Jesus takes his three trusted apostles to pray (Lk 9:28-9:28)

“Now about eight days

After these sayings,

Jesus took with him

Peter,

John,

And James.

They went up

On a mountain

To pray.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους ὡσεὶ ἡμέραι ὀκτὼ, καὶ παραλαβὼν Πέτρον καὶ Ἰωάνην καὶ Ἰάκωβον ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι.

 

Luke said that about 8 days (ὡσεὶ ἡμέραι ὀκτὼ), after these sayings (Ἐγένετο δὲ μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους), Jesus took with him (καὶ παραλαβὼν) Peter (Πέτρον), John (καὶ Ἰωάνην), and James (καὶ Ἰάκωβον), his 3 favorite apostles.  They went up on a mountain (ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος) to pray (προσεύξασθαι).  Going to a special mountain after these sayings can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:1, Mark, chapter 9:2, and here in LukeMark and Matthew are exactly the same, almost word for word, but Luke talked about 8 days and going to pray on a mountain.  Mark said that this activity took place 6 days later, probably after the proclamation of Peter about Jesus being the Christ messiah.  Jesus took with him Peter, and the 2 sons of Zebedee, James and John.  There was no mention of Peter’s brother Andrew.  Jesus brought these 3 disciples to an unnamed high mountain, presumably near the Sea of Galilee.  There was no mention of any prayer.  Matthew, like Mark, said that this activity took place 6 days later, not 8 days as in Luke.  Jesus took with him Peter, James, and his brother John.  Jesus brought these 3 disciples to an unnamed high mountain, presumably near the Sea of Galilee, probably Mount Tabor in lower Galilee or Mount Hermon near Caesarea Philippi, much further north.  They were alone by themselves, not with any of the other apostles or disciples.  Going up on a high mountain was an attempt to have a special communication with God, just as Moses had done in the Torah.  Jesus was transfigured or transformed in front of these 3 apostles.  Was this a foretaste of the resurrected Jesus Christ?  Do you expect to see a transfigured Jesus Christ?

Bethsaida (Lk 9:10-9:10)

“On their return,

The apostles

Told Jesus

All that they had done.

He took them

With him,

As he withdrew privately

To a city

Called Bethsaida.”

 

Καὶ ὑποστρέψαντες οἱ ἀπόστολοι διηγήσαντο αὐτῷ ὅσα ἐποίησαν. Καὶ παραλαβὼν αὐτοὺς ὑπεχώρησεν κατ’ ἰδίαν εἰς πόλιν καλουμένην Βηθσαϊδά.

 

Luke said that on the return of the apostles (Καὶ ὑποστρέψαντες οἱ ἀπόστολοι), they told Jesus all that they had done (διηγήσαντο αὐτῷ ὅσα ἐποίησαν).  He then took them with him (Καὶ παραλαβὼν αὐτοὺς) as he withdrew privately to a city (ὑπεχώρησεν κατ’ ἰδίαν εἰς πόλιν) called Bethsaida (καλουμένην Βηθσαϊδά).  This opening to the multiplication of the loaves story can be found in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:13, Mark, chapter 6:30-33, John, chapter 6:1-2, and here.  Luke was the only one to mention the town of Bethsaida, while the others talked about Jesus in a boat.  This gathering of the apostles around Jesus after their mission can only be found in Mark and in Luke.  Mark said that they told Jesus everything that they had done and taught.  Thus, Jesus had a debriefing session with his apostles where he found out what had happened to them on their missionary adventures.  Then Mark said that Jesus wanted to get away to a deserted place in a boat, but somehow the crowds followed him along the bank of the sea, so that Jesus and his apostles could not get away by themselves.  Mark wanted his disciples and apostles to rest for a while, to take it easy.  Many people were coming and going, so that they did not have any leisure time to eat.  Thus, they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.  Jesus was concerned about the apostles’ mental state.  He wanted them to have some down time.  Matthew had pretty much the same story about Jesus and the boat with a slightly different twist.  Jesus left in a boat to be in a deserted or secluded place alone.  However, the crowds heard about it, so that they followed him on foot from the various towns.  Jesus could not get away by himself.  Do you ever want to get away by yourself?

What does it mean? (Lk 8:9-8:9)

“Then his disciples

Asked Jesus.

‘What does

This parable mean?’”

