God and Moses (Lk 20:37-20:37)

“The dead are raised.

Moses showed this

In the story

About the bush.

There

He speaks

Of the Lord as

The God of Abraham,

The God of Isaac,

And the God of Jacob.”

 

ὅτι δὲ ἐγείρονται οἱ νεκροὶ, καὶ Μωϋσῆς ἐμήνυσεν ἐπὶ τῆς Βάτου, ὡς λέγει Κύριον τὸν Θεὸν Ἀβραὰμ καὶ Θεὸν Ἰσαὰκ καὶ Θεὸν Ἰακώβ

 

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?

Blaspheme against the Holy Spirit (Lk 12:10-12:10)

“Everyone

Who speaks a word

Against the Son of Man

Will be forgiven.

But whoever blasphemes

Against the Holy Spirit

Will not be forgiven.”

 

καὶ πᾶς ὃς ἐρεῖ λόγον εἰς τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ· τῷ δὲ εἰς τὸ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα βλασφημήσαντι οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται.

 

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?

The good and evil man (Lk 6:45-6:45)

“The good person,

Out of the good treasure

Of his heart,

Produces good.

The evil person,

Out of his evil treasure,

Produces evil.

Out of the abundance

Of the heart,

The mouth speaks.”

 

ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ τῆς καρδίας προφέρει τὸ ἀγαθόν, καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ προφέρει τὸ πονηρόν· ἐκ γὰρ περισσεύματος καρδίας λαλεῖ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ.

 

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?

Only God forgives sins (Lk 5:21-5:21)

“Then the Scribes

And the Pharisees

Began to question.

‘Who is this

That speaks blasphemies?

Who can forgive sins

But God alone?’”

 

καὶ ἤρξαντο διαλογίζεσθαι οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι λέγοντες Τίς ἐστιν οὗτος ὃς λαλεῖ βλασφημίας; τίς δύναται ἁμαρτίας ἀφεῖναι εἰ μὴ μόνος ὁ Θεός;

 

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.

The tradition of Moses (Mk 7:10-7:10)

“Moses said.

‘Honor your father!

Honor your mother!’

‘Whoever speaks evil

Of father

Or mother,

Must surely die!’”

 

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).

The sin against the Holy Spirit (Mt 12:31-12:32)

“Therefore,

I tell you!

People will be forgiven

For every sin

And blasphemy.

But blasphemy

Against the Spirit

Will not be forgiven.

Whoever speaks a word

Against the Son of man

Will be forgiven.

But whoever speaks

Against the Holy Spirit

Will not be forgiven,

Either in this age

Or in the age to come.”

 

Διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν, πᾶσα ἁμαρτία καὶ βλασφημία ἀφεθήσεται τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, ἡ δὲ τοῦ Πνεύματος βλασφημία οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται.

καὶ ὃς ἐὰν εἴπῃ λόγον κατὰ τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ· ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ κατὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ Ἁγίου, οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ οὔτε ἐν τούτῳ τῷ αἰῶνι οὔτε ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι.

 

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).

Christian Community

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.