Your name in heaven (Lk 10:20-10:20)

“Nevertheless,

Do not rejoice

At this,

That the spirits

Submit to you!

But rejoice

That your names

Are written in heaven.”

 

πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε ὅτι τὰ πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται, χαίρετε δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν ἐνγέγραπται ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should not rejoice (πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε) because the various evil spirits submit to them (ὅτι τὰ πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται).  Rather, they should rejoice (χαίρετε) because their names (δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν) are written or engraved (ἐνγέγραπται) in the heavens (ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς).  This was a common Jewish and Mesopotamian idea that you name would be written in heaven as indicated in Psalm 69:28 as listed among the righteous.  Do you think that your name is written in heaven?

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Jesus came to John to be baptized (Mk 1:9-1:9)

“In those days,

Jesus came

From Nazareth

Of Galilee.

He was baptized

By John

In the Jordan River.”

 

Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις ἦλθεν Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ Ναζαρὲτ τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη εἰς τὸν Ἰορδάνην ὑπὸ Ἰωάνου.

 

One concrete event, John the Baptist baptizing Jesus at the Jordan River, stands at the beginning of the public life of Jesus in all four of the canonical gospel accounts of Mark, chapter 1:9, Matthew, chapter 3:13, Luke, chapter 3:21, and John, chapter 1:32-34.  Even many of the historical Jesus skeptics consider the fact that John the Baptist baptized Jesus to be a real historical episode.  Mark said that in those days it came to pass (Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις) that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee (ἦλθεν Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ Ναζαρὲτ τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River (καὶ ἐβαπτίσθη εἰς τὸν Ἰορδάνην ὑπὸ Ἰωάνου).  In this first appearance of Jesus, the first thing he did was submit to the baptism of John the Baptist.  Thus, he might have been a disciple of John.  Only Matthew and Mark indicate where he came from, although Matthew only mentioned Galilee and not Nazareth.  Jesus came with a purpose, to be baptized by John in the Jordan River.  John did not seek out Jesus.  Jesus came to him.  In Matthew, chapter 3:14-15, John was reluctant to baptize Jesus, but finally did.  There was no such discussion in any of the other gospel stories.

Jesus wants to be baptized (Mt 3:15-3:15)

“But Jesus answered him.

‘Let it be so now.

It is proper for us

In this way

For us

To fulfill

All righteousness.’

Then he consented.”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἄφες ἄρτι·οὕτως γὰρ πρέπον ἐστὶν ἡμῖν πληρῶσαι πᾶσαν δικαιοσύνην. τότε ἀφίησιν αὐτόν.

 

Why did Jesus need to be baptized, since he was not a sinner?  Some of the early Christians were not pleased about this baptismal action, since it seemed to show that John was more important.  Jesus responded to John (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ).  He wanted his baptism by John to be done now (Ἄφες ἄρτι·οὕτως), because it was a proper and a fitting thing to do (γὰρ πρέπον ἐστὶν ἡμῖν).  The purpose of this baptismal action was to show that Jesus was obedient to the divine will as a complete righteous person (πληρῶσαι πᾶσαν δικαιοσύνην).  Jesus had come to proclaim his higher ethical judgment of righteousness.  He was willing to submit to the baptism of John.  John the Baptist no longer hesitated, as he agreed to baptize Jesus (τότε ἀφίησιν αὐτόν).  There was no discussion like this in Mark, chapter 1:9 and Luke, chapter 3:21, just Jesus being baptized.

 

No one is listening (Ps 81:11-81:16)

“‘But my people did not listen to my voice.

Israel would not submit to me.

So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts.

They followed their own counsels.

O that my people would listen to me!

O that Israel would walk in my ways!

Then I would quickly subdue their enemies.

I would turn my hand against their foes.

Those who hate Yahweh

Would cringe toward him.

Their fate would last forever.

I would feed you with the finest of the wheat.

I would feed you with honey from the rock.

I would satisfy you.’”

This psalm ends with the Temple prophet speaking in the name of Yahweh. They would not listen to the voice of Yahweh. Israel did not submit to Yahweh because of their stubborn hearts. They followed their own counsel. They would not listen to Yahweh and walk in his ways. If they had, Yahweh could have quickly subdued their enemies. He would have turned against their foes. Those who hated Yahweh would cringe. Yahweh would have feed them with the finest wheat and honey that would have satisfied them.