Do you not understand? (Mk 8:17-8:17)

“Jesus became aware

Of this.

He said to them.

‘Why are you talking

About not having

Any bread?

Do you still not

Perceive

Or understand?

Are your hearts

Hardened?’”

 

καὶ γνοὺς λέγει αὐτοῖς Τί διαλογίζεσθε ὅτι ἄρτους οὐκ ἔχετε; οὔπω νοεῖτε οὐδὲ συνίετε; πεπωρωμένην ἔχετε τὴν καρδίαν ὑμῶν;

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 16:8.  However, this reprimand is much sharper.  Jesus became aware or knew of their discussions (καὶ γνοὺς).  He asked them (λέγει αὐτοῖς) why were they worried, talking, or debating (Τί διαλογίζεσθε) about not having any bread (ὅτι ἄρτους οὐκ ἔχετε)?  Jesus wanted to know if they still did not perceive (οὔπω νοεῖτε) or understand (οὐδὲ συνίετε) because of their hardened hearts (πεπωρωμένην ἔχετε τὴν καρδίαν ὑμῶν).  These disciples were missing the point about Jesus, since he would provide nourishment for them.  Instead of calling them men of little faith, as Matthew did, Mark implies that Jesus seemed to indicate that they were stupid with hard hearts.

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They forgot to bring bread (Mk 8:14-8:14)

“The disciples

Had forgotten

To bring any bread.

They had only

One loaf

With them

In the boat.”

 

Καὶ ἐπελάθοντο λαβεῖν ἄρτους, καὶ εἰ μὴ ἕνα ἄρτον οὐκ εἶχον μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 16:5.  In Matthew, the disciples discovered this problem when they landed on the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  However, Mark said that it took place while they were still in the boat.  In an ironic twist of fate, the disciples of Jesus forget to bring any bread with them on this trip across the Sea of Galilee, with no indication of the place where they going.  Mark said that the disciples forgot to bring loaves of bread (Καὶ ἐπελάθοντο λαβεῖν ἄρτους).  They only had one loaf of bread (καὶ εἰ μὴ ἕνα ἄρτον οὐκ εἶχον) with them (μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν) in the boat (ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ).  Bread was a key food element of nourishment.  Remember the bread of life.

Jesus reprimands his disciples for their lack of faith (Mt 16:8-16:8)

“Becoming aware of it,

Jesus said.

‘You of little faith!

Why are you talking

Among yourselves

About not having

Any bread?’”

 

γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Τί διαλογίζεσθε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς, ὀλιγόπιστοι, ὅτι ἄρτους οὐκ ἔχετε;

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 8:17, where the reprimand is much sharper.  Jesus became aware of their discussions (γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  He reprimanded them by calling them men of little faith (ὀλιγόπιστοι).  This word “ὀλιγόπιστοι” was a favorite of Matthew, since 5 of the 6 times it appears in the New Testament literature, Matthew used it.  Why were they worried, talking, or debating among themselves (εἶπεν Τί διαλογίζεσθε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς) about not having any bread (ἄρτους οὐκ ἔχετε)?  The disciples were missing the point about Jesus, since he would provide nourishment for them.

The disciples forget bread (Mt 16:5-16:5)

“When the disciples

Reached the other side,

They had forgotten

To bring any bread.”

 

Καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ εἰς τὸ πέραν ἐπελάθοντο ἄρτους λαβεῖν.

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 8:14.  In an ironic twist of fate, the disciples of Jesus forget to bring bread with them on this trip across the Sea of Galilee.  There is no indication of the place where they were.  Mark said that they only had one loaf of bread.  When the disciples got to the other side of the sea (Καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ εἰς τὸ πέραν), they realized that they had forgotten to bring any bread with them (ἐπελάθοντο ἄρτους λαβεῖν).  Bread was a key food element of nourishment.  Remember the bread of life.

What to bring with you (Mt 10:9-10:10)

“Take no gold!

Take no silver!

Take no copper

In your belts!

Take no bag

For your journey!

Do not take

Two tunics!

Do not take

Sandals!

Do not take

A staff!

Laborers deserve

Their food.”

 

Μὴ κτήσησθε χρυσὸν μηδὲ ἄργυρον μηδὲ χαλκὸν εἰς τὰς ζώνας ὑμῶν,

μὴ πήραν εἰς ὁδὸν μηδὲ δύο χιτῶνας μηδὲ ὑποδήματα μηδὲ ῥάβδον· ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τῆς τροφῆς αὐτοῦ.

 

Equivalent passages to this can be found in Mark, chapter 6:8-9, and Luke, chapter 9:3.  Jesus told them what they could not bring with them on their mission.  They were not to bring with them any gold (Μὴ κτήσησθε χρυσὸν), silver (μηδὲ ἄργυρον), or copper (μηδὲ χαλκὸν) in their money belts (εἰς τὰς ζώνας ὑμῶν) since they did not need money.  They were not to take any bag or sack for their journey (μὴ πήραν εἰς ὁδὸν).  They were not to take two tunics (μηδὲ δύο χιτῶνας) since one would be enough.  They were not to take any sandals (μηδὲ ὑποδήματα) or a staff (μηδὲ ῥάβδον).  However, these laborers did deserve their food (ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργάτης τῆς τροφῆς αὐτοῦ).  They did not need any money or material things, but they certainly needed something to eat or nourishment.  This was a very strong demand on these missionaries of Jesus.

The lack of food (Lam 1:11-1:11)

Kaph

“All her people groan.

They search for bread.

They trade

Their treasures

For food

To revive

Their strength.

‘Look!

Yahweh!

See!

How worthless

I have become!’”

Once again, we have the shift from a third person description about Jerusalem to a first person singular Jerusalem itself praying directly to Yahweh, the God of Israel. All the people were groaning due to the lack of bread or nourishment. They were trading their treasures for food, which makes sense. They wanted to revive their strength. This verse ends with the first person singular plea to Yahweh. Jerusalem laments how worthless she has become. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Kaph. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The power of Yahweh’s word (Jer 23:28-23:29)

“‘Let the prophet

Who has a dream

Tell the dream.

But let the one

Who has my word,

Speak my word faithfully.

What has straw

In common with wheat?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Is not my word

Like fire?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Is not my word

Like a hammer

That breaks

A rock in pieces?’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, issued a series of oracles about the power of his word. If a prophet had a dream, let him tell that dream. However, anyone who had the word of Yahweh should also speak the word faithfully. Straw is dried up and useless, but wheat or grain is full of nourishment. The word of Yahweh was like fire or a hammer that could break any rock into pieces.