“But Jesus said to them.
‘You do not know
What you are asking?
Are you able
That I drink?
Are you able
To be baptized
With the baptism
That I am baptized with?’”
ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Οὐκ οἴδατε τί αἰτεῖσθε. δύνασθε πιεῖν τὸ ποτήριον ὃ ἐγὼ πίνω, ἢ τὸ βάπτισμα ὃ ἐγὼ βαπτίζομαι βαπτισθῆναι;
There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 20:22, but slightly different. Jesus answered them (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) by asking if they knew what they were requesting (Οὐκ οἴδατε τί αἰτεῖσθε). Were they able to drink the cup (δύνασθε πιεῖν τὸ ποτήριον) that he was about to drink (ὃ ἐγὼ πίνω)? The idea of a cup as suffering or the cup of wrath could be found among the major prophets in Isaiah, chapter 51:17, Jeremiah, chapter 25:15, and Ezekiel, chapter 23:31. Jesus asked them if they were ready to be baptized with the baptism that he was going to undergo (ἢ τὸ βάπτισμα ὃ ἐγὼ βαπτίζομαι βαπτισθῆναι)? This baptism was a form of suffering.
“Jesus looked at them.
It is impossible,
But not for God.
All things are possible
ἐμβλέψας αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγει Παρὰ ἀνθρώποις ἀδύνατον, ἀλλ’ οὐ παρὰ θεῷ· πάντα γὰρ δυνατὰ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ.
This saying about the power of God and the impotence of humans can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:26, and Luke, chapter 18:27, but slightly different. Mark said that Jesus looked at them (ἐμβλέψας αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς). Then he told them (λέγει) that this would be impossible for mortal men (Παρὰ ἀνθρώποις ἀδύνατον), but not with God (ἀλλ’ οὐ παρὰ Θεῷ). All things were possible with God (πάντα γὰρ δυνατὰ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ), since he could do everything. This could be an allusion to Genesis, chapter 18:14, when Sarah laughed when she was told she was going to have a son or the prophet Jeremiah, chapter 32:17, when he was talking about creation. What humans were not able to do, God was able to do because he was an all-powerful God.
“They answered him.
‘John the Baptist!’
‘One of the prophets.’”
οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες ὅτι Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν, καὶ ἄλλοι Ἡλείαν, ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι εἷς τῶν προφητῶν.
This same response can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:14, and Luke, chapter 9:19, but there are slight differences. Matthew is the only one who explicitly mentioned Jeremiah, who was a Judean prophet active from 626 BCE to 587 BCE, around the time of the destruction of the Temple. Mark and Luke only had the more generic term of one of the prophets, rather than any individual prophet. Mark said that the disciples responded to him (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες) that some people said he was John the Baptist (ὅτι Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν). Others said Elijah (καὶ ἄλλοι δὲ Ἡλείαν). This Elijah was a 9th century BCE northern Israel prophet whose work can be found in the Old Testament Books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles. Finally, other people said that he was one of the many prophets (ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι εἷς τῶν προφητῶν). No one called him the Messiah or Christ.
“Then Jesus said
‘Prophets are not
Except in their hometown,
Among their own relatives,
And in their own house.’”
καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι Οὐκ ἔστιν προφήτης ἄτιμος εἰ μὴ ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ.
This saying about no honor for prophets in their hometown can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:57, and Luke, chapter 4:24, and here. Mark said that Jesus told them (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) that prophets are not without honor or not despised (ὅτι Οὐκ ἔστιν προφήτης ἄτιμος), except in their own country (εἰ μὴ ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ), among their own relatives (καὶ ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν αὐτοῦ), and in their own house (καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ). They would be not honored among their own hometown, relatives, and in their own house. It is always more difficult in your own home town. This was common among the Old Testament prophets, especially the Israelite prophets Jeremiah and Amos.
This Gospel of Matthew has a prologue with five parts that echo the book of Genesis. First, there was the genealogy of Jesus via Joseph that began with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then this genealogy went through the twin sons of Judah and the descendants of Perez. Then it went from Ruth to King David. Then there was the kings of Judah from Solomon to the gap and up to and including the Babylonian captivity. Finally, there were the unknown names in this genealogy that led up to Joseph and his father. Matthew then explained the genealogy of Jesus, since there were differences of this genealogy with that of the Gospel of Luke.
The second part of this prologue was the virgin birth of Jesus. First of all, there was the conception of Jesus from Joseph’s point of view, not Mary’s. Joseph wanted to divorce Mary for being pregnant until an angel in a dream told him that Jesus would be a special child that fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah. After waking up from his dream, there was the virgin birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
The third part of this prologue was the visit of the Magi. They brought their questions to Herod the Judean Roman king, who was annoyed and frightened. He found out that Bethlehem was described by the prophet Micah as the place where the Messiah would be born. Herod summoned the Magi and sent them to Bethlehem. The Magi followed the star and found Mary with the child at the so-called Epiphany. However, they went home another route so that they did not go back to King Herod.
The fourth part was the flight into Egypt, as Joseph had another dream. They went to Egypt to fulfill another prophecy that the Messiah would come out of Egypt. Meanwhile, King Herod killed all the under two-year old boys in the Bethlehem area as the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jeremiah.
Finally, the fifth part of the prologue was the return of Jesus to Nazareth when Joseph had a third dream. He was told to return to Israel, or more specifically to Galilee in a place called Nazareth. Thus, this prologue gave the unique perspective of Joseph.
“You will hear
And rumors of wars.
See that you are not alarmed!
This must take place.
But the end is not yet.”
μελλήσετε δὲ ἀκούειν πολέμους καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων· ὁρᾶτε, μὴ θροεῖσθε· δεῖ γὰρ γενέσθαι, ἀλλ’ οὔπω ἐστὶν τὸ τέλος.
There is something similar in Mark, chapter 13:7, and in Luke, chapter 21:9, almost word for word. Jesus told them that they would hear about wars or battles (μελλήσετε δὲ ἀκούειν πολέμους) and rumors of wars (καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων). They should not be alarmed (ὁρᾶτε, μὴ θροεῖσθε). This was going to happen (δεῖ γὰρ γενέσθαι), but the end was not near (ἀλλ’ οὔπω ἐστὶν τὸ τέλος). The idea of strife and rumors of violence and wars was a great prophetic theme with Isaiah, chapter 19:1-4, and Jeremiah, chapter 51:46.
“Jesus said to them.
‘It is written.
Shall be called
A house of prayer.’
‘But you are making it
A den of robbers.’”
καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Γέγραπται Ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς κληθήσεται, ὑμεῖς δὲ αὐτὸν ποιεῖτε σπήλαιον λῃστῶν.
This biblical citation of Jesus in the Temple by Matthew, can be found in Mark, chapter 11:17, and Luke, chapter 19:46, almost word for word. Matthew said that Jesus told them that it was written in Scripture (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Γέγραπται) that his house shall be called a house of prayer (Ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς κληθήσεται). However, they were making it into a den or hideout of robbers or bandits (ὑμεῖς δὲ αὐτὸν ποιεῖτε σπήλαιον λῃστῶν). This first citation is from Isaiah, chapter 56:7, while the second citation is from Jeremiah, chapter 7:11.