The Great Commandment Matthew How is David's Son, David's Lord? Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees Matthew O Jerusalem, Jerusalem Matthew The Destruction of Jerusalem Matthew Just Like the Days of Noah Matthew The Faithful Slave Matthew The Ten Virgins Matthew Kingdom Meal Matthew Fear and Joy Matthew Matthew 28 Resurrection Founder's Material from another source: God's Unique Son Matt 1: Beyond the Shame Matthew 1: Birth and Childhood of Jesus Matthew 1: The Salt of the Earth Matthew 5: A Primer for Prayer Matthew 6: Holy Scripture Matthew An Invitation To Rest Matthew Matthew Parables in the Olivet Discourse Matthew The Gracious King Matthew 1: Jesus' Birth Fulfills Prophecy Matthew 2: Who Were the Wise Men?
Fools and Wise Men 1 Matthew 2: Fools and Wise Men 2 Matthew 2: The King Fulfills Prophecy- 1 Matthew 2: Happiness is… Matthew 5: The Only Way to Happiness Matthew 5: Happy are the Humble Matthew 5: The Only Way to Happiness: Be Poor in Spirit Matthew 5: Happy are the Sad Matthew 5: Mourn Over Sin Matthew 5: Happy are the Meek Matthew 5: Be Meek Matthew 5: Happy are the Hungry Matthew 5: Thirst for Holiness Matthew 5: Happy are the Merciful Matthew 5: Be Merciful Matthew 5: Happy are the Holy Matthew 5: Be Pure in Heart Matthew 5: Happy are the Peacemakers Matthew 5: Be a Peacemaker Matthew 5: Endure Hardship 1 Matthew 5: Endure Hardship 2 Matthew 5: Happy are the Harassed 1 Matthew 5: Happy are the Harassed 2 Matthew 5: The Attitude Behind the Act Matthew 5: Who is a Murderer?
Who is an Adulterer? Man's Biggest Problem Matthew 5: Treasure in Heaven 1 Matthew 6: Treasure in Heaven 2 Matthew 6: Overcoming Financial Worry 1 Matthew 6: Overcoming Financial Stress Matthew 6: Overcoming Financial Worry 2 Matthew 7 Matthew 7: That Which is Holy to the Dogs? Which Way to Heaven Matthew 7: The Only Road to Heaven Matthew 7: Foundations of Grace, Part 2 Matthew 7: Two Paths, One Way Matthew 7: Beware of False Prophets 1 Matthew 7: Beware of False Prophets 2 Matthew 7: Empty Words Matthew 7: Saved or Self-Deceived, Part 2 Matthew 7: Unmasking Christmas Hypocrites Matthew 7: Empty Words and Empty Hearts 1 Matthew 7: Empty Hearts Matthew 7: Jesus' Power over Disease 1 Matthew 8: Jesus' Power over Disease 2 Matthew 8: What Keeps Men from Christ?
Jesus' Power over the Natural Matthew 8: Jesus' Power over the Supernatural Matthew 9 Matthew 9: Jesus' Power over Sin Matthew 9: Jesus' Power over Death 1 Matthew 9: Jesus' Power over Death 2 Matthew 9: Miracles of Sight and Sound Matthew 9: Responding to Jesus' Power Matthew 9: A Lesson in Leadership Matthew Judas Iscariot Matthew Principles for Effective Missionary 1 Matthew Principles for Effective Missionary 2 Matthew Sheep Among Wolves 1 Matthew Sheep Among Wolves 2 Matthew Goal of Discipleship Matthew The Hallmarks of Discipleship 1 Matthew The Hallmarks of Discipleship 2 Matthew The Hallmarks of Discipleship 3 Matthew Relationship Matthew 13 Matthew Kingdom Parables 2 Matthew Entering the Kingdom Matthew The Supreme Confession Matthew The Church that Christ Builds 1 Matthew The Church that Christ Builds 2 Matthew Offending Christ Matthew Winning by Losing Matthew Preview of Second Coming 1 Matthew 17 Matthew Preview of Second Coming 2 Matthew Preview of Second Coming 3 Matthew The Discipline of God's Children 1 Matthew The Discipline of God's Children 2 Matthew The Discipline of God's Children 3 Matthew The Childlikeness of Believers: Confronting Sin Matthew Granting Forgiveness Matthew Learning to Forgive 1 Matthew Learning to Forgive 2 Matthew Learning to Forgive 3 Matthew How to Obtain Eternal Life Matthew Poverty of Riches--Riches of Poverty Matthew Equality in the Kingdom Matthew The Sufferings of Christ Matthew How to be Great in the Kingdom 1 Matthew How to be Great in the Kingdom 2 Matthew The Promise Without Performance Matthew The God of the Living Matthew Whose Son is Christ?
Matthew 23 Matthew The Signs of Christ's Coming 1 Matthew The Signs of Christ's Coming 2 Matthew The Signs of Christ's Coming 3 Matthew Abomination of Desolation Matthew Warnings of Coming Peril Matthew The Sign of the Son of Man Matthew The Imminence of Christ's Return Matthew Ready or Not, Here I Come! The Fate of the Unprepared Matthew Tragedy of Wasted Opportunity 1 Matthew Tragedy of Wasted Opportunity 2 Matthew The Judgment of the Nations 1 Matthew The Judgment of The Nations 2 Matthew Restoring Deserting Disciples Matthew Man of Sorrows 1 Matthew Man of Sorrows 2 Matthew The Son in Sorrow 1 Matthew The Traitor's Kiss 1 Matthew The Traitor's Kiss 2 Matthew Illegal, Unjust Trials of Jesus Matthew Illegal, Unjust Trials of Jesus 2 Matthew What Shall I Do with Jesus?
