The voice from heaven (Lk 3:22-3:22)

“A voice

Came from heaven.

‘You are my Son!

The Beloved!

I am well pleased

With you!’”

 

καὶ φωνὴν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ γενέσθαι Σὺ εἶ ὁ Υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα.

 

As in Mark, chapter 1:11, Luke, had a voice from heaven address Jesus directly.  In Matthew, chapter 3:17, this voice from the heavens did not address Jesus personally, while John, chapter 1, did not have any mention of a voice from heaven at all after the baptism of Jesus.  The idea of a heavenly voice had a very strong tradition in the Hebrew Bible, especially among the prophets.  Luke said that this voice came from heaven (καὶ φωνὴν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ γενέσθαι).  It said that Jesus was his beloved son (Σὺ εἶ ὁ Υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός).  He, the heavenly Father was well pleased with him (ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα).  All this was in the second person singular.  God the Father said that Jesus was his most beloved son in whom he was well pleased.  The gospel writers did not clarify whether others saw and heard these things.  In fact, this saying and incident after the baptism of Jesus might have been the basis for a Subordinationschristologie that Jesus the Son was somehow subordinate to the Father.  According to this adoption theory, God the Father had to send his Spirit to anoint and empower Jesus in this concrete event, before he could begin his public ministry.  This adoptionism theory, and the Christological disputes of the later 4th century CE, led to the diminution of this baptismal event within later patristic and medieval theological circles.  Nevertheless, the baptism of Jesus has become the starting point for any theological reflection about early Christian initiation practices.  It is not clear whether all the primitive Christian communities linked the baptism of Jesus with the baptism of the new followers of Christ, despite the fact that many post-apostolic Christians did so.

Advertisements

Judas Iscariot (Mk 14:10-14:10)

“Then Judas Iscariot,

Who was one of the twelve,

Went to the chief priests

In order to betray Jesus

To them.”

 

Καὶ Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριὼθ, ὁ εἷς τῶν δώδεκα, ἀπῆλθεν πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς ἵνα αὐτὸν παραδοῖ αὐτοῖς.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:14, and somewhat similar in Luke, chapter 22:3-4, and in John, chapter 13:2, where Satan played a role.  Here in Mark, there is just the simple statement that Judas Iscariot (Καὶ Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριὼθ), one of the beloved 12 leaders or apostles (ὁ εἷς τῶν δώδεκα) went to the chief priests (ἀπῆλθεν πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς).  He wanted to betray or turn over Jesus to these high priests (ἵνα αὐτὸν παραδοῖ αὐτοῖς).  Apparently, according to John, chapter 12:6, Judas had been in charge of their common money, but he was stealing from this fund.  Thus, there may have been financial reasons or greed pushing Judas to betray Jesus.  John seems to be much more vehemently opposed to Judas.

The punishment in Egypt (Jer 44:13-44:14)

“I will punish

Those who live

In the land of Egypt,

As I have punished Jerusalem,

With the sword,

With famine,

With pestilence.

Thus none

Of the remnant of Judah

Who have come

To settle

In the land of Egypt

Shall escape,

Or survive,

Or return

To the land of Judah.

Although they long

To go back

To live there,

They shall not go back,

Except some fugitives.”

In a twist of irony, Yahweh was going to punish the Judeans who had left Judah to settle in Egypt. Just as he had punished the Egyptians centuries earlier so that the Israelites could leave Egypt, he now will punish the Judeans who came to live in Egypt. Thus this great symbiotic relationship of the Israelites and the Egyptians continues, even until the present day. Yahweh was determined to punish this remnant from Judah, as he had punished Jerusalem, with his often repeated 3 weapons, the sword, famine, and pestilence. None of these Judean remnants would escape or survive to return to their beloved Judah. The only exception would be those who

In a twist of irony, Yahweh was going to punish the Judeans who had left Judah to settle in Egypt. Just as he had punished the Egyptians centuries earlier so that the Israelites could leave Egypt, he now will punish the Judeans who came to live in Egypt. Thus this great symbiotic relationship of the Israelites and the Egyptians continues, even until the present day. Yahweh was determined to punish this remnant from Judah, as he had punished Jerusalem, with his often repeated 3 weapons, the sword, famine, and pestilence. None of these Judean remnants would escape or survive to return to their beloved Judah. The only exception would be those who turned out to be fugitives.

turned out to be fugitives.

