Beware of the Pharisees (Lk 12:1-12:1)

“Meanwhile,

The crowd gathered

By the thousands,

So that they trampled

On one another.

Jesus began to speak,

First to his disciples.

‘Beware of the yeast

Of the Pharisees,

That is,

Their hypocrisy.’”

 

Ἐν οἷς ἐπισυναχθεισῶν τῶν μυριάδων τοῦ ὄχλου, ὥστε καταπατεῖν ἀλλήλους, ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ πρῶτον Προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης, ἥτις ἐστὶν ὑπόκρισις, τῶν Φαρισαίων.

 

Luke continued with a diatribe against the Pharisees.  Luke indicated that the crowd gathered by the thousands (Ἐν οἷς ἐπισυναχθεισῶν τῶν μυριάδων τοῦ ὄχλου), so that they trampled on one another (ὥστε καταπατεῖν ἀλλήλους).  This was the first mention of a problem with crowd control.  Jesus then began first to speak to his disciples (ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ πρῶτον).  He told them that they should be aware (Προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς) of the yeast (ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης) that is the hypocrisy (ἥτις ἐστὶν ὑπόκρισις) of the Pharisees (τῶν Φαρισαίων).  This saying about the yeast of the Pharisees can be found in Mark, chapter 8:16, and Matthew, chapter 16:6, but there are slight differences.  Mark and Luke did not mention the Sadducees, but Matthew did.  Matthew said that Jesus told his disciples to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Matthew had a clear rebuff of both these groups and their growing yeast, leaven, or power that was expanding, but there was no mention of the Scribes.  For Mark and Matthew, this discussion took place about bread on a boat trip.  The disciples discovered that they had no food when they landed on the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  However, Mark said that it took place while they were still in the boat.  Mark was the only one to mention Herod, the Roman appointed political leader in Galilee.  Mark said that Jesus cautioned or instructed his disciples.  They were to watch out for and be aware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.  This was a clear rebuff of both the Pharisees and Herod.  Their growing yeast, leaven, or power was expanding.  Here, it is a simple warning against the Pharisees only.  Do you know anybody who is a hypocrite?

Take nothing (Lk 9:3-9:3)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Take nothing

For your journey!

Take no staff!

Take no bag!

Take no bread!

Take no money!

Do not take

Even an extra tunic!’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Μηδὲν αἴρετε εἰς τὴν ὁδόν, μήτε ῥάβδον μήτε πήραν μήτε ἄρτον μήτε ἀργύριον μήτε ἀνὰ δύο χιτῶνας ἔχειν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told the 12 apostles (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) to take nothing for their journey (Μηδὲν αἴρετε εἰς τὴν ὁδόν).  They were not to take a staff (μήτε ῥάβδον), a bag (μήτε πήραν), bread (μήτε ἄρτον), or money (μήτε ἀργύριον).  They were not to take even 2 tunics (μήτε ἀνὰ δύο χιτῶνας ἔχειν).  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:9-10, and Mark, chapter 6:8-9, who is closer to Luke here.  Mark indicated that Jesus told them what they could not bring with them on their mission.  Jesus instructed them that they should not bring anything for their journey.  They could only bring a staff or walking stick, but they could not bring any bread, a bag or a sack, or money in their belts.  Mark said that they should wear sandals and have a walking stick, but without any food or bread.  However, all 3 synoptics agreed that they did not need two tunics, since one would be enough.  Matthew also indicated that Jesus told them what they could not bring with them on their mission.  They were not to bring with them any gold, silver, or copper, in their money belts, since they did not need money.  This was similar to what Mark had said about not bringing any money belts.  They were not to take any bags or sacks for their journey.  They were not to take two tunics, since one would be enough.  They were not to take any sandals or a staff.  However, these laborers did deserve their food.  Mark had said that they should bring a staff or sandals, but not bring food.  Matthew was the opposite.  He said that they were not to bring sandals, but could bring food.  They did not need any money or material things, but they certainly needed something to eat for nourishment.  This was a very strong demand on these 12 missionaries of Jesus.  Do you travel light with few things?

Know the truth (Lk 1:4-1:4

“Thus,

You may know

The truth

Concerning the things

About which

You have been instructed.”

 

ἵνα ἐπιγνῷς περὶ ὧν κατηχήθης λόγων τὴν ἀσφάλειαν.

 

Luke continued with his address to Theophilus.  He wanted him to know or recognize (ἵνα ἐπιγνῷς) the truth or certainty (τὴν ἀσφάλειαν) about what words or things he had been instructed about (περὶ ὧν κατηχήθης λόγων).  This sounds like someone who had become a Christian and wanted to know more about Jesus.  In fact, the Greek term (κατηχήθης) has become the basis of the word catechism or teaching.  This clearly indicates that this was a new Christian wanting to know more.  The literate Greek reader of this work would already have had a rudimentary knowledge of Jewish and early Christian activities, but wanted more.

