What to do? (Lk 6:11-6:11)

“But they

Were filled

With fury.

They discussed

With one another

What they might do

To Jesus.”

 

αὐτοὶ δὲ ἐπλήσθησαν ἀνοίας, καὶ διελάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους τί ἂν ποιήσαιεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ.

 

Luke said that they were filled with rage or fury (ὐτοὶ δὲ ἐπλήσθησαν ἀνοίας).  They discussed with one another (καὶ διελάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους) what they might do to Jesus (τί ἂν ποιήσαιεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ).  Matthew, chapter 12:14, and Mark, chapter 3:6, are similar to Luke.  However, Mark was the only one to mention both the Pharisees and the Herodians.  Matthew mentioned just the Pharisees, while Luke used the vague “they”.  Mark said that the Pharisees conspired with the Herodians against Jesus.  They wondered how they could destroy or kill him.  The Herodians were not a religious group but a political group that backed the Galilean governor Herod Antipas (4-39 CE).  Right from the beginning, there was this animosity between Jesus and the religious leaders of the Pharisees and the local political leaders of Herod.  Matthew has this episode end with only the Pharisees getting together to conspire to destroy Jesus.  However, the wording was a little different among these synoptic writers, but all these people conspired on how to grab, destroy, or kill Jesus.

Chariots of fire (Isa 66:15-66:16)

“Yahweh will come in fire.

His chariots will be

Like a whirlwind.

He will pay back his anger in fury.

His rebuke will be in the flames of fire.

Yahweh will execute judgment By fire.

Yahweh will execute judgment

By his sword upon all flesh.

Those slain by Yahweh shall be many.”

The prophet portrays Yahweh coming in fire with chariots, so that we have the chariots of fire. His anger and fury will be in the flames of this fire. He will execute his judgment with fire and the sword on everyone. Yahweh will kill many people.

Yahweh clothes himself with righteousness (Isa 59:15-59:17)

“Yahweh saw this.

It displeased him

That there was no justice.

He saw that there was no one.

He was appalled

That there was no one to intervene.

Thus his own arm brought him victory.

His righteousness upheld him.

He put on righteousness

Like a breastplate.

He put on a helmet of salvation

Upon his head.

He put on garments of vengeance

For clothing.

He wrapped himself in fury

As a mantle.”

Yahweh saw all this evil. He was displeased since there was no justice. He was appalled that no one had intervened in that situation. Thus he was going to bring victory with his mighty arm. Righteousness would be his breastplate out front. He would wear the helmet of salvation on his head. His garments would be for vengeance. His fury would be in his mantle coat. Yahweh, according to Third Isaiah, was dressed like a warrior ready for battle wearing the proper upright clothes.

Yahweh is the all powerful consoler (Isa 51:12-51:14)

“I!

I am he that comforts you!

Why then are you afraid

Of a mere mortal who must die?

Why are you afraid

Of a human being who fades like grass?

You have forgotten Yahweh!

Your Maker!

He stretched out the heavens!

He laid the foundations of the earth!

You fear continually all day long

Because of the fury of the oppressor.

Who is bent on destruction?

Where is the fury of the oppressor?

The oppressed shall speedily be released.

They shall not die.

They shall not go down to the Pit.

They shall not lack bread.”

Second Isaiah uses the first person singular so that there is no doubt that it is Yahweh who is speaking in comforting tones. He wanted to know why they were afraid of a mere mortal human being who was going to die also, like faded grass. They must have forgotten their maker that had, as usual, stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. Why were they afraid of the fury of their oppressors? Don’t worry! They will soon be released. They will not die and go into the Pit of the underground. Instead, they will have enough bread to eat.

The misery of the human condition (Sir 40:1-40:5)

“Hard work

Was created for everyone.

A heavy yoke is laid

On the children of Adam.

This begins

From the day they come forth

From their mother’s womb,

Until the day

They return

To the mother of all the living.

They have perplexities.

They have fear of heart.

They have their anxious thoughts

About the day of their death.

Whether one sits on a splendid throne,

Whether one grovels in dust,

Whether one grovels in ashes,

Whether one who wears purple,

Whether one wears a crown,

Whether one is clothed in burlap,

There is anger.

There is envy.

There is trouble.

There is unrest.

There is fear of death.

There is fury.

There is strife.”

Sirach indicates that hard work is for everyone. The children of Adam must wear a heavy yoke on their necks from the day they are born until the day they die. Humans are perplexed, fearful, and anxious about the day of their death. It does not matter whether they sit on a throne with a crown and purple clothing or grovel in dust and ashes wearing burlap, they all have the same troubles of anger, envy, unrest, fury, strife, and of course the fear of death.

Quarrels (Sir 28:8-28:12)

“Refrain from strife.

Your sins will be fewer.

The hot tempered kindle strife.

The sinner disrupts friendships.

The sinner sows discord

Among those who are at peace.

In proportion to the fuel,

So will the fire burn.

In proportion to the obstinacy,

So will strife increase.

In proportion to a person’s strength,

So will be his anger.

In proportion to his wealth,

So he will increase his wrath.

A hasty quarrel kindles a fire.

A hasty dispute sheds blood.

If you blow on a spark,

It will glow.

If you spit on it,

It will be put out.

Yet both come out of your mouth.”

Sirach reminds us of the problems with quarrels and arguments. If you refrain from conflicts, your sins will be less. Usually it is the hot tempered people who start disputes. Sinners disrupt friendships. They sow discord among peacemakers. Then Sirach has a number of proportional examples. The more fuel you have, the more the fire burns. The more stubborn you are, the more disagreements you create. The stronger you are, the more you will be angry. The more wealth that you have, the more fury you will have. Sometimes it is a hasty quarrel that starts a fire that leads to bloodshed. However, you have control with your mouth. You can either blow on the spark to increase the flame or spit on the spark to put it out. The choice is yours, spit or blow on the spark of a fire to increase or decrease the argument.