The colt (Lk 19:30-19:30)

“Jesus said.

‘Go into the village

Ahead of you!

As you enter it,

You will find

A colt tied there,

That has never

Been ridden.

Untie it!

Bring it here!’”

 

λέγων Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν κατέναντι κώμην, ἐν ᾗ εἰσπορευόμενοι εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον, ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς πώποτε ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν, καὶ λύσαντες αὐτὸν ἀγάγετε.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus told (λέγων) these two disciples to go into the village ahead of them (Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν κατέναντι κώμην).  They were to enter the village (ἐν ᾗ εἰσπορευόμενοι) and find a colt tied there (εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον), that had never been ridden or that no man had ever sat on (ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς πώποτε ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν).  They were to untie it (καὶ λύσαντες αὐτὸν) and then bring it back (ἀγάγετε) to Jesus.  Jesus wanted these two unnamed disciples to go into the village in front of them to get a tied up unbroken colt and bring it back to him.  This sounded simple enough.  Both Matthew, chapter 21:2, and Mark, chapter 11:2 are similar, but Matthew had a colt and a donkey, while Luke and Mark had merely a colt.  Mark said that Jesus told the two unnamed disciples (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) to go into the village that was just ahead of them (Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν κώμην τὴν κατέναντι ὑμῶν).  There immediately on entering the village (καὶ εὐθὺς εἰσπορευόμενοι εἰς αὐτὴν), they would find a colt tied up (εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον).  This was a colt that no person had ever ridden on before (ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς οὔπω ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν).  Jesus told these two unnamed disciples to untie it (λύσατε αὐτὸν) and bring it back to him (καὶ φέρετε).  In Matthew, Jesus told the two disciples (λέγων αὐτοῖς) to travel into the village that was just ahead of them (Πορεύεσθε εἰς τὴν κώμην τὴν κατέναντι ὑμῶν).  There they would immediately find a donkey tied up (καὶ εὐθὺς εὑρήσετε ὄνον δεδεμένην) with a young colt next to it (καὶ πῶλον μετ’ αὐτῆς) also tied up.  Jesus told these two disciples to untie (λύσαντες) both of them.  Then they were to bring or guide them back to him (ἀγάγετέ μοι).  Matthew alone spoke about the donkey and the colt, not just the colt.  Otherwise, everything was pretty much the same in all three synoptic gospels.  Apparently, Jesus and his disciples always traveled on foot or by boat, but never riding animals.  Have you ever ridden on a donkey?

Bethsaida (Lk 9:10-9:10)

“On their return,

The apostles

Told Jesus

All that they had done.

He took them

With him,

As he withdrew privately

To a city

Called Bethsaida.”

 

Καὶ ὑποστρέψαντες οἱ ἀπόστολοι διηγήσαντο αὐτῷ ὅσα ἐποίησαν. Καὶ παραλαβὼν αὐτοὺς ὑπεχώρησεν κατ’ ἰδίαν εἰς πόλιν καλουμένην Βηθσαϊδά.

 

Luke said that on the return of the apostles (Καὶ ὑποστρέψαντες οἱ ἀπόστολοι), they told Jesus all that they had done (διηγήσαντο αὐτῷ ὅσα ἐποίησαν).  He then took them with him (Καὶ παραλαβὼν αὐτοὺς) as he withdrew privately to a city (ὑπεχώρησεν κατ’ ἰδίαν εἰς πόλιν) called Bethsaida (καλουμένην Βηθσαϊδά).  This opening to the multiplication of the loaves story can be found in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:13, Mark, chapter 6:30-33, John, chapter 6:1-2, and here.  Luke was the only one to mention the town of Bethsaida, while the others talked about Jesus in a boat.  This gathering of the apostles around Jesus after their mission can only be found in Mark and in Luke.  Mark said that they told Jesus everything that they had done and taught.  Thus, Jesus had a debriefing session with his apostles where he found out what had happened to them on their missionary adventures.  Then Mark said that Jesus wanted to get away to a deserted place in a boat, but somehow the crowds followed him along the bank of the sea, so that Jesus and his apostles could not get away by themselves.  Mark wanted his disciples and apostles to rest for a while, to take it easy.  Many people were coming and going, so that they did not have any leisure time to eat.  Thus, they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.  Jesus was concerned about the apostles’ mental state.  He wanted them to have some down time.  Matthew had pretty much the same story about Jesus and the boat with a slightly different twist.  Jesus left in a boat to be in a deserted or secluded place alone.  However, the crowds heard about it, so that they followed him on foot from the various towns.  Jesus could not get away by himself.  Do you ever want to get away by yourself?

Angels will protect you (Lk 4:11-4:11)

“‘On their hands,

They will bear you up.

Thus,

You will not dash

Your foot

Against a stone.’”

 

καὶ ὅτι ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε μή ποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου.

 

Luke is very similar to Matthew, chapter 4:6.  Once again, the devil had said that if Jesus was truly the Son of God, he could throw himself down.  Then God’s angels would catch him.  Luke indicated that the devil, citing Psalm 91:11-12, said that God would command these angels to protect him.  With their hands, they would bear him up (καὶ ὅτι ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε), as if angels had hands.  Thus, he would not dash or strike his foot against a stone (μή ποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου).  These angels would catch him in their hands so that his feet would never touch the ground.  Yahweh, in this original psalm was going to send his angels to protect the good ones, so that they would never stub their feet on any stones.

Pluck out your eye (Mk 9:47-9:47)

“If your eye

Causes you

To stumble,

Tear it out!

It is better

For you

To enter

The kingdom of God

With one eye

Than to have

Two eyes

To be thrown into hell.”

