You were with Jesus (Mk 14:67-14:67)

“When she saw Peter

Warming himself,

She stared

At him.

She said.

‘You also

Were with Jesus,

The man from Nazareth.’”

 

καὶ ἰδοῦσα τὸν Πέτρον θερμαινόμενον ἐμβλέψασα αὐτῷ λέγει Καὶ σὺ μετὰ τοῦ Ναζαρηνοῦ ἦσθα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:69, and Luke, chapter 22:56.  John, chapter 18:17, has just a woman without any further description.  Mark said that Peter was warming himself in the high priest’s courtyard (καὶ ἰδοῦσα τὸν Πέτρον θερμαινόμενον).  This young servant girl or maid of the high priest was looking or staring at Peter (ἐμβλέψασα αὐτῷ).  She said to Peter (λέγει) that he had been with Jesus, the man from Nazareth (Καὶ σὺ μετὰ τοῦ Ναζαρηνοῦ ἦσθα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ), and not a Galilean as in Matthew.  She had spotted Peter with Jesus.  She knew that Jesus was from Nazareth.  Now she recognized Peter.  She may have seen Jesus and his followers somewhere beforehand.  People judge you by your company.  Would you deny your friends?

The value of the commandments (Mk 12:33-12:33)

“‘To love God

With all the heart,

With all the understanding,

With all the strength,

As well as

To love one’s neighbor

As oneself,’

This is much more

Important than

Than all the burnt offerings

And sacrifices.”

 

καὶ τὸ ἀγαπᾶν αὐτὸν ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς συνέσεως καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ἰσχύος, καὶ τὸ ἀγαπᾶν τὸν πλησίον ὡς ἑαυτὸν περισσότερόν ἐστιν πάντων τῶν ὁλοκαυτωμάτων καὶ θυσιῶν.

 

This monologue of the Scribe to Jesus is unique to Mark.  This Scribe pointed out that these 2 commandments were more important that all the Temple sacrifices of burnt offerings.  He said that to love God (καὶ τὸ ἀγαπᾶν αὐτὸν) with all your heart (ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας), with all your understanding (καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς συνέσεως), with all your strength (καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ἰσχύος), as well as to love your neighbor as yourself (καὶ τὸ ἀγαπᾶν τὸν πλησίον ὡς ἑαυτὸν) was much more important (περισσότερόν ἐστιν) than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices (πάντων τῶν ὁλοκαυτωμάτων καὶ θυσιῶν).  This Scribe recognized the value of love of God and neighbor.

Help my unbelief (Mk 9:24-9:24)

“Immediately,

The father

Of the child

Cried out.

‘I believe!

Help my unbelief!’”

 

εὐθὺς κράξας ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ παιδίου ἔλεγεν Πιστεύω· βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ.

 

This is unique to Mark.  Immediately (εὐθὺς), the father of the child cried out (κράξας ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ παιδίου ἔλεγεν) that he believed (Πιστεύω), in the first person singular.  However, he wanted help with his unbelief (βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ).  This was a strong statement of belief that also recognized unbelief at the same time.

Elijah and Moses (Mk 9:4-9:4)

“There appeared

To them

Elijah

With Moses.

They were talking

With Jesus.”

 

καὶ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς Ἡλείας σὺν Μωϋσεῖ, καὶ ἦσαν συνλαλοῦντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ.

 

This appearance of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:34, Luke, chapter 9:30, and here in Mark, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Mark said that there appeared to the 3 disciples (καὶ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς) Elijah (Ἡλείας) with Moses (σὺν Μωϋσεῖ).  These two were talking with Jesus (καὶ ἦσαν συνλαλοῦντες τῷ Ἰησοῦ).  How did they know what Moses and Elijah looked like?  They had never seen them before.  They were nearly 1,000 years removed from their existence.  Jesus, however, recognized and talked with them, so that is why they might have realized who they were.  Thus, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and at the same time the fulfillment of the prophets with Elijah, one of the earliest prophets from the 9th century BCE.

The crowds follow Jesus (Mk 6:33-6:33)

“Now many saw them

Going.

They recognized them.

They hurried there

On foot

From all the towns.

They arrived

Ahead of them.”

 

καὶ εἶδον αὐτοὺς ὑπάγοντας καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν πολλοί, καὶ πεζῇ ἀπὸ πασῶν τῶν πόλεων συνέδραμον ἐκεῖ καὶ προῆλθον αὐτούς.

