Prophecy fulfilled for the twelve apostles (Lk 18:31-18:31)

“Jesus took

The twelve aside.

He said to them.

‘See!

We are going up

To Jerusalem!

Everything

That is written

About the Son of Man

By the prophets

Will be accomplished.’”

 

Παραλαβὼν δὲ τοὺς δώδεκα εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Ἰδοὺ ἀναβαίνομεν εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ, καὶ τελεσθήσεται πάντα τὰ γεγραμμένα διὰ τῶν προφητῶν τῷ Υἱῷ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου

 

Luke indicated that Jesus took the 12 apostles aside (Παραλαβὼν δὲ τοὺς δώδεκα).  He said to them (εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) that they were going up to Jerusalem (Ἰδοὺ ἀναβαίνομεν εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ).  Everything that was written (πάντα τὰ γεγραμμένα) about the Son of Man (ῷ Υἱῷ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) by the prophets (διὰ τῶν προφητῶν) would be accomplished (καὶ τελεσθήσεται).  Mark, chapter 10:32, and Matthew, chapter 20:17, have something similar to this.  Mark said that while they were on the road towards Jerusalem (Ἦσαν δὲ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἀναβαίνοντες εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus was walking ahead of them (καὶ ἦν προάγων αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  These followers of Jesus were amazed or astonished, yet at the same time they were afraid (καὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο, οἱ δὲ ἀκολουθοῦντες ἐφοβοῦντο).  Jesus then took his 12 leaders aside by themselves again (καὶ παραλαβὼν πάλιν τοὺς δώδεκα).  They were merely called the 12 “τοὺς δώδεκα,” clearly indicating the elite 12 apostolic leaders.  Jesus began to speak to them (ἤρξατο αὐτοῖς λέγειν) about what was going to happen to him (τὰ μέλλοντα αὐτῷ συμβαίνειν).  In Matthew, while Jesus was near Jerusalem (Μέλλων δὲ ἀναβαίνειν Ἰησοῦς εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), he took his 12 leaders aside by themselves (παρέλαβεν τοὺς δώδεκα κατ’ ἰδίαν), as they went on their way to Jerusalem (καὶ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).  In other words, this was not a general proclamation, but a semi-secret saying just for the leaders, the 12, much like a gnostic group with some of the top people knowing more than the others.  Do you like to know things that others do not know?

Bring me a coin (Mk 12:15-12:15)

“But knowing

Their hypocrisy,

Jesus said to them.

‘Why are you

Putting me

To the test?

Bring me

A denarius!

Let me see it!’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἰδὼς αὐτῶν τὴν ὑπόκρισιν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Τί με πειράζετε; φέρετέ μοι δηνάριον ἵνα ἴδω.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 22:18-19, and in Luke, chapter 20:23-24.  Mark said that Jesus was aware of their evil intentions or hypocrisy (ὁ δὲ εἰδὼς αὐτῶν τὴν ὑπόκρισιν).  He asked them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) why were they testing or tempting him (Τί με πειράζετε)?  This idea of testing or tricking Jesus was a common theme in the gospels.  Jesus wanted them to bring him the Roman coin, a denarius (φέρετέ μοι δηνάριον), worth a little more than a US dollar.  He wanted to see (ἵνα ἴδω) what coin was being used for paying the Roman poll tax.

On the way to Jerusalem (Mk 10:32-10:32)

“They were

On the road,

Going up

To Jerusalem.

Jesus was walking

Ahead of them.

They were amazed.

Those who followed

Were afraid.

He took

The twelve aside again.

He began to tell them

What was to happen

To him.”

