A true teacher (Lk 20:21-20:21)

“Thus,

They asked Jesus.

‘Teacher!

We know

That you are right

In what you say

And teach!

You show deference

To no one!

You teach

The way of God

In accordance with truth!’”

 

καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν λέγοντες Διδάσκαλε, οἴδαμεν ὅτι ὀρθῶς λέγεις καὶ διδάσκεις καὶ οὐ λαμβάνεις πρόσωπον, ἀλλ’ ἐπ’ ἀληθείας τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ διδάσκεις·

 

Luke indicated that this group questioned Jesus (καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν) respectfully, calling him teacher (λέγοντες Διδάσκαλε).  They knew that Jesus spoke correctly (οἴδαμεν ὅτι ὀρθῶς λέγεις) and taught correctly (καὶ διδάσκεις).  Jesus did not receive anyone (καὶ οὐ λαμβάνεις πρόσωπον), except on the basis of truth (ἀλλ’ ἐπ’ ἀληθείας), because he taught (διδάσκεις) the way of God (τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This was similar to Matthew, chapter 22:16, and Mark, chapter 12:14, almost word for word.  Mark said that the Pharisees and the Herodians came and spoke to Jesus (καὶ ἐλθόντες λέγουσιν αὐτῷ).  They called Jesus their teacher or rabbi (Διδάσκαλε).  They said that they knew that Jesus was sincere or truthful (οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀληθὴς), because Jesus did not show any deference to anybody (εἶ καὶ οὐ μέλει σοι περὶ οὐδενός).  He did not regard people with partiality based on their appearances (οὐ γὰρ βλέπεις εἰς πρόσωπον ἀνθρώπων).  Thus, Jesus taught the truthful way of God (ἀλλ’ ἐπ’ ἀληθείας τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ διδάσκεις).  Matthew said that the Pharisees sent their own disciples, not themselves, to Jesus (καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν αὐτῷ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτῶν).  But they also sent along some Herodians (μετὰ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν) also, the followers or political supporters of King Herod Antipas, the Roman client tetrarch king of Galilee, the one who had John the Baptist beheaded.  This group spoke to Jesus in flattering terms (λέγοντας).  They called Jesus their teacher or rabbi (Διδάσκαλε,).  They said that they knew that Jesus was sincere or truthful, since he knew the truthful way of God (οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀληθὴς εἶ καὶ τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  He taught truthfulness (ἐν ἀληθείᾳ διδάσκεις).  Jesus did not show any deference to anybody (καὶ οὐ μέλει σοι περὶ οὐδενός).  He did not regard people with partiality based on their appearances (οὐ γὰρ βλέπεις εἰς πρόσωπον ἀνθρώπων).  They were buttering up Jesus with these flattering statements about how he was so sincere and truthful, since he had not shown any deference or partiality to anybody.  Do you flatter people to trick them?

They butter up Jesus (Mk 12:14-12:14)

“They came.

They said

To Jesus.

‘Teacher!

We know

That you are sincere.

You show deference

To no one.

You do not regard

People

With partiality.

But you teach

The way of God

In accordance

With truth.’”

 

καὶ ἐλθόντες λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Διδάσκαλε, οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀληθὴς εἶ καὶ οὐ μέλει σοι περὶ οὐδενός· οὐ γὰρ βλέπεις εἰς πρόσωπον ἀνθρώπων, ἀλλ’ ἐπ’ ἀληθείας τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ διδάσκεις·

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 22:16, and Luke, chapter 20:21, almost word for word.  Mark said that the Pharisees and the Herodians came and spoke to Jesus (καὶ ἐλθόντες λέγουσιν αὐτῷ).  They called Jesus their teacher or rabbi (Διδάσκαλε).  They said that they knew that Jesus was sincere or truthful (οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀληθὴς), because Jesus did not show any deference to anybody (εἶ καὶ οὐ μέλει σοι περὶ οὐδενός).  He did not regard people with partiality based on their appearances (οὐ γὰρ βλέπεις εἰς πρόσωπον ἀνθρώπων).  Thus, Jesus taught the truthful way of God (ἀλλ’ ἐπ’ ἀληθείας τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ διδάσκεις).  They were buttering him up with these flattering statements about how he was so sincere and truthful, since he had not shown any deference or partiality to anybody.

 

Flattering Jesus (Mt 22:16-22:16)

“The Pharisees

Sent their disciples

To him,

Along with the Herodians.

They said.

‘Teacher!

We know

That you are sincere.

You teach the way of God

In accordance with truth.

You show deference

To no one.

You do not regard

People with partiality.”

