Jesus controls the unclean spirits (Mk 3:11-3:11)

“Whenever the unclean spirits

Saw Jesus,

They fell down

Before him.

They cried out.

‘You are the Son of God.’”

 

καὶ τὰ πνεύματα τὰ ἀκάθαρτα, ὅταν αὐτὸν ἐθεώρουν, προσέπιπτον αὐτῷ καὶ ἔκραζον λέγοντα ὅτι Σὺ εἶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

This is somewhat similar to earlier in Mark, chapter 1:23, when Jesus made the unclean spirit leave the possessed man.  Jesus commanded even the unclean spirits, so that they listened or obeyed him.  He seemed to have some special spiritual powers that no one else had ever seen.  Here Mark noted that these evil unclean spirits (καὶ τὰ πνεύματα τὰ ἀκάθαρτα) fell down before Jesus or worshipped him (προσέπιπτον αὐτῷ), whenever they saw him (ὅταν αὐτὸν ἐθεώρουν).  They cried out or shouted out to Jesus (καὶ ἔκραζον λέγοντα), that he was the Son of God (ὅτι Σὺ εἶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ), when no one else recognized this.  This unclean spirit world was alive and active in first century Israelite culture.

The questioning of the first elder (Dan 13:52-13:53)

“When they were separated

From each other,

He summoned one of them.

Daniel said to him.

‘You!

Old relic

Of wicked days!

Your sins have now

Come home.

You have committed them

In the past.

You pronounced

Unjust judgments.

You condemned

The innocent.

You acquitted

The guilty.

The Lord said.

‘You shall not

Put an innocent

Or righteous person

To death.’”

Daniel separated the two elders. He then asked the first one to come in. He then berated this elder by calling him an old relic of the former wicked days. Daniel claimed that this old judge was a sinner, since he had condemned innocent people to death, while letting the guilty ones go free. He had not obeyed the Lord’s command.

We have not followed the law (Dan 9:9-9:11)

“To the Lord!

Our God!

Belong mercy!

Belong forgiveness!

We have rebelled

Against him.

We have not obeyed

The voice of Yahweh,

Our God,

By following his laws,

That he set

Before us,

By his servants,

The prophets.

All Israel

Has transgressed

Your law.

They have turned aside

From it.

They refuse

To obey your voice.

Thus,

The curse,

With the oath written

In the law of Moses,

The servant of God,

Has been poured out

Upon us,

Because we have sinned

Against you.”

Daniel asked his Lord God to bring mercy and forgiveness because they had rebelled against him. They had not obeyed the voice of Yahweh, their God. They had not followed his laws that he set before them, through his servant prophets. All Israel had transgressed God’s law, because they turned away from it. They had refused to obey God’s voice. Thus, they ended up with the curse and the oath written in the law of Moses, the servant of God. This curse was poured out on them, because they had sinned against God.

The shameful sinful behavior (Bar 2:3-2:5)

“Some of us

Ate the flesh

Of their sons.

Others

Ate the flesh

Of their daughters.

He made us subject

To all the kingdoms

Around us.

We were

An object of scorn.

We were a desolation among

All the surrounding people,

Where the Lord

Has scattered us.

We were brought down.

We were not raised up.

Because our nation

Sinned

Against the Lord,

Our God,

In not heeding

His voice.”

Once again, there is allusion to the cannibalism of people, eating their sons and daughters as food because of the famine in Jerusalem, as was mentioned in Lamentations, chapters 2 and 4, as well as Jeremiah, chapter 19. They were no longer a nation, because now they obeyed all the other countries around them. They had become an object of scorn and a desolation among all the people and the countries where they were scattered into. They were brought down, not raised up. They had sinned as a nation. Thus they were punished as a nation. They had not listened to the voice of God, their Lord.

Freedom for Jeremiah (Jer 40:2-40:4)

“The captain of the guard

Took Jeremiah.

He said to him.

‘Yahweh your God

Threatened this place

With this disaster.

Now Yahweh

Has brought it about.

He has done

As he said.

Because all of you

Sinned against Yahweh.

You did not obey his voice.

Therefore this thing

Has come upon you.

Now look!

I have just released you today

From the fetters

On your hands.

If you wish

To come with me

To Babylon,

Come!

I will take good care of you.

But if you do not wish

To come with me

To Babylon,

You need not come!

See!

The whole land is before you.

Go wherever

You think it good

Or right to go!’”

Jeremiah is finally recognized by Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, who took him aside. He said to Jeremiah that his God Yahweh had threatened this place and made that threat come true. This happened because they were sinning in Jerusalem and Judah. They had not obeyed their God. This Babylonian captain then released Jeremiah from the chains around his hands. Here is where it gets interesting. He offers Jeremiah a choice. He could go to Babylon, where he would be taken care of, or he could stay in Judah, where the whole land would be his. The captain of the guard told Jeremiah to decide on what was right and good for him. The choice was up to Jeremiah, but it seemed obvious that Jeremiah would stay.

The reward for the Rechabites (Jer 35:18-35:19)

“But to the house

Of the Rechabites,

Jeremiah said.

‘Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

You have obeyed

The command

Of your ancestor Jonadab.

You have kept

All his precepts.

You have done

All that he commanded you.

Therefore thus says

Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

Jonadab,

The son of Rechab,

Shall not lack

A descendant

To stand before me

For all time.’”

Now Jeremiah said that Yahweh was well pleased with the Rechabites because they obeyed the commandments of their ancestor Jonadab. They kept all his precepts and followed all his commands. Therefore Yahweh would make sure that they would never lack a descendant until the end of time. This group would continue on, something like the Davidic line of kings.

The people of Judah are not like the Rechabites (Jer 35:16-35:17)

“The descendants of Jonadab,

The son of Rechab,

Have carried out

The command

That their ancestor gave them.

But this people

Has not obeyed me.

Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh!

The God of hosts!

The God of Israel!

I am going to bring

On Judah,

On all the inhabitants of Jerusalem

Every disaster

That I have pronounced

Against them.

Because I have spoken to them.

They have not listened.

I have called to them.

They have not answered.’”

Yahweh is upset that the descendents of Jonadab, the Rechabite, have followed Jonadab’s command not to drink wine. But the people of Judah and Jerusalem have not obeyed Yahweh himself. Therefore the God of hosts and the God of Israel was going to bring on them all the disasters that he had proclaimed against them. He had spoken. They had not listened. He had called them, but they did not answer. Watch out Judah and Jerusalem!