On Tuesday morning the pastors of Lutheran Saints in Ministry gather in Fairborn Ohio to discuss the texts for Sunday.

These are the contributions that are brought to the table.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Note on our work

You will find we have posted thoughts for Easter Sunday today. Why not Palm Sunday? Most, not al, but most of us are using a Liturgy called: "The Cry of the Congregation" Palm Sunday and that Liturgy asks for no sermon. We also do not meet on the Tuesday before Easter. So we decided to do our work for the Easter texts and give it to you today. 
We also went in two different directions today. The Greek text discussed is Luke 24. The comments are on John 20. Both texts show up in an Easter service, one as processional Gospel and the other as Gospel read in the Liturgy. So, we give you as much as we van muster for now. 
Have a joyous and blessed Holy Week. 

The Texts for the Sunday of the Resurrection, 2016, March 27th.

First Reading: Acts 10:34-43

34Peter began to speak to [the people]: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

First Reading (alternate): Isaiah 65:17-25

17I am about to create new heavens
  and a new earth;
 the former things shall not be remembered
  or come to mind.
18But be glad and rejoice forever
  in what I am creating;
 for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
  and its people as a delight.
19I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
  and delight in my people;
 no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
  or the cry of distress.
20No more shall there be in it
  an infant that lives but a few days,
  or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
 for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
  and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
21They shall build houses and inhabit them;
  they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22They shall not build and another inhabit;
  they shall not plant and another eat;
 for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
  and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23They shall not labor in vain,
  or bear children for calamity;
 for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord—
  and their descendants as well.
24Before they call I will answer,
  while they are yet speaking I will hear.
25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
  the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
  but the serpent—its food shall be dust!
 They shall not hurt or destroy
  on all my holy mountain,
says the Lord.

Psalm: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; 
    his mercy endures for ever.

Let Israel now proclaim, 
    "His mercy endures for ever."
The LORD is my strength and my song, 
    and he has become my salvation.

There is a sound of exultation and victory 
    in the tents of the righteous:

"The right hand of the LORD has triumphed! 
    the right hand of the LORD is exalted!
    the right hand of the LORD has triumphed!"

I shall not die, but live, 
    and declare the works of the LORD.

The LORD has punished me sorely, 
    but he did not hand me over to death.

Open for me the gates of righteousness; 
    I will enter them;
    I will offer thanks to the LORD.

"This is the gate of the LORD; 
    he who is righteous may enter."

I will give thanks to you, for you answered me 
    and have become my salvation.

The same stone which the builders rejected 
    has become the chief cornerstone.

This is the LORD'S doing, 
    and it is marvelous in our eyes.

On this day the LORD has acted; 
    we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:19-26

19If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. 21For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; 22for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. 23But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Second Reading (alternate): Acts 10:34-43

34Peter began to speak to [the people]: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Gospel: Luke 24:1-12

1On the first day of the week, at early dawn, [the women] came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8Then they remembered his words, 9and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

Gospel (alternate): John 20:1-18

1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 4The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned to their homes.

11But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Luke 24:1-12, the Resurrection Story in Greek

Greek Study Easter: Luke 24:1-12

v1 δε  but introducing a contrast following the men in 23:56. The ladies observed the Sabbath "but" τη .. μια adj. "on the first day" των σαββατων (ον) gen. "of the Sabbath” an idiom meaning the “first day of the week”.
ορθρου βαθεως "very early in the morning" – literally “the deepest part of early morning”. Matthew says it happened during the “fourth watch” (i.e. 3 – 6  am). Combining the two traditions would mean sometime the middle of the night!  The women would have hastened to the tomb to anoint the body with spices as soon as Sabbath was ended, AFTER 6 pm Saturday, our time.  Not to get too technical, but all of the resurrection accounts point to a MUCH earlier time than we normally assume, as the beginning of the “third day” would have been sundown, Saturday.  Point being, there is FAER more evidence to support an early evening Easter vigil than a ‘sunrise” service.  Additionally, the “vigil” we keep is not a watch for the rising sun but for the rising Son! 
ηλθον (ερχομαι) "the women went" - Luke says who the "they" are in verse 10, 3women; Mark adds Salome but leaves out Luke's Joanna. Given that the tomb was guarded (Matthew) and that it was covered by a stone, how did these women intend to perform an anointing? It is likely attending to the body was permitted and the guards enlisted for help when moving the stone.

