Loaded with burdens (Lk 11:46-11:46)

“Jesus said.

‘Woe to you!

Lawyers!

You load people

With burdens

Hard to bear!

You,

Yourselves,

Do not lift

A finger

To ease them.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς νομικοῖς οὐαί, ὅτι φορτίζετε τοὺς ἀνθρώπους φορτία δυσβάστακτα, καὶ αὐτοὶ ἑνὶ τῶν δακτύλων ὑμῶν οὐ προσψαύετε τοῖς φορτίοις.

 

Then Luke indicated that Jesus turned on these lawyers, also.  Jesus cursed them also (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς νομικοῖς οὐαί).  They had loaded people with hard burdens to bear (ὅτι φορτίζετε τοὺς ἀνθρώπους φορτία δυσβάστακτα).  At the same time, they did not lift a finger to ease their burdens (καὶ αὐτοὶ ἑνὶ τῶν δακτύλων ὑμῶν οὐ προσψαύετε τοῖς φορτίοις).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:4, where Jesus said that the Pharisees and the Scribes, not the lawyers, tied up heavy burdens on the people that were hard or oppressive to bear.  They put these burdens on the shoulders of other men, but they themselves were unwilling to lift a finger to help them remove these burdens.  These heavy burdens of the Torah may have been their multiple perplexing oral interpretations of the law rather than the law itself that was usually considered a blessing.  Here in Luke, Jesus was talking about lawyers, who may have been Pharisaic lawyers of the Law of Moses, who also would not help others in any way.  Do you know any religious lawyers?

Moses and Elijah (Lk 9:30-9:30)

“Suddenly,

They saw

Two men.

Moses

And Elijah

Were talking

To Jesus.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες δύο συνελάλουν αὐτῷ, οἵτινες ἦσαν Μωϋσῆς καὶ Ἡλείας,

 

Luke said that suddenly, the 3 apostles saw 2 men (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες), Moses (οἵτινες ἦσαν Μωϋσῆς) and Elijah (καὶ Ἡλείας), talking to Jesus (συνελάλουν αὐτῷ).  This appearance of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:34, Mark, chapter 9:4, and here in Luke.  Mark said that Elijah with Moses, talking with Jesus, appeared to the 3 disciples.  Matthew also said that suddenly Moses and Elijah were talking with Jesus in front of the 3 apostles.  How did they know what Moses and Elijah looked like?  They had never seen them before.  They were nearly 1,000 years removed from their existence.  Jesus, however, recognized and talked with them, so that is why they might have realized who they were.  Thus, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and at the same time the fulfillment of the prophets with Elijah, one of the earliest prophets from the 9th century BCE.  Moses and Elijah also represented the ancient righteous people.  How would you recognize an ancient historical figure?

The holy child (Lk 2:23-2:23)

“As it is written

In the law

Of the Lord.

‘Every firstborn male

Shall be designated

As holy

To the Lord.”

 

καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν νόμῳ Κυρίου ὅτι Πᾶν ἄρσεν διανοῖγον μήτραν ἅγιον τῷ Κυρίῳ κληθήσεται,

 

Luke further elaborated about the written Law of the Lord (καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν νόμῳ Κυρίου).  In a paraphrase of Exodus, chapter 13:2, he said that every male born or opening the womb (ὅτι Πᾶν ἄρσεν διανοῖγον μήτραν) shall be designated or called holy to the Lord (ἅγιον τῷ Κυρίῳ κληθήσεται).  It no longer is the Law of Moses, but the Law of the Lord God.  Notice that Luke did not say first born, but just male.  This presentation of the male child is similar to Hannah presenting Samuel in 1 Samuel, chapter 1:24-27.  Hannah brought her young son Samuel to the Temple of Yahweh at Shiloh.  There they saw the prophet Eli.  Thus, she gave or lent Samuel to Yahweh and the prophet Eli.  Luke made sure to point out that Elizabeth, Zechariah, Joseph, and Mary were all very good law-abiding Jewish parents.

They try to trap Jesus (Mk 12:13-12:13)

“They sent

To Jesus,

Some Pharisees

And some Herodians,

To trap him

In what he said.”

