Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Daily - 10/14/09

Luke 11: 47 - 54

47 Woe to you! for you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed.

48 So you are witnesses and consent to the deeds of your fathers; for they killed them, and you build their tombs.

49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, `I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,'

50 that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation,

51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechari'ah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it shall be required of this generation.

52 Woe to you lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering."

53 As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard, and to provoke him to speak of many things,

54 lying in wait for him, to catch at something he might say.


How does this dialogue fit with your image of Christ? When Christ comes again, he will not be coming to save -- he will be coming for judgement. He's telling the Pharisees and experts in the Law exactly how it's going to work out for them. Not good.

What is there for us to learn here? Here's some ancient commentary on this passage, taken from the Catena Aurea. For those unfamiliar, the Catena Aurea was compiled by St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century. It's truly a great work, stepping through the gospels verse by verse and uniting commentary from the first millennium of the Church. In this passage he gives us commentary from St. Cyril (5th century, Doctor of the Church), the venerable St. Bede (7th - 8th century, Doctor of the Church), and St. Theophylact (8th century).

In the Friday morning men's bible study, we refer to these smart dead guys as "the dust."

CYRIL (5th century); A reproof which exalts the meek is generally hateful to the proud man. When therefore our Savior was blaming the Pharisees for transgressing from the right path, the body of Lawyers were struck with consternation. Hence it is said, Then answered one of the lawyers, and said to him, Master, thus saying you reproach us also.

BEDE (7th - 8th century); In what a grievous state is that conscience, which hearing the word of God thinks it a reproach against itself, and in the account of the punishment of the wicked perceives its own condemnation.

THEOPHYLACT (8th century). Now the Lawyers were different from the Pharisees. For the Pharisees being separated from the rest had the appearance of a religious sect; but those skilled in the Law were the Scribes and Doctors who solved legal questions.

CYRIL; But Christ brings a severe charge against the Lawyers, and subdues their foolish pride, as it follows, And he said, Woe to you also, you Lawyers, for you lade men, &c. He brings forward an obvious example for their direction. The Law was burdensome to the Jews as the disciples of Christ confess, but these Lawyers binding together legal burdens which could not be borne, placed them upon those under them, taking care themselves to have no toil whatever.

THEOPHYLACT. As often also as the teacher does what he teaches, he lightens the load, offering himself for an example. But when he does none of the things which he teaches others, the loads appear heavy to those who learn his teaching, as being what even their teacher is not able to bear.