The Pharisee dinner (Lk 11:37-11:37)

“While Jesus

Was speaking,

A Pharisee

Invited Jesus

To dine with him.

Thus,

Jesus went in.

He took his place

Reclining at the table.”

 

Ἐν δὲ τῷ λαλῆσαι ἐρωτᾷ αὐτὸν Φαρισαῖος ὅπως ἀριστήσῃ παρ’ αὐτῷ· εἰσελθὼν δὲ ἀνέπεσεν

 

Luke uniquely indicated that while Jesus was speaking (Ἐν δὲ τῷ λαλῆσαι), a Pharisee invited Jesus (ἐρωτᾷ αὐτὸν Φαρισαῖος) to dine with him (ὅπως ἀριστήσῃ παρ’ αὐτῷ).  Thus, Jesus went in and took his place reclining at the table (εἰσελθὼν δὲ ἀνέπεσεν).  This is the second of 3 times that Jesus will uniquely have a dinner with a Pharisee, earlier in chapter 7:36 and later in chapter 14:1.  Earlier Luke had said that one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him.  Thus, Jesus went into the Pharisee’s house.  He took his place reclining at the table.  Then the sinful woman appeared.  In each case, the Pharisees were watching Jesus very closely.  However, he must have been on speaking terms with these Jewish leaders to get this invitation.  Thus, the hostility with the Pharisees did not seem to be personal but rather theological or philosophical over their interpretation of the divine role in Jewish life.  Matthew, chapter 15:1, and Mark, chapter 7:1, had a confrontation with the Pharisees and the Scribes who came to Jesus from Jerusalem.  The Pharisees were a political party, a social movement, and a religious school of thought that became the basis for later Rabbinic Judaism.  They had their own expert explanations of Jewish law that sometimes appeared to be hypocritical or arrogant, with the letter of the law above its spirit.  They had a form of Judaism that extended beyond the Temple.  These Pharisees in the New Testament continually engaged in conflicts with Jesus and his disciples.  However, here it will be personal confrontation at a dinner party.  Do you have dinner with people that you disagree with?

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Eating with the Pharisees (Lk 7:36-7:36)

“One of the Pharisees

Asked Jesus

To eat

With him.

Jesus went

Into the Pharisee’s house.

He took his place

Reclining at the table.”

 

Ἠρώτα δέ τις αὐτὸν τῶν Φαρισαίων ἵνα φάγῃ μετ’ αὐτοῦ· καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Φαρισαίου κατεκλίθη.

 

Luke uniquely said that one of the Pharisees asked Jesus (Ἠρώτα δέ τις αὐτὸν τῶν Φαρισαίων) to eat with him (ἵνα φάγῃ μετ’ αὐτοῦ).  Thus, Jesus went into the Pharisee’s house (καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Φαρισαίου).  He took his place reclining at the table (κατεκλίθη).  According to Luke, this is the 1st of 3 times that Jesus ate with a Pharisee, with the others coming later in chapter 11:37 and 14:1.  In each case, the Pharisees were watching Jesus very closely.  However, he must have been on speaking terms with these Jewish leaders to get this invitation.  Thus, the hostility with the Pharisees did not seem to be personal but rather theological or philosophical over their interpretation of the divine role in Jewish life.  Do you have philosophical differences with any of your friends?

The Divinity – Humanity Debate

What do you think about Jesus?  Some people believe that Jesus was just a human legend, another good guy.  Jesus could not work miracles nor tell the future and did not have divine power.  Others have underplayed the humanity of Jesus, emphasizing his divinity with all its powers.  In the minds of many, Jesus and God are one and the same.  The emphasis of one or the other aspect of Jesus can be a detriment to a true understandable belief in Jesus Christ.  The traditional Christian teaching has been that Jesus is truly human and truly divine at the same time.  Jesus Christ is the full authentic expression of the divinity in an individual human.  The object of Christian faith is Jesus Christ.  We find the authentic expression of Jesus Christ in Scripture.  The interpretation of Jesus Christ can be found in a Christian Church, since there have been various interpretations about Jesus Christ’s saving role.

 

 

Medieval approach to the Bible

The Vulgate Bible (382-384 CE) was the inspired true word of God in an incomprehensible Latin, the language of the educated people.  The biblical texts appeared in scarce manuscript form in the Middle Ages.  Few people had access to read the Bible, because most were illiterate.  Most people were content to glean the Bible stories from paintings, stain glass windows, passion plays, and preaching.  There was never any question as to its interpretation since the educated Church leaders, who had studied the Bible, pronounced what the correct traditional understanding of the Bible was.

Human Authors

The Bible is the record of the Hebrew people and early Christians.  These human authors worked under the influence of God’s Spirit and at the same time under the influence of their community and culture.  Why these words?  Christians believe that this is God’s meaning in human words in content and message.  The cultural history and empirical science was true for their particular time.  History is always an interpretation.  Science is always experimenting finding new ways to do things.  The divine message of God transcends time and space, since it has an eternal ring to it that goes beyond the human authors and their words.

The queen talked about the importance of Daniel (Dan 5:11-5:12)

“There is a man

In your kingdom,

Who is endowed

With a spirit

Of the holy gods.

In the days

Of your father,

He was found to have

Enlightenment,

Understanding,

Wisdom,

Like the wisdom

Of the gods.

Your father,

King Nebuchadnezzar,

Made him chief

Of the magicians,

Of the enchanters,

Of the Chaldeans,

Of the diviners.

He had

An excellent spirit,

Knowledge,

Understanding.

He was able

To interpret dreams,

To explain riddles,

To solve problems.

These were found

In this Daniel,

Whom the king named

Belteshazzar.

Now let Daniel

Be called!

He will give

The interpretation.’”

This queen seemed to know all about Daniel and his ability to interpret dreams, probably because she was the queen mother. She reminded King Belshazzar that his father or grandfather, King Nebuchadnezzar, had found Daniel to have enlightenment, understanding, and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods. Thus, he made Daniel the chief of the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the diviners. It is not clear why he was not still the chief. This Daniel had an excellent spirit, like that of gods, to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems. The former king gave him a new name, Belteshazzar. She said that this Belteshazzar should be called to give an interpretation to this mysterious writing.

The dream was for the king’s enemies (Dan 4:19-4:19)

“Belteshazzar answered.

‘My lord!

May the dream

Be for those

Who hate you!

Its interpretation is

For your enemies!’”

Belteshazzar or Daniel replied by calling King Nebuchadnezzar, his lord. He told the king that this dream was for those who hated him. The interpretation would surely please his enemies. In other words, there would not be good news here.