Going to Jerusalem (Lk 9:51-9:51)

“When the days

Drew near

For Jesus

To be taken up,

He set his face

Steadfastly

To go to

Jerusalem.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὸς τὸ πρόσωπον ἐστήρισεν τοῦ πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ,

 

Luke said that when the days drew near (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας) for Jesus to be taken up (τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ), he steadfastly set his face (καὶ αὐτὸς τὸ πρόσωπον ἐστήρισεν τοῦ) to go to Jerusalem (πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ).  Jesus’ move from Galilee to Judea can also be found in Matthew, chapter 19:1-2, and Mark, chapter 10:1, with Matthew closer to Mark, who said that Jesus left that place, presumably Galilee.  He went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan.  Thus, Jesus moved south towards Jerusalem.  However, he traveled on the other eastern side of the Jordan River, so that he did not have to go into Samaria, just the opposite as here in LukeMark, like Matthew, emphasized the crowds that gathered around Jesus.  Just as in Galilee, Jesus again began to teach the people in Judea.  Mark had Jesus teaching the crowds instead of healing these people, as in Matthew.  Matthew said that when Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea, beyond the Jordan.  Thus, Jesus moved south towards Jerusalem.  However, he traveled on the other side of the Jordan River, on the east side of Jordan, so that he did not have to go into Samaria.  He definitely was leaving Galilee.  Luke was more definitive on where he was going, since he steadfastly set his face towards Jerusalem.  Have you ever decided to go some place?

The mother and brothers of Jesus (Lk 8:19-8:19)

“Then Jesus’ mother

And his brothers

Came to him.

But they could not reach him

Because of the crowd.”

 

Παρεγένετο δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ μήτηρ καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ οὐκ ἠδύναντο συντυχεῖν αὐτῷ διὰ τὸν ὄχλον.

 

Luke said that Jesus’ mother (ἡ μήτηρ) and his brothers (καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ) came to him (Παρεγένετο δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν).  However, they could not reach him (καὶ οὐκ ἠδύναντο συντυχεῖν αὐτῷ) because of the crowd (διὰ τὸν ὄχλον).  Mark, chapter 3:31, and Matthew, chapter 12:46, have something similar.  Mark said that his mother and brothers came to see Jesus, but apparently, they could not reach him because of the crowd, so that they were standing outside.  Matthew said that while Jesus was still speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers were standing outside.  They wanted to speak to him.  This brings up all kinds of questions.  Who were these unnamed brothers?  To what extent was Jesus estranged from his family?  According to Matthew, Jesus had been near to John the Baptist and his early apostles Peter, Andrew, John, James and Matthew.  These brothers could be biological brothers, half-brothers from a first marriage of Joseph, or cousin relatives.  The Hebrew and Aramaic language did not have a distinctive word for cousins, so that the word “brother” was often used to mean more than a true biological brother.  However, the Greek language did have a specific word for cousins.  Just as today, people sometimes refer to others as brothers or sisters, when there is no biological link.  The traditional belief of Christians, even through the Reformation period, had been that Mary was a virgin, so that Jesus was her only divine son.  Thus, here the unnamed mother and the unnamed brothers of Jesus were outside wanting to speak to Jesus.  In Mark, chapter 6:3, and Matthew, chapter 13:55–56, there are explicit names for the brothers of Jesus.  They clearly were relatives of Jesus, but exactly how close a relative is not clear.  Do you know all your relatives?

Preaching a baptism of repentance (Lk 3:3-3:3)

“John went

Into all the region

Around the Jordan River.

He was proclaiming

A baptism

Of repentance

For the forgiveness

Of sins.”

