Watching Jesus (Lk 11:54-11:54)

“They were

Watching Jesus,

To trap him

In something

He might say.”

 

ἐνεδρεύοντες αὐτὸν θηρεῦσαί τι ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke uniquely said that these Scribes, Pharisees, and lawyers were watching Jesus (ἐνεδρεύοντες αὐτὸν) to trap him (θηρεῦσαί) in something that that he might say or might come out of his mouth (τι ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ).  Once again, Luke used a word that only appears here in all the Greek biblical literature, θηρεῦσαί, that means to hunt, seek, catch, entrap, or lay hold of.  This section ended with greater hostility between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders.  They were going to be aware of Jesus and try to catch him saying something in public.  Are you careful about what you say?

Peter again denies Jesus (Mk 14:70-14:70)

“But again,

Peter denied it.”

 

ὁ δὲ πάλιν ἠρνεῖτο.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:72, Luke, chapter 22:58, and John, chapter 18:25, with some minor changes.  All 4 gospels have this 2nd denial of Peter.  Mark said that again Peter denied (ὁ δὲ πάλιν ἠρνεῖτο) that he was one of the followers of Jesus.  In Matthew there was an oath with this denial.  Peter, the great defender of Jesus, again denied him in public for a 2nd time, something he said that he would never do.  Be careful what you say.

Jesus heals people (Mk 6:56-6:56)

“Wherever Jesus went,

In villages,

Or cities,

Or country farms,

They laid the sick

In the market places.

They begged him

That they might touch

Even the fringe

Of his cloak.

All who touched it

Were healed.”

 

καὶ ὅπου ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο εἰς κώμας ἢ εἰς πόλεις ἢ εἰς ἀγροὺς, ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς ἐτίθεσαν τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας, καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν ἵνα κἂν τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ ἅψωνται· καὶ ὅσοι ἂν ἥψαντο αὐτοῦ ἐσῴζοντο.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 14:36.  Mark seems to emphasize the various places that these sick people were coming from.  Mark said that wherever Jesus traveled (καὶ ὅπου ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο), whether in villages (εἰς κώμας), in cities (ἢ εἰς πόλεις), or in country areas or farms (εἰς ἀγροὺς), they were placing or laying those ailing or sick people in the public market places (ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς ἐτίθεσαν τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας).  They begged or entreated him (καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν) to touch the fringe or the tassel of his clothing (ἵνα κἂν τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ ἅψωνται).  Everyone who touched him was healed (καὶ ὅσοι ἂν ἥψαντο αὐτοῦ ἐσῴζοντο).  These people in Gennesaret were well aware of the powers of Jesus.  They wanted to take advantage of his healing magic touch.  They wanted to touch his outer garment or tunic coat in order to be healed like the woman with the excessive blood flow.

Jesus takes a low profile (Mt 12:15-12:16

When Jesus

Became aware of this,

He departed from there.

Many crowds followed him.

He cured all of them.

He ordered them

Not to make him known.”

 

Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς γνοὺς ἀνεχώρησεν ἐκεῖθεν. καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ πολλοί, καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτοὺς πάντας,

καὶ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς ἵνα μὴ φανερὸν αὐτὸν ποιήσωσιν

 

Although this first sentence is unique to Matthew, the second sentence is a direct quote from Mark, chapter 3:12.  Once again, Matthew emphasized the great crowds without any specific number.  He cured all the sick people but did not want them to make it public.  There seems to be a contradiction here with large crowds, many healings, and yet not making it public, as if that was possible.  Although he wanted a low profile, he continued to heal many people.  Jesus knew what was going on with the Pharisees (Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς γνοὺς).  Thus, he left that area of Galilee (ἀνεχώρησεν ἐκεῖθεν).  However, great crowds followed him anyway (καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ πολλοί).  He healed, cured, or served all of these people (καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτοὺς πάντας).  Then he ordered, warned, or admonished them (καὶ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτοῖς) not to reveal or make him known (ἵνα μὴ φανερὸν αὐτὸν ποιήσωσιν).  This was often referred to as the Messianic secret that Matthew indicated in chapters 8:4 and 9:30.

Prayer

A Christian is not without contact with God.  Prayer in its various forms is the normal contact with the transcendent reality, whatever name we place on it.  The ceremony of all religions is the point of contact with the divine.  Prayer can and should be both personal and public.  Thus, the Christian never forgets the admonition to pray always.  He or she remembers the great prayer that Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven.”  The importance of prayer is like good communication.  Take time to pray.  Develop a personal prayer life.  Faith without prayer is impossible.  Request, give honor, praise, thank, listen, and share verbal and non-verbal prayer.  Prayer is the breath of the Christian spiritual life.  If we stop praying, it is like as if we stop breathing.  Your spiritual life will die without prayer.

The difficult situation of David (Ps 69:9-69:12)

“It is zeal for your house

That has consumed me.

The insults of those

Who insult you

Have fallen on me.

When I humbled my soul with fasting,

They insulted me for doing so.

When I made sackcloth my clothing,

I became a byword to them.

I am the subject of gossip

For those who sit in the gate.

The drunkards make songs about me.”

David explained his situation. He had great zeal for the house of Yahweh that he was about to construct. However, he felt that the insults against Yahweh had fallen on him. He had fasted but people insulted him for doing that. He was wearing mourning sackcloth, but all they did was gossip about him in the public meeting places at the gate. Even the drunkards were making up songs about him.