Unlawful on the Sabbath (Lk 6:2-6:2)

“But some of the Pharisees

Said.

‘Why are you doing

What is not lawful

To do on the Sabbath?’”

 

τινὲς δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων εἶπαν Τί ποιεῖτε ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν;

 

As per usual, the Pharisees pop up to complain and question the disciples of Jesus.  Luke said that some of the Pharisees said (τινὲς δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων εἶπαν) that what the disciples of Jesus were doing was not lawful to do on the Sabbath (Τί ποιεῖτε ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν).  They posed it as a question.  Matthew, chapter 12:2, and Mark, chapter 2:24, are similar to Luke, so that Mark may be the source of this incident.  Matthew said that Pharisees saw the disciples of Jesus plucking the grain on the Sabbath.  Deuteronomy, chapter 25:24-25, stated that it was okay to pluck the ears with your hand, but you could not put a sickle to your neighbor’s standing grain or carry it away in a container.  However, Exodus, chapter 34:21, explicitly said that you could not harvest grain on the Sabbath, but did not mention any hand picking.  Thus, the Pharisees said to Jesus that his disciples were doing unlawful things on the Sabbath by plucking the grain   Notice that Jesus was not doing this, only his disciples were.

Pharisees come to Jesus (Lk 5:17-5:17)

“One day,

While Jesus

Was teaching,

Pharisees

And teachers of the law

Were sitting nearby.

They had come

From every village

Of Galilee,

Judea,

And Jerusalem.

The power

Of the Lord

Was with Jesus

To heal.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν διδάσκων, καὶ ἦσαν καθήμενοι Φαρισαῖοι καὶ νομοδιδάσκαλοι οἳ ἦσαν ἐληλυθότες ἐκ πάσης κώμης τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ Ἰουδαίας καὶ Ἱερουσαλήμ· καὶ δύναμις Κυρίου ἦν εἰς τὸ ἰᾶσθαι αὐτόν.

 

Luke said that one day (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν), while Jesus was teaching (καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν διδάσκων), Pharisees (Φαρισαῖοι) and teachers of the law (καὶ νομοδιδάσκαλοι), perhaps Scribes, were sitting nearby (καὶ ἦσαν καθήμενοι).  Apparently, they had come (οἳ ἦσαν ἐληλυθότες) from every village of Galilee (ἐκ πάσης κώμης τῆς Γαλιλαίας), Judea (καὶ Ἰουδαίας), and Jerusalem (καὶ Ἱερουσαλήμ).  This was a large gathering of Pharisees.  On that day, the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal people (καὶ δύναμις Κυρίου ἦν εἰς τὸ ἰᾶσθαι αὐτόν).  Matthew, chapter 9:1, had Jesus return to his home in Capernaum, after a boat trip on the Sea of Galilee.  Mark, chapter 2:1, said that when Jesus returned to Capernaum, after some days on the road, people heard that he was at home in his house.  Thus, Capernaum, according to Matthew, had become his own home town, while Mark mentioned that he was in his house or home in Capernaum.  Luke did not explicitly mention Capernaum.  However, neither Mark or Matthew mentioned any gathering of Pharisees and Scribes, like Luke did here.

Preaching a baptism of repentance (Lk 3:3-3:3)

“John went

Into all the region

Around the Jordan River.

He was proclaiming

A baptism

Of repentance

For the forgiveness

Of sins.”

 

καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν,

 

This section of Luke is very similar to all the other 4 gospel stories.  Luke explicitly said that John went into all the region around the Jordan River (καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου).  Mark, chapter 1:4, had the simple statement that John the Baptizer, appeared in the wilderness or desert, without mentioning the Jordan River.  However, Luke was actually closer to Mark, since he used the exact same words about John’s preaching.  He indicated that John was proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν).  Matthew, chapter 3:2, said that the preaching message of John was very simple.  They should repent, turn their lives around, with a profound metanoia, a change of their spirit.  The equivalent about repentance, metanoia, or the change of heart can also be found in both Mark and Luke.  Matthew had John say that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, coming near.  The other canonical gospel writers did not use this term “kingdom of heaven.”  John, chapter l:19-29, had a long dialogue with John and the priests and Levites about what he was doing.  How and what John did before or after this preaching in the wilderness did not matter.  He was there proclaiming a baptism of repentance, a life change, or a metanoia, to have sins or faults forgiven or wiped away.

