No more eating fruit from this tree (Mk 11:14-11:14)

“Jesus said

To the fig tree.

‘May no one

Ever eat fruit

From you again.’

His disciples heard it.”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτῇ Μηκέτι εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἐκ σοῦ μηδεὶς καρπὸν φάγοι. καὶ ἤκουον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ.

 

This story about Jesus cursing the fig tree can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:19.  Jesus spoke to the fig tree as if it were a person, since he used the second person singular talking to the tree.  He responded to the tree (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς).  He told the tree that no one would be able to eat the fruit from that tree again (εἶπεν αὐτῇ Μηκέτι εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἐκ σοῦ μηδεὶς καρπὸν φάγοι).  Instead of the instant withering of the tree, as in Matthew, Mark has only the mild comment that his disciples had heard what Jesus had said (καὶ ἤκουον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ).  There was no discussion of how wonderful it was, as in Matthew.

The Pharisees seek a sign from heaven (Mk 8:11-8:11)

“The Pharisees came.

They began

To argue

With Jesus.

They were asking him

For a sign

From heaven.

They wanted

To test him.”

 

Καὶ ἐξῆλθον οἱ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ ἤρξαντο συνζητεῖν αὐτῷ, ζητοῦντες παρ’ αὐτοῦ σημεῖον ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, πειράζοντες αὐτόν.

 

This seeking of signs was common among the gospel writers, in Luke, chapter 11:16, and especially in Matthew, chapters 12:38 and 16:1-4.  The Pharisees wanted a sign.  There was no mention of the Scribes here, as in Matthew.  These Pharisees were a political party, a social movement, and a religious school of thought that became the basis for later Rabbinic Judaism.  They had they own expert explanations of Jewish law that sometimes appeared to be hypocritical or arrogant, with the letter of the law above its spirit.  They had a form of Judaism that extended beyond the Temple.  The Pharisees in the New Testament, often engaged in discussion and disputes with Jesus and his disciples, as here.  Mark said that some of these Pharisees came to Jesus (Καὶ ἐξῆλθον οἱ Φαρισαῖοι).  They began to argue, dispute, or discuss with Jesus (καὶ ἤρξαντο συνζητεῖν αὐτῷ).  They asked him to show them a sign from heaven or a heavenly validation of his work (ζητοῦντες παρ’ αὐτοῦ σημεῖον ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  They wanted to test or tempt Jesus (πειράζοντες αὐτόν).  Heavenly signs had been common among the prophets to prove their authenticity.

A great crowd was hungry (Mk 8:1-8:1)

“In those days,

There was again

A great crowd

Without anything

To eat.

Jesus called

His disciples.

He said to them.”

 

Ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις πάλιν πολλοῦ ὄχλου ὄντος καὶ μὴ ἐχόντων τί φάγωσιν, προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς λέγει αὐτοῖς

 

This second multiplication of loaves is somewhat similar to the earlier first multiplication of loaves that feed over 5,000 people in Mark, chapter 6:33, Matthew, chapter 14:13, Luke, chapter 9:10, and John, chapter 6:1-2.  Here, however, this second multiplication of loaves is only found in 2 of the 4 gospels, Matthew, chapter 15:32, and MarkMatthew had a similar statement about the hungry crowd.  Mark said that in those days (Ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις), there was again a great crowd (πάλιν πολλοῦ ὄχλου ὄντος) without anything to eat (καὶ μὴ ἐχόντων τί φάγωσιν).  Thus, there was a discussion between Jesus and his disciples.  He called his disciples and spoke to them (προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς λέγει αὐτοῖς).

The disciples ask about the parables (Mk 7:17-7:17)

“Jesus left

The crowd.

He entered

The house.

His disciples asked him

About the parables.”

 

Καὶ ὅτε εἰσῆλθεν εἰς οἶκον ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου, ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ τὴν παραβολήν.

 

This discussion is somewhat similar to a discussion that Peter had with Jesus in Matthew, chapter 15:15.  Mark seems to indicate that the disciples had a lack of understanding.  Mark said that when Jesus left the crowd (ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου), he entered the house (Καὶ ὅτε εἰσῆλθεν εἰς οἶκον).  Then his disciples were asking him about this parable (ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ τὴν παραβολήν).

It was a pretty big crowd (Mk 5:31-5:32)

“His disciples

Said to him.

‘You see the crowd!

They are pressing in

On you.

How can you say?

‘Who touched me?’

He looked all around

To see

Who had done it.”

 

αὶ ἔλεγκον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ Βλέπεις τὸν ὄχλον συνθλίβοντά σε, καὶ λέγεις Τίς μου ἥψατο

καὶ περιεβλέπετο ἰδεῖν τὴν τοῦτο ποιήσασαν.

 

This discussion can be found in Luke, chapter 8:45-46, but not in Matthew.  In Luke, the discussion is with Peter, not the disciples.  Mark said that his disciples said to him (αὶ ἔλεγκον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ) that there was a large crowd pressing in on him (Βλέπεις τὸν ὄχλον συνθλίβοντά σε).  Why was he saying who touched him (καὶ λέγεις Τίς μου ἥψατο)?  How would they be able to tell who touched him.  However, Jesus looked all around to see who had touched him (καὶ περιεβλέπετο ἰδεῖν τὴν τοῦτο ποιήσασαν).  Jesus was determined to know who had touched him.

Jesus heals his hand (Mk 3:5-3:5)

“Jesus looked around

At them

With anger.

He was grieved

At their hardness of heart.

He said to the man.

‘Stretch out your hand!’

He stretched it out.

His hand was restored.”

