One of you will betray me (Mk 14:18-14:18)

“They took

Their places,

Reclining

At the table.

When they were

Eating,

Jesus said.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

One of you

Will betray me.

He is one

Of those eating

With me.’”

 

καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν καὶ ἐσθιόντων ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με, ὁ ἐσθίων μετ’ ἐμοῦ.

 

This is similar, almost word for word, to Matthew, chapter 26:20-21, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 13:21, but this verse is not found in Luke.  First, they all took their places reclining at the table (καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν).  Did this mean that Peter, James, John, and Andrew had preferential seating?  While they were eating (καὶ ἐσθιόντων), Jesus gave a solemn declaration or proclamation (εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  He said that one of his 12 leading apostles would betray him (ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με).  Differing from Matthew, Mark indicated that Jesus said that the betrayer was one of those eating with him at this very table with him (ὁ ἐσθίων μετ’ ἐμοῦ).  This seems like a strange time to bring this up.  However, Jesus was clear, he knew what was going to happen.  This may harken back to Psalm 49:9 where David complained that even some friend, whom he trusted and broke bread with, had lifted his heel against him.  Thus, this prophecy would be fulfilled when one of his beloved trusted 12 apostles betrayed him.

 

Find the guest room (Mk 14:14-14:14)

“Wherever he enters,

Say to the owner

Of the house.

‘The Teacher asks.

‘Where is my guest room?

Where may I eat

The Passover

With my disciples?’”

 

καὶ ὅπου ἐὰν εἰσέλθῃ εἴπατε τῷ οἰκοδεσπότῃ ὅτι Ὁ Διδάσκαλος λέγει Ποῦ ἐστιν τὸ κατάλυμά μου, ὅπου τὸ πάσχα μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν μου φάγω;

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:18, and Luke, chapter 22:11.  Mark indicated that Jesus told his 2 unnamed disciples what to say to the proprietor or the owner of the house, as he entered it (καὶ ὅπου ἐὰν εἰσέλθῃ εἴπατε τῷ οἰκοδεσπότῃ).  They were to say that the teacher asked him where his guest room was (ὅτι Ὁ Διδάσκαλος λέγει Ποῦ ἐστιν τὸ κατάλυμά μου).  Jesus wanted to eat the Passover at this house with his disciples (ὅπου τὸ πάσχα μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν μου φάγω).  This Passover was the remembrance of the Israelites fleeing Egypt by eating special foods.  There is no indication of whose house this was or who the owner of the house was.  Certainly, it was someone who knew Jesus.

Pharisees and Scribes complain about the disciples of Jesus (Mk 7:2-7:2)

“These Pharisees and Scribes

Noticed

That some of

Jesus’ disciples

Were eating

With defiled hands,

Without washing them.”

 

καὶ ἰδόντες τινὰς τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ ὅτι κοιναῖς χερσίν, τοῦτ’ ἔστιν ἀνίπτοις, ἐσθίουσιν τοὺς ἄρτους,

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 15:2, and Luke chapter 11:38.  Mark said that these Pharisees and Scribes had seen or noticed that the disciples of Jesus (καὶ ἰδόντες τινὰς τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ) were eating bread (ἐσθίουσιν τοὺς ἄρτους) with defiled hands (ὅτι κοιναῖς χερσίν) because they did not wash their hands.  Thus, they ate with unwashed hands (τοῦτ’ ἔστιν ἀνίπτοις).  Wash you hands before you eat!

Disciples plucking grain (Mk 2:23-2:23)

“One sabbath,

Jesus was going through

The grain fields.

As they made their way,

His disciples

Began to pluck

Heads of grain.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν παραπορεύεσθαι διὰ τῶν σπορίμων, καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἤρξαντο ὁδὸν ποιεῖν τίλλοντες τοὺς στάχυας.

 

Matthew, chapter 12:1, as well as Luke, chapter 6:1, are similar to Mark.  In Matthew and Luke, the disciples were also eating the grain, but that is not explicitly mentioned here.  Mark said that Jesus was going through the grain fields on the Sabbath (Καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν παραπορεύεσθαι διὰ τῶν σπορίμων).  This is the only use of the word “σπορίμων” in all the biblical literature.  All three synoptics use this word that meant a sown field or a grain field, so that they may have copied it from Mark.  Jesus’ disciples (καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ) made their way through the field (ἤρξαντο ὁδὸν).  They began to pluck the heads of the grain in the field (ποιεῖν τίλλοντες τοὺς στάχυας).  This is a unique word “τίλλοντες, plucking” that only appears in the New Testament literature in this story by the three synoptics.  Once again, Mark may have the source for this word.  This set up the problem of plucking grain on the Sabbath.

