One of you will betray me (Mk 14:18-14:18)

“They took

Their places,

Reclining

At the table.

When they were

Eating,

Jesus said.

‘Truly!

I say to you!

One of you

Will betray me.

He is one

Of those eating

With me.’”

 

καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν καὶ ἐσθιόντων ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με, ὁ ἐσθίων μετ’ ἐμοῦ.

 

This is similar, almost word for word, to Matthew, chapter 26:20-21, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 13:21, but this verse is not found in Luke.  First, they all took their places reclining at the table (καὶ ἀνακειμένων αὐτῶν).  Did this mean that Peter, James, John, and Andrew had preferential seating?  While they were eating (καὶ ἐσθιόντων), Jesus gave a solemn declaration or proclamation (εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  He said that one of his 12 leading apostles would betray him (ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με).  Differing from Matthew, Mark indicated that Jesus said that the betrayer was one of those eating with him at this very table with him (ὁ ἐσθίων μετ’ ἐμοῦ).  This seems like a strange time to bring this up.  However, Jesus was clear, he knew what was going to happen.  This may harken back to Psalm 49:9 where David complained that even some friend, whom he trusted and broke bread with, had lifted his heel against him.  Thus, this prophecy would be fulfilled when one of his beloved trusted 12 apostles betrayed him.

 

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The fleeting nature of the wealthy (Ps 49:16-49:20)

“Do not be afraid

When one becomes rich!

Do not be afraid

When the wealth of their houses increases!

When they die,

They will carry nothing away.

Their wealth will not go down after them.

Even though in their lifetime,

They count themselves happy.

You are praised,

When you do well for yourself.

They will go to the company of their ancestors.

They will never again see the light.

Mortals cannot abide in their pomp.

They are like the animals that perish.”

This psalm ends with a warning about richness. You should never be afraid of the rich people. Even if someone’s wealth increases, they cannot take it with them. Their wealth stays here on earth while they go down to death. They can take nothing with them. Even if they had a happy life, they still have to live with their ancestors in eternal death where they will never see the light of day. No matter how pompous one was, they still die like animals. This is a repeat of what was said earlier. The message was clear. Do not be bothered by rich men since they are going to die anyway.

Sheol for all (Ps 49:14-49:15)

“Like sheep

They are appointed for Sheol.

Death shall be their shepherd.

Straight to the grave they descend.

Their form shall waste away.

Sheol shall be their home.

But God will ransom my soul

From the power of Sheol,

He will receive me.”

Selah

Once again we have the theme of the shepherd. This time death, not Yahweh, is the shepherd. Death leads all of us sheep directly to the grave, where we waste away. Our homes will be Sheol, the ill-defined underground afterlife. However, we do have an exception. The psalmist believes that God will rescue him from the eternal power of Sheol. God will ransom his soul with his belief in an eternal afterlife with God. With that, it is time for another musical interlude pause of Selah.

The fate of all is the same (Ps 49:10-49:13)

“When we look at the wise,

They die.

The fool and the stupid perish together.

They leave their wealth to others.

Their graves are their homes forever.

Their dwelling places are for all generations,

Even though they named lands as their own.

Mortals cannot abide in their pomp.

They are like the animals that perish.

This is the fate

Of the foolhardy.

This is the end

Of those who are pleased with their lot.”

Selah

This psalmist reminds us to the look at the wise people, much like himself. They die. However, so do the fools and stupid people also die. Their wealth is given to others. Their house is no longer opulent since their home is the dwelling place of all people for generations to come, the grave. Mortals cannot keep their pomp forever, since they are like animals that die. This is the fate of all, to die. Even those who are foolhardy and pleased with their lot in life, they will come to an end. On that happy note, it is time for the usual musical interlude pause of Selah.

Useless wealth (Ps 49:5-49:9)

“Why should I fear in times of trouble?

The iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me.

They are those who trust in their wealth.

They are those who boast of the abundance of their riches.

Truly,

No one can ransom himself.

Ther is no price

That one can give to God for it.

The ransom of his life is costly.

The ransom can never suffice.

How can one continue to live on forever?

How can they never see the pit?”

The psalmist wanted to know why he should be afraid. His persecutors were wicked iniquitous men who trusted and boasted about their abundant wealth. Nobody could ransom themselves. There was no price that they could give to God to save their own lives. No ransom could save a person’s life forever. Everyone would die and go down to the pit or the grave.

Listen to God (Ps 49:1-49:4)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of the Korahites

“Hear this!

All you peoples!

Give ear!

All inhabitants of the world!

Both low and high!

Rich and poor together!

My mouth shall speak wisdom.

The meditation of my heart shall be understanding.

I will incline my ear to a proverb.

I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.”

Psalm 49 continues the string of choral psalms of the Sons of Korah of the last few psalms. This psalmist is like a wise sage. He wanted all the people of the whole world to hear him. This was not confided to Israel, but the more universal wisdom literature. He wanted the ears of the high and the low people as well as the rich and the poor. This is another indication that classism and economic woes have a long history. The mouth of the psalmist would speak with wisdom and understanding. He knew about proverbs and riddles with the background music of the harp.