Persecution (Lk 21:12-21:12)

“But before all this occurs,

They will arrest you.

They will persecute you.

They will hand you over

To synagogues

And prisons.

You will be brought

Before kings

And governors

Because of my name.”

 

πρὸ δὲ τούτων πάντων ἐπιβαλοῦσιν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν καὶ διώξουσιν, παραδιδόντες εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς καὶ φυλακάς, ἀπαγομένους ἐπὶ βασιλεῖς καὶ ἡγεμόνας ἕνεκεν τοῦ ὀνόματός μου

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that before all this occurred (πρὸ δὲ τούτων πάντων), they would arrest or lay hands on his disciples (ἐπιβαλοῦσιν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν).  They would persecute them (καὶ διώξουσιν) and hand them over (παραδιδόντες) to the synagogues (εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς) and prisons (καὶ φυλακάς).  They would be brought before kings (ἀπαγομένους ἐπὶ βασιλεῖς) and governors (καὶ ἡγεμόνας) because of the name of Jesus (ἕνεκεν τοῦ ὀνόματός μου).  There was something similar in Mark, chapter 13:9, and Matthew, chapter 24:9.  Jesus said that his followers were going to be persecuted.  Mark indicated that Jesus warned them that they should be self-aware (Βλέπετε δὲ ὑμεῖς ἑαυτούς).  They would be handed over (παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς) to courts, councils, or synods (εἰς συνέδρια) and synagogues (καὶ εἰς συναγωγὰς), since some of the Jewish Christians were still part of Jewish social, political, and religious life.  They would also be beaten (δαρήσεσθε).  On the other hand, they would also have to stand before governors and kings (καὶ ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνων καὶ βασιλέων σταθήσεσθε) to give testimony as a witness to them about Jesus (ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ, εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς).  This idea of the persecution of the Jesus followers was not a new theme for Matthew, because it was mentioned earlier in chapter 10:16-25, where Jesus was more reassuring, and chapter 16:24, where Jesus spoke about bearing the cross of death.  Jesus said that his followers were going to be persecuted, distressed, or afflicted (τότε παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς θλῖψιν), even though there was no mention of this taking place in the synagogues in Matthew.  No doubt about it, they were going to be handed over to be tortured and put to death (καὶ ἀποκτενοῦσιν ὑμᾶς).  They would be hated and detested (καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι) by all the gentile nations (ὑπὸ πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν) because of his name (διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου).  This was tough talk because it was not going to be easy to be a disciple of Jesus after he was gone.  In the Acts of the Apostles, there are many instances of the early Christians being persecuted in prisons and being brought before various magistrates.  Do you think it would be difficult to be persecuted because you were a Christian?

They did not understand (Lk 18:34-18:34)

“But the twelve apostles

Understood

Nothing about

All these things.

In fact,

What he said

Was hidden

From them.

They did not grasp

What was said.”

 

καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐδὲν τούτων συνῆκαν, καὶ ἦν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο κεκρυμμένον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν, καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκον τὰ λεγόμενα.

 

Luke uniquely added that 12 apostles did not understood anything about all these things (καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐδὲν τούτων συνῆκαν) about his future death and resurrection.  In fact, what Jesus said was hidden from them (καὶ ἦν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο κεκρυμμένον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν), because they did not grasp what he said (καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκον τὰ λεγόμενα).  Despite Jesus’ attempt to inform his elite 12 apostles, they still did not understand what he was talking about.  This is somewhat similar to earlier in chapter 9:45, where Luke said that the disciples did not understand this saying of Jesus (οἱ δὲ ἠγνόουν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο), because its meaning was veiled or concealed from them (καὶ ἦν παρακεκαλυμμένον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν).  Thus, they could not comprehend it (ἵνα μὴ αἴσθωνται αὐτό).  However, they were afraid (καὶ ἐφοβοῦντο) to ask Jesus (ἐρωτῆσαι αὐτὸν) about the meaning of this saying (περὶ τοῦ ῥήματος τούτου).  This saying about the reaction of the disciples can also be found in Matthew, chapter 17:23, and Mark, chapter 9:32.  Mark, like Luke, said that the disciples did not understand what Jesus was talking about.  They were afraid to ask or question him about this.  Once again, Mark indicated that the disciples did not seem to understand everything that was going on around them.  Matthew, on the other hand, said that on hearing this, the disciples were greatly vexed, pained, or distressed, since this was shocking news to them.  Do you always understand what Jesus is talking about?

They did not understand (Lk 9:45-9:45)

“But his disciples

Did not understand

This saying.

Its meaning

Was concealed

From them.

Thus,

They could not

Comprehend it.

They were afraid

To ask him

About this saying.”

 

οἱ δὲ ἠγνόουν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο, καὶ ἦν παρακεκαλυμμένον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ἵνα μὴ αἴσθωνται αὐτό, καὶ ἐφοβοῦντο ἐρωτῆσαι αὐτὸν περὶ τοῦ ῥήματος τούτου.

 

Luke said that the disciples did not understand this saying of Jesus (οἱ δὲ ἠγνόουν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο), because its meaning was veiled or concealed from them (καὶ ἦν παρακεκαλυμμένον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν).  Thus, they could not comprehend it (ἵνα μὴ αἴσθωνται αὐτό).  However, they were afraid (καὶ ἐφοβοῦντο) to ask Jesus (ἐρωτῆσαι αὐτὸν) about the meaning of this saying (περὶ τοῦ ῥήματος τούτου).  This saying about the reaction of the disciples can also be found in Matthew, chapter 17:23, and Mark, chapter 9:32.  Mark, like Luke, said that the disciples did not understand what Jesus was talking about.  They were afraid to ask or question him about this.  Once again, Mark indicated that the disciples did not seem to understand everything that was going on around them.  Matthew, on the other hand, said that on hearing this, the disciples were greatly vexed, pained, or distressed, since this was shocking news to them.  They seemed to understand what Jesus was taking about.  Do you always understand what Jesus is talking about?

