The Temple will be thrown down (Mk 13:2-13:2)

“Then Jesus

Asked him.

‘Do you see

These great buildings?

Not one stone here

Will be left

Upon another.

All will be thrown down.’”

 

καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς; οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:2, almost word for word, and in Luke, chapter 21:6, but slightly different.  Mark said that Jesus asked this disciple (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) if he saw all these great buildings (Βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς)?  There is no solemn proclamation here, as in Matthew.  However, Jesus told him that not one stone would be left on another stone at the Temple (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον).  All of the Temple buildings would be torn down, thrown down, or destroyed (ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ).  In fact, in 70 CE, less than 40 years after the time of Jesus, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by the Romans in their war with Israel.  However, threats against the original Jerusalem Temple had been common among the prophets in the Old Testament, especially before the Exile in the 7th and 6th century BCE.

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The Son of Man came to serve (Mk 10:45-10:45)

“The Son of man

Came

Not to be served,

But to serve.

He came

To give his life

As a ransom for many.”

 

καὶ γὰρ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἦλθεν διακονηθῆναι ἀλλὰ διακονῆσαι καὶ δοῦναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 20:28, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that the Son of Man came not to be served (καὶ γὰρ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἦλθεν διακονηθῆναι), but to serve others (ἀλλὰ διακονῆσαι).  He was going to give his life (καὶ δοῦναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ) as a ransom for many people (λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν).  This ransom or freeing of slaves was a divine liberation from the slavery of sin.  Quite often in the Old Testament, Yahweh said that he was going to save his people, the Israelites.  Jesus was going to pay the penalty of death.  Thus, he ransomed a great number of people from their sins or their debts.  Thus, this is an indication of redemptive salvation.

The three disciples go to the mountain (Mk 9:2-9:2)

“Six days later,

Jesus took with him

Peter,

James,

And John.

He led them up

A high mountain,

Alone by themselves.

He was transfigured

Before them.”

 

Καὶ μετὰ ἡμέρας ἓξ παραλαμβάνει ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὸν Πέτρον καὶ τὸν Ἰάκωβον καὶ Ἰωάνην, καὶ ἀναφέρει αὐτοὺς εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν κατ’ ἰδίαν μόνους. καὶ μετεμορφώθη ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν

 

Going to a special mountain can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:1, Luke, chapter 9:28, and here in MarkMark and Matthew are exactly the same, almost word for word, but Luke talked about 8 days and going to pray on the mountain.  Mark said that this activity took place 6 days later (Καὶ μετὰ’ ἡμέρας ἓξ), probably after the proclamation of Peter about Jesus being the Christ messiah.  Jesus took with him (παραλαμβάνει ὁ Ἰησοῦς) Peter (τὸν Πέτρον), and the 2 sons of Zebedee, James (καὶ τὸν Ἰάκωβον) and John (καὶ Ἰωάνην).  There was no mention of Peter’s brother Andrew.  Jesus brought these 3 disciples to an unnamed high mountain (καὶ ἀναφέρει αὐτοὺς εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν), presumably near the Sea of Galilee, probably Mount Tabor in lower Galilee or Mount Hermon near Caesarea Philippi, much further north.  They were alone by themselves (κατ’ ἰδίαν μόνους), not with any of the other apostles or disciples.  Going up a high mountain was an attempt to have a special communication with God, just as Moses had done in the Old Testament.  Jesus was transfigured or transformed in front of the 3 apostles (καὶ μετεμορφώθη ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν).  Was this a foretaste of the resurrected Christ?

The prophet (Mk 8:28-8:28)

“They answered him.

‘John the Baptist!’

Others say.

‘Elijah!’

Still others.

‘One of the prophets.’”

 

οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες ὅτι Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν, καὶ ἄλλοι Ἡλείαν, ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι εἷς τῶν προφητῶν.

