Jesus cures the sick and the possessed (Mk 1:34-1:34)

“Jesus cured many

Who were sick

With various diseases.

He cast out

Many demons.

He would not permit

These demons

To speak,

Because they knew him.”

 

καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν πολλοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας ποικίλαις νόσοις, καὶ δαιμόνια πολλὰ ἐξέβαλεν, καὶ οὐκ ἤφιεν λαλεῖν τὰ δαιμόνια, ὅτι ᾔδεισαν αὐτόν.

 

Matthew, chapter 8:16, has something similar, but Jesus cast out these demons with merely a word.  Luke, chapter 4:41, is also similar, but there the cast out demons knew and spoke out that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God.  Mark said that Jesus cured many sick people (καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν πολλοὺς κακῶς) having various diseases (ἔχοντας ποικίλαις νόσοις), without indicating how this was done.  Jesus also cast out many demons (καὶ δαιμόνια πολλὰ ἐξέβαλεν).  However, he would not permit or allow these cast out demons to speak (καὶ οὐκ ἤφιεν λαλεῖν τὰ δαιμόνια), because they knew who he was (ὅτι ᾔδεισαν αὐτόν).  Some older texts added that these demons knew that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah (Χριστὸν εἶναι), as in Luke.  This idea of not telling people that Jesus was the Christ or Messiah has come to be known as the Messianic secret.  Those who knew about the true role of Jesus were told to be quiet about it.

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Jesus’ mother and brothers (Mt 12:46-12:47)

“While Jesus was still speaking

To the people,

His mother

And his brothers

Were standing outside.

They wanted to speak to him.

Someone told him.

‘Look!

Your mother

And your brothers

Are standing outside

Wanting to speak with you.’”

 

Ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος τοῖς ὄχλοις ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ εἱστήκεισαν ἔξω ζητοῦντες αὐτῷ λαλῆσαι.

εἶπεν δέ τις αὐτῷ Ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ σου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου ἔξω ἑστήκασιν ζητοῦντές σοι λαλῆσαι.

 

Luke, chapter 8:19-20, and Mark, chapter 3:31-32, have something similar.  While Jesus was still speaking to the crowds of people (Ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος τοῖς ὄχλοις), his mother and brothers were standing outside (ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ εἱστήκεισαν ἔξω).  They wanted to speak to him (ζητοῦντες αὐτῷ λαλῆσαι).  Someone then told him (εἶπεν δέ τις αὐτῷ) that his mother and brothers were outside (Ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ σου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου ἔξω) wanting to talk to him (ἑστήκασιν ζητοῦντές σοι λαλῆσαι).  This brings up all kinds of questions.  Were they not allowed to come into where he was talking?  Who are these brothers?  To what extent was Jesus estranged from his family?  According to Matthew, Jesus has been close to John the Baptist and his early apostles Peter, Andrew, John, James and Matthew.  These brothers could be biological brothers, half-brothers from a first marriage of Joseph, or relative cousins.  The Hebrew and Aramaic language did not have a distinctive word for cousins, so that the word “brother” was often used to mean more than a biological brother.  Just as today, people sometimes refers to others as brothers or sisters, when there is no biological link.  Half-brothers often refer to themselves as brothers or sisters today also.  The traditional belief of Christians, even though the Reformation period, has been that Mary was a virgin, so that Jesus was her only son.  However, the Greek language did have a word for cousins.  In Mark, chapter 6:3, and Matthew, chapter 13:55–56, there are explicit names for the brothers of Jesus.  Thus, here the unnamed mother and unnamed brothers of Jesus was outside wanting to speak to Jesus.  They clearly were relatives of Jesus, exactly how close a relative is not clear.

The sin against the Holy Spirit (Mt 12:31-12:32)

“Therefore,

I tell you!

People will be forgiven

For every sin

And blasphemy.

But blasphemy

Against the Spirit

Will not be forgiven.

Whoever speaks a word

Against the Son of man

Will be forgiven.

But whoever speaks

Against the Holy Spirit

Will not be forgiven,

Either in this age

Or in the age to come.”