Wickedness of the Crucifixion 1 Matthew The Wickedness of the Crucifixion 2 Matthew Wickedness of the Crucifixion 2 Matthew God's Miraculous Commentary on Cross Matthew God's Commentary on the Passion of Christ Matthew A Closer Look at the Cross Matthew Responses to the Death of Christ Matthew The Amazing Burial of Jesus-1 Matthew Eyewitnesses to the Resurrection Matthew A First-hand Perspective on the Resurrection Matthew The Authenticity of the Risen Savior Matthew Authenticated by Apostasy Matthew The Lie that Proves the Resurrection Matthew The Resurrection Cover-Up Matthew The Resurrection of Jesus Christ Matthew Making Disciples of All Nations Matthew Matthew 3 Why Was Jesus Baptized?
Matthew 6 Can a Christian Starve to Death? Lord of the Sabbath Matthew Matthew 28 The Great Commission: Social Work, Political Action, or Evangelism? Body-healing Second Matthew 9: Holy Mary, Mother of God? Preview of the Resurrection Matthew They were able to extend the ministry of Jesus further. However, discipleship was not a burden but a joy, for the disciple had been grasped by the reign of God and was already living in the midst of God. Discipleship was a privilege. Blessed are the eyes which see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Although Jesus did teach some things about himself, he taught very little that was explicit. Although I have distinguished four elements in the teaching of Jesus eschatology, ethics, discipleship, himself , one can readily see how these are so closely related that they are one.
This eschatological reign, however, can so engage us that once entered, the disciple is challenged to live a certain way, in accord with the commandment of love. This same fate was something that Jesus taught was in store for himself first. All of these elements are aspects of the reign of God which had begun to take over the earth.
The New Testament implies that Jesus taught four things about his future: We have noted that the last element, his return or future and second coming, is not found in the teaching of Jesus himself. Rather it was formulated within the expectations of the early Church as they were increasingly influenced by apocalyptic motifs and prophecies. The other three elements, however, are all present in the teaching of the historical Jesus.
The latter, his resurrection from the dead, was not strongly emphasized, however. As we noted previously, the resurrection was not an overly prominent part in his eschatology. Yet it is still something in which he believed Mk It was not a universally held belief in Judaism but was part of the later tradition.
Jesus acknowledged his faith in the resurrection of the dead, and thus there is little reason to think that he did not look toward his own resurrection. Jesus did not talk much about himself, and when he did, he spoke primarily of the suffering to come. Yet he had firm faith and hope in his own future vindication by God.
How this would be accomplished he did not say. There is reason to believe that he himself did not know. This lack of explicit knowledge was the reason for his faith and trust in God. He felt assured that God would vindicate him even if he did not know precisely how. It was quite natural for him to assume that his vindication would involve resurrection.
The untimely death of John the Baptist touched him personally as well. Jesus was well aware that he and his mission had become a source of conflict and tension. I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth?
No, I tell you but rather division: Jesus was also aware of the fate of John, previous prophets, and of the hostility of Jerusalem in particular. Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem. How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!
Behold, your house is forsaken. The sayings reflect post-resurrection elements as well. Their core represents authentic teaching of Jesus, but teaching elaborated after the fact. We find in the sayings different levels of elaboration. So also the Son of humanity will suffer at their hands.
This is a very general reference on the part of Jesus to his suffering, and particularly to the suffering of rejection. There is no reason to doubt that it is based on the teaching of Jesus. The following sayings are more specific, however. We can note the tendency to provide more information. We gradually begin to note details which reflect the after-the-fact character in some of the sayings. Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of humanity will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will arise.
The detail in the second verse Notice similar specifics in Mark These do not reflect the teaching of Jesus. It is the core of these sayings that Jesus taught. Manson considers Luke But Jesus believed in resurrection and there is no reason that his vindication would not involve this. Even reference to resurrection after three days could have been the teaching of Jesus. Jesus, prophet and sage, is best understood not only in the context of ancient prophecy but also in the context of the sapiential tradition in ancient Israel and Judaism.
From the start we must make a distinction between Jesus as a teacher in history influenced by the wisdom tradition, and what is called a wisdom Christology in the New Testament, namely, an interpretation of the person and mission of Christ in terms of Hebrew wisdom or as an incarnation of a pre-existent Wisdom. Neither his disciples nor Jesus himself saw him as an incarnation of such wisdom. Rather, Jesus as a teacher of wisdom is our concern. One must also distinguish between wisdom itself, the wisdom movement, and the wisdom literature. The movement, however, has a much longer history, going back through the monarchy, with its own distinctive relationship to the prophetic movement, and possibly to the court and king.
Solomon and his court may have given a particular impetus to the cultivation of wisdom in Israel, and yet wisdom itself as a way of thinking and mastering the world had its roots not only in days prior to the monarchy but also outside of Israel itself. Both the literature and the tradition manifest different kinds of wisdom: Nor were teachers as a profession so identified. Even evidence for the existence of schools with professional teachers is conclusive only for later post-exilic times.
The prophets and sages are distinguishable, but not categorically so. Isaiah and also Amos have been suggested as prophets who exemplify the tradition of wisdom. And although prophecy and its classical expression had ceased, the book of Job manifests a new prophetic spirit in its critical wisdom. Prophecy was frequently critical of the political wisdom of the court Is In a classic example, Jeremiah was the enemy of the priest, the sage, and the other prophets. Each had, to some degree, their own sphere of authority.
Come, let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not heed any of his words. All of these traditions were highly affected by the leap from monarchy to post-exilic Judaism. Wisdom was characterized by its own way of handing on the tradition, of instructing the young, educating court advisors, teaching the people, or raising critical questions about the tradition.
