Luke indicated that Jesus justified the resurrection, that the dead are raised up (ὅτι δὲ ἐγείρονται οἱ νεκροὶ). Jesus used the example of Moses at the thorn bush (καὶ Μωϋσῆς ἐμήνυσεν ἐπὶ τῆς Βάτου), when he called Yahweh or the Lord (ὡς λέγει Κύριον) the God of Abraham (τὸν Θεὸν Ἀβραὰμ), the God of Isaac (καὶ Θεὸν Ἰσαὰκ), and the God of Jacob (καὶ Θεὸν Ἰακώβ). Jesus continued with this same explanation that can also be found in Matthew, chapter 22:31-32, and Mark, chapter 12:26. They all refer to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus, chapter 3:6, a mysterious theophany, that is implied without being explicitly mentioned here. Mark indicated that Jesus said that the dead will rise up (περὶ δὲ τῶν νεκρῶν ὅτι ἐγείρονται). Jesus then reminded the Sadducees that they had not read the correct book of Moses (οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε ἐν τῇ βίβλῳ Μωϋσέως). Jesus then referenced this saying of Yahweh to Moses at the bush (ἐπὶ τοῦ Βάτου). Yahweh God spoke to Moses saying (πῶς εἶπεν αὐτῷ λέγων) that he was the God of Abraham (Ἐγώ ὁ Θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ), the God of Isaac (καὶ Θεὸς Ἰσαὰκ), and the God of Jacob (καὶ Θεὸς Ἰακώβ). Matthew indicated that Jesus reminded the Sadducees that they had not read the correct sayings of God (οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑμῖν ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ λέγοντος), concerning the resurrection of the dead (περὶ δὲ τῆς ἀναστάσεως τῶν νεκρῶν). He did not say “the correct book” as in Mark. He then referenced the saying of Yahweh to Moses at the burning bush, that he was the God of Abraham (Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ), the God of Isaac (καὶ ὁ Θεὸς Ἰσαὰκ), and the God of Jacob (καὶ ὁ Θεὸς Ἰακώβ). Do you believe in your resurrection in the afterlife?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that everyone who spoke a word (καὶ πᾶς ὃς ἐρεῖ λόγον) against the Son of Man (εἰς τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) would be forgiven. However, whoever blasphemes (βλασφημήσαντι) against the Holy Spirit (τῷ δὲ εἰς τὸ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα) will not be forgiven (οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται). There are similar statements to this in Mark, chapter 3:28-30, and Matthew, chapter 12:31-32. It might be okay to disrespect the Son of Man, but it is quite another thing to speak against or blasphemy the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy was profaning the name of God. If you profaned the Holy Spirit you were hopeless. Only God could forgive sins. If you gave up on God and his Spirit, there was no hope of forgiveness. The Son of Man was so human that you could be forgiven for speaking against the Son of Man, Jesus, but not the Holy Spirit. Matthew indicated that Jesus told them with a solemn proclamation (Διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν) that God would forgive all human sins and blasphemies (πᾶσα ἁμαρτία καὶ βλασφημία ἀφεθήσεται τοῖς ἀνθρώποις). However, he would not forgive the sin of blasphemy against the Spirit (ἡ δὲ τοῦ Πνεύματος βλασφημία οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται). Humans could speak against the Son of Man (καὶ ὃς ἐὰν εἴπῃ λόγον κατὰ τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) and be forgiven (ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ). However, anyone who spoke against the Holy Spirit (ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ κατὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ Ἁγίου) would not be forgiven (οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ), either now or in the future (οὔτε ἐν τούτῳ τῷ αἰῶνι οὔτε ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι). Mark had Jesus tell them with a solemn proclamation (Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that God would forgive all the sins of the sons of men (ὅτι πάντα ἀφεθήσεται τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων) as well as whatever blasphemies they utter (καὶ αἱ βλασφημίαι, ὅσα ἐὰν βλασφημήσωσιν). These blasphemies were abusive or bad language about God. However, the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was in a class all by itself. Mark indicated that Jesus said that whoever blasphemed against the Holy Spirit (ὃς δ’ ἂν βλασφημήσῃ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον), would never be forgiven even in eternity (οὐκ ἔχει ἄφεσιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα). He would be guilty of an eternal sin (ἀλλὰ ἔνοχός ἐστιν αἰωνίου ἁμαρτήματος). Anyone who spoke against the Holy Spirit would not be forgiven either now or in the future, because this blasphemer had an unclean spirit (ὅτι ἔλεγον Πνεῦμα ἀκάθαρτον ἔχει). Therefore, he could not be cleansed. Have you ever derided the Holy Spirit?
Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his sayings. The good person (ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος), out of the good treasure of his heart (ἐκ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ τῆς καρδίας), produces good things (προφέρει τὸ ἀγαθόν). The evil person (καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς), out of his evil treasure (ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ), produces evil (προφέρει τὸ πονηρόν). Out of the abundance of the heart (ἐκ γὰρ περισσεύματος καρδίας), the mouth speaks (λαλεῖ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ). The heart was considered the moral center of a person. Thus, we often say a person has a good heart. Just like a tree, if the heart is good or evil, it will show up in either good or evil deeds and words. This is similar to Matthew, chapter 12:35, thus indicating a possible Q source. Matthew had Jesus speak about the same theme that only good can come from good people and only bad can come from bad people. This is a common-sense statement that talks about the good and the evil people. The good or kind person brought good things out of his good treasure or storehouse. The evil or wicked person brought evil things out of his evil treasure or storehouse. There never was any ambiguity. Your treasure, your storehouse, your heart, or your morality would be revealed in your words or deeds. What do you reveal in your activities?
