The Pharisees (Jn 1:24-1:24)

“Now theses priests

And Levites

Had been sent

By the Pharisees.”

Καὶ ἀπεσταλμένοι ἦσαν ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων.

John then introduced the Pharisees.  He said that these priests and Levites, who were questioning John the Baptist, had been sent (Καὶ ἀπεσταλμένοι ἦσαν) by the Pharisees (ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων).  These Pharisees were influential spiritual and political leaders of a Jewish renewal movement, who followed the Law of Moses, but with a number of oral traditions.  Thus, these Pharisees might be considered the proto-Rabbis that flourished after the destruction of the Temple in 60 CE.  There may have been about 6,000 Pharisees at the time of Jesus, as they were the continuing debating partners of Jesus, especially in Luke.  However, they did not seem to be involved in the death of Jesus, that was more the concern of the priests and leaders in Jerusalem.  Have you ever wondered about the Pharisees?

The graves (Lk 11:44-11:44)

“Woe to you!

You are

Like unmarked graves.

People walk

Over them

Without realizing it.”

 

οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, ὅτι ἐστὲ ὡς τὰ μνημεῖα τὰ ἄδηλα, καὶ οἱ ἄνθρωποι οἱ περιπατοῦντες ἐπάνω οὐκ οἴδασιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued to pick on his dinner guests, the Pharisees.  Jesus cursed these Pharisees without naming them.  He said woe to them (οὐαὶ ὑμῖν) because they were like unmarked graves (ὅτι ἐστὲ ὡς τὰ μνημεῖα τὰ ἄδηλα) that people or men would walk over without realizing it (καὶ οἱ ἄνθρωποι οἱ περιπατοῦντες ἐπάνω οὐκ οἴδασιν).  There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 23:27, where Jesus continued to curse the Pharisees and the Scribes.  There was no doubt that Jesus was cursing the Scribes and the Pharisees because of their false hearts.  They were like whitewashed tombs, that looked outwardly beautiful.  However, the inside of these unmarked tombs was full of the bones of dead people and other kinds of filth or impure things.  Thus, the Pharisees appear to look righteous on the outside to others.  However, on the inside, in their hearts, they were full of hypocrisy, iniquity, and lawlessness.  Matthew went into more detail than Luke did here, sitting with them at dinner.  Have you ever complained directly to people at a dinner party?

Prediction about the death and resurrection (Lk 9:22-9:22)

“Jesus said.

‘The Son of Man

Must undergo

Great suffering.

He will be rejected

By the elders,

By the chief priests,

And by the Scribes.

He will be killed.

On the third day,

He will be raised up.’”

 

εἰπὼν ὅτι Δεῖ τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου πολλὰ παθεῖν καὶ ἀποδοκιμασθῆναι ἀπὸ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων καὶ ἀρχιερέων καὶ γραμματέων καὶ ἀποκτανθῆναι καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἐγερθῆνα

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his disciples (εἰπὼν) that the Son of Man had to undergo great suffering (ὅτι Δεῖ τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου πολλὰ παθεῖν).  He would be rejected (καὶ ἀποδοκιμασθῆναι) by the elders or presbyters (ἀπὸ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων), the chief priests (καὶ ἀρχιερέων), and by the Scribes (καὶ γραμματέων).  He would be killed (καὶ ἀποκτανθῆναι), but on the third day (καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ), he would be raised up (ἐγερθῆνα).  Jesus began to talk about his future suffering that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:21-23, Mark, chapter 8:31-33, and here.  All this took place right after Peter’s strong profession of faith.  Notice that the synoptics gospel writers did not blame the Pharisees or the Sadducees for the suffering and death of Jesus.  There also was no mention of the Roman authorities.  Mark said that Jesus began to teach them that it was necessary that the Son of Man undergo many great sufferings.  Jesus used the term “Son of Man” in Luke and Mark to refer to himself not “Jesus Christ,” as in Matthew.  He was going to be rejected by the elders or presbyters, the chief priests, and the Scribes.  Eventually, he would be killed.  There was no mention of Jesus going to Jerusalem here.  After 3 days, he would rise again.  Matthew disliked Jerusalem with everything and everybody attached to it.  For the first time he used the full name of Jesus Christ (Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς).  From that time on, after Jesus had put Peter in charge, Jesus Christ began to show or let his disciples know that he had to go to Jerusalem.  There he would undergo great suffering from the Israelite Jerusalem elders or presbyters, the chief priests, and the Scribes.  Eventually, he would be killed, but he would be raised up on the 3rd day.  Clearly, this was a prediction about the future suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  Whom do you blame for the death of Jesus Christ?

Amazement (Lk 5:26-5:26)

“Amazement

Seized

All of them.

They glorified God.

They were filled

With awe.

They said.

‘We have seen

Strange things today.’”

 

καὶ ἔκστασις ἔλαβεν ἅπαντας, καὶ ἐδόξαζον τὸν Θεόν, καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν φόβου λέγοντες ὅτι Εἴδομεν παράδοξα σήμερον.

