The mute demon (Lk 11:14-11:14)

“Jesus was casting out

A demon

Who was mute.

When the demon

Had left him.

The mute person

Spoke.

The crowds

Were amazed.”

 

Καὶ ἦν ἐκβάλλων δαιμόνιον, καὶ αὐτὸ ἦν κωφόν· ἐγένετο δὲ τοῦ δαιμονίου ἐξελθόντος ἐλάλησεν ὁ κωφός. καὶ ἐθαύμασαν οἱ ὄχλοι·

 

Luke said that Jesus was casting out a demon (Καὶ ἦν ἐκβάλλων δαιμόνιον) who was in a mute person (καὶ αὐτὸ ἦν κωφόν).  When the demon had left (ἐγένετο δὲ τοῦ δαιμονίου ἐξελθόντος), the mute person spoke (ἐλάλησεν ὁ κωφός).  The crowds were amazed (καὶ ἐθαύμασαν οἱ ὄχλοι).  There was something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 9:32-33, and Matthew, chapter 12:22-23.  In chapter 9, Matthew said that Jesus was going on his way, when someone brought a mute or non-speaking demoniac person to him.  Jesus then cast out the demon from this man, so that this mute person began to speak.  The crowds marveled in awe at this happening.  They said that nothing like this had ever happened in Israel.  However, in chapter 8:28-33, Matthew had Jesus cast out demons from the demoniacs and send them into the pigs, but that was on the east side of the Jordan River.  In chapter 12 of Matthew, a man, possessed by the devil was both mute and blind.  Jesus then healed him, but there was no mention of casting out a demon from this man, although that could be assumed.  Then this mute and blind person began to speak and see, with the emphasis on healing, not on exorcising.  This crowd was also amazed or astonished about what they saw.  They wondered whether Jesus was the Son of David.  The historical son of David was Solomon, who also had healing powers.  “Son of David (υἱὸς Δαυείδ)” was also a royal or messianic name.  However, here in Luke, exorcising the demon was important, rather than healing or any messianic expectation.  Have you ever seen a mute person speak?

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The Holy Spirit and Jesus (Lk 3:22-3:22)

“The Holy Spirit

Descended upon Jesus

In a bodily form,

Like a dove.”

 

καὶ καταβῆναι τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον σωματικῷ εἴδει ὡς περιστερὰν ἐπ’ αὐτόν,

 

The role of the Holy Spirit after the baptism of Jesus was very important. Matthew, chapter 3:16, Mark, chapter 1:10, and John, chapter 1:32, are almost the same as here.  Luke said that the Holy Spirit (τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον) descended (καὶ καταβῆναι) upon Jesus (ἐπ’ αὐτόν) in a bodily form (σωματικῷ εἴδει), like a dove (ὡς περιστερὰν).  John did not mention a dove, but he said that John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descend and remain on Jesus.  In Matthew and Mark, Jesus saw the Holy Spirit as a dove descend on him.  This all took place after the baptism itself.   Just as the dove after the great flood in Genesis, chapter 8:8-12, heralded a new age, so too Jesus would preach the good news in this new age.  With his prophetic vocation, Jesus had the power to begin his public ministry of healing and exorcising.  The later concept of the anointing of Jesus with the Spirit referred to this action of the dove, after his baptism in the Jordan River.  There was a clear distinction between the baptism of Jesus himself, and the specific dove bestowal of the Spirit that followed.  Despite the fact that there was no indication of any real anointing in any of these baptismal accounts of Jesus, the coming of the Spirit, in the form of a dove, was considered a symbolic anointing of Jesus within the Judaic prophetic line.  This incident functioned as the basis for an understanding of Jesus’ metaphorical anointing to become “the anointed one,” “Christ.”  This symbolic metaphorical anointing action gathered many of the Hebrew bible strands of a messianic king, a sacerdotal high priest, a servant, and a prophet into this one event.  Within this process, the messianic time began with a pre-figuration of what was going to take place at the later Pentecost event, when the fullness of the Spirit came to all the followers of Jesus.

The Spirit descended on Jesus (Mk 1:10-1:10)

“Just as he was coming up

Out of the water,

He saw

The heavens

Torn apart.

The Spirit

Descended upon him

Like a dove.”

