The swine go into the lake (Lk 8:33-8:33)

“Then the demons

Came out

Of the man.

They entered

The pigs.

The swine herd

Rushed down

The steep bank

Into the lake.

They were drowned.”

 

ἐξελθόντα δὲ τὰ δαιμόνια ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἰσῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους, καὶ ὥρμησεν ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ εἰς τὴν λίμνην καὶ ἀπεπνίγη.

 

Luke said that the demons came out of that man (ἐξελθόντα δὲ τὰ δαιμόνια ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  They entered the pigs (εἰσῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους).  The whole swine herd rushed down the steep bank (καὶ ὥρμησεν ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ) into the lake (εἰς τὴν λίμνην), where they drowned (καὶ ἀπεπνίγη).  All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:32, Mark, chapter 5:13, and Luke here, have Jesus cast out the demons into the nearby herd of pigs, with slight nuances in each story.  Mark said that Jesus allowed these evil spirits to have what they wanted.  However, Jesus showed his power.  The unclean spirit demons left the demoniac and entered the herd of pigs.  This herd then rushed down a steep bank into the sea.  Mark was the only synoptic to mention the number of pigs, 2,000, who were drowned or died in the sea.  Matthew said that Jesus then accommodated these evil spirits.  He told them to leave the 2 humans and go into the swine or pigs, which the demons did.  They entered the herd of pigs, but this herd then rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they died in the water.  There is one problem, pigs can swim, so some might have survived.  Perhaps the unfamiliarity of these Jewish authors with pigs may have led to this harsh ending.  Anyway, the pig herd, without a particular size or 2,000 of them as mentioned by Mark, with the unclean spirits, ran into the sea off a steep bank and perished.  Have you ever seen anyone or any animal drown?

Jesus does not grant seating arrangements (Mk 10:40-10:40)

“But to sit

At my right hand

Or at my left hand

Is not mine

To grant.

But it is for those

For whom

It has been prepared.”

 

τὸ δὲ καθίσαι ἐκ δεξιῶν μου ἢ ἐξ εὐωνύμων οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμὸν δοῦναι, ἀλλ’ οἷς ἡτοίμασται.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 20:23, but slightly different.  Mark indicated that Jesus said to the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, that the sitting at the right hand (τὸ δὲ καθίσαι ἐκ δεξιῶν μου) and the left hand of Jesus (ἢ ἐξ εὐωνύμων) was not within his power.  He said that he had no control over that (οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμὸν δοῦναι).  All that was prepared by someone else (ἀλλ’ οἷς ἡτοίμασται ὑπὸ).  Matthew had said the heavenly Father prepared it, but that is not mentioned here in Mark.  Jesus said that he could not grant this request because he was not the decision maker about heavenly seating arrangements.

 

Do not tell anyone except the priest (Mk 1:43-1:44)

“Jesus

Sternly warned him.

He sent him away

At once.

He said to him.

‘See!

Say nothing

To anyone!

But go!

Show yourself

To the priest!

Offer

For your cleansing

What Moses commanded,

As a testimony to them.’”

 

καὶ ἐμβριμησάμενος αὐτῷ εὐθὺς ἐξέβαλεν αὐτόν,

καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ὅρα μηδενὶ μηδὲν εἴπῃς, ἀλλὰ ὕπαγε σεαυτὸν δεῖξον τῷ ἱερεῖ καὶ προσένεγκε περὶ τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ σου ἃ προσέταξεν Μωϋσῆς εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς.

