The Pharisee dinner (Lk 11:37-11:37)

“While Jesus

Was speaking,

A Pharisee

Invited Jesus

To dine with him.

Thus,

Jesus went in.

He took his place

Reclining at the table.”

 

Ἐν δὲ τῷ λαλῆσαι ἐρωτᾷ αὐτὸν Φαρισαῖος ὅπως ἀριστήσῃ παρ’ αὐτῷ· εἰσελθὼν δὲ ἀνέπεσεν

 

Luke uniquely indicated that while Jesus was speaking (Ἐν δὲ τῷ λαλῆσαι), a Pharisee invited Jesus (ἐρωτᾷ αὐτὸν Φαρισαῖος) to dine with him (ὅπως ἀριστήσῃ παρ’ αὐτῷ).  Thus, Jesus went in and took his place reclining at the table (εἰσελθὼν δὲ ἀνέπεσεν).  This is the second of 3 times that Jesus will uniquely have a dinner with a Pharisee, earlier in chapter 7:36 and later in chapter 14:1.  Earlier Luke had said that one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him.  Thus, Jesus went into the Pharisee’s house.  He took his place reclining at the table.  Then the sinful woman appeared.  In each case, the Pharisees were watching Jesus very closely.  However, he must have been on speaking terms with these Jewish leaders to get this invitation.  Thus, the hostility with the Pharisees did not seem to be personal but rather theological or philosophical over their interpretation of the divine role in Jewish life.  Matthew, chapter 15:1, and Mark, chapter 7:1, had a confrontation with the Pharisees and the Scribes who came to Jesus from Jerusalem.  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 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 continually engaged in conflicts with Jesus and his disciples.  However, here it will be personal confrontation at a dinner party.  Do you have dinner with people that you disagree with?

Who can forgive sins? (Lk 7:49-7:49)

“Those who were

At the table

With Jesus

Began to say

Among themselves.

‘Who is this?

Who even forgives sins?’”

 

καὶ ἤρξαντο οἱ συνανακείμενοι λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς Τίς οὗτός ἐστιν, ὃς καὶ ἁμαρτίας ἀφίησιν;

 

Luke uniquely had this response from those at this dinner party.  Luke said that those who were reclining at the table with Jesus began to say among themselves (καὶ ἤρξαντο οἱ συνανακείμενοι λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς) who was this who even forgives sins (Τίς οὗτός ἐστιν, ὃς καὶ ἁμαρτίας ἀφίησιν)?  This was a common topic among the Pharisees, since they maintained that only God could forgive sins, not this itinerant Galilean preacher.  Do you believe that Jesus can forgive your sins?

Eating with the Pharisees (Lk 7:36-7:36)

“One of the Pharisees

Asked Jesus

To eat

With him.

Jesus went

Into the Pharisee’s house.

He took his place

Reclining at the table.”

 

Ἠρώτα δέ τις αὐτὸν τῶν Φαρισαίων ἵνα φάγῃ μετ’ αὐτοῦ· καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Φαρισαίου κατεκλίθη.

 

Luke uniquely said that one of the Pharisees asked Jesus (Ἠρώτα δέ τις αὐτὸν τῶν Φαρισαίων) to eat with him (ἵνα φάγῃ μετ’ αὐτοῦ).  Thus, Jesus went into the Pharisee’s house (καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Φαρισαίου).  He took his place reclining at the table (κατεκλίθη).  According to Luke, this is the 1st of 3 times that Jesus ate with a Pharisee, with the others coming later in chapter 11:37 and 14:1.  In each case, the Pharisees were watching Jesus very closely.  However, he must have been on speaking terms with these Jewish leaders to get this invitation.  Thus, the hostility with the Pharisees did not seem to be personal but rather theological or philosophical over their interpretation of the divine role in Jewish life.  Do you have philosophical differences with any of your friends?

The dinner with the tax collectors (Lk 5:29-5:29)

“Then Levi

Gave

A great banquet

For Jesus

In his house.

There was a large crowd

Of tax collectors

And others

Sitting at the table

With them.”

 

Καὶ ἐποίησεν δοχὴν μεγάλην Λευεὶς αὐτῷ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ· καὶ ἦν ὄχλος πολὺς τελωνῶν καὶ ἄλλων οἳ ἦσαν μετ’ αὐτῶν κατακείμενοι.

 

Luke said that Levi gave a great banquet for Jesus (Καὶ ἐποίησεν δοχὴν μεγάλην Λευεὶς αὐτῷ) in his house (ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ).  There was a large crowd of tax collectors (καὶ ἦν ὄχλος πολὺς τελωνῶν) and others (καὶ ἄλλων οἳ ἦσαν) sitting or reclining at the table with them (μετ’ αὐτῶν κατακείμενοι).  Mark, chapter 2:15, and Matthew, chapter 9:10, are similar to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this event.  Mark and Luke explicitly mentioned that Jesus was having a meal in the house of Levi.  Perhaps Levi was wealthy enough to have a house big enough for a large banquet.  As Levi was a tax collector, other tax collectors were there also.  Was this a farewell meal for Levi as he was about to set out as a disciple of Jesus?  Jesus sat or reclined at the dining table in Levi’s house.  However, besides the tax collectors, Mark and Matthew said that a lot of sinners came to sit down or recline with Jesus and his disciples.  However, Luke simply called them “others.”  These tax collectors were collecting money or tolls for the Roman Empire, so that they could hardly be called model Jewish citizens.  The others or sinners, on the other hand, could either be non-Jewish gentiles or other public immoral unclean Jewish men.  In general, tax collectors and sinners were lumped together, since neither cared much for following the Jewish law, unlike the Pharisees.  Matthew said some of the disciples of Jesus were there.  He also said that this meal was in a house without indicating whose house.  Would it have been the house of Jesus in Capernaum?  Presumably, it was the house of Matthew, the tax collector, since other tax collectors were there also.

