They spread garments (Lk 19:36-19:36)

“As Jesus rode along,

People kept spreading

Their cloaks

On the road.”

 

πορευομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ὑπεστρώννυον τὰ ἱμάτια ἑαυτῶν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ.

 

Luke said that as Jesus rode (πορευομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ) along the road on this colt, people kept spreading their cloaks (ὑπεστρώννυον τὰ ἱμάτια ἑαυτῶν) on the road (ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ).  Once again, the word ὑπεστρώννυον, that means to spread under, was unique to Luke, and not found elsewhere in the Greek biblical literature.  However, both Matthew, chapter 21:8, and Mark, chapter 11:8 were more similar to each other than to Luke.  They added the idea of branches on the road that was not here in LukeMark said that many people (καὶ πολλοὶ) spread out their outer garments, cloaks, or coats on the road (τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτῶν ἔστρωσαν εἰς τὴν ὁδόν).  Meanwhile, others were cutting down leafy branches from the surrounding fields (ἄλλοι δὲ στιβάδας, κόψαντες ἐκ τῶν ἀγρῶν), also spreading out these branches on the road.   Matthew emphasized the large crowds.  He said that a very large crowd of people (ὁ δὲ πλεῖστος ὄχλος) spread out their outer garments or coats on the road (ἔστρωσαν ἑαυτῶν τὰ ἱμάτια ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ,).  Meanwhile, others were cutting down branches from the surrounding trees (ἄλλοι δὲ ἔκοπτον κλάδους ἀπὸ τῶν δένδρων).  They also spread out these branches on the road (καὶ ἐστρώννυον ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ).  This idea of laying garments on the road can be found in 2 Kings, chapter 9:13, to protect the feet of the king.  Clearly, this was an attempt to connect Jesus with the Davidic kingship.  Was Jesus to be the new king of Israel as a son of David?  This event has become the basis for the great Palm Sunday celebration, the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.  Actually, only John, chapter 12:13, called these palm branches.  Do you like the palms on Palm Sunday?

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Herod feared John (Mk 6:20-6:20)

“Herod feared John.

He knew

That John

Was a righteous

And holy man.

He protected John.

When he heard him,

He was greatly perplexed.

Yet he liked

To listen

To him.”

 

ὁ γὰρ Ἡρῴδης ἐφοβεῖτο τὸν Ἰωάνην, εἰδὼς αὐτὸν ἄνδρα δίκαιον καὶ ἅγιον, καὶ συνετήρει αὐτόν, καὶ ἀκούσας αὐτοῦ πολλὰ ἠπόρει, καὶ ἡδέως αὐτοῦ ἤκουεν.

 

This mention of Herod being afraid of John the Baptist can be found in Matthew, chapter 14:5, and here.  In Matthew, Herod was afraid of the large crowds that regarded John as a prophet.  Here, however, King Herod is more seriously confused.  Mark said that Herod also feared John (ὁ γὰρ Ἡρῴδης ἐφοβεῖτο τὸν Ἰωάνην).  However, he was not afraid of the crowds, but because he knew that John was a righteous and holy man (εἰδὼς αὐτὸν ἄνδρα δίκαιον καὶ ἅγιον).  Herod was protecting or keeping John safe (καὶ συνετήρει αὐτόν).  When he heard John (καὶ ἀκούσας αὐτοῦ), he was greatly perplexed or in doubt (πολλὰ ἠπόρει).  Yet he liked to gladly listen to him (καὶ ἡδέως αὐτοῦ ἤκουεν).

Fifth narrative

Jesus traveled toward Jerusalem and taught in the Temple there, debating with the chief priests and religious leaders.  Then he spoke about the coming kingdom of heaven and the future end times.

Jesus finally went to Judea, where he cured large crowds of people.  The Pharisees questioned him about divorce.  Jesus reiterated the importance of marriage, as he spoke about Moses and divorce.  After hearing the response of Jesus about divorce, his disciples wondered why they should marry at all.  Jesus explained about different kind of eunuchs.

The children came forward to Jesus and he blessed them.  He warned against wealth.  To gain eternal life you had to keep the commandments.  They wanted to know which commandments?  The great commandment was not a problem.  However, Jesus asked them to give up their possessions, so that the rich young man walked away.  It was hard for rich people to enter the kingdom like a camel going through the eye of a needle.  Who could be saved?  The response was that all things are possible with God.  Peter wanted to know about the disciples and the eternal life reward, so that Jesus told them that the first shall be last and vice versa.