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Not all the prophets or companies of prophets were prophetic voices in the sense that Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah had been. So likewise the sage could represent the status quo, or political shrewdness, or reform and the development of tradition. To what degree was Jesus influenced by this wisdom tradition?
To what degree was he representative of it? A significant aspect of the ministry of Jesus was his teaching. He was a prophetic preacher, charismatic healer and exorcist. He was also a teacher, and as a teacher he was concerned with instruction. His teaching had authority and it was validated by his deeds. It is well recognized today that the forms within which Jesus taught were wisdom forms, such as the beatitude, the parable, the proverb.
The sayings often have a proverbial character. Is it only coincidence then that the earliest teachings of Jesus have come to us from his disciples as a sayings collection, something of a book of proverbs, of wisdom, of instruction, both eschatological and ethical in character? The first of these three groups concerns us here. Bultmann includes sixty-nine sayings from the Synoptic material in his discussion of the wisdom logia. Using his own critical principles, he concludes that sixteen of these can be ascribed to Jesus. These sayings are Mark 3: Although the history of the tradition usually combined originally separate sayings such as the three sayings of Mk 8: It is even possible that Jesus took a popular proverb and used it for his own purposes.
The proverbs and parables of Jesus represent his most genuine teaching. Sayings which come from the period of the early Church simply fit into the teaching style of Jesus himself. The language of the parables is also the language of wisdom. The general principle in Matthew 5: This concreteness may sometimes even be hyperbole Mt 5: The teaching of Jesus contains paradox Mk 8: Heaven is like a feast.
The first thing the father thought of doing for his returning son was throw a feast, almost as if that is what Jesus would have thought of doing. He must have been a joy to be with and fun to have around. He could be the utterly serious prophet of the wilderness but also the master of the art of teaching with wit. We see not only his love of the concrete and the use of hyperbole but also his appreciation of the comic and incongruous as we try to picture the man with a beam in his eye Mt 7: Jesus even described himself as a groom, and a groom at a wedding feast or on the wedding night is hardly somber or serious.
His sense of the comic enabled him to teach by using the ordinary situations of life and making a point from them. His prayer and ministry were complemented by a sense of humor which often served an educational purpose. Jesus was both preacher and teacher, both prophet and sage. He respected both traditions of Israel. We noted early, as we began our discussion of Jesus as a teacher, that there need be no conflict between being both prophet and teacher.
Solidarity With The People
We also noticed in the traditions the difficulty of clearly delineating prophecy and wisdom at every point. So in Jesus we see a prophet who has taken to himself much from the tradition of the wise. There is nothing incompatible about the blend. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and the mission of the prophet is the word of the Lord: As a prophet Jesus was a late prophet, yet not like the latter day apocalypticists, more like the prophets of old, though not simply a repeat of Isaiah or Jeremiah. Jesus was an individual, a messenger of God who combined in his own way or defined in his own way what it was for him to be a prophet.
Jesus was not just a teacher or sage like others. He individualized wisdom and exemplified it in his own personal way. In the end Jesus was Jesus. Wisdom like prophecy helps us to understand Jesus, but even here he remains enigmatic. Jesus was known for his wisdom as much as for his mighty deeds. At Caesarea Philippi, when Jesus asked how people perceived him the disciples responded with the fact that Jesus was seen as a prophet Mk 8: The Gospels reflect, however, that Jesus was also seen in the tradition of Solomonic wisdom. For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the nations round about.
He also uttered three thousand proverbs; and his songs were a thousand and five. He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the the wall; he spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. And men came from all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom. Yet the assessment of Jesus was that he was not only greater than the prophets; he was also greater than Solomon. He was seen by way of contrast to both traditions.
Jesus is pictured in the New Testament as greater than Jonah, greater than Elijah, and even greater than Moses. Depending upon how one interprets this greater, there is reason to believe that Jesus may himself have held this view. He may have referred to himself as greater than Jonah.
And he spoke with an authority equal to that of Moses in giving the Law. Jesus is also pictured as greater than Solomon. The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. Jesus, the prophet, was also a compassionate sage, the Teacher from Galilee. Within this distribution, the word refers to Jesus as follows: Mk, 12 times; Mt, 10; Lk, 14; Jn, 7. Brill, , All the Synoptics refer to Jesus as teacher, and in them Jesus is addressed as Teacher, as follows: Mark, 10 times Mk 4: Manson remains one of the authorities on the teach-ings of Jesus.
Also the writings of Norman Perrin, esp. Paulist Press, , A more recent listing of the Q pericopes is that of Richard A. Society of Biblical Literature and Scholars Press, , i-v. For a discussion of Q, also see W. Cambridge University Press, , ; Richard A. John Bowden New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, , Fortress Press, , who selects eight sayings and twelve parables, pp. James Greig New York: Crossroad, , Although Jesus was no rabbi in any technical sense, he was still a Palestinian Jewish teacher.
The NT references to Jesus as rabbi simply support further the depiction of Jesus as a teacher, one who taught, nothing more, nothing technical, nor anything less. Harold Knight and George Ogg London: Lutterworth Press, , Michael Glazier, , , considers it an example story. Sixteen or seventeen parables proper: One can also note that in Mark only four parables are found, two similitudes and two parables proper.
Nine parables are found only in Matthew, one similitude and eight parables proper. Fourteen parables are found only in Luke, five similitudes, five parables, and four example stories.
