Why do you question me? (Lk 5:22-5:22)

“When Jesus

Perceived their questionings,

He answered them.

‘Why do you raise

Such questions

In your hearts?’”

 

ἐπιγνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοὺς διαλογισμοὺς αὐτῶν ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Τί διαλογίζεσθε ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν;

 

Luke said that when Jesus perceived their questionings and what they were considering (ἐπιγνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοὺς διαλογισμοὺς αὐτῶν), he answered by asking them (ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) why were they raising such questions in their hearts (ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς).  Mark, chapter 2:8, and Matthew, chapter 9:4, are similar to Luke, with Luke closer to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this saying.  Mark said that Jesus immediately seemed to know what they were thinking.  Jesus then asked them why they were discussing or raising such questions in their hearts, just like here.  He asked them why they had such evil thoughts, as indicated in Matthew.  Jesus turned the tables on them by exposing their evil thoughts.

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Jesus questions his detractors (Mk 2:8-2:8)

“Immediately,

Jesus perceived

In his spirit

That they were discussing

These questions

Among themselves.

He said to them.

‘Why do you raise

Such questions

In your hearts?’”

 

καὶ εὐθὺς ἐπιγνοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ πνεύματι αὐτοῦ ὅτι οὕτως διαλογίζονται ἐν ἑαυτοῖς, λέγει αὐτοῖς Τί ταῦτα διαλογίζεσθε ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν;

 

Luke, chapter 5:22, and Matthew, chapter 9:4, are similar to Mark, with Luke closer to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this saying.  Mark said that Jesus immediately seemed to know with his spirit what they were thinking (καὶ εὐθὺς ἐπιγνοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ πνεύματι αὐτοῦ).  They were discussing, debating, or considering this among themselves (ὅτι οὕτως διαλογίζονται ἐν ἑαυτοῖς).  However, the text did not indicate that they had been discussing this issue among themselves, but only in their hearts.  Jesus then asked them (λέγει αὐτοῖς) why they were discussing or raising such questions in their hearts (Τί ταῦτα διαλογίζεσθε ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν).  He did not call them evil thoughts as Matthew had done in chapter 9:4.

The mouth speaks from the heart (Mt 15:18-15:20)

“But what comes out

Of the mouth

Proceeds from the heart.

This is what defiles a man.

Out of the heart

Come

Evil thoughts,

Murder,

Adultery,

Fornication,

Theft,

False witness,

And slander.

These are what

Defile a man.

But to eat

With unwashed hands

Does not defile a man.”

 

τὰ δὲ ἐκπορευόμενα ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ἐκ τῆς καρδίας ἐξέρχεται, κἀκεῖνα κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον.

ἐκ γὰρ τῆς καρδίας ἐξέρχονται διαλογισμοὶ πονηροί, φόνοι, μοιχεῖαι, πορνεῖαι, κλοπαί, ψευδομαρτυρίαι, βλασφημίαι.

ταῦτά ἐστιν τὰ κοινοῦντα τὸν ἄνθρωπον· τὸ δὲ ἀνίπτοις χερσὶν φαγεῖν οὐ κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον.

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 6:20-23.  Jesus indicated that the true defilement was what came out of a person’s mouth, not what went into it.  He clearly explained defilement.  What came out of the mouth (τὰ δὲ ἐκπορευόμενα ἐκ τοῦ στόματος) proceeded from the heart (ἐκ τῆς καρδίας ἐξέρχεται).  That is what defiled a man (κἀκεῖνα κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον).  Out of the heart came (ἐκ γὰρ τῆς καρδίας ἐξέρχονται) such things as evil or wicked thoughts, plots or deliberations (διαλογισμοὶ πονηροί), murders or killings (φόνοι), adulteries (μοιχεῖαι), sexual immoralities, fornication or pornography (πορνεῖαι), theft (κλοπαί), false witness or false testimony (ψευδομαρτυρίαι), and slander, abusive language, or blasphemy (βλασφημίαι).  These were the things that defiled a man or person (ταῦτά ἐστιν τὰ κοινοῦντα τὸν ἄνθρωπον).  You can clearly see what Jesus, his disciples, and the early Christian community considered as sins or defilements that made a person unclean.  But to eat with unwashed hands did not defile a man (δὲ ἀνίπτοις χερσὶν φαγεῖν οὐ κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον) or make him unclean.  Notice that there is no mention of any unclean foods as in Mark.  Perhaps the Jewish Christians around Matthew still held to Jewish dietary laws.

Did Jesus blaspheme? (Mt 9:3-9:4)

“Then some of the scribes

Said to themselves.

‘This man is blaspheming.’”

But Jesus,

Perceiving their thoughts,

Said.

‘Why do you think evil

In your hearts?’”

 

καὶ ἰδού τινες τῶν γραμματέων εἶπαν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς Οὗτος βλασφημεῖ.

καὶ εἰδὼς ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὰς ἐνθυμήσεις αὐτῶν εἶπεν Ἵνα τί ἐνθυμεῖσθε πονηρὰ ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν;

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 2:6-8, and Luke, chapter 5:21-22, about the scribes and blasphemy.  Interesting enough, Matthew does not mention the Pharisees here.  Some of these scribes seem to be talking to themselves, but not to others (καὶ ἰδού τινες τῶν γραμματέων εἶπαν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς).  These scribes were religious experts who determined the traditions to be followed.  They were professional copiers of manuscript documents, although they had a wider role in Jewish society.  They might have been the fore-runners of the rabbinic class that was developing at that time.  They thought that Jesus was blaspheming (Οὗτος βλασφημεῖ).  Blasphemers used scurrilous or irreverent language about God.  Jesus seemed to know what they were thinking (καὶ εἰδὼς ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὰς ἐνθυμήσεις αὐτῶν) and saying to themselves.  He asked them why they had such evil thoughts in their hearts (εἶπεν Ἵνα τί ἐνθυμεῖσθε πονηρὰ ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν).  Thus, Jesus turned the tables on them by exposing their evil thoughts.