Preaching in the synagogue (Lk 6:6-6:6)

“On another Sabbath,

Jesus entered

The synagogue.

He taught.

There was a man there

Whose right hand

Was withered.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ἑτέρῳ σαββάτῳ εἰσελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν καὶ διδάσκειν· καὶ ἦν ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖ καὶ ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ ἡ δεξιὰ ἦν ξηρά·

 

Luke said that on another Sabbath (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ἑτέρῳ σαββάτῳ), Jesus entered an unnamed synagogue (εἰσελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν) where he taught there (καὶ διδάσκειν).  There was a man present (καὶ ἦν ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖ) in the assembly whose right hand was withered (καὶ ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ ἡ δεξιὰ ἦν ξηρά).  Matthew, chapter 12:9, and Mark, chapter 3:1 are similar to this incident, so that Mark might be the source of this discussion about the Sabbath and the man with the withered or dried out hand.  Matthew had Jesus leave the grain fields and enter the local synagogue, instead of waiting another week or another Sabbath as Luke indicated.  Clearly, Jesus was a good Jewish person, so that he had no trouble or unease about entering the local synagogue, probably at Capernaum.  Maybe he had taught there before.  Matthew had the discussion that began in the fields now switch to the synagogue.  What was Jesus going to do about this man with the bad hand?

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Jesus goes to Judea (Lk 4:44-4:44)

“Thus,

Jesus continued proclaiming

His message

In the synagogues

Of Judea.”

 

καὶ ἦν κηρύσσων εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς τῆς Ἰουδαίας.

 

Luke said that Jesus continued to proclaim or preach (καὶ ἦν κηρύσσων) his message in the synagogues of Judea (εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς τῆς Ἰουδαίας).  Mark, chapter 1:39, had something similar, but Mark said that it was Galilee and not Judea.  Mark also said that Jesus was casting out demons.  He seemed very intent on emphasizing that Jesus was casting out demons along with his undefined preaching.  Matthew, chapter 4:23, was also somewhat similar, since Matthew implied that Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in their synagogues.  The synagogue was a new developing Jewish gathering place that might mean a group or assembly of Jewish people rather than a building, since some places may not have been able to afford a building.  Matthew said that Jesus was proclaiming the good news or the gospel about the kingdom, without saying whether it was the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, or even an earthly kingdom.  What did Luke mean here by saying Jesus was in the synagogues of Judea, when the other two synoptics clearly stated that it was in Galilee?  Actually, later in this work, Luke had Jesus go to Jerusalem.

The people prayed outside the sanctuary (Lk 1:10-1:10)

“Now at the hour

Of the incense offering

The whole assembly

Of the people

Was praying outside.”

 

καὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ προσευχόμενον ἔξω τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος.

 

Luke said that at the hour or time of the incense offering (τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος), the whole assembly or the multitude of the people (αὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ) was praying outside (προσευχόμενον ἔξω).  This time or hour of the incense offering was also known as the hour of prayer.  Twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, one of the chosen priests went to the incense altar in front of the holy of holies.  The rest of the assembly stayed outside praying.  Thus, there was a break between the people and the priests outside and the one chosen priest offering the incense in the inner sanctuary.  However, both were engaged in daily prayer.

Beware of the Scribes (Mk 12:38-12:39)

“As Jesus taught,

He said.

‘Beware of the Scribes!

They like

To walk around

In long robes.

They like

To be greeted

With respect

In the market places.

They like

To have the best seats

In the synagogues.

They like

To have the places

Of honor

At banquets.’”

 

Καὶ ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ ἔλεγεν Βλέπετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων τῶν θελόντων ἐν στολαῖς περιπατεῖν καὶ ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς

καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις·

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 23, who had a much longer diatribe against the Scribes and the Pharisees.  Luke, chapter 20:46, also had something similar to this.  Mark indicated that as Jesus taught (Καὶ ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ), he told them to beware of the Scribes (ἔλεγεν Βλέπετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων), but there was no mention of the Pharisees.  These Scribes walked around in long robes (τῶν θελόντων ἐν στολαῖς περιπατεῖν).  They loved to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces (καὶ ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς).  They loved the front seats in the assembly synagogues (καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς).  They loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts (καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις),  They were the elite social butterflies.

Jesus taught in the Galilee synagogues (Mk 1:39-1:39)

“Jesus went

Throughout Galilee.