 

This opening to the multiplication of the loaves story can be found in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:13, Luke, chapter 9:10, John, chapter 6:1-2, and here.  Jesus wanted to get away to a deserted place in a boat, but somehow the crowds followed him.  It is not clear if they were looking for his reaction to the death of John the Baptist, or just following him as an itinerant preacher and healer.  Mark said that many people saw and recognized Jesus and his disciples leaving in the boat (καὶ εἶδον αὐτοὺς ὑπάγοντας καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν πολλοί).  They ran together on foot there along the shore from all the various towns (καὶ πεζῇ ἀπὸ πασῶν τῶν πόλεων συνέδραμον ἐκεῖ).  The crowds, in fact, arrived ahead of them (καὶ προῆλθον αὐτούς). This crowd seemed to follow along the bank of the sea, so that Jesus and his apostles could not get away by themselves.

Jesus controls the unclean spirits (Mk 3:11-3:11)

“Whenever the unclean spirits

Saw Jesus,

They fell down

Before him.

They cried out.

‘You are the Son of God.’”

 

καὶ τὰ πνεύματα τὰ ἀκάθαρτα, ὅταν αὐτὸν ἐθεώρουν, προσέπιπτον αὐτῷ καὶ ἔκραζον λέγοντα ὅτι Σὺ εἶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

This is somewhat similar to earlier in Mark, chapter 1:23, when Jesus made the unclean spirit leave the possessed man.  Jesus commanded even the unclean spirits, so that they listened or obeyed him.  He seemed to have some special spiritual powers that no one else had ever seen.  Here Mark noted that these evil unclean spirits (καὶ τὰ πνεύματα τὰ ἀκάθαρτα) fell down before Jesus or worshipped him (προσέπιπτον αὐτῷ), whenever they saw him (ὅταν αὐτὸν ἐθεώρουν).  They cried out or shouted out to Jesus (καὶ ἔκραζον λέγοντα), that he was the Son of God (ὅτι Σὺ εἶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ), when no one else recognized this.  This unclean spirit world was alive and active in first century Israelite culture.

Fourth narrative

The fourth narrative section revealed the increasing opposition to Jesus.  Thus, his disciples had to prepare for his absence.  These instructions emphasized responsibility and humility.  Simon was renamed Peter, the rock upon which he was going to build his church, especially the mystery of the kingdom of heaven.

While Jesus was preaching in the various towns, John the Baptist was put in prison.  The disciples of John questioned Jesus and Jesus responded.  Jesus then asked questions about John.  Was John more than a prophet?  Then Matthew had a series of Old Testament scriptural quotations about John.  How great was John the Baptist?  Was John Elijah?

Jesus warned that this was a childish generation that was indifferent as they kept on eating and drinking, as if nothing important was happening.  Jesus was against the various Galilean cities and towns, especially Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum.  Jesus explained that there were hidden things from the wise ones, especially the relationship of the Father with the Son, but that the disciples had an easy yoke to bear.

Next came the question of eating on the Sabbath.  The Pharisees reacted against Jesus, but he used the example of David and the priests in the Temple to respond to them.  God was the Lord of the Sabbath.  Thus, when Jesus went into the synagogue, they asked him if he would heal anyone on the Sabbath?  Jesus compared sheep to human beings and then healed the man’s hand.  Thus, the Pharisees conspired against Jesus, while he took a low profile.

Jesus said that the fulfillment of the prophesy of Isaiah was at hand in the servant of Yahweh.  Jesus cured the blind and mute man as the crowds were amazed.  However, the Pharisees compared Jesus to Beelzebul, the devil.  Jesus responded that a divided kingdom would not stand.  The Spirit of God was with Jesus.  The bandits tied up people before stealing from them.  You were either for or against Jesus.  They should be aware of the sin against the Holy Spirit.

Jesus then issued a series of sayings about a tree and its fruit.  He compared the Pharisees to a brood of vipers.  There could be good and bad treasures.  Words would either save or condemn them.

Jesus told them about the sign for this evil generation that was always seeking signs.  He was only going to give them the sign of Jonah.  Notice how the men of Nineveh reacted.  The Queen of Sheba brought gifts to Solomon.  The unclean spirit would return with other evil spirits.  The relatives of Jesus, his mother and brothers showed up, but Jesus said that he had a new family.

Then Jesus spoke in parables siting in a boat by the sea.  There was the parable of the sower with his lost seeds, where only a few of the seeds fell on good soil.  His disciples wanted to know why he was speaking in parables, so that Jesus explained why he used parables.  Once again, he referred to a prophecy of Isaiah.  He explained about the seeds on the rocky ground and the seeds among the thorns.  Finally, he explained the meaning of the seeds on good ground or path since they were the blessed ones.

Then there was the parable about the weeds among the wheat.  The slaves let the weeds grow and then separated them at harvest time.  There were other parables about the mustard seed and the yeast.  Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, but he explained these parables to his disciples, especially the sower, the field, and the seeds.  He explained the enemy and the burning of the weeds.  The punishment for the weeds came at the harvest end times.  Thus, the reward for the righteous will be at the end times.

The kingdom of heaven was like a treasure, like pearls, and like a fishing net.  Jesus explained the parables because the disciples did not understand them.  They were like new and old treasures.

Jesus was an astonishment in his own home town.  They all knew the family of Jesus.  Thus, he was a prophet without honor in his own country.

Herod thought that Jesus was a resurrected John the Baptist, but he was afraid of John the Baptist.  At his birthday party, Herod granted the wish to have the head of John the Baptist on a platter.  Meanwhile, John the Baptist’s disciples buried him.

Jesus was worried as he was healing the sick people.  The disciples complained about the crowds, so that Jesus told them to give them something to eat.  However, they only had five loaves and two fish.  Then Jesus blessed the five loaves of bread and distributed them to the crowd.  There were even leftovers from this crowd of five thousand people.

The disciples left in a boat, so that Jesus prayed alone.  The boat was in the middle of the sea when Jesus walked on water to come to them.   Peter talked to Jesus and then attempted to walk on the water.  Jesus then saved Peter who recognized Jesus as the Son of God.  Then there were the healings at Gennesaret, where Jesus cured the sick.

The Pharisees from Jerusalem came to Jesus to ask him why his disciples did not wash their hands before eating.  Jesus responded by telling them to honor their parents since there was hypocrisy in their traditions.  He cited Isaiah about vain worship.  He told them to hear and understand.  They should watch what came out of their mouth rather than what went into their mouth as defilement.  The Pharisees were offended, but Jesus called them blind guides.  Peter wanted to understand more so that Jesus explained the mouth should speak from the heart.

Jesus went to the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon where he met a Canaanite woman.  He said that he was only going to the lost sheep of Israel, but this Canaanite woman persistently asked for help.  Jesus refused again saying that he could not feed the dogs.  However, she responded that dogs eat crumbs from the table.  Jesus said that she had great faith and healed her.

As Jesus healed the crowds of people in the mountain near the Sea of Galilee, he had compassion for them.  Where will they get food?  His disciples said that they had seven loaves.  Jesus then gave thanks over them and distributed the bread to four thousand men as there was a second multiplication of bread loaves.

Jesus went to Magadan.  There the Pharisees asked for a sign from heaven.  Once again, Jesus said that there are weather signs, but he would only give this evil generation the sign of Jonah.

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, but Jesus warned them about the yeast of the Pharisees.  He reprimanded his disciples for their lack of faith as he reminded them about the multiplication of the loaves of bread.  They should be worried about the Pharisees not food.

What was the role of Peter?  Jesus asked about the Son of Man as the disciples responded.  Then Jesus asked them about himself.  Peter gave a very positive response, so that Jesus rewarded him.  The Messianic secret was tied to the future of Jesus in this conversation between Peter and Jesus.  He would have to take up his cross if wanted to save his life because the Son of Man in his kingdom would be coming soon.

Jesus took three of his apostles up a mountain where he was transfigured before them.  Moses and Elijah appeared with him.  Peter wanted to set up three tents for them.  A voice from the cloud came as the three apostles adored him.  Jesus asked them to be silent about this.  What was the role of Elijah and John the Baptist?

An epileptic man knelt before Jesus that his disciples were unable to heal.  Jesus then healed him, so that his disciples wondered why they were unable to heal this epileptic?  Jesus spoke about the future of the Son of Man.  Should they pay the Temple tax?  Jesus responded that the son of the king did not pay taxes, but he told Peter to pay them anyway.

Finally, we have the ecclesiastical discourse about who is the greatest.  A child is the greatest because when you welcome a little child, you welcome Jesus.  They were not to cause children to sin.  They were not to tempt people.  It would be better to be maimed and blind than suffer eternal fire.  They were not to despise the little ones.  Jesus explained the parable of the lost sheep and fraternal correction.  What were you to do with a sinning brother.  Let him become a gentile, if he does not listen.  Common prayer was important so that they should gather in his name.  How often should they forgive?  The response was the seventy times seven.

