The Pharisee prayer (Lk 18:11-18:11)

“The Pharisee,

Standing by himself,

Was praying thus.

‘God!

I thank you

That I am not

Like other people.

I am not

A thief,

A wicked person,

An adulterer,

Or even

Like this tax collector.’”

 

ὁ Φαρισαῖος σταθεὶς ταῦτα πρὸς ἑαυτὸν προσηύχετο Ὁ Θεός, εὐχαριστῶ σοι ὅτι οὐκ εἰμὶ ὥσπερ οἱ λοιποὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ἅρπαγες, ἄδικοι, μοιχοί, ἢ καὶ ὡς οὗτος ὁ τελώνης·

 

Luke has Jesus tell a parable about this Pharisee and a tax collector that is only found in this gospel.  Luke indicated that Jesus said this Pharisee stood by himself (ὁ Φαρισαῖος σταθεὶς ταῦτα πρὸς ἑαυτὸν).  He was praying (προσηύχετο) to God.  He said thank you to God (Ὁ Θεός, εὐχαριστῶ σοι) that he was not like other people (ὅτι οὐκ εἰμὶ ὥσπερ οἱ λοιποὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων).  He was not a thief, a robber, or a swindler (ἅρπαγες), unjust, unrighteous, or wicked (ἄδικοι), or an adulterer (μοιχοί), or even like this tax collector (ἢ καὶ ὡς οὗτος ὁ τελώνης).  This Pharisee considered himself a just, righteous person, not like other sinners who were evil.  Certainly, he was happy not to be a terrible Roman tax collector, like that other person in the Temple.  Thus, he uttered the prayer of an upstanding righteous Jewish person.  Do you thank God that you are better than other people?

 

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Your eye (Lk 11:34-11:34)

“Your eye

Is the lamp

Of your body.

If your eye

Is sound,

Your whole body

Is full of light.

But if it is evil,

Your body

Is full of darkness.”

 

ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου. ὅταν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς ᾖ, καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινόν ἐστιν· ἐπὰν δὲ πονηρὸς ᾖ, καὶ τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινόν

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that their eye (ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου) was the lamp of their body (ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν).  If their eye was clear, sound, or healthy (ὅταν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς ᾖ), their whole body would be full of light (καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινόν ἐστιν).  But if it was evil (ἐπὰν δὲ πονηρὸς ᾖ), their body was then full of darkness (καὶ τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινόν).  This saying of Jesus is similar to what was in Matthew, chapter 6:22-23, so that it may be from the Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the eye was the lamp of the body (Ὁ λύχνος τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν ὁ ὀφθαλμός).  If there was a healthy clear sound eye (ἐὰν οὖν ᾖ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ἁπλοῦς), then you would have a whole body full of light (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινὸν ἔσται).  This is the only time that the word “ἁπλοῦς” is used in the New Testament literature.  Both Luke and Matthew used it here, since it means simple, sound, clear, or perfect.  If, on the other hand, your eye was not healthy or evil (ἐὰν δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρὸς ᾖ), your whole body would be full of darkness (ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου σκοτεινὸν ἔσται).  Notice that Matthew and Luke did not use the opposite of clear, but chose the more common word for evil, “πονηρὸς.”  Thus, you had an evil eye.  On the other hand, both Luke and Matthew used a word that appears only here, “σκοτεινὸν,” to talk about a full total darkness.  If the light that is in you is dark (εἰ οὖν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἐν σοὶ σκότος ἐστίν), that is a really great darkness (τὸ σκότος πόσον).  Light and darkness was a common theme among the early Christians.  Light was good, but darkness was evil.  The connection of light to the eye was natural, since the sense of blindness and darkness centered around the eyes.  The good-eyed person, like the good-hearted person, was compassionate, while the evil-eyed person, like a hard-hearted person, was selfish and miserly.  Do you have good eyes or evil eyes?

Not against you (Lk 9:50-9:50)

“But Jesus

Said to him.

‘Do not stop him!

Whoever

Is not against you

Is for you.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν Ἰησοῦς Μὴ κωλύετε· ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν καθ’ ὑμῶν, ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐστιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told them (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν Ἰησοῦς) not to stop (Μὴ κωλύετε) this exorcist who was casting out demons in the name of Jesus.  Jesus said that whoever is not against them (ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν καθ’ ὑμῶν) is for them (ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐστιν).  There is a similar statement to this in Mark, chapter 9:39-40, but not in MatthewMark indicated that Jesus told them not to stop or prevent this exorcist who used his name.  Jesus said that no one who did a deed of exorcistic power in his name would be able to easily or readily speak evil of him, after what they had done.  You were a friend until you became an enemy.  If they were not against Jesus, then they must be for him.  Do you think that anybody is really against you?

