The Meaning of Luke 7:30 Explained

Luke 7:30

KJV: But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

YLT: but the Pharisees, and the lawyers, the counsel of God did put away for themselves, not having been baptized by him.

Darby: but the Pharisees and the lawyers rendered null as to themselves the counsel of God, not having been baptised by him.)

ASV: But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected for themselves the counsel of God, being not baptized of him.

What does Luke 7:30 Mean?

Verse Meaning

However, the Pharisees and lawyers (scribes) did not submit to John"s baptism showing that they had rejected God"s purpose, namely, His plan of salvation for them.

Context Summary

Luke 7:24-35 - A Great Man And A Still Greater
The Master chose the moment of John's fainting fit to pass this high eulogium on the Baptist's stalwart character, his indifference to worldly bribes and his divine commission. When we write hard things against ourselves, He may be judging us with infinite tenderness and wisdom. Heaven does not estimate us by our passing moods. But the least believer in this Christian age has a clearer knowledge of Christ and a closer relationship to Him, than had the Baptist. He was a servant; we are brothers, sons, heirs, Romans 8:16-17.
If we will not accept the lower call of duty, as was manifested in the appeal of the Baptist, we shall never profit by Christ. Accept the dim light of the morning star and it will lead to the dawn.
It ill becomes us to observe the winds of human caprice. If we please one party, we shall displease the other. There is but one path through life, and that is to do the will of God, in which, as Dante puts it, is our peace. But the children of wisdom recognize her alike in the anxiety of the Baptist and in the graces of the Son of man. [source]

Chapter Summary: Luke 7

1  Jesus finds a greater faith in the centurion;
10  heals his servant, being absent;
11  raises from death the widow's son at Nain;
18  answers John's messengers with the declaration of his miracles;
24  testifies to the people what opinion he held of John;
31  compares this generation to the children in the marketplaces,
36  and allowing his feet to be washed and anointed by a woman who was a sinner,
44  he shows how he is a friend to sinners, to forgive them their sins, upon their repentance

Greek Commentary for Luke 7:30

Rejected for themselves [ητετησαν εις εαυτους]
The first aorist active of ατετεω — atheteō first seen in lxx and Polybius. Occurs in the papyri. These legalistic interpreters of the law refused to admit the need of confession of sin on their part and so set aside the baptism of John. They annulled God‘s purposes of grace so far as they applied to them. [source]
Being not baptized by him [μη βαπτιστεντες υπ αυτου]
First aorist passive participle. Μη — Mē is the usual negative of the participle in the Koiné. [source]
Lawyers [νομικοὶ]
Not legal practitioners, but interpreters and doctors of the Mosaic law. [source]
Rejected [ἠθέτησαν]
Set aside, or annulled; made it vain through their disobedience. [source]
Against themselves [εἰς ἑαυτούς]
More strictly, with reference to themselves. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Luke 7:30