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Only Luke contains example stories. Not all of these are necessarily authentic parables of Jesus, but the majority are. Hooke, revised edition New York: Perrin speaks less precisely when he simply uses the word allegory as equivalent of allegorical method of interpretation. Allegory, properly speaking, does not denote a literary form but a way of speaking, a figurative way, or a way of communicating or intending meaning, as he spoke in puns, or metaphors, or allegories.
Puns, metaphors, and allegories are not literary forms. Parable does refer to a specific literary form.
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Thus it is better not to oppose parable and allegory as such, which means opposing a literary form and a way of speaking. A parable may or may not be allegorical; even if it is an allegory, however, this does not mean that one best arrives at its meaning by an allegorical method of interpretation, which is neither a literary form nor a way of speaking but a method of interpretation. In other words, the parables even those one may call allegories from a literary point of view are better understood when interpreted historically, rather than allegorically.
Catholic Biblical Association of America, Reading both Perrin and Boucher, one ought keep in mind that allegory is being used in two different senses: Hence it is better to speak of parable interpretation as discarding the allegorical method of interpretation. It meets well the needs of a beginning student. Harper and Row, ; Dan O. Harper and Row, Funk contributes further to our understanding of parable as metaphor and makes a contribution toward understanding metaphor itself.
Both parable and metaphor draw the listener into them as a participant. Via presents four criticisms of an approach to the parables which is overly historical: Via himself concentrates especially on two aspects of the parable, the aesthetic and the existential, two dimensions less emphasized in previous research.
Crossan distinguishes between parable and allegory on the basis of a distinction between symbol and allegory, i. Parables are like symbols in trying to express the inexpressible and thus are not reducible to clear language. The kind of figurative language found in parables does not simply illustrate information but creates a participation that precedes information. It is more correct to speak about the kingdom as a metaphor, but Perrin has drawn attention to the symbolic language with which Jesus speaks when he speaks about the reign of God.
Hubert Hoskins New York: Seabury Press, , This definition is also the starting point for Robert Funk. Keep in mind that this is a minimum. One ought not quickly identify the teaching of Jesus or even the authentic sayings of Jesus with lists such as these. The sayings simply exemplify the proverbial teaching of Jesus and represent a case for which there is some consensus.
SPCK, , for a discussion of the sources for the agrapha, the varied types of material that they comprise, and the eighteen which Jeremias considers as deserving of attention. Guillaumont, Puech, et al. Harper and Row, , Gabalda, , , For the secondary character of the Lucan woes, see Dupont, vol. Also see Bruce J. John Knox Press, , University Microfilms International, , a doctoral dissertation.
Plochl, , Also Bruce Chilton, ed. Fortress Press, , esp. Valuable discussions pertinent to the history of the interpretation of the kingdom include G. John Murray New York: Herder and Herder, , I argued earlier that Jesus was no apocalypticist, certainly no typical apocalypticist, not denying of course some apocalyptic features.
Perrin has summarized the evidence for the kingdom as a future reality in the teaching of Jesus. SCM Press, , We ought not quickly set aside the opinion that what Jesus expected shortly was in fact his death,resurrection, and the coming of the Spirit. If it is authentic, why must it be prior to his teaching on the presence and future of the kingdom?
It is simply another aspect of the future expectation, and may even be later rather than earlier when Jesus has a more heightened consciousness of impending death. Edwin Mellen Press, , It is not so much that mercy or compassion is an alternative to holiness Borg,. For Jesus, holiness is compassion. The Parousia for Jesus is near but not delimited. It is the character of the End to be both near and open. A delay as such is not unexpected because there is no delimited, specifying expectation — other than both the nearness and the graciousness freedom and grace of God.
Thus it is not within our knowledge to specify how much time remains. That Jesus himself was not clear about what would happen, see James D. University of Chicago, , The quotes are from Robinson maintained that Jesus did not. The second qualification is important in that it reflects respect for the freedom of God, a point emphasized by Schillebeeckx. This does not imply, however, not on earth. Kathleen Pond New York: McGraw Hill Book Co.
The expression is contained in the Dominican Constitutions. Fortress Press, , Westminster, , For his discussion of sabbath see University Press, ; it also contains extensive bibliography. Edward Quinn Garden City, N. Arno Press,  , Abbaye de Saint Andre, ; Joseph A. Thomas More Press, , esp. Paulist Press, , , , esp. There is general consensus that Lk Manson considers the entire passage as Q, although he has some reservations about It would be cowardice and indolence to do so, even if it were possible.
It would shut us out from many opportunities of doing good. The house from which Christ is deliberately excluded is not the house at which Christians ought to receive hospitalities, and keep up intimacy. Some can go much further than others in this direction, with advantage to their company, and without injury to themselves. There are two questions which we should often put to ourselves, in reference to this subject.
Or do I endeavor to follow, however feebly, the example of Christ? Wherever He went men had to recognize His superiority, although He was ever meek and lowly in heart. There was something so compelling about His words and His bearing that even His enemies had to acknowledge the authority with which He taught. They called for a separation from paganism and a return to a strict adherence to the Old Testament law. The Pharisees had no interest in politics unlike the Sadducees and the Zealots , nor were they mystics unlike the Essenes.
In contrast to the Sadducees, who were mostly wealthy priests or Levites, the Pharisees were laymen, and generally came from the middle class. They were very popular and highly respected among the masses during the time of Christ. Jewish historian Josephus records that there were about 6, at the time of Herod the Great. Because of their popularity, the Sadducees usually had to submit to their decisions or else evoke the wrath of the people Josephus Antiquities MacArthur adds that "While pretending to be devout, the Pharisees were actually hypocrites who failed to live up to even their own strict teaching regarding the law Matt.