 

καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν αὐτῷ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτῶν μετὰ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν λέγοντας Διδάσκαλε, οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀληθὴς εἶ καὶ τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ διδάσκεις, καὶ οὐ μέλει σοι περὶ οὐδενός, οὐ γὰρ βλέπεις εἰς πρόσωπον ἀνθρώπων·

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 12:13-14, and Luke, chapter 20:21, but slightly different.  The Pharisees sent their own disciples to Jesus (καὶ ἀποστέλλουσιν αὐτῷ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτῶν).  The Pharisees themselves did come to Jesus, but they also sent along some Herodians (μετὰ 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.  This group spoke to Jesus in flattering terms (λέγοντας).  They called Jesus their teacher or rabbi (Διδάσκαλε,).  They said that they knew that Jesus was sincere or truthful, since he knew the truthful way of God (οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀληθὴς εἶ καὶ τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  He taught truthfulness (ἐν ἀληθείᾳ διδάσκεις).  Jesus did not show any deference to anybody (καὶ οὐ μέλει σοι περὶ οὐδενός,).  He did not regard people with partiality based on their appearances (οὐ γὰρ βλέπεις εἰς πρόσωπον ἀνθρώπων).  They were buttering up Jesus with these flattering statements about how he was so sincere and truthful since he had not shown any deference or partiality to anybody.

The priests are now despised (Mal 2:8-2:9)

“‘But you have turned aside

From the way.

You have caused many

To stumble

By your instruction.

You have corrupted

The covenant of Levi,’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Thus,

I make you despised.

I make you abased

Before all the people.

Inasmuch as you have not kept

My ways.

But you have shown partiality

In your instruction.’”

Instead of the lofty goals as just mentioned, the current Levite priests had turned away from the correct way.  They were causing many people to stumble.  They were corrupting people with their instructions.  They had ruined the covenant of Yahweh of hosts.  Thus, these priests would be despised and abased before all the people.  They had not kept the ways of Yahweh.  They had shown partiality or incompleteness in their instructions.

Divine justice (Sir 35:13-35:21)

“The Lord is the one

Who repays.

He will repay you sevenfold.

Do not offer him a bribe!

He will not accept it.

Do not rely

On a dishonest sacrifice!

The Lord is the judge.

There is no partiality

With him.

He will not show partiality

To the poor.

He will listen to the prayer

Of one who is wronged.

He will not ignore

The supplication of the orphan.

He will not ignore

The widow

When she pours out her complains.

Do not the tears of the widow

Run down her cheek?

She cries out against those

Who have caused her to fall.

The one whose service

Is pleasing to the Lord

Will be accepted.

His prayer will reach

To the clouds.

The prayer of the humble

Pierces the clouds.

It will not rest

Until it reaches its goal.

It will not desist

Until the Most High responds.

He does justice

For the righteous.

He executes judgment.”

Sirach reminds us that the Lord repays us justly. No bribe or dishonest sacrifice will change his mind. The Lord is a judge without partiality. He listens to the prayer of those who have been wronged. He does not ignore orphans and especially crying widows who are complaining. He does accept the pleasing service of those whose prayers will go up to heaven. The prayers of the humble will pierce the clouds. They will not rest until they reach the Most High God who will respond with a righteous just judgment.

Human conduct (Sir 4:20-4:28)

“Watch for the opportune time!

Beware of evil! 

Do not be ashamed to be yourself!

There is a shame that leads to sin.

There is also a shame that is glory

There is a shame that is favor.

Do not show partiality to your own harm!

Do not show deference to your downfall!

Do not refrain from speaking at the proper moment!

Do not hide your wisdom!

Wisdom becomes known through speech.

Education becomes known

Through the words of the tongue.

Never speak against the truth.

But be ashamed of your ignorance.

Do not be ashamed to confess your sins!

Do not try to stop the current of a river!

Do not subject yourself to a fool!

Do not show partiality to a ruler!

Fight to the death for truth!

The Lord God will fight for you.”

Here we have a series of reprimands about human conduct. You should be aware of evil. You should not be ashamed of yourself. There is a shame that leads to sin, but also a shame that leads to glory and favors. Watch out for your own harm and downfall. Speak out at the proper moment. You should not hide your wisdom. People know you are wise and educated by your speech and the words of your tongue. Never go against the truth. You should be ashamed of your ignorance, but not be ashamed to confess your sins. Do not go against the river current or subject yourself to a fool. Do not show partiality to a ruler, but fight to the death for truth. God will then fight for you.

The selfish misers (Prov 28:21-28:28)

“To show partiality is not good.

Yet for a piece of bread

A person may do wrong.

A miser is in a hurry to get rich.

He does not know that loss is sure to come.

Whoever rebukes a person,

Will afterward find more favor

Than one who flatters with the tongue.

Anyone who robs his father or his mother

While saying,

‘That is no crime,’

Is partner to a thug.

The greedy person stirs up strife.

But whoever trusts in Yahweh

Will be enriched.

Those who trust in their own wits are fools.

But those who walk in wisdom

Come through safely.

Whoever gives to the poor

Will lack nothing.

But one who turns a blind eye

Will get many a curse.

When the wicked prevail,

People go into hiding.

But when the wicked perish,

The righteous increase.”

You should not show partiality in judging others. Sometimes people will do wrong things just for a piece of bread. The misers will hurry to gain wealth but they will lose it in the end. It is better to rebuke people than to flatter them. Anyone who robs his mother or father, and then says that it is not a crime, is already the companion of a common thief. The greedy misers are always stirring up strife and trouble. If you trust in your own wits, you are a fool. Those who walk in wisdom come out safe. If you give to the poor, you will not lack anything. However, if you turn a blind eye to the poor, you will be cursed. Then this section ends with a repeat of what was said earlier in this chapter about when the wicked prevail, then people go into hiding. When the wicked perish, then the righteous increase.