Scribes and Pharisees complained (Mk 2:16-2:16)

“When the Scribes

And the Pharisees,

Saw

That he was eating

With sinners

And tax collectors,

They said

To his disciples.

‘Why does he eat

With tax collectors

And sinners?’”

 

καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς τῶν Φαρισαίων ἰδόντες ὅτι ἐσθίει μετὰ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ τελωνῶν, ἔλεγον τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ Ὅτι μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει;

 

Luke, chapter 5:30, and Matthew, chapter 9:11, are similar to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this incident.  In Matthew, it is only the Pharisees and not the Scribes who are complaining.  These Pharisees and Scribes saw this dinner party (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς τῶν Φαρισαίων ἰδόντες) from the outside.  They saw that Jesus was eating with sinners and tax collectors (ὅτι ἐσθίει μετὰ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ τελωνῶν).  Then they asked the disciples of Jesus (ἔλεγον τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ), and not Jesus himself, why was Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners (Ὅτι μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει)?  The 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 engaged in conflicts with Jesus and his disciples, as here.  However, Paul the Apostle may have been a Pharisee before his conversion.  Maybe Jesus and some of his followers were Pharisees, so that these arguments with the Pharisees may have been internal arguments.  Or is this portrait of the Pharisees in the New Testament a caricature, since the late first century Christians were fighting with the emerging Rabbinic Pharisees?  Their position towards the Scribes was a mixed bag.  These Scribes were religious experts who determined the traditions to be followed, as professional copiers of manuscript documents, although they had a wider role in Jewish society.

Fourth narrative

The fourth narrative section revealed the increasing opposition to Jesus.  Thus, his disciples had to prepare for his absence.  These instructions emphasized responsibility and humility.  Simon was renamed Peter, the rock upon which he was going to build his church, especially the mystery of the kingdom of heaven.

While Jesus was preaching in the various towns, John the Baptist was put in prison.  The disciples of John questioned Jesus and Jesus responded.  Jesus then asked questions about John.  Was John more than a prophet?  Then Matthew had a series of Old Testament scriptural quotations about John.  How great was John the Baptist?  Was John Elijah?

Jesus warned that this was a childish generation that was indifferent as they kept on eating and drinking, as if nothing important was happening.  Jesus was against the various Galilean cities and towns, especially Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum.  Jesus explained that there were hidden things from the wise ones, especially the relationship of the Father with the Son, but that the disciples had an easy yoke to bear.

Next came the question of eating on the Sabbath.  The Pharisees reacted against Jesus, but he used the example of David and the priests in the Temple to respond to them.  God was the Lord of the Sabbath.  Thus, when Jesus went into the synagogue, they asked him if he would heal anyone on the Sabbath?  Jesus compared sheep to human beings and then healed the man’s hand.  Thus, the Pharisees conspired against Jesus, while he took a low profile.

Jesus said that the fulfillment of the prophesy of Isaiah was at hand in the servant of Yahweh.  Jesus cured the blind and mute man as the crowds were amazed.  However, the Pharisees compared Jesus to Beelzebul, the devil.  Jesus responded that a divided kingdom would not stand.  The Spirit of God was with Jesus.  The bandits tied up people before stealing from them.  You were either for or against Jesus.  They should be aware of the sin against the Holy Spirit.

Jesus then issued a series of sayings about a tree and its fruit.  He compared the Pharisees to a brood of vipers.  There could be good and bad treasures.  Words would either save or condemn them.

Jesus told them about the sign for this evil generation that was always seeking signs.  He was only going to give them the sign of Jonah.  Notice how the men of Nineveh reacted.  The Queen of Sheba brought gifts to Solomon.  The unclean spirit would return with other evil spirits.  The relatives of Jesus, his mother and brothers showed up, but Jesus said that he had a new family.

Then Jesus spoke in parables siting in a boat by the sea.  There was the parable of the sower with his lost seeds, where only a few of the seeds fell on good soil.  His disciples wanted to know why he was speaking in parables, so that Jesus explained why he used parables.  Once again, he referred to a prophecy of Isaiah.  He explained about the seeds on the rocky ground and the seeds among the thorns.  Finally, he explained the meaning of the seeds on good ground or path since they were the blessed ones.

Then there was the parable about the weeds among the wheat.  The slaves let the weeds grow and then separated them at harvest time.  There were other parables about the mustard seed and the yeast.  Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, but he explained these parables to his disciples, especially the sower, the field, and the seeds.  He explained the enemy and the burning of the weeds.  The punishment for the weeds came at the harvest end times.  Thus, the reward for the righteous will be at the end times.

The kingdom of heaven was like a treasure, like pearls, and like a fishing net.  Jesus explained the parables because the disciples did not understand them.  They were like new and old treasures.

Jesus was an astonishment in his own home town.  They all knew the family of Jesus.  Thus, he was a prophet without honor in his own country.