 

Ἦσαν δὲ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἀναβαίνοντες εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα, καὶ ἦν προάγων αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς, καὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο, οἱ δὲ ἀκολουθοῦντες ἐφοβοῦντο. καὶ παραλαβὼν πάλιν τοὺς δώδεκα ἤρξατο αὐτοῖς λέγειν τὰ μέλλοντα αὐτῷ συμβαίνειν,

 

Matthew, chapter 20:17, and Luke, chapter 18:31, have something similar to this.  Mark said that while they were on the road towards Jerusalem (Ἦσαν δὲ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἀναβαίνοντες εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus was walking ahead of them (καὶ ἦν προάγων αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  These followers of Jesus were amazed or astonished, yet at the same time they were afraid (καὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο, οἱ δὲ ἀκολουθοῦντες ἐφοβοῦντο).  Jesus then took his 12 leaders aside again by themselves (καὶ παραλαβὼν πάλιν τοὺς δώδεκα).  They were merely called the 12 “τοὺς δώδεκα,” not distinguishing between apostles and disciples, but clearly indicating the elite 12 apostle leaders.  Jesus began to speak to them (ἤρξατο αὐτοῖς λέγειν) about what was going to happen to him (τὰ μέλλοντα αὐτῷ συμβαίνειν).  In other words, this was not a general proclamation, but a semi-secret saying just for the leaders, the 12, much like a gnostic group with some at the top people knowing more than the others.

The woman comes forward (Mk 5:33-5:33)

“But the woman,

Knowing what had been done

To her,

Came in fear

And trembling.

She fell down

Before Jesus.

She told him

The whole truth.”

 

ἡ δὲ γυνὴ φοβηθεῖσα καὶ τρέμουσα, εἰδυῖα ὃ γέγονεν αὐτῇ, ἦλθεν καὶ προσέπεσεν αὐτῷ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ πᾶσαν τὴν ἀλήθειαν.

 

This woman coming forward can be found in Luke, chapter 8:47, but not in MatthewMark said that the woman knew what had been done and what happened to her (ἡ δὲ γυνὴ, εἰδυῖα ὃ γέγονεν αὐτῇ).  She came in fear and trembling (φοβηθεῖσα καὶ τρέμουσα), and fell down or worshipped before Jesus (ἦλθεν καὶ προσέπεσεν αὐτῷ).  She told him the whole truth (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ πᾶσαν τὴν ἀλήθειαν).  This woman, despite her fears, came forward to explain what she had done and what happened to her.

The king explained the consequences of their interpretation (Dan 2:5-2:6)

The king answered

The Chaldeans.

‘This is a public decree.

If you do not tell me

Both the dream

With its interpretation,

You shall be torn

Limb from limb.

Your houses

Shall be laid in ruins.

But if you do tell me

The dream,

With its interpretation,

You shall receive

From me

Gifts,

Rewards,

Great honor.

Therefore,

Tell me the dream!

Tell me its interpretation.’”

The king responded to the Chaldeans with a public decree. If they were unable to tell him both the dream and its interpretation, they would be torn limb from limb. Their houses would be ruined also. However, if they were able to tell him both the dream and its interpretation, they would receive great gifts, rewards, and great honor. This was their challenge. The easier part might be interpreting the dream, but knowing the dream seemed almost impossible.

The true boasting in glory (Jer 9:23-9:24)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘Do not let the wise

Boast in their wisdom!

Do not let the mighty

Boast in their might!

Do not let not the wealthy

Boast in their wealth!

But let those who boast,

Boast in this!

They understand me.

They know me.

I am Yahweh.

I act with steadfast love.

I act with justice.

I act with righteousness in the earth.

In these things,

I delight.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh warns, via Jeremiah, that the wise should not boast in their wisdom. The mighty should not boast in their might. The wealthy should not boast in their wealth. If they want to boast it should be in understanding and knowing Yahweh. He should be their boast, because he acts with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness. Yahweh delights in those things.

Yahweh is incomparable to the weak false idols (Isa 46:5-46:7)

“To whom will you liken me?

Can you make me equal?

Can you compare me?

Do you think that we are all alike?

Those who lavish gold

From the purse,

They hire a goldsmith

To make it into a god.

Those who weigh out silver

On the scales,

They hire a silversmith,

To make it into a god.

