Possessions (Lk 12:15-12:15)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Take care!

Be on your guard

Against all kinds of greed!

One’s life

Does not consist

In the abundance

Of possessions.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς Ὁρᾶτε καὶ φυλάσσεσθε ἀπὸ πάσης πλεονεξίας, ὅτι οὐκ ἐν τῷ περισσεύειν τινὶ ἡ ζωὴ αὐτοῦ ἐστιν ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐτῷ.

 

Luke had another unique saying of Jesus about worldly possessions.  Jesus said to them (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς) to take care (Ὁρᾶτε) and guard against all kinds of greed (καὶ φυλάσσεσθε ἀπὸ πάσης πλεονεξίας).  Their life did not consist of merely an abundance of possessions (ὅτι οὐκ ἐν τῷ περισσεύειν τινὶ ἡ ζωὴ αὐτοῦ ἐστιν ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων αὐτῷ).  Jesus warned them about a life of greed that was only measured by how many things they owned.  This is a particularly good message for a highly technological society where access to wealth is reasonably easy.  Do you judge your life by where you live and what you own?

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The outside of the cup (Lk 11:39-11:39)

“Then the Lord

Said to the Pharisee.

‘Now you Pharisees!

You clean

The outside

Of the cup

And of the dish,

But inside,

You are full

Of greed

And wickedness.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος πρὸς αὐτόν Νῦν ὑμεῖς οἱ Φαρισαῖοι τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ ποτηρίου καὶ τοῦ πίνακος καθαρίζετε, τὸ δὲ ἔσωθεν ὑμῶν γέμει ἁρπαγῆς καὶ πονηρίας.

 

Luke indicated that the Lord Jesus said to the Pharisee (εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος πρὸς αὐτόν) that they, the Pharisees (Νῦν ὑμεῖς οἱ Φαρισαῖοι), clean (καθαρίζετε) the outside of the cup and the dish (τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ ποτηρίου καὶ τοῦ πίνακος).  However, their inside (τὸ δὲ ἔσωθεν ὑμῶν) was full of (γέμει) greed or plundering (ἁρπαγῆς) and evil wickedness (καὶ πονηρίας).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:25-26, but Jesus was cursing the Pharisees there.  Matthew said that Jesus continued to curse the Pharisees and the Scribes as hypocrites for their impure hearts or intentions.  They cleaned the outside of the cup and the plate, but let the inside remain full of greed or robbery and self-indulgence.  Jesus called them blind Pharisees.  He reminded them to first clean the inside of their cups and their plates.  Then. the outside would be clean also.  Their interior heart was important.  Luke repeated that same message here.  How clean are you on the inside?

Judas Iscariot (Mk 14:10-14:10)

“Then Judas Iscariot,

Who was one of the twelve,

Went to the chief priests

In order to betray Jesus

To them.”

 

Καὶ Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριὼθ, ὁ εἷς τῶν δώδεκα, ἀπῆλθεν πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς ἵνα αὐτὸν παραδοῖ αὐτοῖς.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:14, and somewhat similar in Luke, chapter 22:3-4, and in John, chapter 13:2, where Satan played a role.  Here in Mark, there is just the simple statement that Judas Iscariot (Καὶ Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριὼθ), one of the beloved 12 leaders or apostles (ὁ εἷς τῶν δώδεκα) went to the chief priests (ἀπῆλθεν πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς).  He wanted to betray or turn over Jesus to these high priests (ἵνα αὐτὸν παραδοῖ αὐτοῖς).  Apparently, according to John, chapter 12:6, Judas had been in charge of their common money, but he was stealing from this fund.  Thus, there may have been financial reasons or greed pushing Judas to betray Jesus.  John seems to be much more vehemently opposed to Judas.

Judas Iscariot (Mt 26:14-26:14)

“Then one of the twelve,

Who was called

Judas Iscariot,

Went to the chief priests.”