Herod thought that Jesus was a resurrected John the Baptist, but he was afraid of John the Baptist.  At his birthday party, Herod granted the wish to have the head of John the Baptist on a platter.  Meanwhile, John the Baptist’s disciples buried him.

Jesus was worried as he was healing the sick people.  The disciples complained about the crowds, so that Jesus told them to give them something to eat.  However, they only had five loaves and two fish.  Then Jesus blessed the five loaves of bread and distributed them to the crowd.  There were even leftovers from this crowd of five thousand people.

The disciples left in a boat, so that Jesus prayed alone.  The boat was in the middle of the sea when Jesus walked on water to come to them.   Peter talked to Jesus and then attempted to walk on the water.  Jesus then saved Peter who recognized Jesus as the Son of God.  Then there were the healings at Gennesaret, where Jesus cured the sick.

The Pharisees from Jerusalem came to Jesus to ask him why his disciples did not wash their hands before eating.  Jesus responded by telling them to honor their parents since there was hypocrisy in their traditions.  He cited Isaiah about vain worship.  He told them to hear and understand.  They should watch what came out of their mouth rather than what went into their mouth as defilement.  The Pharisees were offended, but Jesus called them blind guides.  Peter wanted to understand more so that Jesus explained the mouth should speak from the heart.

Jesus went to the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon where he met a Canaanite woman.  He said that he was only going to the lost sheep of Israel, but this Canaanite woman persistently asked for help.  Jesus refused again saying that he could not feed the dogs.  However, she responded that dogs eat crumbs from the table.  Jesus said that she had great faith and healed her.

As Jesus healed the crowds of people in the mountain near the Sea of Galilee, he had compassion for them.  Where will they get food?  His disciples said that they had seven loaves.  Jesus then gave thanks over them and distributed the bread to four thousand men as there was a second multiplication of bread loaves.

Jesus went to Magadan.  There the Pharisees asked for a sign from heaven.  Once again, Jesus said that there are weather signs, but he would only give this evil generation the sign of Jonah.

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, but Jesus warned them about the yeast of the Pharisees.  He reprimanded his disciples for their lack of faith as he reminded them about the multiplication of the loaves of bread.  They should be worried about the Pharisees not food.

What was the role of Peter?  Jesus asked about the Son of Man as the disciples responded.  Then Jesus asked them about himself.  Peter gave a very positive response, so that Jesus rewarded him.  The Messianic secret was tied to the future of Jesus in this conversation between Peter and Jesus.  He would have to take up his cross if wanted to save his life because the Son of Man in his kingdom would be coming soon.

Jesus took three of his apostles up a mountain where he was transfigured before them.  Moses and Elijah appeared with him.  Peter wanted to set up three tents for them.  A voice from the cloud came as the three apostles adored him.  Jesus asked them to be silent about this.  What was the role of Elijah and John the Baptist?

An epileptic man knelt before Jesus that his disciples were unable to heal.  Jesus then healed him, so that his disciples wondered why they were unable to heal this epileptic?  Jesus spoke about the future of the Son of Man.  Should they pay the Temple tax?  Jesus responded that the son of the king did not pay taxes, but he told Peter to pay them anyway.

Finally, we have the ecclesiastical discourse about who is the greatest.  A child is the greatest because when you welcome a little child, you welcome Jesus.  They were not to cause children to sin.  They were not to tempt people.  It would be better to be maimed and blind than suffer eternal fire.  They were not to despise the little ones.  Jesus explained the parable of the lost sheep and fraternal correction.  What were you to do with a sinning brother.  Let him become a gentile, if he does not listen.  Common prayer was important so that they should gather in his name.  How often should they forgive?  The response was the seventy times seven.

Then there was the parable of the unforgiving servant slave.  The master settled accounts with servant slaves.  One owed ten thousand talents, so that the king forgave him his debt.  However, this servant slave would not forgive the debt of his fellow slaves, who were angry.  Thus, this unforgiving slave was tortured.  This parable explanation was simple, forgive your brothers.

This is my blood (Mt 26:27-26:28)

“Then he took a cup.

After giving thanks,

He gave it

To them.

He said.

‘Drink from it!

All of you!

This is my blood

Of the covenant,

Which is poured out

For many

For the forgiveness of sins.”

