They treated Jesus like a robber (Mk 14:48-14:48)

“Then Jesus

Said to them.

‘Have you come out

With swords

And clubs

To arrest me

As though

I was a bandit?’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ὡς ἐπὶ λῃστὴν ἐξήλθατε μετὰ μαχαιρῶν καὶ ξύλων συλλαβεῖν με·

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:55.  In Luke, chapter 22:52-53, there is something similar, while John, chapter 18, does not have anything like this.  Mark indicated that Jesus finally responded to those arresting him (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς).  He wanted to know why they had come out with swords and clubs to capture or arrest him (ἐξήλθατε μετὰ μαχαιρῶν καὶ ξύλων συλλαβεῖν με), as though he was a bandit or robber (Ὡς ἐπὶ λῃστὴν)?  Why was it that he had suddenly become like a robber or bandit, when he had been teaching openly in many synagogues?

 

Judas kisses Jesus (Mk 14:45-14:45)

“When Judas came,

He went up

To Jesus,

At once.

He said.

‘Rabbi’

Then he kissed him.”

 

καὶ ἐλθὼν εὐθὺς προσελθὼν αὐτῷ λέγει Ῥαββεί, καὶ κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν·

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:49.  In Luke, chapter 22:47, there is an abbreviated form of only Judas kissing Jesus, while in John, chapter 18, there is no Judas kiss at all.  Mark said that Judas suddenly came up to Jesus (καὶ ἐλθὼν εὐθὺς προσελθὼν αὐτῷ).  Then Judas called Jesus “Rabbi (λέγει Ῥαββεί)!”  Then he kissed Jesus (καὶ κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν).  Notice that both Matthew and Mark used the Jewish title of Rabbi.  The kiss would have been the normal greeting, since it was certainly used by Christ’s followers, as indicated in the Pauline letters.  Yet it might also have been a practical way for others to recognize Jesus in the dark.

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.

 

Only Jesus was there (Mk 9:8-9:8)

“Suddenly,

When they looked around,

They saw no one

With them,

But only Jesus.’”

 

καὶ ἐξάπινα περιβλεψάμενοι οὐκέτι οὐδένα εἶδον ἀλλὰ τὸν Ἰησοῦν μόνον μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν.

 

This leaving of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:8, Luke, chapter 9:36, and here in Mark.  Matthew was more elaborate than the others, so that there are some differences in all 3 accounts.  Suddenly or unexpectedly (καὶ ἐξάπινα) when they looked around (περιβλεψάμενοι), they no longer saw anyone (οὐκέτι οὐδένα εἶδον), but only Jesus himself alone with them (ἀλλὰ τὸν Ἰησοῦν μόνον μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν).  Where were Moses and Elijah?  Was this just a dream?

The earthquake (Mt 28:2-28:2)

“Suddenly,

There was a great earthquake.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ σεισμὸς ἐγένετο μέγας·

 

Matthew is the only one who has any activity at the tomb.  In the 3 other gospel stories, the woman or women found that the tomb was empty.  Thus, Matthew uniquely said that suddenly there was a great seismic earthquake (καὶ ἰδοὺ σεισμὸς ἐγένετο μέγας).  Matthew also uniquely had an earthquake at the death of Jesus, chapter 27:54.  Now he had another earthquake at the resurrection of Jesus.  These earthquakes symbolized that something important was happening.

The voice from the cloud (Mt 17:5-17:5)

“While Peter

Was still speaking,

Suddenly,

A bright cloud

Overshadowed them.

A voice from the cloud said.

‘This is my beloved Son.

I am well pleased

With him.

Listen to him!’

 

ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος, ἰδοὺ νεφέλη φωτεινὴ ἐπεσκίασεν αὐτούς, καὶ ἰδοὺ φωνὴ ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης λέγουσα Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν ᾧ εὐδόκησα· ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ.