To eat bread cf Lk 7: Since no work was to be done on the Sabbath, the meals were prepared the day before. Barclay adds that "All food had to be cooked on the Friday; and, if it was necessary to keep it hot, it must be kept hot in such a way that it was not cooked any more! So it is laid down that food to be kept warm for the Sabbath must not be put into 'oil dregs, manure, salt, chalk or sand, whether moist or dry, nor into straw, grape-skins, flock or vegetables, if these are damp, though it may be if they are dry. It may be, however, put into clothes, amid fruits, pigeons' feathers and flax tow.
See writing from Sabbot 4: No wonder they could not understand Jesus! The Sabbath meal, which was prepared the day before and kept warm M, Shab. While Jesus knew He was inciting confrontation, what better day than the Sabbath to show divine compassion. Sadly every Sabbath miracle only made the religious leaders more convinced that they must do whatever it took to get rid of this Man! Spiritual blindness is an amazing thing -- miracles right in front of their eyes and yet the eyes of their heart were absolutely blind!
We all know some folks like that and it makes us very sad, because many are our close relatives or friends. Of course the religious legalists considered Jesus to be a law-breaker because He was doing miraculous work on the Sabbath. Legalism blinds one to grace. It even has that effect in believers, so make sure you cast off any and all legalistic tends that otherwise will blunt grace and grieve the Spirit. This was the last Sabbath in the Lord's ministry of which we have record before His arrival at His destination of Jerusalem. This was Jesus' last healing on the Sabbath, a day which had been so sadly perverted by the religious leaders.
What should have been a day of rest was a day of burden, which is exactly what legalism will do to one's soul. Legalism traps, while grace sets free. They were watching Him closely - The present tense indicates they watched him continually "like a hawk" would watch its prey. He was continually being "monitored" by their evil eyes! The use of paratereo in Mark 3: In fact, instead of hosts or guests judging Jesus, it was Jesus who passed judgment on them when they least expected it. Indeed, in this respect, He was a dangerous person to sit with at a meal or to follow on the road!
They were on the lookout, here with the sense of lurking and spying, watching for an opportunity with malicious intent. The enemies of Paul watched the gates at Damascus so they could murder him ultimately what these men wanted to do to Jesus. There is a somewhat ironic use in Gal 4: Jesus was under scrutiny. The eyes of His enemies were continually observing Him.
They watched for His halting, and waited eagerly for some word or deed on which they could lay hold and build an accusation. Yet they found none. Our blessed Lord was ever holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from evil cf Heb 7: Perfect indeed must that life have been, in which the bitterest enemy could find no flaw, or blemish, or spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing! He must never forget that the eyes of the world are upon him, and that the wicked are looking narrowly at all his ways.
Specially ought he to remember this when he goes into the society of the unconverted. If he makes a slip there, in word or deed, and acts inconsistently, he may rest assured it will not be forgotten. Let us endeavor to live daily as in the sight of a holy God cf Pr The thing is possible. By the grace of God it can be done. Judah prohibits in the case of soft [hackled flax] and permits in the case of coarse [hackled flax]. And there in front of Him was a man suffering from dropsy - Now remember that we are in the Pharisees house, and these religious bigots made a practice of associating only with the elite and not the outcasts, so it is shocking that this man was presumably invited along with Jesus.
The Pharisees were well aware that Jesus had performed healings on the Sabbath. And so here we are on the Sabbath with a man who is obviously in great need of healing. It sounds like a classic "legalistic setup" to me! Surely a man from God would not break the Sabbath regulations. If this were the case, and it is likely, how deep must have been the perfidy and malice of the Pharisee!
Luke the physician has the only NT use of this medical term. Luke does not quantify the degree of dropsy or edema, but given that it was clearly visible it was likely generalized edema because a robe would have covered his legs which are usually the most swollen in dropsy. Of course markedly swollen feet bulging out of sandals would arouse attention!
Thus in their view this man was both immoral and ritually unclean. Since no Pharisee would have tolerated such a defiled person at the meal, they obviously planned to use him for a sinister purpose. And they were fairly sure that based on His pattern Jesus, seeing his dropsy, would do what they wanted. As a medical doctor I can attest they were wrong on both accounts!
Some rabbis argued that dropsy resulted from sexual offenses b. Not every writer assumes the worse about the Pharisees for Lenski questions whether they brought the man in to test Jesus, explaining that "Trench draws attention to the fact that feasts such as the present one were semi-public. Outsiders could enter, stand, or sit, and watch what was going on.
So the woman mentioned in Lk 7: I suppose we will have to wait until heaven to find out for certain whether the man with dropsy was merely a drop-in or a " decoy ,", but the fact that the context says they were watching Jesus closely suggests there was some element of pre-planning and pre-meditation. Recall also that after the last meal in Luke 11, "When Jesus left there cf Lk And there was a division among them. On other occasions Jesus shocked the religious leaders by eating with riff-raff disreputable or undesirable people.
In classic Greek this verb also conveyed the sense of to separate or condemn which is certainly interesting given the context of Jesus' confrontation with the religious leaders. Crawford adds "No one had spoken to the Lord, so He was answering an action or hidden thought.
It is thought by some to introduce words that were divinely inspired. Compare this principle of Biblical interpretation from the Second Century A. The word could be used of any situation, whether word or deed, which demanded a response. Moreover, the word was not taken from everyday language. Its use reminded readers of the solemn and formal tone the verb evoked in their Old Testament Bible.
The Gospel writers seem to have relied heavily on the meaning found in the Septuagint. Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not - Of course it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath! The best defense is a good offense so Jesus preempts the question that was surely about to come from the religious legalists as it did in Luke 6: If they said that healing is permitted, they conceded His point and they raised problems about their traditions, which had added to the Law of Moses.