 

Ἐπηρώτων δὲ αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ τίς αὕτη εἴη ἡ παραβολή.

 

Luke said that the disciples of Jesus asked him (Ἐπηρώτων δὲ αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ) what this parable meant (τίς αὕτη εἴη ἡ παραβολή)?  This question to Jesus can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:10, Mark, chapter 4:10, and Luke here.  Only Mark made a distinction between the disciples and the 12 apostles.  He also mentioned that Jesus was alone.  The disciples were confused about the use of parables.  Thus, they came to Jesus, since they wanted to know why he spoke to the crowds in parables.  Did you understand this parable?

Jesus at a lonely place (Lk 4:42-4:42)

“At daybreak,

Jesus departed.

He went into

A deserted place.

The crowds

Were looking

For him.

When they reached him,

They wanted to prevent him

From leaving them.”

 

Γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας ἐξελθὼν ἐπορεύθη εἰς ἔρημον τόπον· καὶ οἱ ὄχλοι ἐπεζήτουν αὐτόν, καὶ ἦλθον ἕως αὐτοῦ, καὶ κατεῖχον αὐτὸν τοῦ μὴ πορεύεσθαι ἀπ’ αὐτῶν.

 

Luke said that when daybreak came (Γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας), Jesus departed or left (ἐξελθὼν) Capernaum.  He went into a deserted place (ἐπορεύθη εἰς ἔρημον τόπον).  The crowds were looking or searching for him (καὶ οἱ ὄχλοι ἐπεζήτουν αὐτόν).  When they reached him (καὶ ἦλθον ἕως αὐτοῦ), they wanted to prevent him or detain him from leaving them (καὶ κατεῖχον αὐτὸν τοῦ μὴ πορεύεσθαι ἀπ’ αὐτῶν).  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 1:35-36.  Jesus went out to a deserted place at daybreak, following the healings of the evening before. as here, but Jesus went out to pray, which was not mentioned here.  Jesus left the other disciples behind early in the morning before daybreak.  Luke had the crowds of people come to him, but there was no mention of Simon or the other disciples as in Mark.  However, Mark never mentioned anything about preventing Jesus from leaving.  Clearly, Jesus had a hard time being alone.

They try to kill Jesus (Lk 4:29-4:29)

“They got up.

They drove Jesus

Out of town.

They led him

To the ridge

Of the hill

On which their town

Was built.

They wanted

To hurl him

Off the cliff.”

 

καὶ ἀναστάντες ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως, καὶ ἤγαγον αὐτὸν ἕως ὀφρύος τοῦ ὄρους ἐφ’ οὗ ἡ πόλις ᾠκοδόμητο αὐτῶν, ὥστε κατακρημνίσαι αὐτόν·

 

Luke alone said that they acted out their anger.  They got up (καὶ ἀναστάντες) from the synagogue.  They drove Jesus out of town (ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως).  They led him to the top or the ridge of the hill (καὶ ἤγαγον αὐτὸν ἕως ὀφρύος τοῦ ὄρους) on which their town was built (ἐφ’ οὗ ἡ πόλις ᾠκοδόμητο αὐτῶν).  They wanted to hurl him off the cliff (ὥστε κατακρημνίσαι αὐτόν).  One problem is that Nazareth was a flat town with no hills or cliffs.  Some commentators say that they meant to stone him, but the text does not say that.  However, they did not like his teachings about going to non-Jewish people and not doing any miracles in his home town.

Annual Jerusalem Passover (Lk 2:41-2:41)

“Now every year,

His parents went

To Jerusalem

For the festival

Of the Passover.”

 

Καὶ ἐπορεύοντο οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ κατ’ ἔτος εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ τῇ ἑορτῇ τοῦ πάσχα.

 

Luke alone continued to show how Jesus and Mary followed the Torah or Jewish law, since every year (κατ’ ἔτος), the parents of Jesus went (Καὶ ἐπορεύοντο οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ) to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ) for the festival of Passover (τῇ ἑορτῇ τοῦ πάσχα).  Passover was one of the 3 major festivals, and the most important, when observant Jewish people went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  Luke put a lot of emphasis on Jerusalem, the Temple, and the Law.

 

Mary Magdalene told everyone (Mk 16:10-16:10)

“Mary Magdalene

Went out.

She told those

Who had been

With him,

About what happened.

