Can you add to your life? (Lk 12:25-12:25)

“Can any of you,

By worrying,

Add a single hour

To your lifespan?”

 

τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν μεριμνῶν δύναται ἐπὶ τὴν ἡλικίαν αὐτοῦ προσθεῖναι πῆχυν;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus posed a question.  Are any of them able (τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν…δύναται), by worrying or being anxious (μεριμνῶν), add a single hour to their lifespan (ἐπὶ τὴν ἡλικίαν αὐτοῦ προσθεῖναι πῆχυν)?  Once again, Matthew, chapter 6:27, had a similar Jesus saying, almost word for word, indicating a common Q source.  Matthew had Jesus ask them if worrying was going to add one cubit or one hour to their lifespan or age (τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν μεριμνῶν δύναται προσθεῖναι ἐπὶ τὴν ἡλικίαν αὐτοῦ πῆχυν ἕνα)?  Probably, the opposite is true.  Don’t worry!  Be happy!  How have you increased your lifespan?

The ancient pre-historic patriarchs (Lk 3:37-3:37)

“The son of Methuselah,

The son of Enoch,

The son of Jared,

The son of Mahalaleel,

The son of Cainan.”

 

τοῦ Μαθουσαλὰ τοῦ Ἐνὼχ τοῦ Ἰάρετ τοῦ Μαλελεὴλ τοῦ Καϊνὰμ

 

These names are listed in 1 Chronicles 1:2-1:3, and Genesis, chapter 5.  This group from Adam to Noah is sometimes referred to as the patriarchs before the flood, or what some might call pre-historic times, since there is very little evidence of their actual existence.  Luke said Lamech was the son of Methuselah (τοῦ Μαθουσαλὰ), the son of Enoch (τοῦ Ἐνὼχ), the son of Jared (τοῦ Ἰάρετ), the son of Mahalaleel (τοῦ Μαλελεὴλ), the son of Cainan (τοῦ Καϊνὰμ).  Methuselah was the father of Lamech.  He supposedly lived to the age of 969, longer than Adam.  Thus, it became a saying that an old man was as “old as Methuselah.”  His father was Enoch, who lived to be only 365 years old, a big drop off in age here.  However, Enoch walked with God, so that there was this strange remark that God took him, not that he died.  He was considered the seventh generation, the lucky number.  In fact, there is a Book of Enoch, from around 200 BCE, that some considered canonical.  Jared was the father of Enoch.  Mahalalel was the father of Jared.  Kenan or Cainan was the father of Mahalalel.

Jesus was thirty years old (Lk 3:23-3:23)

“Jesus was

About thirty years old

When he began

His work.

 

Καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν Ἰησοῦς ἀρχόμενος ὡσεὶ ἐτῶν τριάκοντα,

 

This saying is unique to Luke.  He was the only one of the gospel writers who put an age on Jesus.  He said that Jesus was about 30 years old when he began his work (Καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν Ἰησοῦς ἀρχόμενος ὡσεὶ ἐτῶν τριάκοντα).  Perhaps this is an allusion to King David who was 30 when he became king in 2 Samuel, chapter 5:4.  For some the age of 30 was considered mature.  Anyway, this concept of Jesus being about 30 with a 3-year public ministry put his death at age 33, a common Christian tradition.

The twelve-year old (Lk 2:42-2:42

“When Jesus was

Twelve years old,

They went up

As usual

For the festival.”

 

Καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἐτῶν δώδεκα, ἀναβαινόντων αὐτῶν κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἑορτῆς,

 

Now we have another unique saying of Luke about the age of Jesus.  When Jesus was 12 years old (Καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἐτῶν δώδεκα), the whole family went up to Jerusalem (ἀναβαινόντων αὐτῶν) as usual for the festival of Passover (κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἑορτῆς).  This was not a bar mitzvah or confirmation, since this Jewish practice came later.  However, Jesus would have been on the verge of puberty.  The number 12 would play a major role in the life of Jesus, since he had 12 apostles, who were called the Twelve.  This episode is the only insight into the life of Jesus between his birth and the baptism by John, that can be found in any of the canonical biblical gospel narratives.  There are many stories about the boyhood of Jesus in some apocryphal gospels.  Thus, this story takes on a special canonical importance.

They led Jesus to a Jewish assembly (Mk 14:53-14:53)

“They took Jesus

To the high priest.

All the chief priests,

The elders,

And the Scribes

Were assembled.”

