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Wrestling with the Word, episode 67: The Resurrection of Our Lord, Year C (April 4, 2010) March 25, 2010

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The Resurrection of Our Lord

How do we talk about the Easter story and all that it means in one sermon? The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the foundation on which Christianity stands or falls. In our second lesson,1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul sums up the meaning of the resurrection: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (v. 17).  The fact of the matter is that we in the church celebrate Easter not merely once each year but Sunday after Sunday. Every Sunday is Easter day, and each week we celebrate by probing the vast mysteries of the resurrection for our lives—now and forever. How odd and how human that on this celebration of the first Easter Sunday we read that the initial announcement about the empty tomb prompted disbelief, even among the disciples. On the other hand, how wondrous and divine that God would enable people, even the gentiles, to believe the news.

Download or listen to Wrestling with the Word, episode 67: The Resurrection of Our Lord, Year C.

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Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

Form: Individual Song of Thanksgiving
A psalm of praise to God after deliverance from a life-threatening situation.  Typical is a cry for help (see v. 5), a description of the distress (see vv. 10-13); most attention is given to the celebration following deliverance (vv. 14-29).

Use in Judaism
The last of six Hallel psalms (113-118) used as part of the liturgy for autumn feasts and Passover (see Mark 14:26).

Use in New Testament
V. 6.   Hebrews 13:6
V. 18.  2 Cor. 6:9.
VV. 22-23.  Matt. 21:42//Mark 12:and parallels; Acts 4:11-12; 1 Peter 2:7.
V. 24.  Rev 19:7
VV. 25-27.  Matt. 21:9//Mark 11:9-10//Luke 19:38//John 12:13; also Matt. 23:39//Luke 13:35.

Key Words
V. 14.  yešû`â = “salvation”:  The meaning of the root yš‘ is “wide, broad, spacious.”  The entire verse is identical to Exod. 15:2a.

V. 15-16.  yemîn YHWH = “the right hand of the Lord”:  As God’s instrument of deliverance, see Exod. 15:6, 12 (often in psalms).

V. 18.  yassōr yisserannî = “chastened me severely”:  The words describe the act of a parent to a child in Deut 8:5 and in Proverbs and the act of God to Israel or to an individual (Deut. 4:36; Isa. 28:26; Ps. 94:12).

V. 19.  ša‘arê-tsedeq = “gates of righteousness”:  These are the gates of the Jerusalem temple; cf. Ps. 100:4; Jer. 7:2 and often.

V. 23.  niphlā’t = “extraordinary”:  The word appears in the plural exclusively for God’s acts of judgment and salvation, even of the plagues and the exodus from Egypt (cf. Exod. 3:20; Josh. 6:13).

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Acts 10:34-43
Since God shows no partiality, God sent Peter, one of those who ate and drank with Jesus after his resurrection, to announce to Gentiles that God’s acts in Jesus’ ministry of preaching, teaching, healing right up to his death and resurrection—result in forgiveness of sins for everyone who believes in him.

Context
God had brought together two quite different men for the purpose of spreading the good news about Jesus. Cornelius was a Centurion of the Italian Cohort. Peter was a Galilean fisherman who spent the previous years as a disciple and apostle of Jesus. God spoke to each of them in visions. In addressing Cornelius, the angel of God told the man about Peter who was staying in Jaffa. In a vision to Peter, God taught the apostle that the line between clean and unclean has been erased. That led to Peter’s trip to Caesarea where he preached the sermon to Cornelius and his household. Thus begins the witnessing to the gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 10:1—28:28)

Key Words
V. 35 all’ en panti ethnei ho phoboumenos auton kai ergazomenos diaiosynēn dektos autō estin = “but in every nation anyone who fears him (God) and works righteousness is acceptable to him”: The universal nature of Peter’s sermon occurs also at v. 36 “Jesus Christ—he is the Lord of all”; v. 38 “healing all that were oppressed by the devil”; v. 39 “we are witnesses to all”; v. 42 “judge of the living and the dead”; v. 43 “everyone who believes in him.”

