The kingdom of God (Lk 14:15-14:15)

“One of the dinner guests,

On hearing this,

Said to Jesus.

‘Blessed is anyone

Who will eat bread

In the kingdom of God!’”

 

Ἀκούσας δέ τις τῶν συνανακειμένων ταῦτα εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μακάριος ὅστις φάγεται ἄρτον ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke uniquely continued with this dinner party among the Pharisees.  Luke indicated that one of the dinner guests reclining at table with Jesus heard Jesus talk about the end times (Ἀκούσας δέ τις τῶν συνανακειμένων ταῦτα).  He said to Jesus (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that anyone would be blessed, fortunate or happy (Μακάριος) if they could eat bread (ὅστις φάγεται ἄρτον) in the kingdom of God (ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This Pharisee seemed to appreciate that the end times were coming when they would eat bread in the kingdom of God.  Would you like an earthly reward or a heavenly reward?

Invite the needy (Lk 14:13-14:13)

“But when you give

A banquet,

Invite the poor!

Invite the crippled!

Invite the lame!

Invite the blind!”

 

ἀλλ’ ὅταν δοχὴν ποιῇς, κάλει πτωχούς, ἀναπήρους, χωλούς, τυφλούς·

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus had other plans about dinner guests.  When anyone gave a dinner party or feast (ἀλλ’ ὅταν δοχὴν ποιῇς), Jesus listed the people who this Pharisee should invite (κάλει), the poor (πτωχούς), the crippled (ἀναπήρους), the lame (χωλούς) and the blind (τυφλούς).  These were not the elite of society who would get the higher places because of their distinguished positions.  Do you know anyone who invites these kinds of people to a dinner party?

The afterparty disputed conversation (Lk 11:53-11:53)

“When Jesus went outside,

The Scribes

And the Pharisees

Began to be

Very hostile

Towards Jesus.

They wanted

To cross examine him

About many things,”

 

Κἀκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ ἤρξαντο οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι δεινῶς ἐνέχειν καὶ ἀποστοματίζειν αὐτὸν περὶ πλειόνων,

 

Luke uniquely indicated that when this dinner party with the Pharisees was over, Jesus and the others went outside (Κἀκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ).  Then the Scribes (οἱ γραμματεῖς) and the Pharisees (καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι) began (ἤρξαντο) to be very hostile or urgently press Jesus (δεινῶς ἐνέχειν).  They wanted to cross examine him (καὶ ἀποστοματίζειν αὐτὸν) about many things (περὶ πλειόνων).  This is the only time that the word ἀποστοματίζειν is used in all the Scripture literature, meaning something like drawing out by questioning.  This was the first mention of the Scribes in this section.  You can see that after all these diatribes against the Pharisees and the Mosaic lawyers, they may have had some questions for Jesus.  He would have to do some explaining to them about what he meant.  This was not a happy ending to a dinner party.  Have you ever been to a dinner party that ended badly?

The reproach (Lk 11:45-11:45)

“One of the lawyers

Answered him.

‘Teacher!

When you say

These things,

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?

The graves (Lk 11:44-11:44)

“Woe to you!

You are

Like unmarked graves.

People walk

Over them

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?

The Pharisee dinner (Lk 11:37-11:37)

“While Jesus

Was speaking,

A Pharisee

Invited Jesus

To dine with him.

Thus,

Jesus went in.

He took his place

Reclining at the table.”

 

Ἐν δὲ τῷ λαλῆσαι ἐρωτᾷ αὐτὸν Φαρισαῖος ὅπως ἀριστήσῃ παρ’ αὐτῷ· εἰσελθὼν δὲ ἀνέπεσεν

 

Luke uniquely indicated that while Jesus was speaking (Ἐν δὲ τῷ λαλῆσαι), a Pharisee invited Jesus (ἐρωτᾷ αὐτὸν Φαρισαῖος) to dine with him (ὅπως ἀριστήσῃ παρ’ αὐτῷ).  Thus, Jesus went in and took his place reclining at the table (εἰσελθὼν δὲ ἀνέπεσεν).  This is the second of 3 times that Jesus will uniquely have a dinner with a Pharisee, earlier in chapter 7:36 and later in chapter 14:1.  Earlier Luke had said that one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him.  Thus, Jesus went into the Pharisee’s house.  He took his place reclining at the table.  Then the sinful woman appeared.  In each case, the Pharisees were watching Jesus very closely.  However, he must have been on speaking terms with these Jewish leaders to get this invitation.  Thus, the hostility with the Pharisees did not seem to be personal but rather theological or philosophical over their interpretation of the divine role in Jewish life.  Matthew, chapter 15:1, and Mark, chapter 7:1, had a confrontation with the Pharisees and the Scribes who came to Jesus from Jerusalem.  The Pharisees were a political party, a social movement, and a religious school of thought that became the basis for later Rabbinic Judaism.  They had their own expert explanations of Jewish law that sometimes appeared to be hypocritical or arrogant, with the letter of the law above its spirit.  They had a form of Judaism that extended beyond the Temple.  These Pharisees in the New Testament continually engaged in conflicts with Jesus and his disciples.  However, here it will be personal confrontation at a dinner party.  Do you have dinner with people that you disagree with?

Who can forgive sins? (Lk 7:49-7:49)

“Those who were

At the table

With Jesus

Began to say

Among themselves.

‘Who is this?

Who even forgives sins?’”

 

καὶ ἤρξαντο οἱ συνανακείμενοι λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς Τίς οὗτός ἐστιν, ὃς καὶ ἁμαρτίας ἀφίησιν;

 

Luke uniquely had this response from those at this dinner party.  Luke said that those who were reclining at the table with Jesus began to say among themselves (καὶ ἤρξαντο οἱ συνανακείμενοι λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς) who was this who even forgives sins (Τίς οὗτός ἐστιν, ὃς καὶ ἁμαρτίας ἀφίησιν)?  This was a common topic among the Pharisees, since they maintained that only God could forgive sins, not this itinerant Galilean preacher.  Do you believe that Jesus can forgive your sins?