If they said that healing is not permitted, they came across as uncaring. John Phillips - These people, particularly the Pharisees and the lawyers, insisted on the most rigid observance of the Sabbath laws, but they practiced the opposite. They turned the closing hours of the Sabbath into an occasion for feasting. Exploring the Gospel of Luke: NET Note asks "Will the Pharisees and experts in religious law defend tradition and speak out against doing good on the Sabbath?
Has anything at all been learned since Luke Has repentance come Lk Legalism will do that to a person. They think that since they are "keeping all the laws" they have no need for repentance. Rabbinic attachments, however, prohibited anyone from treating a sick person on the Sabbath unless that person was in imminent danger of death if left untreated until the next day. To do so, the rabbis taught, would constitute work and hence be a violation of the required Sabbath rest. Even matters of life and death were subject to their cruel, inflexible, and ridiculous man-made restrictions.
The commandments of God are enough, and we should never make the traditions of man — even good traditions — equal to the commandments of God Mark 7: The qualification which our Lord here puts on the requirements of the fourth commandment is evidently based on Scripture, reason, and common sense. The Sabbath was made for man, for his benefit, not for his harm — for his advantage, not for his disadvantage.
Interpreting God's law about the Sabbath was never meant to impinge on charity, kindness and the real needs of human nature. Our Lord shows that deeds of necessity and mercy do not break the observance of the Sabbath. Expository Thoughts on the Gospels. Do you recall their answer? They had none, just as in this vignette.
Grace and law do not mix. Recall their reaction in Lk 6: Sometimes matters of right and wrong can get very complicated, as they had here concerning "lawful" Sabbath activities. Jesus cut through all the complications with a simple appeal to love. Is your faith in gridlock like the Pharisees because of overlapping and conflicting regulations that hardly seem to make sense?
With each action ask yourself—what does love require? Love will always respect God's rules the Ten Commandments, for example and will always serve people's best interests. Often a simple appeal to love will cut through the fog and clarify a plan of action. And He took hold of him and healed him, and sent him away. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;. Why did they not speak? They would then be seen as agreeing with Jesus and could not hold Him in "contempt" of their Sabbath regulations.
On the other hand "horn" if they responded that it was unlawful, then Jesus might not perform the healing and they would lose the opportunity of trapping Him in breaking their Sabbatical laws. If they said yes, they would be breaking their own laws governing the Sabbath. But even more, if the Pharisees said that nobody should be healed on the Sabbath, the people would consider them heartless; if they gave permission for healing, their associates would consider them lawless.
As they did on more than one occasion, the scribes and Pharisees evaded the issue by saying nothing. It is interesting that Luke uses this same verb in Lk And He took hold of him - The man did not take hold of Jesus, but Jesus in His great compassion took hold of the miserably ill man. And doubtless, the man was "unclean" but this did not prevent the compassion of our Lord to touch him! Has Jesus taken hold of you dear reader? You are more ill than you realize if you are unsaved, and you will be forever miserable if you never come to saving faith!
Let Jesus take hold of you today! Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be "healed" saved! It's only a few hours from now. He cured the man and confronted His critics. He does it out of love for a good reason: In this case it is clearly favorable. In a clearly unfavorable metaphorical use in Luke Luke uses this word about the child that the Lord "took Perhaps the meaning in connection with this victim of dropsy relates to his far advance in the disease and utter helplessness to come to the Lord of his own volition, so the Lord "took him" and then "healed him".
Less commonly iaomai referred to spiritual healing or healing saving from "moral illnesses" and the consequences of sin. The text does not tell us whether this man's external healing was also accompanied by an internal saving of his soul. We'll have to wait to heaven, but if so, can you imagine this man's testimony! The qualification which our Lord here puts on the requirements of the fourth commandment, is evidently founded on Scripture, reason, and common sense. The Sabbath was made for man,—for his benefit, not for his injury,—for his advantage, not for his hurt.
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All such interpretations only defeat their own end. They require that which fallen man cannot perform, and thus bring the whole commandment into disrepute. The principle which our Lord lays down about Sabbath observance needs carefully fencing with cautions. The right to do works of necessity and mercy is fearfully abused in these latter days.
Thousands of Christians appear to have thrown down the hedge, and burst the bounds entirely with respect to this holy day. They seem to forget that though our Lord repeatedly explains the requirements of the fourth commandment, He never struck it out of the law of God or said that it was not binding on Christians at all. Can any one say that Sunday travelling, except on very rare emergencies, is a work of mercy? Do they not need rest for their bodies and time for their souls, like other men? It is a sin of which the cry goes up to heaven, and will be reckoned for one day.
Let us wash our hands of this sin, and have nothing to do with it. At that instant of healing, the religious leaders were thinking "We've got Him now! And this before they could even open their mouth in condemnatory accusations! Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day? Of course the logic of His question is indisputable. All of them would pull out their son or their ox, even on the Sabbath. They were "pious pragmatists!
Solidarity With The People
What happened when one fell into a well of water? If not rescued, of course they would drown, for even if they could swim, they would eventually become too weak to continue paddling. And so here was a man with dropsy who was in a sense "drowning" in his own fluids edema , and they were unwilling to see him "rescued! In chapter 13, he spoke about feeding these animals on the Sabbath, which everyone did.
Here He talks about pulling them out of a pit on the Sabbath which was done by the owners of those animals. The Lord is trying to expose their inconsistent teachings about working on the Sabbath day. The point, pressed home, must have pierced deeply. They had a care for their material gain, but no real feeling for a man suffering from dropsy.