 

Τότε πορευθεὶς εἷς τῶν δώδεκα, ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριώτης, πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:10, and somewhat similar in Luke, chapter 22:3-5, and in John, chapter 13:2, where Satan played a role.  Here in Matthew, there is just the simple statement that the man called Judas Iscariot (ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριώτης), one of the beloved 12 leaders or apostles (εἷς τῶν δώδεκα) went to the chief priests (Τότε πορευθεὶς…πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς).  Apparently, according to John, chapter 12:6, Judas had been in charge of their common money, but he was stealing from this fund.  Thus, there may have been financial reasons or greed pushing Judas to betray Jesus.  John seems to be much more vehemently opposed to Judas.

The inside and outside of the cup (Mt 23:25-23:26)

“Woe to you!

Scribes!

Woe to you!

Pharisees!

Hypocrites!

You clean

The outside

Of the cup

And of the plate.

But inside,

They are full

Of greed

And self-indulgence.

You blind Pharisees!

First cleanse

The inside

Of the cup

And of the plate.

Thus,

The outside

May be clean also.”

 

Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι καθαρίζετε τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ ποτηρίου καὶ τῆς παροψίδος, ἔσωθεν δὲ γέμουσιν ἐξ ἁρπαγῆς καὶ ἀκρασίας.

Φαρισαῖε τυφλέ, καθάρισον πρῶτον τὸ ἐντὸς τοῦ ποτηρίου ἵνα γένηται καὶ τὸ ἐκτὸς αὐτοῦ καθαρόν.

 

There is something similar in Luke, chapter 11:39-40, but Jesus was eating with the Pharisees there.  Here, Jesus continued to curse the Pharisees and the Scribes, much like earlier in verses 13, 14, and 15.  The first part of this diatribe is exactly the same as those earlier verses.  Woe to you (Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν)!  Scribes (γραμματεῖς)!  Woe to you!  Pharisees (καὶ Φαρισαῖοι)!  Hypocrites (ὑποκριταί)!  There is no doubt that here Jesus was cursing the Scribes and the Pharisees.  This time it was against the Pharisees for their impure hearts or intentions.  They cleaned the outside of the cup and the plate (ὅτι καθαρίζετε τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ ποτηρίου καὶ τῆς παροψίδος), but let the inside remain full of greed or robbery and self-indulgence (ἔσωθεν δὲ γέμουσιν ἐξ ἁρπαγῆς καὶ ἀκρασίας).  Jesus called them blind Pharisees (Φαρισαῖε τυφλέ).  He reminded them to first clean the inside of their cups and their plates (ὅτι καθαρίζετε τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ ποτηρίου καὶ τῆς παροψίδος,).  Then. the outside would be clean also (ἵνα γένηται καὶ τὸ ἐκτὸς αὐτοῦ καθαρόν).  Their interior heart was important.

Menelaus is acquitted (2 Macc 4:43-4:50)

“Charges were brought against Menelaus about this incident in Jerusalem. When the king came to Tyre, three men sent by the senate presented the case before him. But Menelaus, already as good as beaten, promised a substantial bribe to Ptolemy son of Dorymenes to win over the king. Therefore Ptolemy, taking the king aside into a colonnade as if for refreshment, induced the king to change his mind. He acquitted Menelaus, the cause of all the trouble, of the charges against him. Meanwhile, the king sentenced to death those unfortunate men, who would have been freed un-condemned if they had pleaded even before the Scythians. So those who had spoken for the city, the villages, and the holy vessels quickly suffered the unjust penalty. Therefore even the Tyrians, showing their hatred of the crime, provided magnificently for their funeral. But Menelaus, because of the greed of those in power, remained in office. He grew in wickedness. He had become the chief plotter against his fellow citizens.”

There were charges brought against Menelaus concerning this whole affair of Lysimachus in Jerusalem. King Antiochus IV came to Tyre to hear the case. 3 men from the Jewish Senate presented the case before the king. Menelaus bribed Ptolemy, the king’s friend, who had been the governor of Cyprus. Thus he put in the fix with the king so that the 3 accusers were condemned and killed, while Menelaus was acquitted. Those who spoke for the city, the villages, and the villages lost their lives, while Menelaus remained in office and grew in wickedness. He continued to plot against his fellow citizens. This was worse justice than that of the barbarian Scythians in southern Russia. Apparently these Scythians were considered the worst kind of people at that time. The locals in Tyre were also upset so they provided a wonderful funeral for the 3 men from Jerusalem, although the 3 men had been condemned to death by the king.