Give water in the name of Christ (Mk 9:41-9:41)

“Whoever gives you

A cup of water

To drink,

Because you bear

The name of Christ,

Truly!

I say to you!

He will

By no means

Lose his reward.”

 

Ὃς γὰρ ἂν ποτίσῃ ὑμᾶς ποτήριον ὕδατος ἐν ὀνόματι, ὅτι Χριστοῦ ἐστε, ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐ μὴ ἀπολέσῃ τὸν μισθὸν αὐτοῦ.

 

This verse of Mark is similar to Matthew, chapter 10:42, but not in LukeMatthew had the gift of water to the little ones, not the disciples.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that whoever gave them a cup of cold water to drink (Ὃς γὰρ ἂν ποτίσῃ ὑμᾶς ποτήριον ὕδατος), because they bear the name of Christ (ἐν ὀνόματι, ὅτι Χριστοῦ ἐστε), would be rewarded.  Jesus spoke with a solemn pronouncement (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  They would not lose their reward (οὐ μὴ ἀπολέσῃ τὸν μισθὸν αὐτοῦ).  Why would they lose their reward anyhow?  Once again, Jesus spoke with authority.  There is an explicit mention of Christ (Χριστοῦ) that was rare in Mark.  People would not lose anything by giving cold water to his Christian disciples, a very small gesture.

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Third narrative

This third narrative centered around a variety of miracles and various comments to his disciples.  Jesus cured the leper before great crowds, but then told him to keep it a secret.  Then he cured the centurion’s paralyzed servant at Capernaum.  This Roman soldier understood the role of authority since he had faith.  Jesus chastised the failure of the sons of Abraham but healed the Roman centurion’s servant.

Jesus also cured other sick and possessed people, including Peter’s mother-in-law.  He thus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah.  He had some scribe followers, even though Jesus was homeless.  Was the death of a father enough to disrupt a disciple?  During a stormy boat ride, they woke up Jesus.  Thus, he responded by showing them his power by calming the storm.

Jesus cured the two possessed demoniacs who were calling out to him as the Son of God.  These demons wanted to be pigs, so that they died in the sea, jumping off a cliff.  However, the herdsmen in the city were upset so that the people asked Jesus to leave.

Jesus then went home and cured a paralytic.  Did Jesus blaspheme?  What was the difference between sin and sickness?  The people were amazed at his powers.  Jesus then called Matthew, the tax collector.  Jesus hung out with these tax collectors and sinners, so that the Pharisees complained.  Jesus responded by asking if well people needed doctors?  Then there was a citation from Hosea about mercy.

The Pharisees wanted to know why his disciples were not fasting, but the disciples of John the Baptist were.  Jesus explained that there would be no fasting while he, the bridegroom, was present.  You did not use old cloth to mend clothes or put new wine in old wineskins.

Then Jesus cured the woman with hemorrhages, because she was a woman of faith.  Then he cured the dead girl who was only sleeping.  He cured the two blind men because they were believers also.  He cured the mute person so that he could speak again.  The Pharisees questioned the power of Jesus.  However, Jesus had compassion for the sheep because there would be a need for many laborers at the harvest time.

Then Jesus began his apostolic talk to his disciples, in particular about the authority of the twelve disciples, with four major apostles.  Matthew then listed the twelve apostles that would be sent to the Jews and what their work was.  Jesus told them what to bring with them and where to stay.  He told them how to enter a house.  Those unhospitable towns who did not accept them would be punished.  These apostles should be like wise simple sheep.  When they would be persecuted, the Holy Spirit would speak through them.  They would be involved in family disputes and hated.  Both the teacher and his disciples would suffer, but they should not be afraid.  They should proclaim the message.  They were to worry about their souls, since they had more value than sparrows.  They should acknowledge Jesus whether in peace or with the sword.  Who was worthy of Jesus?  You had to pick up your cross and lose your life to find it.  Receive Jesus and be a prophet as the righteous disciple of Jesus.

How to save your life (Mt 16:25-16:26)

“Whoever wants

To save

Their life

Will lose it.

Whoever loses their life

For my sake

Will find it.

What will it profit them?

If they gain

The whole world,

But forfeit their life.

What will they give

In return

For their life?”

 

ὃς γὰρ ἐὰν θέλῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ σῶσαι, ἀπολέσει αὐτήν· ὃς δ’ ἂν ἀπολέσῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ, εὑρήσει αὐτήν.

τί γὰρ ὠφεληθήσεται ἄνθρωπος ἐὰν τὸν κόσμον ὅλον κερδήσῃ, τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ζημιωθῇ; ἢ τί δώσει ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ;

 

Jesus told his disciples how to save their lives.  Something similar can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 8:35-37, Luke, chapter 9:24-25, and here, almost word for word.  Jesus said that whoever wished, desired, or wanted to save their life (ὃς γὰρ ἐὰν θέλῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ σῶσαι), they would lose it (ἀπολέσει αὐτήν).  However, anyone who lost their life for the sake of Jesus (ὃς δ’ ἂν ἀπολέσῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ), they would find their life (εὑρήσει αὐτήν).  What is the profit or benefit for a person (τί γὰρ ὠφεληθήσεται ἄνθρωπος) to gain the whole world (ἐὰν τὸν κόσμον ὅλον κερδήσῃ) if they lose their life or soul (τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ζημιωθῇ).  What will a person give in exchange for his life or soul (ἢ τί δώσει ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ)?  Give up your life to Jesus, and you will live.

