The wisdom of God (Lk 11:49-11:49)

“Therefore,

The Wisdom of God said.

‘I will send them

Prophets

And apostles.

They will kill

And persecute

Some of them.’”

 

διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἡ σοφία τοῦ Θεοῦ εἶπεν Ἀποστελῶ εἰς αὐτοὺς προφήτας καὶ ἀποστόλους, καὶ ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀποκτενοῦσιν καὶ διώξουσιν,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the Wisdom of God (διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἡ σοφία τοῦ Θεοῦ εἶπεν) said that he would send them prophets (Ἀποστελῶ εἰς αὐτοὺς προφήτας) and apostles (καὶ ἀποστόλους).  However, they would kill (ἀποκτενοῦσιν) and persecute (καὶ διώξουσιν) some of them (καὶ ἐξ αὐτῶν).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:34, perhaps a Q source, about the killing of prophets.  Jesus said, via Matthew, that he was going to send them prophets, sages or wise men, and scribes, the heroes of the Hebrew Scripture and the Mosaic Law.  However, instead of respecting them, they were going to kill some, crucify some, and flog or scourge some in their synagogues.  They were going to go from town to town persecuting some also.  Jesus had mentioned the possibility of death or crucifixion for his followers earlier.  Luke had Jesus slightly more restrained here.  He mentioned the Wisdom of God (ἡ σοφία τοῦ Θεοῦ) as he had done earlier in chapter 7:35, either indicating Holy Scripture or the personification of wisdom.  What do you know about the wisdom of God?

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Tithing (Lk 11:42-11:42)

“But woe to you!

Pharisees!

You tithe

Mint,

Rue,

And every kind

Of herb.

However,

You neglect

Justice

And the love of God!

It is these

You ought

To have practiced

Without neglecting

The others.”

 

ἀλλὰ οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς Φαρισαίοις, ὅτι ἀποδεκατοῦτε τὸ ἡδύοσμον καὶ τὸ πήγανον καὶ πᾶν λάχανον, καὶ παρέρχεσθε τὴν κρίσιν καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ Θεοῦ· ταῦτα δὲ ἔδει ποιῆσαι κἀκεῖνα μὴ παρεῖναι.

 

Next Luke had the Lord Jesus curse the Pharisees the way that Matthew had done.  Jesus said woe to them, the Pharisees (ἀλλὰ οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς Φαρισαίοις)!  They had paid their tithes (ὅτι ἀποδεκατοῦτε) of mint (τὸ ἡδύοσμον), rue (καὶ τὸ πήγανον), and every kind of herb (καὶ πᾶν λάχανον).  However, they had neglected (καὶ παρέρχεσθε) justice (τὴν κρίσιν) and the love of God (καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ Θεοῦ).  They ought to practice these things (ταῦτα δὲ ἔδει ποιῆσαι), without neglecting the other things (κἀκεῖνα μὴ παρεῖναι).  This is like Matthew, chapter 23:23, where Jesus cursed the Pharisees and the Scribes.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said woe to them because of their insistence on tithing.  He blamed them for their concern about the tithing of the various aromatic spices of mint, dill, and cumin plants, instead of the more serious matters of the law.  Thus, they neglected, the serious practice of justice, mercy, and faith.  They should have spent more time on these issues without neglecting the other things.  This seemed like a critique of misplaced priorities, with their legalistic sense of tithing being more important than justice, mercy, faith, and the Mosaic law itself.  Luke had almost the same critique here, but the tithing herbs are slightly different.  He also wanted their concerns to be about justice and God’s love.  Otherwise the critique was pretty much the same.  Do you neglect justice and mercy in your life?

What is written in the law? (Lk 10:26-10:26)

“Jesus said

To this lawyer.

‘What is written

In the law?

What do you read there?’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν Ἐν τῷ νόμῳ τί γέγραπται; πῶς ἀναγινώσκεις;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked this lawyer (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν) what was written in the law (Ἐν τῷ νόμῳ τί γέγραπται)?  What did he read there (πῶς ἀναγινώσκεις)?  In the other 2 synoptics, Mark and Matthew, Jesus immediately responded, instead of asking the lawyer what was written in the Mosaic law.  Thus, this unique passage of Luke put the burden on the well-versed lawyer.  What do you know about the laws of God?

Eternal life (Lk 10:25-10:25)

“Just then,

A certain lawyer

Stood up

To test Jesus.

He said.

‘Teacher!

What must I do

To inherit eternal life?’”

 

Καὶ ἰδοὺ νομικός τις ἀνέστη ἐκπειράζων αὐτὸν λέγων Διδάσκαλε, τί ποιήσας ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω;

 

