The praise of Elizabeth (Lk 1:45-1:45)

“Blessed

Is she who believed

That there would be

A fulfilment

Of what was spoken

To her

From the Lord.”

 

καὶ μακαρία ἡ πιστεύσασα ὅτι ἔσται τελείωσις τοῖς λελαλημένοις αὐτῇ παρὰ Κυρίου.

 

Luke had Elizabeth praise Mary.  Elizabeth said that Mary was blessed or happy (καὶ μακαρία) because she believed (ἡ πιστεύσασα) that what had been told her (τοῖς λελαλημένοις αὐτῇ) from the Lord (παρὰ Κυρίου) was going to happen or be fulfilled (ὅτι ἔσται τελείωσις).  Mary believed everything that the angel of the Lord had said to her.  Elizabeth praised her and called her a happy blessed person because of her belief.

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The signs of the believers (Mk 16:17-16:17)

“These signs

Will accompany

Those who believe.

By using my name,

They will cast out demons.

They will speak

In new tongues.”

 

σημεῖα δὲ τοῖς πιστεύσασιν ταῦτα παρακολουθήσει, ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου δαιμόνια ἐκβαλοῦσιν, γλώσσαις λαλήσουσιν καιναῖς,

 

Only this long Mark addition has these comments about what the disciples of Jesus would be able to do.  This addition to Mark indicated that Jesus said that these signs (σημεῖα) would accompany (παρακολουθήσει) those who believed (δὲ τοῖς πιστεύσασιν ταῦτα) in the name of Jesus (ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου).  They would be able to cast out demons (δαιμόνια ἐκβαλοῦσιν,).  They would also be able to speak in new tongues (γλώσσαις λαλήσουσιν καιναῖς).  Certainly, the early Christians believed that these actions would be important among the followers of Jesus.  They would be able to cast out evil spirits and speak in tongues.

The argument (Mk 11:31-11:31)

“They argued

With one another.

‘If we say.

From heaven.

He will say.

‘Why then

Did you not

Believe him?’”

 

καὶ διελογίζοντο πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς λέγοντες Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, ἐρεῖ Διὰ τί οὖν οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ;

 

This argument among the Jewish leaders can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:25, and Luke, chapter 20:5, almost word for word.  Mark said that the high priests, Scribes, and the elders argued or discussed with each other (καὶ διελογίζοντο πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς).  If they said that his baptism was from heaven (λέγοντες·Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ), then Jesus would ask them why they had not believed in John the Baptist (ἐρεῖ Διὰ τί οὖν οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ)?  This was a real option, but one they did not want to take.

King Herod heard about Jesus (Mk 6:14-6:14)

“King Herod

Had heard

That Jesus’ name

Had become known.

Some were saying.

‘John the baptizer

Has been raised

From the dead.

For this reason,

These powers are

At work

In him.’”

 

Καὶ ἤκουσεν ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἡρῴδης, φανερὸν γὰρ ἐγένετο τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἰωάνης ὁ Βαπτίζων ἐγήγερται ἐκ νεκρῶν, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἐνεργοῦσιν αἱ δυνάμεις ἐν αὐτῷ.

 

This mention of Herod can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:1, Luke, chapter 9:7, and here.  The Roman educated Herod, was the ruler or tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from 4 BCE-39 CE, as a client ruler, part of the Roman Empire.  This Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great.  He had built and named the capital city of Galilee, Tiberias, since the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37 CE) was his favorite emperor.  Mark called him a king.  King Herod had heard reports (Καὶ ἤκουσεν ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἡρῴδης) about Jesus, because his name had become well known or famous (φανερὸν γὰρ ἐγένετο τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ).  Jesus was a celebrity in Galilee.  Here we have the intersection of the Galilean official of the Roman Empire, Herod, and the famous Galilean preacher and faith healer, Jesus.  Herod, the Roman ruler in Galilee, or those around him said (καὶ ἔλεγον) that Jesus might be the resurrected John the Baptist, since some people believed that righteous people rose from the dead.  Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead (ὅτι Ἰωάνης ὁ Βαπτίζων ἐγήγερται ἐκ νεκρῶν).  How ironic, since Jesus was to rise from the dead.  Herod thought the miraculous powers of John the Baptist were at work in Jesus (καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἐνεργοῦσιν αἱ δυνάμεις ἐν αὐτῷ).  He and his people thought that John might have reincarnated himself in Jesus,

They did not believe John the Baptist (Mt 21:32-21:32)

“John came to you

In the way of righteousness.