Then Jesus presented the parable of the laborers in the vineyard.  He hired the first laborers, and then late in the day a second group, a third group and finally a fourth group of laborers.  The last group hired got a full day’s pay.  The first group hired were upset when they got the same as the last group hired.  This brought up the problem of generosity versus fairness, as Jesus explained the parable.

On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus predicted what was going to happen to him in Jerusalem.  The mother of the sons of Zebedee wanted to know if her two sons, James and John, could be the greatest, on either side of Jesus.  Jesus pointed out the difficulties and said that only the Father set up the seating arrangements.  This led to ten angry men as they resented the two trying to be first.  Jesus reminded them about servant leadership, as the Son of Man was going to give up his life.

There were great crowds at Jericho where Jesus found two blind men asking for mercy, so he healed them.  Then began the final ministry in Jerusalem with a triumphal entry.  Jesus sent two disciples from Bethpage to get a donkey and a colt because he needed them.  Thus, the prophecy of Zechariah might be fulfilled.  They brought the donkey and the colt to Jesus.  Then crowds welcomed the Son of David into Jerusalem as they began to wonder who this man was?

Jesus went into the Temple and chased out the money changers to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah.  When he cured people in the Temple, the chief priests were angry, but the little children praised him.

Then Jesus went to Bethany.  The next morning, he was hungry.  He saw a fig tree, but it had no figs, so he cursed the fig tree as it withered because of his faith.

People began to question where did Jesus get his authority?  Jesus responded with a question for a question.  He asked them about the value of the baptism of John.  They gave a timid response.  Then he told the parable about the two sons.  The first son said no at first, and then did the work, while the second son said yes and did not do the work.  Which son did the will of his father?  Thus, they did not believe John the Baptist.

Then Jesus told the parable about the wicked tenants.  This absentee land owner of the vineyard sent people to collect his rent.  Instead, the tenants beat and killed the landowner’s slaves.  He sent a second group that was also killed.  Then the tenants killed the landowner’s son.  Finally, the landowner came to take back his vineyard, citing Psalm 118 about the kingdom of God and the falling cornerstone.  The Pharisees understood this parable and tried to arrest Jesus.

Jesus continued to speak in parables.  This parable was about the king who gave a great wedding banquet.  However, the invited guests refused to come to the wedding banquet.  He sent out a second invitation to the wedding banquet, but they refused the second invitation also.  They treated his slaves badly.  The king was angry and sent out new invitations to the wedding feast.  Finally, a man without a wedding garment showed up, but he threw him out of the feast.  The explanation of this parable was that many are called, but few are chosen.

Next the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus by flattering him.  They asked him a question about taxes.  Jesus gave a harsh response as he had a dialogue about the Roman coin about whose image was on it.  Give Caesar his due.  The Pharisees and their disciples left.

However, the Sadducees asked a question about the resurrection.  There was a law about marrying the brother of a dead man.  There was a woman who married seven brothers, who was her husband in the resurrection?  Jesus responded that there was no marriage in the resurrection.  The living God of their ancestors would show them the way.  The crowd was astonished.

The Pharisees regrouped and wanted to know what is the greatest commandment?  Jesus responded about the two great commandments to love God and your neighbor.  Then Jesus asked the Pharisees a question.  Was the Christ the son of David?  Then who was the Lord for David?  After that there were no more questions for Jesus.

Jesus then cursed the Scribes and Pharisees.  He told his disciples to do what they say, but not what they do.  They tied up heavy burdens on the people.  They wore special clothing and sought the places of honor.  They want to be called Rabbis.  No one was your father or master.  Greatness comes with humility.  They tried to lock people out of heaven as they shut it off.  Even when they tried to make converts, they are like blind guides and fools.  They swore by the altar or the gift of the altar.  They swore by heaven, but they had forgotten the law.  They wanted the gnat out your eye but had a camel in their own eye.  They worried about the outside of the cup instead of the inside.  They were like whitewashed tombs.  They proclaimed reverence for the tombs of the prophets, but they were like their sinning ancestors. They were like serpents.  They would kill the prophets.  They spread innocent blood.  Soon the house of Jerusalem would be desolate.

Finally, there were the predictions about the end times.  Jesus left the Temple as he predicted its destruction.  What are the signs of the Parousia?  There would be the beginning of the great suffering so that they should not be lead astray.  There would be rumors of wars in those troubled times.  They would be persecuted for the sake of Jesus.  There would be betrayals and false prophets.  Love would grow cold.  Endurance would be necessary.  The importance of Daniel the prophet was emphasized.  In Judea, they would flee to the housetops.  It would be too late for the people in the fields.  This would be the wrong time to be pregnant or nursing.  There would be great tribulation, but the days would be short.