 

Luke, chapter 5:14, and Matthew, chapter 8:4, are almost word for word like Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this admonition saying.  Mark said that Jesus sternly warned the cleansed leper (καὶ ἐμβριμησάμενος αὐτῷ) before the leper was sent him away immediately (εὐθὺς ἐξέβαλεν αὐτόν).  Jesus told the leper (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ) not to say anything to anyone (Ὅρα μηδενὶ μηδὲν εἴπῃς).  This is often referred to as the messianic secret because Jesus did not want anyone to know about his power.  Instead, the leper was to show himself to the priest (ἀλλὰ ὕπαγε σεαυτὸν δεῖξον τῷ ἱερεῖ,), as recommended in Leviticus, chapter 14:2-9.  He should make the offering (καὶ προσένεγκε) for his cleansing (περὶ τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ σου) as outlined in Leviticus, since this is what Moses had commanded (ἃ προσέταξεν Μωϋσῆς) in the Torah.  He wanted this cleansed leper to show himself as a witness or testimony to the priests (εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς).

Third narrative

This third narrative centered around a variety of miracles and various comments to his disciples.  Jesus cured the leper before great crowds, but then told him to keep it a secret.  Then he cured the centurion’s paralyzed servant at Capernaum.  This Roman soldier understood the role of authority since he had faith.  Jesus chastised the failure of the sons of Abraham but healed the Roman centurion’s servant.

Jesus also cured other sick and possessed people, including Peter’s mother-in-law.  He thus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah.  He had some scribe followers, even though Jesus was homeless.  Was the death of a father enough to disrupt a disciple?  During a stormy boat ride, they woke up Jesus.  Thus, he responded by showing them his power by calming the storm.

Jesus cured the two possessed demoniacs who were calling out to him as the Son of God.  These demons wanted to be pigs, so that they died in the sea, jumping off a cliff.  However, the herdsmen in the city were upset so that the people asked Jesus to leave.

Jesus then went home and cured a paralytic.  Did Jesus blaspheme?  What was the difference between sin and sickness?  The people were amazed at his powers.  Jesus then called Matthew, the tax collector.  Jesus hung out with these tax collectors and sinners, so that the Pharisees complained.  Jesus responded by asking if well people needed doctors?  Then there was a citation from Hosea about mercy.

The Pharisees wanted to know why his disciples were not fasting, but the disciples of John the Baptist were.  Jesus explained that there would be no fasting while he, the bridegroom, was present.  You did not use old cloth to mend clothes or put new wine in old wineskins.

Then Jesus cured the woman with hemorrhages, because she was a woman of faith.  Then he cured the dead girl who was only sleeping.  He cured the two blind men because they were believers also.  He cured the mute person so that he could speak again.  The Pharisees questioned the power of Jesus.  However, Jesus had compassion for the sheep because there would be a need for many laborers at the harvest time.

Then Jesus began his apostolic talk to his disciples, in particular about the authority of the twelve disciples, with four major apostles.  Matthew then listed the twelve apostles that would be sent to the Jews and what their work was.  Jesus told them what to bring with them and where to stay.  He told them how to enter a house.  Those unhospitable towns who did not accept them would be punished.  These apostles should be like wise simple sheep.  When they would be persecuted, the Holy Spirit would speak through them.  They would be involved in family disputes and hated.  Both the teacher and his disciples would suffer, but they should not be afraid.  They should proclaim the message.  They were to worry about their souls, since they had more value than sparrows.  They should acknowledge Jesus whether in peace or with the sword.  Who was worthy of Jesus?  You had to pick up your cross and lose your life to find it.  Receive Jesus and be a prophet as the righteous disciple of Jesus.

The Pharisees question the power of Jesus (Mt 9:34-9:34)

“But the Pharisees said.

‘He casts out demons

By the leader of demons.’”

 

οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἔλεγον Ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια.

