Jesus’ parents return to Jerusalem (Lk 2:45-2:45)

“When they

Did not find him,

They returned

To Jerusalem,

To search

For him.”

 

καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ ἀναζητοῦντες αὐτόν.

 

Luke said that now Joseph and Mary reversed courses.  When they did not find him (καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες) among their friends and relatives, they returned to Jerusalem (ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ) to search for him there (ἀναζητοῦντες αὐτόν).  This was the natural thing to do.  It probably took them another day to get back to Jerusalem.  However, they were going to try and find him in Jerusalem, assuming that he was still there.

 

The shepherds praise God (Lk 2:20-2:20)

“The shepherds

Returned.

They glorified God.

They praised God

For all they had heard

And seen,

Just as it had been told

To them.”

 

καὶ ὑπέστρεψαν οἱ ποιμένες δοξάζοντες καὶ αἰνοῦντες τὸν Θεὸν ἐπὶ πᾶσιν οἷς ἤκουσαν καὶ εἶδον καθὼς ἐλαλήθη πρὸς αὐτούς.

 

Luke said that these shepherds returned to their flocks of sheep (καὶ ὑπέστρεψαν οἱ ποιμένες).  They glorified (δοξάζοντες) and praised God (καὶ αἰνοῦντες τὸν Θεὸν) for all they had heard (ἐπὶ πᾶσιν οἷς ἤκουσαν) and seen (καὶ εἶδον), just as it had been told to them (καθὼς ἐλαλήθη πρὸς αὐτούς).  These shepherds appear to be stand-ins for the people of Israel.  They had all this information about the baby child Messiah, Christ, Savior, and Lord.  They had actually seen him as they had glorified and praised God.  Nevertheless, they seemed to go about their business, as if nothing had happened.

Mary stays three months (Lk 1:56-1:56)

“Mary

Remained

With Elizabeth

About three months.

Then she returned

To her home.”

 

Ἔμεινεν δὲ Μαριὰμ σὺν αὐτῇ ὡς μῆνας τρεῖς, καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς.

 

Luke said that Mary remained with Elizabeth (Ἔμεινεν δὲ Μαριὰμ σὺν αὐτῇ) about three months (ὡς μῆνας τρεῖς), almost up to the time of John’s birth.  Then she returned to her home (καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς), being about three months pregnant.  Once again, there is no indication if she had anybody with her on this eighty-mile trip home.  Strange, that she did not stay for the birth of John, which was a big deal.  However, Luke had her leave the scene for the birth of John,

You could be asleep (Mk 13:36-13:36)

“Otherwise,

He may find you

Asleep,

When he comes

Suddenly.”

 

 μὴ ἐλθὼν ἐξαίφνης εὕρῃ ὑμᾶς καθεύδοντας.

 

This saying is unique to Mark.  Jesus warned that the land owner might find them asleep (εὕρῃ ὑμᾶς καθεύδοντας), if he returned or came back suddenly (μὴ ἐλθὼν ἐξαίφνης).  You had to be vigilant all the time, including night time.

 

Do not your eyes see? (Mk 8:18-8:18)

“Do you have eyes?

Yet you do not see.

Do you have ears

And not hear?

Do you not remember?”

 

ὀφθαλμοὺς ἔχοντες οὐ βλέπετε, καὶ ὦτα ἔχοντες οὐκ ἀκούετε; καὶ οὐ μνημονεύετε,

 

This reprimand of Jesus to his disciples is unique to Mark, who returned to his favorite theme of failure to see and hear correctly.  Mark said that Jesus asked them if they did not have eyes to see (ὀφθαλμοὺς ἔχοντες οὐ βλέπετε) or any ears to hear (καὶ ὦτα ἔχοντες οὐκ ἀκούετε)?  Did they not remember (καὶ οὐ μνημονεύετε) what he had done and said?  Jesus was upset at their lack of understanding of what was going on.

Decapolis (Mk 7:31-7:31)

“Then Jesus returned

From the region of Tyre.

He went by way

Of Sidon

Towards the Sea of Galilee,

In the region

Of the Decapolis.”

 

Καὶ πάλιν ἐξελθὼν ἐκ τῶν ὁρίων Τύρου ἦλθεν διὰ Σιδῶνος εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἀνὰ μέσον τῶν ὁρίων Δεκαπόλεως.

