Persecution (Lk 21:12-21:12)

“But before all this occurs,

They will arrest you.

They will persecute you.

They will hand you over

To synagogues

And prisons.

You will be brought

Before kings

And governors

Because of my name.”

 

πρὸ δὲ τούτων πάντων ἐπιβαλοῦσιν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν καὶ διώξουσιν, παραδιδόντες εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς καὶ φυλακάς, ἀπαγομένους ἐπὶ βασιλεῖς καὶ ἡγεμόνας ἕνεκεν τοῦ ὀνόματός μου

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that before all this occurred (πρὸ δὲ τούτων πάντων), they would arrest or lay hands on his disciples (ἐπιβαλοῦσιν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν).  They would persecute them (καὶ διώξουσιν) and hand them over (παραδιδόντες) to the synagogues (εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς) and prisons (καὶ φυλακάς).  They would be brought before kings (ἀπαγομένους ἐπὶ βασιλεῖς) and governors (καὶ ἡγεμόνας) because of the name of Jesus (ἕνεκεν τοῦ ὀνόματός μου).  There was something similar in Mark, chapter 13:9, and Matthew, chapter 24:9.  Jesus said that his followers were going to be persecuted.  Mark indicated that Jesus warned them that they should be self-aware (Βλέπετε δὲ ὑμεῖς ἑαυτούς).  They would be handed over (παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς) to courts, councils, or synods (εἰς συνέδρια) and synagogues (καὶ εἰς συναγωγὰς), since some of the Jewish Christians were still part of Jewish social, political, and religious life.  They would also be beaten (δαρήσεσθε).  On the other hand, they would also have to stand before governors and kings (καὶ ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνων καὶ βασιλέων σταθήσεσθε) to give testimony as a witness to them about Jesus (ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ, εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς).  This idea of the persecution of the Jesus followers was not a new theme for Matthew, because it was mentioned earlier in chapter 10:16-25, where Jesus was more reassuring, and chapter 16:24, where Jesus spoke about bearing the cross of death.  Jesus said that his followers were going to be persecuted, distressed, or afflicted (τότε παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς θλῖψιν), even though there was no mention of this taking place in the synagogues in Matthew.  No doubt about it, they were going to be handed over to be tortured and put to death (καὶ ἀποκτενοῦσιν ὑμᾶς).  They would be hated and detested (καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι) by all the gentile nations (ὑπὸ πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν) because of his name (διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου).  This was tough talk because it was not going to be easy to be a disciple of Jesus after he was gone.  In the Acts of the Apostles, there are many instances of the early Christians being persecuted in prisons and being brought before various magistrates.  Do you think it would be difficult to be persecuted because you were a Christian?

The chief priests and Scribes wanted Jesus (Lk 20:19-20:19)

“The chief priests

And the Scribes

Wanted

To lay hands

On Jesus

At that very hour.

But they feared

The people.”

 

Καὶ ἐζήτησαν οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς ἐπιβαλεῖν ἐπ’ αὐτὸν τὰς χεῖρας ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν λαόν

 

Luke said that the Scribes (οἱ γραμματεῖς) and the chief priests (καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) wanted to lay hands on Jesus (Καὶ ἐζήτησαν…ἐπιβαλεῖν ἐπ’ αὐτὸν τὰς χεῖρας) at that very hour (ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ,).  However, they feared the people (καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν λαόν).  There is something similar in Matthew chapter 21:46, and Mark, chapter 12:12.  However, there are different groups named in each gospel. Mark said that the unnamed “they” were trying or seeking to get a hold of or arrest Jesus (Καὶ ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι).  However, they were afraid of the crowd (καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν ὄχλον).  Thus, they left him (καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν) and went away (ἀπῆλθον).  Matthew said that the chief priests and the Pharisees wanted to arrest or seize Jesus (καὶ ζητοῦντες αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι).  However, they feared the crowds (ἐφοβήθησαν τοὺς ὄχλους) who regarded him as if he were a prophet (ἐπεὶ εἰς προφήτην αὐτὸν εἶχον).  In fact, the idea of Jesus as a prophet still exists until today, but Matthew was the only one who called him a prophet.  Luke had named the chief priests and the Scribes, but not the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the elders or presbyters.  Mark simply used the vague “they”.  Matthew, on the other hand, had the chief priests and the Pharisees seeking Jesus, but not the Scribes, the Sadducees, the elders or presbyters.  This was an assertion that the various Jewish religious leaders were out to get Jesus.  Are you out to get anyone?

The naked man (Mk 14:51-14:52)

“A certain young man

Was following Jesus.

He was wearing

Nothing

But a linen cloth.

They caught hold

Of him.

But he left

The linen cloth.

He ran off naked.”

 

Καὶ νεανίσκος τις συνηκολούθει αὐτῷ περιβεβλημένος σινδόνα ἐπὶ γυμνοῦ, καὶ κρατοῦσιν αὐτόν·

ὁ δὲ καταλιπὼν τὴν σινδόνα γυμνὸς ἔφυγεν.

