They realize that Jesus is not with them (Lk 2:44-2:44)

“They assumed

That Jesus was

In the group

Of caravan travelers.

Thus,

They went

A day’s journey.

Then they started

To look for him

Among their relatives

And friends.”

 

νομίσαντες δὲ αὐτὸν εἶναι ἐν τῇ συνοδίᾳ ἦλθον ἡμέρας ὁδὸν καὶ ἀνεζήτουν αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν καὶ τοῖς γνωστοῖς,

 

Luke said that Mary and Joseph realized that Jesus was not with them after they were a full day out of Jerusalem, probably about 20 miles.  They had assumed that Jesus was in their caravan group of travelers (νομίσαντες δὲ αὐτὸν εἶναι ἐν τῇ συνοδίᾳ).  Thus, they went a day’s journey (ἦλθον ἡμέρας ὁδὸν) before they recognized this.  Then they started to look for him (καὶ ἀνεζήτουν αὐτὸν) among their relatives and acquaintance friends (ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν καὶ τοῖς γνωστοῖς).  It seems like this should have been a priority before they started.  This was not very good parenting, unless they had more kids to worry about.

 

Family members will turn on each other (Mk 13:12-13:12)

“Brother

Will betray brother

To death.

A father

Will betray his child.

Children

Will rise

Against parents.

They will have them

Put to death.”

 

καὶ παραδώσει ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον, καὶ ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς·

 

This is one of the few verses that are exactly word for word in Matthew, chapter 10:21, somewhat similar in Luke, chapter 21:16.  This was also similar to Micah, chapter 7:6, where the prophet warned that they should not trust anyone.  He said that the son was treating his father with contempt.  The daughter was against her mother.  The daughter-in-law was against her mother-in-law.  Their worst enemies were not outside, but in their very own house.  This was a time and a place where you could not trust anyone, even your friends, family, and lovers.  You had to be careful with everyone.  Jesus, via Mark, seems to indicate the same thing.  Brother would betray or hand over his brother to death (καὶ παραδώσει ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον).  A father would hand over or betray his child to death (καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον).  Children would rise up against their parents (ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς).  They would have them put to death (καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς).  Family disputes would arise over Jesus.  This was a far cry from love your neighbor.

Family disputes (Mt 10:21-10:21)

“Brother will betray

Brother

To death.

A father will betray

His child.

Children will rise

Against their parents.

They will have them

Put to death.”

 

παραδώσει δὲ ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον, καὶ ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς.

 

Mark 13:12 has a similar saying, word for word as found in Matthew.  This was also similar to Micah, chapter 7:6, where the prophet warned that they should not trust anyone.  He said that the son was treating his father with contempt.  The daughter was against her mother.  The daughter-in-law was against her mother-in-law.  Their worst enemies were not outside, but in their very own house.  This was a time and a place where you could not trust anyone, even your friends, family, and lovers.  You had to be careful with everyone.  Jesus, via Matthew, seems to indicate the same thing.  Brother would betray or hand over his brother to death (παραδώσει δὲ ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον).  A father would hand over or betray his child to death (καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον).  Children would rise up against their parents (ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς).  They would have them put to death (καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς).  Family disputes would arise over Jesus.

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.

The true judgment was delivered (Dan 3:8-3:9)

“Thus,

All that you brought

Upon us,

All that you have done

To us,

You have done

By a true judgment.

You have handed us over

To our enemies,

Lawless,

Hateful rebels.

You have handed us over

To an unjust king,

The most wicked

In all the world.”

Azariah continued his prayer. Due to their sinfulness, God executed a proper and true judgment. He has handed over the Judeans to their enemies, the lawless and hateful rebels of Babylon. They were turned over to an unjust king, the most wicked king in the whole world. Remember, up until this incident of the golden statue, Azariah and his 2 friends were serving this king in his royal court. I could see how this furnace punishment might change their minds.

The response of Daniel (Dan 1:11-1:13)

“Then Daniel

Asked the guard,

That the palace master

Had appointed over

Daniel,

Hananiah,

Mishael,

Azariah.

‘Please test your servants

For ten days!

Let us be given vegetables

To eat

As well as water

To drink!

You can then compare

Our appearance

With the appearance

Of the young men

Who eat the royal rations.

Deal with your servants

According to

What you observe!’”

Daniel had a plan. He was going to ask the guard that the palace master had assigned over him and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah for a favor. He wanted to have a 10-day test. They would only eat vegetables and water. Then after 10 days, the guard could compare their appearance to the others who were eating the royal food. At that point, Daniel would leave it up to the guard to decide what was best for the four of them.

The useless sacrifices (Jer 6:20-6:21)

“‘Of what use to me

Is frankincense

That comes from Sheba?