Mary complains to Jesus (Lk 2:48-2:48)

“When his parents

Saw Jesus,

They were astonished.

His mother

Said to him.

‘Child!

Why have you

Treated us

Like this?

Look!

Your father

And I

Have been searching

For you anxiously!’”

 

καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐξεπλάγησαν, καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ Τέκνον, τί ἐποίησας ἡμῖν οὕτως; ἰδοὺ ὁ πατήρ σου κἀγὼ ὀδυνώμενοι ζητοῦμέν σε

 

Luke continued by saying his parents were also astonished at Jesus.  However, his mother, Mary, was also a little upset.  Luke said that when his parents saw Jesus (καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν), they were also astonished or shocked (ἐξεπλάγησαν).  His mother said to Jesus (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ) that she wanted to know why he, this young child (Τέκνον), had did this to them or treated them like this (τί ἐποίησας ἡμῖν οὕτως).  She and his father had been distressed, pained, or anxious while searching for him (ἰδοὺ ὁ πατήρ σου κἀγὼ ὀδυνώμενοι ζητοῦμέν σε).  Why had he not told them what he was going to do?  He had caused them a lot of problems over the last few days.

 

The three apostles go with Jesus (Mk 14:33-14:33)

“Jesus took with him

Peter,

James,

And John.

He began

To be distressed

And agitated.”

 

καὶ παραλαμβάνει τὸν Πέτρον καὶ τὸν Ἰάκωβον καὶ τὸν Ἰωάνην μετ’ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἤρξατο ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι καὶ ἀδημονεῖν,

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:37, where James and John were simply called the sons of Zebedee.  In Luke, chapter 22, and in John, chapter 18, there was no mention of these 3 favorite apostles being separated from the others.  Mark indicated that Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John (καὶ παραλαμβάνει τὸν Πέτρον καὶ τὸν Ἰάκωβον καὶ τὸν Ἰωάνην μετ’ αὐτοῦ).  These were the same 3 apostles who were with Jesus at the transfiguration.  Jesus then began to be grieved, pained, sorrowful, troubled, awestruck, distressed, and agitated (καὶ ἤρξατο ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι καὶ ἀδημονεῖν).  This story showed the vulnerability of Jesus in his suffering.

You will suffer (Mk 13:9-13:9)

“Beware!

For yourselves!

They will hand you over

To councils.

You will be beaten

In synagogues.

You will stand

Before governors

And kings

Because of me,

As a testimony

To them.”

 

Βλέπετε δὲ ὑμεῖς ἑαυτούς· παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς συνέδρια καὶ εἰς συναγωγὰς δαρήσεσθε καὶ ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνων καὶ βασιλέων σταθήσεσθε ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ, εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 10:17-18 and chapter 24:9, and in Luke, chapter 21:12-13, but there is nothing about death here in Mark.  Jesus said that his followers were going to be persecuted or distressed.  Mark indicated that the followers of Jesus should be aware about themselves (Βλέπετε δὲ ὑμεῖς ἑαυτούς).  They would be handed over (παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς) to courts, councils, or synods (εἰς συνέδρια) and synagogues (καὶ εἰς συναγωγὰς), since some of the Jewish Christians were still part of Jewish social, political, and religious life.  They would also be beaten (δαρήσεσθε).  On the other hand, they would also have to stand before gentile governors and gentile kings (καὶ ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνων καὶ βασιλέων σταθήσεσθε) to give testimony as a witness to them about Jesus (ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ, εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς).  This was tough talk, because it was not going to be easy to be a disciple follower of Jesus after he was gone.

Jesus takes his three favorite apostles (Mt 26:37-26:38)

“Jesus took with him

Peter

And the two sons

Of Zebedee.

He began

To be grieved

And agitated.

Then he said to them.

‘I am deeply sorrowful,

Even to death.

Remain here!

Stay awake

Watching with me!’”

 

καὶ παραλαβὼν τὸν Πέτρον καὶ τοὺς δύο υἱοὺς Ζεβεδαίου ἤρξατο λυπεῖσθαι καὶ ἀδημονεῖν.

τότε λέγει αὐτοῖς Περίλυπός ἐστιν ἡ ψυχή μου ἕως θανάτου· μείνατε ὧδε καὶ γρηγορεῖτε μετ’ ἐμοῦ.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:33-34, but James and John are named rather than called the sons of Zebedee.  In Luke, chapter 22, and in John, chapter 18, there is no mention of these 3 apostles being separated from the others.  Matthew and Mark said that Jesus took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee (καὶ παραλαβὼν τὸν Πέτρον καὶ τοὺς δύο υἱοὺς Ζεβεδαίου), that is James and John.  Jesus began to be grieved, pained, sorrowful, troubled, distressed, and agitated (ἤρξατο λυπεῖσθαι καὶ ἀδημονεῖν).  Both these gospel writers showed the vulnerability of Jesus in his suffering.  Then Jesus said to these 3 apostles (τότε λέγει αὐτοῖς) that his soul was very sorrowful, deeply grieved (Περίλυπός ἐστιν ἡ ψυχή μου), even unto death (ἕως θανάτου).  He wanted them to stay there (μείνατε ὧδε) to watch or remain vigilant with him (καὶ γρηγορεῖτε μετ’ ἐμοῦ).  Thus, began the so-called agony of Jesus in the garden.