Luke said that the Scribes (οἱ γραμματεῖς) and the Pharisees (καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι) began to reason or question Jesus (καὶ ἤρξαντο διαλογίζεσθαι). Was Jesus not speaking blasphemies (λέγοντες Τίς ἐστιν οὗτος ὃς λαλεῖ βλασφημίας)? Only God could forgive sins (τίς δύναται ἁμαρτίας ἀφεῖναι εἰ μὴ μόνος ὁ Θεός). Mark, chapter 2:6-7, and Matthew, chapter 9:3, are similar to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this saying about the Pharisees and the Scribes saying that Jesus was committing blasphemy. Mark and Matthew did not mention the Pharisees, just the Scribes. Mark said that some of these Scribes were sitting there in this crowded room. They were reasoning or questioning in their hearts, but not to others. They wondered why Jesus was talking this way, since it appeared to be blasphemy. Blasphemers used scurrilous or irreverent language about God. How was Jesus able to forgive sins, since only God can forgive sins? This seems like a legitimate question.
Μωϋσῆς γὰρ εἶπεν Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα σου, καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα θανάτῳ τελευτάτω.
There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 15:4. Mark indicated that Jesus gave an example of one of God’s Ten Commandments that Moses had given them (Μωϋσῆς γὰρ εἶπεν) about honoring your father and mother (Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα σου), as found in Exodus, chapter 20:12 and Deuteronomy chapter 5:16. There it said that you will live long and things will go well with you, if you take care of and honor your parents. Jesus then added in the saying about speaking evil of one’s parents (καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα) from Exodus, chapter 21:17, and Leviticus, chapter 20:9, where the penalty for striking or cursing a parent was death (θανάτῳ τελευτάτω).
There are similar statements to this in Mark, chapter 3:28-30, and Luke, chapter 12:10. It might be okay to disrespect the Son of Man, but it is quite another thing to speak against or blasphemy the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy was profaning the name of God. If you profaned the Holy Spirit you were hopeless. Only God could forgive. If you gave up on God and his Spirit, there was no hope of forgiveness. The Son of Man was so human that you could be forgiven for speaking against the Son of Man, Jesus, but not the Holy Spirit. Jesus told them with a solemn proclamation (Διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν). God would forgive all human sins and blasphemies (πᾶσα ἁμαρτία καὶ βλασφημία ἀφεθήσεται τοῖς ἀνθρώποις). However, he would not forgive the sin of blasphemy against the Spirit (ἡ δὲ τοῦ Πνεύματος βλασφημία οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται). Humans could speak against the Son of Man (καὶ ὃς ἐὰν εἴπῃ λόγον κατὰ τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) and be forgiven (ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ). However, anyone who spoke against the Holy Spirit (ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ κατὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ Ἁγίου) would not be forgiven (οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ), either now or in the future (οὔτε ἐν τούτῳ τῷ αἰῶνι οὔτε ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι).
We experience God in our community in the celebration of the story of Jesus Christ. The coherent story of Jesus overcomes self-deception. Jesus showed us how to be faithful to others and provides a model for constancy. The Jesus narrative story transforms and empowers us. Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the anointed one, the suffering servant. For many the scandal of death by crucifixion was too much. Christ’s resurrection defies scientific verification. This is not just about Jesus of Nazareth, but Jesus, the Lord and Savior. Jesus speaks to our hearts and minds. Jesus lives on with his Holy Spirit in our community when we gather together. There is a personal and social transformation that continually takes place with a deeper and richer understanding of the human person and authentic community. We all have a personal development of our faith. We live our discipleship of Jesus in justice, love and healing as our faith springs into action.
Amos has this oracle of Yahweh that talks about the coming wailing and mourning all over the place. Yahweh, the God of the heavenly army or hosts is the Lord who speaks to them. In the streets and the squares of the town, there will be wailing and mourning. They will cry out, “alas, alas.” The farmers will mourn. They will need skilled mourners because of the great grief that they face. The people with vineyards will wail and mourn also. Yahweh was going to pass through them the middle of them.
This is one of the few times that the Spirit of Yahweh or the Holy Spirit actually speaks to someone. This Holy Spirit entered into Ezekiel. He put him on his feet and spoke to him. He told Ezekiel, the son of man, to lock himself inside of his house. It is not clear where this house came from. Cords were going to be placed binding up Ezekiel, so that he could not go among the people. Then this Spirit was going to make Ezekiel’s tongue stick to the roof of his mouth, so that he would be speechless and unable to reprove this rebellious house. When Ezekiel would be allowed to speak later, he was to say the famous saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh God!’ Anyone who wanted to hear could hear. Or they could refuse to hear. After all, he was going to speak to this rebellious house who might not want to listen.
Now there is a turn, as this author speaks directly to Jerusalem instead of Jerusalem herself complaining. Jerusalem was encouraged to be courageous. She would be comforted. However, those who mistreated her and rejoiced at her fall will be miserable. The cities where the children of Jerusalem served as slaves would be miserable also. The city of Babylon, that received the children of Jerusalem, rejoiced and was glad at the downfall and ruin of Jerusalem. Now they will be grieved at their own desolation. The pride of those people and their insolence will be turned to grief. The Everlasting One, not Yahweh, will bring fire upon it for many days. For a long time it will be inhabited by demons.