation by asking whose son the Christ is.

Remember that the word “Christ” is a transliteration of the Greek word “anointed”.  “Transliteration” means taking words from one language and alphabet and putting it into another language and alphabet. It creates a new word. “Translation” means finding an existing word in the second language with an equivalent meaning to the word in the first language.

The Hebrew word for the same title is “mashiyach”, which is transliterated to Messiah in English.

“Christ” is a title more than a name. It refers to the one the Father anointed to be the savior and king of his people.

Every Jew, and certainly these scribes, knew that the Anointed One\Christ would come from David’s line. He would be a descendant of David, or David’s “son”. They knew this because of the covenant God made with David recorded in 2 Samuel 7. Other verses in the Old Testament also refer to the Anointed One as David’s son or descendant, such as Isaiah 9:6-7.

If that is all the Anointed One is, he is just another human being. The Anointed One (or Chosen One), the Christ or Messiah, is more than that. He is God; he is divine. That is the point Jesus makes in this discussion.

Jesus said, How can the Christ be David’s son in light of Psalm 110:1. This verse was known to be about the Anointed One. It was, and is, called a “Messianic Psalm”.

Jesus quoted it to them: “the Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” Then Jesus asked if David called him Lord, how can he be his son? In effect, he asked how can he be only his son. It is a kind of riddle: how can Jesus be David’s son and David’s Lord?

Jesus was teaching that He, the Christ, is more than David’s descendant\son. He, the Christ, is an exalted one who is given a place of special honor, sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven. This person, the Christ, is greater than David. David acknowledged that by calling him “my Lord”.
 Jesus was likely quoting from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament. In the Hebrew text, however, the two words for “Lord” are not the same. The Lord is Yahweh, God the Father. That name is usually shown in English texts as “LORD”. The second Lord, “my Lord”, is “adonai”, meaning lord in the sense of master, but here referring specifically to the Anointed One\Christ\Messiah. David was saying, in effect, “the Lord God says to my Lord the Anointed Messiah, sit next my throne to rule all creation”. To sit at God’s right hand would be to have God’s authority to rule.

David would only call someone greater than himself “Lord”. He would not call his son Lord. He would not call anyone other than a greater king Lord. But here he does and says that this person will be exalted to having all power and authority from God. He is David’s Lord because he is David’s God. As Jesus proved his divinity with his miracles, he now proves it with Scripture.

There is also a glimpse into the Trinity here. The Trinity is the existence of one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In this teaching, Jesus pointed to his deity, meaning that God exists in more than one person. Here it is Father and Son.

There is also here a prophecy of Jesus’ future exaltation. After Jesus dies, he will be resurrected and will ascend to heaven. Then Father will exalt him to his royal throne to rule the universe. He will rule this way until all his enemies are defeated.

The disciples came to understand Jesus’ teaching. After the coming of the Holy Spirit, Peter preached Christ from Psalm 110. The apostles cited it over 20 times in the New Testament. It is full of meaning for us as well, for we believe and confess that Jesus is Lord, ruling from the throne in heaven until the defeat of his enemies, at which time he will return and raise all believers to reign with him.

That is our hope and our joy!

Sunday, November 05, 2017


Luke 19:15-19
Jesus Cleanses the Temple

According to the Gospel of Mark, Jesus entered Jerusalem on Sunday. He entered the temple in this story on Monday.

This temple is referred to as the Second Temple. The first temple was built by Solomon. The Babylonians destroyed it when they conquered and destroyed Jerusalem.

After the Persians conquered the Babylonians, Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to Israel and rebuild the city and temple. It took about 20 years to build the second temple.

King Herod enlarged and aggrandized the temple during his reign. It became a magnificent structure.

He build an outer court, closed in with columns, in which Gentiles were allowed to enter. (In the picture above, the court is the area to the left of the sanctuary.) Gentiles could not go into any of the inner courts. For example, Acts 21:27 records an event where a riot occurred because Paul was accused of allowing Greeks to come into the inner courts.

This meant that the only place at the temple a Gentile could enter and pray was this outer court. But the High Priest had turned it into a place of commerce. Luke’s account is brief: he wrote only of “those who sold”. Matthew’s account is more graphic: “he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons”. (Matthew 21:1)

Jews from other countries came to Jerusalem at Passover every year. They had to make sacrifices and pay the temple tax. They could only pay the temple tax in shekels from Tyre. That is because they believed Roman money to be a sacrilege with images of the emperor. The Romans would not let the Jews make their own money, so they chose the coin of Tyre for the tax.

Jews from other countries would arrive with only money from their country and that money could not be used in the temple. So, they used their foreign money to buy this shekel from the money changers. They could also buy birds for sacrifices. These vendors, therefore, served a useful purpose. Why then was Jesus angry at them?

As Jesus drove out the sellers he said “it is written, my house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers”. (46) Although the vendors served a purpose, Jesus seems to have believed they had corrupted the purpose of the temple, inhibiting the prayers of the Gentiles. It could be that they overcharged or that commerce had taken over for worship and Jesus restored the temple to its real purpose.

But the words Jesus spoke give us some more clues. He referred to two Old Testament passages: Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11.

Isaiah 56:1-8 is a passage in which the Lord foretold salvation coming to the Gentiles. He said that those who had been excluded from the temple, foreigners and eunuchs, would come to the Lord. He would accept them. Then verse 7 ends with “for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples”. A time would come when God would bring Gentiles into his kingdom, into the people of God, experiencing salvation and fellowship with the Lord.

This did not happen with the 2nd temple. It only happened in the temple not made with hands, the temple which is Christ’s body, the church. The time would come when the physical temple was no longer relevant, because Christ would dwell with believers wherever they gathered. In fact, the physical temple would be destroyed.

That brings us to the second verse Jesus referred to: Jeremiah 7:11. Jeremiah 7 is a passage that has Jeremiah stand in the gate of the temple and proclaim that the temple would not save them. If they did not repent, God would destroy it.

The Jews had become corrupt. They stole, murdered and worshipped Baal. Yet they would come to the temple and declare that it would deliver them.

In verse 11, God  said through Jeremiah, “has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes?” Then he told them to remember Shiloh and how he destroyed it because of the evil they committed. It was not that people were robbed in the temple, but that they were robbers in the sense that they were false worshippers. Because of this they and their temple would be destroyed.

By using these verses, Jesus meant that the priests and scribes and many other Jews were false worshippers. They were robbers. This is because they rejected Jesus as their Messiah and savior.  As he destroyed their works by turning over their tables and driving them out, he would destroy the temple.

The context of the story helps us see this truth. When Jesus entered Jerusalem the day before, he said it would be destroyed because they did not know the time of their visitation.  Because they did not accept his coming as the visitation of the Messiah, they would be destroyed. (44)

Next, after Jesus cleared the temple and began teaching, he told a parable of wicked tenants who killed the son sent to them by the owner of the vineyard. Jesus said the owner would come and destroy the tenants. He concluded the story by saying he was the cornerstone that would crush those who rejected him. The temple would not save them as it did not save them from destruction in the Old Testament.

After this event, Jesus began to teach in the temple daily. (47) He had claimed the temple as his. It was his place to teach, his pulpit. As you might expect, the chief priests, scribes and leaders sought to destroy him. He had, after all, accused them of corrupting the temple and foretold its destruction, meaning their whole structure of power and influence would be destroyed. They could not do anything immediately, however, for the people who had filled the temple courts at Passover were fascinated with his teaching. They were “hanging on his words”.

An Unanswered Question

Although the priests and scribes could not destroy him immediately, they did seek to destroy him. As he taught, the confronted him with the question of his authority. By what authority did he cleanse the temple and by whose authority did he teach there?

The question was a trap. If he said he came by his own authority, they would charge him with blasphemy and have him killed. If he came by the authority of God, they would dispute it by saying they were the authority of God.

Jesus did not fall into the trap. Instead, he turned it on them. He asked them about John’s authority (John the Baptist). He asked if John’s baptism was from man or from God.

A comical scene ensued. The priests and scribes huddled and conferred to come up with an answer. They saw the trap Jesus laid. If they said John’s baptism was from heaven (from God), Jesus would ask why they did not believe him. (5) If they were God’s representatives, why did they reject the preaching of the prophet of God.

On the other hand, if they said John’s authority came from man, the crowds might stone them, for most believed John was indeed God’s prophet and the forerunner of the Messiah.

Rather than declare themselves, they refused to answer. Jesus followed suit, saying he would not tell them by what authority he acted. (8)

After saying this to these leaders, Jesus turned back to the crowd and told a parable. The parable actually answered the question of authority.

The Parable of Wicked Tenants

In this parable, a man planted a vineyard and leased it to tenants while he went away. After a while, he sent servants to the tenants to receive some fruit from the vineyard. They beat the servants, treated them shameful, and sent them away. This happened three times.

After this, the owner sent his “beloved son”. The tenant’s killed him, thinking it would allow them to inherit the vineyard.

Jesus asked what the owner would do about it. He said he would destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to someone else.

The background to this story is Isaiah 5. There Isaiah told of a “beloved” who had a vineyard. But the vineyard only produced bad grapes. Therefore, the owner, the beloved, would come and destroy the vineyard. The vineyard was Israel. The Beloved was God. He would come and destroy the Israel and send it into captivity because it had become sinful and corrupt.

In Jesus’ parable, the vineyard is Israel in the sense of being God’s people. The tenants were the priests and scribes and leaders. The owner was God the Father. The servants were the prophets. Jesus was the beloved son sent to as the last messenger to the leaders to obey God. In Luke 3:22, at Jesus’ baptism, the Father had said “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased”. He is also the heir of all things. (Hebrews 1:2)

This is the answer to the question of the leaders. Jesus is the beloved son of God the Father and is sent by him. HIs authority came from God the Father.

The leaders plotted to kill him to keep their power and influence. Therefore God would destroy the leaders and give the vineyard to others. He would appoint new leaders to guide God’s people and lead them to worship him.

The leaders were shocked and said “surely not”. They could not conceive of losing their positions. But Jesus confirmed it with another Old Testament reference. He said “the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”. This is a quote of Psalm 118:22.

Jesus referred to himself not only as the beloved son, but as the cornerstone. He said that stone would crush all upon whom it falls. Again, Jesus was foretelling his death, but also the destruction of the temple, Jerusalem, and the priesthood as judgment on them for rejecting him.