v2 τον λιθον (ος) "the stone" (not a stone!) The definite article may indicate that the stone was still well known to the gospel writers! 
αποκεκυλισμενον (αποκυλιω) perf. pas. part. "rolled away" this is a divine passive.

v4 και εγενετο (γινομαι) aor. and it happened that εν τω απορεισθαι (απορεω) inf. "while they were wondering" - uncertain, at a loss, perplexed. 
ανδρες δυο "two men" - Later Luke says they were angels. The gospel tradition is varied as to the number and where they appeared. 
αστραπτουση (αστραπτω) pres. part. "gleamed like lightning" a flashback to the transfiguration perhaps?
επεστησαν (εφιστημι) aor. "stood beside" again the entire scene is reminiscent of the Transfiguration, except this time it is for the benefit of the women, not the men.

v5 γενομενων (γινομαι) gen. aor. part. "in [their fright]" they κλινουσων (κλινω) gen. pres. part. "bowed down" – an attitude implying recognition of the divine presence. The present tense indicates their continued attitude while the angels spoke. 
τι τον ζωντα (ζαω) pres. part. pro. "why {seek} the living one" μετα + gen. "with [the dead]"

v6 ηγερθη (εγειρω) aor. pas. "he has risen" another divine passive; so he has been raised…” μνεσθετε ως "remember how [he told]" υμιν dat. pro. "you".
ετι ων τε Γαλιλαια pres. part. "while he was still [in] the Galilee" participle of the verb "to be" is adverbial, forming a temporal clause; the mention of Galilee has prompted numerous theories, but it may be nothing more than a factual statement.
v7 λεγων (λεγω) pres. part. saying. adverbial, temporal; "when he said".
οτι  that.  a dependent statement of indirect speech
του ανθρωπου (ος) gen. "[the Son] of Man" Daniel's vision.
παραδοθηναι (παραδιδωμι) aor. pas. inf. "be delivered/handed over” to α
μαρτωλων adj. "sinful [men]
αναστηραι (ανιστημι) aor. act. inf. "be raised again" - "raised" is active, allowing the possibility that Christ performs the action.
τη τριτη ημερα "on the third day" - the third day (day of salvation, Gen.22:4); this entire proclamation is a summary of the gospel, likely an early creed.
v8 των ρηματων (α ατος) gen. "[then they remembered his] words/deeds" an allusion back to Genesis?
v9 υποστρεφασαι (υποστρεφω) aor. part. "when they came back
απηγγειλαν (απαγγελλω) aor. "they told" – a word used of proclaiming the gospel.
ταυτα παντα "all these things" - these things all to τοις ενδεκα adj. "the eleven

v10 η Ιακωβου (ος) gen. "[Mary] the mother of James" - genitive is relational. The sense may be "mother of", but it could as easily be "sister” or "wife" - Ιωαννα (α) Joanna  Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James are mentioned in Mark, but Mark has the third woman being Salome (mother of the sons of Zebedee) rather than Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward. 
αι λοιπαι συν αυταις "others with them" - unclear whether Luke intends us to read these others as others with the apostles, cf. v9 or other women with the three already named and the grammar doesn't help, given that two third person plural verbs, "it was" and "told" do not help. John only mentions Mary Magdalene, but even Mary reporting the resurrection to the apostles uses the plural "we don't know where they have laid him!" 