 

καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν,

 

This section of Luke is very similar to all the other 4 gospel stories.  Luke explicitly said that John went into all the region around the Jordan River (καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου).  Mark, chapter 1:4, had the simple statement that John the Baptizer, appeared in the wilderness or desert, without mentioning the Jordan River.  However, Luke was actually closer to Mark, since he used the exact same words about John’s preaching.  He indicated that John was proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν).  Matthew, chapter 3:2, said that the preaching message of John was very simple.  They should repent, turn their lives around, with a profound metanoia, a change of their spirit.  The equivalent about repentance, metanoia, or the change of heart can also be found in both Mark and Luke.  Matthew had John say that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, coming near.  The other canonical gospel writers did not use this term “kingdom of heaven.”  John, chapter l:19-29, had a long dialogue with John and the priests and Levites about what he was doing.  How and what John did before or after this preaching in the wilderness did not matter.  He was there proclaiming a baptism of repentance, a life change, or a metanoia, to have sins or faults forgiven or wiped away.

Jesus responds (Mk 14:62-14:62)

“Jesus said.

‘I am!

You will see

The Son of Man

Seated

At the right hand

Of the Power.

He will come

With the clouds

Of heaven.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἐγώ εἰμι, καὶ ὄψεσθε τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ δεξιῶν καθήμενον τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ ἐρχόμενον μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.

 

This is almost word for word at times in Matthew, chapter 26:64.  In Luke, chapter 22:67-70, there is something similar, but there is nothing like this in John, chapter 18.  Mark said that Jesus replied to the high priest (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν), pure and simple in the first person singular “I am (Ἐγώ εἰμι).”  He was the Messiah Christ and the Son of the Blessed One.  There was no ambiguity as in Matthew, “because you have said so”.  This answer is direct and unambiguous.  There was no more Messianic secret.  Then Jesus told him that he would see the Son of Man (καὶ ὄψεσθε τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) seated at the right hand of the Power, Yahweh, or God, the Father (ἐκ δεξιῶν καθήμενον τῆς δυνάμεως).  He would come on or with the clouds of heaven (καὶ ἐρχόμενον μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  Jesus gave a strong theological response that the end times were near when the Son of Man, himself, would appear with the heavenly clouds.  Jesus was and is the Christ Messiah, case closed.

Bethphage (Mk 11:1-11:1)

“When they were

Approaching Jerusalem,

At Bethphage

And Bethany,

Near the Mount of Olives,

Jesus sent

Two of his disciples.

 

Καὶ ὅτε ἐγγίζουσιν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα εἰς Βηθφαγὴ καὶ Βηθανίαν πρὸς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν, ἀποστέλλει δύο τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ

 

Both Matthew, chapter 21:1, and Luke, chapter 19:29, are almost word for word to what is here.  Mark said that when they got near to Jerusalem (Καὶ ὅτε ἐγγίζουσιν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus then sent out two of his disciples (ἀποστέλλει δύο τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ).  They were staying at Bethphage (εἰς Βηθφαγὴ), a village on the way from Jericho to Jerusalem, and Bethany (καὶ Βηθανίαν), about a mile and a half east of Jerusalem. near the Mount of Olives (πρὸς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν), not far from Jerusalem.

John the Baptizer (Mk 1:4-1:4)

“John the Baptizer

Appeared

In the wilderness.

He was proclaiming

A baptism

Of repentance

For the forgiveness of sins.”

 

ἐγένετο Ἰωάνης ὁ βαπτίζων ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν

 

There is something similar, but not quite the same in all 4 gospel stories.  Matthew, chapter 3:1-2, called John the Baptist (βαπτιστὴς) not the Baptizer (ὁ βαπτίζων), but John was in the wilderness, like here, calling for repentance.  In Matthew, John also warned the people that the kingdom of heaven was near.  Luke, chapter 3:2:3, is actually closer to Mark, since he used the exact same words about John in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  John, chapter l:19-29, had a long dialogue with John and the priests and Levites about what he was doing.  Mark has this simple statement that John the Baptizer, or the one baptizing, appeared (ἐγένετο Ἰωάνης ὁ βαπτίζων) in the wilderness or desert (ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ).  How and what he did before or after did not matter.  He was there proclaiming or preaching a baptism of repentance, a life change, or metanoia (κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας) to have sins or faults forgiven or wiped away (ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν).  John tied this repentant change of life style baptism with the forgiving of sins or wiping away of past faults, since he was calling for repentance.  John and Jesus are linked in some ways like Aaron and Moses or the later Peter and Paul.  One is superior to the other but the other plays an indispensable role.

