The mother and brothers of Jesus (Lk 8:19-8:19)

“Then Jesus’ mother

And his brothers

Came to him.

But they could not reach him

Because of the crowd.”

 

Παρεγένετο δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ μήτηρ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ οὐκ ἠδύναντο συντυχεῖν αὐτῷ διὰ τὸν ὄχλον.

 

Luke said that Jesus’ mother (ἡ μήτηρ) and his brothers (καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ) came to him (Παρεγένετο δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν).  However, they could not reach him (καὶ οὐκ ἠδύναντο συντυχεῖν αὐτῷ) because of the crowd (διὰ τὸν ὄχλον).  Mark, chapter 3:31, and Matthew, chapter 12:46, have something similar.  Mark said that his mother and brothers came to see Jesus, but apparently, they could not reach him because of the crowd, so that they were standing outside.  Matthew said that while Jesus was still speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers were standing outside.  They wanted to speak to him.  This brings up all kinds of questions.  Who were these unnamed brothers?  To what extent was Jesus estranged from his family?  According to Matthew, Jesus had been near to John the Baptist and his early apostles Peter, Andrew, John, James and Matthew.  These brothers could be biological brothers, half-brothers from a first marriage of Joseph, or cousin relatives.  The Hebrew and Aramaic language did not have a distinctive word for cousins, so that the word “brother” was often used to mean more than a true biological brother.  However, the Greek language did have a specific word for cousins.  Just as today, people sometimes refer to others as brothers or sisters, when there is no biological link.  The traditional belief of Christians, even through the Reformation period, had been that Mary was a virgin, so that Jesus was her only divine son.  Thus, here the unnamed mother and the unnamed brothers of Jesus were outside wanting to speak to Jesus.  In Mark, chapter 6:3, and Matthew, chapter 13:55–56, there are explicit names for the brothers of Jesus.  They clearly were relatives of Jesus, but exactly how close a relative is not clear.  Do you know all your relatives?

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Various names between David and the captivity (Lk 3:28-3:30)

“The son of Melchi,

The son of Addi,

The son of Cosam,

The son of Elmadam,

The son of Er,

The son of Joshua,

The son of Eliezer,

The son of Jorim,

The son of Matthat,

The son of Levi,

The son of Simeon,

The son of Judah,

The son of Joseph,

The son of Jonam,

The son of Eliakim.”

 

τοῦ Μελχεὶ τοῦ Ἀδδεὶ τοῦ Κωσὰμ τοῦ Ἐλμαδὰμ τοῦ Ἢρ

τοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Ἐλιέζερ τοῦ Ἰωρεὶμ τοῦ Μαθθὰτ τοῦ Λευεὶ

τοῦ Συμεὼν τοῦ Ἰούδα τοῦ Ἰωσὴφ τοῦ Ἰωνὰμ τοῦ Ἐλιακεὶμ

 

None of these 15 names match up with any on the list in Matthew, chapter 1:8.  Some of these names like Joshua, Levi, Simeon, Judah, and Joseph, could be found in the Torah, but from a more ancient time frame.  This list was between the time of David and the Babylonian captivity.  Luke listed them as the son of Melchi (τοῦ Μελχεὶ), the son of Addi (τοῦ Ἀδδεὶ), the son of Cosam (τοῦ Κωσὰμ), the son of Elmadam (τοῦ Ἐλμαδὰμ), the son of Er (τοῦ Ἢρ), the son of Joshua (τοῦ Ἰησοῦ), the son of Eliezer (τοῦ Ἐλιέζερ), the son of Jorim (τοῦ Ἰωρεὶμ), the son of Matthat (τοῦ Μαθθὰτ), the son of Levi (τοῦ Λευεὶ), the  son of Simeon (τοῦ Συμεὼν), the son of Judah (τοῦ Ἰούδα), the son of Joseph (τοῦ Ἰωσὴφ), the son of Jonam (τοῦ Ἰωνὰμ), and the son of Eliakim (τοῦ Ἐλιακεὶμ).

The ancestors of Jesus (Lk 3:24-3:24)

“Heli was

The son of Matthat,

The son of Levi,

The son of Melchi,

The son of Jannai,

The son of Joseph.”

 

τοῦ Ματθὰτ τοῦ Λευεὶ τοῦ Μελχεὶ τοῦ Ἰανναὶ τοῦ Ἰωσὴφ

 

Luke said that Jesus’ grandfather was Heli.  From then on there is a major difference in the genealogies of Matthew and Luke.  A simple solution to this problem would be to say that Luke has presented the genealogy of Mary, not Joseph.  The father of Mary was Heli.  However, that does not explain where the names came from.  The end of the genealogy of Matthew, chapter 1:15, is Joseph with his father Jacob.  Most of the people mentioned in the genealogy of Matthew could be found in other biblical works.  However, where Matthew got these last 9 generations of names was unclear.  He must have had some source, since he was so meticulous following 1 Chronicles.  Zerubbabel was Abiud’s father.  Abiud was the father of Eliakim, while he was the father of Azor.  He, in turn was the father of Zadok, whose son was Achim.  His son was Eliud.  Eliud’s son was Eleazar whose son was Matthan.  Matthan was the father of Jacob, the father of Joseph.  None of those names are here as Luke said that Heli was the son of Matthat (τοῦ Ματθὰτ), the son of Levi (τοῦ Λευεὶ), the son of Melchi (τοῦ Μελχεὶ), the son of Jannai (τοῦ Ἰανναὶ), the son of Joseph (τοῦ Ἰωσὴφ).

