You are witnesses.
Of the deeds
Of your ancestors.
They killed them.
But you built
ἄρα μάρτυρές ἐστε καὶ συνευδοκεῖτε τοῖς ἔργοις τῶν πατέρων ὑμῶν, ὅτι αὐτοὶ μὲν ἀπέκτειναν αὐτοὺς, ὑμεῖς δὲ οἰκοδομεῖτε.
Luke indicated that Jesus continued this same idea. Jesus said that the Pharisees and lawyers were witnesses (ἄρα μάρτυρές ἐστε). They approved of the deeds of their fathers or ancestors (καὶ συνευδοκεῖτε τοῖς ἔργοις τῶν πατέρων ὑμῶν), who killed the prophets (ὅτι αὐτοὶ μὲν ἀπέκτειναν αὐτοὺς), by building their tombs (ὅτι αὐτοὶ μὲν ἀπέκτειναν αὐτοὺς). There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:31. Jesus said that these Pharisees and Scribes testified or witnessed against themselves, since they admitted that they were the descendants or sons of those people who murdered the prophets. Jesus then told them to finish up their work, using the measuring rod of their ancestors. Thus, they had the same attitude as their ancestors. However, there was very little evidence of Jewish prophets being killed. Do you have the same attitudes of your parents and grandparents?
“Woe to you!
Of the prophets,
Whom your ancestors
οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, ὅτι οἰκοδομεῖτε τὰ μνημεῖα τῶν προφητῶν, οἱ δὲ πατέρες ὑμῶν ἀπέκτειναν αὐτούς.
Luke once again had Jesus curse (οὐαὶ ὑμῖν) the Pharisees, because they built the tombs of the prophets (ὅτι οἰκοδομεῖτε τὰ μνημεῖα τῶν προφητῶν), whom their ancestors or fathers killed (οἱ δὲ πατέρες ὑμῶν ἀπέκτειναν αὐτούς). There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:29, where Jesus continued to curse the Pharisees and the Scribes. This diatribe against the hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees was how they and their ancestors had treated the prophets of Israel. They built the tombs of the prophets and decorated the graves or these tombs of the righteous. These Pharisees said that if they had lived in the days of their ancestors or fathers, they would not have participated in the shedding of the blood of these prophets. Luke indicated that Jesus said that the present-day Pharisees participated in the murder of the righteous prophets by decorating the graves of these holy men. The problem was that there were not that many prophets murdered. Do you visit cemeteries much?
‘Woe to you!
You load people
Hard to bear!
Do not lift
To ease them.’”
ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς νομικοῖς οὐαί, ὅτι φορτίζετε τοὺς ἀνθρώπους φορτία δυσβάστακτα, καὶ αὐτοὶ ἑνὶ τῶν δακτύλων ὑμῶν οὐ προσψαύετε τοῖς φορτίοις.
Then Luke indicated that Jesus turned on these lawyers, also. Jesus cursed them also (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς νομικοῖς οὐαί). They had loaded people with hard burdens to bear (ὅτι φορτίζετε τοὺς ἀνθρώπους φορτία δυσβάστακτα). At the same time, they did not lift a finger to ease their burdens (καὶ αὐτοὶ ἑνὶ τῶν δακτύλων ὑμῶν οὐ προσψαύετε τοῖς φορτίοις). There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:4, where Jesus said that the Pharisees and the Scribes, not the lawyers, tied up heavy burdens on the people that were hard or oppressive to bear. They put these burdens on the shoulders of other men, but they themselves were unwilling to lift a finger to help them remove these burdens. These heavy burdens of the Torah may have been their multiple perplexing oral interpretations of the law rather than the law itself that was usually considered a blessing. Here in Luke, Jesus was talking about lawyers, who may have been Pharisaic lawyers of the Law of Moses, who also would not help others in any way. Do you know any religious lawyers?
“One of the lawyers
When you say
You insult us too.’”
Ἀποκριθεὶς δέ τις τῶν νομικῶν λέγει αὐτῷ Διδάσκαλε, ταῦτα λέγων καὶ ἡμᾶς ὑβρίζεις.
This appears to be a unique saying of Luke. He said that one of the lawyers (δέ τις τῶν νομικῶν), who might have been at this dinner party, responded to Jesus (Ἀποκριθεὶς…λέγει αὐτῷ). He respectfully called him “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε)”. However, he said that some of these things that Jesus was saying was an insult to the lawyers also (ταῦτα λέγων καὶ ἡμᾶς ὑβρίζεις), since they followed the law. Apparently, one of the lawyers felt that Jesus was offending them also along with the Pharisees. These may have been Mosaic law lawyers, friends of the Pharisees. Have you ever insulted a lawyer?
“Woe to you!
Like unmarked graves.
Without realizing it.”
οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, ὅτι ἐστὲ ὡς τὰ μνημεῖα τὰ ἄδηλα, καὶ οἱ ἄνθρωποι οἱ περιπατοῦντες ἐπάνω οὐκ οἴδασιν.