Luke 10:25 Lawyer []
See on Luke 7:30. [source]
Luke 10:16 Rejecteth him that sent me [ατετει τον αποστειλαντα με]
These solemn words form a fit close for this discourse to the Seventy. The fate of Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum will befall those who set aside (α — a privative and τετεω — theteō from τιτημι — tithēmi) the mission and message of these messengers of Christ. See this verb used in Luke 7:30 of the attitude of the scribes and Pharisees toward John and Jesus. It is this thought that makes it so grave a responsibility to be co-workers with Christ, high privilege as it is (John 9:4). [source]
Luke 10:26 How readest thou? [πως αναγινωσκεισ]
As a lawyer it was his business to know the facts in the law and the proper interpretation of the law. See note on Luke 7:30 about nomikos (lawyer). The rabbis had a formula, “What readest thou?” [source]
Luke 14:3 Answering [αποκριτεις]
First aorist passive participle without the passive meaning. Jesus answered the thoughts of those mentioned in Luke 13:1. Here “lawyers and Pharisees” are treated as one class with one article (τους — tous) whereas in Luke 7:30 they are treated as two classes with separate articles. [source]
Luke 7:29 Justified God [εδικαιωσαν τον τεον]
They considered God just or righteous in making these demands of them. Even the publicans did. They submitted to the baptism of John (βαπτιστεντες το βαπτισμα του Ιωανου — baptisthentes to baptisma tou Iōanou First aorist passive participle with the cognate accusative retained in the passive. Some writers consider Luke 7:29, Luke 7:30 a comment of Luke in the midst of the eulogy of John by Jesus. This would be a remarkable thing for so long a comment to be interjected. It is perfectly proper as the saying of Jesus. [source]
John 3:5 Born of water and the Spirit []
The exposition of this much controverted passage does not fall within the scope of this work. We may observe, 1. That Jesus here lays down the preliminary conditions of entrance into His kingdom, expanding and explaining His statement in John 3:3. -DIVIDER-
2. That this condition is here stated as complex, including two distinct factors, water and the Spirit. 3. That the former of these two factors is not to be merged in the latter; that the spiritual element is not to exclude or obliterate the external and ritual element. We are not to understand with Calvin, the Holy Spirit as the purifying water in the spiritual sense: “water which is the Spirit.”-DIVIDER-
4. That water points definitely to the rite of baptism, and that with a twofold reference - to the past and to the future. Water naturally suggested to Nicodemus the baptism of John, which was then awakening such profound and general interest; and, with this, the symbolical purifications of the Jews, and the Old Testament use of washing as the figure of purifying from sin (Psalm 2:2, Psalm 2:7; Ezekiel 36:25; Zechariah 13:1). Jesus' words opened to Nicodemus a new and more spiritual significance in both the ceremonial purifications and the baptism of John which the Pharisees had rejected (Luke 7:30). John's rite had a real and legitimate relation to the kingdom of God which Nicodemus must accept. -DIVIDER-
5. That while Jesus asserted the obligation of the outward rite, He asserted likewise, as its necessary complement, the presence and creating and informing energy of the Spirit with which John had promised that the coming one should baptize. That as John's baptism had been unto repentance, for the remission of sins, so the new life must include the real no less than the symbolic cleansing of the old, sinful life, and the infusion by the Spirit of a new and divine principle of life. Thus Jesus' words included a prophetic reference to the complete ideal of Christian baptism - “the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 5:26); according to which the two factors are inseparably blended (not the one swallowed up by the other), and the new life is inaugurated both symbolically in the baptism with water, and actually in the renewing by the Holy Spirit, yet so as that the rite, through its association with the Spirit's energy, is more than a mere symbol: is a veritable vehicle of grace to the recipient, and acquires a substantial part in the inauguration of the new life. Baptism, considered merely as a rite, and apart from the operation of the Spirit, does not and cannot impart the new life. Without the Spirit it is a lie. It is a truthful sign only as the sign of an inward and spiritual grace. -DIVIDER-
6. That the ideal of the new life presented in our Lord's words, includes the relation of the regenerated man to an organization. The object of the new birth is declared to be that a man may see and enter into the kingdom of God. But the kingdom of God is an economy. It includes and implies the organized Christian community. This is one of the facts which, with its accompanying obligation, is revealed to the new vision of the new man. He sees not only God, but the kingdom of God; God as King of an organized citizenship; God as the Father of the family of mankind; obligation to God implying obligation to the neighbor; obligation to Christ implying obligation to the church, of which He is the head, “which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all things with all things” (Ephesians 1:23). Through water alone, the mere external rite of baptism, a man may pass into the outward fellowship of the visible church without seeing or entering the kingdom of God. Through water and the Spirit, he passes indeed into the outward fellowship, but through that into the vision and fellowship of the kingdom of God. [source]

John 12:48 Rejecteth [ἀθετῶν]
See on Luke 7:30. [source]
1 Corinthians 1:19 Will bring to nothing [ἀθετήσω]
See on Luke 7:30. Originally, to make disestablished ( ἄθετον ) something which is established or prescribed ( θετόν ) Hence to nullify, make void, frustrate, and, in a milder sense, to despise or reject, as Galatians 2:21. The stronger sense is better here, so that Rev., reject is not an improvement on the A.V. The American revisers render: And the discernment of the discerning will I bring to nought. [source]

What do the individual words in Luke 7:30 mean?

- but the Pharisees and the lawyers the counsel - of God rejected as to themselves not having been baptized by him
οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ νομικοὶ τὴν βουλὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἠθέτησαν εἰς ἑαυτούς μὴ βαπτισθέντες ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ

οἱ  - 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Plural
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Φαρισαῖοι  the  Pharisees 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: Φαρισαῖος  
Sense: A sect that seems to have started after the Jewish exile.
νομικοὶ  lawyers 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: νομικός  
Sense: pertaining to the law, one learned in the law.
βουλὴν  counsel 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: βουλή  
Sense: counsel, purpose.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Θεοῦ  of  God 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: θεός  
Sense: a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities.
ἠθέτησαν  rejected 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: ἀθετέω  
Sense: to do away with, to set aside, disregard.
εἰς  as  to 
Parse: Preposition
Root: εἰς  
Sense: into, unto, to, towards, for, among.
ἑαυτούς  themselves 
Parse: Reflexive Pronoun, Accusative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: ἑαυτοῦ  
Sense: himself, herself, itself, themselves.
βαπτισθέντες  having  been  baptized 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Passive, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: βαπτίζω  
Sense: to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk).