Who is the greatest? (Lk 9:46-9:46)

“And an argument arose

Among the disciples

As to which one

Of them

Was the greatest.”

 

Εἰσῆλθεν δὲ διαλογισμὸς ἐν αὐτοῖς, τὸ τίς ἂν εἴη μείζων αὐτῶν.

 

Luke said that an argument arose among the disciples of Jesus (Εἰσῆλθεν δὲ διαλογισμὸς ἐν αὐτοῖς) as to which one of them was the greatest (τὸ τίς ἂν εἴη μείζων αὐτῶν).  This question about the greatest can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:1, Mark, chapter 9:33-34, and here, with some changes.  Mark said that Jesus asked them what they were discussing or arguing about on the way there.  Jesus knew that they had been talking about something that was a little heated.  Instead of coming to Jesus, as in Matthew, Mark had Jesus go to the disciples.  They were silent when Jesus asked them what they were talking about on their travels.  In fact, they had been arguing or discussing among themselves on the way there, who was the greatest.  Mark never mentioned the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, but just the greatest in general.  The late Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) always proclaimed that he was the greatest, without indicating what he was the greatest at.  They were looking for some sort of status.  Matthew said that the disciples came to Jesus with this question, instead of arguing among themselves.  They asked him who was the greatest in the kingdom of the heaven?  They were looking for some sort of status in a gnostic concept of a higher and lower status people.  After all, they were the important disciples of Jesus.  Who do you think is the greatest disciple of Jesus?

Who was the greatest? (Mk 9:34-9:34)

“But they were silent,

On the way,

They had argued

With one another about

Who was the greatest.”

 

οἱ δὲ ἐσιώπων· πρὸς ἀλλήλους γὰρ διελέχθησαν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ τίς μείζων.

 

This question about the greatest can also be found in Matthew, chapter 18:1, and Luke, chapter 9:46, with some minor changes.  The disciples of Jesus seemed to be arguing among themselves about who was the greatest.  Instead of coming to Jesus, as in Matthew, Mark had Jesus come to the disciples.  They were silent (οἱ δὲ ἐσιώπων), when Jesus asked them what they were talking about on their travels.  In fact, they had been arguing or discussing among themselves (πρὸς ἀλλήλους γὰρ διελέχθησαν) on the way there (ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ) who was the greatest (τίς μείζων).  Mark never mentioned the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, but just the greatest in general.  The late Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) always proclaimed that he was the greatest, without indicating what he was the greatest at.  They were looking for some sort of status.  After all, they were the important disciples of Jesus.

Who is the greatest? (Mt 18:1-18:1)

“At that time,

The disciples came to Jesus.

They asked.

‘Who is the greatest

In the kingdom of heaven?’”

 

Ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ προσῆλθον οἱ μαθηταὶ τῷ Ἰησοῦ λέγοντες Τίς ἄρα μείζων ἐστὶν ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν;

 

This question about the greatest in heaven can also be found in Mark, chapter 9:34, and Luke, chapter 9:46, with some minor changes.  There the disciples seemed to be arguing among themselves about who would be the greatest in heaven.  Here they came to Jesus with the question.  After the transition phrase, “At that time” (Ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ), these disciples came to Jesus (προσῆλθον οἱ μαθηταὶ τῷ Ἰησοῦ).  They asked him who is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens (λέγοντες Τίς ἄρα μείζων ἐστὶν ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν)?  They were looking for some sort of status in a gnostic concept of a higher and lower status people.  After all, they were the disciples of Jesus.

The future just king (Isa 11:3-11:5)

“He shall not judge

By what his eyes see.

He shall not decide

By what his ears hear.

He shall judge

With righteousness.

He shall judge the poor.

He shall decide with equity

For the meek of the earth.

He shall strike the earth

With the rod of his mouth.

With the breath of his lips,

He shall kill the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt

Around his waist.

Faithfulness shall be the belt

Around his loins.”

Isaiah points out that not only would this future king have Davidic roots and be filled with the Spirit of Yahweh, he would be righteous and just. He would not merely judge on what he sees and hears, but with righteousness. He would judge the poor and the meek with equity. His mouth and lips would even kill the wicked ones. Righteousness and faithfulness would be his belts. Thus this future ideal king would be just and fair to all, no matter what their status was.

Slaves, fools, and unloved wives (Prov 30:21-30:23)

“Under three things the earth trembles.

Under four it cannot bear up.

They are

When a slave becomes king,

When a fool is glutted with food,

When an unloved woman gets a husband,

When a maid succeeds her mistress.”

Once again we are back at the numerical proverb of 3 and 4. The earth trembles. There are 4 things that this author cannot bear: 1) a slave who becomes a king, 2) a fool filled with food, 3) an unloved woman with a husband, and 4) a maid that succeeds her mistress. These seem like annoying circumstances for an elite person who does not like people moving out of their social class status. However, there is a sensibility to the unloved wife and the scorned mistress.