To a town
And a large crowd
Went with him.”
Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς ἐπορεύθη εἰς πόλιν καλουμένην Ναΐν, καὶ συνεπορεύοντο αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ ὄχλος πολύς.
Luke has this unique story about the town of Nain, a small Galilean town about 23 miles southwest of Capernaum and about 6 miles southeast of Nazareth. This took place the day after the events with the centurion (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς). Jesus went to a town called Nain (ἐπορεύθη εἰς πόλιν καλουμένην Ναΐν). His disciples (οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ) with a large crowd (καὶ ὄχλος πολύς) also went with him (καὶ συνεπορεύοντο αὐτῷ). There is no indication why they went to this small town that is not mentioned elsewhere in the biblical works, but only here in Luke. Have you ever lived in a small town?
“This centurion loves
He built us
ἀγαπᾷ γὰρ τὸ ἔθνος ἡμῶν καὶ τὴν συναγωγὴν αὐτὸς ᾠκοδόμησεν ἡμῖν.
Luke uniquely said that these Jewish elders continued praising this centurion, who loved the Jewish people, their people (ἀγαπᾷ γὰρ τὸ ἔθνος ἡμῶν). He had built a synagogue for them (καὶ τὴν συναγωγὴν αὐτὸς ᾠκοδόμησεν ἡμῖν). There were many instances of Roman soldiers adopting the religious practices of the people where they were staying. However, building a synagogue seems a bit much. It may have led to better community relations. Although he was not Jewish, this centurion had been very favorable to the Jewish people by helping them build a new synagogue. There was no mention of this synagogue in the Matthew story about the centurion. Would you be favorable to a religion not your own?
“When he learned
From the centurion
That Jesus was dead,
καὶ γνοὺς ἀπὸ τοῦ κεντυρίωνος ἐδωρήσατο τὸ πτῶμα τῷ Ἰωσήφ.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:58. Luke, chapter 23:52, and John, chapter 19:38, who simply had this short statement, without any comment from Pilate. Mark said when Pilate learned from the centurion (καὶ γνοὺς ἀπὸ τοῦ κεντυρίωνος) that Jesus was dead, he granted the body to Joseph (ἐδωρήσατο τὸ πτῶμα τῷ Ἰωσήφ). Thus, the body of Jesus left the control of the Roman and the Jewish authorities. However, there was no mention of the bodies of the other two robbers who had been crucified with Jesus.
“Then Pilate wondered
If Jesus was
He asked him
Had been dead
For some time.”
ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος ἐθαύμασεν εἰ ἤδη τέθνηκεν, καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τὸν κεντυρίωνα ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτὸν εἰ πάλαι ἀπέθανεν·
There is nothing like this in any of the other synoptic gospels, where Pilate simply gave permission to Joseph to have the body of Jesus. Here in Mark, Pilate wondered (ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος ἐθαύμασεν) if Jesus was already dead (εἰ ἤδη τέθνηκεν). He summoned the centurion (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τὸν κεντυρίωνα). He asked him whether Jesus was already dead (ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτὸν εἰ πάλαι ἀπέθανεν).
And those with him
Who were guarding Jesus,
Saw the earthquake.
What took place.
They were very terrified.
This was the Son of God!’”
Ὁ δὲ ἑκατόνταρχος καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ τηροῦντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἰδόντες τὸν σεισμὸν καὶ τὰ γινόμενα ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα, λέγοντες Ἀληθῶς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς ἦν οὗτος.
This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:39, except that there is no mention of an earthquake there, just the centurion statement alone. In Luke, chapter 23:47, the centurion simply said that this man was innocent, without any earthquake. There is nothing about a centurion or earthquake in John, chapter 19. Matthew said that the Roman centurion and the other Roman soldiers guarding Jesus (Ὁ δὲ ἑκατόνταρχος καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ τηροῦντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν), saw the seismic earthquake (ἰδόντες τὸν σεισμὸν). They saw what had taken place (καὶ τὰ γινόμενα). They were all very terrified and afraid (ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα). They said that truly this man was the Son of God (λέγοντες Ἀληθῶς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς ἦν οὗτος). It is interesting to note that the leader of the Roman soldiers, this centurion, who was in charge of 100 men, was afraid. He and his fellow Roman soldiers were the ones calling Jesus the Son of God. Once again, Matthew emphasized the goodness of the Roman leaders versus the evilness of the Jewish leaders.