Stephen's words not long after cut the Jewish leaders to the heart, but their response was to gnash on him with their teeth and condemn him to be stoned. What the Bible teaches — Luke. Motivated by either love of son or love of money one would effect this rescue operation without any loss of time, lest there be loss of life.
Note that the actual interval of time depends on the nature of the events and the manner in which the sequence is interpreted by the writer. It was perfectly allowable to rescue an animal which had fallen in. Jesus, with searing contempt, demands how, if it is right to help an animal on the Sabbath, it can be wrong to help a human being. His purpose is not that of shaming men, but that of saving them.
Jesus is showing that they cared about their animals more than about this man suffering in a swollen, miserable state! Jesus was exposing their lack of love and their religious hypocrisy. In other words, a day of rest never precluded that it could also be a day of rescue! Life Application Bible Commentary — Jesus did no more than touch the man.
The Pharisees' rules and regulations did not ban touching another person. In fact, Jesus explained that when it served their purposes, they did work on the Sabbath. They could go pull a son or a cow out of a pit if need be, but they were ready to condemn Jesus for touching a man and healing him from a disease. Jesus pointed this out to them, but they had no answer. Crawford adds that "The word for "he will pull him out" is only used elsewhere in the NT in Peter's description of the vision of the great sheet let down from heaven; "all were drawn up again into heaven" Acts The Lord Jesus chose a word that graphically pictures the labour involved, even on a Sabbath day, in drawing up out of a pit a large animal.
In the case of the woman "whom Satan had bound" In this case He used the figure of an animal in a pit because He was speaking of a man who was literally drowning in his own fluids. He was a master in the use of apt illustrations. And they could make no reply to this - They could not answer back. A dilemma also silences a group of Jewish leaders in Lk They will have the same response at the Great White Throne judgment Rev Notice in Lk They did not want to admit they were wrong.
If so, you were a lot like the Pharisees! If they had said that saving a son or an ox on the Sabbath was not permissible, they would have condemned themselves. If they had said that it was, they could not have criticized Jesus. In the only other NT use it means to contradict or dispute - "On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God?
MacArthur points out that "Things were about to get worse for them, however, as the Lord took the offensive, inventing a story as He often did, to condemn their pride and call for humility. Cornerstone Biblical Commentary — The incident here in Lk Again the episode reminds the reader of the way the evangelist has presented Jesus in Lk 6: Steven Cole uses the hypocrisy of the religious fakes to do a short excursus on hypocrisy. There are far more characteristics of hypocrites than those listed here, but note these five from our text:.
These men knew their Bibles. They knew the Law of Moses frontward and backward. They were the guardians of the faith, waiting to catch someone else in an error. Their aim in knowing the Word was not to confront themselves, but to have the ammo to use against others. They were waiting for Him to violate their rules, so that they could pounce on Him. Of course it does! They are using the Word for ammo against others, not to confront their own sinful selfishness. Why did this Pharisee invite Jesus to dinner?
What was his motive? From the evidence we have, I suggest that it was not to learn from Jesus. It was not to find out if possibly he was wrong and Jesus was right.
He invited Jesus to dinner to try to set Him up and bring Him down. He and his cronies were watching Jesus to try to trip Him up. I have had people in the church who are constantly critical of minor doctrinal differences that they hear in my sermons. Invariably, these people have no idea of the scholarly issues involved. So what if he was suffering? Jesus was breaking their rules! Hypocrites usually care more about external conformity than about inward righteousness. If Jesus had just observed their Sabbath rules, they would have been content to leave Him alone.
But Jesus always dealt with heart issues, like having a pure thought life, being free from anger, and being forgiving from the heart toward those who have wronged you. These men would do what they had to do, Sabbath or no Sabbath. There were ways to get around the rules when you needed to. They would get their own son or ox out of a pit on the Sabbath. But, no healing allowed on the Sabbath! Probably, that would have been allowed! Jesus powerfully and miraculously heals this man, but the Pharisees ignored that evidence.
Jesus had cast a demon out of a man in the synagogue on the Sabbath, and the report of that had spread widely Lk 4: He healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath, but the Pharisees responded with rage 6: On the Sabbath He healed the woman bent over for 18 years, but the synagogue official was indignant Lk Packer in a message given at the Congress on Biblical Exposition.
The point is, to avoid hypocrisy, we all must allow the Word to confront our sins and respond with repentance and obedience, not with hardness of heart. Integrity Will be Tested - A pastor preached a sermon on honesty one Sunday. On Monday morning he took the bus to get to his office.
He paid the fare, and the bus driver gave him back too much change. During the rest of the journey, the pastor was rationalizing how God had provided him with some extra money he needed for the week. But he just could not live with himself, and before he got off the bus he said to the driver, "You have made a mistake. The driver smiled and said, "There was no mistake. I was at your church yesterday and heard you preach on honesty. So I decided to put you to a test this morning. Houghton became pastor of the Baptist Tabernacle in Atlanta, a man in that city hired a private detective to follow Dr.
Houghton and report on his conduct. After a few weeks, the detective was able to report to the man that Dr. As a result of Houghton's faithful life, a life of integrity, that man became a Christian. A Sunday Morning Hypocrite - A young man was being interviewed for a position in a small business firm. The applicant had a neat appearance and made a good impression on the owner.
He had also prepared an excellent resume in which he listed, as references, his pastor, his Sunday school teacher, and a church deacon. The owner of the business studied the resume for several minutes, then said, "I appreciate these recommendations from your church friends. But what I would really like is word from someone who knows you on weekdays. The principles we hear preached on Sunday should be practiced all week. A good Sunday Christian will also be a good weekday Christian. The metaphorical meaning is to place or lay something besides something else for the purpose of comparison.