The demons did not want to go into the abyss (Lk 8:31-8:31)

“The demons

Begged Jesus

Not to order them

To go away

Into the abyss.”

 

καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν ἵνα μὴ ἐπιτάξῃ αὐτοῖς εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον ἀπελθεῖν.

 

Luke indicated that these unclean spirits or demons in the possessed man begged Jesus (καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν) not to order them (ἵνα μὴ ἐπιτάξῃ αὐτοῖς) to go away into the abyss (εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον ἀπελθεῖν), the home of the dead or evil spirits.  There was something similar in Mark, chapter 5:10, but not in MatthewMark said that this demoniac begged, entreated, or beseeched Jesus many times not to send them, the evil unclean spirits, away to another country or out of this country.  Luke said that these evil spirits did not want to go anywhere.  These evil spirits wanted to remain where they were, since they were content there.  Are you content where you are today?

The seeds on the path do not believe (Lk 8:12-8:12)

“The seeds

On the path

Are those who have heard.

Then the devil comes,

He takes away

The word

From their hearts.

Thus,

They may not believe

And be saved.”

 

οἱ δὲ παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες, εἶτα ἔρχεται ὁ διάβολος καὶ αἴρει τὸν λόγον ἀπὸ τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν, ἵνα μὴ πιστεύσαντες σωθῶσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the seeds on the path (οἱ δὲ παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν) are like those people who have heard the word (εἰσιν οἱ ἀκούσαντες).  However, the devil comes (εἶτα ἔρχεται ὁ διάβολος), and takes away this word (καὶ αἴρει τὸν λόγον) from their hearts (ἀπὸ τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν).  Thus, they do not believe (ἵνα μὴ πιστεύσαντες) and are not saved (σωθῶσιν).  This explanation about the seeds on the path can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels.  Matthew, chapter 13:19, Mark, chapter 4:15, and here.  Mark indicated that Jesus explained that the seeds on the path or the road were the people who heard the word, but immediately Satan, and not the devil, came in the form of the birds.  Satan or the birds took away the sown seeds or the words that had been sown in them, the holy words.  Thus, the birds were the evil Satan that came and devoured them, because they did not understand the words within them.  Matthew said that they did not understand what they heard, so that the birds or the evil one, not Satan or the devil, would come and seize or snatch away what had been sown in their hearts, the words of the kingdom.  Once again, the birds were the evil ones that came and devoured the seeds, because they did not understand the words of the kingdom.  All 3 synoptic gospels indicate that listening to the word was not enough.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.  Have you let evil birds take away your belief in the word of God?

The good and evil man (Lk 6:45-6:45)

“The good person,

Out of the good treasure

Of his heart,

Produces good.

The evil person,

Out of his evil treasure,

Produces evil.

Out of the abundance

Of the heart,

The mouth speaks.”

 

ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ τῆς καρδίας προφέρει τὸ ἀγαθόν, καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ προφέρει τὸ πονηρόν· ἐκ γὰρ περισσεύματος καρδίας λαλεῖ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his sayings.  The good person (ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος), out of the good treasure of his heart (ἐκ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ τῆς καρδίας), produces good things (προφέρει τὸ ἀγαθόν).  The evil person (καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς), out of his evil treasure (ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ), produces evil (προφέρει τὸ πονηρόν).  Out of the abundance of the heart (ἐκ γὰρ περισσεύματος καρδίας), the mouth speaks (λαλεῖ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ).  The heart was considered the moral center of a person.  Thus, we often say a person has a good heart.  Just like a tree, if the heart is good or evil, it will show up in either good or evil deeds and words.  This is similar to Matthew, chapter 12:35, thus indicating a possible Q source.  Matthew had Jesus speak about the same theme that only good can come from good people and only bad can come from bad people.  This is a common-sense statement that talks about the good and the evil people.  The good or kind person brought good things out of his good treasure or storehouse.  The evil or wicked person brought evil things out of his evil treasure or storehouse.  There never was any ambiguity.  Your treasure, your storehouse, your heart, or your morality would be revealed in your words or deeds.  What do you reveal in your activities?