The curse on Capernaum (Lk 10:15-10:15)

“You!

Capernaum!

Will you be exalted

To heaven?

No!

You will be

Brought down

To Hades.”

 

καὶ σύ, Καφαρναούμ, μὴ ἕως οὐρανοῦ ὑψωθήσῃ; ἕως τοῦ Ἅιδου καταβήσῃ.

 

Next Luke had Jesus take on Capernaum, his new home and headquarters in Galilee.  Capernaum (καὶ σύ, Καφαρναούμ) will not be exalted to heaven (μὴ ἕως οὐρανοῦ ὑψωθήσῃ).  Instead, it will be brought down to Hades or hell (ἕως τοῦ Ἅιδου καταβήσῃ).  Once again, Jesus used the second person plural.  Matthew, chapter 11:23, had a similar statement, indicating a possible common Q source.  Jesus questioned them.  Would they be exalted or raised up to heaven?  No!  In fact, they would be cast down to the unseen world of Hades, the traditional Greek word for hell.  Matthew then even compared Capernaum to Sodom.  If the mighty miracles that were done in Capernaum were done in Sodom, Sodom might have remained until the present day.  Then Jesus gave a solemn pronouncement that it would be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for the people of Capernaum.  Jesus warned these three towns, within 10 miles of each other.  They had not repented, despite his teaching and the many miracles there.  Something must have happened in Capernaum because it had been his base of operations in Galilee.  Have you ever turned on the town where you had lived?

Advertisements

The plot against Jesus (Mk 11:18-11:18)

“The chief priests

And the Scribes

Heard it.

They keep looking

For a way

To kill him.

They were afraid

Of him,

Because the whole crowd

Was spellbound

By his teaching.”

 

καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς, καὶ ἐζήτουν πῶς αὐτὸν ἀπολέσωσιν· ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ αὐτόν, πᾶς γὰρ ὁ ὄχλος ἐξεπλήσσετο ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ

 

There was something similar in Luke, chapter 19:47-48.  Mark said that the chief priests and the Scribes heard about this incident in the Temple (καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς).  Thus, they kept seeking or looking for a way to destroy or kill Jesus (καὶ ἐζήτουν πῶς αὐτὸν ἀπολέσωσιν).  This may have been the immediate event that caused the Jerusalem elders to be suspicious of Jesus.  However, they were afraid of Jesus (ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ αὐτόν), because the whole crowd (πᾶς γὰρ ὁ ὄχλος) was spellbound or astonished (ἐξεπλήσσετο) by his teaching (πὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ).  The plot thickens.

The use of parables (Mk 4:2-4:2)

“Jesus began

To teach them

Many things

In parables.

This is what

He said to them

In his teaching,”

 

καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς πολλά, καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ

 

A similar statement can be found in Matthew, chapter 13:3, and Luke 8:4.  This is the beginning of the parable section in Mark.  Jesus taught them many things in parables (καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς πολλά).  This is how Jesus delivered most of his teachings (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ).  Parables were one of the many literary forms in the biblical literature.  These parables of Jesus can be found in all the synoptic gospels, since they represent about 1/3 of Jesus’ teachings.  These simple and memorable stories conveyed important messages, central to the teachings of Jesus.  Many of Jesus’s parables refer to simple everyday events.  The word “parable” can also refer to a riddle, as it was used in the Old Testament.  The use of parables was a natural teaching method that fit into the tradition of the time of Jesus.  Matthew has 23 parables of which 11 are unique.  There are 2 unique parables in Mark and 18 unique parables in LukeMatthew and Luke share 4 parables, while Matthew, Mark and Luke share 6 parables.  Many of these parables have been subjects of art and literature, especially during the Middle Ages.

Jesus taught with authority (Mk 1:22-1:22)

“They were astonished

At his teaching.

He taught them

As one having authority,

Not as the Scribes.”

 

καὶ ἐξεπλήσσοντο ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ· ἦν γὰρ διδάσκων αὐτοὺς ὡς ἐξουσίαν ἔχων, καὶ οὐχ ὡς οἱ γραμματεῖς.

 

There is something similar to this in Luke, chapter 4:32, and Matthew, chapter 7:29, where Jesus was teaching with authority.  The people of this Capernaum synagogue were astonished or amazed at his teaching (καὶ ἐξεπλήσσοντο ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ), since he taught them as if he had authority (ἦν γὰρ διδάσκων αὐτοὺς ὡς ἐξουσίαν ἔχων), not like the Scribes (καὶ οὐχ ὡς οἱ γραμματεῖς αὐτῶν).  What was this authority that Jesus had?  He was not like one of these Scribes, who were religious experts who determined the traditions to be followed.  They were professional copiers of manuscript documents, although they had a wider role in Jewish society.  They might have been the forerunners of the rabbinic class that was developing at that time.  Jesus taught on his own authority without referring to tradition.  He was amazing.

The crowd was astonished (Mt 22:33-22:33)

“When the crowd

Heard this,

They were astonished

At his teaching.”

 

καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ ὄχλοι ἐξεπλήσσοντο ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ.

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:27, and Luke, chapter 20:39-40, but Luke has the scribes so astonished that they never asked him another question.  Once again, Matthew noted that when the crowds heard this (καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ ὄχλοι), they were astonished or amazed (ἐξεπλήσσοντο) at his teaching (ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ).

The crowds were astonished (Mt 7:28-7:28)

“When Jesus had finished

These sayings,

The crowds were astonished

At his teaching,”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοὺς λόγους τούτους, ἐξεπλήσσοντο οἱ ὄχλοι ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ

 

Matthew has a transition phrase, that also was in Luke, chapter 7:1.  Mark also has something like in chapter 1:21.  Jesus seems to have finished these sayings (Καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοὺς λόγους τούτους) or the sermon on the Mount.  The crowds of people were astonished or amazed (ἐξεπλήσσοντο οἱ ὄχλοι) at his teaching (ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ).  Clearly, Jesus made a big impression.

Eternal salvation (Isa 51:7-51:8)

“Listen to me!

You who know righteousness!

You people!

You have my teaching in your hearts!

Do not fear the reproach of others!

Do not be dismayed

When they revile you!

The moth will eat them up

Like a garment.

The worm will eat them

Like wool.

But my deliverance will be forever.

My salvation is to all generations.”

Again, Second Isaiah asks people, especially the righteous who have his teaching in their hearts, to listen to Yahweh. They should not be afraid of the reproach of others when they are reviled. Forget about that! These revilers would be eaten up like a moth destroys a garment or worms ruin wool. Never fear, the deliverance and salvation of Yahweh is forever into many generations to come.