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45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too.”
41. But out of what you have, give alms. Christ, according to his custom, withdraws the Pharisees from ceremonies to charity, declaring that it is not water, but liberality, 285285 “Mais que c’est une prompte affection de faire bien a ceux qui sont en necessite;” — “but that it is an active disposition to do good to those who are in want.” that cleanses both men and food. By these words he does not disparage the grace of God, or reject the ceremonies of the Law as vain and useless; but addresses his discourse to those who feel confident that God will be amused by mere signs. “It is the lawful use alone,” he says, “that sanctifies food. But food is rightly and properly used by those who supply from their abundance the necessities of the poor. It would therefore be better to give alms out of what you have, than to be careful about washing hands and cups, and to neglect the poor.”
The inference which the Papists draw from these words, that alms are satisfactions, by which we are cleansed from our sins, is too absurd to require a lengthened refutation. Christ does not here inform us by what price we must purchase the forgiveness of sins, but says that those persons eat their bread with cleanness, who bestow a part of it on the poor. I understand the words, τὰ ἐνόντα, to mean “the present supply,” 286286 “Les presentes choses, comme aussi ie l’ay traduit au texte;” — “the present things, as also I have translated it in the text.” and not, as Erasmus and the old translator render them, “what remains over.” 287287 It seems quite as natural to suppose, with other interpreters, that τὰ ἐνόντα answers to τὸ ἔσωθεν in the 39th and 40th verses Πλὴν (κατὰ) τὰ ἐνόντα will thus be equivalent to πλὴν (κατὰ) τὸ ἔσωθεν (τοῦ ποτηρίου) δότε ἐλεημοσύνην, but as to what is within the cup give alms out of it. The next, clause commences with καὶ, followed by an ellipsis of (κατὰ), τὸ ἔξωθεν (τοῦ ποτηρίου) μὴ μεριμνήσητε, and give yourselves no concern about what is outside of the cup; for, lo, all things are clean to you. —Ed.
The reproofs which immediately follow may be reserved, with greater propriety, for another occasion. I do not think it probable that Christ, while sitting at table, indulged in this continuous strain of invective against scribes and Pharisees, but that Luke has introduced here what was spoken at another time; for the Evangelists, as we have frequently mentioned, paid little attention to the order of dates.