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?

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Evil comes from the human heart (Mk 7:21-7:23)

“It is from within,

From the human heart,

That evil intentions come.

Fornication,

Theft,

Murder,

Adultery,

Avarice,

Wickedness,

Deceit,

Licentiousness,

Envy,

Slander,

Pride,

And folly,

All these evil things

Come from within.

They defile a person.”

 

ἔσωθεν γὰρ ἐκ τῆς καρδίας τῶν ἀνθρώπων οἱ διαλογισμοὶ οἱ κακοὶ ἐκπορεύονται, πορνεῖαι, κλοπαί, φόνοι,

μοιχεῖαι, πλεονεξίαι, πονηρίαι, δόλος, ἀσέλγεια, ὀφθαλμὸς πονηρός, βλασφημία, ὑπερηφανία, ἀφροσύνη·

πάντα ταῦτα τὰ πονηρὰ ἔσωθεν ἐκπορεύεται καὶ κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 15:19-20.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that it is from within the heart of a person (ἔσωθεν γὰρ ἐκ τῆς καρδίας τῶν ἀνθρώπων) that evil or wicked thoughts come forth spreading out (οἱ διαλογισμοὶ οἱ κακοὶ ἐκπορεύονται).  This included such evil things as fornication or pornography (πορνεῖαι), theft (κλοπαί), murders or killings (φόνοι), adulteries (μοιχεῖαι), avarice (πλεονεξίαι), wickedness (πονηρίαι), deceit (δόλος), licentiousness or wanton sensuality (ἀσέλγεια,), envy or the evil eye (ὀφθαλμὸς πονηρός), slander, abusive language, or blasphemy (βλασφημία), pride (ὑπερηφανία), and folly or foolishness (ἀφροσύνη).  This list in Mark was longer and different than the list in Matthew.  All these evil things came from within (πάντα ταῦτα τὰ πονηρὰ ἔσωθεν).  They come forth from the person (ἐκπορεύεται).  They are the things that defile a person (καὶ κοινοῖ τὸν ἄνθρωπον).  You can clearly see what Jesus, his disciples, and the early Christian community considered as sins or defilements that made a person unclean or defiled.

The fate of the wicked (Job 20:12-20:19)

“Though wickedness is sweet in their mouth,

Though they hide it under their tongues,

Though they are loath to let it go,

Though they hold it in their mouth,

Yet their food is turned in their stomachs.

It is the venom of asps within them.

They swallow down riches.

They vomit them up again.

God casts them out of their bellies.

They will suck the poison of asps.

The tongue of a viper will kill them.

They will not look on the rivers,

The streams flowing with honey and curds.

They will give back the fruit of their toil.

They will not swallow it down.

From the profit of their trading

They will get no enjoyment.

They have crushed and abandoned the poor.

They have seized a house

That they did not build.”

There is a further explanation of the wicked ones. They try to hide their wickedness. However it turns in their stomachs. Poisonous snakes or asps are within them. They swallow wealth and then vomit it out. What a metaphor! They will die from the poison of the snakes that they suck on. They will not see the rivers with honey and curds. They will give back the fruit of the land and not eat it. They will not enjoy their trading profits. They have crushed the poor and seized houses that they did not build. This is a vivid description of greedy people who do not care about others, the wicked ones.

The troubles with being human (Job 5:1-5:7)

“Call now!

Is there anyone who will answer you?

To which of the holy ones will you turn?

Surely vexation kills the fool.

Jealousy slays the simple.

I have seen fools taking root.

But suddenly I cursed their dwelling.

Their children are far from safety.

They are crushed in the gate.

There is no one to deliver them.

The hungry eat their harvest.

They take it even out of thorns.

The thirsty pant after their wealth.

Misery does not come from the earth.

Trouble does not sprout from the ground.

But human beings are born to trouble

Just as the birds fly upward.”

Being human is being in trouble just as birds fly. Eliphaz told Job to call, but no one will respond. Which angels or holy ones will respond to him? Irritation and jealousy kill the fools and simple ones. Eliphaz has cursed fools and their children so that they were crushed at the main gate to the town. No one helped them. The hungry ones took and ate their harvest, even from the thorny section. The thirsty ones went after their wealth. Misery and trouble do not come from the ground or the earth, but come from within humans. This is to suggest that human trouble comes from within and is not imposed. Humans are born to be troubled just like birds are born to fly. Accept this fact!