V. 38. hoti ho theos hēn met’ autou = “because God was with him”: At John 3:2 Nicodemus declared that Jesus could not perform the signs (at Cana and in the temple) unless “God is with him.” At John 8:29 Jesus himself that God “who sent me is with me.” The author of Luke-Acts uses the expression or something quite similarly of Mary the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:28) and of John (1:66) and then of Joseph (Acts 7:9), of preachers from Cyprus and Cyrene to people in Antioch (Acts 11:21), and of Paul (by the Risen Lord at Acts 18:10).

V. 39. kai ‘ēmeis martyres = “and we are witnesses”: This first reference to witnessing points to verification of Jesus’ acts healing and teaching. Soon follows the report of the apostolic “witness” to the resurrection of Jesus (v. 41) and to God’s call to the apostles to “preach” and to “testify (i.e., witness) that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead” (v. 42). In a sense, this calling continues the way of God ever since OT times when “the prophets bore witness…” (v. 43).

V. 43. toutō pantes hoi prophētai martyrousin aphesin hamartiōn labein dia tou onomatos autou panta ton pisteuonta eis auton = “To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives the forgiveness of sins through his name”: Peter demonstrates that God has been in the forgiveness business for the people of Israel through the preaching of the prophets. In actuality, “forgiveness” is relatively rare in prophetic preaching. Passages like Isa. 33:24; Jer. 31:34; 36:3; Amos 7:2 are powerful simply because they are not common. However, in the Mosaic law, a major part of the sacrificial system is designed for the forgiveness of sins, and in the psalms “forgiveness” appears frequently as a statement of what God has done or is petitioned to do. The major point in this verse, however, is that the forgiveness of God that had been given to the people of Israel now extends to “everyone who believes in him.”

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Isaiah 65:17-25
God promises a new creation that will change all things into their opposites and thus establish the original intentions of God for creation.

Context
Dating the passage or, for that matter, any of the material surrounding this pericope is difficult indeed.  What is clear is that the return from the exile in Babylon did not establish the Reign of God as Second Isaiah had prophesied, and so the vision for the Reign of God to come was still the major source of hope for the people of God.

Key Words
V. 17.  kî-hinnî bôrē’ šāmayim chadāšîm wā’ārets chadāšâ = “For lo, I am creating new heavens and a new earth”:  The terminology is the same as that of Genesis 1:1, except, of course, for the “new” and the verb tense.

V. 20.  kî hanna‘ar ben-mē‘â yāmût = “for a young lad shall die at the age of a hundred”:  While the message is good news compared to early deaths, this new creation does not promise eternal life nor does it even reach the limit announced by God at Genesis 6:3.

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1 Corinthians 15:19-28
Having been raised from the dead, Jesus Christ is the first to experience the resurrection promised to all.

Context
Paul had indicated at the beginning of this chapter that the gospel he had delivered to the Corinthians was not his own invention but one which had been given him (see also 11:23-26). That gospel consisted of the vicarious death of Christ, his burial, and his resurrection appearances to Peter first, then to the twelve, then to five hundred people, and finally to Paul himself (vv. 3-11). The witnesses attest to the resurrection, a testimony so strong that Paul cannot comprehend how some of the Corinthian Christians contend there is no resurrection (v. 12).  Paul sets the matter straight: If there is no resurrection, then faith is useless and forgiveness of sins has not been attained (vv. 13-18). Now he deals with the “fact” of Christ’s resurrection as the beginning of the eschatological hope for all who believe.

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Luke 24:1-12
God calls us to repeat from one to another the message of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, as Jesus himself told of it prior to his death.

Context
Because of the beginning of Sabbath at sunset on Friday, the women could do no more than observe where his body was laid out in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. They prepared the spices and ointments for anointing, and then rested according to Sabbath requirements.

Key Words
V. 4.  astraptousē = “dazzling”:  The verb form of this word appears in the account of the Transfiguration (Luke 9:29).  Note also the two men in white robes at the Ascension (Acts 1:10).

V. 7.  dei = “it is necessary”: The word of necessity is common in Luke:  2:49; 4:43; 9:22; 13:16, 33; 17:25; 19:5; 22:37; 24:7, 26, 44. All the passages tell of the necessity of fulfilling the mission of God.