 

This same response can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:14, and Luke, chapter 9:19, but there are slight differences.  Matthew is the only one who explicitly mentioned Jeremiah, who was a Judean prophet active from 626 BCE to 587 BCE, around the time of the destruction of the Temple.  Mark and Luke only had the more generic term of one of the prophets, rather than any individual prophet.  Mark said that the disciples responded to him (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες) that some people said he was John the Baptist (ὅτι Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν).  Others said Elijah (καὶ ἄλλοι δὲ Ἡλείαν).  This Elijah was a 9th century BCE northern Israel prophet whose work can be found in the Old Testament Books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.  Finally, other people said that he was one of the many prophets (ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι εἷς τῶν προφητῶν).  No one called him the Messiah or Christ.

Who do people say I am? (Mk 8:27-8:27)

“Jesus went on

With his disciples,

To the villages

Of Caesarea Philippi.

On the way,

Jesus asked

His disciples,

‘Who do people say

That I am?’”

 

Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰς κώμας Καισαρίας τῆς Φιλίππου· καὶ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐπηρώτα τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ λέγων αὐτοῖς Τίνα με λέγουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι εἶναι;

 

Now this question about who Jesus is can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:13, and Luke, chapter 9:18, but there are slight differences.  In Luke, he is not in Caesarea Philippi, but in Mark and Matthew, Jesus was approaching this area near the city, but without entering the city itself.  Jesus asked his closest disciples who they thought that he was.  Caesarea Philippi was an ancient gentile Roman city, about 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee at the southeastern base of Mount Hermon, where there was a shrine to the Greek god Pan.  This city may have appeared in the Old Testament under the name Baal Gad in the valley of Lebanon.  Today, it is located in the Golan Heights.  Mark said that Jesus with his disciples (Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ) was on his way (καὶ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἐπηρώτα τοὺς μαθητὰς) towards the villages of Caesarea Philippi (εἰς τὰς κώμας Καισαρίας τῆς Φιλίππου).  Then he asked or questioned his disciples (αὐτοῦ λέγων αὐτοῖς) about who did people or men think that he was (Τίνα με λέγουσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι εἶναι).  Jesus wanted to know what his disciples were thinking.  In Matthew, he asked them about the Son of Man, but not here.

Jesus and Elijah (Mk 6:15-6:15)

But others said.

‘He is Elijah.’

Still others said.

‘He is a prophet,

Like one of the prophets.”

 

ἄλλοι δὲ ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἡλείας ἐστίν· ἄλλοι δὲ ἔλεγον ὅτι προφήτης ὡς εἷς τῶν προφητῶν.

 

There is nothing like this in Matthew, but in Luke, chapter 9:8, there is something similar, almost word for word.  But others said (ἄλλοι δὲ ἔλεγον) that Jesus was Elijah (ὅτι Ἡλείας ἐστίν).  Still others said (ἄλλοι δὲ ἔλεγον) that he was a prophet, like the former prophets (ὅτι προφήτης ὡς εἷς τῶν προφητῶν).  Elijah was a 9th century BCE northern Israelite prophet whose work can be found in the Old Testament Books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.  There was no doubt that the role of Elijah dominated late Jewish thought at the time of Jesus, with his name appearing around John the Baptist, the transfiguration, and the death of Jesus.  The prophets were the holy men of the Old Testament who brought the word of Yahweh to his people.

The use of parables (Mk 4:2-4:2)

“Jesus began

To teach them

Many things

In parables.

This is what

He said to them

In his teaching,”

 

καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς πολλά, καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ

 

A similar statement can be found in Matthew, chapter 13:3, and Luke 8:4.  This is the beginning of the parable section in Mark.  Jesus taught them many things in parables (καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς πολλά).  This is how Jesus delivered most of his teachings (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ).  Parables were one of the many literary forms in the biblical literature.  These parables of Jesus can be found in all the synoptic gospels, since they represent about 1/3 of Jesus’ teachings.  These simple and memorable stories conveyed important messages, central to the teachings of Jesus.  Many of Jesus’s parables refer to simple everyday events.  The word “parable” can also refer to a riddle, as it was used in the Old Testament.  The use of parables was a natural teaching method that fit into the tradition of the time of Jesus.  Matthew has 23 parables of which 11 are unique.  There are 2 unique parables in Mark and 18 unique parables in LukeMatthew and Luke share 4 parables, while Matthew, Mark and Luke share 6 parables.  Many of these parables have been subjects of art and literature, especially during the Middle Ages.