To a distant country
To get royal power
Then he would return.’”
εἶπεν οὖν Ἄνθρωπός τις εὐγενὴς ἐπορεύθη εἰς χώραν μακρὰν λαβεῖν ἑαυτῷ βασιλείαν καὶ ὑποστρέψαι.
Luke indicated that Jesus said (εἶπεν οὖν) that a nobleman (Ἄνθρωπός τις εὐγενὴς) went to a distant country (ἐπορεύθη εἰς χώραν μακρὰν) to get royal power for himself (λαβεῖν ἑαυτῷ βασιλείαν). After that, he would return later (καὶ ὑποστρέψαι). This might have been a hint about the local leaders going to Rome to get their royal powers. It may also be about Jesus going to heaven and then returning at the last judgment or the Second Coming. However, there was the overriding theme of the need for responsibility, productivity, and not laziness. There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 25:14, where the story is about a man with a household of slaves and not a nobleman as here. The slaves were given money to take care of things while the rich man was gone. In Matthew, Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven would be like a man going on a journey (Ὥσπερ γὰρ ἄνθρωπος ἀποδημῶν). This very generous man called or summoned his slaves (ἐκάλεσεν τοὺς ἰδίους δούλους) to entrust them or give them his property and possessions, while he was gone (καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτοῖς τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ). In Mark, 13:34, Jesus said that the end times would be like a man going on a journey (ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος). He left his house (ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ). He gave his slaves the authority (καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν) to perform their own individual tasks (ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ). He commanded a doorkeeper to stand watch over this whole situation (καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ). However, the story for Mark ended there, unlike Luke and Matthew that have more details about the slaves in this household. What do you do when you go on a long journey?
“I tell you!
None of those men
Who were invited
My dinner banquet.”’
λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐδεὶς τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐκείνων τῶν κεκλημένων γεύσεταί μου τοῦ δείπνου.
Luke indicated that Jesus said that this house owner told his slave (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν) that none of those men who were invited (ὅτι οὐδεὶς τῶν ἀνδρῶν ἐκείνων τῶν κεκλημένων) would taste his dinner banquet (γεύσεταί μου τοῦ δείπνου). Once again, this is similar to Matthew, chapter 22:8, where this king told his slaves (τότε λέγει τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ) that the wedding feast was ready (Ὁ μὲν γάμος ἕτοιμός ἐστιν), but those originally invited were not worthy or deserving of his invitation (οἱ δὲ κεκλημένοι οὐκ ἦσαν ἄξιοι). In either case, those originally invited would not be able to eat at this banquet. Was this a hint about the originally invited Israelites? Notice the original chosen ones, the Israelites, were not considered worthy. Now the invitation went out to all people to come to the banquet feast of the son, Jesus. Have you turned down the invitation of Jesus?
“Then he went down
He was obedient
All these things
In her heart.”
καὶ κατέβη μετ’ αὐτῶν καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς Ναζαρὲθ, καὶ ἦν ὑποτασσόμενος αὐτοῖς. καὶ ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ διετήρει πάντα τὰ ῥήματα ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῆς.
Luke said that Jesus went down with his parents to Nazareth (καὶ κατέβη μετ’ αὐτῶν καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς Ναζαρὲθ). There he was obedient to them or submitted to them (καὶ ἦν ὑποτασσόμενος αὐτοῖς). He did not go out on his own. His mother treasured all these things (καὶ ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ διετήρει πάντα τὰ ῥήματα) in her heart (ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῆς). This may be a hint that some of this information came from Mary, the mother of Jesus. Jesus could have begun his public ministry as a boy wonder in Jerusalem, but he chose not to do so. Instead he went back to Nazareth to be an obedient submissive child for at least 10-15 years. That seems like a strange decision. Meanwhile, his mother pondered or kept all these events in her heart as memoires.
He was speaking,
ἀνεῴχθη δὲ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ παραχρῆμα καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐλάλει εὐλογῶν τὸν Θεόν
Luke indicated that as soon as Zechariah wrote on the tablet that the name of the child should be John, immediately his mouth was opened (ἀνεῴχθη δὲ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ παραχρῆμα). His tongue was free to talk (καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα αὐτοῦ). He spoke, blessing God (καὶ ἐλάλει εὐλογῶν τὸν Θεόν). Once he had written the name of John, Zechariah was no longer mute. He immediately praised or blessed God, because any hint of his doubts had disappeared.
“The good news
Of the gospel
Must first be proclaimed
To all nations.”
καὶ εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη πρῶτον δεῖ κηρυχθῆναι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον.
This verse is unique to Mark, but there is a hint of this in Matthew, chapter 24:14. Jesus said that the good news of the gospel (τὸ εὐαγγέλιον) must first be proclaimed (πρῶτον δεῖ κηρυχθῆναι) to all the gentile nations (καὶ εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη). That would be a difficult task, certainly putting the end times at a further distance. This mission to the gentile nations was a trademark of the Gospel of Mark with its emphasis on gentile non-Jewish Christians.
“Have you not read
That the builders rejected
This was the Lord’s doing.
It is amazing
In our eyes.’”
οὐδὲ τὴν γραφὴν ταύτην ἀνέγνωτε Λίθον ὃν ἀπεδοκίμασαν οἱ οἰκοδομοῦντες, οὗτος ἐγενήθη εἰς κεφαλὴν γωνίας·
παρὰ Κυρίου ἐγένετο αὕτη, καὶ ἔστιν θαυμαστὴ ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν;
This citation of Psalm 118 can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:42, and in Luke, chapter 20:17, in an abbreviated fashion. Mark said that Jesus asked them if they had not read the scriptures (οὐδὲ τὴν γραφὴν ταύτην ἀνέγνωτε) especially Psalm 118, that was also part of the Hallel prayer. Then Jesus quoted a few verses of this Psalm 118: 22-23, about the stone that the builders had rejected (Λίθον ὃν ἀπεδοκίμασαν οἱ οἰκοδομοῦντες), because they probably thought that it was inferior. Now, that very stone has become the cornerstone or key head stone (οὗτος ἐγενήθη εἰς κεφαλὴν γωνίας) of that building. This was the work of the Lord (παρὰ Κυρίου ἐγένετο αὕτη) that was amazing and marvelous to everyone’s eyes (καὶ ἔστιν θαυμαστὴ ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν). The rejected cornerstone was a hint at Jesus’s own rejection by the Jewish leaders.
“If anyone says to you.
Here is the Messiah Christ!’
‘There he is!’
Do not believe it.
And false prophets
They will produce
To lead astray,
Even the elect.”
τότε ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ Ἰδοὺ ὧδε ὁ Χριστός, ἤ Ὧδε, μὴ πιστεύσητε·
ἐγερθήσονται γὰρ ψευδόχριστοι καὶ ψευδοπροφῆται, καὶ δώσουσιν σημεῖα μεγάλα καὶ τέρατα ὥστε πλανῆσαι, εἰ δυνατὸν, καὶ τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς
This is exactly the same, almost word for word, in Mark, chapter 13:21-22, with a hint of this in Luke, chapter 17:22-23. Matthew also spoke about the false Messiahs earlier in this chapter 24:5. Jesus warned his disciples that if anyone said to them to look because the Messiah Christ was there (τότε ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ Ἰδοὺ ὧδε ὁ Χριστός, ἤ Ὧδε), they were not to believe it (μὴ πιστεύσητε). Both false or pseudo Christs and false and pseudo prophets would appear (ἐγερθήσονται γὰρ ψευδόχριστοι καὶ ψευδοπροφῆται). They would produce great signs and wonders (καὶ δώσουσιν σημεῖα μεγάλα καὶ τέρατα), in order to lead astray even the elect or the chosen ones (ὥστε πλανῆσαι, εἰ δυνατὸν, καὶ τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς). Both Mark, chapter 13:5-6, and Luke, chapter 21:8, also warned them against people who might lead them astray. Many people would come saying that they were the Messiah Christ in order to deceive them. Apparently, there were many deceptive Jewish messianic leaders who were saying that they were the Christ Messiah. John the Baptist was an example of a messianic leader in the 1st century CE. Other political Jewish leaders had messianic ambitions also, especially those who led the revolt against the Romans in the 2nd half of the 1st century. Jesus was warning against all of them.