Luke indicated that Jesus continued to pick on his dinner guests, the Pharisees. Jesus cursed these Pharisees without naming them. He said woe to them (οὐαὶ ὑμῖν) because they were like unmarked graves (ὅτι ἐστὲ ὡς τὰ μνημεῖα τὰ ἄδηλα) that people or men would walk over without realizing it (καὶ οἱ ἄνθρωποι οἱ περιπατοῦντες ἐπάνω οὐκ οἴδασιν). There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:27, where Jesus continued to curse the Pharisees and the Scribes. There was no doubt that Jesus was cursing the Scribes and the Pharisees because of their false hearts. They were like whitewashed tombs, that looked outwardly beautiful. However, the inside of these unmarked tombs was full of the bones of dead people and other kinds of filth or impure things. Thus, the Pharisees appear to look righteous on the outside to others. However, on the inside, in their hearts, they were full of hypocrisy, iniquity, and lawlessness. Matthew went into more detail than Luke did here, sitting with them at dinner. Have you ever complained directly to people at a dinner party?
“Woe to you!
The seat of honor
In the synagogues.
To be greeted
In the market places.”
οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς Φαρισαίοις, ὅτι ἀγαπᾶτε τὴν πρωτοκαθεδρίαν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ τοὺς ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς.
Luke indicated that Jesus the Lord cursed the Pharisees again. This friendly dinner took a strange twist. Jesus said that woe would come to them, the Pharisees, (οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς Φαρισαίοις) because these Pharisees loved (ὅτι ἀγαπᾶτε) to have the first seats or the seats of honor (τὴν πρωτοκαθεδρίαν) in the synagogues (ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς). They loved to be greeted (καὶ τοὺς ἀσπασμοὺς) in the market places (ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς). There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:39, and Matthew, chapter 23:6-7. Matthew indicated that Jesus said that these Pharisees and Scribes loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts and the best or front seats in the assembled synagogues. They loved to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces. Matthew also went on about the use of the term Rabbi. Mark indicated that as Jesus told them to beware of the Scribes, but there was no mention of Pharisees, because these Scribes walked around in long robes. They loved to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces. They loved the front seats in the assembly synagogues They loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts They were the elite social butterflies. Do you like privileged public positions?
“But woe to you!
And every kind
And the love of God!
It is these
To have practiced
ἀλλὰ οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς Φαρισαίοις, ὅτι ἀποδεκατοῦτε τὸ ἡδύοσμον καὶ τὸ πήγανον καὶ πᾶν λάχανον, καὶ παρέρχεσθε τὴν κρίσιν καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ Θεοῦ· ταῦτα δὲ ἔδει ποιῆσαι κἀκεῖνα μὴ παρεῖναι.
Next Luke had the Lord Jesus curse the Pharisees the way that Matthew had done. Jesus said woe to them, the Pharisees (ἀλλὰ οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς Φαρισαίοις)! They had paid their tithes (ὅτι ἀποδεκατοῦτε) of mint (τὸ ἡδύοσμον), rue (καὶ τὸ πήγανον), and every kind of herb (καὶ πᾶν λάχανον). However, they had neglected (καὶ παρέρχεσθε) justice (τὴν κρίσιν) and the love of God (καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ Θεοῦ). They ought to practice these things (ταῦτα δὲ ἔδει ποιῆσαι), without neglecting the other things (κἀκεῖνα μὴ παρεῖναι). This is like Matthew, chapter 23:23, where Jesus cursed the Pharisees and the Scribes. Matthew indicated that Jesus said woe to them because of their insistence on tithing. He blamed them for their concern about the tithing of the various aromatic spices of mint, dill, and cumin plants, instead of the more serious matters of the law. Thus, they neglected, the serious practice of justice, mercy, and faith. They should have spent more time on these issues without neglecting the other things. This seemed like a critique of misplaced priorities, with their legalistic sense of tithing being more important than justice, mercy, faith, and the Mosaic law itself. Luke had almost the same critique here, but the tithing herbs are slightly different. He also wanted their concerns to be about justice and God’s love. Otherwise the critique was pretty much the same. Do you neglect justice and mercy in your life?
“Give for alms
That are within!
Everything will be clean
πλὴν τὰ ἐνόντα δότε ἐλεημοσύνην, καὶ ἰδοὺ πάντα καθαρὰ ὑμῖν ἐστιν.
Luke uniquely had Jesus turn to alms. The Lord Jesus told the Pharisee that they should give alms (δότε ἐλεημοσύνην) with things that are from within them (λὴν τὰ ἐνόντα), so that everything would be clean for them (καὶ ἰδοὺ πάντα καθαρὰ ὑμῖν ἐστιν). Giving alms would help them, since this was already part of the Mosaic and Pharisaic law, but it had to be interior and and not exterior. It is hard to figure out what an interior almsgiving would be. Are you generous in your gift giving to others?
Did not the one
Who made the outside
Make the inside also?”
ἄφρονες, οὐχ ὁ ποιήσας τὸ ἔξωθεν καὶ τὸ ἔσωθεν ἐποίησεν;
Luke uniquely continued with Jesus, the Lord, saying that they were fools (ἄφρονες). Did not the one who made the outside (οὐχ ὁ ποιήσας τὸ ἔξωθεν) also make the inside (καὶ τὸ ἔσωθεν ἐποίησεν)? This quiet dinner party was now more heated. Jesus called the Pharisees fools, insensitive or inconsiderate. Jesus continued to warn them about the inside and the outside of their body and various vessels. Cleaning the outside was not good enough. Are you worried about outside or inside cleanliness?