The Pharisee and the tax collector (Lk 18:10-18:10)

“Two men

Went up

Into the Temple

To pray.

One was

A Pharisee.

The other was

A tax collector.”

 

Ἄνθρωποι δύο ἀνέβησαν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν προσεύξασθαι, ὁ εἷς Φαρισαῖος καὶ ὁ ἕτερος τελώνης.

 

Luke has Jesus tell a parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector that is only found in this gospel.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that two men (Ἄνθρωποι δύο) went up into the Temple (ἀνέβησαν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν) to pray (προσεύξασθαι).  One was a Pharisee (ὁ εἷς Φαρισαῖος).  The other was a tax collector (καὶ ὁ ἕτερος τελώνης).  Both of these men were well intentioned, since they went to the Temple to pray to God, a good thing.  Socially, they were of two different strata.  The Pharisee was a pillar of Jewish society as an interpreter of the Mosaic Law.  The tax collector, on the other hand, was considered a traitor to the Jewish community, since he worked for the Roman Empire, the occupation force.  These tax collectors were often compared to public sinners.  The contrast was real and set out at the beginning of this story.  Is there a social strata in your religious culture?

The shrewd one (Lk 16:8-16:8)

“His master commended

This dishonest manager

Because he had acted

Shrewdly.

The children

Of this age

Are more shrewd

In dealing

With their own generation

Than are

The children of light.”

 

καὶ ἐπῄνεσεν ὁ κύριος τὸν οἰκονόμον τῆς ἀδικίας ὅτι φρονίμως ἐποίησεν· ὅτι οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου φρονιμώτεροι ὑπὲρ τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ φωτὸς εἰς τὴν γενεὰν τὴν ἑαυτῶν εἰσιν

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this lord or master commended or praised this dishonest manager (καὶ ἐπῄνεσεν ὁ κύριος τὸν οἰκονόμον τῆς ἀδικίας) because he had acted shrewdly (ὅτι φρονίμως ἐποίησεν).  Once again, this term φρονίμως, meaning shrewdly, sensibly, wisely, or prudently, is unique to Luke among all the New Testament writers.  Jesus said that the children of this age (ὅτι οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου) were shrewder (φρονιμώτεροι) in dealing with their own generation (εἰς τὴν γενεὰν τὴν ἑαυτῶν εἰσιν) than are the sons or the children of light (ὑπὲρ τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ φωτὸς).  The sons of light are the righteous ones.  However, those people of this generation were more prudent, sensible, wise, or shrewd compared to the followers of Jesus, who tended to be imprudent in the eyes of the world.  Are you shrewd in business dealings?

No kisses (Lk 7:45-7:45)

“You gave me

No kiss.

However,

From the time

I came in,

She has not stopped

Kissing my feet.”

 

φίλημά μοι οὐκ ἔδωκας· αὕτη δὲ ἀφ’ ἧς εἰσῆλθον οὐ διέλειπεν καταφιλοῦσά μου τοὺς πόδας.

 

Luke uniquely had Jesus continue to reprimand Simon, the Pharisee, for his lack of hospitality compared to this sinning woman.  Jesus said that Simon gave him no greeting kiss (φίλημά μοι οὐκ ἔδωκας) when he came into his house.  This woman, on the other hand, since he came in (αὕτη δὲ ἀφ’ ἧς εἰσῆλθον), had not stopped kissing his feet (οὐ διέλειπεν καταφιλοῦσά μου τοὺς πόδας).  What a contrast?  Do you greet people with a kiss?

She was more concerned than you (Lk 7:44-7:44)

“Then turning toward

The woman,

Jesus said to Simon.

‘Do you see

This woman?

I entered your house.

You gave me

No water

For my feet.

But she has bathed

My feet

With her tears.

She has dried them

With her hair.’”

 

καὶ στραφεὶς πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα τῷ Σίμωνι ἔφη Βλέπεις ταύτην τὴν γυναῖκα; εἰσῆλθόν σου εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν, ὕδωρ μοι ἐπὶ πόδας οὐκ ἔδωκας· αὕτη δὲ τοῖς δάκρυσιν ἔβρεξέν μου τοὺς πόδας καὶ ταῖς θριξὶν αὐτῆς ἐξέμαξεν.

