Temptations (Lk 17:1-17:1)

“Jesus

Said to his disciples.

‘Occasions

For stumbling

Are bound

To come.

But woe to anyone

By whom

They come!’”

 

Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ Ἀνένδεκτόν ἐστιν τοῦ τὰ σκάνδαλα μὴ ἐλθεῖν, οὐαὶ δὲ δι’ οὗ ἔρχεται·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his disciples (Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ) that occasions for stumbling are bound to come (Ἀνένδεκτόν ἐστιν τοῦ τὰ σκάνδαλα μὴ ἐλθεῖν).  However, woe or be cursed to anyone by whom they come (οὐαὶ δὲ δι’ οὗ ἔρχεται).  Jesus admitted that stumbling or sinning might occur, but anyone who brings them should be cursed.  This saying about causing little believing children to sin or stumble can be found in Mark, chapter 9:42, and Matthew, chapter 18:6, with some minor changes, with Matthew closer to Mark.  In Luke, there is no mention of little children until the next verse, since this warning is more generic here.  Do you cause other people to stumble?

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Polytheism

Polytheism is opposed to monotheism, since there is not one God, but many Gods.  In other words, there is not one transcendent ultimate God, but a series of many Gods.  Thus, many ancient religions, like the Greeks and Romans, had a variety of Gods for all occasions.  The Israelites were continually fighting against the variety of Baal Gods in Canaan.  Many ancient native religions also had a variety of Gods to answer their many questions.

The defilement of the dead (Ezek 44:25-44:27)

“‘They shall not defile

Themselves

By getting near

To a dead person.

However,

They may defile

Themselves

For a father,

For a mother,

For a son,

For a daughter,

For a brother,

Or for an unmarried sister.

After he has become clean,

They shall count

Seven days for him.

Then he shall be clean.

On the day

That he goes

Into the holy place,

Into the inner court,

To minister

In the holy place,

He shall offer

His sin offering.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh God told Ezekiel what to do about the Zadok Levitical priests who defiled themselves by going near a dead person. They were not supposed to go close to a dead person. However, there were occasions when these priests could go near a dead person, and thus, defile themselves. In particular, this usually meant a close family member, a father, a mother, a son, a daughter, a brother, or an unmarried sister. Yet they would have to become clean again. They would have to wait 7 days before they could be clean. Then they would have to offer a sin offering for themselves in the holy place.