Luke said that just then, a certain lawyer stood up (Καὶ ἰδοὺ νομικός τις ἀνέστη) to test Jesus (ἐκπειράζων αὐτὸν).  He said, calling Jesus a teacher (λέγων Διδάσκαλε), what did he have to do to inherit eternal life (τί ποιήσας ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω)?  Although there was a question like this in all 3 synoptics, there are nuanced differences.  Matthew, chapter 22:35-36, had a Pharisee lawyer ask the question about the greatest commandment, and not about eternal life.  Mark, chapter 12:28, had a Scribe, not a Pharisee lawyer ask the same question about the greatest commandment.  In Luke, here, there was an unnamed lawyer, probably an expert in the Mosaic law, who wanted to know about how to gain eternal life.  Mark had this unnamed Scribe approach Jesus, because he had heard the disciples discussing, disputing, or arguing with each other.  He saw how Jesus had answered their questions so well.  He was not there to test him, as here in Luke and Matthew, but he did question Jesus.  Matthew had a lawyer, who was a Pharisee, question Jesus to explicitly test him.  This Pharisee lawyer probably was someone skilled in the Mosaic law.  He addressed Jesus in a very respectful tone calling him “Teacher” or rabbi (Διδάσκαλε), like Luke.  He wanted to know which commandment of the law was the greatest, since there were 613 commandments in late Judaism.  Thus, it would seem like a legitimate question with so many commandments or laws.  Luke had the question about eternal life, but the other 2 synoptics questioned Jesus about the most important commandment.  These questions were related, but not the same.  3 different people, with different motives, posed this question.  Do you question people to learn something or to test them?

You did not take care of me (Mt 25:42-25:43)

“I was hungry!

You gave me

Nothing to eat!

I was thirsty!

You gave me

Nothing to drink!

I was a stranger!

You did not

Welcome me!

I was naked!

You did not

Give me clothing!

I was sick!

I was in prison!

You did not

Visit me!’”

 

ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν, ἐδίψησα καὶ οὐκ ἐποτίσατέ με,

ξένος ἤμην καὶ οὐ συνηγάγετέ με, γυμνὸς καὶ οὐ περιεβάλετέ με, ἀσθενὴς καὶ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ οὐκ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew, as he reversed the sayings about the righteous sheep against these goat people.  Here in a first person singular response, Jesus said that he was hungry and they did not give him anything to eat (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν).  He was thirsty and they did not give anything to drink (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν).  He was a stranger or foreigner and they did not welcome him or take him in (ξένος ἤμην καὶ οὐ συνηγάγετέ με).  He was naked and they did not give him any clothes (γυμνὸς καὶ οὐ περιεβάλετέ με).  He was sick and in prison and they did not visit him (ἀσθενὴς καὶ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ οὐκ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με).  They had failed in the corporal works of mercy, not the legal following of the Mosaic Law.

 

They will kill the prophets (Mt 23:34-23:34)

“Therefore,

I send you

Prophets,

Sages,

And Scribes.

You will kill some.

You will crucify some.

You will flog some

In your synagogues.

You will persecute some

From town

To town.”

 

διὰ τοῦτο ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω πρὸς ὑμᾶς προφήτας καὶ σοφοὺς καὶ γραμματεῖς· ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀποκτενεῖτε καὶ σταυρώσετε, καὶ ἐξ αὐτῶν μαστιγώσετε ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς ὑμῶν καὶ διώξετε ἀπὸ πόλεως εἰς πόλιν·

 

There is something similar in Luke, chapter 11:49, about the killing of the prophets, but there is nothing about scourging and persecuting them from town to town.  Jesus said, via Matthew, that he was going to send them (διὰ τοῦτο ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω πρὸς ὑμᾶς) prophets (προφήτας), sages or wise men (καὶ σοφοὺς), and scribes (καὶ γραμματεῖς), the heroes of the Old Testament Mosaic Law.  However, instead of respecting them, they were going to kill (ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀποκτενεῖτε) some, crucify (καὶ σταυρώσετε) some, and flog or scourge some in their synagogues (καὶ ἐξ αὐτῶν μαστιγώσετε ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς ὑμῶν).  They were going to go from town to town persecuting (καὶ διώξετε ἀπὸ πόλεως εἰς πόλιν) some also.  Jesus had mentioned the possibility of death or crucifixion for his followers earlier in chapter 16:24-25.

They have forgotten the law (Mt 23:23-23:23)

“Woe to you!

Scribes!

Woe to you!

Pharisees!

Hypocrites!

You tithe

Mint,

Dill,

And cumin!

You have neglected

The weightier matters

Of the law,

Justice,

Mercy,

And faith!

These you ought

To have practiced,

Without neglecting

The others.”

 

Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι ὑποκριταί, ὅτι ἀποδεκατοῦτε τὸ ἡδύοσμον καὶ τὸ ἄνηθον καὶ τὸ κύμινον, καὶ ἀφήκατε τὰ βαρύτερα τοῦ νόμου, τὴν κρίσιν καὶ τὸ ἔλεος καὶ τὴν πίστιν· ταῦτα δὲ ἔδει ποιῆσαι κἀκεῖνα μὴ ἀφεῖναι.

 

Like Luke, chapter 11,42, 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 of Matthew.  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 their insistence on tithing.  He blamed them for their concern about the tithing of the various aromatic spices of mint, dill, and cumin plants (ὅτι ἀποδεκατοῦτε τὸ ἡδύοσμον καὶ τὸ ἄνηθον καὶ τὸ κύμινον), instead of more serious matters of the law (καὶ ἀφήκατε τὰ βαρύτερα τοῦ νόμου).  Thus, they neglected, the serious practice of justice (τὴν κρίσιν), mercy (καὶ τὸ ἔλεος), and faith (καὶ τὴν πίστιν).  They should have spent more time on these issues (ταῦτα δὲ ἔδει ποιῆσαι κἀκεῖνα) without neglecting the other things (μὴ ἀφεῖναι).  This seemed like a critique of misplaced priorities with their legalistic sense of tithing being more important than justice, mercy, faith, and the Mosaic law.