 

There is something similar to this in chapter 12:24 of Matthew and Luke, chapter ll:15.  The Pharisees complained (οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἔλεγον) that Jesus was casting out demons or evil spirits (ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια) because he was the leader or the prince of these demons or evil spirits (Ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων).  These Pharisees did not say that Jesus did’t have power over these evil spirits.  Quite the opposite, they said that he got his power from evil spirits or demons themselves because he was their leader.  The Pharisees were a political party, a social movement, and a religious school of thought that became the basis for later Rabbinic Judaism.  They had they own expert explanations of Jewish law that sometimes appeared to be hypocritical or arrogant, with the letter of the law above its spirit.  They had a form of Judaism that extended beyond the Temple.  The Pharisees in the New Testament, engaged in conflicts with Jesus and his disciples, as here.  However, Paul the Apostle may have been a Pharisee before his conversion.  Maybe Jesus and some of his followers were Pharisees, so that these arguments with the Pharisees may have been internal arguments.  Or is this portrait of the Pharisees in the New Testament a caricature, since the late first century Christians were fighting with the emerging Rabbinic Pharisees?

Curing the blind men (Mt 9:29-9:31)

“Then Jesus

Touched their eyes.

Saying.

‘According to your faith,

Let it be done to you.’

Their eyes

Were opened.

Jesus

Sternly ordered them.

‘See that no one knows it.’

But they went away.

They spread the news

About him

Throughout that district.”

 

τότε ἥψατο τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτῶν λέγων Κατὰ τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν γενηθήτω ὑμῖν.

καὶ ἠνεῴχθησαν αὐτῶν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί. καὶ ἐνεβριμήθη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγων Ὁρᾶτε, μηδεὶς γινωσκέτω.

οἱ δὲ ἐξελθόντες διεφήμισαν αὐτὸν ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ γῇ ἐκείνῃ.

 

Although there are similar stories about curing a blind man in Jericho in Mark, chapter 10:52, and Luke, chapter 18:42-43, but also in Matthew, chapter 20:33-34, here is the only time that the cured blind men were not to let anyone know about it.  Jesus healed the sight of these blind men by touching their eyes (τότε ἥψατο τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτῶν).  Jesus said that their faith had let him heal them (λέγων Κατὰ τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν γενηθήτω ὑμῖν.).  Their eyes were opened (καὶ ἠνεῴχθησαν αὐτῶν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί), so that they could see.  However, Jesus strongly ordered them (καὶ ἐνεβριμήθη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγων) not to tell anyone, since no one should know about it (Ὁρᾶτε, μηδεὶς γινωσκέτω).  Instead, these newly sighted former blind men left (οἱ δὲ ἐξελθόντες) and told everyone in the whole land or district area everything that had happened (διεφήμισαν αὐτὸν ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ γῇ ἐκείνῃ).  There was no mention of secrecy in the other accounts of this healing, but that was not an uncommon warning.  Earlier in chapter 8:4, Matthew had Jesus tell the cured leper not to say anything to anyone.  He did not want anyone to know about his power.  This is often referred to as the messianic secret.

Secrecy (Mt 8:4-8:4)

“Then Jesus said

To the leper.

‘See that you say nothing

To any one!

But go!

Show yourself

To the priest!

Offer the gift

That Moses commanded,

As a testimony to them.’”

 

καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ὅρα μηδενὶ εἴπῃς, ἀλλὰ ὕπαγε σεαυτὸν δεῖξον τῷ ἱερεῖ, καὶ προσένεγκον τὸ δῶρον ὃ προσέταξεν Μωϋσῆς εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς.

 

This admonition to the leper can be found in Luke, chapter 5:14, and Mark, chapter 1:41-42, perhaps indicating Mark as the source.  Jesus told the leper (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) not to say anything (Ὅρα μηδενὶ εἴπῃς), often referred to as the messianic secret.  Jesus did not want anyone to know about his power.  Instead the leper was to show himself to the priest (ἀλλὰ ὕπαγε σεαυτὸν δεῖξον τῷ ἱερεῖ,), as recommended in Leviticus, chapter 14:2-9.  He should offer the gifts (καὶ προσένεγκον τὸ δῶρον) as outlined in Leviticus, since this is what Moses had commanded (ὃ προσέταξεν Μωϋσῆς) in the Torah.  He wanted this cleansed leper to show himself as a witness or testimony to the priests (εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς).