Jesus taught in the synagogues (Lk 4:15-4:15)

“He began

To teach

In their synagogues.

He was praised

By everyone.”

 

καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδίδασκεν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν, δοξαζόμενος ὑπὸ πάντων.

 

Luke said that Jesus began to teach (καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδίδασκεν) in their synagogues (ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν).  This is a unique statement of Luke, but the idea was present in the other gospel stories.  Matthew mentioned synagogues 9 times, in chapters 4:23, 6:2, 6:5, 9:35, 10:17, 12:9, 13:54, 23:6, and 23:34, while Mark mentioned them 11 times, in chapters 1:21, 1:23, 1:29, 1:39, 3:1, 5:22, 5:36, 5:38, 12:38, 12:39, and 13:9.  The synagogue was a new developing Jewish established gathering place.  An assembly of Jewish people might take place in a building, since some places may not have been able to afford a special multi-purpose building.  Synagogues were a new thing in the first century BCE, becoming something like a local Jewish town hall meeting place as a center of study and worship, obviously outside of Jerusalem and its Temple.  There may have been some sort of Sabbath worship taking place there with readings from the Torah and the prophets, with perhaps a sermon or explanation.  Jesus with his disciples went there, which would not have been unusual.  However, the fact that he taught there might seem a little strange, if he was not invited.  However, Luke said that Jesus was praised or glorified by everyone (δοξαζόμενος ὑπὸ πάντων).

Jesus was thirty years old (Lk 3:23-3:23)

“Jesus was

About thirty years old

When he began

His work.

 

Καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν Ἰησοῦς ἀρχόμενος ὡσεὶ ἐτῶν τριάκοντα,

 

This saying is unique to Luke.  He was the only one of the gospel writers who put an age on Jesus.  He said that Jesus was about 30 years old when he began his work (Καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν Ἰησοῦς ἀρχόμενος ὡσεὶ ἐτῶν τριάκοντα).  Perhaps this is an allusion to King David who was 30 when he became king in 2 Samuel, chapter 5:4.  For some the age of 30 was considered mature.  Anyway, this concept of Jesus being about 30 with a 3-year public ministry put his death at age 33, a common Christian tradition.

The call of John (Lk 3:2-3:2)

“The word of God

Came to John,

The son of Zechariah,

In the wilderness.”

 

ἐγένετο ῥῆμα Θεοῦ ἐπὶ Ἰωάνην τὸν Ζαχαρίου υἱὸν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ.

 

Luke presented John like a prophet who was called like the other Israelite prophets.  The word of God came or happened to John (ἐγένετο ῥῆμα Θεοῦ ἐπὶ Ἰωάνην), the son of Zechariah (τὸν Ζαχαρίου υἱὸν), in the wilderness or desert (ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ), just like it had come to many other ancient Jewish prophets.  There should be no confusion about whom this John is because he was the son of Zechariah that was described in chapter 1.  There is something similar, but not quite the same in all 4 gospel stories.  In Mark, chapter 1:4, John appeared on the scene immediately after a citation from the prophet IsaiahMatthew, chapter 3:1-2, seemed to follow Mark, since Mark began his gospel with this story.  Matthew had John the Baptizer preaching in the wilderness or desert in Judea, southeast of Jerusalem and west of the Dead Sea.  John, chapter 1:19, also introduced John the Baptist immediately after his prologue.  Only Matthew and Luke have the infancy narratives before the introduction of John, who was central to the work of Jesus.

 

Talking in the hill country (Lk 1:65-1:65)

“Fear came over

All their neighbors.

All these things

Were talked about

Throughout

The entire hill country

Of Judea.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐπὶ πάντας φόβος τοὺς περιοικοῦντας αὐτούς, καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ὀρεινῇ τῆς Ἰουδαίας διελαλεῖτο πάντα τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα,

 

Luke said that the gossip began.  All the neighbors of Zechariah and Elizabeth were afraid, as fear came over them (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐπὶ πάντας φόβος τοὺς περιοικοῦντας αὐτούς).  They talked about or discussed all these things (διελαλεῖτο πάντα τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα) throughout the entire the hill country of Judea (καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ὀρεινῇ τῆς Ἰουδαίας).  Something amazing had happened to this old couple of Zechariah and Elizabeth with their new born child, John.

 

Hail King of the Jews (Mk 15:18-15:18)

“They began

To salute Jesus.

‘Hail!

King of the Jews!’”

