The exclamation prayer of Elizabeth (Lk 1:42-1:42)

“Elizabeth exclaimed

With a loud cry.

‘Blessed are you

Among women!

Blessed is the fruit

Of your womb!’”

 

καὶ ἀνεφώνησεν κραυγῇ μεγάλῃ καὶ εἶπεν Εὐλογημένη σὺ ἐν γυναιξίν, καὶ εὐλογημένος ὁ καρπὸς τῆς κοιλίας σου.

 

Luke then had Elizabeth shout out, as if speaking for the baby in her womb.  Elizabeth exclaimed with a loud cry (καὶ ἀνεφώνησεν κραυγῇ μεγάλῃ).  She said that Mary was blessed among all women (καὶ εἶπεν Εὐλογημένη σὺ ἐν γυναιξίν).  Blessed would be the fruit of her womb (καὶ εὐλογημένος ὁ καρπὸς τῆς κοιλίας σου)!  Thus, Elizabeth, without a word spoken, knew that Mary was pregnant with an important child.  These words of Elizabeth then became the second part of the “Ave Maria,” prayer.  “Hail Mary!  Full of Grace!  The Lord is with you!  Blessed are you among women!  Blessed is the fruit of your womb!  Jesus!”  Thus, Elizabeth, via Luke, is the biblical originator of this Marian prayer that became popular in the middle ages down to the present time.

The good news about a son (Lk 1:13-1:13)

“Your prayer

Has been heard.

Your wife,

Elizabeth,

Will bear you

A son.

You will name him

John.”

 

διότι εἰσηκούσθη ἡ δέησίς σου, καὶ ἡ γυνή σου Ἐλεισάβετ γεννήσει υἱόν σοι, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰωάνην·

 

Luke then has this good news for Zechariah.  The heart of this message was that he was going to have a son.  This angel said that his prayer, supplication, or entreaty had been heard (διότι εἰσηκούσθη ἡ δέησίς σου).  His wife Elizabeth would bear him son (αὶ ἡ γυνή σου Ἐλεισάβετ γεννήσει υἱόν σοι).  He was to name or call him John (καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰωάνην).  This was a nice simple message, nothing complicated.  God was going to grant this barren old couple a son who should be called John.

Remove this cup (Mk 14:36-14:36)

“Jesus said.

‘Abba!

Father!

All things are possible

For you!

Remove this cup

From me!

Yet,

Not what I want,

But what you want.’”

 

καὶ ἔλεγεν Ἀββᾶ ὁ Πατήρ, πάντα δυνατά σοι· παρένεγκε τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ· ἀλλ’ οὐ τί ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλὰ τί σύ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:36.  In Luke, chapter 22:42, it is somewhat similar, while in John, chapter 22, there were no indications of this prayer in the garden.  Here there is an explicit mention of both the “Father” and the “cup of suffering”.  Mark recounted that Jesus prayed directly to his Father, using the Aramaic “Abba” for the word father but then immediately explained its meaning (καὶ ἔλεγεν Ἀββᾶ ὁ Πατήρ).  Anything was possible with the Father (πάντα δυνατά σοι).  He wanted the Father to remove or take away this cup of suffering from him (παρένεγκε τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ).  However, he was willing to do whatever the Father wanted, because his will was second to his Father (ἀλλ’ οὐ τί ἐγὼ θέλω ἀλλὰ τί σύ).  Clearly, Jesus subordinated his will to the will of his heavenly Father.

If you do not forgive others (Mk 11:26-11:26)

“But if you

Do not forgive,

Neither will your Father

In heaven

Forgive

Your trespasses.”

 

Εἰ δὲ ὑμεῖς οὖκ ἀφίετε, οὐδὲ ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς ἀφήσει τὰ παραπτώματα ὑμῶν.

 

This verse is only in some Orthodox text versions.  This is almost word for word from Matthew, chapter 6:15, right after the “Our Father” prayer.  Mark said that if you do not forgive others (Εἰ δὲ ὑμεῖς οὖκ ἀφίετε), your heavenly Father will not forgive you for your trespasses (οὐδὲ ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς ἀφήσει τὰ παραπτώματα).  You can see how the idea of trespasses instead of debtors came to be part of the “Our Father.”  If you do not forgive, neither will your Father forgive you.

Forgive others (Mk 11:25-11:25)

“Whenever you stand

Praying,

Forgive,

If you have anything

Against anyone!

Thus,

Your Father

In heaven

May also forgive you

Your trespasses.”

 

καὶ ὅταν στήκετε προσευχόμενοι, ἀφίετε εἴ τι ἔχετε κατά τινος, ἵνα καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς ἀφῇ ὑμῖν τὰ παραπτώματα ὑμῶν.

 

This saying about forgiveness seems similar to Matthew, chapter 6:14, that came right after the “Our Father” prayer.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that whenever they would stand and pray (καὶ ὅταν στήκετε προσευχόμενοι), they should forgive (ἀφίετε) others, especially if they have anything against anyone (εἴ τι ἔχετε κατά τινος).  Then their heavenly Father would forgive them (ἵνα καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς ἀφῇ ὑμῖν) for their missteps or trespasses (τὰ παραπτώματα ὑμῶν).  What are these trespasses?  The Greek word “τὰ παραπτώματα” means to fall away after being close, a lapse, a deviation from the truth, an error, a slip up, relatively unconscious, or non-deliberate.  Apparently, this was not a serious offense, something like daily implied insensitive insults.  However, they still had to forgive these trespasses of others to be forgiven by the heavenly father.  You can see how the idea of trespasses came to be so important in the “Our Father,” “The Lord’s Prayer.”

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.

The need for faith (Mt 21:21-21:22)

“Jesus answered them.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

If you have faith,

If you do not doubt,

Not only will you do

What has been done

To the fig tree,

But even if you say

To this mountain.

‘Be lifted up!

Be thrown into the sea!’

It will be done.

Whatever you ask for

In prayer,

With faith,

You will receive.’”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐὰν ἔχητε πίστιν καὶ μὴ διακριθῆτε, οὐ μόνον τὸ τῆς συκῆς ποιήσετε, ἀλλὰ κἂν τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ εἴπητε Ἄρθητι καὶ βλήθητι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, γενήσεται·

καὶ πάντα ὅσα ἂν αἰτήσητε ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ πιστεύοντες λήμψεσθε.

 

This Jesus saying about faith can be found in Mark, chapter 11:20-24, word for word, but it was the next day after the curse, not the same day.  Jesus answered the disciple’s question (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) about how the fig tree withered with a solemn pronouncement (Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) about the importance of faith.  If they had faith (ἐὰν ἔχητε πίστιν) and did not doubt (καὶ μὴ διακριθῆτε), they too would be able to effectively curse a fig tree (οὐ μόνον τὸ τῆς συκῆς ποιήσετε).  Not only that, but if they had faith, they could move mountains.  They could tell a mountain (ἀλλὰ κἂν τῷ ὄρει τούτῳ εἴπητε) to be lifted up or taken away (Ἄρθητι) and thrown into the sea (καὶ βλήθητι εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν), and it would happen (γενήσεται).  Whatever they asked for in believing prayer (καὶ πάντα ὅσα ἂν αἰτήσητε ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ πιστεύοντες), they would receive it (λήμψεσθε).  The essential ingredient of effective prayer was faith.