v11 ηπιστουν (απιστεω) imperf. "they disbelieved" - expressing continued action; belief not in the religious sense but in the sense that the women's account was not trustworthy. ενωπιον + gen. "because [their words]" - usually special as in "before, in front of", but here meaning "in the opinion/judgment of", BAGD.
ληπος (ος) "nonsense" babbling – this is a hapax legomenon.
v12 (This verse is not found in some texts so it may be a later addition.) αναστας
(ανιστημι)  aor. part. "got up [and ran]
παρακυψας (παρακυπτω) aor. "bending over" - describing a straining of the neck to get a look at the contents of the tomb.
βλεπει (βλεπω) pres. "he saw" – the historic present tense.
τα οθονια (ον) "the strips of linen" - the Jews did not mummify their dead but used a linen sheet or two, loosely wrapped around a body that had been washed with perfumed oil. It was these sheets that Peter saw.
μονα adj. "lying by themselves" - object complement, implying that there is something about the way the sheets are placed by themselves. It is better read the adjective attributively such that it limits by ascribing a quality to the noun "sheets"; they are "alone" - only the sheets are in the grave; Jesus' body is not there. Of course, there is something about the scene that prompts a reaction other than loathing, in Peter's case, "wonder". There is obviously no evidence of grave robbers. John's description of the grave makes particular note of the head towel folded by itself. The scene is one of order, as if someone just got out of bed. 
θαυμαζων (θαυμαζω) aor. part. "[he went away] wondering" participle is adverbial, expressing the manner of his going. Amazement is always viewed in the NT as a response short of faith, although, given the circumstances, it is not an unreasonable response. Mark, in particular, makes much of the response of "being amazed." For Mark, "amazement" is the first step toward faith, but sadly, it is the only step most people ever take. 
προς + acc. "to [himself]" - [his own house]. Some think that this preposition goes with απηλθεν, "departed", rather than θαυμαζων, "wondered". So "departed to", presumably with the sense "to his own home".

το γεγονος (γινομαι) perf. part. "what had happened" - once again this entre verse looks like an early church creedal statement.

Will we Know?

Winter is almost over now. I will miss it as I somehow like winter. Winter has a smell all its own. You can smell cold or rather you can smell the nothingness of the cold when temperatures really plummet. The air carries no scent of its own. The wind brings news of wood fires far off. The pig farm a mile away. The diesel truck being warmed up next door.
Spring on the other hand is rich in scent that needs no wind to carry it to you. Spring makes itself known by scent long before the eye cast on the fields and lawns alert us to the greening of the land. By the time the pastures gain their springtime emerald hue, their grasses have long since seeded the air with the smell of growth. That smell is ubiquitous it becomes the new background scent that mixes and often confuses other smells.
Between these two times of the year, in the place I live, stands late February and early March, skunk season, a rude assault on the nose. A whiff of it renders anyone incapable of smelling anything else. 
As Mary, Peter, and the beloved disciple exit the tomb they do so with very different attitudes. John tells us that: “as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” (Jn 20:9) The latter will not happen until Jesus breathes the Spirit unto them. (Jn 20:22)
Mary assumes that the body has been stolen and she persists in that conviction even after she had a vision of angels. She persist in it even after her eyes lay hold of the risen Jesus. (Jn 20:15) 
Peter walks away. John does not tell us right then what his thoughts might have been. He just went home. (Jn 20:10) It might be premature to mention it, but he will require special attention later as it seems he is in danger of falling away into old patterns of living by returning to being a fisherman. (21:3)
The beloved disciple sees what the other two see. He, as yet, does not understand the scripture either. But, says John: “he saw and he had faith.” 
Mary and Peter come to the same place as the beloved disciple. Thomas will as well, but they do so on the basis of a personal call. Jesus has to call Mary by name to have her sense who is standing before her. Jesus will call Peter to make an either/or decision on the beach. These are all personal challenges by the risen Jesus.
The beloved disciple seems to be cut of a different cloth. He saw Jesus die. He is keeping Mary of Nazareth safe as part of his family as if she was his own mother. (Jn 19:27-28) The story is unfolding round about him in confusing ways and he has faith. Even though he does not now understand, even though he sees an empty tomb, he remains loyal and trusts that he will see the Glory of God. (11:4) He shows what utter loyalty, even in the face of utter desolation, looks like.
We think of winter as a time of desolation. Winter has a cold — pardon the pun — clarity to it. Its smells are easily discerned. The sound of the lonely crow or hidden owl are easily pinpointed. The movement in the thickets is visible and recognizable to the interested eye. Yet, it is somehow sterile, antiseptic, and hostile to life, new or old.
Spring is a time of much more confusion. Smells abound and and are not easily locatable because there are just too many of them. The song of a hundred robins makes it difficult to pinpoint the individual. The advancing green makes the movement in the hedgerows invisible. But it is the time of living and new life from the rot of the old. Life is messy. It often confuses the senses, often doing so on purpose. Witness: The skunk. One thing life is not is sterile and antiseptic. For those who seek simplicity and clarity or simple pathways and pointers, spring is desolation by an overload of the senses. 
The story of the Resurrection as John tells it is not for those who love everything nice and neat, clear and simple. The main characters, it seems, have to be called personally into faith, except the enigmatic beloved disciple. He seems to be navigating it in a spirit of detachment from the confusion of the senses. He sees but he as faith and remains loyal no matter what. Everyone else is overloaded by the first scent of eternal life and either walks oblivious or overwhelmed, or perhaps they are still numb by the skunk like scent of death. 
And so walk we. Evidence of eternal life might surround us. How would we know though? This Jesus is the Son, the LORD. Quietly everywhere but hidden in life ever so noisy, ever filled with so many distractions and things covering the scent for anyone who would try to seek him. Where is he found? 

