The disciples go to Bethsaida (Mk 6:45-6:45)

“Immediately,

Jesus made his disciples

Get into the boat.

They were to go on

Ahead of him,

To the other side,

To Bethsaida,

While he dismissed

The crowd.”

 

Καὶ εὐθὺς ἠνάγκασεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἐμβῆναι εἰς τὸ πλοῖον καὶ προάγειν εἰς τὸ πέραν πρὸς Βηθσαϊδάν, ἕως αὐτὸς ἀπολύει τὸν ὄχλον.

 

This incident is not found in Luke, but only in Matthew, chapter 14:22, and John, chapter 6:16-17.  Mark mentioned Bethsaida and John mentioned Capernaum, but Matthew did not name a place.  Mark said that Jesus made or urged his disciples to immediately get into the boat (Καὶ εὐθὺς ἠνάγκασεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἐμβῆναι εἰς τὸ πλοῖον) to go ahead of him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (καὶ προάγειν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ πέραν) to Bethsaida (πρὸς Βηθσαϊδάν).  Jesus stayed behind and dismissed the crowds (ἕως αὐτὸς ἀπολύει τὸν ὄχλον) after the great feeding.  Thus, his disciples went out in this boat without Jesus.  There was no mention of the number of disciples, but it could not have been many considering the size of these fishing boats.

The body of John was put in a tomb (Mk 6:29-6:29)

“When John’s disciples

Heard about it,

They came.

They took his body.

They laid it

In a tomb.”

 

καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἦλθαν καὶ ἦραν τὸ πτῶμα αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔθηκαν αὐτὸ ἐν μνημείῳ.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 14:12.  Mark said that John’s disciples heard about this incident (καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ).  They came (ἦλθαν) and took his body (καὶ ἦραν τὸ πτῶμα αὐτοῦ).  They buried the body of John the Baptist in a tomb (καὶ ἔθαψαν αὐτὸ ἐν μνημείῳ), but there is no indication of where they buried John’s body.  Here, they did not go and tell Jesus about this, like in Matthew.

Jesus told them not to tell anyone (Mk 5:43-5:43)

“Jesus strictly ordered them.

No one should know this.

He told them

To give her something

To eat.”

 

καὶ διεστείλατο αὐτοῖς πολλὰ ἵνα μηδεὶς γνοῖ τοῦτο, καὶ εἶπεν δοθῆναι αὐτῇ φαγεῖν.

 

The ending to this story is different in Matthew, chapter 9:26 than that of Mark and Luke, chapter 8:55-56, that are similar.  Mark indicated that Jesus strictly instructed or ordered them (καὶ διεστείλατο αὐτοῖς πολλὰ) that no one should know about this incident (ἵνα μηδεὶς γνοῖ τοῦτο).  That would have been hard because this was such a public event.  However, Jesus told them to give the young girl something to eat (καὶ εἶπεν δοθῆναι αὐτῇ φαγεῖν).  In Matthew, this event spread all over this land or district without any attempt to keep it quiet.

The swine on the hillside (Mk 5:11-5:12)

“Now there on a hillside,

A great herd

Of swine

Was feeding.

The unclean spirits

Begged him.

‘Send us into the swine!

Let us enter them!’”

 

ἦν δὲ ἐκεῖ πρὸς τῷ ὄρει ἀγέλη χοίρων μεγάλη βοσκομένη·

καὶ παρεκάλεσαν αὐτὸν λέγοντες Πέμψον ἡμᾶς εἰς τοὺς χοίρους, ἵνα εἰς αὐτοὺς εἰσέλθωμεν.

 

All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:30-31, and Luke, chapter 8:32, and Mark here, have the unclean spirits or the demoniacs ask to be sent into the herd of pigs nearby, with slight nuances in each story.  This incident took place near a mountain or hill (ἦν δὲ ἐκεῖ πρὸς τῷ ὄρει).  There was a large herd of swine, pigs, or hogs (ἀγέλη χοίρων πολλῶν) feeding (βοσκομένη) on this hill, since this was gentile or a Greek area that was not Jewish.  Then the unclean spirits, not the demoniac, begged, entreated, or beseeched Jesus (καὶ παρεκάλεσαν αὐτὸν λέγοντες) to send them into these pigs or swine (Πέμψον ἡμᾶς εἰς τοὺς χοίρους), so that they could enter them (ἵνα εἰς αὐτοὺς εἰσέλθωμεν).  It seems like these evil spirits knew that they belonged in the unclean pigs or swine.

The man with the unclean spirit worships Jesus (Mk 5:6-5:7)

“When this demoniac

Saw Jesus

From a distance,

He ran

And bowed down

Before him.

He shouted

At the top of his voice.

‘What have you to do

With me?

Jesus!

Son of the Most High God!

I adjure you

By God!

Do not torment me!’”

 

καὶ ἰδὼν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπὸ μακρόθεν ἔδραμεν καὶ προσεκύνησεν αὐτόν,

καὶ κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ λέγει Τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, Ἰησοῦ Υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ Ὑψίστου; ὁρκίζω σε τὸν Θεόν, μή με βασανίσῃς.

