The Pharisees from Jerusalem (Mt 15:1-15:1)

“Then Pharisees

And Scribes

Came to Jesus

From Jerusalem.

 

Τότε προσέρχονται τῷ Ἰησοῦ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων Φαρισαῖοι καὶ γραμματεῖς λέγοντες

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 7:1.  Once again, there will be a confrontation with the Pharisees and the Scribes (Φαρισαῖοι καὶ γραμματεῖς).  However, this time, these Pharisees will come to Jesus from Jerusalem (Τότε προσέρχονται τῷ Ἰησοῦ ἀπὸ Ἱεροσολύμων).  They wanted to speak with Jesus (λέγοντες).  These Scribes were religious experts who determined the traditions to be followed.  They were professional copiers of manuscript documents, although they had a wider role in Jewish society.  The Pharisees, on the other hand, 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, engaged in conflicts with Jesus and his disciples.

The hidden treasure and the kingdom of heaven (Mt 13:44-13:44)

“The kingdom of heaven is

Like a treasure

Hidden in a field.

Someone found it.

He hid it.

Then in his joy

He goes

And sells

All that he has.

Then he buys that field.”

 

Ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν θησαυρῷ κεκρυμμένῳ ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ, ὃν εὑρὼν ἄνθρωπος ἔκρυψεν, καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς αὐτοῦ ὑπάγει καὶ πωλεῖ ὅσα ἔχει καὶ ἀγοράζει τὸν ἀγρὸν ἐκεῖνον.

 

Only Matthew has this parable about the treasure in the field.  Jesus. via Matthew, compared the kingdom of heaven to a hidden treasure in a field (Ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν θησαυρῷ κεκρυμμένῳ ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ).  If a man found it (ὃν εὑρὼν ἄνθρωπος), he would re-hide it again (ἔκρυψεν).  Then with great joy or gladness (καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς αὐτοῦ), he would sell everything that he had (ὑπάγει καὶ πωλεῖ ὅσα ἔχει), so that he could buy that field (καὶ ἀγοράζει τὸν ἀγρὸν ἐκεῖνον).  In Jewish law, if you owned the property, you were entitled to everything on that property.  In other words, this man would give up everything for this treasure.  Thus, you should give up everything for the heavenly kingdom treasure.

 

Can you heal on the Sabbath? (Mt 12:10-12:10)

“A man was there

With a withered hand.

They asked Jesus.

‘Is it lawful to heal

On the Sabbath?’

Thus,

They might accuse him.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος χεῖρα ἔχων ξηράν· καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν λέγοντες Εἰ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν θεραπεῦσαι; ἵνα κατηγορήσωσιν αὐτοῦ.

 

Matthew has the discussion about the Sabbath continue in the local synagogue.  This is similar to Mark, chapter 3:1-2, and Luke, chapter 6:6-7.  In this synagogue, there was a man with a withered or dried out hand (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος χεῖρα ἔχων ξηράν).  They, the Pharisees, asked, inquired, or interrogated Jesus (καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν λέγοντες) whether it was lawful to heal, cure, or serve anyone on the Sabbath (Εἰ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν θεραπεῦσαι).  They were trying to see if they could accuse or charge Jesus of breaking the Sabbath (ἵνα κατηγορήσωσιν αὐτοῦ).  Jewish law allowed people to help in cases of distress on the Sabbath.  Clearly, this was a trap question.

The Pharisees question the power of Jesus (Mt 9:34-9:34)

“But the Pharisees said.

‘He casts out demons

By the leader of demons.’”

 

οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἔλεγον Ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια.

 

There is something similar to this in chapter 12:24 of Matthew and Luke, chapter ll:15.  The Pharisees complained (οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἔλεγον) that Jesus was casting out demons or evil spirits (ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια) because he was the leader or the prince of these demons or evil spirits (Ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων).  These Pharisees did not say that Jesus did’t have power over these evil spirits.  Quite the opposite, they said that he got his power from evil spirits or demons themselves because he was their leader.  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 they 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.  The Pharisees in the New Testament, engaged in conflicts with Jesus and his disciples, as here.  However, Paul the Apostle may have been a Pharisee before his conversion.  Maybe Jesus and some of his followers were Pharisees, so that these arguments with the Pharisees may have been internal arguments.  Or is this portrait of the Pharisees in the New Testament a caricature, since the late first century Christians were fighting with the emerging Rabbinic Pharisees?

The Pharisees complain (Mt 9:11-9:11)

“When the Pharisees

Saw this,

They said

To his disciples.

‘Why does your teacher

Eat

With tax collectors

And sinners?’”

 

καὶ ἰδόντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι ἔλεγον τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ Διὰ τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν;

 

This story about the Pharisees complaining about this dinner party is similar to Mark, chapter 2:16, and Luke, chapter 5:30, but here it is only the Pharisees speaking out, since there is no mention of scribes here, as in the other two stories.  These Pharisees saw this dinner party (καὶ ἰδόντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι) from the outside.  Then they asked the disciples of Jesus (ἔλεγον τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ), and not Jesus himself, why was Jesus, their teacher (ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν), eating with tax collectors and sinners (Διὰ τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει).  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 they 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.  The Pharisees in the New Testament, engaged in conflicts with Jesus and his disciples, as here.  However, Paul the Apostle may have been a Pharisee before his conversion.  Maybe Jesus and some of his followers were Pharisees, so that these arguments with the Pharisees may have been internal arguments.  Or is this portrait of the Pharisees in the New Testament a caricature, since the late first century Christians were fighting with the emerging Rabbinic Pharisees?

Curing the leper (Mt 8:3-8:3)

“Jesus stretched out

His hand.

He touched

The leper.

Saying.

‘I will!

Be made clean!’

Immediately,

His leprosy was cleansed.”

 

καὶ ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα ἥψατο αὐτοῦ λέγων Θέλω, καθαρίσθητι. καὶ εὐθέως ἐκαθερίσθη αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα

 

This leper healing story can be found in Luke, chapter 5:13, and Mark, chapter 1:41-42, perhaps indicating Mark as the source.  For Matthew, this represents the first miracle of Jesus.  Jesus stretched out his hand (καὶ ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα) and touched the leper (ἥψατο αὐτοῦ), since it was not against Jewish law to touch a leper.  Then he said that he willed (λέγων Θέλω) or wanted to cure the leper.  Jesus then told the leper to be clean (καθαρίσθητι).  Immediately (καὶ εὐθέως), the leper was cleansed (ἐκαθερίσθη αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα), as the leprosy went away.  This first miracle of Jesus was a prophetic cleansing of a leper, because Jesus had this healing touch.