The finger of God (Lk 11:20-11:20)

“But if it is

By the finger of God

That I cast out

The demons,

Then the kingdom of God

Has come

To you.”

 

εἰ δὲ ἐν δακτύλῳ Θεοῦ ἐγὼ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια, ἄρα ἔφθασεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that it was by the finger of God (εἰ δὲ ἐν δακτύλῳ Θεοῦ) that he cast out these demons (ἐγὼ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια).  Thus, the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) has come to them (ἄρα ἔφθασεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς).  There is a similar statement in Matthew, chapter 12:28.  However, Luke talked about the finger of God rather than the Spirit of God, like Matthew.  In Exodus, chapter 8:19, the Egyptian magicians referred to Moses’ power as the finger of God.  Notice that Matthew said that the Kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) had come, not the Kingdom of heaven, as he said many times earlier in this work.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that if he cast out the demons with the Spirit or breathe of God (εἰ δὲ ἐν Πνεύματι Θεοῦ ἐγὼ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια), then the kingdom of God had come or arrived for them (ἄρα ἔφθασεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  The end times had already begun.  Have you ever experienced the finger of God?

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Golgotha (Mt 27:33-27:34)

“They came to a place

Called Golgotha.

This means

Place of a skull.

They offered him

Wine to drink.

This wine was

Mixed with gall.

But when Jesus

Tasted it,

He would not drink it.”

 

Καὶ ἐλθόντες εἰς τόπον λεγόμενον Γολγοθᾶ, ὅ ἐστιν κρανίου τόπος λεγόμενος,

ἔδωκαν αὐτῷ πιεῖν οἶνον μετὰ χολῆς μεμιγμένον· καὶ γευσάμενος οὐκ ἠθέλησεν πιεῖν.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:22-23, but Mark has myrrh not gall.  In Luke, chapter 23:33, the place was simple called the skull, while in John, chapter 19:17, it was also called Golgotha with the explanation.  Matthew said that they came to a place called Golgotha (Καὶ ἐλθόντες εἰς τόπον λεγόμενον Γολγοθᾶ) that means “Place of a skull (ὅ ἐστιν κρανίου τόπος λεγόμενος).”  There they offered him some wine to drink (ἔδωκαν αὐτῷ πιεῖν οἶνον) in order to dull the pain.  This wine was mixed with gall or bitter herbs (μετὰ χολῆς μεμιγμένον).  But when Jesus experienced this taste (καὶ γευσάμενος), he did not want to drink it (οὐκ ἠθέλησεν πιεῖν).  This Golgotha apparently is a transliteration of the Aramaic word for skull.  This place was near Jerusalem.  The exact location is not known, but the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the traditional place for Calvary, based on the Latin translation of Golgotha, probably a little east of Jerusalem.

Discernment (Sir 36:23-36:25)

“The stomach

Will take any food.

Yet one food is

Better than another.

As the palate

Tastes the kinds of game,

So an intelligent mind

Detects false words.

A perverse mind

Will cause grief.

But a person

With experience

Will pay him back.”

Sirach points out that just as your taste buds can tell the difference between various kinds of food, so too the mind should be able to discern the difference between true and false words. Both the stomach and the mind can absorb all kinds of foods and words. However, just as one food is better for you than another, so too the perverse mind can cause grief. The experienced person will be able to verbally payback the false words and the perverse minds.

The ill-mannered fool (Sir 21:22-21:24)

“The foot of a fool

Rushes into a house.

But an experienced person

Waits respectfully outside.

A boor peers into the house

From the door.

But a cultivated person

Remains outside.

It is ill-mannered

For a person to listen at a door.

The discreet person

Would be grieved by this disgrace.”

Sirach explains the actions of an ill-mannered fool. This fool rudely rushes into a house, while a more experienced wise person would wait respectfully outside the house at the door. A boorish fool would peer in through the windows, but the cultivated wise man would remain outside. This ill-mannered fool would listen at the door, but the discreet wise person would be ashamed and disgraced by this kind of behavior.

The escape from Egypt (Wis 19:1-19:5)

“The ungodly were assailed to the end

By pitiless anger.

God knew in advance

Even their future actions.

Even though they themselves had permitted

Your people to depart,

As they hastily sent them forth.

They would change their minds.

They would pursue them.

While they were still busy in mourning,

As they were lamenting

At the graves of their dead,

They reached another foolish decision.

They pursued as fugitives

Those whom they had begged to depart.

They had compelled them to depart.

The fate that they deserved

Drew them on to this end.

Fate made them forget

What had happened.

Thus they might fill up the punishment

That their torments still lacked.

Thus your people might experience an incredible journey.

However they themselves might meet a strange death.”

Once again, without any specific mention of the Red Sea incident in Exodus, chapter 13, there is an explanation of that event that is unmistakable. These ungodly (ἀσεβέσι) Egyptians had let God’s chosen ones go. However, they changed their minds. They were still in mourning, lamenting at the graves of their dead (νεκρῶν) children. Then they made another foolish decision, even thought God knew in advance that they would. Although they had begged and compelled the Israelites to leave, they now decided to pursue them as fugitives. For this, they deserved the fate that awaited them. While the people of God (λαός σου) experienced an incredible journey, these ungodly people met a strange death (θάνατον) at the Red Sea.

 

Where is wisdom? (Job 12:11-12:12)

“Does not the ear test words?

Does the palate taste food?

Is wisdom with the aged?

Is understanding in length of days?”

Where can we find wisdom? Our ears hear words. Our palate tastes food. Are the aged those who have gained real wisdom simply because they have lived so long and experienced so much? Is not God’s wisdom greater than this?

Where can we find wisdom? Our ears hear words. Our palate tastes food. Are the aged those who have gained real wisdom simply because they have lived so long and experienced so much? Is not God’s wisdom greater than this?