Peter remembers Jesus’ words (Mt 26:74-26:75)

“At that moment,

The cock crowed.

Then Peter remembered

What Jesus had said.

‘Before the cock crows,

You will deny me

Three times.’

He went out.

He wept bitterly.”

 

καὶ εὐθὺς ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν.

καὶ ἐμνήσθη ὁ Πέτρος τοῦ ῥήματος Ἰησοῦ εἰρηκότος ὅτι Πρὶν ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι τρὶς ἀπαρνήσῃ με· καὶ ἐξελθὼν ἔξω ἔκλαυσεν πικρῶς

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:72, except that Mark has the cock crowing twice instead of once.  In Luke, chapter 22:60-62, not only does the cock crow, but Peter sees Jesus look at him to remind him of his failures.  John, chapter 18:27, has only the simple remark that the cock crowed when Peter denied Jesus the 3rd time, without Peter weeping.  Matthew recounts that at that moment when the rooster cock crowed (καὶ εὐθὺς ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν), Peter remembered what Jesus had said (καὶ ἐμνήσθη ὁ Πέτρος τοῦ ῥήματος Ἰησοῦ εἰρηκότος).  Before the cock or the rooster crowed (ὅτι Πρὶν ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι), he would deny, disown, or repudiate Jesus 3 times (τρὶς ἀπαρνήσῃ με).  Thus, Peter went out and wept or lamented bitterly (καὶ ἐξελθὼν ἔξω ἔκλαυσεν πικρῶς).  The early followers of Jesus, the primitive Christian community, were in shambles.  Both Peter and Judas, two of the 12 leaders, had betrayed Jesus, while Jesus himself was about to be led off to death.

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Pray in secret (Mt 6:6-6:6)

“But when you pray,

Go into your room!

Shut the door!

Pray to your Father,

Who is in secret.

Your Father,

Who sees in secret

Will reward you.”

 

σὺ δὲ ὅταν προσεύχῃ, εἴσελθε εἰς τὸ ταμεῖόν σου καὶ κλείσας τὴν θύραν σου πρόσευξαι τῷ Πατρί σου τῷ ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ· καὶ ὁ Πατήρ σου ὁ βλέπων ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ ἀποδώσει σοι.

 

This is another saying of Jesus, only found in Matthew, that carries on with the theme of secrecy, but this time it is about prayer.  When the followers of Jesus were to pray (σὺ δὲ ὅταν προσεύχῃ), they should go into their room (εἴσελθε εἰς τὸ ταμεῖόν σου) and shut the door (καὶ κλείσας τὴν θύραν σου).  They were to pray to their Father (πρόσευξαι τῷ Πατρί σου) in secret (ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ).  Like in the almsgiving, their Father would be able to see them in secret (καὶ ὁ Πατήρ σου ὁ βλέπων ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ).  Thus, he would also reward them (ἀποδώσει σοι), so that their reward would be in heaven, not here.  Why all this secrecy?  Were they afraid of being persecuted for something?

Secret charity (Mt 6:3-6:4)

“But when you give alms,

Do not let your left hand

Know

What your right hand

Is doing.

Thus,

Your alms

May be done

In secret.

Your Father,

Who sees in secret,

Will reward you.”

 

σοῦ δὲ ποιοῦντος ἐλεημοσύνην μὴ γνώτω ἡ ἀριστερά σου τί ποιεῖ ἡ δεξιά σου,

ὅπως ᾖ σου ἡ ἐλεημοσύνη ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ· καὶ ὁ Πατήρ σου ὁ βλέπων ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ ἀποδώσει σοι.

 

Jesus, via Matthew, continued with the idea of secretly giving alms or charity.  When you performed charitable acts or almsgiving (σοῦ δὲ ποιοῦντος ἐλεημοσύνην), it should be so secret, that your left hand would not know (μὴ γνώτω ἡ ἀριστερά σου) what your right hand was doing (τί ποιεῖ ἡ δεξιά σου).  That seems a little difficult.  Thus, almsgiving in secret (ὅπως ᾖ σου ἡ ἐλεημοσύνη ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ) would be rewarded by your heavenly Father (ὁ Πατήρ σου… ἀποδώσει σοι) who sees what is hidden in secret (ὁ βλέπων ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ).  Charitable giving is a good thing, best done in secret.  Your reward will be in heaven.

Blessed is God in heaven (Dan 3:32-3:34)

“Blessed are you!

You look

Into the depths

From your throne

On the cherubim!

You are to be praised!

You are highly exalted forever!

Blessed are you

On the throne

Of your kingdom.

You are to be extolled!

You are highly exalted forever!

Blessed are you

In the firmament

Of heaven!

You are to be sung to!

You are to be glorified forever.”

Next, the 3 young men bless God in heaven, who looks down on them from his throne on the cherubim in heaven. God is to be praised and exalted forever, because he sees his kingdom from the firmament of heaven. Thus, everyone should sing to him and glorify him forever.

The care of Yahweh (Lam 3:34-3:36)

Lamed

“When all

The prisoners

Of the land

Are crushed

Under foot,

Does Yahweh not see it?

When human rights

Are perverted

In the presence

Of the Most High,

Does Yahweh not see it?

When one’s case

Is subverted,

Does Yahweh not see it?”

In a strange way, this author seems to say that Yahweh sees bad things and lets them happen. Prisoners are being crushed. Human rights are perverted. Cases are subverted. The basic question is why doesn’t Yahweh do something, since he sees all this going on? These three verses start with the Hebrew consonant letter Lamed in this acrostic poem.

Hymn to Yahweh (Jer 20:12-20:13)

“O Yahweh of hosts!

You test the righteous!

You see the heart!

You see the mind!

Let me see your retribution

Upon them!

I have committed my cause

To you!

Sing to Yahweh!

Praise Yahweh!

He has delivered

The lives of the needy

From the hands of evildoers.”

Jeremiah praises Yahweh. He knows that God tests the righteous ones because he sees their hearts and minds. Jeremiah wanted retribution to come upon those who had opposed him. However, he has committed his cause to Yahweh. They were to sing and praise Yahweh, because he has delivered the lives of the needy from the evildoers.

Not respecting the creative potter (Isa 29:15-29:16)

“Woe to you!

You hide a plan too deep for Yahweh!

Your deeds are in the dark!

You say.

‘Who sees us?

Who knows us?’

You turn things upside down!

Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?

Shall the thing made

Say of its maker?

‘He did not make me.’

Shall the thing formed

Say of the one who formed it?

‘He has no understanding.’”

Yahweh seems to be mad at the leaders of Judah who are attempting to plot with Assyria. They have a hidden dark plan since they seem to say that no one sees them or knows about it. They have things upside down because they are the creatures, not the creators. They are the clay that thinks that they are the potters who mold the clay. They were made by the Creator God as in Genesis, chapter 2. They were the formed, not the formers. Why are they saying that the Creator God does not understand, since they are mere clay?