Jesus entered Jerusalem and the Temple (Mk 11:11-11:11)

“Then Jesus

Entered Jerusalem.

He went

Into the Temple.

When he had looked around

At everything,

As it was already late,

He went out

To Bethany

With the twelve.”

 

Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα εἰς τὸ ἱερόν· καὶ περιβλεψάμενος πάντα, ὀψὲ ἤδη οὔσης τῆς ὥρας, ἐξῆλθεν εἰς Βηθανίαν μετὰ τῶν δώδεκα.

 

This generic remark about Jesus entering Jerusalem and the Temple is in stark contrast with Matthew, chapter 21:30, where he said that the whole city was in turmoil or stirred up wondering who was this man entering the city was.  Matthew emphasized that Jesus was from Galilee, the north, rather than a Judean or a southerner.  Mark said, in a more descriptive simple manner, that Jesus simply entered Jerusalem (Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα) and the Temple (εἰς τὸ ἱερόν).  He just looked around at everything (καὶ περιβλεψάμενος πάντα).  There was nothing spectacular about the arrival of Jesus and his apostles.  Since it was already a late hour (ὀψὲ ἤδη οὔσης τῆς ὥρας), he went out to Bethany (ἐξῆλθεν εἰς Βηθανίαν) with his twelve apostles (μετὰ τῶν δώδεκα).  There they probably spent the night, since it was only about a mile and a half east of Jerusalem.  This was the same city of Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, but there was no mention of them here.

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Jesus goes to Judea (Mk 10:1-10:1)

“Jesus left that place.

He went

To the region

Of Judea,

And beyond

The Jordan.

Crowds again

Gathered around him.

As was his custom,

He again taught them.”

 

Καὶ ἐκεῖθεν ἀναστὰς ἔρχεται εἰς τὰ ὅρια τῆς Ἰουδαίας καὶ πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου, καὶ συνπορεύονται πάλιν ὄχλοι πρὸς αὐτόν, καὶ ὡς εἰώθει πάλιν ἐδίδασκεν αὐτούς.

 

This move from Galilee to Judea can also be found in Matthew, chapter 19:1-2, and Luke, chapter 9:51.  Mark said that Jesus rose up and left that place (Καὶ ἐκεῖθεν ἀναστὰς), presumably Galilee.  He went to the region of Judea (ἔρχεται εἰς τὰ ὅρια τῆς Ἰουδαίας) and beyond the Jordan (καὶ πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου).  Thus, Jesus moved south towards Jerusalem.  However, he traveled on the other eastern side of the Jordan River, so that he did not have to go into Samaria.  He definitely was leaving Galilee.  Mark, like Matthew, emphasized the crowds that gathered around Jesus again (καὶ συνπορεύονται πάλιν ὄχλοι πρὸς αὐτόν).  Just as in Galilee, as was his custom (καὶ ὡς εἰώθει), Jesus again began to teach (πάλιν ἐδίδασκεν αὐτούς), the people in these crowds in Judea.  Mark had Jesus teaching the crowds instead of healing these people, as in Matthew.

The birthday of Herod (Mk 6:21-6:21)

“But an opportunity came

When Herod,

On his birthday,

Gave a banquet

For his noble courtiers,

His military officers,

And the prominent leaders

Of Galilee.”

 

Καὶ γενομένης ἡμέρας εὐκαίρου ὅτε Ἡρῴδης τοῖς γενεσίοις αὐτοῦ δεῖπνον ἐποίησεν τοῖς μεγιστᾶσιν αὐτοῦ καὶ τοῖς χιλιάρχοις καὶ τοῖς πρώτοις τῆς Γαλιλαίας,

 

Mark has a long descriptive story about this birthday party of Herod.  Matthew, chapter 14:6-12, has a more summary statement about this party, while Luke made no mention of it.  Mark explained about the guests at this birthday party.  He said that an opportunity arose for a festival day (Καὶ γενομένης ἡμέρας εὐκαίρου) on the celebration of King Herod’s birthday (ὅτε Ἡρῴδης τοῖς γενεσίοις αὐτοῦ).  King Herod gave a banquet dinner (δεῖπνον ἐποίησεν) for his courtiers or noblemen (τοῖς μεγιστᾶσιν αὐτοῦ), his military officers or captains (καὶ τοῖς χιλιάρχοις), and the other prominent leaders of Galilee (καὶ τοῖς πρώτοις τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  Anybody who was of any importance in Galilee would have been there, since Herod was the tetrarch or so-called king of Galilee, under Roman rule.

Herod had seized John the Baptist (Mk 6:17-6:17)

“Herod himself

Had sent men

Who arrested John.

They bound him.

He put him

In prison

On account

Of Herodias,

His brother Philip’s wife.

Because Herod

Had married her.”