Sleeping beauty (Song 5:2-5:5)

Female lover

“I slept.

But my heart was awake.

Listen!

My beloved is knocking.

‘Open to me!

My sister!

My love!

My dove!

My perfect one!

My head is wet

With dew.

My locks are wet

With the drops of the night.’

‘I had put off my garment.

How could I put it on again?

I had bathed my feet.

How could I soil them?’

My beloved thrust his hand

Into the opening.

My innermost being

Yearned for him.

I arose

To open to my beloved.

My hands dripped

With myrrh.

My fingers dripped

With liquid myrrh,

Upon the handles of the bolt.”

The female lover was sleeping, but her heart was awake. Then she heard her lover knocking at the door. He wanted her to open the door. He called her sister, lover, dove, and the perfect one. His head was wet with dew. His hair was wet with night rain drops. She had taken off her garments. Was she naked? She had washed her feet. He then put his hand into the opening. Meanwhile the female lover yearned for him. She got up to open the door to her beloved. Her hands and fingers were dripping with liquid myrrh as she reached the bolt on the door. She was anticipating a rendezvous with her lover.

Young stag (Song 2:16-2:17)

Female lover

“My beloved is mine.

I am his.

He pastures his flock among the lilies.

Until the day breathes,

Until the shadows flee,

Turn!

My beloved!

Be like a gazelle.

Be like a young stag

Upon the rugged clef mountains.”

This young female lover explains that her lover is hers and she is his. He is the shepherd among the lilies. Her beloved is once again, as earlier, a gazelle and a young stag in the rugged mountains. Is she the rugged mountains? Why did they have to wait until the day began or the shadows fled?

Yahweh is the source of all (Ps 127:1-127:2)

A song of ascents, of Solomon

“Unless Yahweh builds the house,

Those who build it

Labor in vain.

Unless Yahweh guards the city,

The guard keeps watch in vain.

It is in vain

That you rise up early.

It is in vain

That you go late to rest.

It is in vain

To eat the bread of anxious toil.

He gives sleep to his beloved.”

Psalm 127 is another of these short pilgrimage songs or psalms sung on the way ascending to Jerusalem. However, this one has the name of Solomon since there is a little wisdom saying embedded here about God’s providence. Unless Yahweh builds the house, your work is in vain. Unless Yahweh guards your city, it is in vain to have guards watch it. You should not be anxious for your daily bread. It is in vain to rise up early to work or stay up late at night to work. Yahweh gives sleep to his beloved ones. Do not be anxious for Yahweh is the source of all things.

The death bed repentance of King Antiochus (1 Macc 6:8-6:13)

“When King Antiochus king heard this news, he was astounded and badly shaken. He took to his bed. He became sick from grief because things had not turned out for him as he had planned. He lay there for many days because deep disappointment continually gripped him. He concluded that he was dying. So he called all his friends. He said to them.

‘Sleep has departed from my eyes.

I am downhearted with worry.

I said to myself.

‘To what distress I have come!

Into what a great flood I now am plunged!

For I was kind and beloved in my power.’

But now I remember the wrong I did in Jerusalem.

I seized all her vessels of silver and gold.

I sent to destroy the inhabitants of Judah without good reason.

I know that it is because of this

That these misfortunes have come upon me.

Here I am perishing of bitter disappointment in a strange land.’”

King Antiochus IV was astonished and shaken by the news that he heard about Judah. In quite a melodramatic way, he took to his bed because things had not turned out the way that he had planned them. He was very despondent. Thinking that he was dying, he called his friends. He tried to clear his soul with a confession to his friends. He could no longer sleep because he was so worried. He was in great distress that he himself had caused. He had been a kind and beloved king, until he went to Jerusalem. There he took the silver and gold vessels and destroyed the people of Jerusalem for no reason. He believed that all his misfortunes stemmed from that incident. Now he was going to die disappointed in a strange land, Persia.