 

καὶ εὐθὺς ἀναβαίνων ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος εἶδεν σχιζομένους τοὺς οὐρανοὺς καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα ὡς περιστερὰν καταβαῖνον εἰς αὐτόν·

 

The role of the Holy Spirit at the baptism of Jesus was very important.  The four gospel stories show what happened to Jesus after he had been baptized Matthew, chapter 3:16, Luke, chapter 3:21-22, and John, chapter 1:32, are almost word for word the same as here.  John did not mention a dove, while Luke called it a bodily form of a dove.  Mark said that just as Jesus was coming up out of the water (καὶ εὐθὺς ἀναβαίνων ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος), he saw the heavens torn apart (εἶδεν σχιζομένους τοὺς οὐρανοὺς).  The Spirit descended upon him like a dove (καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα ὡς περιστερὰν καταβαῖνον εἰς αὐτόν).  The heavens opened up or broke open was a theme found among the prophets Isaiah, chapter 63:19, and Ezekiel, chapter 1:1.  As Jesus came up from the water, not during the baptism itself, the Holy Spirit, as a dove, came to stay on Jesus.  Just as the dove after the great flood in Genesis, chapter 8:8-12, heralded a new age, so too Jesus would preach the good news in this new age.  With his prophetic vocation, Jesus was anointed with power to begin his public ministry of healing and exorcising.  The later concept of the anointing of Jesus with the Spirit referred to this action of the dove, after his baptism in the Jordan.  There was a clear distinction between the baptism of Jesus himself, and the specific dove bestowal of the Spirit that followed.  Despite the fact that there was no indication of any real anointing in any of these baptismal accounts of Jesus, the coming of the Spirit, in the form of a dove, was considered a symbolic anointing of Jesus within the Judaic prophetic line.  This incident functioned as the basis for an understanding of Jesus’ metaphorical anointing as “the anointed one,” “Christ.”  This symbolic metaphorical anointing action gathered many of the Hebrew bible strands of a messianic king, a sacerdotal high priest, a servant, and a prophet into this one event.   Within this process, the messianic time began with a pre-figuration of what was going to take place at the later Pentecost event, when the fullness of the Spirit came to all the followers of Jesus.

Jesus cures the blind and mute man (Mt 12:22-12:22)

“Then they brought to him

A demoniac

Who was blind

And mute.

Jesus cured him.

Thus,

The one who had been mute

Could speak

And see.”

 

Τότε προσηνέχθη αὐτῷ δαιμονιζόμενος τυφλὸς καὶ κωφός· καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτόν, ὥστε τὸν κωφὸν λαλεῖν καὶ βλέπειν.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 9:32-33, and Luke, chapter 11:14.  In the other texts, the man was only mute not blind.  Here they brought to Jesus, a man who was possessed by the devil (Τότε προσηνέχθη αὐτῷ δαιμονιζόμενος).  He was a mute or non-speaking demoniac and a blind person (τυφλὸς καὶ κωφός·).  Jesus then healed or cured him (καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτόν).  There was no mention of casting out the demon from this man.  Then this mute and blind person began to speak (ὥστε τὸν κωφὸν λαλεῖν) and see (καὶ βλέπειν).  The emphasis in this story was on healing not on exorcising.

The authority of the twelve disciples (Mt 10:1-10:1)

“Jesus summoned

His twelve disciples.

He gave them

Authority

Over unclean spirits,

To cast them out.

They were able

To cure

Every disease,

As well as every sickness.”

 

Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς δώδεκα μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν πνευμάτων ἀκαθάρτων ὥστε ἐκβάλλειν αὐτὰ καὶ θεραπεύειν πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν.

 

This section about the authority of the 12 disciples or apostles is similar to Mark, chapter 3:14 and Luke, chapter 9:1.  Jesus summoned or called to him (Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος) his 12 disciples (τοὺς δώδεκα μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  He gave them spiritual authority over unclean or impure spirits (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν πνευμάτων ἀκαθάρτων).  Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons (ὥστε ἐκβάλλειν αὐτὰ).  They were also able to cure, treat, or heal all diseases and illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness (καὶ θεραπεύειν πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν).  In other words, Jesus was giving his own power or authority to cast out evil spirits and heal people to these 12 disciples.  This was a big deal.  The number 12 corresponded to the number of sons of Jacob or the 12 tribes of Israel.  This will be referred to later as the apostolic authority.  Jesus thus established these 12 disciples to carry on his work in casting out or exorcising evil spirits and curing people of their illnesses.