The short ending of Mark (Mk 16:9-16:9)

“These women

Briefly

And promptly told

Those around Peter

All that had been

Instructed to them.

Afterward,

Jesus himself

Sent out

Through them,

From east to west,

The sacred

And imperishable proclamation

Of eternal salvation.”

Πάντα δὲ τὰ παρηγγελμένα τοῖς περὶ τὸν Πέτρον συντόμως ἐξήγγειλαν. Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ ἀνατολῆς καὶ ἄχρι δύσεως ἐξαπέστειλεν δι’ αὐτῶν τὸ ἱερὸν καὶ ἄφθαρτον κήρυγμα τῆς αἰωνίου σωτηρίας

The oldest know Latin text was the Codex Bobiensis, from the Bobbio monastery in northern Italy, during the 4th or 5th century CE.  Obviously, this was a later edition, certainly not in the 1st or 2nd century after Jesus.  Nevertheless, it was an attempt to fix up the last sentence of the preceding verse or the original ending of Mark.  This was an attempt to put Peter in charge of a universal church that was present at the time of the original writing of this gospel.  This text says that the women at the tomb reported to the people around Peter briefly and promptly (τοῖς περὶ τὸν Πέτρον συντόμως ἐξήγγειλαν) all that had been instructed or commanded to them (Πάντα δὲ τὰ παρηγγελμένα) at the tomb.  Afterward, Jesus himself, without saying how, sent the followers of Jesus out from east to west (Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ ἀνατολῆς καὶ ἄχρι δύσεως ἐξαπέστειλεν δι’ αὐτῶν) to proclaim a sacred and imperishable eternal salvation (τὸ ἱερὸν καὶ ἄφθαρτον κήρυγμα τῆς αἰωνίου σωτηρίας).  This was an attempt to show why the Christians were all over the place.

Jesus told them not to tell anyone (Mk 9:9-9:9)

“As they were coming down

The mountain,

He ordered them

To tell no one

About what they had seen,

Until the Son of Man

Had been raised

From the dead.”

 

Καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν ἐκ τοῦ ὄρους διεστείλατο αὐτοῖς ἵνα μηδενὶ ἃ εἶδον διηγήσωνται, εἰ μὴ ὅταν ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ.

 

Once again, we are back at the messianic secret that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:9, Luke, chapter 9:36, and here in Mark that is closer to Matthew.  Jesus and his 3 disciples came down or descended from the mountain (Καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν ἐκ τοῦ ὄρους).  He admonished, commanded, instructed, or ordered them (διεστείλατο αὐτοῖς) not to tell anyone about what they had seen (ἵνα μηδενὶ ἃ εἶδον διηγήσωνται) until the Son of Man had been raised from the dead (εἰ μὴ ὅταν ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ).  They would be free to speak about this after the death and resurrection of Jesus, but not before that turning point among the followers of Jesus.

Jesus says to tell no one (Mk 8:30-8:30)

“Jesus sternly

Ordered them

Not to tell

Anyone

About him.”

 

καὶ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς ἵνα μηδενὶ λέγωσιν περὶ αὐτοῦ.

 

This warning about the messianic secret can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:20, Luke, chapter 9:21, and here.  However, this warning came right after Peter’s response in Mark and Luke, since they did not have the unique Matthew reward for Peter.  Jesus, in some ironic way, did not want the people to know that he was the Messiah or the Christ.  Thus, the name “Jesus Christ” did not take hold until after his death and resurrection.  Mark said that Jesus sternly ordered, instructed, or charged his disciples (καὶ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς) that they were not to tell anyone about Jesus (ἵνα μηδενὶ λέγωσιν περὶ αὐτοῦ) that he was the Christ or the Israelite Messiah.  Only the elite followers of Jesus knew that he was the Christ messiah, much like a gnostic special knowledge.

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod (Mk 8:15-8:15)

“Jesus cautioned them.

He said.

‘Watch out!

Beware of the yeast

Of the Pharisees

And the yeast

Of Herod.’”

καὶ διεστέλλετο αὐτοῖς λέγων Ὁρᾶτε, βλέπετε ἀπὸ τῆς ζύμης τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ τῆς ζύμης Ἡρῴδου.

 

This saying about the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:6, and Luke, chapter 12:1, but there are slight differences.  Matthew mentioned the Sadducees, while Mark was the only one to mention Herod, the Roman appointed political leader in Galilee.  Mark said that Jesus cautioned or instructed his disciples (καὶ διεστέλλετο αὐτοῖς).  They were to watch out for and be aware (Ὁρᾶτε, βλέπετε) of the yeast of the Pharisees (πὸ τῆς ζύμης τῶν Φαρισαίων) and the yeast of Herod (καὶ τῆς ζύμης Ἡρῴδου).  This was a clear rebuff of both the Pharisees and Herod.  Their growing yeast, leaven, or power was expanding.  Like earlier in this chapter, there was no mention of the Scribes.