 

This story is unique to Mark, so that much speculation has centered around whether this was Mark himself of someone he knew.  Anyway, the other gospel writers never mentioned this naked man.  Was he a follower of Jesus from nearby Bethany or a vagrant?  We do no not know.  Mark thought it was important enough to write about it.  He said that a certain young man was following Jesus (αὶ νεανίσκος τις συνηκολούθει αὐτῷ), perhaps indicating a follower of Jesus.  He was wearing nothing but a linen cloth on his naked body (περιβεβλημένος σινδόνα ἐπὶ γυμνοῦ).  They, the crowd that came to arrest Jesus, caught hold of him or seized him just like Jesus (καὶ κρατοῦσιν αὐτόν).  However, he left his linen cloth behind (ὁ δὲ καταλιπὼν τὴν σινδόνα), as he ran off naked into the night (γυμνὸς ἔφυγεν).  Apparently, no one followed him.

Let scripture be fulfilled (Mk 14:49-14:49)

“Day after day,

I was with you

In the Temple,

Teaching.

You did not

Arrest me.

But let the scriptures

Be fulfilled.”

 

καθ’ ἡμέραν ἤμην πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ διδάσκων, καὶ οὐκ ἐκρατήσατέ με· ἀλλ’ ἵνα πληρωθῶσιν αἱ γραφαί.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:55-56.  In Luke, chapter 22:53, there is something similar, while John, chapter 18, does not have anything like this.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that day after day or every day, he had sat in the Temple teaching (καθ’ ἡμέραν ἤμην πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ διδάσκων), but they did not seize or arrest him (καὶ οὐκ ἐκρατήσατέ με).  All this was taking place so that some unnamed scriptures might be fulfilled (ἀλλ’ἵνα πληρωθῶσιν αἱ γραφαὶ).  Once again, there was no indication of what scriptural reference, but Matthew had also talked about an unnamed prophetic text.

They treated Jesus like a robber (Mk 14:48-14:48)

“Then Jesus

Said to them.

‘Have you come out

With swords

And clubs

To arrest me

As though

I was a bandit?’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ὡς ἐπὶ λῃστὴν ἐξήλθατε μετὰ μαχαιρῶν καὶ ξύλων συλλαβεῖν με·

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:55.  In Luke, chapter 22:52-53, there is something similar, while John, chapter 18, does not have anything like this.  Mark indicated that Jesus finally responded to those arresting him (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).  He wanted to know why they had come out with swords and clubs to capture or arrest him (ἐξήλθατε μετὰ μαχαιρῶν καὶ ξύλων συλλαβεῖν με), as though he was a bandit or robber (Ὡς ἐπὶ λῃστὴν)?  Why was it that he had suddenly become like a robber or bandit, when he had been teaching openly in many synagogues?

 

The chief priests and Scribes plot against Jesus (Mk 14:1-14:1)

“The chief priests

And the Scribes

Were looking

For a way

To arrest Jesus

By stealth.

They wanted

To kill him.”

 

καὶ ἐζήτουν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς πῶς αὐτὸν ἐν δόλῳ κρατήσαντες ἀποκτείνωσιν.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 26:2, where Jesus predicted to his disciples that he would be handed over and crucified, as well as in chapter 26:4, where the chief priests and the elders, not the Scribes, wanted to kill Jesus.  In Luke, chapter 22:2, it was the chief priests and the Scribes as here in Mark.  For Mark, this was the fulfillment of Psalm 10:8, where they sat in ambush to murder the innocent one.  Mark said that these chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) were looking (καὶ ἐζήτουν) for a way to deceitfully or secretly seize Jesus (πῶς αὐτὸν ἐν δόλῳ κρατήσαντες).  They wanted to kill him (ἀποκτείνωσιν).

This parable was against the Jewish leaders (Mk 12:12-12:12)

“When they realized

That he had told

This parable

Against them,

They wanted

To arrest Jesus.

But they feared

The crowd.

Thus,

They left him.

They went away.”

 

Καὶ ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν ὄχλον· ἔγνωσαν γὰρ ὅτι πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὴν παραβολὴν εἶπεν. καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν ἀπῆλθον.

 

This was an admission by Jewish religious leaders, the chief priests and the Pharisees, as named in Matthew chapter 21:45-46, and Luke, chapter 20:19, but not here, about the deteriorating situation.  Mark said that the unnamed “they” were trying or seeking to get a hold of or arrest Jesus (Καὶ ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι).  However, they were afraid of the crowd (καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν ὄχλον).  They realized or knew that Jesus had told this parable against them (ἔγνωσαν γὰρ ὅτι πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὴν παραβολὴν εἶπεν), the wicked evil tenants of the vineyard.  The landowner was God the Father.  The slaves were the Israelite prophets, while Jesus was the son of the Father.  Thus, they left him (καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν) and went away (ἀπῆλθον).  This will not turn out well.