Preaching and healing (Lk 9:6-9:6)

“The twelve apostles

Departed.

They passed

Through the villages,

Bringing the good news

And curing diseases

Everywhere.”

 

ἐξερχόμενοι δὲ διήρχοντο κατὰ τὰς κώμας εὐαγγελιζόμενοι καὶ θεραπεύοντες πανταχοῦ.

 

Luke said that the 12 apostles departed (ἐξερχόμενοι δὲ).  They passed through the various villages (διήρχοντο κατὰ τὰς κώμας), bringing the good news or evangelizing (εὐαγγελιζόμενοι) and curing diseases everywhere (καὶ θεραπεύοντες πανταχοῦ).  There was something similar in Mark, chapter 6:13, but not in Matthew, where these 12 apostles carried out the dual functions of casting out demons and healing people.  Mark always put a lot of emphasis on casting out these demons.  But they also anointed many sick with oil that cured them, since oil was considered a basic healing element in the ancient world.  Mark never mentioned preaching, but it was part of Jesus’ message, as indicated by Luke.  What do you think the role of a Christian missionary should be?

Good news (Lk 2:10-2:10)

“But the angel

Said to them.

‘Do not be afraid!

See!

I am bringing you

Good news

Of great joy

For all the people.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος Μὴ φοβεῖσθε· ἰδοὺ γὰρ εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν χαρὰν μεγάλην, ἥτις ἔσται παντὶ τῷ λαῷ,

 

Luke said that the unnamed angel tried to reassure these shepherds not to be fearful.  This angel said to them (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος) that they should not be afraid (Μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  He said that they should see or realize that he was bringing them good news or the gospel news like a Roman proclamation (ἰδοὺ γὰρ εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν) of great joy (χαρὰν μεγάλην) that would be for all the people (ἥτις ἔσται παντὶ τῷ λαῷ).  The angel said that he had some good news for them and their fellow Israelites.

They did not believe Mary (Mk 16:11-16:11)

“But when they heard

That he was alive,

And had been seen

By Mary Magdalene,

They would not believe it.”

 

κἀκεῖνοι ἀκούσαντες ὅτι ζῇ καὶ ἐθεάθη ὑπ’ αὐτῆς ἠπίστησαν.

 

This long ending of Mark is the only text to indicate that there was some doubt about the resurrection of Jesus, although Matthew, chapter 28:17, indicated some doubt on the part of the apostles.  John, chapter 20:24-29, had the doubting Thomas story.  Here, the text said that when they heard that Jesus was alive (κἀκεῖνοι ἀκούσαντες ὅτι ζῇ), and had been seen by Mary Magdalene (καὶ ἐθεάθη ὑπ’ αὐτῆς), they would not believe it (ἠπίστησαν).  They had some skepticism about this story about the risen Jesus, perhaps because Mary Magdalene, a woman, was bringing them this news.

The children (Mk 10:13-10:13)

“People were bringing

Little children

To Jesus.

Thus,

He might touch them.

However,

The disciples

Spoke sternly

To them.”

 

Καὶ προσέφερον αὐτῷ παιδία ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅψηται· οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς.

 

This story about the little children can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:13, and Luke, chapter 18:15.  Mark said that people were bringing little children to Jesus (Καὶ προσέφερον αὐτῷ παιδία), so that he might touch them (ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅψηται).  Matthew had mentioned hand laying and praying for them, but that is not here.  However, the disciples spoke sternly or admonished those people (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς) who brought these children to Jesus.  There seemed to be a conflict between Jesus, who valued little children in the Jewish tradition, and his disciples, who wanted to keep them away from Jesus.

They brought a paralytic to Jesus (Mk 2:3-2:3)

“Then some people came

To Jesus.

They were bringing

A paralyzed man

Carried by four men.”

 

καὶ ἔρχονται φέροντες πρὸς αὐτὸν παραλυτικὸν αἰρόμενον ὑπὸ τεσσάρων.

 

A similar story can be found in Luke and Matthew.  However, neither Luke, chapter 5:18, nor Matthew, chapter 9:2, mention the four men, just men in general, carrying the paralytic.  Mark said some people came to Jesus (καὶ ἔρχονται φέροντες πρὸς αὐτὸν).  Four men were carrying a paralyzed man (παραλυτικὸν αἰρόμενον ὑπὸ τεσσάρων).

Robbing Yahweh (Mal 3:8-3:10)

Will anyone rob God?

Yet you are robbing me!

But you say.

‘How are we robbing you?’

‘In your tithes!

In your offerings!

You are cursed

With a curse!

You are robbing me!

The whole nation of you!

Bring the full tithes

Into the storehouse!

Then there may be food

In my house.

Thus,

You put me to the test.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘See!

If I will not open

The windows of heaven

For you!

See!

If I will not pour down

For you

An overflowing blessing.’”

Yahweh asked them why they were robbing God.  They responded that they did not know that they were robbing God.  Yahweh answered by telling them that they were robbing him by not bringing their full tithes and offerings.  Thus, the whole nation would be cursed.  To rectify this, they were to bring their full tithes, so that the Temple storehouses would be full of food.  They were going to be put to the test.  Yahweh had the option of opening the windows to heaven for them.  He could pour down his blessings on them, if they stopped robbing him by withholding their tithes and offerings.

The prophet Habakkuk (Dan 14:33-14:34)

“Now the prophet Habakkuk

Was in Judea.

He had made a stew.

He had broken bread

Into a bowl.

He was going

Into the field

To take it

To the reapers.

But the angel

Of the Lord

Said to Habakkuk.

‘Take the dinner

That you have

To Babylon,

To Daniel,

In the lions’ den.’”

Who is this prophet Habakkuk? It is not clear whether he was one of the minor prophets with the same name. Here, he is a prophet in Judea. Since the minor prophets were already known, this may be an attempt to connect the two prophets, Habakkuk and Daniel together. Anyway, he had some stew and bread that he was bringing to the workers reaping in the field, when an angel of the Lord appeared to him. This unnamed angel told Habakkuk to bring his dinner to Daniel in the lion’s den in Babylon. That would be quite a task since foot travel was the normal form of transportation between Judea and Babylon. Once again, there is an emphasis on eating. I would; think that the last thing that Daniel was worried about in the lion’s den would be food.

Yahweh’s reaction (Ezek 20:8-20:10)

“Then I thought

That I would pour out

My wrath

Upon them.

I would spend

My anger

Against them

In the midst

Of the land

Of Egypt.

But I acted

For the sake

Of my name.

It should not be

Profaned

In the sight

Of the nations

Among whom

They lived,

In whose sight

I have made

Myself known

To them.

I will bring them

Out of the land

Of Egypt.

So I led them

Out of the land

Of Egypt.

I brought them

Into the wilderness.”

Yahweh wanted to pour out his wrath on them right there and then in the land of Egypt, because he was angry with them. However, he acted for the sake of his name. He did not want to profane his name in the sight of other nations among whom the Israelites had lived. He did not want to embarrass his name among those who had heard that Yahweh was bringing them out of the land of Egypt. So he ended up leading them out of the land of Egypt into the wilderness.

A sword upon the land (Ezek 14:17-14:18)

“‘Or if I bring a sword

Upon that land.

I will say.

‘Let a sword

Pass through the land.’

I cut off

Humans

With animals

From it.

Even though

These three men

Were in the land,

As I live,

They would save

Neither sons

Nor daughters.

But they alone

Would be saved.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh continued by talking about bringing a sword to the land, killing humans and animals. However, if these 3 great men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in that land, they would be able to save themselves alone, but they would not be able to save their sons or daughters. This was the same concept repeated again that individuals had limited power over the group.

Caravans from the east (Isa 60:6-60:7)

“A multitude of camels

Shall cover you.

The young camels of Midian

With the camels of Ephah

Shall cover you.

All those from Sheba

Shall come.

They shall bring gold.

They shall bring frankincense.

They shall proclaim the praise of Yahweh.

All the flocks of Kedar

Shall be gathered to you.

The rams of Nebaioth

Shall minister to you.

They shall be acceptable on my altar.

I will glorify my glorious house.”

The caravan trade had been very lucrative. Thus the camels with all their goodies would travel to Jerusalem from eastern Midian and Ephah that were in Arabia. Sheba was in southern Arabia, prominent in the stories of King Solomon. They were bringing the traditional gifts of gold and frankincense, which was an expensive spice. They were going to proclaim the praises of Yahweh. So too, the flocks from the eastern desert area from the Arab tribes of Kedar, as well as the rams of the Nebaioth tribe, would be gifts for Jerusalem. These would be acceptable at the altar of Yahweh in his house.