Jesus asks then point blank (Mk 8:29-8:29)

“He asked them.

‘But who do you say

That I am?’

 

καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπηρώτα αὐτούς Ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα με λέγετε εἶναι;

 

This same question can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:15, and Luke, chapter 9:20.  Mark said that Jesus was questioning his disciples (καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπηρώτα αὐτούς) who was it that they thought or said that he was (Ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνα με λέγετε εἶναι).  Jesus thus put them to the test.  This was not about what others said or thought, but about their understanding of Jesus.  Who did they think Jesus was?

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The prophet (Mk 8:28-8:28)

“They answered him.

‘John the Baptist!’

Others say.

‘Elijah!’

Still others.

‘One of the prophets.’”

 

οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες ὅτι Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν, καὶ ἄλλοι Ἡλείαν, ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι εἷς τῶν προφητῶν.

 

This same response can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:14, and Luke, chapter 9:19, but there are slight differences.  Matthew is the only one who explicitly mentioned Jeremiah, who was a Judean prophet active from 626 BCE to 587 BCE, around the time of the destruction of the Temple.  Mark and Luke only had the more generic term of one of the prophets, rather than any individual prophet.  Mark said that the disciples responded to him (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες) that some people said he was John the Baptist (ὅτι Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν).  Others said Elijah (καὶ ἄλλοι δὲ Ἡλείαν).  This Elijah was a 9th century BCE northern Israel prophet whose work can be found in the Old Testament Books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.  Finally, other people said that he was one of the many prophets (ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι εἷς τῶν προφητῶν).  No one called him the Messiah or Christ.

Who do people say I am? (Mk 8:27-8:27)

“Jesus went on

With his disciples,

To the villages

Of Caesarea Philippi.

On the way,

Jesus asked

His disciples,

‘Who do people say

That I am?’”

 

Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰς κώμας Καισαρίας τῆς Φιλίππου· καὶ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐπηρώτα τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ λέγων αὐτοῖς Τίνα με λέγουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι εἶναι;

 

Now this question about who Jesus is can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:13, and Luke, chapter 9:18, but there are slight differences.  In Luke, he is not in Caesarea Philippi, but in Mark and Matthew, Jesus was approaching this area near the city, but without entering the city itself.  Jesus asked his closest disciples who they thought that he was.  Caesarea Philippi was an ancient gentile Roman city, about 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee at the southeastern base of Mount Hermon, where there was a shrine to the Greek god Pan.  This city may have appeared in the Old Testament under the name Baal Gad in the valley of Lebanon.  Today, it is located in the Golan Heights.  Mark said that Jesus with his disciples (Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ) was on his way (καὶ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐπηρώτα τοὺς μαθητὰς) towards the villages of Caesarea Philippi (εἰς τὰς κώμας Καισαρίας τῆς Φιλίππου).  Then he asked or questioned his disciples (αὐτοῦ λέγων αὐτοῖς) about who did people or men think that he was (Τίνα με λέγουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι εἶναι).  Jesus wanted to know what his disciples were thinking.  In Matthew, he asked them about the Son of Man, but not here.

Jesus did not want him back in the village (Mk 8:26-8:26)

“Jesus sent him away

To his home.

He said.

‘Do not even go

Into the village.’”

 

καὶ ἀπέστειλεν αὐτὸν εἰς οἶκον αὐτοῦ λέγων Μηδὲ εἰς τὴν κώμην εἰσέλθῃς.

 

This story of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida was unique to MarkMark once again has an emphasis on the messianic secret.  Jesus sent this former blind man away to his home (καὶ ἀπέστειλεν αὐτὸν εἰς οἶκον αὐτοῦ).  He told (λέγων) this now seeing person that he should not go back into the village (Μηδὲ εἰς τὴν κώμην εἰσέλθῃς) of Bethsaida, but go straight home.

The man could see clearly (Mk 8:25-8:25)

“Then Jesus

Laid his hands

On his eyes again.

He looked intently.

His sight was restored.

He saw everything clearly.”

 

εἶτα πάλιν ἐπέθηκεν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ, καὶ διέβλεψεν καὶ ἀπεκατέστη, καὶ ἐνέβλεπεν τηλαυγῶς ἅπαντα.

 

This story of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida was unique to Mark. Then Jesus laid his hands on the blind man’s eyes again (εἶτα πάλιν ἐπέθηκεν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ).  This time the blind man opened his eyes intently (καὶ διέβλεψεν).  His sight was fully restored (καὶ ἀπεκατέστη).  Now he began to see everything clearly (καὶ ἐνέβλεπεν τηλαυγῶς ἅπαντα).  Thus, this second stage of clear vision needed another physical act to complete the healing of this blind man.  Perhaps, that is why Matthew and Luke did not include this story in their gospels.

The man could see (Mk 8:24-8:24)

“The blind man

Looked up.

He said.

‘I see people.

However,

They look

Like walking trees.’”

 

καὶ ἀναβλέψας ἔλεγεν Βλέπω τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, ὅτι ὡς δένδρα ὁρῶ περιπατοῦντας.

 

This story of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida was unique to Mark.  This was a little different healing that did not take place immediately.  Instead there seemed to be a two-step process.  At first, the blind man looked up or recovered his sight (καὶ ἀναβλέψας).  He then said (ἔλεγεν) that he could see people (Βλέπω τοὺς ἀνθρώπους).  However, they looked like trees that were walking or walking trees (ὅτι ὡς δένδρα ὁρῶ περιπατοῦντας), not humans.

The cure with spit (Mk 8:23-8:23)

“Jesus took

The blind man

By the hand.

He led him

Out of the village.

He put spit

On his eyes.

He laid his hands

On him.

He asked him.

‘Can you see anything?’”

 

καὶ ἐπιλαβόμενος τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ τυφλοῦ ἐξήνεγκεν αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς κώμης, καὶ πτύσας εἰς τὰ ὄμματα αὐτοῦ, ἐπιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῷ, ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν Εἴ τι βλέπεις;

 

This story of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida was unique to Mark, who said that Jesus took the blind man by the hand (καὶ ἐπιλαβόμενος τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ τυφλοῦ).  He then led him out of the village (ἐξήνεγκεν αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς κώμης).  There he put spit on his eyes (καὶ πτύσας εἰς τὰ ὄμματα αὐτοῦ).  He also laid his hands on him (ἐπιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῷ,).  He questioned the blind man (ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν) whether he could see anything (Εἴ τι βλέπεις)?  Thus, this healing took place with very physical elements, saliva and a hand laying on his eyes.