Then there was the parable of the unforgiving servant slave.  The master settled accounts with servant slaves.  One owed ten thousand talents, so that the king forgave him his debt.  However, this servant slave would not forgive the debt of his fellow slaves, who were angry.  Thus, this unforgiving slave was tortured.  This parable explanation was simple, forgive your brothers.

The third denial (Mt 26:73-26:74)

“After a little while,

Bystanders came up.

They said to Peter.

‘Certainly,

You are also

One of them.

Your accent

Betrays you.’

Then he began

To curse.

He swore an oath.

‘I do not know this man.’”

 

μετὰ μικρὸν δὲ προσελθόντες οἱ ἑστῶτες εἶπον τῷ Πέτρῳ Ἀληθῶς καὶ σὺ ἐξ αὐτῶν εἶ, καὶ γὰρ ἡ λαλιά σου δῆλόν σε ποιεῖ.

τότε ἤρξατο καταθεματίζειν καὶ ὀμνύειν ὅτι Οὐκ οἶδα τὸν ἄνθρωπον.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:70-71.  There is something similar in Luke, chapter 22:59-60, and John, chapter 18:26-27.  However, Luke did not have the curse or the oath, while John said that the man recognized Peter because he was a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off.  Matthew and Mark said that after a little while (μετὰ μικρὸν), some of the bystanders said to Peter (οἱ ἑστῶτες εἶπον τῷ Πέτρῳ) that he certainly was one of the followers of Jesus (Ἀληθῶς καὶ σὺ ἐξ αὐτῶν εἶ), because of his northern Galilee accent in his speech that betrayed him (καὶ γὰρ ἡ λαλιά σου δῆλόν σε ποιεῖ).  Then Peter began to curse (τότε ἤρξατο καταθεματίζειν).  He swore an oath that he did not know this man (καὶ ὀμνύειν ὅτι Οὐκ οἶδα τὸν ἄνθρωπον).  Thus, we have the 3rd public denial of Jesus by Peter that can be found in all 4 gospels.  This apostolic leader had failed his first major test just as Jesus had predicted, despite his bombastic earlier outbursts that it would never happen.

 

Moses and Elijah appear (Mt 17:3-17:3)

“Suddenly,

There appeared to them

Moses

And Elijah.

They were talking

With Jesus.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς Μωϋσῆς καὶ Ἡλείας συνλαλοῦντες μετ’ αὐτοῦ.

 

This appearance of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:4, Luke, chapter 9:30, and here in Matthew, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Suddenly (καὶ ἰδοὺ), there appeared to the 3 disciples (ὤφθη αὐτοῖς) Moses (Μωϋσῆς) and Elijah (καὶ Ἡλείας), who were talking with Jesus (συνλαλοῦντες μετ’ αὐτοῦ).  How did they know what Moses and Elijah looked like?  They had never seen them before.  They were nearly 1,000 years removed from their existence.  Jesus, however, recognized and talked with them, so that is why they might have realized who they were.  Thus, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and at the same time the fulfillment of the prophets with Elijah, one of the earliest prophets from the 9th century BCE.

Jesus said that she had great faith (Mt 15:28-15:28)

“Then Jesus answered her.

‘Woman!

Great is your faith!

Let it be done for you

As you wish!’

Her daughter

Was healed instantly.”

 

τότε ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῇ Ὦ γύναι, μεγάλη σου ἡ πίστις· γενηθήτω σοι ὡς θέλεις. καὶ ἰάθη ἡ θυγάτηρ αὐτῆς ἀπὸ τῆς ὥρας ἐκείνης.

 

A similar but expanded response can be found in Mark, chapter 7:29-30.  Jesus recognized her great faith, that was so important in this gospel of Matthew.  Jesus answered her (τότε ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  He said to her that she was a woman of great faith (εἶπεν αὐτῇ Ὦ γύναι, μεγάλη σου ἡ πίστις).  He was going to grant her wish (γενηθήτω σοι ὡς θέλεις).  Her daughter was healed instantly, at that very hour (καὶ ἰάθη ἡ θυγάτηρ αὐτῆς ἀπὸ τῆς ὥρας ἐκείνης).  Despite the reluctance of Jesus to go outside of the Israelites, the great faith of this woman persuaded him to cure her daughter of her demonic illness.