Herod wants to see Jesus (Lk 9:9-9:9)

“Herod said.

‘I beheaded John!

Who is this

About whom

I hear such things?’

He tried

To see him.”

 

εἶπεν δὲ Ἡρῴδης Ἰωάνην ἐγὼ ἀπεκεφάλισα· τίς δέ ἐστιν οὗτος περὶ οὗ ἀκούω τοιαῦτα; καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν αὐτόν.

 

Luke indicated that Herod said (εἶπεν δὲ Ἡρῴδης) that he had beheaded John (Ἰωάνην ἐγὼ ἀπεκεφάλισα).  Who then was this Jesus (τίς δέ ἐστιν οὗτος) about whom he had heard such things (περὶ οὗ ἀκούω τοιαῦτα)?  He wanted to see Jesus (καὶ ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν αὐτόν).  There is nothing like this in Matthew, but in Mark, chapter 6:16, there was something similar.  King Herod had his own opinion.  He believed that Jesus was John resurrected.  Mark said that when Herod heard about this, he had no doubt.  He said that it was John, whom he beheaded, that was raised up in Jesus.  Herod saw an equivalence between John the Baptist and Jesus.  Thus, here in Luke, he wanted to see Jesus, which was not in the other gospel stories.  How would you compare John the Baptist to Jesus?

Elijah or ancient prophets (Lk 9:8-9:8)

“Some others said

That Elijah had appeared.

Others said

That one of the ancient prophets

Had risen.”

 

ὑπό τινων δὲ ὅτι Ἡλείας ἐφάνη, ἄλλων δὲ ὅτι προφήτης τις τῶν ἀρχαίων ἀνέστη.

 

Luke said that some people said Jesus was the appearance of Elijah (ὑπό τινων δὲ ὅτι Ἡλείας ἐφάνη).  Others said that Jesus was one of the ancient prophets who had risen (ἄλλων δὲ ὅτι προφήτης τις τῶν ἀρχαίων ἀνέστη).  There was nothing about this speculation in Matthew.  However, Mark, chapter 6:15, had something similar, almost word for word.  Some people said that Jesus was Elijah.  Still others said that he was a prophet, like the former ancient prophets.  Elijah was a 9th century BCE northern Israelite prophet whose work can be found in the Old Testament Books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.  There was no doubt that the role of Elijah dominated late Jewish thought at the time of Jesus, with his name appearing around John the Baptist, the transfiguration, and the death of Jesus.  The prophets were the holy men of Hebrew scripture who brought the word of Yahweh to his people.  Who would you compare Jesus to?

Herod the tetrarch (Lk 9:7-9:7)

“Now Herod,

The tetrarch ruler,

Heard about all

That had taken place.

He was perplexed,

Because it was said

By some people

That John had been raised

From the dead.”

 

Ἤκουσεν δὲ Ἡρῴδης ὁ τετραάρχης τὰ γινόμενα πάντα, καὶ διηπόρει διὰ τὸ λέγεσθαι ὑπό τινων ὅτι Ἰωάνης ἠγέρθη ἐκ νεκρῶν,

 

Luke said that Herod (δὲ Ἡρῴδης) Antipas, the tetrarch (ὁ τετραάρχης) ruler of Galilee, heard (Ἤκουσεν) about all that had taken place (τὰ γινόμενα πάντα).  He was perplexed (καὶ διηπόρει), because it was said by some people (διὰ τὸ λέγεσθαι ὑπό τινων) that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead (ὅτι Ἰωάνης ἠγέρθη ἐκ νεκρῶν).  This mention of Herod can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:1-3, Mark, chapter 6:14, and here.  The Roman educated Herod, the son of Herod the Great, was the ruler or tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from 4 BCE-39 CE, as a client ruler, part of the Roman Empire.  He had built and named the capital city of Galilee, Tiberias, since the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37 CE) was his favorite emperor.  Mark called him a king.  King Herod had heard reports about Jesus, because his name had become well known or famous.  Jesus was a celebrity in Galilee.  Here we have the intersection of the Galilean official of the Roman Empire, Herod, and the famous Galilean preacher and faith healer, Jesus.  Herod, the Roman ruler in Galilee, or those around him, said that Jesus might be the resurrected John the Baptist, since some people believed that righteous people rose from the dead.  Thus, Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead.  How ironic, since Jesus was to rise from the dead.  Herod thought the miraculous powers of John the Baptist were at work in Jesus.  He and his people thought that John might have reincarnated himself in Jesus.  Matthew said that Herod the tetrarch heard reports, news or rumors about Jesus.  Herod had already seized John the Baptist.  John had been complaining that Herod Antipas had married the wife of his half-brother Herod Boethus or Philip, after he had divorced his first wife, who went back to her father and started a war with Herod Antipas.  Thus, Herod Antipas said to his children or servants that he thought that Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead.  Herod knew that he had seized, bound, and, put John in jail.  In fact, he had him killed because of his new wife Herodias, who had been the wife of his brother Philip or Herod Boethus.  Have religious leaders always gotten along with civil political leaders?

Preaching and healing (Lk 9:6-9:6)

“The twelve apostles

Departed.

They passed

Through the villages,

Bringing the good news

And curing diseases

Everywhere.”

 

ἐξερχόμενοι δὲ διήρχοντο κατὰ τὰς κώμας εὐαγγελιζόμενοι καὶ θεραπεύοντες πανταχοῦ.

 

Luke said that the 12 apostles departed (ἐξερχόμενοι δὲ).  They passed through the various villages (διήρχοντο κατὰ τὰς κώμας), bringing the good news or evangelizing (εὐαγγελιζόμενοι) and curing diseases everywhere (καὶ θεραπεύοντες πανταχοῦ).  There was something similar in Mark, chapter 6:13, but not in Matthew, where these 12 apostles carried out the dual functions of casting out demons and healing people.  Mark always put a lot of emphasis on casting out these demons.  But they also anointed many sick with oil that cured them, since oil was considered a basic healing element in the ancient world.  Mark never mentioned preaching, but it was part of Jesus’ message, as indicated by Luke.  What do you think the role of a Christian missionary should be?

Shake off the dust! (Lk 9:5-9:5)

“Wherever

They did not welcome you,

As you are leaving

That town,

Shake the dust

Off your feet,

As a testimony

Against them.”

 

καὶ ὅσοι ἂν μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς, ἐξερχόμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης τὸν κονιορτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν ἀποτινάσσετε εἰς μαρτύριον ἐπ’ αὐτούς.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his 12 apostles that wherever they did not receive them or welcome them (καὶ ὅσοι ἂν μὴ δέχωνται ὑμᾶς), as they were leaving that town (ἐξερχόμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως ἐκείνης), they were to shake the dust off their feet (τὸν κονιορτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ποδῶν ὑμῶν ἀποτινάσσετε) as a testimony or witness against them (εἰς μαρτύριον ἐπ’ αὐτούς).  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:14-15, and Mark, chapter 6:11.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that if any place would not receive them or listen to their words, they were to leave that place.  They should shake off the dust from their feet, as a witness or testimony against them.  This indicated that the dust of that house was useless.  Some orthodox texts have the statement about Sodom and Gomorrah that was in Matthew, chapter 10:15, where Jesus make a comparison between those places that had rejected them with the famous wicked cities of Genesis, chapter 18:20-19:29, Sodom and Gomorrah.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that if anyone would not receive them or listen to their words, they should leave that house or town.  They were to shake off the dust from their feet, indicating that the dust of that house or town was useless.  Matthew had Jesus make a comparison between these non-welcoming towns that had rejected them with the famous wicked cities of Genesis.  This was a solemn statement that it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on judgment day than these towns that had rejected his disciples.  They had lacked hospitality to the followers of. Jesus, so that they were worse than those terrible cities in Genesis.  Do you know a town worse than Sodom and Gomorrah?

Stay where you go (Lk 9:4-9:4)

“Whatever house

You enter,

Stay there!

Leave from there!”

 

καὶ εἰς ἣν ἂν οἰκίαν εἰσέλθητε, ἐκεῖ μένετε καὶ ἐκεῖθεν ἐξέρχεσθε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said to his 12 apostles that whatever house they entered (καὶ εἰς ἣν ἂν οἰκίαν εἰσέλθητε), they were to stay there (ἐκεῖ μένετε) and leave from there (καὶ ἐκεῖθεν ἐξέρχεσθε).  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:11, and Mark, chapter 6:10.  Mark indicated that Jesus had a very simple message about where to stay.  Wherever they entered a house, they should stay there in one place until they left.  They should not switch places.  Matthew also had Jesus give a very simple message about where to stay when they entered a town or village.  They should try to find a place to stay with someone who was worthy, honorable, or suitable.  They should not switch places.  They should stay in that one place until they left.  They were not to go wandering around.  Find a suitable person and place and stay there.  Where do you stay when you travel?

Take nothing (Lk 9:3-9:3)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Take nothing

For your journey!

Take no staff!

Take no bag!

Take no bread!

Take no money!

Do not take

Even an extra tunic!’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Μηδὲν αἴρετε εἰς τὴν ὁδόν, μήτε ῥάβδον μήτε πήραν μήτε ἄρτον μήτε ἀργύριον μήτε ἀνὰ δύο χιτῶνας ἔχειν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told the 12 apostles (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) to take nothing for their journey (Μηδὲν αἴρετε εἰς τὴν ὁδόν).  They were not to take a staff (μήτε ῥάβδον), a bag (μήτε πήραν), bread (μήτε ἄρτον), or money (μήτε ἀργύριον).  They were not to take even 2 tunics (μήτε ἀνὰ δύο χιτῶνας ἔχειν).  Equivalent passages to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 10:9-10, and Mark, chapter 6:8-9, who is closer to Luke here.  Mark indicated that Jesus told them what they could not bring with them on their mission.  Jesus instructed them that they should not bring anything for their journey.  They could only bring a staff or walking stick, but they could not bring any bread, a bag or a sack, or money in their belts.  Mark said that they should wear sandals and have a walking stick, but without any food or bread.  However, all 3 synoptics agreed that they did not need two tunics, since one would be enough.  Matthew also indicated that Jesus told them what they could not bring with them on their mission.  They were not to bring with them any gold, silver, or copper, in their money belts, since they did not need money.  This was similar to what Mark had said about not bringing any money belts.  They were not to take any bags or sacks for their journey.  They were not to take two tunics, since one would be enough.  They were not to take any sandals or a staff.  However, these laborers did deserve their food.  Mark had said that they should bring a staff or sandals, but not bring food.  Matthew was the opposite.  He said that they were not to bring sandals, but could bring food.  They did not need any money or material things, but they certainly needed something to eat for nourishment.  This was a very strong demand on these 12 missionaries of Jesus.  Do you travel light with few things?