Four more apostles (Lk 6:15-6:15)

“Four more were

Matthew,

Thomas,

James,

The son of Alphaeus,

And Simon,

Who was called the Zealot.”

 

καὶ Μαθθαῖον καὶ Θωμᾶν, καὶ Ἰάκωβον Ἀλφαίου καὶ Σίμωνα τὸν καλούμενον Ζηλωτὴν,

 

This section about naming the 12 apostles is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:3-4, and Mark, chapter 3:18.  This list can also be compared to the list in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 1:13.  Matthew (καὶ Μαθθαῖον), or Levi, the tax collector, and doubting Thomas (καὶ Θωμᾶν) in John, chapter 20:19-29, are mentioned elsewhere in the gospels.  However, the other 2 apostles are not mentioned by name elsewhere in the gospels, James, the son of Alphaeus (καὶ Ἰάκωβον Ἀλφαίου), and Simon the Zealot (καὶ Σίμωνα τὸν καλούμενον Ζηλωτὴν).  Both of these men have some confusing comments about them in the other listings of the apostles.  In Mark 2:14, Levi or Matthew was called the son of Alphaeus just as James is here.  However, in the list of Mark, chapter 3:18, he also called James, the son of Alphaeus as here.  Were they brothers?  Mark also called this Simon the Cananaean.  Either this Simon was a Jewish zealot or a Cananaean.  Besides Simon, the leader called Peter, there was a mention of a Simon who was a leper and Pharisee Simon.  So that there were a lot of Simons in the gospel stories.

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Jesus cures the leprosy (Lk 5:13-5:13)

“Then Jesus

Stretched out

His hand.

He touched

The leper.

He said.

‘I do choose!

Be made clean!’

Immediately,

The leprosy

Left him.”

 

καὶ ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα ἥψατο αὐτοῦ λέγων Θέλω, καθαρίσθητι· καὶ εὐθέως ἡ λέπρα ἀπῆλθεν ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke said that Jesus stretched out his hand (καὶ ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα).  He touched the leper (ἥψατο αὐτοῦ).  He said that he had chosen (λέγων Θέλω) to make him clean (καθαρίσθητι).  Immediately (καὶ εὐθέως), the leprosy left or went out of him (ἡ λέπρα ἀπῆλθεν ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ).  This leper healing story can also be found in Mark, chapter 1:42, and Matthew, chapter 8:3.  Mark said that Jesus was moved with pity or compassion, which was not mentioned here in Luke.  However, the healing was the same.  Jesus stretched out his hand and touched the leper, since it was not against Jewish law to touch a leper.  Then Jesus said that he wanted to cleanse the leper.  Immediately, the leprosy went away, exactly the same as here.  This leper became clean.  Thus, there was a prophetic cleansing of a leper, because Jesus had this healing touch.

The woman in the house of Simon (Mk 14:3-14:3)

“Jesus was

At Bethany,

In the house of Simon,

The leper.

As he sat

At the table,

A woman came

With an alabaster jar

Of very costly

Ointment

Of nard.

She broke open

The jar.

She poured

The ointment

On his head.”

 

Καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ ἐν Βηθανίᾳ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ Σίμωνος τοῦ λεπροῦ, κατακειμένου αὐτοῦ ἦλθεν γυνὴ ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτελοῦς· συντρίψασα τὴν ἀλάβαστρον κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς  

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:6-7, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:1-3, where Jesus was in Bethany, but at the house of Lazarus and his two sisters, Martha and Mary, 6 days before the Passover.  John identified this woman as Mary, the sister of Lazarus.  Mark also said that Jesus was in Bethany (Καὶ ὄντος αὐτοῦ ἐν Βηθανίᾳ), a town about a mile and a half east of Jerusalem, but in the house of Simon the leper (ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ Σίμωνος τοῦ λεπροῦ).  The identity of this Simon the leper is unknown.  However, it could have been someone whom Jesus had cured from leprosy, who became his disciple.  The people of Bethany may have favored Jesus because of the Lazarus event.  There was also a story of a woman anointing Jesus in Luke, chapter 7:36-50, but within a different context.  Jesus was at the house of a Pharisee, when this woman also brought an alabaster jar to anoint the feet of Jesus.  Mark continued that Jesus was reclining at table (κατακειμένου), when an unnamed woman came or approached Jesus (ἦλθεν γυνὴ) with an alabaster jar full of very expensive imported Indian nard ointment (ἔχουσα ἀλάβαστρον μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτελοῦς).  This was anointing oil or as later Christians would call it holy oil, “Myron (μύρου).”  She broke the alabaster jar of ointment (συντρίψασα τὴν ἀλάβαστρον).  Then she then poured it on his head (κατέχεεν αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς).  This may appear a little unusual, but this oil might be a foretaste of the prophetic, royal, or priestly anointing of Jesus as prophet, king, and priest.  In the ancient biblical stories, kings were anointed on the head.

The rejected servant of Yahweh (Isa 53:1-53:3)

“Who has believed

What we have heard?

To whom has the arm of Yahweh

Been revealed?

He grew up

Like a young plant,

Like a root out of dry ground.

He had no form.

He had no majesty

That we should look at him.

There was nothing in his appearance

That we should desire him.

He was despised.

He was rejected by others.

He was a man of suffering.

He was acquainted with infirmity.

He was as one

From whom others hide their faces.

He was despised.

We held him of no account.”

Second Isaiah asks who believed us. Has the arm of Yahweh been revealed? This suffering servant grew up like a plant or a root from dry earth, not moist soil. This servant was not particularly good looking, not really desirable, and not majestic. In fact, he was despised and rejected by others. He seems to be suffering from some sickness or infirmity. People hid their faces from him as if he was a leper. Most people did not think much of him. Who then is this suffering servant? Is it Israel, Isaiah, or as some Christians project it to Jesus Christ?