You did not believe him.

But the tax collectors

And the prostitutes

Believed him.

Even after you saw it,

You did not change your mind.

You did not believe him.”

 

ἦλθεν γὰρ Ἰωάνης πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν ὁδῷ δικαιοσύνης, καὶ οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ· οἱ δὲ τελῶναι καὶ αἱ πόρναι ἐπίστευσαν αὐτῷ· ὑμεῖς δὲ ἰδόντες οὐδὲ μετεμελήθητε ὕστερον τοῦ πιστεῦσαι αὐτῷ.

 

This saying about John the Baptist is unique to Matthew, based on his continual emphasis on the role of John the Baptist.  However, there is something similar to this in Luke, chapter 7:29-30, but within another context.  Jesus used the example of John the Baptist who had come to them in his righteousness way (ἦλθεν γὰρ Ἰωάνης πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν ὁδῷ δικαιοσύνης).  They had not believed him (καὶ οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ), but the Roman tax collectors and the prostitutes had believed him (οἱ δὲ τελῶναι καὶ αἱ πόρναι ἐπίστευσαν αὐτῷ).  Even after they saw John (ὑμεῖς δὲ ἰδόντες), they did not change their minds, or repent (οὐδὲ μετεμελήθητε ὕστερον), or believe in him (πιστεῦσαι αὐτῷ).  Jesus chided them for their rejection of John the Baptist.

The believing blind men (Mt 9:28-9:28)

“When Jesus

Entered the house,

The blind men

Came to him.

Jesus said to them,

‘Do you believe

That I am able to do this?’

They said to him.

‘Yes!

Lord!’”

 

ἐλθόντι δὲ εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ τυφλοί, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Πιστεύετε ὅτι δύναμαι τοῦτο ποιῆσαι; λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Ναί, Κύριε.

 

Not only are there similar stories about healing the blind men found in Mark, chapter 10:49-52, and Luke, chapter 18:40-43, but also in Matthew, chapter 20:32-33, but the other more elaborate stories took place in Jericho, and not as here in Galilee.  Their faith was at the heart of this healing.  It is not clear whose house Jesus went into, but he did go into a house (ἐλθόντι δὲ εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν).  These blind men followed him into the house (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ τυφλοί).  Then Jesus asked them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) if they believed that he was capable of healing them (Πιστεύετε ὅτι δύναμαι τοῦτο ποιῆσαι).  They responded that they believed in him the Lord (λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Ναί, Κύριε).  Matthew has them refer to Jesus at “Lord (Κύριε).”  That could mean an important person or literally the Lord or God.  Perhaps the latter is intended here.

The healing of the centurion’s servant (Mt 8:13-8:13)

“Jesus said

To the centurion.

‘Go!

Let it be done

For you

According to your faith.’

The servant

Was healed

At that very hour.”

 

καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ ἑκατοντάρχῃ Ὕπαγε, ὡς ἐπίστευσας γενηθήτω σοι. καὶ ἰάθη ὁ παῖς ἐν τῇ ὥρᾳ ἐκείνῃ.

 

There is a slightly different ending to this healing of the centurion’s servant in Luke, chapter 7:10.  Here there is an emphasis on the faith of the centurion.  Jesus told the centurion (καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τῷ ἑκατοντάρχῃ) to go home (Ὕπαγε), because the healing was going to take place as he had believed that it would (ὡς ἐπίστευσας γενηθήτω σοι.).  Simply the word of Jesus, not his presence would cure his servant.  Then Matthew indicated that at that very moment, at that very hour (ἐν τῇ ὥρᾳ ἐκείνῃ), the servant was healed (καὶ ἰάθη ὁ παῖς), without the presence of Jesus.