 

καὶ λαβὼν ποτήριον καὶ εὐχαριστήσας ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς λέγων Πίετε ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες·

τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:23-24, and similar in Luke, chapter 22:17, but preceding the blessing of the bread.  John, chapter 13:53-58, has Jesus preaching about eating and drinking the body and blood of the Son of Man.  Matthew and Mark agree that Jesus took a drinking cup (καὶ λαβὼν ποτήριον), assuming this cup was filled with wine.  After giving thanks (καὶ εὐχαριστήσας), Jesus gave them this drinking cup (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς).  He told all of them to drink from this cup (λέγων Πίετε ἐξ αὐτοῦ πάντες).  He said that this was his blood of the covenant (τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης), that was to be poured out for many people (τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον) in order to forgive sins (εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν).  The blessing of the wine had a more elaborate narrative than the bread.  However, both would become part of the new developing Christian Eucharistic worship service.  Thus, the Greek word “εὐχαριστήσας (giving thanks)” became the name of the Last Supper Eucharist remembrance event.

This is my body (Mt 26:26-26:26)

“While they were eating,

Jesus took

A loaf of bread.

He blessed it.

He broke it.

He gave it

To the disciples.

He said.

‘Take!

Eat!

This is my body!’”

 

Ἐσθιόντων δὲ αὐτῶν λαβὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἄρτον καὶ εὐλογήσας ἔκλασεν καὶ δοὺς τοῖς μαθηταῖς εἶπεν Λάβετε φάγετε· τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ σῶμά μου.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:22, but in Luke, chapter 22:19, it has a little more elaboration.  In John, chapter 6:52-58, Jesus was preaching about eating the flesh of the Son of Man.  While they were eating (Ἐσθιόντων δὲ αὐτῶν) the Passover meal, Jesus took a loaf of bread (λαβὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἄρτον).  He blessed it (καὶ εὐλογήσας).  He broke it into pieces (ἔκλασεν).  He gave it to the disciples (καὶ δοὺς τοῖς μαθηταῖς).  He said (εἶπεν) that they should take (Λάβετε) this bread and eat (φάγετε) it because it was his body (τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ σῶμά μου).  This Eucharistic institution narrative may already have been in this stylized form at the time of the writing of this gospel.  There was no specific indication whether this was leavened or unleavened bread, but it was a bread loaf.  Clearly this narrative has had a profound effect on the Christian Eucharistic theological development.

Jesus announces the betrayal (Mt 26:21-26:21)

“While they were eating,

Jesus said.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

One of you

Will betray me.’”

 

καὶ ἐσθιόντων αὐτῶν εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:18, and John, chapter 13:21, but this phrase is not found in Luke.  While they were eating (καὶ ἐσθιόντων), Jesus gave a solemn declaration (εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  He said that one of his 12 leading disciples or apostles would betray him (ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με.).  This seems like a strange time to bring this up.  However, Jesus was clear, he knew what was going to happen.

The days of Noah (Mt 24:37-24:39)

“As in the days of Noah were,

So too,

Will be the coming

Of the Son of Man.

As in those days,

Before the flood,

They were eating.

They were drinking.

They were marrying.

They were giving in marriage,

Until the day

When Noah

Entered the ark.

They knew nothing

Until the flood came.

It swept them all away.

Thus,

Will be the coming

Of the Son of Man.”

 

ὥσπερ γὰρ αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ Νῶε, οὕτως ἔσται ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου

ὡς γὰρ ἦσαν ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ταῖς πρὸ τοῦ κατακλυσμοῦ τρώγοντες καὶ πίνοντες, γαμοῦντες καὶ γαμίζοντες, ἄχρι ἧς ἡμέρας εἰσῆλθεν Νῶε εἰς τὴν κιβωτόν

καὶ οὐκ ἔγνωσαν ἕως ἦλθεν ὁ κατακλυσμὸς καὶ ἦρεν ἅπαντας, οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

 

There is something similar, almost word for word, in Luke, chapter 17:26-28, but nothing about Noah in Mark.  The days of Noah in Genesis, chapters 6-11, (ὥσπερ γὰρ αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ Νῶε) were considered to be days of sinfulness.  The Parousia or second coming of the Son of Man (οὕτως ἔσται ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) would be similar to the end of the sinning days with the flood (ὡς γὰρ ἦσαν ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ταῖς πρὸ τοῦ κατακλυσμοῦ).  They were eating (τρώγοντες), drinking (καὶ πίνοντες), marrying (γαμοῦντες), and giving in marriage (καὶ γαμίζοντες) right up until the day when Noah entered the ark (ἄχρι ἧς ἡμέρας εἰσῆλθεν Νῶε εἰς τὴν κιβωτόν).  They knew nothing (καὶ οὐκ ἔγνωσαν) until the flood came (ἦλθεν ὁ κατακλυσμὸς) and hit them by sweeping them all away (καὶ ἦρεν ἅπαντας).  Thus, it will be like that when the Son of Man comes again at the Parousia (οὕτως ἔσται καὶ ἡ παρουσία τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  Just as at the flood in the time of Noah put an end to the sinfulness of men and brought about a new creation, so too would the coming Parousia of the Son of Man bring an end to sinfulness and inaugurate a new kind of creation.