They were amazed at Jesus (Lk 8:25-8:25)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Where is your faith?’

They were afraid.

Yet they were amazed.

They said

To one another.

‘Who then is this?

He commands

Even the winds

And the water!

They obey him!’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς Ποῦ ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν; φοβηθέντες δὲ ἐθαύμασαν, λέγοντες πρὸς ἀλλήλους Τίς ἄρα οὗτός ἐστιν, ὅτι καὶ τοῖς ἀνέμοις ἐπιτάσσει καὶ τῷ ὕδατι, καὶ ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked his disciples (εἶπεν δὲ αὐτοῖς) where was their faith (Ποῦ ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν)?  They were afraid (φοβηθέντες), but amazed (δὲ ἐθαύμασαν) at the same time.  They said to one another (λέγοντες πρὸς ἀλλήλους).  Who is this (Τίς ἄρα οὗτός ἐστιν) that commands (ἐπιτάσσει) even the winds (ὅτι καὶ τοῖς ἀνέμοις) and the water (καὶ τῷ ὕδατι)?  Both the winds and the water obey him (καὶ ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ).  This rebuke of Jesus can also be found in Matthew, chapter 8:26-27, and Mark, chapter 4:40-41, in a somewhat similar manner.  Mark said that Jesus then turned to his followers and asked them why they were afraid?  Was it because they still had no faith?  Jesus called out his disciples for their lack of faith or trust, while showing his great power.  Perhaps, this was a slap at some of the early Christian followers of Jesus, who lacked a strong belief in him.  These male disciples of Jesus were filled with great fear or awe.  They said to one another who is this man?  Both the winds and the seas obey or listen to him.  Matthew said that these disciples of Jesus marveled or were amazed at what they had just seen take place.  They wondered out loud what kind of man that Jesus was?  Both the winds and the seas obey him.  Jesus was the Lord of nature and weather.  Do you believe that Jesus can control the winds and the water?

I understand authority (Lk 7:8-7:8)

“I am a man

Set under authority,

With soldiers

Under me.

I say to one.

‘Go!

And he goes.

I say to another.

‘Come!’

And he comes.

I say to my slave.

‘Do this!’

And he does it.’”

 

καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπός εἰμι ὑπὸ ἐξουσίαν τασσόμενος, ἔχων ὑπ’ ἐμαυτὸν στρατιώτας, καὶ λέγω τούτῳ Πορεύθητι, καὶ πορεύεται, καὶ ἄλλῳ Ἔρχου, καὶ ἔρχεται, καὶ τῷ δούλῳ μου Ποίησον τοῦτο, καὶ ποιεῖ.

 

Interesting enough, Luke has the friends of the centurion speak in the first person singular to indicate that these are the exact words of the centurion.  The centurion said that he was a man who was appointed by authority (καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπός εἰμι ὑπὸ ἐξουσίαν τασσόμενος) with soldiers under him (ἔχων ὑπ’ ἐμαυτὸν στρατιώτας).  He would say to one go (καὶ λέγω τούτῳ Πορεύθητι) and he went (καὶ πορεύεται).  He would say to another come (καὶ ἄλλῳ Ἔρχου) and he came (καὶ ἔρχεται).  He would tell his slave to do something (καὶ τῷ δούλῳ μου Ποίησον τοῦτο) and he would do it (καὶ ποιεῖ).  This saying of the centurion is exactly the same as in Matthew, chapter 8:9, perhaps indicating a Q source.  In Matthew, the Roman centurion spoke for himself directly to Jesus, but the message was the same.  This centurion understood authority, since he was a Roman solider under the authority of his superiors and yet at the same time, he had soldiers under him.  Thus, if he said to any of them to go or come, they would do precisely that.  The same would be true of his slaves who would do whatever he told them to do.  Are you willing to obey the commands of Jesus?

Control over unclean spirits (Lk 4:36-4:36)

“They were all amazed.

They said to one another.

‘What kind of utterance

Is this?

With authority

And power

He commands

The unclean spirits.

Then out they come.’”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο θάμβος ἐπὶ πάντας, καὶ συνελάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους λέγοντες Τίς ὁ λόγος οὗτος, ὅτι ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ καὶ δυνάμει ἐπιτάσσει τοῖς ἀκαθάρτοις πνεύμασιν καὶ ἐξέρχονται;

 

This is very similar, almost word for word, to Mark, chapter 1:27.  Luke said, that amazement or astonishment came over all of them (καὶ ἐγένετο θάμβος ἐπὶ πάντας).  This was a common reaction that people had to the activities of Jesus.  The people were saying or speaking to one another (καὶ συνελάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους λέγοντες).  What is this new teaching with authority (Τίς ὁ λόγος οὗτος, ὅτι ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ)?  Thus, he commands with power even the unclean spirits (καὶ δυνάμει ἐπιτάσσει τοῖς ἀκαθάρτοις πνεύμασιν), so that they come out of that person (καὶ ἐξέρχονται).  Jesus seemed to have some special spiritual powers that no one else had ever seen.

