Tithing (Lk 11:42-11:42)

“But woe to you!

Pharisees!

You tithe

Mint,

Rue,

And every kind

Of herb.

However,

You neglect

Justice

And the love of God!

It is these

You ought

To have practiced

Without neglecting

The others.”

 

ἀλλὰ οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς Φαρισαίοις, ὅτι ἀποδεκατοῦτε τὸ ἡδύοσμον καὶ τὸ πήγανον καὶ πᾶν λάχανον, καὶ παρέρχεσθε τὴν κρίσιν καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ Θεοῦ· ταῦτα δὲ ἔδει ποιῆσαι κἀκεῖνα μὴ παρεῖναι.

 

Next Luke had the Lord Jesus curse the Pharisees the way that Matthew had done.  Jesus said woe to them, the Pharisees (ἀλλὰ οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς Φαρισαίοις)!  They had paid their tithes (ὅτι ἀποδεκατοῦτε) of mint (τὸ ἡδύοσμον), rue (καὶ τὸ πήγανον), and every kind of herb (καὶ πᾶν λάχανον).  However, they had neglected (καὶ παρέρχεσθε) justice (τὴν κρίσιν) and the love of God (καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ Θεοῦ).  They ought to practice these things (ταῦτα δὲ ἔδει ποιῆσαι), without neglecting the other things (κἀκεῖνα μὴ παρεῖναι).  This is like Matthew, chapter 23:23, where Jesus cursed the Pharisees and the Scribes.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said woe to them because of their insistence on tithing.  He blamed them for their concern about the tithing of the various aromatic spices of mint, dill, and cumin plants, instead of the more serious matters of the law.  Thus, they neglected, the serious practice of justice, mercy, and faith.  They should have spent more time on these issues without neglecting the other things.  This seemed like a critique of misplaced priorities, with their legalistic sense of tithing being more important than justice, mercy, faith, and the Mosaic law itself.  Luke had almost the same critique here, but the tithing herbs are slightly different.  He also wanted their concerns to be about justice and God’s love.  Otherwise the critique was pretty much the same.  Do you neglect justice and mercy in your life?

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Alms make you clean (Lk 11:41-11:41)

“Give for alms

Those things

That are within!

See!

Everything will be clean

For you!”

 

πλὴν τὰ ἐνόντα δότε ἐλεημοσύνην, καὶ ἰδοὺ πάντα καθαρὰ ὑμῖν ἐστιν.

 

Luke uniquely had Jesus turn to alms.  The Lord Jesus told the Pharisee that they should give alms (δότε ἐλεημοσύνην) with things that are from within them (λὴν τὰ ἐνόντα), so that everything would be clean for them (καὶ ἰδοὺ πάντα καθαρὰ ὑμῖν ἐστιν).  Giving alms would help them, since this was already part of the Mosaic and Pharisaic law, but it had to be interior and and not exterior.  It is hard to figure out what an interior almsgiving would be.  Are you generous in your gift giving to others?

The fools (Lk 11:40-11:40)

“You fools!

Did not the one

Who made the outside

Make the inside also?”

 

ἄφρονες, οὐχ ὁ ποιήσας τὸ ἔξωθεν καὶ τὸ ἔσωθεν ἐποίησεν;

 

Luke uniquely continued with Jesus, the Lord, saying that they were fools (ἄφρονες).  Did not the one who made the outside (οὐχ ὁ ποιήσας τὸ ἔξωθεν) also make the inside (καὶ τὸ ἔσωθεν ἐποίησεν)?  This quiet dinner party was now more heated.  Jesus called the Pharisees fools, insensitive or inconsiderate.  Jesus continued to warn them about the inside and the outside of their body and various vessels.  Cleaning the outside was not good enough.  Are you worried about outside or inside cleanliness?

Martha was troubled (Lk 10:41-10:41)

“But the Lord

Answered her.

‘Martha!

Martha!

You are worried

And distracted

By many things!’”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ ὁ Κύριος Μάρθα Μάρθα, μεριμνᾷς καὶ θορυβάζῃ περὶ πολλά

 

Luke said that the Lord answered Martha (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ ὁ Κύριος).  Jesus, the Lord, told Martha (Μάρθα Μάρθα) that she was too worried, anxious, troubled and distracted by many things (μεριμνᾷς καὶ θορυβάζῃ περὶ πολλά).  This almost sounds like a reprimand.  Jesus simply stated that Martha was too concerned about all the serving things that it distracted her from him.  Does your work sometimes distract you from listening to the Lord?

Make my sister help me (Lk 10:40-10:40)

“But Martha

Was distracted

By her many tasks.

She went

To the Lord.

She asked

‘Lord!

Do you not care

That my sister

Has left me

To do all the work

Alone by myself?

Tell her then

To help me!’”

