No switching places (Lk 16:26-16:26)

“Besides all this,

Between you

And us

A great chasm

Has been fixed.

Thus,

Those who might want

To pass

From here

To you

Cannot do so.

No one can cross

From there

To us.”

 

καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τούτοις μεταξὺ ἡμῶν καὶ ὑμῶν χάσμα μέγα ἐστήρικται, ὅπως οἱ θέλοντες διαβῆναι ἔνθεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς μὴ δύνωνται, μηδὲ ἐκεῖθεν πρὸς ἡμᾶς διαπερῶσιν.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, but not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that Abraham continued with his talk to the rich man.  He said that besides all this (καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τούτοις), between him and Abraham with Lazarus (μεταξὺ ἡμῶν καὶ ὑμῶν), there was a great chasm that had been established (χάσμα μέγα ἐστήρικται).  Thus, those who might want to pass from here to there cannot do so (ὅπως οἱ θέλοντες διαβῆναι ἔνθεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς μὴ δύνωνται).  No one can cross from there to here (μηδὲ ἐκεῖθεν πρὸς ἡμᾶς διαπερῶσιν).  He had no way out.  Abraham pointed out that there was a big chasmic difference between where the rich man was and where Lazarus and Abraham were.  No one could, even if they wanted to, cross over from one to the other.  Somehow, they were able to talk to each other.  Yet they were in two distinct milieus that could not meet and exchange personal contacts.  What is your vision of hell and heaven?

Gerasenes (Lk 8:26-8:26)

“Then they arrived

At the country

Of the Gerasenes,

Which is opposite Galilee.”

 

Καὶ κατέπλευσαν εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γερασηνῶν, ἥτις ἐστὶν ἀντιπέρα τῆς Γαλιλαίας.

 

Luke said that Jesus and his disciples sailed down (Καὶ κατέπλευσαν) to the country of the Gerasenes (εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γερασηνῶν), which was opposite Galilee (ἥτις ἐστὶν ἀντιπέρα τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:28, Mark, chapter 5:1, as well as Luke here, have Jesus cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  They went to the country or region of the Gerasenes.  Matthew called it Gadarenes, while Luke called it Gerasenes, like Mark.  This might be one of two different towns on the east bank of the Jordan in the Decapolis territory, a group of 10 cities.  One was called Gadara, about 6 miles away from the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee, near where the Sea of Galilee ran into the Jordan River.  Today, it is in the country of Jordan, known as Umm Qais.  The other Decapolis town was called Gerasa, a town about 40 miles from the Sea of Galilee, which would be more inconsistent with this story.  Nevertheless, this was Gentile territory with only a few Jewish people there.  Jesus had traveled over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee to its southern tip, to one of the 10 cities of the Decapolis territory.  Have you ever traveled to an area where they had different religious beliefs than you?

Joseph puts the body of Jesus in a tomb (Mk 15:46-15:46)

“Then Joseph bought

A linen cloth.

He took the body down.

He wrapped it

In the linen cloth.

He laid it

In a tomb

That had been hewn

Out of the rock.

He then rolled

A stone

Against the door

Of the tomb.”

 

καὶ ἀγοράσας σινδόνα καθελὼν αὐτὸν ἐνείλησεν τῇ σινδόνι καὶ κατέθηκεν αὐτὸν ἐν μνήματι ὃ ἦν λελατομημένον ἐκ πέτρας, καὶ προσεκύλισεν λίθον ἐπὶ τὴν θύραν τοῦ μνημείου.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:59-60, and Luke, chapter 23:53, almost word for word.  John, chapter 19:38-41 introduced Nicodemus into this burial ritual.  Mark said that Joseph brought a clean linen cloth (καὶ ἀγοράσας σινδόνα).  He took the body down from the cross (καθελὼν αὐτὸν).  These biblical texts do not explain if he needed help with this task.  Then he wrapped the body in the linen cloth (ἐνείλησεν τῇ σινδόνι).  Finally, he laid Jesus’ body in his own new tomb (καὶ κατέθηκεν αὐτὸν ἐν μνήματι), that he had carved or hewn in a rock (ὃ ἦν λελατομημένον ἐκ πέτρας).  He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb (καὶ προσεκύλισεν λίθον ἐπὶ τὴν θύραν τοῦ μνημείου).  This seemed like a private one-person burial ritual.

The last breath (Mk 15:37-15:37)

“Then Jesus

Gave a loud cry.

He breathed his last.”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἀφεὶς φωνὴν μεγάλην ἐξέπνευσεν.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:50.  In Luke, chapter 23:46, Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying that he was commending his spirit into the hands of his Father.  In John, chapter 19:30, Jesus said that it was finished, after drinking the sour wine.  Mark has the simple comment that Jesus cried out with a loud voice again (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἀφεὶς φωνὴν μεγάλην).  Then Jesus breathed his last breath (ἐξέπνευσεν0.  Jesus had died on the cross.

He is calling Elijah (Mk 15:35-15:35)

“When some of the bystanders

Heard it,

They said.

‘Listen!

He is calling

For Elijah!’”

 

καί τινες τῶν παρεστηκότων ἀκούσαντες ἔλεγον Ἴδε Ἡλείαν φωνεῖ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:47.  However this episode was not in Luke, chapter 23, or John, chapter 19.  Mark said that some of the bystanders heard the cry of Jesus on the cross (καί τινες τῶν παρεστηκότων ἀκούσαντες).  They said to listen, since Jesus was calling for Elijah (ἔλεγον Ἴδε Ἡλείαν φωνεῖ).  Elijah often came to help the good people who were in need.  The name “Elijah” was close to “Eloi,” so that some people might have mistakenly thought that Jesus was crying for help from the ancient Israelite prophet Elijah.  Elijah was considered a forerunner of the messianic times, as was the case of John the Baptist.

The darkness from noon to three (Mk 15:33-15:33)

“When it was noon,

The sixth hour,

Darkness came

Over the whole land,

Until three o’clock

In the afternoon,

The ninth hour.”

 

Καὶ γενομένης ὥρας ἕκτης σκότος ἐγένετο ἐφ’ ὅλην τὴν γῆν ἕως ὥρας ἐνάτης.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:45, and in Luke, chapter 23:44, while in John, chapter 19, there was no indication about this darkness.  Mark said that from noon on, the sixth hour (Καὶ γενομένης ὥρας ἕκτης), darkness came (σκότος ἐγένετο) over the whole land, the whole region, or the whole country (ἐφ’ ὅλην τὴν γῆν), until three in the afternoon, the ninth hour (ἕως ὥρας ἐνάτης).  There was some kind of darkness over the whole region, country, or area for about 3 hours, while Jesus was hanging on the cross.  All 3 of the synoptic gospel writers mentioned this, but John did not.  Only Mark had mentioned that crucifixion began at nine in the morning.  Have you ever been to a Good Friday service?

The mocking passerby people (Mk 15:29-15:30)

“Those who passed by

Derided Jesus.

They were shaking

Their heads.

Saying.

‘Aha!

You who would destroy

The Temple

And build it

In three days,

Save yourself!

Come down

From the cross!’”

 

Καὶ οἱ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν καὶ λέγοντες Οὐὰ ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν καὶ οἰκοδομῶν ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις,

σῶσον σεαυτὸν καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:39-40.  In Luke, chapter 23:35-37, the religious leaders and the soldiers were doing the mocking, not the passersby people.  However, John did not have anyone making remarks about Jesus.  Mark said that some people passing by abused and derided Jesus (Καὶ οἱ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν).  They shook their heads at Jesus (κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν).  They said “Aha! (Οὐὰ),” as they reminded Jesus that he had said (καὶ λέγοντες) if the Temple was destroyed (ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν), he would rebuild it in three days (καὶ οἰκοδομῶν ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις).  They told Jesus to save himself (σῶσον σεαυτὸν).  Why didn’t he come down from the cross (καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ)?  The taunting of these people seemed to turn on Jesus’ own words.  It would be surprising if many people came by the cross.