Watching Jesus (Lk 11:54-11:54)

“They were

Watching Jesus,

To trap him

In something

He might say.”

 

ἐνεδρεύοντες αὐτὸν θηρεῦσαί τι ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke uniquely said that these Scribes, Pharisees, and lawyers were watching Jesus (ἐνεδρεύοντες αὐτὸν) to trap him (θηρεῦσαί) in something that that he might say or might come out of his mouth (τι ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ).  Once again, Luke used a word that only appears here in all the Greek biblical literature, θηρεῦσαί, that means to hunt, seek, catch, entrap, or lay hold of.  This section ended with greater hostility between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders.  They were going to be aware of Jesus and try to catch him saying something in public.  Are you careful about what you say?

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Joseph’s son (Lk 4:22-4:22)

“All spoke well of him.

They were amazed

At the gracious words

That came

From his mouth.

They said.

‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’”

 

καὶ πάντες ἐμαρτύρουν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις τῆς χάριτος τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔλεγον Οὐχὶ υἱός ἐστιν Ἰωσὴφ οὗτος;

 

This story of Jesus astonishing the people in Nazareth can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 6:2, and Matthew, chapter 13:54, and Luke here.  Luke said that all the people in the synagogue spoke well or testified in favor of Jesus (καὶ πάντες ἐμαρτύρουν αὐτῷ).  They were amazed at the gracious words (καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις τῆς χάριτος) that came from his mouth (τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ).  At first, they were excited about how good Jesus was.  Then they said (καὶ ἔλεγον) was he not Joseph’s son (Οὐχὶ υἱός ἐστιν Ἰωσὴφ οὗτος)?  Thus, they were astonished and wondered where did he get all his wisdom.  They seemed surprised that Jesus was so smart or so important.  They would have known him for some time as merely the son of Joseph in Nazareth.

Jesus spoke in parables (Mk 4:33-4:34)

“Jesus spoke the word

To them

With many such parables.

Thus,

They were able

To hear it.

He did not speak

To them

Except in parables.

But he explained

Everything in private

To his disciples.”

 

Καὶ τοιαύταις παραβολαῖς πολλαῖς ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον, καθὼς ἠδύναντο ἀκούειν·

χωρὶς δὲ παραβολῆς οὐκ ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς, κατ’ ἰδίαν δὲ τοῖς ἰδίοις μαθηταῖς ἐπέλυεν πάντα.

 

This explanation of the importance of parables is similar to Matthew, chapter 13:34.  Jesus, via Mark, presented the word (ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον), using many parables (Καὶ τοιαύταις παραβολαῖς πολλαῖς) so that they were able to hear them (καθὼς ἠδύναντο ἀκούειν).  In fact, he told hem nothing that was not a parable (χωρὶς δὲ παραβολῆς οὐκ ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς).  He only spoke in parables.  However, he explained everything in private for his disciples (κατ’ ἰδίαν δὲ τοῖς ἰδίοις μαθηταῖς ἐπέλυεν πάντα).  Both Mark and Matthew underlined the role of parables in their gospel stories.  Matthew, chapter 13:35, uniquely cited a prophecy from Psalm 78:2, that Mark had not mentioned.  Jesus was going to open his mouth in parables about the old-fashioned sayings, like the wisdom writers.  The parables were a way of conveying wisdom, with only the initiated, his disciples, able to understand them.

The Spirit of Yahweh and speechless Ezekiel (Ezek 3:24-3:27)

“But the Spirit

Entered into me.

He set me on my feet.

He spoke with me.

He said to me.

‘Go!

Shut yourself

Inside your house!

As for you,

Son of man,

Cords will be placed

On you.

You shall be bound

With them.

Thus you cannot go out

Among the people.

I will make your tongue

Cling to the roof

Of your mouth.

Thus you shall be

Speechless.

You will be unable

To reprove them.

They are a rebellious house.

But when I speak

With you,

I will open your mouth.

You shall say to them,

‘Thus says Yahweh God!

Let those who will hear,

Hear!

Let those who refuse to hear,

Refuse!

They are a rebellious house.’”

This is one of the few times that the Spirit of Yahweh or the Holy Spirit actually speaks to someone. This Holy Spirit entered into Ezekiel. He put him on his feet and spoke to him. He told Ezekiel, the son of man, to lock himself inside of his house. It is not clear where this house came from. Cords were going to be placed binding up Ezekiel, so that he could not go among the people. Then this Spirit was going to make Ezekiel’s tongue stick to the roof of his mouth, so that he would be speechless and unable to reprove this rebellious house. When Ezekiel would be allowed to speak later, he was to say the famous saying, ‘Thus says Yahweh God!’ Anyone who wanted to hear could hear. Or they could refuse to hear. After all, he was going to speak to this rebellious house who might not want to listen.

Ezekiel eats the written scroll (Ezek 3:1-3:3)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘Son of man!

Eat what is offered

To you!

Eat this scroll!

Go!

Speak!

To the house

Of Israel!’

So I opened

My mouth.

He gave me

The scroll

To eat.

He said to me.

‘Son of man!

Eat this scroll

That I give you!

Fill your stomach

With it!’

Then I ate it.

It was as sweet

As honey

In my mouth.”

Yahweh told Ezekiel, the son of man to eat what was given to him. He was to eat this scroll with all the words of lament, mourning, and woes on it. When he would digest it, then he could speak to the house of Israel. Of course, Ezekiel was obedient and opened his mouth. Yahweh gave him the scroll to eat. Once again, Yahweh spoke to Ezekiel as he told him to fill his stomach with this scroll. Then Ezekiel ate the scroll. It tasted as sweet as any honey in his mouth. Now Ezekiel was able to speak the word of God.

The written scroll (Ezek 2:8-2:10)

“‘But you!

Son of man!

Hear

What I say to you!

Do not be rebellious

Like that rebellious house!

Open your mouth!

Eat what I give you!’

When I looked,

A hand

Was stretched out

To me.

A written scroll

Was in it.

He spread it

Before me.

It had writing

On the front

As well as on the back.

Written on it

Were words

Of lamentation,

Of mourning,

Of woe.”

The voice of Yahweh continued to speak to Ezekiel as the son of man. He was to listen to what Yahweh had to say to him. He was not to be rebellious like the rebellious house of Israel. He was to open his mouth and eat what Yahweh was going to give to him. Then when Ezekiel looked up, he saw a hand stretched out to him with a written scroll in it. This hand spread the scroll out before him. Ezekiel saw that there was writing on the front and the back of this scroll. Ezekiel even read it. He saw that it had words of lamentation, of mourning, and of woe.

Yahweh consecrates Jeremiah (Jer 1:9-1:10)

“Then Yahweh put out his hand.

He touched my mouth.

Yahweh said to me.

‘Now I have put my words

In your mouth.

See!

Today I appoint you

Over nations.

Today I appoint you

Over kingdoms.

You will pluck up.

You will pull down.

You will destroy.

You will overthrow.

You will build.

You will plant.’”

Yahweh then consecrated Jeremiah by putting out his hand and touching his mouth. He told Jeremiah that he was going to put his words into his mouth. Jeremiah would be over many nations and kingdoms. His task was to pluck up and pull down, destroy, and overthrow. Yet at the same time he was also going to build and plant. Jeremiah had a unique but difficult task as a prophet of God.