Bethsaida (Lk 9:10-9:10)

“On their return,

The apostles

Told Jesus

All that they had done.

He took them

With him,

As he withdrew privately

To a city

Called Bethsaida.”

 

Καὶ ὑποστρέψαντες οἱ ἀπόστολοι διηγήσαντο αὐτῷ ὅσα ἐποίησαν. Καὶ παραλαβὼν αὐτοὺς ὑπεχώρησεν κατ’ ἰδίαν εἰς πόλιν καλουμένην Βηθσαϊδά.

 

Luke said that on the return of the apostles (Καὶ ὑποστρέψαντες οἱ ἀπόστολοι), they told Jesus all that they had done (διηγήσαντο αὐτῷ ὅσα ἐποίησαν).  He then took them with him (Καὶ παραλαβὼν αὐτοὺς) as he withdrew privately to a city (ὑπεχώρησεν κατ’ ἰδίαν εἰς πόλιν) called Bethsaida (καλουμένην Βηθσαϊδά).  This opening to the multiplication of the loaves story can be found in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:13, Mark, chapter 6:30-33, John, chapter 6:1-2, and here.  Luke was the only one to mention the town of Bethsaida, while the others talked about Jesus in a boat.  This gathering of the apostles around Jesus after their mission can only be found in Mark and in Luke.  Mark said that they told Jesus everything that they had done and taught.  Thus, Jesus had a debriefing session with his apostles where he found out what had happened to them on their missionary adventures.  Then Mark said that Jesus wanted to get away to a deserted place in a boat, but somehow the crowds followed him along the bank of the sea, so that Jesus and his apostles could not get away by themselves.  Mark wanted his disciples and apostles to rest for a while, to take it easy.  Many people were coming and going, so that they did not have any leisure time to eat.  Thus, they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.  Jesus was concerned about the apostles’ mental state.  He wanted them to have some down time.  Matthew had pretty much the same story about Jesus and the boat with a slightly different twist.  Jesus left in a boat to be in a deserted or secluded place alone.  However, the crowds heard about it, so that they followed him on foot from the various towns.  Jesus could not get away by himself.  Do you ever want to get away by yourself?

Jesus at a lonely place (Lk 4:42-4:42)

“At daybreak,

Jesus departed.

He went into

A deserted place.

The crowds

Were looking

For him.

When they reached him,

They wanted to prevent him

From leaving them.”

 

Γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας ἐξελθὼν ἐπορεύθη εἰς ἔρημον τόπον· καὶ οἱ ὄχλοι ἐπεζήτουν αὐτόν, καὶ ἦλθον ἕως αὐτοῦ, καὶ κατεῖχον αὐτὸν τοῦ μὴ πορεύεσθαι ἀπ’ αὐτῶν.

 

Luke said that when daybreak came (Γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας), Jesus departed or left (ἐξελθὼν) Capernaum.  He went into a deserted place (ἐπορεύθη εἰς ἔρημον τόπον).  The crowds were looking or searching for him (καὶ οἱ ὄχλοι ἐπεζήτουν αὐτόν).  When they reached him (καὶ ἦλθον ἕως αὐτοῦ), they wanted to prevent him or detain him from leaving them (καὶ κατεῖχον αὐτὸν τοῦ μὴ πορεύεσθαι ἀπ’ αὐτῶν).  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 1:35-36.  Jesus went out to a deserted place at daybreak, following the healings of the evening before. as here, but Jesus went out to pray, which was not mentioned here.  Jesus left the other disciples behind early in the morning before daybreak.  Luke had the crowds of people come to him, but there was no mention of Simon or the other disciples as in Mark.  However, Mark never mentioned anything about preventing Jesus from leaving.  Clearly, Jesus had a hard time being alone.

Send them away (Mk 6:35-6:36)

“When it grew late,

His disciples

Came to Jesus.

They said.

‘This is a deserted place.

The hour

Is now very late.

Send them away!

Thus,

They may go

Into the surrounding country

And villages.

There they can buy

Something for themselves

To eat.’”

 

Καὶ ἤδη ὥρας πολλῆς γενομένης προσελθόντες αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἔρημός ἐστιν ὁ τόπος, καὶ ἤδη ὥρα πολλή·

ἀπόλυσον αὐτούς, ἵνα ἀπελθόντες εἰς τοὺς κύκλῳ ἀγροὺς καὶ κώμας ἀγοράσωσιν ἑαυτοῖς τί φάγωσιν.

 

This is a similar indication about the crowds needing to eat in Matthew, chapter 14:15, and Luke, chapter 9:12.  The disciples wanted to send the crowds home.  After all, there were no fast food places to get something to eat.  However, there were some places in the nearby villages where you could buy some food.  Mark said that when it grew late (Καὶ ἤδη ὥρας πολλῆς γενομένης), Jesus’ disciples came to him (προσελθόντες αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ).  They told him that they were in a deserted place (ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἔρημός ἐστιν ὁ τόπος).  Besides, already the hour was late (καὶ ἤδη ὥρα πολλή).  They wanted to send the crowds away (ἀπόλυσον αὐτούς) so that they could go into the surrounding region and nearby villages (ἵνα ἀπελθόντες εἰς τοὺς κύκλῳ ἀγροὺς καὶ κώμας) to buy food to eat for themselves (ἀγοράσωσιν ἑαυτοῖς τί φάγωσιν).  This seemed like a good or reasonable plan.

 

The crowds follow Jesus (Mk 6:33-6:33)

“Now many saw them

Going.

They recognized them.

They hurried there

On foot

From all the towns.

They arrived

Ahead of them.”

 

καὶ εἶδον αὐτοὺς ὑπάγοντας καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν πολλοί, καὶ πεζῇ ἀπὸ πασῶν τῶν πόλεων συνέδραμον ἐκεῖ καὶ προῆλθον αὐτούς.

 

This opening to the multiplication of the loaves story can be found in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:13, Luke, chapter 9:10, John, chapter 6:1-2, and here.  Jesus wanted to get away to a deserted place in a boat, but somehow the crowds followed him.  It is not clear if they were looking for his reaction to the death of John the Baptist, or just following him as an itinerant preacher and healer.  Mark said that many people saw and recognized Jesus and his disciples leaving in the boat (καὶ εἶδον αὐτοὺς ὑπάγοντας καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν πολλοί).  They ran together on foot there along the shore from all the various towns (καὶ πεζῇ ἀπὸ πασῶν τῶν πόλεων συνέδραμον ἐκεῖ).  The crowds, in fact, arrived ahead of them (καὶ προῆλθον αὐτούς). This crowd seemed to follow along the bank of the sea, so that Jesus and his apostles could not get away by themselves.

Jesus prayed alone in the early morning (Mk 1:35-1:35)

“In the morning,

While it was still

Very dark,

Jesus got up.

He went out

To a deserted place.

There he prayed.”

 

Καὶ πρωῒ ἔννυχα λίαν ἀναστὰς ἐξῆλθεν καὶ ἀπῆλθεν εἰς ἔρημον τόπον, κἀκεῖ προσηύχετο.

 

There is something similar in Luke, chapter 4:42, but there is nothing about Jesus praying there.  He simply went out to a deserted place at daybreak, following the healings of the evening before as here.  Mark said that in the morning (Καὶ πρωῒ), while it was still very dark or still nighttime (ἔννυχα λίαν), Jesus rose up or got up (ἀναστὰς).  He went out and left for a deserted, desolate, or solitary place (ἐξῆλθεν καὶ ἀπῆλθεν εἰς ἔρημον τόπον), where he prayed (κἀκεῖ προσηύχετο).  Jesus left the other disciples behind early in the morning before daybreak.  This would be an important habit of Jesus, praying alone.

The disciples complain about the crowds (Mt 14:15-14:15)

“When it was evening,

The disciples came to him.

They said.

‘This is a deserted place.

The hour is now late.

Send the crowds away

So that they may

Go into the villages.

They can buy food

For themselves’”

 

ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ λέγοντες Ἔρημός ἐστιν ὁ τόπος καὶ ἡ ὥρα ἤδη παρῆλθεν· ἀπόλυσον οὖν τοὺς ὄχλους, ἵνα ἀπελθόντες εἰς τὰς κώμας ἀγοράσωσιν ἑαυτοῖς βρώματα.

 

This is an indication about the crowds needing to eat in all four gospels, Mark, chapter 6:35-36, Luke, chapter 9:12-13, and John, chapter 6:5, plus here.  The disciples wanted to send the crowds home.  After all, there were no fast food places to get something to eat.  However, there were some places in the near by villages where you could buy some food.  When it was evening (ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης), the disciples came to Jesus (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ).  They told him that there were in a deserted place (λέγοντες Ἔρημός ἐστιν ὁ τόπος).  Besides the hour was late (καὶ ἡ ὥρα ἤδη παρῆλθεν).  They wanted to send the crowds away (ἀπόλυσον οὖν τοὺς ὄχλους) so that they could go into the nearby villages (ἵνα ἀπελθόντες εἰς τὰς κώμας) to buy food for themselves (ἵνα ἀπελθόντες εἰς τὰς κώμας).  This seemed like a good plan.