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).

A young man dressed in white (Mk 16:5-16:5)

“As they entered the tomb,

They saw a young man,

Wearing a white robe.

He was sitting

On the right side.

They were amazed.”

 

καὶ εἰσελθοῦσαι εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον εἶδον νεανίσκον καθήμενον ἐν τοῖς δεξιοῖς περιβεβλημένον στολὴν λευκήν, καὶ ἐξεθαμβήθησαν.

 

Matthew, chapter 28:2-7, is the only gospel story to explicitly describe the actions and the angel at the tomb.  In Luke, chapter 24:4-7, there were 2 men in dazzling clothes standing in the tomb, who explained everything.  John, chapter 20:11-13, had 2 angels talk to Mary Magdalene in the tomb.  Here Mark said that as the 3 women entered the tomb (καὶ εἰσελθοῦσαι εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον), they saw a young man (εἶδον νεανίσκον) sitting on the right side in the tomb (καθήμενον ἐν τοῖς δεξιοῖς).  He was wearing a white robe (περιβεβλημένον στολὴν λευκήν).  Thus, these 3 women were astonished or greatly amazed (καὶ ἐξεθαμβήθησαν) at what they saw.  Where was the body of Jesus?

Are you the King of the Jews? (Mk 15:2-15:2)

“Pilate asked Jesus.

‘Are you

The King of the Jews?’

Jesus answered him.

‘You say so.’”

 

καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτὸν ὁ Πειλᾶτος Σὺ εἶ ὁ Βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων; ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτῷ λέγει Σὺ λέγεις. 

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:11.  Luke, chapter 23:3, is similar, but there is a longer introduction before Pilate spoke.  In John, chapter 18:33-35 there was a longer discussion between Jesus and Pilate.  Mark said that Pilate asked Jesus (καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτὸν ὁ Πειλᾶτος).  He wanted to know if Jesus was the “King of the Jews (Σὺ εἶ ὁ Βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων).”  If Jesus responded that he was, then he could be considered a threat to the ruling Roman authority.  Instead, Jesus had a simple reply (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτῷ λέγει) that if he Pilate had said so, then it must be so (Σὺ λέγεις).  Jesus would only confirm what Pilate had said, without saying it explicitly himself.  Thus, Jesus was identified as the King of the Jews, or leading a political rebellion against the Roman authorities, without saying so himself.  Are you reluctant to speak out?

Jesus prays (Mk 14:35-14:35)

“Going a little farther,

Jesus threw himself

On the ground.

He prayed that,

If it were possible,

That this hour might pass

From him.”

 

καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν ἔπιπτεν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, καὶ προσηύχετο ἵνα εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν παρέλθῃ ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ ἡ ὥρα,

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:39.  In Luke, chapter 22:41, it is somewhat similar, while in John, chapter 22, there were no indications of this prayer in the garden.  Mark recounted that Jesus went a little farther away (καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν).  He threw himself on the ground (ἔπιπτεν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  Then he prayed (καὶ προσηύχετο), but not explicitly to the Father, as in Matthew.  He said that he wondered if it was possible (ἵνα εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν) that this hour might pass from him or be disregarded (παρέλθῃ ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ ἡ ὥρα).  This was slightly different from what Matthew had Jesus say, since he did not emphasize the hour as here.

Where will you prepare the Passover (Mk 14:12-14:12)

“On the first day

Of the Unleavened Bread,

When the Passover lamb

Is sacrificed,

His disciples

Said to him.

‘Where do you want

Us to go

And make

The preparations

For you

To eat

The Passover?’”