 

Luke and the other gospel writers said that not only the cured paralytic but all the people glorified God.  Did this include the Pharisees and Scribes?  Luke said that amazement seized all of them (καὶ ἔκστασις ἔλαβεν ἅπαντας).  They glorified God (καὶ ἐδόξαζον τὸν Θεόν).  They were filled with awesome fear (καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν φόβου).  They said (λέγοντες) that they had seen remarkable or strange things that day (ὅτι Εἴδομεν παράδοξα σήμερον).  This saying about the people being amazed is nearly the same as in Mark, chapter 2:12, and Matthew, chapter 9:8.  Mark said that they were all amazed, or marveled at what they had just witnessed.  They, not just the paralytic, glorified, honored, or praised God.  They said to one another that they had never seen anything like this before, because Jesus had a lot of power.  Matthew said that the crowds were in awe, or were amazed, or marveled at what they had just witnessed.  They glorified, honored, or praised God, since God had given so much authority to these men.  Notice that this is in the plural “men”, not just Jesus, one man, but potentially to his followers as well.  Thus, ends the story of the cured paralytic and the hole in the roof with the Pharisees and Scribes upset.

The coming wrath (Lk 3:7-3:7)

“John said

To the crowds

That came out

To be baptized

By him.

‘You brood of vipers!

Who warned you

To flee

From the wrath

To come?’”

 

Ἔλεγεν οὖν τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ὄχλοις βαπτισθῆναι ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ Γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν, τίς ὑπέδειξεν ὑμῖν φυγεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς μελλούσης ὀργῆς;

 

Luke then presented the teachings of John that can be found in all 4 gospel stories.  Notice how this teaching lines up with what Jesus would say.  Matthew, chapter 3:8, has something similar but it was directed at the Pharisees and the Sadducees who were coming to be baptized by John.  Mark and John do not have anything about this “brood of vipers.”  Luke indicated that John spoke to all the crowds who were coming out to be baptized by him (Ἔλεγεν οὖν τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ὄχλοις βαπτισθῆναι ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ), not just a select few people.  John told them that they were like a group of vipers (Γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν) who would kill young people.  Vipers were poisonous snakes or reptiles.  Who warned them to flee from the wrath to come (τίς ὑπέδειξεν ὑμῖν φυγεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς μελλούσης ὀργῆς)?  This might be a saying from the so-called Q source, since both Matthew and Luke have the exact same wording.  It might also be an allusion to the prophet Amos, chapter 5:18-20.  Amos saw the day of Yahweh as an angry day of judgment.

The Son of Man must suffer (Mk 8:31-8:31)

“Then Jesus

Began to teach them

That the Son of Man

Must undergo

Great suffering.

He will be rejected

By the elders,

By the chief priests,

And by the Scribes.

He will be killed.

After three days,

He will rise again.”

 

Καὶ ἤρξατο διδάσκειν αὐτοὺς ὅτι δεῖ τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου πολλὰ παθεῖν, καὶ ἀποδοκιμασθῆναι ὑπὸ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων καὶ τῶν ἀρχιερέων καὶ τῶν γραμματέων καὶ ἀποκτανθῆναι καὶ μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας ἀναστῆναι

 

Jesus began to talk about his future suffering that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:21, Luke, chapter 9:22, and here.  Notice that Mark and the other synoptics do not blame the Pharisees or the Sadducees for the suffering and death of Jesus.  There also was no mention of the Roman authorities.  Jesus began to teach them (Καὶ ἤρξατο διδάσκειν αὐτοὺς) that it was necessary that the Son of Man (ὅτι δεῖ τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) undergo many great sufferings (καὶ πολλὰ παθεῖν).  Here in Mark, Jesus used the term Son of Man to refer to himself not Jesus Christ as in Matthew.  He was going to be rejected (καὶ ἀποδοκιμασθῆναι) by the elders or presbyters (ἀπὸ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων), the chief priests (καὶ ἀρχιερέων), and the Scribes (καὶ γραμματέων).  Eventually, he would be killed (καὶ ἀποκτανθῆναι).  There was no mention of Jesus going to Jerusalem here.  After 3 days (καὶ μετὰ τρεῖς ἡμέρας), he would rise again (ἀναστῆναι).  Clearly, this was a prediction about the future of Jesus and his suffering, death, and resurrection.

The meal with the tax collectors (Mk 2:15-2:15)

“And as he sat

At dinner

In Levi’s house,

Many tax collectors

And sinners

Were also sitting

With Jesus

And his disciples.

There were many

Who followed him.”

 

Καὶ γίνεται κατακεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ, καὶ πολλοὶ τελῶναι καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ συνανέκειντο τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ, ἦσαν γὰρ πολλοὶ καὶ ἠκολούθουν αὐτῷ.

 

Luke, chapter 5:29, and Matthew, chapter 9:10, are similar to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this event.  Here and in Luke, it was explicitly mentioned that Jesus was having a meal in the house of Levi (Καὶ γίνεται κατακεῖσθαι αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ).  As Levi was a tax collector, other tax collectors (καὶ πολλοὶ τελῶναι) 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 this house.  However, besides the tax collectors, a lot of sinners came to sit down or recline (καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ συνανέκειντο) with Jesus and his disciples (τῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ).  The tax collectors were collecting money or tolls for the Roman Empire, so that they could hardly be called model Jewish citizens.  The sinners (ἁμαρτωλοὶ), on the other hand, could either be non-Jewish gentiles or other public immoral Jewish men, who were unclean.  In general, tax collectors and sinners were lumped together, since neither cared much for following the Jewish law, unlike the Pharisees.  However, many people were already followers of Jesus (ἦσαν γὰρ πολλοὶ καὶ ἠκολούθουν αὐτῷ).  How were these followers different from his disciples?