They would not receive Jesus (Lk 9:53-9:53)

“But the people

Did not receive Jesus,

Because his face

Was set

Toward Jerusalem.”

 

καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν, ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ

 

Now there was a note of discord here.  Luke continued his unique story of Jesus traveling through Samaria, on his way to Jerusalem.  Luke noted that the people of this Samaritan town did not want to receive Jesus (καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν), because he was only passing by on his way to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ).  These Samaritans did not look favorably on the Jerusalem pilgrims who passed by their towns on the way to the Temple.  After all, Jesus had steadfastly set his face (ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον) to go there, not stopping or staying to worship at Mount Gerizim in Samaria.  Thus, Jesus was not welcome, if he was going to the Judean place of worship in Jerusalem, and just visiting or passing through here.  Would you be upset if someone said that they were planning to visit someone else but just stopped by?

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The man with leprosy (Lk 5:12-5:12)

“Once,

When Jesus was

In one of the cities,

There was a man

Covered with leprosy.

When he saw Jesus,

He bowed

With his face

To the ground.

He begged Jesus.

‘Lord!

If you choose,

You can make me clean.’”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐν μιᾷ τῶν πόλεων καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ πλήρης λέπρας· ἰδὼν δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν, πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον ἐδεήθη αὐτοῦ λέγων Κύριε, ἐὰν θέλῃς, δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι.

 

Luke said that Jesus was in one of the cities (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐν μιᾷ τῶν πόλεων), but without naming it.  There was a man there fully covered with leprosy (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ πλήρης λέπρας).  When he saw Jesus (ἰδὼν δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν), he bowed with his face to the ground (πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον ἐδεήθη αὐτοῦ).  He implored Jesus, calling him Lord (λέγων Κύριε).  He said that if Jesus would choose (ἐὰν θέλῃς) to help him, he had the power to make him clean (δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι).  This was similar Matthew, chapter 8:2, and Mark, chapter 1:40.  However, here the man was fully covered with leprosy, but the request was the same.  Mark, like Matthew said that a leper was begging Jesus, as he knelt before him.  Then he said that if Jesus wanted to, he could make him clean.  This leper was asking Jesus to make him clean, so that he could join normal Jewish society again.  He knew that Jesus had the power to do this, since many prophets had cured lepers.  Leprosy was some kind of skin disease that was usually found among poor people.  Today, there are about 2,000,000 people with leprosy or Hansen’s disease, mostly in India, Indonesia, and Brazil.  The Greek word “λέπρας” used here is a broader definition of leprosy than just Hansen’s disease.  Leprosy was a Jewish religious problem also.  What to do about it was clearly defined in Leviticus, chapters 13-14.  Leprosy in the wide sense was considered unclean and had religious connotations, since only a priest could declare a person clean, with a distinct ritual for cleansing the leper.  As a leper, they were considered unclean and not fit to live in normal communal life.

Jesus’ clothes are whiter than white (Mk 9:3-9:3)

“His clothes

Became

Dazzling white,

Such as no one

On earth

Could bleach them.”

 

καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο στίλβοντα λευκὰ λίαν, οἷα γναφεὺς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς οὐ δύναται οὕτως λευκᾶναι.

 

This description of the clothing of Jesus can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:2, Luke, chapter 9:29, and here in Mark, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Jesus was transfigured in front of the 3 apostles. There was a metamorphosis, as the appearance of Jesus changed right before their very eyes.  There was no mention of the face of Jesus changing, as in Matthew.  Mark indicated that Jesus’ clothes or garments became a dazzling white (καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο στίλβοντα λευκὰ λίαν).  They were so white that not even any cleaner on earth could bleach them any whiter (οἷα γναφεὺς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς οὐ δύναται οὕτως λευκᾶναι).  Suddenly, the human Jesus seemed more brightly divine with his amazing glittering white clothes.  White and light were good, while black and darkness were bad.

Jesus is transfigured before the three apostles (Mt 17:2-17:2)

“Jesus was transfigured

Before them.

His face shone

Like the sun.

His clothes

Became dazzling white.”

 

καὶ μετεμορφώθη ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν, καὶ ἔλαμψεν τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ὡς ὁ ἥλιος, τὰ δὲ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο λευκὰ ὡς τὸ φῶς.

 

This transfiguration can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:2-3, Luke, chapter 9:29, and here in Matthew, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Jesus was transfigured in front of the 3 apostles (καὶ μετεμορφώθη ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν).  There was a metamorphism, as the appearance of Jesus changed right before their very eyes.  His face was shining like the sun (καὶ ἔλαμψεν τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ὡς ὁ ἥλιος,), just like what happened to Moses, in Exodus, chapter 34:35.  There the face of Moses was so bright that he had to put a veil on after talking to Yahweh, before he could talk to Aaron, his brother.  Jesus’ clothes or garments became a dazzling white, like a bright light or white snow (τὰ δὲ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο λευκὰ ὡς τὸ φῶς).  Suddenly, the human Jesus seemed more brightly divine.  White and light were good, while black and darkness were bad.

Daniel alone saw the vision (Dan 10:7-10:9)

“I,

Daniel,

Alone,

Saw the vision.

The people,

Who were with me,

Did not see the vision.

But a great trembling

Fell upon them.

They fled.

They hid themselves.

I was left alone

To see this great vision.

My strength

Left me.

My complexion

Grew deathly pale.

I retained no strength.

Then I heard

The sound

Of his words.

When I heard

The sound

Of his words,

I fell into a trance,

Face to the ground.”

Daniel explained in the first-person singular what happened to him when he saw this grand vision. Although there were other people there with him, he was the only one who saw the man clothed in linen. They did not see anything, but they began to tremble and then hid themselves. Thus, Daniel was left alone to see this vision by himself. He, too, had a problem. His strength left me. His complexion turned pale. When he heard the sound of this bronze man’s voice, he fell into a trance, face to the ground.

The description of the man on the banks of the Great River (Dan 10:4-10:6)

“On the twenty-fourth day

Of the first month,

As I was standing

On the bank

Of the great river,

That is the Tigris,

I looked up.

I saw

A man clothed

In linen,

With a belt

Of gold,

From Uphaz,

Around his waist.

His body was

Like beryl.

His face was

Like lightning.

His eyes were

Like flaming torches.

His arms,

As well as his legs,

Were

Like the gleam

Of burnished bronze.

The sound

Of his words were

Like the noise

Of a multitude.”

On the 24th of the 1st month, Daniel was on the banks of the great river, the Euphrates, not the Tigris, since the Tigris does not go through Babylon. Then Daniel looked up. He saw a man dressed in linen clothes with a Uphaz gold belt. Uphaz was another name for Ophir, a large gold mining area. Daniel then described this man’s body as like beryl or emerald looking. His face was like lightning. His eyes were like flaming torches. He almost sounded like Santa Claus. His arms and legs were like burnished bronze, similar to the bronze man at the end of the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 40-47. The sound of his voice was like a large group of people. He was quite unique.

The failure of the wise men (Dan 5:8-5:9)

“Then all the king’s wise men

Came in.

But they could not read

The writing.

They could not tell

The king

Its interpretation.

Then King Belshazzar

Became greatly terrified.

His face turned pale.

His lords were perplexed.”

However, when all the wise men came in to see the king, they could not read or interpret the writing on the wall. Then the king got afraid, as his face turned pale again. Even his important lords at this party were perplexed, since they did not know what to do.