The disciples of John (Mt 9:14-9:14)

“Then the disciples

Of John

Came to Jesus.

Saying.

‘Why do we,

As well as the Pharisees,

Fast?

But your disciples

Do not fast.’”

 

Τότε προσέρχονται αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάνου λέγοντες Διὰ τί ἡμεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι νηστεύομεν, οἱ δὲ μαθηταί σου οὐ νηστεύουσιν;

 

This response of Jesus is almost the same as in Mark, chapter 2:18, and Luke, chapter 5:33.  The disciples of John the Baptist showed up here as in Mark and Luke, wanting to know why the disciples of Jesus did not fast.  These disciples of John came to Jesus (Τότε προσέρχονται αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάνου) since John was in jail.  They seemed to be on the side of the Pharisees, and not followers of Jesus, as they wondered why they and the Pharisees were often fasting or abstaining from food (λέγοντες Διὰ τί ἡμεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι νηστεύομεν), while the disciples of Jesus were not fasting (οἱ δὲ μαθηταί σου οὐ νηστεύουσιν).

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The citation from Hosea about mercy (Mt 9:13-9:13)

“Go!

Learn what this means!

‘I desire mercy,

Not sacrifice!

I have come

Not to call the righteous,

But sinners.’”

 

πορευθέντες δὲ μάθετε τί ἐστιν Ἔλεος θέλω καὶ οὐ θυσίαν· οὐ γὰρ ἦλθον καλέσαι δικαίους ἀλλὰ ἁμαρτωλούς.

 

This response of Jesus is almost the same as in Mark, chapter 2:17, and Luke, chapter 5;31.  Jesus explained that they ought to learn what he means (πορευθέντες δὲ μάθετε), because he desired mercy (τί ἐστιν Ἔλεος θέλω), and not sacrifices (καὶ οὐ θυσίαν).  This was based on Hosea, chapter 6:6, where the essential message was that Yahweh wanted real faithful love, not mere sacrifices.  Hosea wanted the Israelites to have real knowledge of God, rather than worry about burnt offerings.  Jesus had come not to call the people who were righteous already (γὰρ ἦλθον καλέσαι δικαίους), but to call the sinners (ἀλλὰ ἁμαρτωλούς).

Well people do not need doctors (Mt 9:12-9:12)

“But when Jesus

Heard it,

He said.

‘Those who are well

Have no need

Of a physician,

But those who are sick

Do need one.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας εἶπεν Οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν οἱ ἰσχύοντες ἰατροῦ ἀλλ’ οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες

 

This response of Jesus is almost the same as in Mark, chapter 2:17, and Luke, chapter 5:31-32.  Jesus heard (ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας) what the Pharisees were saying to his disciples.  He responded that the well people or strong ones do not need (εἶπεν Οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν οἱ ἰσχύοντες) a physician or medical doctor (ἰατροῦ), but the sick do (ἀλλ’ οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες). As Pope Francis likes to say, the Church is a mobile ambulance, not a hospital waiting for people to come in.