Sycamore tree (Lk 19:4-19:4)

“Thus,

Zacchaeus ran ahead.

He climbed up

A sycamore tree

To see Jesus,

Because Jesus

Was going

To pass that way.”

 

καὶ προδραμὼν εἰς τὸ ἔμπροσθεν ἀνέβη ἐπὶ συκομορέαν, ἵνα ἴδῃ αὐτόν, ὅτι ἐκείνης ἤμελλεν διέρχεσθαι.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Zacchaeus ran ahead (καὶ προδραμὼν εἰς τὸ ἔμπροσθεν) of everyone.  He then climbed up a sycamore tree (ἀνέβη ἐπὶ συκομορέαν) in order to see Jesus (ἵνα ἴδῃ αὐτόν), because Jesus was about to pass that way (ὅτι ἐκείνης ἤμελλεν διέρχεσθαι).  Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use the word συκομορέαν, that means a fig-mulberry tree, a sycamore fig, or a sycamore tree.  This small rich tax collector ran ahead of everybody and climbed up a tree so that he could see Jesus when he passed by, an ingenious way to get a look at the celebrity who was in town.  Luke was the only synoptic with this story of Zacchaeus.  Would you climb a tree to see a celebrity?

No switching places (Lk 16:26-16:26)

“Besides all this,

Between you

And us

A great chasm

Has been fixed.

Thus,

Those who might want

To pass

From here

To you

Cannot do so.

No one can cross

From there

To us.”

 

καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τούτοις μεταξὺ ἡμῶν καὶ ὑμῶν χάσμα μέγα ἐστήρικται, ὅπως οἱ θέλοντες διαβῆναι ἔνθεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς μὴ δύνωνται, μηδὲ ἐκεῖθεν πρὸς ἡμᾶς διαπερῶσιν.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, but not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that Abraham continued with his talk to the rich man.  He said that besides all this (καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τούτοις), between him and Abraham with Lazarus (μεταξὺ ἡμῶν καὶ ὑμῶν), there was a great chasm that had been established (χάσμα μέγα ἐστήρικται).  Thus, those who might want to pass from here to there cannot do so (ὅπως οἱ θέλοντες διαβῆναι ἔνθεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς μὴ δύνωνται).  No one can cross from there to here (μηδὲ ἐκεῖθεν πρὸς ἡμᾶς διαπερῶσιν).  He had no way out.  Abraham pointed out that there was a big chasmic difference between where the rich man was and where Lazarus and Abraham were.  No one could, even if they wanted to, cross over from one to the other.  Somehow, they were able to talk to each other.  Yet they were in two distinct milieus that could not meet and exchange personal contacts.  What is your vision of hell and heaven?

Jesus prayed again (Mk 14:39-14:39)

“Again,

Jesus went away.

He prayed,

Saying

The same words.”

 

καὶ πάλιν ἀπελθὼν προσηύξατο τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον εἰπών.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:42, but he has the actual words instead of “the same words.”  In Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 22, there was nothing more about these 2nd and 3rd prayers of Jesus.  Mark indicated that again, Jesus went away, for a 2nd time (καὶ πάλιν ἀπελθὼν).  He prayed to his Father (προσηύξατο) once again.  This time Mark said that Jesus used the same words that he had said the first time (τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον εἰπών).  Matthew indicated what these words were.  Jesus said that if this cannot pass unless he drank it, then his Father’s will should be done.  Clearly, Jesus would have preferred not to undergo this great suffering.  However, he subordinated his will to the will of his Father again.

Jesus prays (Mk 14:35-14:35)

“Going a little farther,

Jesus threw himself

On the ground.

He prayed that,

If it were possible,

That this hour might pass

From him.”

 

καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν ἔπιπτεν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, καὶ προσηύχετο ἵνα εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν παρέλθῃ ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ ἡ ὥρα,

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:39.  In Luke, chapter 22:41, it is somewhat similar, while in John, chapter 22, there were no indications of this prayer in the garden.  Mark recounted that Jesus went a little farther away (καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν).  He threw himself on the ground (ἔπιπτεν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  Then he prayed (καὶ προσηύχετο), but not explicitly to the Father, as in Matthew.  He said that he wondered if it was possible (ἵνα εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν) that this hour might pass from him or be disregarded (παρέλθῃ ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ ἡ ὥρα).  This was slightly different from what Matthew had Jesus say, since he did not emphasize the hour as here.

Jesus walks on the sea (Mk 6:48-6:48)

“When Jesus saw

That they were straining

At the oars

Against an adverse wind,

Jesus came towards them.

Early in the morning

Jesus was walking

On the sea.

He intended

To pass them by.”

 

καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτοὺς βασανιζομένους ἐν τῷ ἐλαύνειν, ἦν γὰρ ὁ ἄνεμος ἐναντίος αὐτοῖς, περὶ τετάρτην φυλακὴν τῆς νυκτὸς ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης· καὶ ἤθελεν παρελθεῖν αὐτούς. 

 

This incident about Jesus walking on water can be found in Matthew, chapter 14:24-25, and John, chapter 6:18-19, but without some of the details here.  Mark said that Jesus saw that they were straining at their rowing oars (καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτοὺς βασανιζομένους ἐν τῷ ἐλαύνειν).  They had an adverse wind against them (ἦν γὰρ ὁ ἄνεμος ἐναντίος αὐτοῖς).  In other words, they were in a little trouble. Early in the morning, or the 4th watch of the night (περὶ τετάρτην φυλακὴν τῆς νυκτὸς), Jesus came walking towards them on the sea (ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης).  He intended to pass them by (καὶ ἤθελεν παρελθεῖν αὐτούς).  There is no indication in any of these stories why Jesus was walking on the water.

Jesus prays to his Father (Mt 26:39-26:39)

“Going a little farther,

Jesus threw himself

On the ground,

Face down.

He prayed.

‘My Father!

If it be possible,

Let this cup

Pass from me!

Nevertheless,

Not what I want,

But what you want.’”

 

καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ προσευχόμενος καὶ λέγων Πάτερ μου, εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν, παρελθάτω ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο· πλὴν οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλ’ ὡς σύ.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:35-36.  In Luke, chapter 22:41-42, it is somewhat similar, while in John, chapter 22, there are no indications of this prayer in the garden.  Both Mark and Matthew recounted that Jesus went a little farther away (καὶ προελθὼν μικρὸν).  He fell on his face (ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ), throwing himself on the ground.  Then he prayed to his Father (προσευχόμενος καὶ λέγων Πάτερ μου).  He said that he wondered if it was possible (εἰ δυνατόν ἐστιν) that this drinking cup could pass from him or be disregarded (παρελθάτω ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο).  However, he was willing to do whatever the Father wanted, because his will was second to his Father (πλὴν οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλ’ ὡς σύ).  Clearly, Jesus subordinated his will to the will of his Father.

Jesus meets the two possessed demoniacs (Mt 8:28-8:28)

“When he came

To the other side,

To the country

Of the Gadarenes,

Two demoniacs met him.

They were coming out

Of the tombs.

They were so extremely violent

That no one could pass

That way.”

 

Καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ πέραν εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γαδαρηνῶν ὑπήντησαν αὐτῷ δύο δαιμονιζόμενοι ἐκ τῶν μνημείων ἐξερχόμενοι, χαλεποὶ λίαν ὥστε μὴ ἰσχύειν τινὰ παρελθεῖν διὰ τῆς ὁδοῦ ἐκείνης.

 

All three synoptic gospels. Mark, chapter 5:1-3 and Luke, chapter 8:26-27, have Jesus go the country or region of the Gadarenes (εἰς τὸ πέραν εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γαδαρηνῶν).  Jesus had traveled over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee to its southern tip (Καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ).  Gadara was about 6 miles away from the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee, near where the Sea of Galilee ran into the Jordan River, one of the 10 cities of the Decapolis territory.  Today, it is in the country of Jordan, known as Umm Qais.  There, Jesus met 2 people possessed by the devil (ὑπήντησαν αὐτῷ δύο δαιμονιζόμενοι), who were coming out of the tombs (ἐκ τῶν μνημείων ἐξερχόμενοι).  These two demonic people were so extremely violent or fierce (χαλεποὶ λίαν), that no one could pass by them on their way (χαλεποὶ λίαν).