The registration in their own hometown (Lk 2:3-2:3)

“All people

Went

To their own towns

To be registered.”

 

καὶ ἐπορεύοντο πάντες ἀπογράφεσθαι, ἕκαστος εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ πόλιν.

 

Luke said that all the people went to be registered (καὶ ἐπορεύοντο πάντες ἀπογράφεσθαι).  Each one of them went to their own town or city (ἕκαστος εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ πόλιν).  In other words, people returned to their ancestral home towns.  It is not clear how long and why Joseph and Mary were in Nazareth.  However, there had to be a reason for Jesus to be born in Bethlehem, the city of David.  Matthew, chapter 2:1, did not say why Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, since he never mentioned anything about registering for any kind of census, like Luke here.

The Holy Spirit and the Son of God (Lk 1:35-1:35)

“The angel

Said to her.

‘The Holy Spirit

Will come upon you.

The power

Of the Most High

Will overshadow you.

Therefore,

The child to be born

Will be holy.

He will be called

The Son of God.’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῇ Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον ἐπελεύσεται ἐπὶ σέ, καὶ δύναμις Ὑψίστου ἐπισκιάσει σοι· διὸ καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον ἅγιον κληθήσεται Υἱὸς Θεοῦ.

 

Luke then has the Angel Gabriel reveal the whole plan.  Just as in Matthew, chapter 1:20, the angel told Joseph that the child conceived in Mary was from the Holy Spirit.  Luke did the same here.  This Angel Gabriel answered Mary (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῇ).  He said that the Holy Spirit would come over her (Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον ἐπελεύσεται ἐπὶ σέ).  The power of the Most High God would overshadow or envelop her (καὶ δύναμις Ὑψίστου ἐπισκιάσει σοι).  Her child would come forth or be born holy (διὸ καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον ἅγιον).  He would be called the Son of God (κληθήσεται Υἱὸς Θεοῦ).  This was a very theological statement uttered by the Angel Gabriel.  This child, Jesus would come about because of the Holy Spirit.  Elohim, the most high God, would overshadow her, the way that Yahweh had overshadowed the tent of dwelling with the covenant in Exodus, chapter 37:1-9.  This presence of God in Mary would make her pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The unique act of Jesus’ conception was a fully Trinitarian action involving the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit within the womb of Mary.  Obviously, the Son, her son, Jesus, would be born as a holy human person, clearly and rightfully called the Son of God.  This was a very developed theology of Luke, who always stressed the role of the Holy Spirit in his writings.

The sources (Lk 1:2-1:2)

“These events

Were handed down

To us

By those

Who from the beginning

Were eyewitnesses

And servants

Of the word.”

 

καθὼς παρέδοσαν ἡμῖν οἱ ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς αὐτόπται καὶ ὑπηρέται γενόμενοι τοῦ λόγου,

 

Luke clearly says where his sources are coming from, unlike the other gospel writers.  He said that these things or events were handed down to him (καθὼς παρέδοσαν ἡμῖν) by people who were with Jesus from the beginning (οἱ ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς).  These were the eyewitnesses (αὐτόπται) and those being the servants or ministers (καὶ ὑπηρέται γενόμενοι) of the word (τοῦ λόγου), the early disciples and apostles of Jesus.  Luke was a second-generation Christian, since many of these events would have taken place before he was born.  Therefore, he was going to rely on those who were with Jesus from the beginning.  These early ministers or Jesus followers would be an important source for Luke.

Woe to the betrayer! (Mk 14:21-14:21)

“The Son of Man

Goes

As it is written

Of him.

But woe

To that one

By whom

The Son of man

Is betrayed!

It would have been better

For that man

Not to have been born.”

 

ὅτι ὁ μὲν Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὑπάγει καθὼς γέγραπται περὶ αὐτοῦ· οὐαὶ δὲ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἐκείνῳ δι’ οὗ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται· καλὸν αὐτῷ εἰ οὐκ ἐγεννήθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος.

 

This is similar, exactly word for word, to Matthew, chapter 26:24, but more summarized in Luke, chapter 22:22.  Mark, like Matthew, indicated that Jesus said that the Son of Man would go to death (ὅτι ὁ μὲν Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὑπάγει), as it was written about him (καθὼς γέγραπται περὶ αὐτοῦ).  Was this a reference to the Suffering Servant in Isaiah, chapters 52-53, and Psalm 22?  However, then Jesus cursed the man who would betray the Son of Man (οὐαὶ δὲ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἐκείνῳ δι’ οὗ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται).  He said that it would have been better if that man had never been born (καλὸν αὐτῷ εἰ οὐκ ἐγεννήθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος).  This was a very strong curse, but without an exact identification for whom it was meant.