 

Καὶ τῇ πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν ἀζύμων, ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον, λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ Ποῦ θέλεις ἀπελθόντες ἑτοιμάσωμεν ἵνα φάγῃς τὸ πάσχα;

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:17, and Luke, chapter 22:7-8, but in Luke, Jesus was speaking to Peter and John explicitly.  All three synoptic gospel writers said that this was the 1st day of the Unleavened Bread (Καὶ τῇ πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν ἀζύμων).  Mark explained that the Passover lamb was sacrificed then (ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον), but Matthew did not feel the need to explain that to his Jewish Christian readers.  Some unnamed disciples spoke to Jesus (λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ).  They wanted to know where Jesus wished that they prepare to eat the Passover meal amonst themselves (Ποῦ θέλεις ἀπελθόντες ἑτοιμάσωμεν ἵνα φάγῃς τὸ πάσχα).  At that time, it was the custom to go to Jerusalem to eat the Passover, not in their homes as later, after the destruction of the Temple.  The question of whether this was the Passover or the day before the Passover seems somewhat moot, since this was the 1st day of the Unleavened Bread, when they ate the matzah bread, the Hebrew word for unleavened bread.  The Passover meal itself usually included a lamb.

Jesus goes to his own town (Mk 6:1-6:1)

“Jesus left

That place.

He came

To his hometown.

His disciples

Followed him.”

 

Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἐκεῖθεν, καὶ ἔρχεται εἰς τὴν πατρίδα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἀκολουθοῦσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ.

 

This story of Jesus leaving after talking about parables can be found in Matthew, chapter 13:53.  However, the idea of Jesus going to his hometown of Nazareth can be found explicitly in Luke, chapter 4:16.  Matthew said that Jesus came to his hometown, his own area without naming it Nazareth, like it was in LukeMark was pretty much the same.  He said that Jesus left that place (Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἐκεῖθεν).  According to Mark, that place would have been by the Sea of Galilee.  Now, he was going further inland to his hometown (καὶ ἔρχεται εἰς τὴν πατρίδα αὐτοῦ), probably unnamed Nazareth.  His disciples also followed or accompanied him (καὶ ἀκολουθοῦσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ).

The mustard seed (Mk 4:31-4:32)

“The kingdom of God

Is like

A mustard seed.

When sown

Upon the ground,

It is the smallest

Of all the seeds

On earth.

Yet when it is sown,

It grows up.

It becomes the greatest

Of all shrubs.

It puts forth

Large branches,

So that the birds

Of the air

Can make nests

In its shade.”

 

ὡς κόκκῳ σινάπεως, ὃς ὅταν σπαρῇ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, μικρότερον ὂν πάντων τῶν σπερμάτων τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς,

καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ, ἀναβαίνει καὶ γίνεται μεῖζον πάντων τῶν λαχάνων, καὶ ποιεῖ κλάδους μεγάλους, ὥστε δύνασθαι ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτοῦ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνοῖν.

 

This parable of the mustard seed can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:31-32, and Luke, chapter 13:19.  The mustard seed was the symbol of small things.  However, it could grow to become a tree or shrub where birds could nest.  There was no explanation of this parable, except the clear indication that the kingdom of heaven may start out small but would grow to hold many people.  Jesus, via Mark, explicitly presented them with another short parable.  He said that the kingdom of God was like a mustard seed or a grain of mustard (ὡς κόκκῳ σινάπεως).  When planted in the ground (ὃς ὅταν σπαρῇ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς), it is the smallest of all seeds on earth (μικρότερον ὂν πάντων τῶν σπερμάτων τῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  But when it has grown after being planted (καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ, ἀναβαίνει), it becomes greater than all the garden plants or shrubs (καὶ γίνεται μεῖζον πάντων τῶν λαχάνων).  It then produces great branches (καὶ ποιεῖ κλάδους μεγάλους).  Thus, the birds of the air would be able to come and perch or build nests in the shade of its branches (ὥστε δύνασθαι ὑπὸ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτοῦ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνοῖν).  What starts out small can become quite large.