And so we gather with the Mother of Faith and share in bread and wine. Will we see? Will we smell? Will we taste? Will we have faith? Will the skunk get the better of us?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Texts for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, April 13th, 2016

First Reading: Isaiah 43:16-21

16Thus says the Lord,
  who makes a way in the sea,
  a path in the mighty waters,
17who brings out chariot and horse,
  army and warrior;
 they lie down, they cannot rise,
  they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
18Do not remember the former things,
  or consider the things of old.
19I am about to do a new thing;
  now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
 I will make a way in the wilderness
  and rivers in the desert.
20The wild animals will honor me,
  the jackals and the ostriches;
 for I give water in the wilderness,
  rivers in the desert,
 to give drink to my chosen people,
  21the people whom I formed for myself
 so that they might declare my praise.

Psalm: Psalm 126
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, 
    then were we like those who dream.

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, 
    and our tongue with shouts of joy.

Then they said among the nations, 
    "The LORD has done great things for them."

The LORD has done great things for us, 
    and we are glad indeed.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD
    like the watercourses of the Negev.

Those who sowed with tears 
    will reap with songs of joy.

Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, 
    will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.

Second Reading: Philippians 3:4b-14

[Paul writes:] 4bIf anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
7Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
12Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

Gospel: John 12:1-8

1Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6(He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

John 12:1-9 Greek Studies

Greek Study John 12:1-8

v1 προ + gen. "before [the Passover]". Temporal; "before"; the placement in the Greek of προ before εξ ημερων, "six days", which is an idiomatic construction of time, and is translated "six days before the Passover", not "before six days of the Passover."  Jesus has adequate time to complete his journey, so this rest stop at Bethany was a planned visit to old friends.

v2 ουν "then" (See above) As a consequence of Jesus being in Bethany (where he had after all raised Lazarus to life the chapter before) a dinner is given in his honor.
αυτω dat. pro. [Here a dinner was given] in Jesus' honor 
εκ + gen. "[Lazarus was] among" those των ανακειμενων (ανακειμαι) pres. part. "reclining at the table" – which is odd for a host (guessing that Martha was still over-functioning?).   