They were mourning

And weeping.”

 

ἐκείνη πορευθεῖσα ἀπήγγειλεν τοῖς μετ’ αὐτοῦ γενομένοις πενθοῦσι καὶ κλαίουσιν

 

This text is similar to Matthew, chapter 28:8, but it was all the women, not Mary Magdalene alone who told them about the resurrection of Jesus there.  Luke, chapter 24:10, also had all the women tell the apostles about the resurrection.  In John, chapter 20:2, only Mary Magdalene told Peter and the other beloved disciple about Jesus’ resurrection.  Here Mark said that Mary Magdalene went (ἐκείνη) and told the people who had been with Jesus (πορευθεῖσα ἀπήγγειλεν τοῖς μετ’ αὐτοῦ) what had happened to him.  However, this is the only place where it was mentioned that these disciples of Jesus were mourning and weeping (γενομένοις πενθοῦσι καὶ κλαίουσιν).  Mary Magdalene told these disciples who had been upset and maybe discouraged about the death of Jesus.  Thus, the resurrection of Jesus became common knowledge to the male disciples of Jesus via these women, in particular Mary Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene goes to anoint Jesus (Mk 16:1-16:1)

“When the Sabbath

Was over,

Mary Magdalene,

And Mary,

The mother of James,

As well as Salome,

Brought spices,

So that they might go

And anoint him.”

 

Καὶ διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου καὶ Σαλώμη ἠγόρασαν ἀρώματα ἵνα ἐλθοῦσαι ἀλείψωσιν αὐτόν.

 

There is no confusion about the day of the week when the empty tomb was first found.  All 4 gospel stories have it take place after the Sabbath.  Thus, this would have been the 3rd day since the death of Jesus on Friday.  Luke, chapter 23:56-24:1, said that it was the women from Galilee who brought spices to anoint the body, but he did not mention Mary Magdalene.  John, chapter 20:1, said that it was Mary Magdalene alone who came to the tomb.  Matthew, chapter 28:1 had Mary Magdalene and the other Mary go to the tomb on the first day of the week.  In all these stories, there was either one or more women, no men, who came to the tomb.  Mark mentioned 3 women.  Mark said that when the Sabbath was over (Καὶ διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου), Mary Magdalene (Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ) and the other Mary (καὶ Μαρία), the mother of James (ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου), as well as Salome (καὶ Σαλώμη) probably the mother of the sons of Zebedee, James and John, came to the tomb.  This Salome may have been a sister of half-sister of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  These women brought spices (ἠγόρασαν ἀρώματα), so that they might go and anoint Jesus (ἵνα ἐλθοῦσαι ἀλείψωσιν αὐτόν).  The idea of visiting a tomb or grave site would not have been out of the question, since this was a common practice.

Insist on Barabbas (Mk 15:11-15:11)

“But the chief priests

Stirred up the crowd

To have him

Release Barabbas

For them instead.”

 

οἱ δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς ἀνέσεισαν τὸν ὄχλον ἵνα μᾶλλον τὸν Βαραββᾶν ἀπολύσῃ αὐτοῖς.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 27:20, but nothing like this in Luke.  Mark said that the chief priests alone (οἱ δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς), not the elders or presbyters as in Matthew, stirred up or excited the crowd (ἀνέσεισαν τὸν ὄχλον) to have Pilate release Barabbas for them instead of Jesus (μᾶλλον τὸν Βαραββᾶν ἀπολύσῃ αὐτοῖς).  The chief priests were the main villains here in Mark.  Do you always choose Jesus?

She has done a good thing (Mk 14:6-14:6)

“But Jesus said.

‘Let her alone!

Why do you trouble her?

She has performed

A good service

For me.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἄφετε αὐτήν· τί αὐτῇ κόπους παρέχετε; καλὸν ἔργον ἠργάσατο ἐν ἐμοί.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:10, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:7.  Mark said that Jesus told them (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν) to leave her alone (Ἄφετε αὐτήν).  Why were they bringing her problems or troubles (τί αὐτῇ κόπους παρέχετε)?  She had performed a good, worthy, and honorable service or action for him (καλὸν ἔργον ἠργάσατο ἐν ἐμοί).  Thus, Jesus defended this woman, who may have been Mary, the sister of Lazarus, for anointing his head with precious oil.