Of what use to me

Is sweet cane

From a distant land?

Your burnt offerings are not acceptable.

Your sacrifices are not pleasing to me.’

Therefore thus says Yahweh.

‘See!

I am laying before this people

Stumbling blocks

Against which they shall stumble.

Parents shall perish.

Children with them shall perish.

Neighbors shall perish.

Friends shall perish.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, rejects their sacrificial offerings. What good is that precious frankincense from Sheba or the sweet cane from other far away countries? These rich burnt offerings are still unacceptable and not pleasing to Yahweh since they were no substitute for faithfulness. Yahweh was going to be a stumbling block for all of them. Parents, children, neighbors, and friends will all perish, nice and simple, no questions asked.

Things to be ashamed of (Sir 41:17-41:23)

“Be ashamed of sexual immorality before your father or mother!

Be ashamed of a lie before a prince or a ruler!

Be ashamed of a crime before a judge or a magistrate!

Be ashamed of a breach of the law before the congregation!

Be ashamed of a breach of the law before the people!

Be ashamed of unjust dealing before your partner!

Be ashamed of unjust dealing before or your friend!

Be ashamed of theft in the place where you live!

Be ashamed of breaking an oath before the truth of God!

Be ashamed of breaking an agreement before the truth of God!

Be ashamed of leaning on your elbow at meals!

Be ashamed of surliness in receiving!

Be ashamed of surliness in giving!

Be ashamed of silence before those who greet you!

Be ashamed of looking at a prostitute!

Be ashamed of rejecting the appeal of a relative!

Be ashamed of taking away someone’s portion!

Be ashamed of taking away someone’s gift!

Be ashamed of gazing at another man’s wife!

Be ashamed of meddling with his maidservant!

Do not approach her bed!

Be ashamed of abusive words before friends!

Do not be insulting after making a gift!

Be ashamed of repeating what you hear!

Be ashamed of revealing secrets!

Then you will show proper shame.

Then you will find favor with everyone.”

Sirach indicates a long list of things that you should really be ashamed of. They include sexual immorality, lying, crimes, law breaking, unjust dealings, theft, and breaking oaths before your parents, rulers, judges, congregations, friends, roommates, and God. Besides these actions, you should also be ashamed of bad manners at meals, surliness when giving and receiving gifts, being silent when greeted, looking at prostitutes, refusing your relatives, taking someone’s gift, gazing an someone’s wife, meddling with the female servants, abusive words among friends, insulting other’s gifts, repeating what you hear, and betraying secrets. These are the proper things to be ashamed of so that everyone will like you.

Financial independence (Sir 33:19-33:23)

“To son or wife,

To brother or friend,

Do not give power over yourself,

As long as you live.

Do not give your property

To another.

In case you change your mind,

You must ask for it.

While you are still alive,

While you have breath in you,

Do not let anyone take your place!

It is better

That your children

Should ask from you

Than that you should look

To the hand of your children.

Excel in all that you do!

Bring no stain upon your honor!

At the time when you end

The days of your life,

In the hour of your death,

Distribute your inheritance.”

Sirach points out the important of keeping your money until you die. He did not want people to give up their property to sons, wives, brothers, or friends as long as they were alive. He would be against the modern power of attorney concept. He seems to prefer the old fashioned last will and testament. His reasoning was that you might change your mind. Then you would have a hard time getting it back. No one should take your place as long as you were living. It is better that your children come to you, rather than you depend on your children. During your life, you should excel in all that you do. You should bring honor to your family. However, at the end, when you are near death, then you can distribute your goods via a will or anyway you please.

The foolish giver (Sir 20:13-20:17)

“The wise make themselves beloved

By only a few words.

But the courtesies of fools are wasted.

A fool’s gift will profit nothing.

So it is with the envious

Who give under compulsion.

He looks for recompense sevenfold.

He has many eyes instead of one.

He gives little.

He upbraids much.

He opens his mouth

Like a town crier.

Today he lends.

Tomorrow he asks it back.

Such a one is a hateful man.

Such a one is hateful to God.

Such a one is hateful to humans.

The fool says.

‘I have no friends.

I get no thanks for my good deeds.

Those who eat my bread

Are evil-tongued.’

How many will ridicule him!

How often will they ridicule him!”

Wise people can make themselves loved with a few words. However, fools have a difficult time. Courtesies and gifts do not bring them any gain. The same is true of the envious people that are forced to give a gift. They are looking for a reward. These fools are looking to be compensated. They are looking all over with their many eyes. They give little. They are always criticizing. They are like town criers, shouting all the time. One day they lend things. Then the next day, they want them back again. These fools are hateful people to God and their fellow humans. These foolish people think that they have no friends. They get no thanks for their good deeds. They think that the people who eat with them are evil people. Thus they are often ridiculed by many people.