v3 Μαριαμ "Mary" - mentioned in the gospels of Luke and John. In Luke she is the one who “sat and listened” while Martha “busied herself in the kitchen” (10:38-42). All four gospels have an anointing scene but the details are markedly different, only Mark's account is close to John's. In Luke, the anointing is by a woman who is a "sinner" (7:37-50) - suggested to be Mary Magdalene (exorcised by Jesus in 8:2). If this is true then Mary of Magdala is the same Mary of Bethany – possible but unlikely. It is also unlikely the woman who anointed Jesus in Luke is the same who anointed Jesus in John. Origin suggested Jesus was anointed on a number of occasions and the stories converged in the oral tradition. The differences between Luke's account and John's seem to indicate this. 
λιτραν (α) "a pint" – actually a Roman pound = 325 grams. 
μυρου (ον) gen. "Myrrh" a perfume, ointment; the genitive is adjectival, of material so "a pint of aromatic oil" maybe Myrrh (from the Balsam plant) but the word is a common term used for any aromatic oil.
ναρδου (ος) gen. "nard
πιστικης (ος) gen. "pure and πολυτιμου "expensive" - a pint of genuine, expensive, spikenard aromatic oil by itself was too strong to be applied directly to the skin. It had to be diluted with a rubbing oil (nard). The concentration of spikenard would indicate its purpose, for anointing the dead it would be highly concentrated, and so also very expensive. So the best translation of this phrase is "concentrated". 
ηλειψεν (αλειφω) aor. "she poured it" - anointed.
ταις θριξιν (ιξ ιχος) dat. "with [her] hair"  a very intimate and frankly scandalous action.

v4 ο μελλων (μελλω) pres. part. "who was later" παραδιδοναι (παραδιδωμι) pres. inf. "to betray [him]" – literally hand him over
v5 δια + acc. "why
πτωχοις adj. "to the poor
τριακοσιων δηναριων gen. "it was worth a year's wages" i.e. 300 denarii; one Denarii is a day's wage, so this really is highly concentrated spikenard used for embalming!
v6 αλλα "but [because he was a thief]" The tradition has not served Judas well; his failings are all enshrined in scripture. (Thankfully mine are not!) You do get the impression, if they have any responsibility for tradition, that his fellow disciples didn't think much of him.
εξων (εξω) pres. part. "as keeper of [the money bag]
εβασταζεν (βασταζω) imperf. "he used to help himself" - imperfect tense is durative, expressing an ongoing pilfering from the purse so Judas has some “light-fingered tendencies” and it is natural that once exposed the disciples would be angered by the fact that one of their own betrayed Jesus and had betrayed their trust as well. 
But it seems they were oblivious to his thieving ways prior to the crucifixion, since they took no action, requested no forensic audit; nor did they call his accountancy into question. And according to the tradition, Judas committed suicide within hours of the betrayal and left no suicide note. So, does the tradition of being a "thief" reflect a desperate search for motive? Judas (and Pilate for much the same reasons) is a fascinating character.
τα βαλλομενα (βαλλω) pres. pas. part. "what was put into it" – lit. the things being thrown.

v7 αφες αυτην "leave her alone" - literally forgive her so it is an idiom; "permit her to perform her duty."
ινα + subj. "that [she should save]" - the construction here causes difficulty. The conjunction ινα + subj. normally forms a purpose clause, but that is not the case here. It doesn't make sense for Jesus to tell the disciples to leave her alone so that she can keep the oil for his later embalming. She has already anointed him with it.  It may be an imperative, "keep this essential oil till the day of my burial", ie. use it for my embalming, but again, that horse has left the barn.  So, is Jesus telling her the anointing is proper or not? The Greek is painfully unclear; and it really does matter.  Raymond Brown took the ‘weak’ sense of the reading "she has kept" - which overcomes the problem, except that is plainly not what the Greek says.  Carson argues an ellipsis (ie. some words are missing) so the clause "she has done this" is assumed and therefore was not included. The NIV adds the words "it was intended", making the hina clause a purpose clause after the fact, i.e. she should hold onto the remaining (unused) oil εις "for" the day of Jesus' embalming – this assumes the anointing was interrupted before the entire pint was poured out. 
Why does this matter, because most interpretive insights make this is a gift of extravagance. But if Jesus is telling her to not use it, he is agreeing in part with Judas, the gift is being misused.  It is for embalming.  So Jesus is not making social commentary about poverty, nor giving a lesson on faith, but delivering another passion prediction.  And as a follower of Jesus, Mary is to τηρηση " preserve" the oil for his embalming. 
του ενταφιασμου (ος) gen. "[the day] of [my] burial]" - embalming.

v8 μεθ (μετα) + gen. "[always have the poor] with" - association.

εαυτων gen. refl. pro. "yourselvesπαντοτε adv. "[but you will not] always [have me]" - Brown notes that the statement reflects rabbinic theology where a work of mercy (in this case embalming) exceeds a work of justice (i.e. almsgiving).

When Heaven is Cheap

Oh traitor Judas, you value the ointment of his passion at 300 pence, but you sell his passion at 30 pence. Rich and valuing, cheap in wickedness! — Ephrem the Syrian

I have become aware of Ephrem the Syrian of recent. There is a certain economy in the juxtaposition in Ephram’s quote I present above. The story of Judas is indeed one that is lived between valuing the ointment highly but the Lord’s life cheaply.

There is also another juxtaposition in play here. A few days before the anointing at Bethany, there had been the warning by Martha, who today serves the gathered company, that: “ . . . There will be an odor [of death.]” (Jn 11:39) Now there is the smell of the ointment that fills the house. (Jn 12:3) As an aside: Mary and Martha must have prepared Lazarus for burial and might just have had some nard left over. Mary’s use of it pretty much says: “we do not need this any longer.” 

The obvious third juxtaposition is Lazarus raised from death by the one who will now go to his death by betrayal. Ephrem points out that Sheol and greed are exposed here: Sheol will not hold him forever, greed — sin —  will not sell him forever. He raised his friend and buries himself by the ointment. 

All of this seems to happen as they recline at table, with Martha serving the earthly part of the story as it unfolds and Mary the spiritual, similar to the story in Luke 10, only here Judas is the one challenging Mary’s choice of the better part. (Lk 10:42)

So we have a journey from death to life, a journey of the Living One toward dying for others, a hint at eternal life and end of sin, and an earthly and a spiritual part to a supper, and a challenge: Which do you hold more precious: the earthly ointment or the heavily host? 

One might pardon my flight of fancy here but I seem to see a eucharistic theme here as the elements and questions of the Eucharist asks are also present here.
Those who saw him raise the dead continue to be with him and they spread the word about it. (Jn 12:17) Many more come to see along with the Greeks, the Gentiles, who come to see him. (Jn 12:20) He will soon enter Jerusalem and as John tells the story he will spent a quiet week there before the night in the upper room and his Passover. (Jn 13-17) 

What remains sort of hanging in the air loosely is the quote from Deuteronomy 15:11:  

For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

Jesus adds the words: “Me you will not always have with you.” 

The words of Deuteronomy are addressed to a people of God, under God, and called out by God to be “peculiar” and a heavenly possession. This open handedness for the poor is to be a character of the people. You are my house and this is how the house acts. You do it out of submission and love for the house of God and in praise of God. Praise and worship is assumed when Moses recalls this command.

Certainly a day is coming, the Kingdom of God, when there will be no more poor. The presence of the poor is really a living reminder that something is wrong. It is a reminder that a new and better reality must come and must be prayed for earnestly. The disciples are not taken out of the world. They live among these reminders that something is amiss but they live there as reminders of Kingdom come. They will certainly keep their hands open as Deuteronomy demands they do. But, they also will keep their oil ready to praise him. 

Yet, that Kingdom coming calls for sincerity in present time. Augustine saw in Jesus warning: “Me you will not always have with you,” as a warning that lacking that sincerity was a recipe for being excluded from the Kingdom and therefore truly being “without” him in eternity. Spoken to Judas, whose insincerity John alerts to in an aside (12:6), this is really a dire warning and it connects to the parts preceding it. Worship will be a complete waste of time to those whose life really is insincere. It will be too long, too loud, not joyous enough, too exuberant, not long enough to express my feelings, too emotional, to contemplative, too old, too young, too preachy about the rest of my life, not connected to Monday morning, too escapist, too worldly, too heavenly minded to be earthly good, to earthly minded to be heavenly good, [proceed at your own pace.] 

Aside from Jesus, we really cannot do anything that is of value, not even serve the poor. (Jn 15:5) Outside of him, we are of the world and not joined to the one who has overcome the world. (Jn 16:33) Yet, as a branch of the vine — another Eucharistic image — we shall do greater things. (Jn 14:12) Regrettably, that is denied Judas for whom heaven is cheap and oil is expensive and today is all there is.