Divide the property (Lk 15:12-15:12)

“The younger son

Of them said

To his father.

‘Father!

Give me

The share

Of the property

That will belong

To me.’

Thus,

The father divided

His property

Between them.”

 

καὶ εἶπεν ὁ νεώτερος αὐτῶν τῷ πατρί Πάτερ, δός μοι τὸ ἐπιβάλλον μέρος τῆς οὐσίας. ὁ δὲ διεῖλεν αὐτοῖς τὸν βίον.

 

This long parable story about the two sons can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the younger son said to his father (καὶ εἶπεν ὁ νεώτερος αὐτῶν τῷ πατρί), very respectfully calling him “father (Πάτερ)” that he wanted the share of the property that was going to belong to him (δός μοι τὸ ἐπιβάλλον μέρος τῆς οὐσίας).  Thus, the father obliged.  He divided his property between the two of them (ὁ δὲ διεῖλεν αὐτοῖς τὸν βίον).  This is a simple story.  The younger son wanted his inheritance early, which was an unusual request, since inheritances would not take place until the death of his father.  Nevertheless, the father said ok, without consulting with the older son.  Has there been a fight in your family about inheritances?

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Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene (Mk 16:9-16:9)

“Now when Jesus

Rose early

On the first day

Of the week,

He appeared first

To Mary Magdalene,

From whom

He had cast out

Seven demons.”

 

Ἀναστὰς δὲ πρωῒ πρώτῃ σαββάτου ἐφάνη πρῶτον Μαρίᾳ τῇ Μαγδαληνῇ, παρ’ ἧς ἐκβεβλήκει ἑπτὰ δαιμόνια.

 

Next, we have the longer ending of Mark that contains the appearances or apparitions of the risen Jesus that can be found in the other gospel stories.  This too was an addition to the original ending, but it was in Greek, probably from the late second or early third century.  It was included in the Latin Vulgate and the King James English version of the Bible, so that it is found in most Bibles today.  This particular text is similar to Matthew, chapter 28:9, where Jesus appeared to the women as they were leaving the tomb.  Luke, chapter 24:10, had the women tell the apostles about the resurrection, without Jesus appearing to them.  In John, chapter 20:14-17, Mary Magdalene has a conversation with the risen Jesus.  Clearly Mary Magdalene was involved in these incidents at the tomb.  Here Mark said that the risen Jesus (Ἀναστὰς) first appeared to Mary Magdalene (ἐφάνη πρῶτον Μαρίᾳ τῇ Μαγδαληνῇ,) early on the first day of the week (δὲ πρωῒ πρώτῃ σαββάτου).  In this unique text, it explicitly said that this was the Mary Magdalene that Jesus had cast out 7 demons from (παρ’ ἧς ἐκβεβλήκει ἑπτὰ δαιμόνια).

They deliver Jesus to Pilate (Mk 15:1-15:1)

“As soon as it was morning,

The chief priests

Held a consultation

With the elders,

The Scribes,

And the whole council.

They bound Jesus.

They led him away.

They handed him

Over to Pilate.”

 

Καὶ εὐθὺς πρωῒ συμβούλιον ἑτοιμάσαντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων καὶ γραμματέων καὶ ὅλον τὸ συνέδριον, δήσαντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπήνεγκαν καὶ παρέδωκαν Πειλάτῳ  

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:1-2, except that Mark did not mention the decision to bring Jesus to death.  In Luke, chapter 23:1, everybody brought Jesus to Pilate.  In John, chapter 18:28, there was a long discussion of Pilate with the Jewish leaders, after they brought Jesus to Pilate.  However, they had to stay outside the Roman court, so as not to defile themselves during the Passover festival.  Mark said that as soon as it was early in the morning (Καὶ εὐθὺς πρωῒ), after the all-nighter evening meeting at the house of the high priest of Jerusalem, the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) with the elders or presbyters (μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων) and the Scribes (καὶ γραμματέων) conferred together or came to a resolution (συμβούλιον ἑτοιμάσαντες).  All of this council, tribunal, or Sanhedrin (καὶ ὅλον τὸ συνέδριον) agreed.  They tied up or bound Jesus (δήσαντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν).  They led him away (ἀπήγαγον).  They delivered him or handed him over to Pilate (καὶ παρέδωκαν Πειλάτῳ).  Whether this was an official meeting or not, they did come up with a conclusion that they would hand Jesus over to the Roman governor of Judea.  Thus, Pilate had jurisdiction over death penalties, since Judea was within the Roman Empire.  Mark did not mention that Pilate was the governor, but this text just assumes that.  Who was this Pontius Pilate?  He was the rather cruel Roman ruler, prefect, or governor of Judea from 26-36 CE, the exact time frame of Jesus.  Interesting enough, a whole literature and artistic presentations of Pontius Pilate developed in the 20th century with movie and TV portrayals of him.  He was certainly a central figure in this presentation about the death of Jesus.

