Beware of the Scribes! (Lk 20:46-20:46)

“Beware of the Scribes!

They like

To walk around

In long robes.

They love

To be greeted

With respect

In the market places.

They love

To have the best front seats

In the synagogues.

They love

The front places of honor

At banquets.”

 

Προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων τῶν θελόντων περιπατεῖν ἐν στολαῖς καὶ φιλούντων ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις,

 

Luke had Jesus deliver a diatribe against the Scribes.  Jesus said to be aware of the Scribes (Προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων), because they like to walk around in long robes (τῶν θελόντων περιπατεῖν ἐν στολαῖς).  They love to be greeted with respect in the market places (φιλούντων ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς).  They love to have the best front seats in the synagogues (καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς).  They love the front places of honor at banquets (καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις).  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:38-39, and Matthew, chapter 23:6-7 who had a much longer diatribe against both the Scribes and the Pharisees.  Mark indicated that as Jesus taught (Καὶ ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ), he told them to be aware of the Scribes (ἔλεγεν Βλέπετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων).  These Scribes walked around in long robes (τῶν θελόντων ἐν στολαῖς περιπατεῖν).  They loved to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces (καὶ ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς).  They loved the front seats in the assembly synagogues (καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς).  They loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts (καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις).  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that both the Pharisees and the Scribes loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts (φιλοῦσιν δὲ τὴν πρωτοκλισίαν ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις) and the best or front seats in the assembly synagogues (καὶ τὰς πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς).  They loved to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces (καὶ τοὺς ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς).  They loved to have people call them rabbi (καὶ καλεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων Ῥαββεί), since this was an Aramaic term that generally meant great teacher or master.  While Luke and Mark only mentioned the Scribes, Matthew also named the Pharisees along with the Scribes as being these elite social butterflies.  Do you like the front row seats?

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?

Jesus told the little girl to get up (Lk 8:54-8:54)

“But Jesus

Took the little girl

By the hand.

He called out.

‘Child!

Get up!’”

 

αὐτὸς δὲ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς ἐφώνησεν λέγων Ἡ παῖς, ἔγειρ

 

Luke said that Jesus took her by the hand (αὐτὸς δὲ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς) and called out saying (ἐφώνησεν λέγων) to the child (Ἡ παῖς) to get up (ἔγειρ).  This curing of this young girl was similar to what can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:25, and Mark, chapter 5:41-42.  However, only Mark went into more detail by using Aramaic words to cure her.  Mark said that Jesus took her by the hand and then said to her, “Talitha cum (Ταλιθὰ κούμ)!” which means “Little girl! Get up or arise!”  Immediately, the girl arose or got up.  She began to walk.  She was 12 years old, the same number of years that the lady suffered from the blood flow.  At this, the crowd was immediately overcome with great amazement.  The use and explanation of Aramaic may indicate an oral source for this story that may have been told originally in Aramaic.  Mark felt compelled to explain this to his Greek non-Aramaic audience.  Matthew had a very succinct story.  Jesus had the crowds put outside.  Then he went into where the dead girl was.  He took her by the hand.  Then this girl got up, without Jesus saying any words.  This is somewhat like the prophet Elijah who brought a child back to life in 1 Kings, chapter 17:17-24.  Have you ever witnessed a miracle?

Tell him what you have seen (Lk 7:22-7:22)

“Jesus answered them.

‘Go!

Tell John!

What you have seen

And heard.

The blind

Receive their sight.

The lame

Walk.

The lepers

Are cleansed.

The deaf

Hear.

The dead

Are raised up.