 

Luke said that Jesus turned toward the woman (καὶ στραφεὶς πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα), but he spoke to Simon (τῷ Σίμωνι ἔφη) in the second person singular.  Did he see this woman (Βλέπεις ταύτην τὴν γυναῖκα)?  Jesus had entered his house (εἰσῆλθόν σου εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν), but he had not given him any water for his feet (ὕδωρ μοι ἐπὶ πόδας οὐκ ἔδωκας).  However, she bathed and wiped his feet with her tears (αὕτη δὲ τοῖς δάκρυσιν ἔβρεξέν μου τοὺς πόδας).  She then dried his feet with her hair (καὶ ταῖς θριξὶν αὐτῆς ἐξέμαξεν).  Jesus compared what she had done to him and what Simon, the Pharisee, the host of this dinner party, had failed to do.  In both Mark, chapter 14:6, and Matthew, chapter 26:10, Jesus said that the women had done a good thing, but without any reprimand of the host, Simon the leper, like here.  Have you ever complained to the host or hostess at a dinner party?

Jesus spoke about John (Lk 7:24-7:24)

“When John’s messengers

Had gone,

Jesus began

To speak

To the crowds

About John.

‘What did you go out

Into the wilderness

To look at?

A reed shaken

By the wind?’”

 

Ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων Ἰωάνου ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς ὄχλους περὶ Ἰωάνου Τί ἐξήλθατε εἰς τὴν ἔρημον θεάσασθαι; κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον;

 

Luke indicated that after John’s messengers had gone (Ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων Ἰωάνου), Jesus began to speak (ἤρξατο λέγειν) to the crowds (πρὸς τοὺς ὄχλους) about John the Baptist (περὶ Ἰωάνου).  These questions are word for word like Matthew, chapter 7:24, indicating a possible Q source.  Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John.  He asked them what did they go out into the wilderness to look at (Τί ἐξήλθατε εἰς τὴν ἔρημον θεάσασθαι)?  Was it a reed shaken by the wind (κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον)?  Matthew indicated the same when he said that as these disciples of John were leaving on their journey, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John.  He asked them these questions.  Why did they go out into the wilderness to see John?  Was he a reed shaking in the wind?  This idea of the plentiful reeds waving in the desert would be compared to the luxury of a royal palace.  What do you think of John the Baptist?

Love (Lk 6:32-6:32)

“If you love

Those who love you,

What credit is that

To you?

Even sinners

Love those

Who love them.”

 

καὶ εἰ ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας ὑμᾶς, ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστίν; καὶ γὰρ οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας αὐτοὺς ἀγαπῶσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if you love those who love you (καὶ εἰ ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας ὑμᾶς), what credit or gift is that to you (ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστίν)?  Even sinners love those who love them (καὶ γὰρ οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας αὐτοὺς ἀγαπῶσιν).  Once again Matthew, chapter 5:46, and Luke, are almost the same.  Matthew had Jesus say that if you only loved those who loved you (ἐὰν γὰρ ἀγαπήσητε τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας ὑμᾶς), what kind of reward would you get (τίνα μισθὸν ἔχετε)?  However, Matthew compared them to the Roman tax collectors (οὐχὶ καὶ οἱ τελῶναι τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν) rather than sinners as here in Luke.  However, quite often tax collectors were compared to sinners.  If you love only those who love you, what kind of lover are you?

Four more apostles (Lk 6:15-6:15)

“Four more were

Matthew,

Thomas,

James,

The son of Alphaeus,

And Simon,

Who was called the Zealot.”

 

καὶ Μαθθαῖον καὶ Θωμᾶν, καὶ Ἰάκωβον Ἀλφαίου καὶ Σίμωνα τὸν καλούμενον Ζηλωτὴν,

 

This section about naming the 12 apostles is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:3-4, and Mark, chapter 3:18.  This list can also be compared to the list in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 1:13.  Matthew (καὶ Μαθθαῖον), or Levi, the tax collector, and doubting Thomas (καὶ Θωμᾶν) in John, chapter 20:19-29, are mentioned elsewhere in the gospels.  However, the other 2 apostles are not mentioned by name elsewhere in the gospels, James, the son of Alphaeus (καὶ Ἰάκωβον Ἀλφαίου), and Simon the Zealot (καὶ Σίμωνα τὸν καλούμενον Ζηλωτὴν).  Both of these men have some confusing comments about them in the other listings of the apostles.  In Mark 2:14, Levi or Matthew was called the son of Alphaeus just as James is here.  However, in the list of Mark, chapter 3:18, he also called James, the son of Alphaeus as here.  Were they brothers?  Mark also called this Simon the Cananaean.  Either this Simon was a Jewish zealot or a Cananaean.  Besides Simon, the leader called Peter, there was a mention of a Simon who was a leper and Pharisee Simon.  So that there were a lot of Simons in the gospel stories.