Lovers of money (Lk 16:14-16:14)

“The Pharisees,

Who were lovers

Of money,

Heard all this.

They ridiculed Jesus.”

 

Ἤκουον δὲ ταῦτα πάντα οἱ Φαρισαῖοι φιλάργυροι ὑπάρχοντες, καὶ ἐξεμυκτήριζον αὐτόν.

 

Once again, this is a unique statement of Luke, not found in the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that the Pharisees (οἱ Φαρισαῖοι), who were lovers of money (φιλάργυροι ὑπάρχοντες), heard all this (Ἤκουον δὲ ταῦτα πάντα).  They ridiculed Jesus (καὶ ἐξεμυκτήριζον αὐτόν).  Obviously, Luke was very much opposed to wealth, as this was an insult to the Pharisees to call them money lovers.  Luke was the only biblical writer who used the term ἐξεμυκτήριζον that means to hold up your nose in derision, deride, scoff at, or mock.  Thus, there was some antipathy between Jesus and the Pharisees that shows up all the time.  Are you a lover of money?

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Personal lament of Jeremiah (Jer 20:7-20:9)

“Yahweh!

You have enticed me!

I was enticed!

You have overpowered me!

You have prevailed!

I have become a laughingstock

All day long!

Every one mocks me!

Whenever I speak,

I must cry out!

I must shout!

‘Violence!

Destruction!’

The word of Yahweh

Has become for me

A reproach.

It has become

A derision all day long.

If I say.

‘I will not mention him,

I will not speak any more

In his name,’

Then within me

There is something

Like a burning fire

Shut up in my bones.

I am weary

With holding it in.

I cannot.”

Jeremiah seems to blame Yahweh for enticing him into being a prophet in this personal lament. Yahweh has overpowered him so that he cannot prevail. He has become a laughing stock all day long, as everyone mocks him. Every time Jeremiah cries out “violence and destruction” to others, they reproach and deride him, despite the fact that it is the word of God in him. If he tries not to mention Yahweh and not speak about him, then there is something within him like a burning fire in his bones. Jeremiah was tired of holding it in. Thus he has no other option than to shout it out despite everything that happened to him. He can no longer hold it in.

Scoffers (Prov 9:7-9:12)

“Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse.

Whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt.

A scoffer who is rebuked,

Will only hate you.

The wise man,

When rebuked,

Will love you.

Give instruction to the wise.

They will become wiser still.

Teach the righteous,

They will gain in learning.

The fear of Yahweh

Is the beginning of wisdom.

The knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

By me,

Your days will be multiplied.

By me,

Years will be added to your life.

If you are wise,

You are wise for yourself.

If you scoff,

You alone will bear it.”

If you mock or deride people as scoffers, there is no sense in rebuking you. You will only get hurt and abused because you are as if rebuking a wicked person. They will hate you. On the other hand, if you give instruction to the wise ones, they will become wiser still. If you teach the righteous, they will gain in learning. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of Yahweh. The knowledge of the Holy One leads to insight. Wisdom will multiple your days and years. If you are wise, it will go well with you. If you are a scoffer or cynic, you will bear the whole burden alone.