 

Αὐτὸς γὰρ ὁ Ἡρῴδης ἀποστείλας ἐκράτησεν τὸν Ἰωάνην καὶ ἔδησεν αὐτὸν ἐν φυλακῇ διὰ Ἡρῳδιάδα τὴν γυναῖκα Φιλίππου τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ, ὅτι αὐτὴν ἐγάμησεν·

 

This mention of Herod seizing John the Baptist can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:3, Luke, 3:19-20, and here.  As if this story was not complicated enough, King Herod, the Roman ruler in Galilee, had already seized or arrested John the Baptist.  John had been complaining that King Herod Antipas had married Herodias, the wife of his half-brother Herod Boethus or Philip, after King Herod had divorced his first wife.  He had sent his first wife back to her father that started a war.  Mark said that Herod had sent men (Αὐτὸς γὰρ ὁ Ἡρῴδης ἀποστείλας) to seize or arrest John (ἐκράτησεν τὸν Ἰωάνην).  They bound him up and put him in jail (καὶ ἔδησεν αὐτὸν ἐν φυλακῇ).  King Herod did this because of his new wife Herodias, who had been the wife of his brother Philip or Herod Boethus (διὰ Ἡρῳδιάδα τὴν γυναῖκα Φιλίππου τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ).  Then King Herod married Herodias (ὅτι αὐτὴν ἐγάμησεν).

King Herod heard about Jesus (Mk 6:14-6:14)

“King Herod

Had heard

That Jesus’ name

Had become known.

Some were saying.

‘John the baptizer

Has been raised

From the dead.

For this reason,

These powers are

At work

In him.’”

 

Καὶ ἤκουσεν ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἡρῴδης, φανερὸν γὰρ ἐγένετο τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἰωάνης ὁ Βαπτίζων ἐγήγερται ἐκ νεκρῶν, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἐνεργοῦσιν αἱ δυνάμεις ἐν αὐτῷ.

 

This mention of Herod can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:1, Luke, chapter 9:7, and here.  The Roman educated Herod, was the ruler or tetrarch of Galilee and Perea from 4 BCE-39 CE, as a client ruler, part of the Roman Empire.  This Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great.  He had built and named the capital city of Galilee, Tiberias, since the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37 CE) was his favorite emperor.  Mark called him a king.  King Herod had heard reports (Καὶ ἤκουσεν ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἡρῴδης) about Jesus, because his name had become well known or famous (φανερὸν γὰρ ἐγένετο τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ).  Jesus was a celebrity in Galilee.  Here we have the intersection of the Galilean official of the Roman Empire, Herod, and the famous Galilean preacher and faith healer, Jesus.  Herod, the Roman ruler in Galilee, or those around him said (καὶ ἔλεγον) that Jesus might be the resurrected John the Baptist, since some people believed that righteous people rose from the dead.  Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead (ὅτι Ἰωάνης ὁ Βαπτίζων ἐγήγερται ἐκ νεκρῶν).  How ironic, since Jesus was to rise from the dead.  Herod thought the miraculous powers of John the Baptist were at work in Jesus (καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ἐνεργοῦσιν αἱ δυνάμεις ἐν αὐτῷ).  He and his people thought that John might have reincarnated himself in Jesus,

Jesus tries to get away from the crowds (Mk 3:7-3:7)

“Jesus departed

With his disciples

To the sea.

A great multitude

From Galilee,

Also,

From Judea,

Followed him.”

 

Καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ ἀνεχώρησεν πρὸς τὴν θάλασσαν· καὶ πολὺ πλῆθος ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἠκολούθησεν· καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰουδαίας

 

This is unique to Mark, as part of his short summaries.  Mark said that Jesus departed with his disciples (Καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ ἀνεχώρησεν) to the sea (πρὸς τὴν θάλασσαν).  Meanwhile, a great multitude from Galilee (καὶ πολὺ πλῆθος ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας) as well as from Judea (καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰουδαίας) followed him (ἠκολούθησεν).  Clearly, Jesus had become very popular.

Simon and Andrew follow Jesus (Mk 1:17-1:18)

“Jesus said

To them.

‘Follow me!

I will make you

Fish for people.’

Immediately.

They left their nets.

They followed him.”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Δεῦτε ὀπίσω μου, καὶ ποιήσω ὑμᾶς γενέσθαι ἁλεεῖς ἀνθρώπων.

καὶ εὐθὺς ἀφέντες τὰ δίκτυα ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ.

 

Mark, like Matthew, chapter 4:19-20, almost word for word, indicated that Jesus wanted these two fishermen brothers to follow him.  Jesus said to them (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) to come and follow after him (Δεῦτε ὀπίσω μου,), since he was going to make them fishers of human people (καὶ ποιήσω ὑμᾶς γενέσθαι ἁλεεῖς ἀνθρώπων).  They immediately left their nets (καὶ εὐθὺς ἀφέντες τὰ δίκτυα) and followed or accompanied Jesus (ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ).  They were no longer going to fish for marine life, but human life.  This was a like an Israelite prophetic call, since Jesus spoke directly to these two men.  He issued an invitation that seemed like a command at the same time.  They were to follow after him, no matter what.  They were to be on the hunt for humans, and not fish.  Like the Hebrew prophets, their response was immediate, without any hesitation.  They left their fishing nets, as they began to follow Jesus.  Thus, Simon and Andrew, the fishing brothers of Galilee, became the first two disciples of Jesus.  John, chapter 1:35-42, may shed further light on these two disciples of Jesus, since he indicated that Andrew and Simon were disciples of John the Baptist when Jesus came to John.  Then they became disciples of Jesus.