The Holy Spirit and Jesus (Lk 3:22-3:22)

“The Holy Spirit

Descended upon Jesus

In a bodily form,

Like a dove.”

 

καὶ καταβῆναι τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον σωματικῷ εἴδει ὡς περιστερὰν ἐπ’ αὐτόν,

 

The role of the Holy Spirit after the baptism of Jesus was very important. Matthew, chapter 3:16, Mark, chapter 1:10, and John, chapter 1:32, are almost the same as here.  Luke said that the Holy Spirit (τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον) descended (καὶ καταβῆναι) upon Jesus (ἐπ’ αὐτόν) in a bodily form (σωματικῷ εἴδει), like a dove (ὡς περιστερὰν).  John did not mention a dove, but he said that John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descend and remain on Jesus.  In Matthew and Mark, Jesus saw the Holy Spirit as a dove descend on him.  This all took place after the baptism itself.   Just as the dove after the great flood in Genesis, chapter 8:8-12, heralded a new age, so too Jesus would preach the good news in this new age.  With his prophetic vocation, Jesus had the power to begin his public ministry of healing and exorcising.  The later concept of the anointing of Jesus with the Spirit referred to this action of the dove, after his baptism in the Jordan River.  There was a clear distinction between the baptism of Jesus himself, and the specific dove bestowal of the Spirit that followed.  Despite the fact that there was no indication of any real anointing in any of these baptismal accounts of Jesus, the coming of the Spirit, in the form of a dove, was considered a symbolic anointing of Jesus within the Judaic prophetic line.  This incident functioned as the basis for an understanding of Jesus’ metaphorical anointing to become “the anointed one,” “Christ.”  This symbolic metaphorical anointing action gathered many of the Hebrew bible strands of a messianic king, a sacerdotal high priest, a servant, and a prophet into this one event.  Within this process, the messianic time began with a pre-figuration of what was going to take place at the later Pentecost event, when the fullness of the Spirit came to all the followers of Jesus.

The withered fig tree (Mk 11:20-11:20)

“In the morning,

As they passed by,

They saw

The fig tree

Withered away

To its roots.”

 

Καὶ παραπορευόμενοι πρωῒ εἶδον τὴν συκῆν ἐξηραμμένην ἐκ ῥιζῶν.

 

This incident about the withered fig tree continued here, where it was a complete whole in Matthew, chapter 21:18-20.  Here in Mark, it was the next day after the curse when they were passing by it in the morning (Καὶ παραπορευόμενοι πρωῒ).  Then they saw the withered or dried up fig tree, even its roots (εἶδον τὴν συκῆν ἐξηραμμένην ἐκ ῥιζῶν).  Rather than immediately the same day, as in Matthew, the result was the same.  The fig tree was dead.

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.

Eternal life (Mk 10:17-10:17)

“As Jesus

Was setting out

On a journey,

A man ran up

To him.

He knelt

Before him.

He asked him.

‘Good Teacher!

What must I do

To inherit

Eternal life?’”

 

Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ εἰς ὁδὸν προσδραμὼν εἷς καὶ γονυπετήσας αὐτὸν ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν Διδάσκαλε ἀγαθέ, τί ποιήσω ἵνα ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω;

 

This incident about the man seeking eternal can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:16, and Luke, chapter 18:18, but slightly different.  Mark has Jesus setting out on a journey (Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ εἰς ὁδὸν), when a man, not a ruler as in Luke, came running up to Jesus (προσδραμὼν εἷς).  He knelt down before Jesus (καὶ γονυπετήσας αὐτὸν).  He then questioned Jesus (ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν), calling him a good teacher (Διδάσκαλε ἀγαθέ), not just a teacher as in Matthew.  He wanted to know what he had to do (τί ποιήσω) to inherit, possess, or acquire eternal life (ἵνα ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω).  This person wanted to know about his own personal eternal salvation, while the normal Jewish attitude would have been to talk about how they could all be saved.

Jesus goes through Galilee (Mk 9:30-9:30)

“They went on

From there.

They passed

Through Galilee.

He did not want

Anybody to know it.”

 

Κἀκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντες παρεπορεύοντο διὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν ἵνα τις γνοῖ·

 

This incident in Galilee can also be found in Matthew, chapter 17:22.  Jesus and his disciples left the area (Κἀκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντες) around the transfiguration mountain.  They were passing through Galilee (παρεπορεύοντο διὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  Only Mark indicated that they did not want anyone to know what they were doing (καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν ἵνα τις γνοῖ).  Mark portrayed Jesus as more secretive.

The crowd was amazed (Mk 9:15-9:15)

“When the whole crowd

Saw him,

They were

Immediately overcome

With awe.

They ran forward

To greet him.”

 

καὶ εὐθὺς πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐξεθαμβήθησαν, καὶ προστρέχοντες ἠσπάζοντο αὐτόν.