Prologue

This Gospel of Matthew has a prologue with five parts that echo the book of Genesis.  First, there was the genealogy of Jesus via Joseph that began with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Then this genealogy went through the twin sons of Judah and the descendants of Perez.  Then it went from Ruth to King David.  Then there was the kings of Judah from Solomon to the gap and up to and including the Babylonian captivity.  Finally, there were the unknown names in this genealogy that led up to Joseph and his father.  Matthew then explained the genealogy of Jesus, since there were differences of this genealogy with that of the Gospel of Luke.

The second part of this prologue was the virgin birth of Jesus.  First of all, there was the conception of Jesus from Joseph’s point of view, not Mary’s.  Joseph wanted to divorce Mary for being pregnant until an angel in a dream told him that Jesus would be a special child that fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah.  After waking up from his dream, there was the virgin birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

The third part of this prologue was the visit of the Magi.  They brought their questions to Herod the Judean Roman king, who was annoyed and frightened.  He found out that Bethlehem was described by the prophet Micah as the place where the Messiah would be born.  Herod summoned the Magi and sent them to Bethlehem.  The Magi followed the star and found Mary with the child at the so-called Epiphany.  However, they went home another route so that they did not go back to King Herod.

The fourth part was the flight into Egypt, as Joseph had another dream.  They went to Egypt to fulfill another prophecy that the Messiah would come out of Egypt.  Meanwhile, King Herod killed all the under two-year old boys in the Bethlehem area as the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jeremiah.

Finally, the fifth part of the prologue was the return of Jesus to Nazareth when Joseph had a third dream.  He was told to return to Israel, or more specifically to Galilee in a place called Nazareth.  Thus, this prologue gave the unique perspective of Joseph.

The curse to the betrayer (Mt 26:23-26:24)

“Jesus answered.

‘The one who has dipped

His hand

Into the bowl

With me,

Will betray me.

The Son of Man

Goes to death,

As it is written of him.

But woe to that man

By whom

The Son of Man

Is betrayed!

It would have been better

For that man

Not to have been born.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Ὁ ἐμβάψας μετ’ ἐμοῦ τὴν χεῖρα ἐν τῷ τρυβλίῳ, οὗτός με παραδώσει.

ὁ μὲν Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὑπάγει καθὼς γέγραπται περὶ αὐτοῦ, οὐαὶ δὲ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἐκείνῳ δι’ οὗ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται· καλὸν ἦν αὐτῷ εἰ οὐκ ἐγεννήθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:21, and Luke, chapter 22:21-22, but there is no mention of him not being born there.  John, chapter 13:26-27, has the dipping of the hand in the bowl for bread in a conversation between Jesus and Peter.  Here, Jesus answered and said (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) that the one who dipped his hand into the bowl or the deep platter with him (Ὁ ἐμβάψας μετ’ ἐμοῦ τὴν χεῖρα ἐν τῷ τρυβλίῳ) would betray him (οὗτός με παραδώσει).  He said that the Son of Man would go to death (ὁ μὲν Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὑπάγει), as it was written about him (καθὼς γέγραπται περὶ αὐτοῦ).  But then Jesus cursed the man who would betray the Son of Man (οὐαὶ δὲ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἐκείνῳ δι’ οὗ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται).  He said that it would have been better if that man had never been born (καλὸν ἦν αὐτῷ εἰ οὐκ ἐγεννήθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος).  This was a very strong curse, but without an exact identification for whom it was meant.

Herod sent the Magi to Bethlehem (Mt 2:8-2:8)

“Then King Herod

Sent the Magi

To Bethlehem.

Saying.

‘Go!

Search diligently

For the child!

When you have found him,

Bring me word,

So that I may also go.

I want to pay him homage.’”

 

καὶ πέμψας αὐτοὺς εἰς Βηθλέεμ εἶπεν· Πορευθέντες ἐξετάσατε ἀκριβῶς περὶ τοῦ παιδίου· ἐπὰν δὲ εὕρητε, ἀπαγγείλατέ μοι, ὅπως κἀγὼ ἐλθὼν προσκυνήσω αὐτῷ.

 

Then King Herod told the magi to go to Bethlehem (πέμψας αὐτοὺς εἰς Βηθλέεμ,), since he had found out that this was the place where the new king of the Jews was born.  He told the magi that when they got to Bethlehem they were to search diligently (εἶπεν·Πορευθέντες ἐξετάσατε ἀκριβῶς) for this new born child (περὶ τοῦ παιδίου).  When they found out where he was (ἐπὰν δὲ εὕρητε,), they were to let him know (ἀπαγγείλατέ μοι), so that he also could go to worship or pay homage to him (ὅπως κἀγὼ ἐλθὼν προσκυνήσω αὐτῷ), just as they were about to do.  This seems pretty straight forward.  Obviously, King Herod had other plans.