 

Matthew, chapter 15:29, has a more summary explanation of this travel.  Instead of going to Sidon, Jesus went straight back to the Sea of Galilee.  Also, there is no mention of Jesus going up a mountain here.  Mark said that Jesus returned from the region of Tyre (Καὶ πάλιν ἐξελθὼν ἐκ τῶν ὁρίων Τύρου) by way of the coastal city of Sidon (ἦλθεν διὰ Σιδῶνος) that was further north.  Then he went towards the Sea of Galilee (εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  However, he went through the middle of the Decapolis region (ἀνὰ μέσον τῶν ὁρίων Δεκαπόλεως), where he had been earlier in Mark, chapter 5:20.  The Decapolis territory was a group of 10 gentile non-Jewish cities north and east of the Jordan River in present day Jordan and Syria that included the towns of Gerasa, Scythopolis, Hippos, Gadara, Pella, Philadelphia, Capitolias, Canatha, Raphana, and Damascus.  Clearly, Jesus had gone through these gentile, non-Jewish areas.

Jesus goes back to other side of the sea (Mk 5:21-5:21)

“When Jesus

Had crossed again

In the boat

To the other side,

A great crowd

Gathered around him.

He was by the sea.”

 

Καὶ διαπεράσαντος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ πάλιν εἰς τὸ πέραν συνήχθη ὄχλος πολὺς ἐπ’ αὐτόν, καὶ ἦν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν.

 

There is something similar to this in Luke, chapter 8:40.  Mark said that Jesus crossed to the other side of the sea in a boat (Καὶ διαπεράσαντος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ πάλιν εἰς τὸ πέραν).  There, a great crowd gathered around him (συνήχθη ὄχλος πολὺς ἐπ’ αὐτόν) near the seashore (καὶ ἦν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν).  Jesus had returned to familiar ground in the Jewish area around the western side of the Sea of Galilee.

Conclusion: Passion, Resurrection and Great Commission

 

This gospel concluded with the events of the last week of Jesus, a main preoccupation of all four gospels.  Jesus had entered Jerusalem in triumph.  He held a last supper and prayed to be spared.  He was betrayed by Judas.  Then he was tried by the Jewish leaders and before The roman governor Pontius Pilate.  Jesus was crucified as king of the Jews and mocked by all.  At his death, there was an earthquake, when the veil of the Temple was cut in two, and the saints rose from their tombs.  Mary Magdalene and the other women discovered the empty tomb.  Jesus told them to tell the disciples to meet him in Galilee.

There was a plot to kill Jesus.  Jesus spoke to his disciples and gave his fourth prediction about the death of the Son of Man.  Then the chief priests and the elders gathered to plot the arrest of Jesus.  However, before that, there was an anointing by the unnamed women in Bethany as she poured oil on Jesus.  Others wanted to know why she was wasting oil.  Jesus said that she had done a good thing by anointing him for burial.  Thus, she would be remembered.  Meanwhile, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

Then they made the preparations for the Passover.  Where would the Passover be?  There was a house for the Passover meal, as the disciples prepared for the Passover evening meal.  Jesus announced the betrayal.  Who would betray Jesus?  This betrayer would be cursed, as Judas spoke out.  At the Last Supper Eucharist, Jesus said that this was his body and blood with eschatological implications.

They went to the Mount of Olives.  Jesus predicted that the apostles would scatter.  He was going to go to Galilee.  Peter said that he would never desert Jesus.  Then Jesus warned Peter about his desertion, but Peter was adamant that he would never deny Jesus.

They went to Gethsemane as Jesus took his three favorite apostles.  He prayed to his Father while these apostles slept.  There was a second prayer of Jesus, as he came a second time to the sleeping apostles.  He prayed a third time.  Then Jesus woke them up.

Judas arrived and kissed Jesus, as they then seized Jesus.  Someone cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave.  However, Jesus told them to put their swords away as the disciples fled.

Jesus went before Caiaphas the high priest, while Peter followed Jesus to the courtyard of the high priest.  They were looking for false testimony.  Finally, two witnesses came forward.  The high priest spoke and Jesus responded.  He called the words of Jesus blasphemy, as they mocked Jesus.  Peter’s denied Jesus three time and then he remembered Jesus’ words.

