Jesus is right (Mk 12:32-12:32)

“Then the Scribe

Said to Jesus.

‘You are right!

Teacher!

You have truly said

That he is one.

Besides him,

There is no other.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ γραμματεύς Καλῶς, Διδάσκαλε, ἐπ’ ἀληθείας εἶπες ὅτι εἷς ἐστιν καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλος πλὴν αὐτοῦ·

 

This dialogue between Jesus and the Scribe is unique to Mark.  This Scribe said to Jesus (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ γραμματεύς) that Jesus was right (Καλῶς).  He, in fact, respectfully called Jesus “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε).”  This Scribe agreed that Jesus had spoken according to the truth (ἐπ’ ἀληθείας εἶπες).  God was one (ὅτι εἷς ἐστιν).  There was no other God but him alone (καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλος πλὴν αὐτοῦ).  Thus, the Scribe and Jesus were on the same page as regards God.

Why do people fast? (Mk 2:18-2:18)

“John’s disciples

And the Pharisees

Were fasting.

People came.

They said to him.

‘Why do John’s disciples

And the disciples

Of the Pharisees fast?

But your disciples

Do not fast.’”

 

Καὶ ἦσαν οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάνου καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι νηστεύοντες. καὶ ἔρχονται καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Διὰ τί οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάνου καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ τῶν Φαρισαίων νηστεύουσιν, οἱ δὲ σοὶ μαθηταὶ οὐ νηστεύουσιν;

 

Luke, chapter 5:33, and Matthew, chapter 9:14, are similar to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this incident, although there are some differences.  Matthew had only the disciples of John the Baptist ask about fasting.  Mark has this strange combination of the disciples of John the Baptist with the Pharisees who agreed about fasting (Καὶ ἦσαν οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάνου καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι νηστεύοντες).  They wanted to know why the disciples of Jesus did not fast.  The disciples of John seemed to be on the side of the Pharisees, and not followers of Jesus, as they wondered why they and the disciples of the Pharisees were often fasting or abstaining from food (καὶ ἔρχονται καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Διὰ τί οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάνου καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ τῶν Φαρισαίων νηστεύουσιν), while the disciples of Jesus were not fasting (οἱ δὲ σοὶ μαθηταί οὐ νηστεύουσιν).  Some have traced the descendant followers of John the Baptist to the Mandaeans along the Iraq-Iran border.

They plan to kill Jesus (Mt 27:1-27:1)

“When morning came,

All the chief priests

And the elders

Of the people

Conferred together

Against Jesus,

To bring about

His death.”

 

Πρωΐας δὲ γενομένης συμβούλιον ἔλαβον πάντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τοῦ λαοῦ κατὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ὥστε θανατῶσαι αὐτόν·

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:1, except that Mark did not mention the conclusion about the decision to bring Jesus to death.  In Luke, chapter 23:1, everybody agreed about the death of Jesus.  When morning came (Πρωΐας δὲ γενομένης), after the all-nighter evening meeting at the house of Caiaphas, the high priest of Jerusalem, all the chief priests (πάντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) and the elders of the people (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι τοῦ λαοῦ) conferred together or took counsel (συμβούλιον ἔλαβον) against Jesus (κατὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ).  They decided to bring about the death of Jesus (ὥστε θανατῶσαι αὐτόν).  Whether this was an official meeting or not, they did come up with a conclusion that Jesus should die.

The first hired are upset (Mt 20:10-20:12)

“Now when the first group came,

They thought that

They would receive more.

But each of them

Also received a denarius.

When they received it,

They grumbled

Against the landowner.

They said.

‘These last laborers worked

Only one hour.

You have made them

Equal to us.

We have borne

The burden of the day

And the scorching heat.’”

 

καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ πρῶτοι ἐνόμισαν ὅτι πλεῖον λήμψονται· καὶ ἔλαβον τὸ ἀνὰ δηνάριον καὶ αὐτοί.