 

Καὶ ἀπήγαγον τὸν Ἰησοῦν πρὸς τὸν ἀρχιερέα, καὶ συνέρχονται πάντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:57, but there is no mention of the house of Caiaphas here as there was in Matthew.  In Luke, chapter 22:54, Jesus was simply brought to the high priest’s house, which would have been Caiaphas.  In John, chapter 18:13-14, they brought Jesus to the house of the father-in-law of Caiaphas, Annas, who had been the high priest of Jerusalem from 6-15 CE, before he was removed by the Romans at the age of 36, even though he lived to the age of 61.  Thus, he had a lot of influence on things.  John remarked that Caiaphas had said it was better for one person to die for the people.  Caiaphas was the high priest from 18-36 CE since he had married the daughter of Annas.  Mark simply said that they took Jesus to the high priest (Καὶ ἀπήγαγον τὸν Ἰησοῦν πρὸς τὸν ἀρχιερέα), without mentioning his name or saying it was his house.  Apparently, the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς), the elder presbyters (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι), and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) had all gathered or assembled there (καὶ συνέρχονται πάντες).  Was this an official meeting of the Jerusalem Sanhedrin?  Probably not, because these official meetings could not be held during the festival days or during the Passover.  On the other hand, some kind of informal meeting was possible.  However, there was no mention of any Pharisees or Sadducees being there either.

Jesus cures the young girl (Mk 5:41-5:43)

“Jesus took her

By the hand.

He said to her.

‘Talitha cum!’

Which means,

‘Little girl!

Get up!’

Immediately,

The girl got up.

She began to walk.

She was twelve years of age.

At this,

They were overcome

With amazement.”

 

καὶ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ παιδίου λέγει αὐτῇ Ταλιθὰ κούμ, ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Τὸ κοράσιον, σοὶ λέγω, ἔγειρε.

καὶ εὐθὺς ἀνέστη τὸ κοράσιον καὶ περιεπάτει· ἦν γὰρ ἐτῶν δώδεκα. καὶ ἐξέστησαν εὐθὺς ἐκστάσει μεγάλῃ.

 

This curing of the girl is similar to what can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:25, and Luke, chapter 8:54-55.  However, only Mark went into more detail by using Aramaic words to cure her.  Mark said that Jesus took her by the hand (καὶ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ παιδίου).  He then said to her (λέγει αὐτῇ), “Talitha cum (Ταλιθὰ κούμ)!” that translated means (ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον) “Little girl (Τὸ κοράσιον)! Get up or arise (σοὶ λέγω, ἔγειρε)!”  Immediately (καὶ εὐθὺς), the girl arose or got up (ἀνέστη τὸ κοράσιον).  She began to walk (καὶ περιεπάτει).  She was 12 years old (ἦν γὰρ ἐτῶν δώδεκα), the same number of years that the lady suffered from the blood flow.  At this, the crowds were immediately overcome with great amazement (καὶ ἐξέστησαν εὐθὺς ἐκστάσει μεγάλῃ).  This is somewhat like the prophet Elijah who brought a child back to life in 1 Kings, chapter 17:17-24.  The use and explanation of Aramaic may indicate an oral source for this story that may have been told originally in Aramaic.  Mark felt compelled to explain this to his Greek non-Aramaic audience.

Jesus goes before Caiaphas the high priest (Mt 26:57-26:57)

“Those

Who had arrested Jesus

Took him

To Caiaphas,

The high priest.

There

The Scribes

And the elders

Had gathered.”

 

Οἱ δὲ κρατήσαντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπήγαγον πρὸς Καϊάφαν τὸν ἀρχιερέα, ὅπου οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι συνήχθησα

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:53, but Caiaphas was not mentioned there.  In Luke, chapter 22:54, Jesus was simply brought to the high priest’s house, while in John, chapter 18:13-14, they brought Jesus to the house of the father-in-law of Caiaphas, Annas, who had been a high priest. from 6-15 CE, before he was removed by the Romans at the age of 36, even though he lived to the age of 61.  Thus, he had a lot of influence on things.  John remarked that Caiaphas had said it was better for one person to die for the people.  Caiaphas was the high priest from 18-36 CE since he had married the daughter of Annas.  Matthew said that those who had seized, arrested, or captured Jesus (Οἱ δὲ κρατήσαντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν) took him to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest (ἀπήγαγον πρὸς Καϊάφαν τὸν ἀρχιερέα).  Apparently, the Scribes and the elder presbyters had gathered or assembled there (ὅπου οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι συνήχθησα).  Was this an official meeting of the Jerusalem Sanhedrin?  Probably not, because these official meetings could not be held during the festival days or during the Passover.  On the other hand, some kind of informal meeting was possible.  However, there was no mention of the Pharisees and the Sadducees being there either.