He proclaimed

The message

In their synagogues.

He was casting out

Demons.”

 

καὶ ἦλθεν κηρύσσων εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς αὐτῶν εἰς ὅλην τὴν Γαλιλαίαν καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐκβάλλων.

 

This was another of Mark’s summary statements.  Luke, chapter 4:44, has something similar, but Luke said that it was Judea and not Galilee.  Besides, Luke did not mention anything about casting out demons.  Matthew, chapter 4:23, is also somewhat similar.  Matthew implied that Jesus went all over Galilee, as he was teaching in their synagogues.  He said that Jesus was proclaiming the good news or the gospel about the kingdom, without saying whether it was the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, or even an earthly kingdom.  Here Mark said that Jesus went throughout the whole of Galilee (καὶ ἦλθεν…εἰς ὅλην τὴν Γαλιλαίαν), as he proclaimed or preached this unspecified message in their synagogues (κηρύσσων εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς αὐτῶν).  The synagogue was a new developing Jewish gathering place that might mean a group or assembly of Jewish people rather than a building, since some places may not have been able to afford a building.  At the same time, Jesus was casting out demons (καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐκβάλλων).  Mark seemed very intent on emphasizing that Jesus was casting out demons along with his undefined preaching.  He gave the impression that this took place all over Galilee without mentioning any particular place.

Places of honor (Mt 23:6-23:6)

“These Pharisees

And Scribes

Love to have

The place of honor

At banquet feasts.

They love to have

The best seats

In the synagogues.”

 

φιλοῦσιν δὲ τὴν πρωτοκλισίαν ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις καὶ τὰς πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:39, and in Luke, chapter 20:46, almost word for word.  Jesus said that these Pharisees and Scribes loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts (φιλοῦσιν δὲ τὴν πρωτοκλισίαν ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις) and the best or front seats in the assembly synagogues (καὶ τὰς πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς).  They were the elite social butterflies.

Jesus rewards Peter for his response (Mt 16:18-16:19)

“I tell you!

You are Peter!

On this rock

I will build my church.

The gates of Hades

Shall not prevail against it.

I will give you

The keys

To the kingdom of heaven.

Whatever you bind

On earth

Shall be bound

In heaven.

Whatever you loose

On earth

Shall be loosed

In heaven.”

 

κἀγὼ δέ σοι λέγω ὅτι σὺ εἶ Πέτρος, καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, καὶ πύλαι Ἅιδου οὐ κατισχύσουσιν αὐτῆς.

δώσω σοι τὰς κλεῖδας τῆς βασιλείας τῶν οὐρανῶν, καὶ ὃ ἐὰν δήσῃς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἔσται δεδεμένον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, καὶ ὃ ἐὰν λύσῃς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἔσται λελυμένον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

 

This reward bestowal of power on Peter is unique to Matthew.  Jesus, via Matthew, asserted the authority of Peter in a very formal way with a solemn pronouncement (κἀγὼ δέ σοι λέγω).  Peter (ὅτι σὺ εἶ Πέτρος) was going to be the rock of Jesus’ new church community (καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πέτρᾳ οἰκοδομήσω μου τὴν ἐκκλησίαν).  Notice the play on words of Peter “Πέτρος” and rock “πέτρᾳ.”  The gates of hell (καὶ πύλαι Ἅιδου) would not prevail (οὐ κατισχύσουσιν αὐτῆς) against this rock of a church, congregation, or assembly “ἐκκλησία.”  Matthew is the only biblical writer to use the phrase “gates of hell or Hades” (πύλαι Ἅιδου).”  Peter would receive the keys to the kingdom of heaven (δώσω σοι τὰς κλεῖδας τῆς βασιλείας τῶν οὐρανῶν), as the gatekeeper of heaven.  Whatever he did on earth would be bound (καὶ ὃ ἐὰν δήσῃς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἔσται δεδεμένον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς) or loosed in heaven (καὶ ὃ ἐὰν λύσῃς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἔσται λελυμένον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς).  Peter was no longer a mere informal leader, but the true man in charge here on earth with heavenly consequences, much like the Israelite high priests.  This of course has led to the so-called Petrine privilege, the power of Peter as handed down via the bishop of Rome.  As the first bishop of Rome, the power of Peter passed on to the bishop successors of Peter in Rome.  Thus, the bishop of Rome became known as the Pope or papa of the Christian Church in later centuries.