 

The voice from the cloud can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:7, Luke, chapter 9:34-35, and here in Matthew, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  The wording of the voice from the clouds sounds almost exactly like the voice from heaven in chapter 3:17, after the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.  Instead of heaven there, it is a bright cloud here.  This voice did not address Jesus personally.  However, the idea of a heavenly voice had a very strong tradition in the Jewish writings of the Hebrew Bible, especially among the prophets.  The Baptism of Jesus, like the transfiguration here, has become the starting point for any theological reflection about early Christian Christology.  While Peter was still speaking (ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος), suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them (ἰδοὺ νεφέλη φωτεινὴ ἐπεσκίασεν αὐτούς).  This voice from the cloud (καὶ ἰδοὺ φωνὴ ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης) said that Jesus was his most beloved Son (λέγουσα Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός), in whom he was well pleased (ἐν ᾧ εὐδόκησα).  However, here there is the further admonition to listen to him (ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ).  Matthew has a clear connection between the Baptism of Jesus and his transfiguration.  Both times, the Father as the voice from heaven or the clouds pronounced that Jesus was his beloved Son in whom he was well pleased

Moses and Elijah appear (Mt 17:3-17:3)

“Suddenly,

There appeared to them

Moses

And Elijah.

They were talking

With Jesus.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς Μωϋσῆς καὶ Ἡλείας συνλαλοῦντες μετ’ αὐτοῦ.

 

This appearance of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:4, Luke, chapter 9:30, and here in Matthew, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Suddenly (καὶ ἰδοὺ), there appeared to the 3 disciples (ὤφθη αὐτοῖς) Moses (Μωϋσῆς) and Elijah (καὶ Ἡλείας), who were talking with Jesus (συνλαλοῦντες μετ’ αὐτοῦ).  How did they know what Moses and Elijah looked like?  They had never seen them before.  They were nearly 1,000 years removed from their existence.  Jesus, however, recognized and talked with them, so that is why they might have realized who they were.  Thus, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and at the same time the fulfillment of the prophets with Elijah, one of the earliest prophets from the 9th century BCE.

Jesus is transfigured before the three apostles (Mt 17:2-17:2)

“Jesus was transfigured

Before them.

His face shone

Like the sun.

His clothes

Became dazzling white.”

 

καὶ μετεμορφώθη ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν, καὶ ἔλαμψεν τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ὡς ὁ ἥλιος, τὰ δὲ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο λευκὰ ὡς τὸ φῶς.

 

This transfiguration can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:2-3, Luke, chapter 9:29, and here in Matthew, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Jesus was transfigured in front of the 3 apostles (καὶ μετεμορφώθη ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν).  There was a metamorphism, as the appearance of Jesus changed right before their very eyes.  His face was shining like the sun (καὶ ἔλαμψεν τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ὡς ὁ ἥλιος,), just like what happened to Moses, in Exodus, chapter 34:35.  There the face of Moses was so bright that he had to put a veil on after talking to Yahweh, before he could talk to Aaron, his brother.  Jesus’ clothes or garments became a dazzling white, like a bright light or white snow (τὰ δὲ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο λευκὰ ὡς τὸ φῶς).  Suddenly, the human Jesus seemed more brightly divine.  White and light were good, while black and darkness were bad.

The future of Israel and Judah (Hos 1:10-1:11)

“Yet the number

Of the people of Israel

Shall be

Like the sand of the sea,

Which can be neither measured

Nor numbered.

In the place

Where it was said

To them.

‘You are not my people.’

It shall be said to them.

‘Children of the living God.’

The people of Judah

With the people of Israel

Shall be gathered together.

They shall appoint

For themselves

One head.

They shall take possession

Of the land.

Great shall be

The day of Jezreel.”

For some reason, these two verses are not in the Bible of Jerusalem. However, they are in the Oxford Bible, so I will comment on them. There seems to be an abrupt change of tone. Instead of not being his people, suddenly Israel would be as numerous as the sands of the sea, a common theme. They would once again be known as the children of the living God. On top of that, they would once again join with Judah, having one leader, a theme that was prevalent during the captivity. Further, the idea that they should take possession of the land was a strong captivity idea. Once again, there will be a great day at Jezreel, after the doom and gloom that had preceded this comment.

The trial of the elders (Dan 13:50-13:51)

“So,

All the people

Hurried back.

The rest of the elders

Said to Daniel.

‘Come!

Sit among us!

Inform us!

God has given you

The standing

Of an elder.

Daniel said to them.

‘Separate them far

From each other.

I will examine them.’”

All the people hurried back to the house of Joakim and Susanna. The rest of the elders came up to Daniel. They asked him to sit among them as an elder, since they thought that God had given him standing as an elder. There had been no indication about other elders until this point. Suddenly, Daniel became important, as he told them to separate the two elder judges who had testified against Susanna. He was going to examine each one of them separately.