John the Baptist and the Baptism of Jesus

Although Matthew did not show the same relationship of Jesus and John the Baptist as cousins, as it was in Luke, chapter 1:36, he still has them as familiar to each other.  They were at a minimum, friends.  In this portrayal, Jesus came to John, not the other way around.  John was already an established preacher, baptizing in the Jordan River.  Did they have the same message or was it different?  In one sense, both John and Jesus wanted people to repent, since the kingdom of heaven was near.  However, there are no indications in the biblical texts that Jesus was baptizing people the way that John was doing it.  Thus, they might have been semi-co-workers without any formal relationship established, although John the Baptist would appear again in this gospel story of Matthew.  Clearly, John the Baptist baptizing Jesus at the Jordan River stands as the beginning of the public life of Jesus, both here and in the other three canonical gospel accounts of Mark, Luke, and John.  Jesus became someone special as “the anointed one,” “Χριστος,” “the Christ,” from this moment on.  Was there any particular self-realization on the part of Jesus here?  How did the disciples of these two men work with each other?  What was the reaction of Jesus to the post-baptismal event, when God, the Father, sent his Spirit, the dove, to empower Jesus, before he could begin his public ministry?  God clearly announced that Jesus was his beloved son.  With his prophetic divine vocation revealed, Jesus was ready to begin his public ministry of healing and exorcising.  Jesus had come to proclaim his ethical judgment of righteousness during this messianic time when the fullness of the Holy Spirit would come to all the followers of Jesus.

Jesus’ baptism (Mt 3:16-3:16)

“When Jesus had been baptized,

Just as he came up

From the water,

Suddenly,

The heavens were opened

To him.

He saw

The Spirit of God

Descending

Like a dove,

Alighting on him.”

 

βαπτισθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εὐθὺς ἀνέβη ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕδατος· καὶ ἰδοὺ ἠνεῴχθησαν οἱ οὐρανοί, καὶ εἶδεν Πνεῦμα Θεοῦ καταβαῖνον ὡσεὶ περιστερὰν ἐρχόμενον ἐπ’ αὐτόν·

 

The four gospel stories show what happend to Jesus after he had been baptized (βαπτισθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  As Jesus immediately emerged from the water (εὐθὺς ἀνέβη ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕδατος), the heavens opened up or broke open to him (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἠνεῴχθησαν οἱ οὐρανοί), a theme found among the prophets Isaiah, chapter 63:19, and Ezekiel, chapter 1:1.  Thus, Matthew made another connection with the Hebrew prophets.  Jesus saw the Holy Spirit of God (καὶ εἶδεν Πνεῦμα Θεοῦ) descend on him (καταβαῖνον ἐρχόμενον ἐπ’ αὐτόν) like a dove (ὡσεὶ περιστερὰν).  As Jesus came up from the water, not during the baptism itself, the Holy Spirit, as a dove, came to stay on Jesus.  Just as the dove after the great flood in Genesis, chapter 8:8-12, heralded a new age, so too Jesus would preach the good news in this new age.  With his prophetic vocation, Jesus was anointed with power to begin his public ministry of healing and exorcising.  The later concept of the anointing of Jesus with the Spirit referred to this action of the dove, after his baptism in the Jordan.  There was a clear distinction between the baptism of Jesus himself, and the specific dove bestowal of the Spirit that followed.  Despite the fact that there was no indication of any real anointing in any of these baptismal accounts of Jesus, the coming of the Spirit, in the form of a dove, was considered a symbolic anointing of Jesus within the Judaic prophetic line.  This incident functioned as the basis for an understanding of Jesus’ metaphorical anointing as “the anointed one,” “Christ.”  This symbolic metaphorical anointing action gathered many of the Hebrew bible strands of a messianic king, a sacerdotal high priest, a servant, and a prophet into this one event.   Within this process, the messianic time began with a pre-figuration of what was going to take place at the later Pentecost event, when the fullness of the Spirit came to all the followers of Jesus.