The use of parables (Mk 4:2-4:2)

“Jesus began

To teach them

Many things

In parables.

This is what

He said to them

In his teaching,”

 

καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς πολλά, καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ

 

A similar statement can be found in Matthew, chapter 13:3, and Luke 8:4.  This is the beginning of the parable section in Mark.  Jesus taught them many things in parables (καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς πολλά).  This is how Jesus delivered most of his teachings (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ).  Parables were one of the many literary forms in the biblical literature.  These parables of Jesus can be found in all the synoptic gospels, since they represent about 1/3 of Jesus’ teachings.  These simple and memorable stories conveyed important messages, central to the teachings of Jesus.  Many of Jesus’s parables refer to simple everyday events.  The word “parable” can also refer to a riddle, as it was used in the Old Testament.  The use of parables was a natural teaching method that fit into the tradition of the time of Jesus.  Matthew has 23 parables of which 11 are unique.  There are 2 unique parables in Mark and 18 unique parables in LukeMatthew and Luke share 4 parables, while Matthew, Mark and Luke share 6 parables.  Many of these parables have been subjects of art and literature, especially during the Middle Ages.

Teaching from the boat (Mk 4:1-4:1)

“Again,

Jesus began to teach

Beside the sea.

A very large crowd

Gathered about him.

Thus,

He got into a boat

On the sea.

He sat there.

The whole crowd

Was beside the sea

On the land.”

 

Καὶ πάλιν ἤρξατο διδάσκειν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν. καὶ συνάγεται πρὸς αὐτὸν ὄχλος πλεῖστος, ὥστε αὐτὸν εἰς πλοῖον ἐμβάντα καθῆσθαι ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ, καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος πρὸς τὴν θάλασσαν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἦσαν.

 

A similar statement can be found in Matthew, chapter 13:1, and Luke, chapter 8:4.  However, Luke does not indicate where he was, except that there was a large crowd.  Mark indicated that Jesus began to teach (Καὶ πάλιν ἤρξατο διδάσκειν) beside the Sea of Galilee (παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν).  A great crowd gathered or assembled around him (καὶ συνάγεται πρὸς αὐτὸν ὄχλος πλεῖστος), so that Jesus entered or got into a boat (ὥστε αὐτὸν εἰς πλοῖον ἐμβάντα).  He then sat there in the boat (καθῆσθαι) that was in the sea (ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ), while the whole crowd was on the beach shore land near the sea (καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος πρὸς τὴν θάλασσαν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἦσαν).  Sitting was the normal way that teachers taught.

Jesus heals the sick (Mt 14:14-14:14)

“When Jesus went ashore,

He saw a great crowd.

He had compassion

For them.

He cured their sick.”

 

Καὶ ἐξελθὼν εἶδεν πολὺν ὄχλον, καὶ ἐσπλαγχνίσθη ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν τοὺς ἀρρώστους αὐτῶν.

 

A similar statement can be found in all four gospels, Mark, chapter 6:34, Luke, chapter 9:11, and John, chapter 6:2, plus here.  Jesus continued his mission of compassion and curing the ill and the sick.  When Jesus went ashore (Καὶ ἐξελθὼν), he saw a great crowd (εἶδεν πολὺν ὄχλον).  There is no indication of the size of this crowd.  He then had compassion for them (καὶ ἐσπλαγχνίσθη ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς), so that he cured the feeble and sick people (καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν τοὺς ἀρρώστους αὐτῶν).  One of the great acts of kindness of Jesus was curing people of their illnesses or sicknesses.

The parables (Mt 13:3-13:3)

“Jesus told them

Many things

In parable sayings.”

 

αὶ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς πολλὰ ἐν παραβολαῖς λέγων.

 

A similar statement can be found in Mark, chapter 4:2.  This is the beginning of the parable section in Matthew.  Jesus told them many things in parables (αὶ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς πολλὰ ἐν παραβολαῖς λέγων).  Parables were one of the many literary forms in the biblical literature.  These parables of Jesus can be found in all the synoptic gospels since they represent about 1/3 of Jesus’ teachings.  These simple and memorable stories conveyed important messages, central to the teachings of Jesus.  Many of Jesus’s parables refer to simple everyday events.  The word “parable” can also refer to a riddle, as it was used in the Old Testament.  The use of parables was a natural teaching method that fit into the tradition of the time of Jesus.  Matthew has 23 parables of which 11 are unique.  There are 2 unique parables in Mark and 18 unique parables in LukeMatthew and Luke share 4 parables, while Matthew, Mark and Luke share 6 parables.  Many of these parables have been subjects of art and literature, especially during the Middle Ages.

The Spirit of God (Mt 12:28-12:28)

“But if it is

By the Spirit of God

That I cast out demons,

Then the kingdom of God

Has come upon you.”

 

εἰ δὲ ἐν Πνεύματι Θεοῦ ἐγὼ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια, ἄρα ἔφθασεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

There is a similar statement in Luke, chapter 11:20.  However, Luke talked about the finger of God rather than the Spirit of God (ἐν Πνεύματι Θεοῦ).  Notice that Matthew said that the Kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) had come, not the Kingdom of heaven, as he said many times earlier in this work.  Jesus said, via Matthew, that if he cast out the demons with the Spirit or breathe of God (εἰ δὲ ἐν Πνεύματι Θεοῦ ἐγὼ ἐκβάλλω τὰ δαιμόνια), then the kingdom of God had come or arrived for them (ἄρα ἔφθασεν ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  The end times had already begun.

The law and the prophets (Mt 5:17-5:17)

“Do not think

That I have come

To abolish

The law

Or the prophets!

I have come

Not to abolish them,

But to fulfil them.”

 

Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον ἢ τοὺς προφήτας· οὐκ ἦλθον καταλῦσαι ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι·

 

There is a similar statement in Luke, chapter 16:17, but without the same force. Once again, Matthew has Jesus address his disciples. He told them not to think that he had come to abolish the law and the prophets (Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον ἢ τοὺς προφήτας). This reference to the law (τὸν νόμον) was to the Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible. The allusion to the prophets (τοὺς προφήτας) meant all the writings about the prophets, plus the works contained in the so-called historical works, basically the Old Testament or Hebrew scriptures. Quite the opposite, Jesus said that he had come to fulfill them (ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι), not to abolish the law and the prophets. (οὐκ ἦλθον καταλῦσαι).