The priest went by (Lk 10:31-10:31)

“Now by chance,

A priest

Was going down

That road.

When he saw him,

He passed by

On the other side.”

 

κατὰ συγκυρίαν δὲ ἱερεύς τις κατέβαινεν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐκείνῃ, καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν ἀντιπαρῆλθεν.

 

Luke uniquely continued this story or parable about who is my neighbor.  Jesus said that by chance (κατὰ συγκυρίαν), a certain Jewish priest (δὲ ἱερεύς τις) was going down (κατέβαινεν) this same road (ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐκείνῃ).  He saw the badly wounded man (καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν), but he passed by on the other side of the road (ἀντιπαρῆλθεν).  There is a lot of speculation on why this priest did not help this man.  Was it because of ritual purity?  Was he in a hurry, so that he did not have time to stop?  Did he simply not care?  Was it too much of a bother?  Certainly, a Jewish priest had standing in the Jewish community.  Other than the high priest, he represented the most important level of Jewish society.  What is certain is that this high-ranking religious leader did not engage in any way with the afflicted man on the other side of the road.  He clearly saw him, as he specifically crossed over to the other side, so as not to be bothered by him.  The ritual purity argument has been raised since a priest could not touch a corpse.  However, there was no mention of a dead body.  Do you always have an excuse on why you do not help other wounded people?

The example of David (Lk 6:4-6:4)

“David entered

The house of God.

He took

The bread of the Presence.

He ate it.

This was not lawful

For anyone,

But the priests

To eat.

He also gave some

To his companions.’”

 

ὡς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως λαβὼν ἔφαγεν καὶ ἔδωκεν τοῖς μετ’ αὐτοῦ, οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν φαγεῖν εἰ μὴ μόνους τοὺς ἱερεῖς;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that David entered the house of God (ὡς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Θεοῦ).  He took (λαβὼν) the show bread of the Presence (καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως) and ate it (ἔφαγεν).  He also gave some to his companions (καὶ ἔδωκεν τοῖς μετ’ αὐτοῦ).  However, this was not lawful for them to eat it (οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν φαγεῖν), since it was only for the priests (εἰ μὴ μόνους τοὺς ἱερεῖς).  Matthew, chapter 12:4, and Mark, chapter 2:26, are similar to Luke, so that perhaps Mark may be the origin of this saying of Jesus.  Jesus cited the example of David in 1 Samuel, chapter 21:1-6.  Luke did not mention some of the incorrect details about the high priest that were in Mark and Matthew.  In 1 Samuel, David went to the Levite town of Nob, not the house of God as mentioned here.  There Ahimelech was the high priest, not Abiathar as Mark and Matthew indicated.  David said that he was hungry and needed bread for himself and his men.  However, they only had consecrated holy bread for the sacrifices, not common bread.  This showbread, the bread of the Presence, was 12 loaves or cakes of bread that was replaced weekly in the holy place in the Temple that symbolized communion with God.  Either he took it or the priest then gave him the holy bread anyway.  He and his companions ate the bread of the Presence or sacred Levite bread.  However, it was not lawful for them to eat it, because only the Levite priests were allowed to eat this sacred bread.  Thus, Jesus used this example of David to answer the Pharisees, although there are some discrepancies in this story about David.

They deliver Jesus to Pilate (Mk 15:1-15:1)

“As soon as it was morning,

The chief priests

Held a consultation

With the elders,

The Scribes,

And the whole council.

They bound Jesus.

They led him away.

They handed him

Over to Pilate.”

 

Καὶ εὐθὺς πρωῒ συμβούλιον ἑτοιμάσαντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων καὶ γραμματέων καὶ ὅλον τὸ συνέδριον, δήσαντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπήνεγκαν καὶ παρέδωκαν Πειλάτῳ  

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:1-2, except that Mark did not mention the decision to bring Jesus to death.  In Luke, chapter 23:1, everybody brought Jesus to Pilate.  In John, chapter 18:28, there was a long discussion of Pilate with the Jewish leaders, after they brought Jesus to Pilate.  However, they had to stay outside the Roman court, so as not to defile themselves during the Passover festival.  Mark said that as soon as it was early in the morning (Καὶ εὐθὺς πρωῒ), after the all-nighter evening meeting at the house of the high priest of Jerusalem, the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) with the elders or presbyters (μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων) and the Scribes (καὶ γραμματέων) conferred together or came to a resolution (συμβούλιον ἑτοιμάσαντες).  All of this council, tribunal, or Sanhedrin (καὶ ὅλον τὸ συνέδριον) agreed.  They tied up or bound Jesus (δήσαντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν).  They led him away (ἀπήγαγον).  They delivered him or handed him over to Pilate (καὶ παρέδωκαν Πειλάτῳ).  Whether this was an official meeting or not, they did come up with a conclusion that they would hand Jesus over to the Roman governor of Judea.  Thus, Pilate had jurisdiction over death penalties, since Judea was within the Roman Empire.  Mark did not mention that Pilate was the governor, but this text just assumes that.  Who was this Pontius Pilate?  He was the rather cruel Roman ruler, prefect, or governor of Judea from 26-36 CE, the exact time frame of Jesus.  Interesting enough, a whole literature and artistic presentations of Pontius Pilate developed in the 20th century with movie and TV portrayals of him.  He was certainly a central figure in this presentation about the death of Jesus.