 

Διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν, πᾶσα ἁμαρτία καὶ βλασφημία ἀφεθήσεται τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, ἡ δὲ τοῦ Πνεύματος βλασφημία οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται.

καὶ ὃς ἐὰν εἴπῃ λόγον κατὰ τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ· ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ κατὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ Ἁγίου, οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ οὔτε ἐν τούτῳ τῷ αἰῶνι οὔτε ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι.

 

There are similar statements to this in Mark, chapter 3:28-30, and Luke, chapter 12:10.  It might be okay to disrespect the Son of Man, but it is quite another thing to speak against or blasphemy the Holy Spirit.  Blasphemy was profaning the name of God.  If you profaned the Holy Spirit you were hopeless.  Only God could forgive.  If you gave up on God and his Spirit, there was no hope of forgiveness.  The Son of Man was so human that you could be forgiven for speaking against the Son of Man, Jesus, but not the Holy Spirit.  Jesus told them with a solemn proclamation (Διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν).  God would forgive all human sins and blasphemies (πᾶσα ἁμαρτία καὶ βλασφημία ἀφεθήσεται τοῖς ἀνθρώποις).  However, he would not forgive the sin of blasphemy against the Spirit (ἡ δὲ τοῦ Πνεύματος βλασφημία οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται).  Humans could speak against the Son of Man (καὶ ὃς ἐὰν εἴπῃ λόγον κατὰ τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) and be forgiven (ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ).  However, anyone who spoke against the Holy Spirit (ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ κατὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ Ἁγίου) would not be forgiven (οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ), either now or in the future (οὔτε ἐν τούτῳ τῷ αἰῶνι οὔτε ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι).

Healing the sick and possessed (Mt 8:16-8:16)

“That evening,

They brought to him

Many who were possessed

With demons.

Jesus cast out

The spirits

With a word.

He cures all

Who were sick.”

 

Ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ δαιμονιζομένους πολλούς· καὶ ἐξέβαλεν τὰ πνεύματα λόγῳ, καὶ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας ἐθεράπευσεν·

 

There are similar generic statements about healing sick and chasing out demons in Mark, chapter 1:32-34, and Luke, chapter 4:40-41.  When evening came (Ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης), they brought many people who were possessed with demons or under the power of evil spirits (προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ δαιμονιζομένους πολλούς).  He cast out these demons with merely a word (καὶ ἐξέβαλεν τὰ πνεύματα λόγῳ).  He cured or healed all the sick people (καὶ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας ἐθεράπευσεν) around there without indicating how this was done.  Apparently, during biblical times, there were a lot of people who were possessed by the devil.  Jesus was also a daring faith healer.

The visions will happen (Ezek 12:23-12:25)

“‘But say to them!

The days are near!

The fulfillment

Of every vision

Is near!

There shall no longer be

Any false vision

Or flattering divination

Within the house of Israel.

But I,

Yahweh,

Will speak

The word

That I speak!

It will be fulfilled.

It will no longer

Be delayed.

But in your days,

O rebellious house!

I will speak

The word.

I will

Fulfill it.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh told Ezekiel the days of fulfillment of every vision was near. There would be no more false visions or flattering remarks within the house of Israel. Yahweh was going to speak a word that was going to come to pass. Nothing would be delayed for this rebellious house. Yahweh would speak and it would happen. Yahweh was clear.

The death of Alcimus (1 Macc 9:54-9:57)

“In the one hundred and fifty-third year in the second month, Alcimus gave orders to tear down the wall of the inner court of the sanctuary. He tore down the work of the prophets! But he only began to tear it down, for at that time Alcimus was stricken. His work was hindered. His mouth was stopped. He was paralyzed, so that he could no longer say a word or give commands concerning his house. Alcimus died at that time in great agony. When Bacchides saw that Alcimus was dead, he returned to the king. The land of Judah had rest for two years.”

In 159 BCE the high priest Alcimus, who was chosen by the Syrian King Demetrius I, died. Alcimus had begun to tear down the inner wall that had been built by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. However, as Alcimus began this project he was stricken and died. He became paralyzed so that he could no longer lead this work. He died in great agony. Then Bacchides returned to King Demetrius I in Syria, so that there was no fighting for 2 years.