John does not want to baptize Jesus (Mt 3:14-3:14)

“John

Would have prevented Jesus.

Saying.

‘I need to be baptized

By you.

Do you come to me?’”

 

ὁ δὲ διεκώλυεν αὐτὸν λέγων Ἐγὼ χρείαν ἔχω ὑπὸ σοῦ βαπτισθῆναι, καὶ σὺ ἔρχῃ πρός με;

 

However, John the Baptist was reluctant to baptize Jesus.  Here in Matthew, John immediately recognized Jesus.  He then questioned his own worthiness to baptize Jesus.  He thought that it should be the other way around since he recognized the superiority of Jesus.  In fact, John tried to prevent Jesus from getting baptized by him (ὁ δὲ διεκώλυεν αὐτὸν).  John said that he needed to be baptized by Jesus (λέγων Ἐγὼ χρείαν ἔχω ὑπὸ σοῦ βαπτισθῆναι).  He wanted to know why Jesus was coming to him (καὶ σὺ ἔρχῃ πρός με).  This is a question that many Christian followers ask.  Why did Jesus have to be baptized since he had no sins?  Was John not correct?  Jesus should have baptized John, not the other way around.

Simon takes the citadel in Jerusalem (1 Macc 13:49-13:53)

“The men who were in the citadel at Jerusalem were prevented from going in and out to the country to buy and sell things. So they were very hungry. Many of them perished from famine. Then they cried to Simon to make peace with them. So he did. He expelled them from there. He cleansed the citadel from its pollutions. On the twenty-third day of the second month, in the one hundred seventy-first year, the Jews entered it with praise and palm branches. They had harps, cymbals, and stringed instruments. They sang hymns and songs because a great enemy had been crushed and removed from Israel. Simon decreed that every year they should celebrate this day with rejoicing. He strengthened the fortifications of the temple hill alongside the citadel. He and his men lived there. Simon saw that his son John had reached manhood, so he made him commander of all the forces. He lived at Gazara.”

The Syrian men who were in the Jerusalem citadel could not go in or out to buy or sell anything. Thus they became hungry like a famine. Finally, they wanted to make peace with Simon. He decided to expel them from the citadel. There was a big celebration with praise and palm branches as the Jews entered the citadel in 141 BCE, about a year after their independence. Before they went in with harps, cymbals, and stringed instruments singing hymns and songs, they had the citadel cleansed from the foreign pollutions. They were going to celebrate this every year on the 23rd day of the 2nd month, that is sometime in May. Simon and his men decided to live in the citadel. He sent his son John to be the commander of the armed forces and live in Gaza. This apparently was his son John Hyrcanus who was the high priest from 134-104 BCE.

Alcimus as high priest in charge in Jerusalem (1 Macc 7:21-7:25)

“Alcimus struggled to maintain his high priesthood. All those who were troubling their people joined him. They gained control of the land of Judah. They did great damage in Israel. Judas saw all the wrongs that Alcimus and those with him had done among the Israelites. It was more than the gentiles had done. So Judas went out into all the surrounding parts of Judea. He took vengeance on the men who had deserted him. He prevented those in the city from going out into the country. When Alcimus saw that Judas and those with him had grown strong, he realized that he could not withstand them. He then returned to the king. There he brought wicked charges against them.”

Alcimus had a hard time as the high priest. After all he did not have local Jewish approval. However, all the Jewish troublemakers or renegades, those who opposed Judas Maccabeus and his brothers, were joining him. These renegade troublemakers gained control of the land and damaged Israel. Judas realized that Alcimus and his crowd were worse than the gentiles. Thus Judas took vengeance on those who had deserted him. He kept Jerusalem hemmed in so that no one could go into or leave the city for the country. When Alcimus saw this, he went to the king to bring wicked charges against Judas.