 

καὶ ἐὰν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου σκανδαλίζῃ σε, ἔκβαλε αὐτόν· καλόν σέ ἐστιν μονόφθαλμον εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἢ δύο ὀφθαλμοὺς ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς τὴν γέενναν

 

This saying about it being better to be blind in one eye can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:9, almost word for word.  This warning was almost the same as the warning about the stumbling hand and foot.  Jesus then spoke about the problem of wandering eyes.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that if your eye causes you to stumble or sin (καὶ ἐὰν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου σκανδαλίζῃ σε), cast it out, gouge it out, or pluck it out (ἔκβαλε αὐτόν).  It would be better for you to enter the kingdom of God (εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ) blind in one eye or one eyed (καλόν σέ ἐστιν μονόφθαλμον) than to have two eyes (ἢ δύο ὀφθαλμοὺς) but thrown into Gehenna or hell (ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς τὴν γέενναν).  The Greek word for hell “γέενναν” or the English Gehenna was based on the Hebrew word Gehinnom.  That was the name of the valley south of Jerusalem where burning child sacrifices would take place.  You were better off with one eye than being in these hell fires with two eyes.  Whatever, the temptation, stumbling block or snare was, get rid of it, even if it is your eye.  This message was clear.  One eyed, one foot, or one hand was better than eternal fire.

Cut off your hand (Mk 9:43-9:43)

“If your hand

Causes you

To stumble,

Cut it off!

It is better

For you

To enter life

Maimed

Than with two hands

And go to hell,

To the unquenchable fire.”

 

Καὶ ἐὰν σκανδαλίσῃ σε ἡ χείρ σου, ἀπόκοψον αὐτήν· καλόν ἐστίν σε κυλλὸν εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν, ἢ τὰς δύο χεῖρας ἔχοντα ἀπελθεῖν εἰς τὴν γέενναν, εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ ἄσβεστον

 

This saying about better to be maimed than sin can also be found in Matthew chapter 18:8, with some minor changes since he united the hand and foot together.    In a rather harsh statement, Mark indicated that Jesus said that if your hand caused you to stumble, sin, or scandalize others (Καὶ ἐὰν σκανδαλίσῃ σε ἡ χείρ σου), cut it off (ἀπόκοψον αὐτήν).  It would be better for you to enter life maimed or crippled (καλόν ἐστιν σε κυλλὸν εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν) than to have two hands (ἢ δύο χεῖρας).  Then you would go away into Gehenna (ἀπελθεῖν εἰς τὴν γέενναν), the unquenchable fire (εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ ἄσβεστον).  The Greek word for hell was “γέενναν” or the English Gehenna, based on the Hebrew word Gehinnom.  That was the name of the valley south of Jerusalem where burning child sacrifices would take place.  You were better off maimed with one hand than being in these everlasting hell fires.  Whatever, the temptation, stumbling block, or snare, get rid of it, even if it is one of your own hands.

The crowds follow Jesus (Mk 6:33-6:33)

“Now many saw them

Going.

They recognized them.

They hurried there

On foot

From all the towns.

They arrived

Ahead of them.”

 

καὶ εἶδον αὐτοὺς ὑπάγοντας καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν πολλοί, καὶ πεζῇ ἀπὸ πασῶν τῶν πόλεων συνέδραμον ἐκεῖ καὶ προῆλθον αὐτούς.

 

This opening to the multiplication of the loaves story can be found in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:13, Luke, chapter 9:10, John, chapter 6:1-2, and here.  Jesus wanted to get away to a deserted place in a boat, but somehow the crowds followed him.  It is not clear if they were looking for his reaction to the death of John the Baptist, or just following him as an itinerant preacher and healer.  Mark said that many people saw and recognized Jesus and his disciples leaving in the boat (καὶ εἶδον αὐτοὺς ὑπάγοντας καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν πολλοί).  They ran together on foot there along the shore from all the various towns (καὶ πεζῇ ἀπὸ πασῶν τῶν πόλεων συνέδραμον ἐκεῖ).  The crowds, in fact, arrived ahead of them (καὶ προῆλθον αὐτούς). This crowd seemed to follow along the bank of the sea, so that Jesus and his apostles could not get away by themselves.

Throw him out of the feast (Mt 22:12-22:13)

“The king said to him.

‘Friend!

How did you get in here

Without a wedding garment?’

He was speechless.

Then the king said

To the attendants,

‘Bind him

Hand and foot!

Throw him

Into the outer darkness.

There will be weeping.

There will be gnashing

Of teeth.’”

 

καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ἑταῖρε, πῶς εἰσῆλθες ὧδε μὴ ἔχων ἔνδυμα γάμου; ὁ δὲ ἐφιμώθη.

τότε ὁ βασιλεὺς εἶπεν τοῖς διακόνοις Δήσαντες αὐτοῦ πόδας καὶ χεῖρας ἐκβάλετε αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον· ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων.

 

This is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that the king addressed this man (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ) without a wedding garment with a sarcastic greeting of “Friend (Ἑταῖρε).”  How had he gotten into the wedding banquet without a wedding garment (ὧδε μὴ ἔχων ἔνδυμα γάμου)?  The man without the wedding robe was speechless or silent (ὁ δὲ ἐφιμώθη).  Then the king told his serving attendants (ότε ὁ βασιλεὺς εἶπεν τοῖς διακόνοις) to tie him up hand and foot (Δήσαντες αὐτοῦ πόδας καὶ χεῖρας) and throw him into the extreme darkness (ἐκβάλετε αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον).  There would be weeping gnashing of teeth out there in this darkness (ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων), the traditional way of mourning.  The moral of this parable was always wear the right clothes for every occasion.