The elders and Pharisees planned to kill Jesus.  They would deliver Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor.  Meanwhile, Judas repented, but he hung himself.  He returned the pieces of silver to the Temple, but it was used to purchase a graveyard called the Field of Blood to fulfill a prophecy of Jeremiah.

Jesus went before Pilate as he asked him if he was the king of the Jews?  However, Jesus did not respond.  The governor was going to release one prisoner at the festival time.  However, the people wanted the prisoner Barabbas rather than Jesus.  Pilate got a warning from his wife.  Nevertheless, the crowd wanted to crucify Jesus.  Pilate claimed that he was innocent of his blood but the crowds said that his blood be on us.  Barabbas was then released.  Jesus went to the governor’s head quarters where the Roman soldiers mocked him.

They prepared Jesus for the crucifixion.  They got Simon of Cyrene to help with the cross as they went to Golgotha.  They divided his garments and wrote on the cross Jesus, King of the Jews.  There were two robbers who derided and and taunted Jesus, just like the Jewish religious leaders had mocked Jesus.

Darkness fell over the land as Jesus died.  The cry of Jesus was interpreted as a call to Elijah.  They gave him sour wine to drink.  Would Elijah save Jesus?  When Jesus died, the Temple curtain was torn in two.  Tombs opened and the dead rose and appeared in Jerusalem.  He truly was  the Son of God.

There were women from Galilee, especially the women called Mary.  Joseph of Arimathea got the body of Jesus and put it in his tomb as the women called Mary were vigilant.  Meanwhile, there was a gathering with Pilate, since the Jewish religious leaders wanted to have the tomb secure.  Thus, a custodial guard was set up at the tomb.

The two Marys visited the tomb, where there was another earthquake with an angel at the tomb.  The guards were afraid, but the angel speaks to the women to tell them to let the disciples know what happened.  The women left the tomb and Jesus appeared to them.  Meanwhile, the guards told the chief priests in Jerusalem what had happened.  These religious leaders paid the guards to tell everyone that someone stole the body of Jesus while they were sleeping.  Thus, this stolen body story spread.

After the resurrection, the remaining eleven disciples returned to an unnamed mountain in Galilee.  There the post-resurrection Jesus gave them authority in heaven and on earth with his great commission:  They were to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them with a Trinitarian formula.  They were to follow his commandments because Jesus would be with them until the end of time.

Judas repents (Mt 27:3-27:4)

“When Judas,

His betrayer,

Saw that Jesus

Was condemned,

He repented.

He brought back

The thirty pieces

Of silver

To the chief priests

And the elders.

Judas said.

‘I have sinned

By betraying

Innocent blood.’

They said.

‘What is that to us?

See to it yourself!’”

 

Τότε ἰδὼν Ἰούδας ὁ παραδοὺς αὐτὸν ὅτι κατεκρίθη, μεταμεληθεὶς ἔστρεψεν τὰ τριάκοντα ἀργύρια τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν καὶ πρεσβυτέροις

λέγων Ἥμαρτον παραδοὺς αἷμα ἀθῷον. οἱ δὲ εἶπαν Τί πρὸς ἡμᾶς; σὺ ὄψῃ.

 

This is unique to Matthew, who went back to the story about Judas Iscariot.  When Judas, Jesus’ betrayer (Τότε ἰδὼν Ἰούδας ὁ παραδοὺς αὐτὸν), saw that Jesus had been condemned (ὅτι κατεκρίθη) by this semi-official gathering of the Jewish religious leaders, he regretted or repented (μεταμεληθεὶς).  He brought back or returned the 30 pieces of silver (ἔστρεψεν τὰ τριάκοντα ἀργύρια) to these Jerusalem chief priests and elders (τοῖς ἀρχιερεῦσιν καὶ πρεσβυτέροις).  Judas said to them that he had sinned (λέγων Ἥμαρτον) by betraying an innocent person or innocent blood (παραδοὺς αἷμα ἀθῷον).  However, these chief priests and elders said that it had nothing to do with them (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν Τί πρὸς ἡμᾶς).  It was up to him to do whatever he wanted to do (σὺ ὄψῃ).  This was a fair transaction.  They got Jesus and Judas got the money.  What else was there to do?