Then approached Jesus.
He said to him.
I will follow you
Wherever you go!’”
Καὶ προσελθὼν εἷς γραμματεὺς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Διδάσκαλε, ἀκολουθήσω σοι ὅπου ἐὰν ἀπέρχῃ.
This is similar to Luke, chapter 9:57, but here Matthew called this man a scribe, something that Luke did not do. This one scribe came to Jesus (Καὶ προσελθὼν εἷς γραμματεὺς), calling him a rabbi or a teacher (εἶπεν αὐτῷ Διδάσκαλε). This scribe or man of letters, was willing to follow Jesus wherever he went (ἀκολουθήσω σοι ὅπου ἐὰν ἀπέρχῃ). The scribes were religious experts who determined the traditions to be followed. The scribes were professional copiers of manuscript documents, although they had a wider role in Jewish society. They might have been the fore-runners of the rabbinic class that was developing at that time. Notice that he called Jesus a teacher or a rabbi. He was willing to go wherever Jesus went. Perhaps, the author of this gospel might have been a Jewish scribe himself since he was very familiar with Hebrew scriptures.
“My grandfather Jesus
Devoted himself especially
To the reading of the Law,
To the reading of the Prophets,
To the reading of the other books of our ancestors.
After acquiring considerable proficiency in them,
He was himself also led to write something
Pertaining to instruction,
Pertaining to wisdom.
By becoming familiar with this book,
Those who love learning
Should make even greater progress
In living according to the law.”
Who is Grandpa Jesus? Obviously, he is the grandfather of this writer/translator. This ‘Jesus’ is the Anglicized form of the Greek name Ἰησοῦς or the Aramaic Yeshua. He was the son of Sirach, a Jewish scribe who had been living in Jerusalem. He then authored this work in Alexandria, Egypt, around 180–175 BCE, where he is thought to have established a school. He is sometimes referred to as Ben Sira, son of Sir, or as it has been rendered in Greek, ‘Sirach’. There are all kinds of Jewish stories about his background. This ‘Jesus’ or ‘Sirach’ was a devoted scholar of the Hebrew Law, Prophets, and the other books of the Hebrew Bible. He wanted to share some of the instruction and wisdom that he had received from these books. Thus this author, his grandson, wants those who loved learning to become familiar with this work. With that, they would be better able to follow the Law itself.