You were with Jesus (Mk 14:67-14:67)

“When she saw Peter

Warming himself,

She stared

At him.

She said.

‘You also

Were with Jesus,

The man from Nazareth.’”

 

καὶ ἰδοῦσα τὸν Πέτρον θερμαινόμενον ἐμβλέψασα αὐτῷ λέγει Καὶ σὺ μετὰ τοῦ Ναζαρηνοῦ ἦσθα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:69, and Luke, chapter 22:56.  John, chapter 18:17, has just a woman without any further description.  Mark said that Peter was warming himself in the high priest’s courtyard (καὶ ἰδοῦσα τὸν Πέτρον θερμαινόμενον).  This young servant girl or maid of the high priest was looking or staring at Peter (ἐμβλέψασα αὐτῷ).  She said to Peter (λέγει) that he had been with Jesus, the man from Nazareth (Καὶ σὺ μετὰ τοῦ Ναζαρηνοῦ ἦσθα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ), and not a Galilean as in Matthew.  She had spotted Peter with Jesus.  She knew that Jesus was from Nazareth.  Now she recognized Peter.  She may have seen Jesus and his followers somewhere beforehand.  People judge you by your company.  Would you deny your friends?

Peter and the maid (Mk 14:66-14:66)

“While Peter was below

In the courtyard,

One of the servant-girls

Of the high priest

Came along.”

 

Καὶ ὄντος τοῦ Πέτρου κάτω ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ ἔρχεται μία τῶν παιδισκῶν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως,

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:69, and Luke, chapter 22:56, but Peter was warming himself.  John, chapter 18:16-17, has less about the servant-girl.  Mark said that Peter was sitting outside in the high priest’s lower courtyard (Καὶ ὄντος τοῦ Πέτρου κάτω ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ).  Then a young servant-girl or maid of the high priest came up to him (ἔρχεται μία τῶν παιδισκῶν τοῦ ἀρχιερέως).  This does not sound good for Peter.

They condemn Jesus to death (Mk 14:64-14:64)

“You have heard

His blasphemy!

What is your decision?’

All of them

Condemned him

As deserving death.”

 

ἠκούσατε τῆς βλασφημίας· τί ὑμῖν φαίνεται; οἱ δὲ πάντες κατέκριναν αὐτὸν ἔνοχον εἶναι θανάτου.

 

This is something similar in Matthew, chapter 26:65-66.  There is nothing like this in Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 18.  Mark said that the high priest said that they had heard his blasphemy (ἠκούσατε τὴν βλασφημίαν).  Technically, it might not have been a blasphemy, since someone had to utter the divine name or profane sacred things, but it was close enough.  Thus, this high priest asked for a decision or verdict.  What did it appear to them (τί ὑμῖν φαίνεται;)?  All the members of the council that included the chief priests, the priests, the presbyters, the elders, and the Scribes condemned Jesus (οἱ δὲ πάντες κατέκριναν αὐτὸν), that he deserved to die (ἔνοχον εἶναι θανάτου).  Technically, they could not condemn Jesus to death, since only the Roman authorities could impose a death penalty.

 

Why do we need witnesses? (Mk 14:63-14:63)

“Then the high priest

Tore his clothes.

He said.

‘Why do we still need

Witnesses?’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀρχιερεὺς διαρρήξας τοὺς χιτῶνας αὐτοῦ λέγει Τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων;

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:65.  In Luke, chapter 22:71, there is something similar, but there is nothing like this in John, chapter 18.  Mark said that the high priest tore his clothes (ὁ δὲ ἀρχιερεὺς διαρρήξας τοὺς χιτῶνας αὐτοῦ), generally a sign of mourning or distress.  He then said why did they still need any witnesses (λέγει τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων)?  The trial was over.  Jesus was guilty as charged, since he admitted to being the Messiah.