 

Καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν πρὸς αὐτόν τινας τῶν Φαρισαίων καὶ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν ἵνα αὐτὸν ἀγρεύσωσιν λόγῳ

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:15-16, and in Luke, chapter 20:20, as the Pharisees plotted to entrap or entangle Jesus in what he had said.  Mark said that the Pharisees sent some of their own people to Jesus (Καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν πρὸς αὐτόν τινας τῶν Φαρισαίων).  The Pharisees were a political party, a social movement, and a religious school of thought that followed the Law of Moses, but with a number of oral traditions.  They had they own expert explanations of Jewish law that sometimes appeared to be hypocritical or arrogant, with a form of Judaism that extended beyond the Temple.  They were always testing or tempting Jesus and his disciples.  They also sent along some Herodians (καὶ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν).  Who are these people?  They were the followers or political supporters of King Herod Antipas, the Roman client tetrarch king of Galilee, the one who had John the Baptist beheaded.  Both these groups were out to trap Jesus or catch him by using his own words against him (ἵνα αὐτὸν ἀγρεύσωσιν λόγῳ).

The test about divorce (Mk 10:2-10:2)

“Some Pharisees

Came to test him.

They asked.

‘Is it lawful

For a man

To divorce

His wife?’”

Καὶ προσελθόντες Φαρισαῖοι ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν εἰ ἔξεστιν ἀνδρὶ γυναῖκα ἀπολῦσαι, πειράζοντες αὐτόν

 

This questioning of the Pharisees about divorce can also be found in Matthew, chapter 19:3, with some minor changes.  Once again, some Pharisees approached Jesus (Καὶ προσελθόντες Φαρισαῖοι).  They wanted to interrogate, test, or question him (ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν).  The Pharisees were a political party, a social movement, and a religious school of thought that followed the Law of Moses, but with a number of oral traditions.  They had they own expert explanations of Jewish law that sometimes appeared to be hypocritical or arrogant, with a form of Judaism that extended beyond the Temple.  They were testing or tempting Jesus (πειράζοντες αὐτόν).  They wanted to know if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife (εἰ ἔξεστιν ἀνδρὶ γυναῖκα ἀπολῦσαι), since this was a disputed question among many Jewish rabbis.

Elijah and Moses (Mk 9:4-9:4)

“There appeared

To them

Elijah

With Moses.

They were talking

With Jesus.”

 

καὶ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς Ἡλείας σὺν Μωϋσεῖ, καὶ ἦσαν συνλαλοῦντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ.

 

This appearance of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:34, Luke, chapter 9:30, and here in Mark, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Mark said that there appeared to the 3 disciples (καὶ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς) Elijah (Ἡλείας) with Moses (σὺν Μωϋσεῖ).  These two were talking with Jesus (καὶ ἦσαν συνλαλοῦντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ).  How did they know what Moses and Elijah looked like?  They had never seen them before.  They were nearly 1,000 years removed from their existence.  Jesus, however, recognized and talked with them, so that is why they might have realized who they were.  Thus, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and at the same time the fulfillment of the prophets with Elijah, one of the earliest prophets from the 9th century BCE.

They tie up heavy burdens (Mt 23:4-23:4)

“The Pharisees

And the Scribes

Tie up heavy burdens,

Hard to bear.

They lay them

On the shoulders of others.

But they themselves

Are unwilling to lift a finger

To move them.”

 

δεσμεύουσιν δὲ φορτία βαρέα καὶ ἐπιτιθέασιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὤμους τῶν ἀνθρώπων, αὐτοὶ δὲ τῷ δακτύλῳ αὐτῶν οὐ θέλουσιν κινῆσαι αὐτά.

 

This is unique to Matthew.  However, there is something similar in Luke, chapter 11:46, but there Jesus was talking about a lawyer, who may have been a Pharisaic lawyer of the Law of Moses, who would not help others.  Jesus said that these Pharisees and the Scribes tied up heavy burdens (δεσμεύουσιν δὲ φορτία βαρέα) on the people that were hard or oppressive to bear.  They put these burdens on the shoulders of other men (καὶ ἐπιτιθέασιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὤμους τῶν ἀνθρώπων), but they themselves were unwilling to lift a finger to help them remove these burdens (αὐτοὶ δὲ τῷ δακτύλῳ αὐτῶν οὐ θέλουσιν κινῆσαι αὐτά).  These heavy burdens of the Torah may have been their multiple perplexing oral interpretations of the law rather than the law itself that was usually considered a blessing.