Be on watch (Mk 13:34-13:34)

“The end times

Is like a man

Going on a journey.

When he leaves home,

He puts his slaves

In charge,

Each with

Their own work tasks.

He commands

The doorkeeper

To be on the watch.”

 

ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν, ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ, καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ.

 

This parable is similar to Matthew, chapter 25:14 and to Luke, chapter 19:12-27, where the story is about the power of a nobleman with 10 slaves, but the basic concept is the same.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that the end times would be like a man going on a journey (ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος).  He left his house (ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ).  He gave his slaves the authority (καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν) to perform their own individual tasks (ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ).  He commanded a doorkeeper to stand watch over this whole situation (καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ).

How come the unclean spirits obey? (Mk 1:27-1:27)

“They were all amazed.

They kept on asking

One another.

‘What is this?”

A new teaching

With authority!

He commands

Even the unclean spirits.

They obey him!’”

 

καὶ ἐθαμβήθησαν ἅπαντες, ὥστε συνζητεῖν αὐτοὺς λέγοντας Τί ἐστιν τοῦτο; διδαχὴ καινή κατ’ ἐξουσίαν· καὶ τοῖς πνεύμασι τοῖς ἀκαθάρτοις ἐπιτάσσει, καὶ ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ.

 

This is very similar, almost word for word, to Luke, chapter 4:36.  Mark said, that they were all amazed or astonished (καὶ ἐθαμβήθησαν ἅπαντες), a common word people used to describe the activities of Jesus.  They kept on saying or asking each other, questioning among themselves (ὥστε συνζητεῖν αὐτοὺς λέγοντας).  What is this new teaching with authority (Τί ἐστιν τοῦτο; διδαχὴ καινή κατ’ ἐξουσίαν·)?  Thus, he commands even the unclean spirits (καὶ τοῖς πνεύμασι τοῖς ἀκαθάρτοις ἐπιτάσσει) so that they listen or obey him (καὶ ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ).  Jesus seemed to have some special spiritual powers that no one else had ever seen.

 

The early orthodox apostolic writings

The 2nd century apostolic writers had a loose connection to the original apostles.  Some of these early 2nd century writings were occasionally considered part of the canonical biblical writings.  This post-apostolic group lived after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE.  These authors included Clement of Rome (40-101 CE) and his writings, as well as the so-called Second Letter of Clement, a 2nd century sermon, but not from Clement.  There also was Ignatius of Antioch (50-117 CE) with his letters, and the 2nd century Pseudo-Barnabas letter.  From the late 1st century, the Didache, the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, has intrigued scholars.  The 2nd century Shepherd of Hermas, has an apocalyptic document that included visions, commands, mandates, and parables or similitudes.  Theophilus of Antioch (115-180 CE) and Melito of Sardis (+190 CE), an important bishop of Asia Minor, were writing apologists for Christianity.  Clement of Alexandria (150-215 CE) and his pupil Origen (185-254 CE) played an important role in the developing Christian theology in Alexandria.  Justin the martyr (100-165 CE) gave a great description of the Christian activities.  Irenaeus (140-202 CE), a disciple of the martyr Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna, wrote against various early Christian heretics.

The Law

The Law, the Torah, or the Pentateuch, consisted of first five books that were developed over a number of years, but firmly established around 400 BCE.  The five books of the Pentateuch include Genesis, a 10th-5th century BCE writing about the pre-existence of the Israelites, and the particular stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.  The Exodus, finished around 450 BCE, recalls the story of Moses and how he led the Israelites out of Egypt for years in the desert.  Leviticus and Numbers, worked on between 550-400 BCE, lay out the particular codes, rules and regulations for the Israelites, as well the numbers of people that were involved in the exodus from Egypt.  Deuteronomy, developed in the 7th-6th century BCE, told the story of Moses in the wilderness with emphasis on the laws of the heart.  This Law or Torah explained the early or pre-history of the Israelites before they entered the promised land.  These books also contained all the commands, statutes, or rules for the Israelites after they entered the promised land.  All further Jewish developments were based on the Torah or the Law.