 

καὶ ἤρξαντο ἀσπάζεσθαι αὐτόν Χαῖρε, Βασιλεῦ τῶν Ἰουδαίων·

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:29, but not in Luke.  In John, chapter 19:3, there is something similar.  Mark said that these Roman soldiers began to salute Jesus (καὶ ἤρξαντο ἀσπάζεσθαι αὐτόν), as they mocked him, saying, “Hail (Χαῖρε)! King of the Jews (Βασιλεῦ τῶν Ἰουδαίων)!”  Clearly, the title “King of the Jews” had become popular for addressing Jesus in a teasing way.

Pilate and the crowd (Mk 15:8-15:8)

“The crowd came.

They began

To ask Pilate,

To do for them

According to his custom.”

7

καὶ ἀναβὰς ὁ ὄχλος ἤρξατο αἰτεῖσθαι καθὼς ἐποίει αὐτοῖς.

 

This is something like this in Matthew, chapter 27:17.  There is nothing like this in John or LukeMark said that after the crowd had gathered together (καὶ ἀναβὰς ὁ ὄχλος), they began to ask Pilate to follow his usual custom of releasing a prisoner for them (ἤρξατο αἰτεῖσθαι καθὼς ἐποίει αὐτοῖς) at the festival time.  This crowd seemed to be very demanding, since this was a Roman ruler in a Jewish country.  How demanding are as regards your government?

Peter began to swear (Mk 14:71-14:71)

“But Peter began

To curse.

He swore an oath.

‘I do not know

This man

You are talking about.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἤρξατο ἀναθεματίζειν καὶ ὀμνύναι ὅτι Οὐκ οἶδα τὸν ἄνθρωπον τοῦτον ὃν λέγετε

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:74.  There is something similar in Luke, chapter 22: 60, and John, chapter 18:27.  However, Luke did not have the curse or the oath, while John said that Peter simply denied Jesus.  Mark said that Peter began to curse (ὁ δὲ ἤρξατο ἀναθεματίζειν).  He swore an oath that he did not know this man (καὶ ὀμνύειν ὅτι Οὐκ οἶδα τὸν ἄνθρωπον) that they were talking about (τοῦτον ὃν λέγετε).  Thus, we have the 3rd public denial of Jesus by Peter that can be found in all 4 gospels.  This great apostolic leader had failed his first major test just as Jesus had predicted, despite his bombastic earlier outbursts that it would never happen.  Are you sometimes too bombastic?

 

They taunted Jesus (Mk 14:65-14:65)

“Some began

To spit on Jesus.

They blindfolded him.

They struck him.

They said to him.

‘Prophesy!’

The guards

Also took over him.

They beat him.”

 

Καὶ ἤρξαντό τινες ἐμπτύειν αὐτῷ καὶ περικαλύπτειν αὐτοῦ τὸ πρόσωπον καὶ κολαφίζειν αὐτὸν καὶ λέγειν αὐτῷ Προφήτευσον, καὶ οἱ ὑπηρέται ῥαπίσμασιν αὐτὸν ἔλαβον.

 

This is something similar in Mathew, chapter 26:67-68.  There is nothing like this in Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 18.  Mark said that some in this council were not reluctant to abuse him with spitting, punching, slapping, and taunting Jesus.  Thus, they began to spit at him (Καὶ ἤρξαντό τινες ἐμπτύειν αὐτῷ).  They blindfolded him or covered up his face (καὶ περικαλύπτειν αὐτοῦ τὸ πρόσωπον).  Then they struck him (καὶ κολαφίζειν αὐτὸν).  They then told Jesus to prophesize to them (καὶ λέγειν αὐτῷ Προφήτευσον) who had struck him.  Finally, the guards took over and beat and slapped him (καὶ οἱ ὑπηρέται ῥαπίσμασιν αὐτὸν ἔλαβον).  Thus, this secret Jewish leaders’ night trial came to an inglorious end.

The three apostles go with Jesus (Mk 14:33-14:33)

“Jesus took with him

Peter,

James,

And John.

He began

To be distressed

And agitated.”

 

καὶ παραλαμβάνει τὸν Πέτρον καὶ τὸν Ἰάκωβον καὶ τὸν Ἰωάνην μετ’ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἤρξατο ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι καὶ ἀδημονεῖν,

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:37, where James and John were simply called the sons of Zebedee.  In Luke, chapter 22, and in John, chapter 18, there was no mention of these 3 favorite apostles being separated from the others.  Mark indicated that Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John (καὶ παραλαμβάνει τὸν Πέτρον καὶ τὸν Ἰάκωβον καὶ τὸν Ἰωάνην μετ’ αὐτοῦ).  These were the same 3 apostles who were with Jesus at the transfiguration.  Jesus then began to be grieved, pained, sorrowful, troubled, awestruck, distressed, and agitated (καὶ ἤρξατο ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι καὶ ἀδημονεῖν).  This story showed the vulnerability of Jesus in his suffering.