λαβόντες δὲ ἐγόγγυζον κατὰ τοῦ οἰκοδεσπότου

λέγοντες Οὗτοι οἱ ἔσχατοι μίαν ὥραν ἐποίησαν, καὶ ἴσους αὐτοὺς ἡμῖν ἐποίησας τοῖς βαστάσασι τὸ βάρος τῆς ἡμέρας καὶ τὸν καύσωνα.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, as Jesus continued his parable story.  When the first group of hired laborers came (καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ πρῶτοι) to get their pay as the last ones, they thought that they would receive more than the one denarius that all the later hired laborers had received (ἐνόμισαν ὅτι πλεῖον λήμψονται).  However, each of them received one denarius (καὶ ἔλαβον τὸ ἀνὰ δηνάριον καὶ αὐτοί), what they had agreed to in the early morning.  When they got this pay (λαβόντες δὲ), they grumbled against the landowner (ἐγόγγυζον κατὰ τοῦ οἰκοδεσπότου).  They complained that the last hired laborers had worked only 1 hour (λέγοντες Οὗτοι οἱ ἔσχατοι μίαν ὥραν ἐποίησαν).  This land owner had made them equal to those who had worked 12 hours (καὶ ἴσους αὐτοὺς ἡμῖν).  They had been picking grapes all day long in the scorching heat (ἐποίησας τοῖς βαστάσασι τὸ βάρος τῆς ἡμέρας καὶ τὸν καύσωνα).  This seemed grossly unfair.  If the last hired got one denarius (15 cents) for 1 hour of work, why were they not paid 12 denarii ($1.80) for 12 hours of work.  They seemed to have a good argument.  However, so did those who started at 9 AM, noon, and 3 PM.  They all got one denarius but did not grumble.  Remember it is a story or parable.

The second group of laborers (Mt 20:3-20:4)

“When the landowner

Went out

About nine o’clock,

The third hour,

He saw others standing idle

In the market place.

He said to them.

‘You also go

Into the vineyard.

I will pay you

Whatever is right.’

Thus,

They went out

To the vineyard.”

 

καὶ ἐξελθὼν περὶ τρίτην ὥραν εἶδεν ἄλλους ἑστῶτας ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ ἀργούς,

καὶ ἐκείνοις εἶπεν Ὑπάγετε καὶ ὑμεῖς εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα, καὶ ὃ ἐὰν ᾖ δίκαιον δώσω ὑμῖν.

οἱ δὲ ἀπῆλθον.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew.  Jesus continued with this parable.  About 9 AM, the third hour (καὶ ἐξελθὼν περὶ τρίτην ὥραν), this land owner saw other people standing around idle in the market place (εἶδεν ἄλλους ἑστῶτας ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ ἀργούς).  He asked them if they wanted to work in his vineyard (καὶ ἐκείνοις εἶπεν Ὑπάγετε καὶ ὑμεῖς εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα).  He did not promise them a specific wage for the day.  He simply said that he would pay them whatever was right, just, or fair (καὶ ὃ ἐὰν ᾖ δίκαιον δώσω ὑμῖν).  Some of them agreed and went out (οἱ δὲ ἀπῆλθον) into the vineyard fields to pick the grapes.

The first laborers hired (Mt 20:2-20:2)

“He agreed

With the laborers

For the usual daily wage.

He sent them

Into his vineyard.”

 

συμφωνήσας δὲ μετὰ τῶν ἐργατῶν ἐκ δηναρίου τὴν ἡμέραν ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew.  Jesus continued with his parable.  This land owner hired the first group of day laborers.  They came to a mutual understanding.  This land owner agreed and the day laborers also agreed to accept one denarius as payment for that day, the usual or common wage for a day’s work (συμφωνήσας δὲ μετὰ τῶν ἐργατῶν ἐκ δηναρίου τὴν ἡμέραν).  This Roman silver coin was worth about $.15 USA.  They would work all day for about 15 cents.  Then he sent them into his vineyard to pick the grapes (ἀπέστειλεν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ).  So far, so good, nothing unusual here.  A land owner and some workers agreed on a day’s pay that was not extravagant, without any middle man.

Jesus wants to be baptized (Mt 3:15-3:15)

“But Jesus answered him.

‘Let it be so now.

It is proper for us

In this way

For us

To fulfill

All righteousness.’

Then he consented.”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἄφες ἄρτι·οὕτως γὰρ πρέπον ἐστὶν ἡμῖν πληρῶσαι πᾶσαν δικαιοσύνην. τότε ἀφίησιν αὐτόν.

 

Why did Jesus need to be baptized, since he was not a sinner?  Some of the early Christians were not pleased about this baptismal action, since it seemed to show that John was more important.  Jesus responded to John (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ).  He wanted his baptism by John to be done now (Ἄφες ἄρτι·οὕτως), because it was a proper and a fitting thing to do (γὰρ πρέπον ἐστὶν ἡμῖν).  The purpose of this baptismal action was to show that Jesus was obedient to the divine will as a complete righteous person (πληρῶσαι πᾶσαν δικαιοσύνην).  Jesus had come to proclaim his higher ethical judgment of righteousness.  He was willing to submit to the baptism of John.  John the Baptist no longer hesitated, as he agreed to baptize Jesus (τότε ἀφίησιν αὐτόν).  There was no discussion like this in Mark, chapter 1:9 and Luke, chapter 3:21, just Jesus being baptized.