 

As Jesus left his small group of disciples, a large crowd came towards him.  This incident is somewhat similar to Matthew, chapter 17:14, and Luke, chapter 9:37, but yet unique to Mark, who said that suddenly a large crowd saw Jesus (καὶ εὐθὺς πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἰδόντες αὐτὸν).  They were amazed or overcome with awe (ἐξεθαμβήθησαν) since he was like a celebrity.  They all ran forward to greet him (καὶ προστρέχοντες ἠσπάζοντο αὐτόν).

The disciples were afraid (Mk 6:49-6:50)

“But when the disciples

Saw him

Walking on the sea,

They thought

It was a ghost.

They cried out.

They all saw him.

They were terrified.

But immediately,

He spoke

To them.

He said.

‘Take heart!

It is I!

Have no fear!’”

 

οἱ δὲ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα ἔδοξαν ὅτι φάντασμά ἐστιν, καὶ ἀνέκραξαν

πάντες γὰρ αὐτὸν εἶδαν καὶ ἐταράχθησαν. ὁ δὲ εὐθὺς ἐλάλησεν μετ’ αὐτῶν, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Θαρσεῖτε, ἐγώ εἰμι, μὴ φοβεῖσθε.

 

This incident about Jesus walking on water can be found in Matthew, chapter 14:26-27, and John, chapter 6:19-20.  In all three stories, the disciples were afraid and the response of Jesus was the same, reassuring.  Mark said that when the disciples saw him walking on the sea (οἱ δὲ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα), they thought Jesus was a ghost or an apparition (ἔδοξαν ὅτι φάντασμά ἐστιν).  They cried or shouted out (καὶ ἀνέκραξαν).  They all saw him (πάντες γὰρ αὐτὸν εἶδαν) and were terrified (καὶ ἐταράχθησαν).  But immediately, Jesus spoke to them to reassure them (ὁ δὲ εὐθὺς ἐλάλησεν μετ’ αὐτῶν).  He told them to have courage and take heart (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Θαρσεῖτε).  He said that he was not a ghost, but Jesus himself (ἐγώ εἰμι), so that they did not have to be afraid.  They had nothing to fear (μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  Jesus reassured his disciples, while he walked on the waters of the sea.  Once again, the disciples seemed weak or not understanding what was going on.

Jesus walks on the sea (Mk 6:48-6:48)

“When Jesus saw

That they were straining

At the oars

Against an adverse wind,

Jesus came towards them.

Early in the morning

Jesus was walking

On the sea.

He intended

To pass them by.”

 

καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτοὺς βασανιζομένους ἐν τῷ ἐλαύνειν, ἦν γὰρ ὁ ἄνεμος ἐναντίος αὐτοῖς, περὶ τετάρτην φυλακὴν τῆς νυκτὸς ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης· καὶ ἤθελεν παρελθεῖν αὐτούς. 

 

This incident about Jesus walking on water can be found in Matthew, chapter 14:24-25, and John, chapter 6:18-19, but without some of the details here.  Mark said that Jesus saw that they were straining at their rowing oars (καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτοὺς βασανιζομένους ἐν τῷ ἐλαύνειν).  They had an adverse wind against them (ἦν γὰρ ὁ ἄνεμος ἐναντίος αὐτοῖς).  In other words, they were in a little trouble. Early in the morning, or the 4th watch of the night (περὶ τετάρτην φυλακὴν τῆς νυκτὸς), Jesus came walking towards them on the sea (ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης).  He intended to pass them by (καὶ ἤθελεν παρελθεῖν αὐτούς).  There is no indication in any of these stories why Jesus was walking on the water.

The disciples at sea (Mk 6:47-6:47)

“When evening came,

The boat was out

In the middle

Of the sea.

Jesus was alone

On the land.”

 

καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης ἦν τὸ πλοῖον ἐν μέσῳ τῆς θαλάσσης, καὶ αὐτὸς μόνος ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.

 

This incident about the disciples in the boat at sea can also be found in Matthew, chapter 14:24, and John, chapter 6:18.  When evening came (καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης), the boat with the disciples was far from the land, out in the middle of the sea (ἦν τὸ πλοῖον ἐν μέσῳ τῆς θαλάσσης).  However, Jesus was alone on the land (καὶ αὐτὸς μόνος ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).

Jesus went to pray (Mk 6:46-6:46)

“After saying farewell,

To them,

He went up

On the mountain

To pray.”

 

καὶ ἀποταξάμενος αὐτοῖς ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι.

 

This incident about Jesus praying alone can also be found in Matthew, chapter 14:23.  After he had bid farewell to his disciples and the crowd (καὶ ἀποταξάμενος αὐτοῖς), Jesus went up the mountain (ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸ ὄρος) to pray (προσεύξασθαι).  Jesus wanted to be alone with his Father to pray.  It is not clear where this mountain was.