Possible and impossible things (Lk 18:27-18:27)

“But Jesus replied.

‘What is impossible

For mortals

Is possible

With God.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Τὰ ἀδύνατα παρὰ ἀνθρώποις δυνατὰ παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ ἐστιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said or replied (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that what was impossible for mortal men (Τὰ ἀδύνατα παρὰ ἀνθρώποις) was possible with God (δυνατὰ παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ ἐστιν).  This saying about the power of God and the impotence of humans can be found in Mark, chapter 10:27, and Matthew, chapter 19:26, but slightly different, although Mark and Matthew were similar.  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 are possible with God (πάντα γὰρ δυνατὰ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ), since he could do everything.  In Matthew, Jesus looked at them (ἐμβλέψας δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) and told them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that this would be impossible for mortal men (Παρὰ ἀνθρώποις τοῦτο ἀδύνατόν ἐστιν), but with God, all things were possible (παρὰ δὲ Θεῷ πάντα δυνατά), 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 are not able to do, God is able to do.  Does God save wealthy people?

With God all things are possible (Mk 10:27-10:27)

“Jesus looked at them.

He said.

‘For mortals,

It is impossible,

But not for God.

All things are possible

For God.’”

 

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.

Only the family was there (Mk 5:40-5:40)

“They laughed

At Jesus.

Then he put them

All outside.

He took

The child’s father

And mother,

And those who were with him.

He went in

Where the child was.”

 

καὶ κατεγέλων αὐτοῦ. αὐτὸς δὲ ἐκβαλὼν πάντας παραλαμβάνει τὸν πατέρα τοῦ παιδίου καὶ τὴν μητέρα καὶ τοὺς μετ’ αὐτοῦ, καὶ εἰσπορεύεται ὅπου ἦν τὸ παιδίον.

 

This episode of the crowd laughing at Jesus and he telling them all to leave is similar to what can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:24-25, and Luke, chapter 8:51-53.  Mark said that they laughed at him or ridiculed him (καὶ κατεγέλων αὐτοῦ).  This will not be the only time that people ridicule Jesus and his disciples.  Jesus had the crowd of people put outside (αὐτὸς δὲ ἐκβαλὼν πάντας).  He then took the child’s father and mother, and those who were with him, his 3 trusted apostles (παραλαμβάνει τὸν πατέρα τοῦ παιδίου καὶ τὴν μητέρα καὶ τοὺς μετ’ αὐτοῦ,).  They went in where the child was (καὶ εἰσπορεύεται ὅπου ἦν τὸ παιδίον).  Jesus had gotten rid of the mourners and skeptics, as he now had the true believers with him and the little girl.

The sleeping girl (Mt 9:23-9:24)

“When Jesus came

To the leader’s house,

He saw the flute players.

The crowd

Was making a commotion.

He said.

‘Go away!

The girl is not dead.

But she is sleeping.’

They laughed at him.”

 

καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν τοῦ ἄρχοντος καὶ ἰδὼν τοὺς αὐλητὰς καὶ τὸν ὄχλον θορυβούμενον

ἔλεγεν· Ἀναχωρεῖτε· οὐ γὰρ ἀπέθανεν τὸ κοράσιον ἀλλὰ καθεύδει. καὶ κατεγέλων αὐτοῦ.

 

This episode of the sleeping girl is similar to what can be found in Mark, chapter 5:38-39, and Luke, chapter 8:51-52.  Jesus then arrived at this leader’s house (καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν τοῦ ἄρχοντος).  Jesus saw the mourning flute players (καὶ ἰδὼν τοὺς αὐλητὰς).  Once again, this is the only time that this word for flute players (αὐλητὰς) is found in the biblical literature.  The crowd was agitated, making a big commotion (καὶ τὸν ὄχλον θορυβούμενον).  He told them to go away (ἔλεγεν·Ἀναχωρεῖτε) since the girl was not dead (οὐ γὰρ ἀπέθανεν τὸ κοράσιον), but only sleeping (ἀλλὰ καθεύδει).  However, they laughed at him or ridiculed him (καὶ κατεγέλων αὐτοῦ).  This will not be the only time that people ridicule Jesus and his disciples.

The actions of the Chaldeans (Hab 1:9-1:11)

“The Chaldeans all come

For violence,

With faces pressing forward.

They gather captives

Like sand.

They scoff

At kings.

They make sport

Of rulers.

They laugh

At every fortress.

They heap up earth

To take it.

Then they sweep by

Like the wind.

They transgress.

They become guilty men.

Their own might

Is their god!”

These Chaldeans were all about violence.  They set out to gather and capture people, as if they were like the sands of the sea.  They would scoff at kings and ridicule rulers.  They laughed at fortresses, as they swept them away like a wind piling up heaps of dirt.  They were guilty transgressors.  Their god was their own strength.  They were mega maniacs, yet Yahweh was going to use them.

Footsteps in the temple (Dan 14:19-14:20)

“But Daniel laughed.

He restrained the king

From going in.

He said.

‘Look at the floor!

Notice

Whose footsteps these are!’

The king said.

‘I see the footsteps

Of men,

Of women,

Of children.’”

Daniel laughed. He kept the king from going into the temple. He told the king to notice the footsteps on the floor among the scattered ashes. The king then said that these footsteps appeared to be that of men, women, and children. How could they have gotten in, if the door was shut and sealed?

Bel eats and drinks (Dan 14:6-14:7)

“The king said to Daniel.

‘Do you not think

That Bel

Is a living God?

Do you not see

How much he eats,

How much he drinks,

Every day?’

Then Daniel laughed.

He said.

‘Do not be deceived!

O king!

This thing is

Only clay inside,

With bronze,

On the outside.

It never ate

Or drank anything.’”

King Cyrus got into a conversation with Daniel about Bel and his living God. The king maintained that Bel was also a living god, since he was able to eat and drink every day. Then Daniel laughed at him. He told the king not to be deceived. Bel was only made of clay and bronze, so that it was not capable of eating or drinking.