Jesus walks on the sea (Mk 6:48-6:48)

“When Jesus saw

That they were straining

At the oars

Against an adverse wind,

Jesus came towards them.

Early in the morning

Jesus was walking

On the sea.

He intended

To pass them by.”

 

καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτοὺς βασανιζομένους ἐν τῷ ἐλαύνειν, ἦν γὰρ ὁ ἄνεμος ἐναντίος αὐτοῖς, περὶ τετάρτην φυλακὴν τῆς νυκτὸς ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης· καὶ ἤθελεν παρελθεῖν αὐτούς. 

 

This incident about Jesus walking on water can be found in Matthew, chapter 14:24-25, and John, chapter 6:18-19, but without some of the details here.  Mark said that Jesus saw that they were straining at their rowing oars (καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτοὺς βασανιζομένους ἐν τῷ ἐλαύνειν).  They had an adverse wind against them (ἦν γὰρ ὁ ἄνεμος ἐναντίος αὐτοῖς).  In other words, they were in a little trouble. Early in the morning, or the 4th watch of the night (περὶ τετάρτην φυλακὴν τῆς νυκτὸς), Jesus came walking towards them on the sea (ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης).  He intended to pass them by (καὶ ἤθελεν παρελθεῖν αὐτούς).  There is no indication in any of these stories why Jesus was walking on the water.

Hire people (Mt 20:1-20:1)

“The kingdom of heaven is

Like a landowner

Who went out

Early in the morning

To hire laborers

For his vineyard.”

 

Ὁμοία γάρ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδεσπότῃ, ὅστις ἐξῆλθεν ἅμα πρωῒ μισθώσασθαι ἐργάτας εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew.  Jesus, via Matthew, explained that the kingdom of heaven was like (Ὁμοία γάρ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν) a wealthy vineyard owner, the man who owned and was in charge of his land (ἀνθρώπῳ οἰκοδεσπότῃ).  He needed his grapes picked at the harvest time.  He would hire day laborers or daily workers to do this difficult work.  He went out early in the morning (ὅστις ἐξῆλθεν ἅμα πρω), probably around 6 AM.  He wanted to hire some daily grape picker field laborers (μισθώσασθαι ἐργάτας) to work on his land in his vineyard (εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα αὐτοῦ).  This vineyard would have been a symbol of the prophets working in the vineyard of Israel.

The Law

The Law, the Torah, or the Pentateuch, consisted of first five books that were developed over a number of years, but firmly established around 400 BCE.  The five books of the Pentateuch include Genesis, a 10th-5th century BCE writing about the pre-existence of the Israelites, and the particular stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.  The Exodus, finished around 450 BCE, recalls the story of Moses and how he led the Israelites out of Egypt for years in the desert.  Leviticus and Numbers, worked on between 550-400 BCE, lay out the particular codes, rules and regulations for the Israelites, as well the numbers of people that were involved in the exodus from Egypt.  Deuteronomy, developed in the 7th-6th century BCE, told the story of Moses in the wilderness with emphasis on the laws of the heart.  This Law or Torah explained the early or pre-history of the Israelites before they entered the promised land.  These books also contained all the commands, statutes, or rules for the Israelites after they entered the promised land.  All further Jewish developments were based on the Torah or the Law.

Yahweh sends abundant rain (Joel 2:23-2:24)

“O children of Zion!

Be glad!

Rejoice in Yahweh!

Your God!

He has given

The early rain

For your vindication.

He has poured down

For you

Abundant rain,

The early,

As well as the latter rain,

As before.

The threshing floors

Shall be full of grain.

The vats shall overflow

With wine.

The vats shall overflow

With oil.”

Joel reminded the children of Zion that they should rejoice and be glad in Yahweh, their God, because he has given them plenty of rain, both the early and later rain, just like before the locust attack. Thus, the threshing floors would be full of grain. The vats or containers for the wine and the oil from the vines and trees would be overflowing.