The disciples of Jesus (Mt 10:42-10:42)

“Whoever gives

Even a cup of cold water

To one of these little ones,

In the name of a disciple,

Truly,

I say to you,

None of these

Will lose their reward.”

 

καὶ ὃς ἐὰν ποτίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων ποτήριον ψυχροῦ μόνον εἰς ὄνομα μαθητοῦ, ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐ μὴ ἀπολέσῃ τὸν μισθὸν αὐτοῦ.

 

This verse of Matthew is similar to Mark, chapter 9:41.  Jesus said that whoever gave a cup of cold water to drink to these small or little ones (καὶ ὃς ἐὰν ποτίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων ποτήριον ψυχροῦ), if only in the name of his disciples (μόνον εἰς ὄνομα μαθητοῦ,), they would not lose their reward (οὐ μὴ ἀπολέσῃ τὸν μισθὸν αὐτοῦ).  Once again, Jesus spoke with authority (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  They would not lose anything by giving this small gesture of cold water to his disciples or the little ones or the less important in society.  These least important in society might be his disciples themselves.

Lose your life to find it (Mt 10:39-10:39)

“Those who find

Their life

Will lose it.

Those who lose

Their life

For my sake

Will find it.”

 

ὁ εὑρὼν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἀπολέσει αὐτήν, καὶ ὁ ἀπολέσας τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ εὑρήσει αὐτήν.

 

This verse of Matthew is similar to Luke, chapters 9:24 and 17:33, Mark, chapter 8:35, and John 12:25.  In order to gain your eternal life, you have to lose your life for the sake of Jesus.  Anyone who thinks that he has found his life or soul (ὁ εὑρὼν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ) will lose it (ἀπολέσει αὐτήν).  On the other hand, anyone who loses their life or soul (καὶ ὁ ἀπολέσας τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ) for the sake of Jesus (ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ) will find their life or soul (εὑρήσει αὐτήν).  Thus, you have to lose your life or soul in Jesus, in order to truly live.

The sinning eye (Mt 5:29-5:29)

“If your right eye

Causes you

To sin,

Tear it out!

Throw it away!

It is better

For you

To lose

One of your members

Than for your whole body

To be thrown into hell.”

 

εἰ δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ὁ δεξιὸς σκανδαλίζει σε, ἔξελε αὐτὸν καὶ βάλε ἀπὸ σοῦ· συμφέρει γάρ σοι ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν τῶν μελῶν σου καὶ μὴ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου βληθῇ εἰς γέενναν.

 

Following up on the preceding saying about looking at women as adultery of the heart, Matthew has Jesus be more demanding, based on Mark, chapter 9:47, and repeated again in Matthew, chapter 18:9.  If your right eye (εἰ δὲ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου ὁ δεξιὸς) caused you to stumble or sin (σκανδαλίζει σε), then pluck it or tear it out (ἔξελε αὐτὸν) and throw it away (καὶ βάλε ἀπὸ σοῦ).  The reasoning behind this self-mutilation was that it was better for you (συμφέρει γάρ σοι) to lose one of your member parts (ἵνα ἀπόληται ἓν τῶν μελῶν σου) than have your whole body be thrown into Gehenna or hell (καὶ μὴ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου βληθῇ εἰς γέενναν).  The Greek word for hell “γέενναν” or the English Gehenna was based on the Hebrew word Gehinnom that was the name of the valley south of Jerusalem where burning child sacrifices would take place.  You were better off with one eye and a whole body than being in the fires of hell.

The destruction of the lions’ den of Assyria (Nah 2:11-2:13)

“What became

Of the lions’ den?

What became

Of the cave

Of the young lions?

There the lion goes.

There his cubs were,

With none to disturb them.

The lion has torn enough

For his whelps.

He strangled prey

For his lionesses.

He has filled his caves

With prey.

He has filled his dens

With torn flesh.

‘See!

I am against you!’

Says Yahweh of hosts!

‘I will burn

Your chariots

In smoke.

The sword shall devour

Your young lions.

I will cut off

Your prey

From the earth.

The voice

Of your messengers

Shall be heard no more.’”

Assyria was considered a lion or a destroyer.  Nahum wanted to know what had happened to this proud lion’s den or his cave.  There his young cubs would be undisturbed.  He had gathered enough prey for these lionesses, as well as their cubs.  This lion of Assyria had filled his caves and dens with torn flesh.  All this would be gone.  Yahweh has issued an oracle against Assyria.  Yahweh would burn their chariots as they would go up in smoke.  Their young lions would die by the sword.  They would lose all their prey.  The voice of their messengers would not be heard anymore.  The end of Nineveh and Assyria was near.