No one is greater (Lk 7:28-7:28)

“‘I tell you!

Among those born

Of women,

No one is greater

Than John.

Yet the least

In the kingdom of God

Is greater than he.’”

 

λέγω ὑμῖν, μείζων ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν Ἰωάνου οὐδείς ἐστιν· ὁ δὲ μικρότερος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ μείζων αὐτοῦ ἐστιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus, with a solemn announcement (λέγω ὑμῖν), said that there was nobody born of a woman greater than John (μείζων ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν Ἰωάνου οὐδείς ἐστιν).  However, yet even the least in the kingdom of God (ὁ δὲ μικρότερος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ) was greater than him (μείζων αὐτοῦ ἐστιν).  This saying about John the Baptist can be found almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 11:11.  Thus, this may have been a Q source about John, like many of the other passages about John.  Matthew had Jesus issue this solemn proclamation.  There was no other human being greater than John the Baptist.  Notice that he used his title of the Baptist there.  However, those who are the least, the smallest, or the littlest in the kingdom of heaven would be greater than John.  This was great praise for John.  Yet, being a follower of Jesus made them even greater.  Which would you rather be, the greatest human being or a follower of Jesus?

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Peter denies Jesus (Mk 14:68-14:68)

“But Peter

Denied it.

He said.

‘I do not know

Or understand

What you are

Talking about.’

Peter went out

Into the forecourt.

Then the cock crowed.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἠρνήσατο λέγων Οὔτε οἶδα οὔτε ἐπίσταμαι σὺ τί λέγεις. καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἔξω εἰς τὸ προαύλιον·

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:70-71, and Luke, chapter 22:57-58.  John, chapter 18:17, has a simple denial.  Peter was warming himself at the fire in the high priest’s courtyard, when a young servant girl of the high priest came up to him and said that he had been with Jesus.  Mark said that Peter denied this (ὁ δὲ ἠρνήσατο).  Peter said that he did not know or even understand what she was talking about (λέγων Οὔτε οἶδα οὔτε ἐπίσταμαι σὺ τί λέγεις).  Then Peter walked away into the forecourt, the porch, or gateway to the courtyard (καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ἔξω εἰς τὸ προαύλιον).  Some ancient Orthodox manuscripts had the cock crow at this point (καὶ ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν).  This first denial story of Peter, the great leader and follower of Jesus, was in all 4 gospels.  Not all leaders are perfect.

The naked man (Mk 14:51-14:52)

“A certain young man

Was following Jesus.

He was wearing

Nothing

But a linen cloth.

They caught hold

Of him.

But he left

The linen cloth.

He ran off naked.”

 

Καὶ νεανίσκος τις συνηκολούθει αὐτῷ περιβεβλημένος σινδόνα ἐπὶ γυμνοῦ, καὶ κρατοῦσιν αὐτόν·

ὁ δὲ καταλιπὼν τὴν σινδόνα γυμνὸς ἔφυγεν.

 

This story is unique to Mark, so that much speculation has centered around whether this was Mark himself of someone he knew.  Anyway, the other gospel writers never mentioned this naked man.  Was he a follower of Jesus from nearby Bethany or a vagrant?  We do no not know.  Mark thought it was important enough to write about it.  He said that a certain young man was following Jesus (αὶ νεανίσκος τις συνηκολούθει αὐτῷ), perhaps indicating a follower of Jesus.  He was wearing nothing but a linen cloth on his naked body (περιβεβλημένος σινδόνα ἐπὶ γυμνοῦ).  They, the crowd that came to arrest Jesus, caught hold of him or seized him just like Jesus (καὶ κρατοῦσιν αὐτόν).  However, he left his linen cloth behind (ὁ δὲ καταλιπὼν τὴν σινδόνα), as he ran off naked into the night (γυμνὸς ἔφυγεν).  Apparently, no one followed him.

The former possessed man wants to go with Jesus (Mk 5:18-5:18)

“As Jesus was getting

Into the boat,

The man,

Who had been possessed

By demons,

Begged him

That he might be

With him.”

 

καὶ ἐμβαίνοντος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ πλοῖον παρεκάλει αὐτὸν ὁ δαιμονισθεὶς ἵνα μετ’ αὐτοῦ ᾖ.

 

There is something similar in Luke, chapter 8:38, while there is nothing like this in MatthewMark said that as Jesus was getting into the boat (καὶ ἐμβαίνοντος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ πλοῖον), the man, who had been possessed by demons (ὁ δαιμονισθεὶς) begged or entreated Jesus (παρεκάλει αὐτὸν) to let him go with him (ἵνα μετ’ αὐτοῦ ᾖ).  This formerly possessed man wanted to be a follower of Jesus with him.  This seems like a reasonable request.

The great John the Baptist (Mt 11:11-11:11)

“Truly!

I say to you!

‘Among those born of women,

No one has risen greater

Than John the Baptist.

Yet the least

In the kingdom of heaven

Is greater than he.’”

 

ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐκ ἐγήγερται ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν μείζων Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ· ὁ δὲ μικρότερος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν μείζων αὐτοῦ ἐστιν.

 

This saying about John the Baptist can be found almost word for word in Luke, chapter 7:28.  Thus, this may have been a Q source about John, like many of the other passages about John.  Matthew has Jesus issue this solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν,).  There was no other human being, born of a woman (ἐγήγερται ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν), greater than John the Baptist (μείζων Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ·).  Notice that he used his title here of the Baptist (τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ).  However, those who would be the least, the smallest, or the littlest in the kingdom of heaven would be greater than John (ὁ δὲ μικρότερος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν μείζων αὐτοῦ ἐστιν).  This was great praise for John.  Yet, being a follower of Jesus made you even greater.