 

ἡ δὲ Μάρθα περιεσπᾶτο περὶ πολλὴν διακονίαν· ἐπιστᾶσα δὲ εἶπεν Κύριε, οὐ μέλει σοι ὅτι ἡ ἀδελφή μου μόνην με κατέλειπεν διακονεῖν; εἰπὸν οὖν αὐτῇ ἵνα μοι συναντιλάβηται.

 

Now the element of conflict came up.  Luke said that Martha was distracted or troubled by her many tasks of hospitality serving (ἡ δὲ Μάρθα περιεσπᾶτο περὶ πολλὴν διακονίαν).  Thus, she went to address Jesus as the Lord (ἐπιστᾶσα δὲ εἶπεν Κύριε).  She urgently wanted to know if the Lord cared about the fact that her sister had left her alone to do all the serving work by herself (οὐ μέλει σοι ὅτι ἡ ἀδελφή μου μόνην με κατέλειπεν διακονεῖν)?  She wanted Jesus to tell Mary (εἰπὸν οὖν αὐτῇ) to help her (ἵνα μοι συναντιλάβηται).  Mary was simply sitting listening to Jesus, while Martha was doing all the housework.  Martha wanted Jesus to tell her sister to help her with the household duties.  Why couldn’t Martha talk to her sister herself?  She knew her pretty well.  What will be the response of Jesus?  Would you rather be the worker or the listener?

The great commandment to love God (Lk 10:27-10:27)

“The lawyer answered.

‘You shall love

The Lord,

Your God,

With all your heart,

With all your soul,

With all your strength,

And with all your mind.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Ἀγαπήσεις Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σου ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ἰσχύϊ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳ σου,

 

Luke said that the lawyer answered Jesus (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) by citing Deuteronomy, chapter 6:4-5, where it said that you were to love the Lord, your God (Ἀγαπήσεις Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σου), with all your heart (ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας σου), with all your soul (καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ σου), with all your strength (καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ἰσχύϊ σου), and with all your mind (καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳ σου).  Mark, chapter 12:39-40, said that Jesus answered this Scribe, instead of the other way around as here in Luke.  The first commandment was “Hear this O Israel!  The Lord our God is one.  He should love the Lord, his God with his whole heart, his whole soul, his whole mind, and with all his strength.  This Shema cry for Israel to listen can be found in Deuteronomy, chapter 6:4-5.  These verses have had a great influence on the Israelites as the great commandment that was recited often and written all over the place on their hands, forehead, and door posts.  It was both a morning and an evening prayer, something you could say at home and when you were away from home.  The Israelites taught their children this simple prayer.  Jesus and the early Christian followers repeated this prayer in the gospel stories of the New Testament as the great commandment of love of God.  This “Shema” became the basis of the Abrahamic religions, the great commandment of monotheism and love that must always be remembered.  In Matthew, chapter 22:37-38, Jesus also responded, rather than the lawyer.  Jesus told this lawyer that he should love the Lord, his God with his whole heart, his whole soul, and his whole mind   This was the greatest and the first commandment.  Just be a good human Jewish person and love God above all else with your whole being, heart, soul, and mind.  Do you totally love God?

Proclaim Jesus in your home area (Lk 8:39-8:39)

“Jesus said.

‘Return to your home!

Declare

How much

God has done

For you!’

Thus,

He went away,

Proclaiming

Throughout the whole city

How much

Jesus had done

For him.”

 

Ὑπόστρεφε εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου, καὶ διηγοῦ ὅσα σοι ἐποίησεν ὁ Θεός. καὶ ἀπῆλθεν καθ’ ὅλην τὴν πόλιν κηρύσσων ὅσα ἐποίησεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told the former demoniac to return to his home (Ὑπόστρεφε εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου).  There he was to declare how much God had done for him (καὶ διηγοῦ ὅσα σοι ἐποίησεν ὁ Θεός).  Thus, he went away (καὶ ἀπῆλθεν), proclaiming throughout the whole city (καθ’ ὅλην τὴν πόλιν κηρύσσων) how much Jesus had done for him (ὅσα ἐποίησεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 5:19-20, while there is nothing like this in MatthewMark said that Jesus refused this former demoniac’s request.  Jesus would not permit him to go with them.  However, Jesus told him to go to his own home.  There he was to preach, announce, or tell others how much the Lord (ὁ Κύριός) had done for him with his great mercy.  This former demoniac went away.  He then began to preach or proclaim in the Decapolis area how much Jesus had done for him.  Thus, everyone there was amazed or marveled at this.  The Decapolis territory was a group of 10 gentile non-Jewish cities on the east bank of the Jordan River in present day Jordan and Syria that included the towns of Gerasa, Scythopolis, Hippos, Gadara, Pella, Philadelphia, Capitolias, Canatha, Raphana, and Damascus.  Thus, this cured demoniac was the first Christian apostle to the gentiles, a foreign missionary rather than a close disciple or apostle.  Would you rather be a missionary for Jesus or one who followed him closely?