The apostles returned (Mk 6:30-6:30)

“The apostles gathered

Around Jesus.

They told him

All that they had done

And taught.”

 

Καὶ συνάγονται οἱ ἀπόστολοι πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν, καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν αὐτῷ πάντα ὅσα ἐποίησαν καὶ ὅσα ἐδίδαξαν.

 

This gathering of the apostles around Jesus can only be found here and in Luke, chapter 9:10.  Apparently, the apostles had returned from their mission.  Mark said that these apostles gathered around Jesus (Καὶ συνάγονται οἱ ἀπόστολοι πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν).  They told, related, or announced to him (καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν αὐτῷ) everything that they had done and taught (πάντα ὅσα ἐποίησαν καὶ ὅσα ἐδίδαξαν).  Jesus had a debriefing session with his apostles where he found out what had happened to them on their missionary adventures.

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The swine herdsmen fled (Mk 5:14-5:14)

“The swineherds

Ran off.

They told it

In the city

And in the countryside.

The people came

To see

What it was

That had happened.”

 

Καὶ οἱ βόσκοντες αὐτοὺς ἔφυγον καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν εἰς τὴν πόλιν καὶ εἰς τοὺς ἀγρούς· aκαὶ ἦλθον ἰδεῖν τί ἐστιν τὸ γεγονός.

 

All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:33, and Luke, chapter 8:34, and Mark here, have the herdsmen of these pigs tell everybody in the area what happened, with slight nuances in each story.  Mark said that the shepherds of these herds of pigs ran off (Καὶ οἱ βόσκοντες αὐτοὺς ἔφυγον) when they saw what had happened to their flocks.  They announced, proclaimed, or recounted (καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν) to the town (εἰς τὴν πόλιν), and the countryside (καὶ εἰς τοὺς ἀγρούς) the whole story about what had happened to the demoniac and their herd of pigs.  They were without a job.  However, people came out to see what had happened, to see what had taken place (aκαὶ ἦλθον ἰδεῖν τί ἐστιν τὸ γεγονός).

John the Baptist and the Baptism of Jesus

Although Matthew did not show the same relationship of Jesus and John the Baptist as cousins, as it was in Luke, chapter 1:36, he still has them as familiar to each other.  They were at a minimum, friends.  In this portrayal, Jesus came to John, not the other way around.  John was already an established preacher, baptizing in the Jordan River.  Did they have the same message or was it different?  In one sense, both John and Jesus wanted people to repent, since the kingdom of heaven was near.  However, there are no indications in the biblical texts that Jesus was baptizing people the way that John was doing it.  Thus, they might have been semi-co-workers without any formal relationship established, although John the Baptist would appear again in this gospel story of Matthew.  Clearly, John the Baptist baptizing Jesus at the Jordan River stands as the beginning of the public life of Jesus, both here and in the other three canonical gospel accounts of Mark, Luke, and John.  Jesus became someone special as “the anointed one,” “Χριστος,” “the Christ,” from this moment on.  Was there any particular self-realization on the part of Jesus here?  How did the disciples of these two men work with each other?  What was the reaction of Jesus to the post-baptismal event, when God, the Father, sent his Spirit, the dove, to empower Jesus, before he could begin his public ministry?  God clearly announced that Jesus was his beloved son.  With his prophetic divine vocation revealed, Jesus was ready to begin his public ministry of healing and exorcising.  Jesus had come to proclaim his ethical judgment of righteousness during this messianic time when the fullness of the Holy Spirit would come to all the followers of Jesus.

The obliteration of the name of the king of Nineveh (Nah 1:14-1:14)

To the king of Nineveh

“Yahweh has commanded

Concerning you.

‘Your name shall not be

Perpetuated no longer.

From the house

Of your gods

I will cut off

The craved image

With the cast image.

I will make your grave.

You are worthless.’”

Nahum announced that Yahweh had commanded that the name of the king of Assyria, probably King Sennacherib of Assyria (705-681), would not be perpetuated any longer.  The various carved images and cast mold idols would be cut off from the house of their gods.  Yahweh was going to make a grave for the king and all his idols, because they were all worthless.

Everyone is evil (Mic 7:3-7:4)

“Their hands are skilled

To do evil.

The official

Asks for a bribe.

The judge

Asks for a bribe.

The powerful

Dictate

What they desire.

Thus,

They pervert justice.

The best of them is

Like a brier.

The most upright

Of them is

Like a thorn hedge.

The day of their sentinels,

Of their punishment,

Has come.

Now their confusion

Is at hand.”

Micah thought that everyone was evil.  The officialsand judges did things only if they got bribes.  The powerful people did whatever they wanted to do, since they all perverted justice.  The best and most upright of them were like a briar patch or a thorn hedge.  The day of punishment was announced.  Thus, they were in a state of confusion.

The indictment of Israel (Hos 4:1-4:1)

Hear the word of Yahweh!

O people of Israel!

Yahweh

Has an indictment

Against the inhabitants

Of the land.

There is no faithfulness.

There is no loyalty.

There is no knowledge

Of God

In the land.”

Hosea announced the word of Yahweh to the people of Israel. Yahweh was going to bring an indictment against all the people living in Israel. They were unfaithful and not loyal. They had no knowledge about God or their land. They were in big trouble.

The dragon and Daniel (Dan 14:23-14:26)

“Now in that place,

There was a great dragon

That the Babylonians revered.

The king said

To Daniel.

‘You cannot deny

That this is a living god.

So,

Worship him!’

Daniel said.

‘I will worship

The Lord,

My God.

He is the living God.

But give me permission!

O king!

I will kill the dragon

Without a sword,

Without a club.’

The king said.

‘I give you permission.’”

Daniel now will take on the great nameless dragon god, that the king and the Babylonians revered. The king pointed out that this dragon was surely a living god worthy of worship. Daniel once again announced that he was only going to worship the Lord, his living God. However, he wanted permission from the king to kill the dragon, without using a club or a sword. The king then gave him permission to do so.