The end was coming because there would be false Christs and people looking for the Messiah.  The Son of Man would come on the clouds as the darkness in the skies appeared.  There would be a gathering of the chosen ones.  Using the parable of the fig tree, they could tell that the end was near.  This generation would pass away, but Jesus’ words would not pass away.  No one knew the day, since it would be like in the days of Noah.  Only one would be taken and the other left, so be ready.  Be a wise and faithful slave, not a wicked slave.

Jesus told the parable of the ten bridesmaids where half were wise and half foolish.  They all fell asleep.  When the bridegroom came, they all got up.  However, the foolish ones had no oil and wise ones said that there was not enough oil for both of them.  When the foolish left to get oil, they shut the door.  When they came back, the bridegroom said that he did not know them.  Thus, you do not know the day.

Next Jesus told the parable of the talents.  A man entrusted his assets to his slaves.  He gave them money.  One slave added five more talents, another added two more talents, but the third slave dug a hole and buried his money.  The master settled their accounts.  The slave with five talents got five more talents.  The slave with two talents got two more talents.  The slave with one talent was rebuked and punished.  Thus, there will be rewards and punishments at the end times.

In the last judgment, the Son of Man would appear in glory.  There would be sheep and goats, with the sheep on the right hand.  They had taken care of him.  They wondered when they had done this.  The Son of Man replied that they took care of him when they cared for the least of his brothers.  Then he told the goats on his left side to depart from him because they had not taken care of him when they did not care for the lowly people.  Thus, there would be eternal punishment or eternal reward.

Jesus spoke to his disciples (Mt 26:1-26:1)

“When Jesus had finished

All these sayings,

He spoke

To his disciples.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς πάντας τοὺς λόγους τούτους, εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ

 

This is unique to Matthew.  When Jesus had finished or completed all these sayings (Καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς πάντας τοὺς λόγους τούτους), he then spoke to his disciples (εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ).  Basically, Matthew was indicating that the public ministry, his preaching, his sayings, and parables were now complete.  From now on, he would only speak with his trusted disciples, and more particularly with his 12-man leadership team of apostles.  There would be no more large crowds listening to Jesus.

No fathers or masters (Mt 23:9-23:10)

“Call no one

Your father on earth!

You have one Father!

The one in heaven!

Nor are you

To be called instructors!

You have one instructor!

The Messiah Christ!”

 

καὶ πατέρα μὴ καλέσητε ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς· εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ Πατὴρ ὁ οὐράνιος.

μηδὲ κληθῆτε καθηγηταί, ὅτι καθηγητὴς ὑμῶν ἐστιν εἷς ὁ Χριστός.

 

This is unique to Matthew.  Jesus, via Matthew, seems to aim these remarks directly at his disciples, not the large crowds.  He seemed to warn his followers not to take on religious or scholastic leadership terms.  Thus, Christian leaders should be careful of when they are looking for some kind of religious respect.  He told them to call no one on earth their father (καὶ πατέρα μὴ καλέσητε ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  They only had one Father who was in heaven (εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ Πατὴρ ὁ οὐράνιος).  The Aramaic term “Abba” was a respectful term for father.  They should not call themselves instructors, teachers, or guides (μηδὲ κληθῆτε καθηγηταί), since there was only one instructor, teacher, or guide (ὅτι καθηγητὴς ὑμῶν ἐστιν εἷς), the Messiah Christ (ὁ Χριστός).  Is Jesus talking about himself?  If that is so, then this represents one of few times that Jesus referred to himself as the Messiah Christ.

The explanation that many are called, but few chosen (Mt 22:14-22:14)

“Many are called.

But few are chosen.”

 

Πολλοὶ γάρ εἰσιν κλητοὶ, ὀλίγοι δὲ ἐκλεκτοί

 

This is unique to Matthew.  Jesus’ explanation of this parable was simple.  Many were called or invited (Πολλοὶ γάρ εἰσιν κλητοὶ), but few were chosen (Πολλοὶ γάρ εἰσιν κλητοὶ).  However, this parable has only one person rejected from the wedding banquet because of not having the wedding garment.  Many were called and then some were killed or punished because they refused the invitation.  However, many did come to the wedding feast in the end.  Obviously, this is a reference to the teaching of Jesus.  He spoke to many people and large crowds.  Thus, this invitation went out to many people.  However, only a few, as in this case the 12 apostles or the other disciples, were chosen to follow him.  Nevertheless, it would be difficult to be a follower of Jesus.