Division not peace (Lk 12:51-12:51)

“Do you think

That I have come

To bring peace

To the earth?

No!

I tell you!

But rather discord!”

 

δοκεῖτε ὅτι εἰρήνην παρεγενόμην δοῦναι ἐν τῇ γῇ; οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀλλ’ ἢ διαμερισμόν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should not think (δοκεῖτε) that he came to bring peace to the earth (ὅτι εἰρήνην παρεγενόμην δοῦναι ἐν τῇ γῇ).  With a solemn pronouncement (οὐχί, λέγω ὑμῖν), he said the opposite.  He had come to bring discord or divisions (ἀλλ’ ἢ διαμερισμόν).  This διαμερισμόν is a unique word of Luke that means breaking up, discord, or hostility.  Luke used this word instead of the normal word of Matthew, “the sword μάχαιραν”.  This verse is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:34, indicating a Q source.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that he had come to bring divisions because he was a disrupter.  They should not think (Μὴ νομίσητε) that Jesus had come to bring peace on earth (ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν).  He had not come to bring peace (οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην), but quite the opposite, to bring the sword (ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν), much like the ancient Hebrew prophets, especially Ezekiel, chapter 38:21.  The sword meant war not peace.  Jesus was not a peacemaker, but a sign of contradiction.  Well, there goes the prince of peace.  Have you ever thought about Jesus as a disrupter?

They were astonished and afraid (Mk 16:8-16:8)

“Thus,

The women went out.

They fled

From the tomb.

Terror

And amazement

Had seized them.

They said nothing

To anyone.

They were afraid.”

 

καὶ ἐξελθοῦσαι ἔφυγον ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου, εἶχεν γὰρ αὐτὰς τρόμος καὶ ἔκστασις· καὶ οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπαν· ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ.

 

This text is similar to Matthew, chapter 28:8, but there they left with joy and fear and told the other disciples.  Luke, chapter 24:10, had Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, the mother of James, and the other women tell the apostles about the resurrection.  In John, chapter 20:2, Mary Magdalene told Peter and the other beloved disciple about Jesus’ resurrection.  Here Mark said that these 3 women, left or fled from the tomb (καὶ ἐξελθοῦσαι ἔφυγον ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου) with both terror and amazement (εἶχεν γὰρ αὐτὰς τρόμος καὶ ἔκστασις).  However, they did not tell anyone (καὶ οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπαν) because they were so afraid (ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ).  This seems to be in contradiction with the other 3 gospel stories.

Jesus takes a low profile (Mt 12:15-12:16

When Jesus

Became aware of this,

He departed from there.

Many crowds followed him.

He cured all of them.

He ordered them

Not to make him known.”

 

Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς γνοὺς ἀνεχώρησεν ἐκεῖθεν. καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ πολλοί, καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτοὺς πάντας,

καὶ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς ἵνα μὴ φανερὸν αὐτὸν ποιήσωσιν

 

Although this first sentence is unique to Matthew, the second sentence is a direct quote from Mark, chapter 3:12.  Once again, Matthew emphasized the great crowds without any specific number.  He cured all the sick people but did not want them to make it public.  There seems to be a contradiction here with large crowds, many healings, and yet not making it public, as if that was possible.  Although he wanted a low profile, he continued to heal many people.  Jesus knew what was going on with the Pharisees (Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς γνοὺς).  Thus, he left that area of Galilee (ἀνεχώρησεν ἐκεῖθεν).  However, great crowds followed him anyway (καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ πολλοί).  He healed, cured, or served all of these people (καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτοὺς πάντας).  Then he ordered, warned, or admonished them (καὶ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς) not to reveal or make him known (ἵνα μὴ φανερὸν αὐτὸν ποιήσωσιν).  This was often referred to as the Messianic secret that Matthew indicated in chapters 8:4 and 9:30.

The works of the Lord (Sir 42:15-42:17)

“I will now call to mind

The works of the Lord.

I will declare

What I have seen.

By the word of the Lord,

His works are made.

All his creatures

Do his will.

The sun looks down

On everything

With its light.

The work of the Lord

Is full of his glory.

The Lord has not empowered

Even his holy ones

To recount

All his marvelous works.

The Lord,

The Almighty,

Has established

That the universe

May stand firm

In his glory.”

Sirach now recalls the works of the Lord in nature.   He was speaking about what he had seen. The works of the Lord were made by his word. This is in slight contradiction with the creative role of wisdom. Here it is the word of God that creates the world. All these creative things do the will of the Lord. Thus the sun lights up and glorifies the world. Thus you see the ancient inclination to make the sun a god. Just like today, we think that all things look so beautiful on a gorgeous sunny day. No one, not even the holy angels, can tell all about the marvelous works that the Almighty Lord has done. The universe stands as an example of his glory.

Rebuild Zion (Ps 51:18-51:19)

“Do good to Zion!

In your good pleasure!

Rebuild the walls of Jerusalem!

Then you will delight in right sacrifices.

You will delight in burnt offerings.

You will delight in whole burnt offerings.

Then bulls will be offered on your altar.”

This psalm ends with this addition about rebuilding Zion that had nothing to do with David and his sin with Bathsheba.  David had not even built the Temple so that to rebuild it would have been a post-exilic effort such as in Ezra and Nehemiah. This addition is almost in contradiction to the preceding verses that were pointing out the non-importance of sacrifices.  Here it is the opposite.  God would delight in right sacrifices, various burnt offers, and all those bulls on his altar.  This seems to go against the whole theme of this psalm, but brings the repentance back to ritual sacrifices.

The law in your heart (Ps 40:6-40:8)

“Sacrifice and offering,

You do not desire.

But you have given me an open ear.

Burnt offering and sin offering,

You hast not required.

Then I said.

‘Here I am,

In the scroll of the book

It is written of me.

I delight to do your will!

O my God!

Your law is within my heart.’”

This psalm is in contradiction to what most of the other sayings pointed out that it was necessary to offer sacrifices and sin offerings. David often did it. This time David has the open ear of Yahweh. He said that he was available with the famous, “Here I am.” His name was written in the scroll of the book that said that he delighted in doing the will of God. In fact, the law was written in his heart.