The poor

Have good news

Brought to them.’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πορευθέντες ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰωάνει ἃ εἴδετε καὶ ἠκούσατε· τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν, χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν, λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται, καὶ κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν, νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται, πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται·

 

Luke said that Jesus answered the disciples of John (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).  He told them to go tell John (Πορευθέντες ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰωάνει) what they had seen and heard (ἃ εἴδετε καὶ ἠκούσατε).  The blind ones receive their sight (τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν).  The lame walk (χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν).  The lepers are cleansed (λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται).  The deaf hear (καὶ κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν).  The dead are raised up (νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται).  The poor have good news brought to them (πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται).  This is almost word for word like Matthew, chapter 11:4-5, indicating a possible Q source.  Jesus responded or answered these disciples and their main question.  He told them to report back to John after their journey what they had heard and seen.  Then Jesus listed what he had been doing.  The blind people have recovered their sight.  The lame people were walking around.  The lepers were cleansed.  The deaf were able to hear.  The dead were raised up.  The poor and destitute people were getting good news brought to them.  This is a very strong response, as if to say that he was the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed one, something that Jesus did not do often.  This messianic expectation was based on Isaiah, chapter 35:4-6, when the savior, their God would come with a vengeance to make up for past problems.  He would come to save them.  Isaiah seems to indicate that there would be a reversal of fortune, a change in the ways that things happen.  The blind would see.  The deaf would hear.  The lame would run.  The mute people would speak.  Have you had a change in your life?

What is easier? (Lk 5:23-5:23)

“Which is easier?

To say.

‘Your sins

Are forgiven you!’

Or to say.

‘Stand up!

Walk!’”

 

τί ἐστιν εὐκοπώτερον, εἰπεῖν Ἀφέωνταί σοι αἱ ἁμαρτίαι σου, ἢ εἰπεῖν Ἔγειρε καὶ περιπάτει;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked which was easier to say (τί ἐστιν εὐκοπώτερον)?  Your sins are forgiven you (εἰπεῖν Ἀφέωνταί σοι αἱ ἁμαρτίαι σου) or stand up and walk (ἢ εἰπεῖν Ἔγειρε καὶ περιπάτει).  Mark, chapter 2:9, and Matthew, chapter 9:8, are almost word for word to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this saying.  Mark and Matthew said the same thing about the healing and forgiving of sins for the paralytic.  Jesus posed the question which was it easier to do, to say to the paralytic that your sins are forgiven or to say get up, take your pallet, and walk.  Jesus seemed to make an equivalence between the two options, forgiving sins or healing a paralyzed man.

They sung a hymn (Mk 14:26-14:26)

“When they had sung

The hymn,

They went out

To the Mount of Olives.”

 

Καὶ ὑμνήσαντες ἐξῆλθον εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν.

 

This is exactly word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:30, and similar in Luke, chapter 22:39.  Both Matthew and Mark agree that after they had sung the praise hymns (Καὶ ὑμνήσαντες), they went out to the hill or the Mount of Olives (ἐξῆλθον εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν).  The hymns that they would have sung would be the Hallel Psalms 115-118, that were usually associated with the Passover service.  The Mount of Olives was about 2 miles east of the old city of Jerusalem, where many people had been buried for thousands of years.  Thus, when Jesus and his 12 disciples had finished with their Passover hymn singing of the Hallel psalms, they went outside the city about a 2 mile walk to this graveyard where there was a hill with a lot of olive trees on it.

Why did the disciples not follow tradition? (Mk 7:5-7:5)

“The Pharisees

And the Scribes

Asked Jesus.

‘Why do your disciples

Not live

According to the tradition

Of the elders,

But eat

With defiled hands?’”

 

καὶ ἐπερωτῶσιν αὐτὸν οἱ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς Διὰ τί οὐ περιπατοῦσιν οἱ μαθηταί σου κατὰ τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν πρεσβυτέρων, ἀλλὰ κοιναῖς χερσὶν ἐσθίουσιν τὸν ἄρτον;

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 15:2.  Mark said that these Pharisees and Scribes questioned Jesus (καὶ ἐπερωτῶσιν αὐτὸν οἱ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς).  They wanted to know why the disciples of Jesus did not live or walk (Διὰ τί οὐ περιπατοῦσιν οἱ μαθηταί σου) according to the tradition of the elders or the priests (κατὰ τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν πρεσβυτέρων).  But his disciples ate bread with defiled or unwashed hands (ἀλλὰ κοιναῖς χερσὶν ἐσθίουσιν τὸν ἄρτον). They were violating the tradition of the elders.