Then they fall down.

They worship it.

They lift it to their shoulders.

They carry it.

They set it in its place.

It stands there.

It cannot move

From its place.

If one cries to it,

It does not answer.

It does not save anyone

From trouble.”

Second Isaiah continues with this theme of the useless idols and how incomparable they are to Yahweh. Once again, Yahweh defends himself. How can you say that these false idols and Yahweh are the same? How could you even make a comparison? Then Yahweh repeated his thought about the uselessness of human made idols, even though they are made of lavish gold and silver. After the goldsmith or silversmith has made their idols, they would bow down and worship before it, knowing that they had just made it. Then they would carefully carry the idol on their shoulders to set it in a place where it could not move. If anyone went to cry before this idol, it could not answer or save that person from their troubles.

True and false wisdom (Sir 19:20-19:22)

“The whole of wisdom

Is fear of the Lord.

In all wisdom,

There is the fulfillment

Of the law.

There is knowledge

Of his omnipresence.

When a slave cries

To his master.

‘I will not act

As you wish’

Even if later he does it,

He angers the one

Who supports him.

The knowledge of wickedness

Is not wisdom.

There is not prudence

In the counsel of sinners.”

Sirach reminds us of the difference between true and false wisdom. True and all wisdom starts with the fear of the Lord. True wisdom follows the law, knowing that God is everywhere. Sirach uses a comparison between a slave and us. We should never say to the Lord that we are not going to do something, even if we do it later. We will anger God, the one who supports us. On the other hand, the knowledge of wickedness is not wisdom. There is no prudence among the counsel of sinners.

Dreams of death (Wis 18:17-18:19)

“Then at once

Apparitions in dreadful dreams

Greatly troubled them.

Unexpected fears assailed them.

One here

Another there,

They were hurled down half dead.

They were made known why they were dying.

The dreams that disturbed them

Forewarned them of this.

Thus they might not perish

Without knowing Why they suffered.”

Apparently, this section is not really tied to the Exodus story, but does concern the problem of death. It is not clear what this refers to since most of the first-born killed were infants and not capable of knowing why they were perishing. However, it could have been the first-born grown children of some families whose first-born would have been older and thus capable of understanding what was happening. Anyway, dreadful or fearful (φόβοι) dreams or apparitions (φαντασίαι) definitely troubled these people before they were hurled half dead. They knew why they were dying because they had been warned. They knew why they were suffering.

The inability to enjoy a wealthy life (Eccl 6:1-6:6)

“There is an evil

That I have seen under the sun.

It lies heavy upon humans.

God gives wealth.

God gives possessions.

God gives honor to people.

Thus they lack nothing of all that they desire.

Yet God does not enable them

To enjoy these things.

But a stranger enjoys them.

This is vanity.

It is a grievous illness.

If a man beget a hundred children,

If a man lives many years,

However many are the days of his years,

But he does not enjoy life’s good things,

If he has no burial,

I say

That a stillborn child is

Better off than he.

‘It comes into vanity.

It goes into darkness.

In darkness

Its name is covered.

Moreover it has not seen the sun

It does not know anything.

Yet it finds rest rather than him.’

Even though he should

Live a thousand years twice over,

Yet enjoy no good,

Do not all go to the one place?”

Qoheleth finds another evil under the sun in his pessimistic mood. What happens to those who have everything that they desire? Somehow they are not able to enjoy all their wealth. Instead a stranger seems to enjoy them. This is another useless vain thing, another grievous illness among us. Even if someone had 100 children and a long life, but cannot enjoy them, what is the point of all this? If he does not even get a burial, this wealthy person with a large family and a long life is no better off than a stillborn child. This is an amazing comparison. He maintains that the stillborn is better off because it lives in darkness with no name, never seeing the sun, or knowing anything, but finds a better rest than this old rich guy with the large family. Even though this person might live 2,000 years, he would not enjoy any good things. After all, the stillborn and this old guy, as well as everyone else, will end up in the same place, dead.