 

καὶ περιβλεψάμενος αὐτοὺς μετ’ ὀργῆς, συνλυπούμενος ἐπὶ τῇ πωρώσει τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν, λέγει τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ Ἔκτεινον τὴν χεῖρα. καὶ ἐξέτεινεν, καὶ ἀπεκατεστάθη ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ.

 

Matthew, chapter 12:13, and Luke, chapter 6:10, have something similar where Jesus cured the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath.  Thus, Mark may have been the source of this healing story.  He said that Jesus looked around him with anger (καὶ περιβλεψάμενος αὐτοὺς μετ’ ὀργῆς).  He was upset or grieved at the hardness of their hearts (συνλυπούμενος ἐπὶ τῇ πωρώσει τῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν).  Finally, after this discussion about the Sabbath, Jesus said to the man with the withered hand (λέγει τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ) to stretch out his hand (Ἔκτεινόν τὴν χεῖρα).  He then stretched out or extended his hand (καὶ ἐξέτεινεν).  It was restored like new (καὶ ἀπεκατεστάθη ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ).  After all this discussion, Jesus healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath without doing any physical activity.

 

The man with a withered hand (Mk 3:1-3:1)

“Again,

Jesus entered

The synagogue.

A man was there

Who had a withered hand.”

 

Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν πάλιν εἰς συναγωγήν, καὶ ἦν ἐκεῖ ἄνθρωπος ἐξηραμμένην ἔχων τὴν χεῖρα·

 

Matthew, chapter 12:9-10, and Luke, chapter 6:6, are similar to this incident in Mark, so that he might be the source of this discussion about the Sabbath that continued in the local synagogue about the man with the withered hand.  Mark said that Jesus entered this synagogue (Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν πάλιν εἰς συναγωγήν).  There was a man in this synagogue with a withered or dried out hand (καὶ ἦν ἐκεῖ ἄνθρωπος ἐξηραμμένην ἔχων τὴν χεῖρα).  What was Jesus going to do?

Jesus came to John to be baptized (Mk 1:9-1:9)

“In those days,

Jesus came

From Nazareth

Of Galilee.

He was baptized

By John

In the Jordan River.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις ἦλθεν Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ Ναζαρὲτ τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη εἰς τὸν Ἰορδάνην ὑπὸ Ἰωάνου.

 

One concrete event, John the Baptist baptizing Jesus at the Jordan River, stands at the beginning of the public life of Jesus in all four of the canonical gospel accounts of Mark, chapter 1:9, Matthew, chapter 3:13, Luke, chapter 3:21, and John, chapter 1:32-34.  Even many of the historical Jesus skeptics consider the fact that John the Baptist baptized Jesus to be a real historical episode.  Mark said that in those days it came to pass (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις) that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee (ἦλθεν Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ Ναζαρὲτ τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River (καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη εἰς τὸν Ἰορδάνην ὑπὸ Ἰωάνου).  In this first appearance of Jesus, the first thing he did was submit to the baptism of John the Baptist.  Thus, he might have been a disciple of John.  Only Matthew and Mark indicate where he came from, although Matthew only mentioned Galilee and not Nazareth.  Jesus came with a purpose, to be baptized by John in the Jordan River.  John did not seek out Jesus.  Jesus came to him.  In Matthew, chapter 3:14-15, John was reluctant to baptize Jesus, but finally did.  There was no such discussion in any of the other gospel stories.

The resurrection (Mt 22:23-22:23)

“That same day,

Some Sadducees

Came to Jesus.

They said that

There is no resurrection.

They asked him a question.”

 

Ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ Σαδδουκαῖοι, λέγοντες μὴ εἶναι ἀνάστασιν, καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν

 

Mark, chapter 12:18, and Luke, chapter 20:27, are almost word for word like this question in Matthew.  Only Matthew had this happen on the same day (Ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ) as the discussion about the Roman coin.  Some Sadducees came to him (προσῆλθον αὐτῷ Σαδδουκαῖοι).  These Sadducees were another Jewish aristocratic group that was tied to the Temple.  However, they did not believe in the bodily resurrection like the Pharisees did, since they said that there was no resurrection (λέγοντες μὴ εἶναι ἀνάστασιν).  They too came to Jesus to question him (καὶ ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν).

Jesus has compassion on the crowds (Mt 15:32-15:32)

“Then Jesus called

His disciples to him.

He said.

‘I have compassion

For the crowd.

They have been with me

Now three days.

They have nothing to eat.

I do not want

To send them away hungry.

Otherwise,

They might faint

On the way.’”

 

Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ εἶπεν Σπλαγχνίζομαι ἐπὶ τὸν ὄχλον, ὅτι ἤδη ἡμέραι τρεῖς προσμένουσίν μοι καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν τί φάγωσιν· καὶ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτοὺς νήστεις οὐ θέλω, μή ποτε ἐκλυθῶσιν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ.

 

Mark, chapter 8:1-3, has a similar statement about compassion.  This is much like the earlier feeding of the 5,000 in Matthew, 14:15-16 that can be found in all 4 gospels.   Once again, there is a discussion between Jesus and his disciples.  He called his disciples to him (Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  He told them that he had compassion on the crowd (εἶπεν Σπλαγχνίζομαι ἐπὶ τὸν ὄχλον), since they had been with him for 3 days (ὅτι ἤδη ἡμέραι τρεῖς προσμένουσίν μοι), without anything to eat (καὶ οὐκ ἔχουσιν τί φάγωσιν).  He did not want to send them away hungry (καὶ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτοὺς νήστεις οὐ θέλω), because they might faint on their way home (μή ποτε ἐκλυθῶσιν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ).  Jesus was seriously concerned about the wellbeing of this large crowd of people who had been with him for a couple of days.