V. 7. huios tou anthrōpou = “Son of Man”:  Elsewhere in Luke the title describes Jesus’ earthly ministry: 5:24; 6:5, 22; 7:34; 9:58; 11:30; 12:8, 10; 19:10; 22:48; suffering and death:  9:22, 44; 18:31; 22:22; the Parousia: 9:26; 12:40; 17:22, 24, 26, 30; 18:8; 21:27, 36; 22:69.

V. 11. kai ephanēsan enōpion autōn hōsei lēros ta hrēmata tauta, kai ēpistoun autais = “But these words appeared to them to be an idle tale, and they disbelieved them”: The word lēros appears only here in the Greek NT, but disbelief is another matter. Disbelief is also the response of Jacob when his sons returned from Egypt with their report that “Joseph is still alive” (Gen. 45:26). When the sons reported his words and showed him the wagons of gifts, then Jacob believed that “Joseph my son is still alive.” As for the disciples of Jesus, they also disbelieved when the Risen Christ appeared to them at 25:41, but there their response is attributed to joy.

Wrestling with the Word, episode 66: Sunday of the Passion, Year C (March 28, 2010) March 20, 2010

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Sunday of the Passion
Palm Sunday, the Sunday of the Passion, begins the most holy week in the church year. It is a week marked by sadness, by suffering that is both physical and relational. Jesus walked willingly the path that most—if not all—of us walk at one time or another in our lives. Just because he was the Son of God did not diminish the pain. It did not ease the agony of rejection and outright desertion by friends. He walked the tragic path willingly because he was faithful to his identity and to the mission on which God had sent him. The celebration we will hold next week is not possible without the agony of this one. Happily, living on this side of Easter, we do know how it will all end. We know the outcome does not “mean the world to us.” It means far more than that!

Download or listen to Wrestling with the Word, episode 66: Sunday of the Passion, Year C.

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Psalm 31:9-16
The psalm is one of lament and thanksgiving. The psalmist laments the suffering of some chronic malady and is now on the verge of a violent death. In verses 1 and 17 appears the plea “not be put to shame” (Isa. 50:7). The petitioner has become such a sorry sight that not only enemies but also friends have rejected him. In the midst of his worst hour the psalmist realizes that pouring out such a lament is not a complaint against God but a petition to a God who cares and understands. To this God the psalmist surrenders in faith and trust, especially in the words that Jesus quotes from the cross (Ps. 31:5 at Luke 23:46). The thanksgiving at verses 21-24 brings the psalm to a close.

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Isaiah 50:4-9a
God enables the servant to endure suffering in order to be the Lord’s witness in a hostile world.

Context
The passage is the third of the so-called “servant songs” in Second Isaiah, the others being (1) 42:1-4; (2) 49:1-6; (4) 52:13–53:12. The speaker of songs 1 and 4 is the Lord, while in 2 and 3 the speaker is the servant himself. The identity of the servant has been the subject of scholarly debate for centuries, answers ranging from the prophet himself, to the king, to the exiled people of Jerusalem, and of course, to Jesus. The immediate context is interesting since vv. 1-3 speak of the Lord as having the power to deliver the people from their exile and then our verses attest to God’s accomplishing that deed through the servant.

Key Words
V. 4.  limmûddîm = “those who are taught”:  The expression appears twice in this verse but nowhere else in this exact form. The term seems to imply the gift of wisdom, i.e., those who are wise, perhaps even “a teacher” (NRSV). The purpose of this God-given wisdom is not for the servant’s own glory but “to sustain the weary (yā‘ēp) with a word.” The weary can include even “youths” who are exiles in Babylon, but the Lord who does not grow weary “shall renew their strength” (Isa. 40:28-31).

V. 6.  gēwî nātattî  lemakkîm ûlechāyay lemōretîm = “I gave my back to those who smite and my cheek to those who make bare (by pulling out the beard)”:  The submission to an act of violence sounds like that at Neh. 13:25.

V. 7.  kî-lō’ ’ēbôš = “for I shall not be put to shame”:  The same expression occurs in the wisdom Psalm 119 at v. 6. The plea to never “be put to shame” appears in Ps. 31:1, 17. Note the repeated concern about not being put to shame at Ps. 25:2, 3, 20. This psalm of lament contains also the plea that the Lord “teach” the petitioner (vss. 4-5) along with all those “that fear the Lord” (v. 12).