 

All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:29 and Luke, chapter 8;28, and Mark here, have this demoniac speak to Jesus in somewhat similar words.  Matthew had 2 demoniacs, but Mark and Luke had only one and are closer to each other in this incident.  Mark said that when this demoniac saw Jesus from a distance (καὶ ἰδὼν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἀπὸ μακρόθεν), he bowed down before him and worshipped him (καὶ προσεκύνησεν αὐτόν).  He cried or shouted out with a loud voice (καὶ κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ).  He wanted to know why Jesus had anything to do with him (λέγει Τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί).  Then he called Jesus, the Son of God the Most High (Ἰησοῦ Υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ Ὑψίστου).  He asked, swearing by God, that Jesus not torment them (ὁρκίζω σε τὸν Θεόν, μή με βασανίσῃς).  All three gospel writers have the demonic person or persons recognize that Jesus was the Son of God, not just another faith healer.  Thus, the evil spirits were able to recognize Jesus as the Son of God, as earlier in Mark, chapter 1:23 and 3:11.

Would Jesus heal on the Sabbath? (Mk 3:2-3:2)

“They watched him,

To see whether

He would cure him

On the Sabbath.

Thus,

They might accuse him.”

 

καὶ παρετήρουν αὐτὸν εἰ τοῖς σάββασιν θεραπεύσει αὐτόν, ἵνα κατηγορήσωσιν αὐτοῦ.

 

Matthew, chapter 12:10, and Luke, chapter 6:7, are similar to this incident in Mark.  However, Matthew had the Pharisees confront Jesus with a question, while Luke followed Mark in saying that the Scribes and Pharisees were watching to see if Jesus would cure this man with the withered hand on the Sabbath.  Mark said that the unnamed “they” were watching Jesus (καὶ παρετήρουν αὐτὸν) to see if he would cure the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath (εἰ τοῖς σάββασιν θεραπεύσει αὐτόν).  Then they would accuse Jesus (ἵνα κατηγορήσωσιν αὐτοῦ). They were trying to see if they could charge Jesus of breaking the Sabbath.  However, Jewish law allowed people to help in cases of distress on the Sabbath.

The man with a withered hand (Mk 3:1-3:1)

“Again,

Jesus entered

The synagogue.

A man was there

Who had a withered hand.”

 

Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν πάλιν εἰς συναγωγήν, καὶ ἦν ἐκεῖ ἄνθρωπος ἐξηραμμένην ἔχων τὴν χεῖρα·

 

Matthew, chapter 12:9-10, and Luke, chapter 6:6, are similar to this incident in Mark, so that he might be the source of this discussion about the Sabbath that continued in the local synagogue about the man with the withered hand.  Mark said that Jesus entered this synagogue (Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν πάλιν εἰς συναγωγήν).  There was a man in this synagogue with a withered or dried out hand (καὶ ἦν ἐκεῖ ἄνθρωπος ἐξηραμμένην ἔχων τὴν χεῖρα).  What was Jesus going to do?

Not lawful on the Sabbath (Mk 2:24-2:24)

“The Pharisees

Said to Jesus.

‘Look!

Why are they doing

What is not lawful

On the Sabbath?’”

 

καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι ἔλεγον αὐτῷ Ἴδε τί ποιοῦσιν τοῖς σάββασιν ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν;

 

Matthew, chapter 12:2, and Luke, chapter 6:2, are similar to Mark, who may be the source of this incident.  The Pharisees reacted to the disciples of Jesus plucking grain on the Sabbath.  Deuteronomy, chapter 25:24-25, stated that it was okay to pluck the ears with your hand, but you could not put a sickle to your neighbor’s standing grain or carry it away in a container.  However, Exodus, chapter 34:21, explicitly said that you could not harvest grain on the Sabbath, but did not mention any hand picking.  Thus, the Pharisees said to Jesus (καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι ἔλεγον αὐτῷ) that his disciples were doing unlawful things on the Sabbath by plucking the grain (Ἴδε τί ποιοῦσιν τοῖς σάββασιν ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν).

Scribes and Pharisees complained (Mk 2:16-2:16)

“When the Scribes

And the Pharisees,

Saw

That he was eating

With sinners

And tax collectors,

They said

To his disciples.

‘Why does he eat

With tax collectors

And sinners?’”

 

καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς τῶν Φαρισαίων ἰδόντες ὅτι ἐσθίει μετὰ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ τελωνῶν, ἔλεγον τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ Ὅτι μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει;

 

Luke, chapter 5:30, and Matthew, chapter 9:11, are similar to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this incident.  In Matthew, it is only the Pharisees and not the Scribes who are complaining.  These Pharisees and Scribes saw this dinner party (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς τῶν Φαρισαίων ἰδόντες) from the outside.  They saw that Jesus was eating with sinners and tax collectors (ὅτι ἐσθίει μετὰ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ τελωνῶν).  Then they asked the disciples of Jesus (ἔλεγον τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ), and not Jesus himself, why was Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners (Ὅτι μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίει)?  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?  Their position towards the Scribes was a mixed bag.  These Scribes were religious experts who determined the traditions to be followed, as professional copiers of manuscript documents, although they had a wider role in Jewish society.

Jesus taught beside the sea (Mk 2:13-2:13)

“Jesus went out again

Beside the sea.

The whole crowd

Gathered around him.

He taught them.”

 

Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν πάλιν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν· καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἤρχετο πρὸς αὐτόν, καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτούς.

 

Only Mark has this incident of Jesus teaching by the sea.  He said that Jesus went out beside the sea again (Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν πάλιν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν), presumably the Sea of Galilee.  There a whole crowd of people gathered around him (καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἤρχετο πρὸς αὐτόν) as he taught them (καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτούς).