Jesus prayed again (Mk 14:39-14:39)

“Again,

Jesus went away.

He prayed,

Saying

The same words.”

 

καὶ πάλιν ἀπελθὼν προσηύξατο τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον εἰπών.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:42, but he has the actual words instead of “the same words.”  In Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 22, there was nothing more about these 2nd and 3rd prayers of Jesus.  Mark indicated that again, Jesus went away, for a 2nd time (καὶ πάλιν ἀπελθὼν).  He prayed to his Father (προσηύξατο) once again.  This time Mark said that Jesus used the same words that he had said the first time (τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον εἰπών).  Matthew indicated what these words were.  Jesus said that if this cannot pass unless he drank it, then his Father’s will should be done.  Clearly, Jesus would have preferred not to undergo this great suffering.  However, he subordinated his will to the will of his Father again.

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Remove this cup (Mk 14:36-14:36)

“Jesus said.

‘Abba!

Father!

All things are possible

For you!

Remove this cup

From me!

Yet,

Not what I want,

But what you want.’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγεν Ἀββᾶ ὁ Πατήρ, πάντα δυνατά σοι· παρένεγκε τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ· ἀλλ’ οὐ τί ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλὰ τί σύ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:36.  In Luke, chapter 22:42, it is somewhat similar, while in John, chapter 22, there were no indications of this prayer in the garden.  Here there is an explicit mention of both the “Father” and the “cup of suffering”.  Mark recounted that Jesus prayed directly to his Father, using the Aramaic “Abba” for the word father but then immediately explained its meaning (καὶ ἔλεγεν Ἀββᾶ ὁ Πατήρ).  Anything was possible with the Father (πάντα δυνατά σοι).  He wanted the Father to remove or take away this cup of suffering from him (παρένεγκε τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ).  However, he was willing to do whatever the Father wanted, because his will was second to his Father (ἀλλ’ οὐ τί ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλὰ τί σύ).  Clearly, Jesus subordinated his will to the will of his heavenly Father.

Jesus prays to his Father (Mt 26:39-26:39)

“Going a little farther,

Jesus threw himself

On the ground,

Face down.

He prayed.

‘My Father!

If it be possible,

Let this cup

Pass from me!

Nevertheless,

Not what I want,

But what you want.’”

 

καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ προσευχόμενος καὶ λέγων Πάτερ μου, εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν, παρελθάτω ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο· πλὴν οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλ’ ὡς σύ.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:35-36.  In Luke, chapter 22:41-42, it is somewhat similar, while in John, chapter 22, there are no indications of this prayer in the garden.  Both Mark and Matthew recounted that Jesus went a little farther away (καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν).  He fell on his face (ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ), throwing himself on the ground.  Then he prayed to his Father (προσευχόμενος καὶ λέγων Πάτερ μου).  He said that he wondered if it was possible (εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν) that this drinking cup could pass from him or be disregarded (παρελθάτω ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο).  However, he was willing to do whatever the Father wanted, because his will was second to his Father (πλὴν οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλ’ ὡς σύ).  Clearly, Jesus subordinated his will to the will of his Father.

The relationship of the Father and the Son (Mt 11:26-11:27)

“Yes!

Father!

Such was

Your gracious will.

All things

Have been handed over

To me,

By my Father.

No one knows

The Son,

Except the Father.

No one knows

The Father,

Except the Son,

And anyone to whom

The Son chooses

To reveal him.”

 

ναί, ὁ Πατήρ, ὅτι οὕτως εὐδοκία ἐγένετο ἔμπροσθέν σου

Πάντα μοι παρεδόθη ὑπὸ τοῦ Πατρός μου, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐπιγινώσκει τὸν Υἱὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ Πατήρ, οὐδὲ τὸν Πατέρα τις ἐπιγινώσκει εἰ μὴ ὁ Υἱὸς καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν βούληται ὁ Υἱὸς ἀποκαλύψαι.

 

Matthew has Jesus explain his relationship to the Father in heaven.  Luke, chapter 10:22, has a similar statement, almost word for word, indicating a possible common Q source.  This is one of the few times that the synoptic gospels present Jesus with a clear knowledge of his relationship to the heavenly Father, as the Son.  The Father was well pleased to let this be known and happen because it was his will to do so (ναί, ὁ Πατήρ, ὅτι οὕτως εὐδοκία ἐγένετο ἔμπροσθέν σου).  The Father has handed over everything to his Son (Πάντα μοι παρεδόθη ὑπὸ τοῦ Πατρός μου). This is a profound theological statement indicating that the divine affiliation is very clear.  Jesus is the Son of the Father.  Only he and the Father know this.  No one really knows the Son, except the Father (Πάντα μοι παρεδόθη ὑπὸ τοῦ Πατρός μου).  The opposite is also true.   No one really knows the Father, except the Son (οὐδὲ τὸν Πατέρα τις ἐπιγινώσκει εἰ μὴ ὁ Υἱὸς).  However, Jesus, the Son, may decide or choose to tell or reveal this to others (καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν βούληται ὁ Υἱὸς ἀποκαλύψαι).  This is the gist of the gospel stories.  Jesus wanted to reveal his relationship to the Father to all his followers.

 

Inclusive Model of Salvation

The inclusive model holds that Jesus Christ is the normative expression of God’s will for all people.  The problem is that many people have never known Christ.  What role has the God of love for them?  Is Christian faith offered to everyone?  Some Christians believe in predestination so that only a few are chosen.  Christianity has always been missionary, sometimes overly zealous, as in the Crusades and the Inquisition.  What about those who have never heard of Jesus Christ?  The Catholic Council of Trent (1545-1563) in the 16th century talked about a baptism of desire.  You will be saved by Jesus without knowing him.  Salvation is fully found in Jesus, but offered to everyone in all genuine religions who live the good life, who sincerely seek God, moved by grace, and strive by their deeds to do his will as they know it.  Sometimes we call them like Karl Rahner (1904-1984) “anonymous Christians.”

The greatness of God (Sir 18:1-18:7)

“He who lives forever

Created the whole universe.

The Lord alone is just.

There is no other beside him.

He steers the world

With the span of his hand.

All things obey his will.

He is king of all things

By his power.

He separates the holy things

From the profane.

To none has he given power

To proclaim his works.

Who can search out his mighty deeds?

Who can measure his majestic power?

Who can fully recount his mercies?

It is not possible to diminish or increase them.

It is not possible to fathom the wonders of the Lord.

When human beings have finished,

They are just beginning.

When they stop,

They are still perplexed.”

The eternal God has created the whole universe. The Lord alone is just since there is no one beside him. He steers the world with his hands. Everything obeys his will, since he is the king of all things. The Lord separates the sacred from the profane. No one can proclaim his works, search out his mighty deeds, measure his majestic power, or tell all about his mercy. You cannot increase or decrease his power. You cannot imagine all the wonders of the Lord. Humans think that they are finishing things, but they are only beginning, since they are still perplexed. The Lord is the great creator of this wonderful world.

Deliver me from my enemies (Ps 143:9-143:10)

“Yahweh!

Save me from my enemies!

I have fled to you for refuge!

Teach me to do your will!

You are my God!

Let your good Spirit lead me

On a level path!”

David wanted to be saved from his enemies. He fled to Yahweh as his refuge. He wanted Yahweh to teach him his will. Yahweh was his God. He wanted Yahweh’s spirit to keep him on a level path so that he would not fall down.