V. 9.  kullām kabbeged yiblû = “all of them will wear out like a garment”:  The imagery appears also in terms of the created order at Ps. 102:26 and Isa. 51:16 in contrast to YHWH who remains forever.

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Philippians 2:5-11
The humiliation and exaltation of Jesus Christ causes the entire universe to bow at his name and confess him as Lord, so that God might be glorified.

Context
Paul wrote this epistle from prison, but we do not know which one. If this imprisonment was the one in Rome (Acts 28:14-31), he wrote the letter about 59-60. If his imprisonment was in the one in Caesarea, described at Acts 23:33—26:32), then he wrote about 56-58. If, however, this imprisonment is in Ephesus (1 Cor. 15:30ff; 2 Cor. 1:8ff.), then he wrote this epistle between 53-55. In any case, at 1:27 Paul turns to issues of life style among the Christians at Philippi. Against opponents who teach a false gospel, Paul urges them to “stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving for the faith of the gospel.” Here he provides the hymn to demonstrate Jesus as the role model for humility. Jesus’ humiliation paves the way to exaltation, a theme that Paul takes in a slightly different direction at 2 Corinthians 8:9: “… that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.”

Form
The verses represent a pre-Pauline hymn or creed. The word hos in v. 6 is typical of the beginning of creeds and hymns; see 1 Tim. 3:16. Attempts to define its origin have ranged from a Christian Aramaic psalm to a Hellenistic myth about the first human.

Key Words
V. 5.  phroneite = “have an attitude”:  While the words are different, especially in Greek, one wonders about the connection with the “transformed mind” Paul urges in Romans 12:2.

Vv. 6-7.  morphē theou … morphēn doulou:  “form of God … form of servant”:  The contrast alone explains the significance of the term for Paul. The LXX word for “image (of God)” in Gen. 1:26-27 is eikōn not morphē; only in Dan. 3:19 is Hebrew/Aramaic tselem (“image”) translated by morphē in LXX.

V. 6.  harpagmon = “robbery, prize, booty, a thing to be grasped for or held on to”:  Since Christ already had the “form” and did not need to grasp for it; the translation “held on to” seems more appropriate.

Vv. 10-11. The words “every knee should bow, and every tongue confess” are virtually identical to the LXX rendering of Isaiah 45:23. There “all the ends of the earth” shall worship God. Here the picture is even bigger.

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Luke 23:1-49
Against the innocence of Jesus and various declarations of his innocence, Jesus died the death of a condemned criminal out of faithfulness to his identity and to God’s mission to the world.

Context
The chief priests and captains of the temple arrested Jesus and brought him before the Sanhedrin.  There they asked him two questions:  (1) “If you are the Christ, tell us.”  (2) “Are you the Son of God, then?”  They interpreted his response as incriminating evidence, and they brought him before the secular ruler, the governor Pilate.

Key Words
V. 8.  sēmeion = “sign”:  At 2:12 and 2:34 Jesus himself is the “sign”; at 11:16, 29 the people demand a sign from Jesus; at 11:30 Jesus will be a sign like that of Jonah to Nineveh; at 21:7, 11, 25 apocalyptic signs are discussed.  “Sign” in 11:16; 23:8, and 2:12, 34 is unique to Luke.

V. 14.  outhen euron … aition = “I find … not guilty”:  That two (Pilate and Herod) came to the same conclusion should have satisfied the law that accusers and accused present their case to “the priests and the judges who are in office in those days” (Deut. 19:15-21). However, that priests were the chief accusers in this case made the law more complicated. See also the declaration of the thief (v. 41) and of the centurion at the foot of the cross (v. 47).

V. 33-34.  kai … ēlthon epi ton topon = “and … they came to the place”:  The words are virtually identical to Gen. 22:3, the sacrifice of Isaac.  Compare Jesus’ first word Pater (v. 34) (“Father”) with Isaac’s first word Pater (Gen 22:7).   On Luke’s use of topon, see also 4:42; 6:17; 11:1; 19:5; 22:40.

V. 35.  ei houtos estin ho christos tou theou ho eklektos = “if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen one”:  On the challenge, see the temptation by the devil in 4:1-13.  On the “Christ of God,” see Peter’s confession at 9:20. On “the Chosen one,” see God’s announcement at the Transfiguration (Luke 9:35).

V. 47. ho hekatontarchēs … edoxazen ton theon = “the centurion … praised God”: The representative of the Gentiles is the one who praises God at the foot of the cross, similar to the hymn Paul used at Philippians 2:5-11 and consistent with Luke’s emphasis throughout the Gospel.

Jesus Last Words
V. 43.  amēn soi legō, sēmeron met’ emou esē en tō paradeisō = “Truly, I say to you, today you shall be with me in Paradise”:  For the significance of “today” in Luke’s Gospel, see Luke 2:11; 4:21; 19:9. That Jesus addressed these words to an outcast from society is consistent with Luke’s emphasis throughout his Gospel. Jesus acquits the guilty as only the Divine Judge can do (Acts 10:42). In this case, Jesus’ words respond to still one more person who declares Jesus’ innocence: Herod, Pilate, and soon the centurion.

V. 46. pater, eis cheiras sou paratithemai to pneuma mou = “Father, into your hands I commit me spirit.” The saying is a direct quote of Psalm 31:6. Like other “last words of Jesus” used in Matthew, Mark, and John, the psalm source for this saying is a lament.

Psalm 22:1: Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34
Psalm 69:21: John 19:28 (cf. Matthew 27:48; Mark 15:36)

Wrestling with the Word, episode 65: Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year C (March 21, 2010) March 3, 2010

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Fifth Sunday in Lent

The biblical passages burst with God’s promises of salvation. Since such promises are never conditioned on human behavior, we can attribute those promised acts and God’s past acts to God’s amazing grace. The Bible also makes no secret about the praise God expects for such graciousness. The responsibility of the people of God in each generation is to determine what forms that praise should take.

Download or listen to Wrestling with the Word, episode 65; Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year C.

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Psalm 126
The psalm presents the dreaming or visioning of those who wait for salvation. Their dream enables them to anticipate the time of their deliverance from adversity; then the nations will recognize the work of God and the people of Israel will join in their praise. The psalm returns to reality, pleading with God to fulfill the dream by turning sorrow into joy and hunger into harvest.

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Isaiah 43:16-21
To a people suffering the results of their sinfulness, God promises a new act of salvation that will result in the people’s declaration of divine praise.

Context
The prophet delivered his sermons to a people who had been in exile for some 40 to 50 years. His preaching seems to have occurred close to the end of the exile since he mentions by name Cyrus, King of Persia, who in fact defeated the Babylonians and signed in 538 B.C. an edict allowing the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.

Form
Lament:  a complaint by the people over the absence of God, often including a reminder of what God had done for the people in the past.

Salvation promise:  a statement from God about what God would do to remedy the situation, that statement in the past tense indicates the promise was as good as done.

Result:  the ultimate outcome of God’s deed was not simply the rescue of the people but their praise of God.

Passages to Compare
41:17-20:  Promise of salvation
42:14-17:  Promise of salvation
51:9-11:   Second exodus
45:5-6:    Result
48:9-11:   Result

Key Words
V. 16.  netîbâ = “path”:  The word appears often in parallelism with “way,” but only here in referring to a new exodus:  usually a moral path.

V. 17.  hammôtsî = “who brings forth”:  The word is a technical term in the exodus traditions to describe the deliverance from Egypt. It is unusual here since it refers to the Egyptians rather than to Israelites.

V. 18.  ‘al tizkerû rišônôt = “Remember not the former things”:  In Second Isaiah “the former things” seems to refer to the acts of judgment which brought them to exile: see 41:22; 42:9; 43:9; 46:9; 48:3.

V. 19.  hinenî ‘ôsê chadāšâ = “Behold I am doing a new thing”:  The new thing is the salvation act which replaces the judgment act; see 42:9; 48:6.

V. 21.  yātsartî = “I formed”:  The word presents the image of a potter at work. It describes God forming Israel at 43:1, 7; 44:2, 21; cf. 45:9.

V. 21. tehillātî yesappērû = “that they declare my praise”: The same goal of God’s salvation work for the people in exile appears also at 48:9-11. In the NT the conclusion of the hymn Paul uses at Phil 2:5-11 describes the purpose of Christ’s humiliation and exaltation to be “to the glory of God the Father.”

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Philippians 3:4b-14
Counting as nothing his religious past and accomplishments, and having been made Christ’s by Jesus himself through the righteousness of God, the apostle urges the Christians in Philippi to “forget what lies behind” and press onward toward the goal.

Context
Paul had just finished discussing Timothy and Epaphroditus, confirming the personal aspect of his and their relationship with the congregation at Philippi. He begins chapter 3 with warnings against those who would persuade them to return to such former requirements as circumcision. The true circumcision, he indicates, is the Christian.

Key Words
V. 8.  skubalon = “rubbish, dung, garbage left after a feast.”

V. 9. alla tēn dia pisteōs Christou, tēn ek theou dikaiosynēn epi tē pistei = “but that (righteousness) through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God (based) upon faith”: The statement sums up the essence of Paul’s preaching and teaching and bears strong similarity to his writing at Romans 3:21-26.

V. 10.  summorphizomenos = “investing with the same form”:  The word appears only in Christian writings and only here as a verb; see v. 21; Romans 8:29.

V. 11.  exanastasin tēn ek nekrōn = “resurrection from the dead”:  Usually the word refers to the resurrection of the righteous to a glorified life (see Luke 20:35; Acts 4:2; 1 Peter 1:3). “Resurrection of the dead” (cf. 1 Cor, 15:42) might be more general:  some to life, some to judgment.

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John 12:1-8
Faced with his imminent arrest and execution, Jesus appeared in Bethany where he received Mary’s anointing for his burial and left a message for the church to praise him thereafter.

Context
Having raised Lazarus from the dead in the previous chapter, Jesus became the object of contempt among the chief priests and Pharisees. Perhaps unknowingly, Caiaphas, the high priest, prophesied that Jesus would die both for the nation and for all the children of God who were scattered abroad. With awareness of their plans, Jesus went off to the town of Ephraim where he stayed with his disciples. At the time of the Passover, people wondered if Jesus would come; the Pharisees gave orders to reveal his whereabouts so that he might be arrested.

Compare Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50

Key Words
V. 5. dia ti touto to myron ouk triakosiōn dēnariōn kai edothē ptōchois; = Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”: According to Matt. 20:2, a denarius represented one day of labor in the fields. Therefore, the cost of the ointment was almost an annual wage.

V. 8. tous ptōchous gar pantote echete meth’ heautōn, eme de ou pantote echete = “the poor you always have with you; you do not always have me”: The same words appear at Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9)

A common temptation is to miss the meaning of the story by losing ourselves in the details. Indeed, some of the details result simply from the ways stories developed in the early church. The “woman” in Matthew and Mark becomes identified as Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, in John. The location of the incident moves from the home of Simon the leper in Matthew and Mark to the home of Mary and Martha in John. The woman anointed Jesus’ head in Matthew and Mark, while in John (and in Luke’s version of the anointing incident) Mary anointed Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. The indignation arises from “some” in Mark to “the disciples” in Matthew and to “Judas” in John. Mark, the earliest gospel, continues Jesus’ statement about the continuing presence of the poor with the words “and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish” (vs. 7). Both Matthew and John eliminated that part of the saying. In Matthew and Mark, Jesus commends the woman and promises that people throughout the world will hold her in remembrance whenever the gospel is preached.

Luke eliminated the entire quotation from his gospel and moved the anointing event out of the Passion story into the first of a series of reports about a growing cadre of women who became disciples; the anointing of Jesus’ feet by a woman known as “a sinner” became a story of forgiveness (Luke7: 36-50). Did Luke think that Jesus’ saying detracted from his gospel’s focus on the poor?

Jesus is quoting the first part of Deuteronomy 15:11: “Since there will never cease to be some in need, therefore, I command you, You shall open wide your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.” For the practice of citing half of a verse to call to mind the whole verse, see 2 Peter 2:22: “The dog turns back to its own vomit” (Prov. 26:11).