The grandfather of Jesus (Lk 3:23-3:23)

“Jesus was the son,

As was thought,

Of Joseph,

The son of Heli.”

 

ὢν υἱός, ὡς ἐνομίζετο, Ἰωσὴφ, τοῦ Ἡλεὶ

 

Luke said that Jesus was the son (ὢν υἱός), as was thought or supposed (ὡς ἐνομίζετο), of Joseph (Ἰωσὴφ,), the son of Heli (τοῦ Ἡλεὶ).  Right off the bat, there is a problem with the differences between the genealogies of Matthew and Luke.  The end of the genealogy of Matthew, chapter 1:16, is Joseph (Ἰωσὴφ) with his father Jacob (Ἰακὼβ).  Perhaps the names of Jacob and Joseph were an attempt to connect Jesus with the great Joseph, the son of Jacob, who brought the sons of Jacob to Egypt.  However, compared to the text here in Luke, there is a difference with the father of Joseph, the grandfather of Jesus.  Luke called him “the son of Heli,” not “the son of Jacob.”  Luke said that Joseph was the so-called father of Jesus.  Thus, it might seem simple enough to compare this genealogy of Jesus with the one in Matthew, chapter 1:1-1:17.  Both the gospels of Matthew and Luke listed the family tree of Jesus.  These genealogies were theological statements with different parent genealogies and different audiences.  Matthew, went from Abraham to Jesus, so that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Jewish messianic expectations.  The theme of David was important, since Joseph was called the son of David.  Matthew explained that there were 3 sections of 14 generations.  One section went from the call of Abraham to the accession of David as king.  The second grouping went from David to the Babylonian exile.  The final section went from the Exile to the coming of the Messiah.  The Gospel of Luke genealogy, on the hand, goes from Jesus to Adam to God.  Luke’s view was more universal.  Jesus could trace his roots back to God.  Luke, who had the best Greek, was apparently writing for the gentiles of the Pauline Churches.  The Son of God was a more meaningful term.  Luke spoke of the Son of Adam, the second Adam, a theme that Paul also used.  Jesus had both divine and human origins.  This was not difficult for Greeks, since their gods were always having relations with humans in their mythical stories.  Thus, there are two different genealogies for Joseph, with only one common person, David.  This left Jesus with 2 paternal grandfathers, Jacob and Heli.  Matthew listed 52 people, but Luke has 77 ancestors because he went further back in time.  It is what it is.

They find Jesus on the third day (Lk 2:46-2:46)

“After three days,

They found him

In the Temple.

He was

Sitting among

The teachers,

Listening to them

And asking them questions.”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο μετὰ ἡμέρας τρεῖς εὗρον αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ καθεζόμενον ἐν μέσῳ τῶν διδασκάλων καὶ ἀκούοντα αὐτῶν καὶ ἐπερωτῶντα αὐτούς·

 

Good news!  Luke said that Joseph and Mary found Jesus after 3 days (καὶ ἐγένετο μετὰ ἡμέρας τρεῖς).  That probably means that he was found on the 3rd day since they traveled one day out and one day back on their journey.  These 3 days will play an important role in the resurrection story, because Jesus will rise from the dead after 3 days.  Thus, the distress of these parents will be like the distress of the disciples of Jesus after his death.  The parents of Jesus found him in the Temple (εὗρον αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ), just like the women who found the empty tomb on the 3rd day.  Jesus, the 12-year-old was sitting in the middle or among the Temple masters or teachers (καθεζόμενον ἐν μέσῳ τῶν διδασκάλων), experts in the Jewish religion and traditions.  He was both listening to them (καὶ ἀκούοντα αὐτῶν) and asking them questions (καὶ ἐπερωτῶντα αὐτούς).  Nothing had been mentioned about his prior schooling in Nazareth, if there was any.  Had he been trained at the local synagogue in Nazareth?

 

Jesus’ parents return to Jerusalem (Lk 2:45-2:45)

“When they

Did not find him,

They returned

To Jerusalem,

To search

For him.”

 

καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἀναζητοῦντες αὐτόν.

 

Luke said that now Joseph and Mary reversed courses.  When they did not find him (καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες) among their friends and relatives, they returned to Jerusalem (ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ) to search for him there (ἀναζητοῦντες αὐτόν).  This was the natural thing to do.  It probably took them another day to get back to Jerusalem.  However, they were going to try and find him in Jerusalem, assuming that he was still there.

 

They realize that Jesus is not with them (Lk 2:44-2:44)

“They assumed

That Jesus was

In the group

Of caravan travelers.

Thus,

They went

A day’s journey.

Then they started

To look for him

Among their relatives

And friends.”

 

νομίσαντες δὲ αὐτὸν εἶναι ἐν τῇ συνοδίᾳ ἦλθον ἡμέρας ὁδὸν καὶ ἀνεζήτουν αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν καὶ τοῖς γνωστοῖς,

 

Luke said that Mary and Joseph realized that Jesus was not with them after they were a full day out of Jerusalem, probably about 20 miles.  They had assumed that Jesus was in their caravan group of travelers (νομίσαντες δὲ αὐτὸν εἶναι ἐν τῇ συνοδίᾳ).  Thus, they went a day’s journey (ἦλθον ἡμέρας ὁδὸν) before they recognized this.  Then they started to look for him (καὶ ἀνεζήτουν αὐτὸν) among their relatives and acquaintance friends (ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν καὶ τοῖς γνωστοῖς).  It seems like this should have been a priority before they started.  This was not very good parenting, unless they had more kids to worry about.