Abraham (Lk 3:34-3:34)

This is where the genealogy of Matthew ends with Abraham.  Luke continued further back.  He said that Judah was the son of Jacob (τοῦ Ἰακὼβ), who had 12 sons with 4 different women, that become the 12 tribes of Israel.  Jacob was the son of Isaac (τοῦ Ἰσαὰκ), the son of Abraham (τοῦ Ἀβραὰμ), who was the son of Terah (τοῦ Θάρα), the son of Nahor (τοῦ Ναχὼρ).  Throughout the Torah, there was a continual reference to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  These 3 generations were key to Hebrew and Jewish history.  Their stories can be found in the book of Genesis, chapters 12-35.  Remember that Abraham had a son with his wife’s maid, Hagar, who was called Ishmael.  However, both were sent away.  Jacob had a twin brother named Esau, whom he tricked out of his father’s inheritance.  Terah and Nahor can be found in 1 Chronicles, chapter 1:26, and Genesis, chapter 11:24-32.  Nahor was the name of Abram’s grandfather and his brother.  Abram, appeared to be the oldest, took a wife named Sarai, who was barren.  Later it will be revealed that Sarai is his half-sister, since Terah had a concubine.  They all lived at Ur in the Chaldeans, probably in northwest Mesopotamia.  Terah took his son Abram and his wife, Sarai, and his grandson Lot, and left Ur and went to Canaan.  However, they settled in a place that had the same name as his dead son, Haran.  This may have been part of a huge migration in the early second millennium, about 2000 years before the common Christian era.

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Jesus appointed twelve apostles (Mk 3:14-3:15)

“Jesus appointed twelve.

They were to be with him.

He called them apostles.

He sent them out

To preach.

They would have authority

To cast out demons.”

 

καὶ ἐποίησεν δώδεκα ἵνα ὦσιν μετ’ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν καὶ ἵνα ἀποστέλλῃ αὐτοὺς κηρύσσειν

καὶ ἔχειν ἐξουσίαν ἐκβάλλειν τὰ δαιμόνια·

 

Mark explicitly indicated what the role of these special 12 apostles should be.  Quite often they are called the “12” instead of “the apostles”.  They had a dual function as apostles, since they were to preach and cast out demons.  Mark said that Jesus appointed 12 of his disciples (καὶ ἐποίησεν δώδεκα) to be with him, called apostles (καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν).  He sent them out to preach (καὶ ἵνα ἀποστέλλῃ αὐτοὺς κηρύσσειν).  They would have authority to cast out demons (καὶ ἔχειν ἐξουσίαν ἐκβάλλειν τὰ δαιμόνια).  In other words, Jesus was giving his own power or authority to cast out evil spirits to these 12 disciples or apostles.  This would be referred to later as the apostolic authority.  Matthew, chapter 10:1, also said that they had the authority to heal people also.  This was a big deal.  The number 12 corresponded to the number of sons of Jacob or the 12 tribes of Israel.    Jesus thus established these 12 disciples as apostles to carry on his work of preaching and casting out or exorcising evil spirits.

The leftovers from the large crowd of five thousand (Mt 14:20-14:21)

“They all ate.

They were satisfied.

They took up

What was left over

Of the broken pieces,

Twelve baskets full.

Those who ate

Were about five thousand men,

Besides women

And children.”

 

καὶ ἔφαγον πάντες καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν, καὶ ἦραν τὸ περισσεῦον τῶν κλασμάτων δώδεκα κοφίνους πλήρεις.

οἱ δὲ ἐσθίοντες ἦσαν ἄνδρες ὡσεὶ πεντακισχίλιοι χωρὶς γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων.

 

This is the only miracle that is recorded in all four gospels, Mark, chapter 6:42-44, Luke, chapter 9:17, and John, chapter 6:11-13, plus here, but there are slight differences.  All agree that there were 12 baskets of food left over, symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles.  They also agree that it was about 5,000 men.  Obviously, there was no exact count taken.  Only Matthew added the remark about the women and the children.  Certainly, it was a miraculous feeding.  Everyone ate some food (καὶ ἔφαγον πάντες).  They were all satisfied or filled (καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν).  There was no mention of anything to drink.  They took up what was left over of the broken pieces or fragments of food, so that it filled 12 full baskets (αὶ ἦραν τὸ περισσεῦον τῶν κλασμάτων δώδεκα κοφίνους πλήρεις), a very symbolic number.  Those who ate were about 5,000 men (οἱ δὲ ἐσθίοντες ἦσαν ἄνδρες ὡσεὶ πεντακισχίλιοι), not counting the women and the children (χωρὶς γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων), who would have been on the edges of this large crowd of men.  Without a doubt, this was a very large crowd to feed.