In the sense that Jesus used them, parables are earthly stories that illustrate heavenly realities. Note MacArthur does not consider that a parable is an allegory. Here it describes a metaphorical or figurative saying. Is this a teaching on humility Fitzmyer The result is that Jesus calls on his hearers to relate to all types of people, which in turn pictures a basic approach to God.
This relationship of humility to divine response comes in the conclusion of Luke To the invited guests - The guests literally means "those invited" and refers to the "lawyers and Pharisees" Lk The guests would be the scribes and Pharisees who had been watching Him Lk As an aside there is no mention of the disciples up to this point so one wonders if all 12 were also guests at the meal? Here of course it means they were requested to participate, be present, or take part in the meal. What a scene this must have been! When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table, he gave them this advice: It implies the taking of a smaller number out of a larger.
In this case there were only a small number of places of honor and that is the places they chose. Morris suggests there must have been "an undignified scramble. On the other hand, if we say or do things that make others feel insignificant, we will fail. Then people will respond by becoming angry and resentful, because everybody wants to be noticed and made to feel important. The emphasis was on reputation, not character. It was more important to sit in the right places than to live the right kind of life.
The typical dinner table of Jesus' day was usually not a classic rectangular table as in most modern kitchens and dining rooms. Do we ever seek man's approval more than God's like these men? In ancient Rome the classic dining arrangement in wealthy homes was the triclinium see picture. Click picture to enlarge Click here for further explanation. Notice the repetition of the verb " love ".
These will receive greater condemnation. In addition, these religious hypocrites " scratched each others' backs " see description of this idiom so to speak, as Jesus alluded to in John. The Talmud formulates it in this manner: That the worthiest lies down first, on his left side, with his feet stretching back. The water before eating is first handed to the worthiest, and so in regard to the washing after meat. But if a very large number are present, you begin after dinner with the least worthy, till you come to the last five, when the worthiest in the company washes his hands, and the other four after him.
The guests being thus arranged, the head of the house, or the chief person at table, speaks the blessing, and then cuts the bread. By some it was not deemed etiquette to begin eating till after he who had said the prayer had done so, but this does not seem to have been the rule among the Palestinian Jews. Then, generally, the bread was dipped into salt, or something salted, etiquette demanding that where there were two they should wait one for the other, but not where there were three or more.
By comparing ourselves with others, we conclude we are better or more important. Our arrogance repulses people and makes them sick. If you are not careful, you make yourself a target to be destroyed. Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: We are in constant "struggle or competition" mode with other people, always trying to get our own way.
In our quest to exalt ourselves, we tend to be rude, unreasonable, rebellious, and resistant toward the counsel of others. When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast - Jesus is going to point to a "danger" in making a mad dash for the places of honor. He is not trying to hurt them. He is trying to help them by pointing out improper behavior and how to avoid " losing face ," as the Japanese or Chinese would say.
And I would add how to avoid losing their soul eternally! As an aside, every believer does well to frequently recall that he or she has a standing invitation from their divine Host for a very special celebration in the future, John writing "Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Do not take the place of honor - Vincent remarks that "The Greek writers refer to the absurd contentions which sometimes arose for the chief seats at table.
Theophrastus designates one who thrusts him-self into the place next the host as mikrophilotimos, one who seeks petty distinctions. They seek to be righteous before men, but not before God. First the negative instruction - what NOT to do. Good teachers will include the negative as well as focusing on the positive, and this contrast adds to the effect of the teaching. Do you tend to avoid the "negative" passages in Scripture? If you do so, it is to your shame and the detriment of your sheep!
Mattoon says that in essence what Jesus is telling them is that "They are to give preference to other people.
This status was especially a problem in well-to-do Greco-Roman circles see comment on 1 Cor For someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him - " For " term of explanation explains why one should not seek the place of honor for himself. Luke used this same adjective in Lk 7: Give your place to this man - Clearly their scramble for the seats of honor would "backfire" if one of the attendees was more distinguished.
The point Jesus is making is that the more distinguished man would confer more honor on the host by being seated in the place of honor cf Jn 5: On the other hand, when we exalt ourselves, like these guests, we damage our testimony for Christ and hurt other people. Vincent notes that the idea of proceed emphasizes "the shame of the reluctant movement toward the lower place. The western culture of America and much of Europe is based upon an innocence and guilt mindset. For them, it was more important to live and die with honor than anything else. Proceed archo means to take the first step or steps in carrying out or initiating an action.
Used also in Lk It is not a feeling one has but an experience which comes to someone. As Jesus will go on to show, clearly humiliation is not synonymous with humility. The first is the rotten fruit that pride reaps, whereas the latter is the anti-thesis of pride. Humiliation is the result of external circumstances, whereas the humility is a reflection of the internal condition of one's heart. Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling. Fearful indeed is our danger, if the caution be not welcomed, if the need for it be not deeply felt!
The haughty spirit carries the head high. The man looks upward, instead of to his steps. What wonder therefore, if, not seeing what is before him, he falls? He loves to climb. Yet is the state of heart, that prepared him for the fall, the worst part of his condition. Have we been preserved from open disgrace? Trace them to their source—a subtle confidence in gifts, attainments, or privileges. And then praise thy God for his painful discipline—the preserving mercy from ruinous self-exaltation. Humility therefore is the grand preserving grace.
The contrite publican was safe when the boasting Pharisee was confounded. This same noun aischune is used in the Septuagint translation of Da The temporal disgrace to which Jesus ascribes to those who are prideful and seek honor before men is but a faint picture of the eternal disgrace that awaits them in hell where they are "disgraced" forever! You will be brought down to Hades!