Jesus appears to the eleven apostles (Mk 16:14-16:14)

“Later,

Jesus appeared

To the eleven themselves,

As they were sitting

At the table.

Jesus upbraided them

For their lack of faith

And stubbornness,

Because they had not believed

Those who saw him

After he had risen.”

 

Ὕστερον δὲ ἀνακειμένοις αὐτοῖς τοῖς ἕνδεκα ἐφανερώθη, καὶ ὠνείδισεν τὴν ἀπιστίαν αὐτῶν καὶ σκληροκαρδίαν ὅτι τοῖς θεασαμένοις αὐτὸν ἐγηγερμένον οὐκ ἐπίστευσαν.

 

The risen Jesus appearing to the eleven apostles can be found in Matthew, chapter 28:16, but in Galilee, and in Luke, chapter 24:36, in Jerusalem.  John, chapter 20:19 and 26 had 2 appearances of Jesus in Jerusalem, and one in Galilee, chapter 21:1.  Here in this addition to Mark, Jesus appeared to them, probably in Jerusalem.  The apostles were sitting or reclining at the table (Ὕστερον δὲ ἀνακειμένοις αὐτοῖς).  Then Jesus appeared to the 11 (τοῖς ἕνδεκα ἐφανερώθη).  He upbraided or rebuked them (καὶ ὠνείδισεν) for their lack of faith or disbelief (τὴν ἀπιστίαν αὐτῶν) and their stubbornness or hardness of heart (καὶ σκληροκαρδίαν).  They had not believed (οὐκ ἐπίστευσαν) those who had seen him after his resurrection (ὅτι τοῖς θεασαμένοις αὐτὸν ἐγηγερμένον).  Once again, there were doubters among these 11 apostles about the resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus was not happy about this.

One of you will betray me (Mk 14:18-14:18)

“They took

Their places,

Reclining

At the table.

When they were

Eating,

Jesus said.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

One of you

Will betray me.

He is one

Of those eating

With me.’”

 

καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν καὶ ἐσθιόντων ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με, ὁ ἐσθίων μετ’ ἐμοῦ.

 

This is similar, almost word for word, to Matthew, chapter 26:20-21, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 13:21, but this verse is not found in Luke.  First, they all took their places reclining at the table (καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν).  Did this mean that Peter, James, John, and Andrew had preferential seating?  While they were eating (καὶ ἐσθιόντων), Jesus gave a solemn declaration or proclamation (εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  He said that one of his 12 leading apostles would betray him (ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με).  Differing from Matthew, Mark indicated that Jesus said that the betrayer was one of those eating with him at this very table with him (ὁ ἐσθίων μετ’ ἐμοῦ).  This seems like a strange time to bring this up.  However, Jesus was clear, he knew what was going to happen.  This may harken back to Psalm 49:9 where David complained that even some friend, whom he trusted and broke bread with, had lifted his heel against him.  Thus, this prophecy would be fulfilled when one of his beloved trusted 12 apostles betrayed him.

 

The woman in the house of Simon (Mk 14:3-14:3)

“Jesus was

At Bethany,

In the house of Simon,

The leper.

As he sat

At the table,

A woman came

With an alabaster jar

Of very costly

Ointment

Of nard.

She broke open

The jar.

She poured

The ointment

On his head.”

 

Καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ ἐν Βηθανίᾳ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ Σίμωνος τοῦ λεπροῦ, κατακειμένου αὐτοῦ ἦλθεν γυνὴ ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτελοῦς· συντρίψασα τὴν ἀλάβαστρον κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς  

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:6-7, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:1-3, where Jesus was in Bethany, but at the house of Lazarus and his two sisters, Martha and Mary, 6 days before the Passover.  John identified this woman as Mary, the sister of Lazarus.  Mark also said that Jesus was in Bethany (Καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ ἐν Βηθανίᾳ), a town about a mile and a half east of Jerusalem, but in the house of Simon the leper (ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ Σίμωνος τοῦ λεπροῦ).  The identity of this Simon the leper is unknown.  However, it could have been someone whom Jesus had cured from leprosy, who became his disciple.  The people of Bethany may have favored Jesus because of the Lazarus event.  There was also a story of a woman anointing Jesus in Luke, chapter 7:36-50, but within a different context.  Jesus was at the house of a Pharisee, when this woman also brought an alabaster jar to anoint the feet of Jesus.  Mark continued that Jesus was reclining at table (κατακειμένου), when an unnamed woman came or approached Jesus (ἦλθεν γυνὴ) with an alabaster jar full of very expensive imported Indian nard ointment (ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτελοῦς).  This was anointing oil or as later Christians would call it holy oil, “Myron (μύρου).”  She broke the alabaster jar of ointment (συντρίψασα τὴν ἀλάβαστρον).  Then she then poured it on his head (κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς).  This may appear a little unusual, but this oil might be a foretaste of the prophetic, royal, or priestly anointing of Jesus as prophet, king, and priest.  In the ancient biblical stories, kings were anointed on the head.