Jesus responds (Mt 26:63-26:64)

“But Jesus was silent.

Then the high priest

Said to him.

‘I put you under oath

Before the living God!

Tell us!

If you are the Christ,

The Messiah,

The Son of God?’

Jesus said to him.

‘You have said so.

But I tell you!

From now on

You will see

The Son of Man

Seated at the right hand

Of Power.

He will be coming

On the clouds of heaven.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐσιώπα. καὶ ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἐξορκίζω σε κατὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ζῶντος ἵνα ἡμῖν εἴπῃς εἰ σὺ εἶ ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ.

λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Σὺ εἶπας· πλὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀπ’ ἄρτι ὄψεσθε τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καθήμενον ἐκ δεξιῶν τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ ἐρχόμενον ἐπὶ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:61-62.  In Luke, chapter 22:67-69, there is something similar, but there is nothing like this in John, chapter 18.  Matthew said that Jesus was originally silent (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐσιώπα).  Then the high priest Caiaphas said to Jesus (καὶ ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he was going to put him under oath according to the living God (Ἐξορκίζω σε κατὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ζῶντος).  Caiaphas told Jesus to tell everyone there (ἵνα ἡμῖν εἴπῃς) whether he was the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God (εἰ σὺ εἶ ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This was a strongly worded theological statement.  Then Jesus replied to Caiaphas, the high priest (λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς), that he had said so (Σὺ εἶπας).  Then Jesus gave him a warning with a solemn pronouncement (πλὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  He told him that from now on (ἀπ’ ἄρτι), he would see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power, Yahweh, or God, the Father (ὄψεσθε τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καθήμενον ἐκ δεξιῶν τῆς δυνάμεως), coming on the clouds of heaven (καὶ ἐρχόμενον ἐπὶ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  Jesus gave a strong theological response that the end times were near when the Son of Man would appear on a cloud.

The parable of the fig tree (Mt 24:32-24:32)

“From the fig tree,

Learn its lesson!

As soon as its branch

Becomes tender,

It puts forth its leaves.

Then you know

That summer

Is near.”

 

Ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς συκῆς μάθετε τὴν παραβολήν· ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς γένηται ἁπαλὸς καὶ τὰ φύλλα ἐκφύῃ, γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος

 

This is exactly the same, word for word, in Mark, chapter 13:28, but in Luke, chapter 21:29-30, almost word for word.  Earlier in chapter 21:19-20, Jesus had cursed a fig tree for not having fruit, but here there was a lesson or a little parable to be learned (μάθετε τὴν παραβολήν) from the fig tree (Ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς συκῆς).  As soon as its branches or shoots became tender (ὅταν ἤδη ὁ κλάδος αὐτῆς γένηται ἁπαλὸς), it would put forth its leaves (καὶ τὰ φύλλα ἐκφύῃ).  Then you would know that summer was near (γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος).  In other words, the early leaves on a tree indicated that summer was coming.  Let’s hope that summer keeps coming.

The day of Yahweh (Ob 1:15-1:15)

“The day of Yahweh

Is near

Against all the nations.

As you have done,

It shall be done

To you.

Your deeds

Shall return

On your own head.”

Obadiah warned that the day of Yahweh, as in the prophet Amos, was coming to all the countries, since it was near.  As they have done, so it shall be done to them, since their deeds would return to their own head.

The day of Yahweh is coming (Joel 2:1-2:1)

“Blow the trumpet

In Zion!

Sound the alarm

On my holy mountain!

Let all the inhabitants

Of the land

Tremble!

The day of Yahweh

Is coming!

It is near!”

The day of Yahweh was coming to Zion. Thus, they had to blow the ram’s horn or the trumpet. They had to sound the alarm on the holy mountain in Jerusalem. Everyone in the land should tremble, because the day of Yahweh was coming. In fact, the day was near.