The signs (Lk 21:25-21:25)

“There will be signs

In the sun,

The moon,

And the stars.

On the earth,

There will be

Anxious distress

Among the nations

With the roaring noise

Of the sea

And the swelling waves.”

 

Καὶ ἔσονται σημεῖα ἐν ἡλίῳ καὶ σελήνῃ καὶ ἄστροις, καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς συνοχὴ ἐθνῶν ἐν ἀπορίᾳ ἤχους θαλάσσης καὶ σάλου,

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that there would be signs (Καὶ ἔσονται σημεῖα) in the sun (ἐν ἡλίῳ), in the moon (αὶ σελήνῃ), and in the stars (καὶ ἄστροις).  On the earth (καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς), there would be anxious distress among the gentile nations (συνοχὴ ἐθνῶν ἐν ἀπορίᾳ) because of the roaring noise of the sea (ἤχους θαλάσσης) and the swelling waves (καὶ σάλου).  This was a unique use of the term ἀπορίᾳ that means perplexity, anxiety, or doubt, not found elsewhere in the Greek biblical literature.  This Jesus saying is similar to Matthew, chapter 24:29, that is actually closer to Mark, chapter 13:24-25.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that in those days (Ἀλλὰ ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις), after the sufferings (μετὰ τὴν θλῖψιν), there would be a cosmic upheaval.  The sun would be darkened (ὁ ἥλιος σκοτισθήσεται).  The moon would not give its light (καὶ ἡ σελήνη οὐ δώσει τὸ φέγγος αὐτῆς).  The assumption was that the moon had its own source of light, not merely a reflection of the sun.  The stars would fall from the skies (καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες ἔσονται ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πίπτοντες).  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that immediately after the sufferings mentioned earlier in those days (Εὐθέως δὲ μετὰ τὴν θλῖψιν τῶν ἡμερῶν ἐκείνων), there would be a cosmic upheaval.  The sun would be darkened (ὁ ἥλιος σκοτισθήσεται).  The moon would not give its light (καὶ ἡ σελήνη οὐ δώσει τὸ φέγγος αὐτῆς).  The stars would fall from the skies (καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες πεσοῦνται ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  This is fully in line with the great Israelite prophetic tradition of the Day of Yahweh, like Ezekiel, chapter 32:7, Joel, chapter 2:10, Amos, chapter 8:9, and Zephaniah, chapter 1:15.  Luke did not have the details that were in Mark and Matthew.  What kind of cosmic upheaval do you expect at the end times?

Jesus’ face changes (Lk 9:29-9:29)

“While Jesus

Was praying,

The appearance

Of his face

Changed.

His clothes

Became dazzling white.”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ προσεύχεσθαι αὐτὸν τὸ εἶδος τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἕτερον καὶ ὁ ἱματισμὸς αὐτοῦ λευκὸς ἐξαστράπτων.

 

Luke said that while Jesus was praying (καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ προσεύχεσθαι αὐτὸν), the appearance of his face changed or altered (τὸ εἶδος τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἕτερον).  Also, his clothes became dazzling white (καὶ ὁ ἱματισμὸς αὐτοῦ λευκὸς ἐξαστράπτων).  This description of the face and clothing of Jesus can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:2, Mark, chapter 9:3, and here in Luke, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Mark said that Jesus was transfigured in front of the 3 apostles.  There was a metamorphosis, as the appearance of Jesus changed right before their very eyes.  There was no mention of the face of Jesus changing, as in Matthew and Luke.  However, Mark indicated that Jesus’ clothes or garments became a dazzling white, so white that not even any cleaner on earth could bleach them any whiter.  Matthew also said that Jesus was transfigured in front of the 3 apostles.  He said that Jesus’ face was shining like the sun, 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 also became a dazzling white, like a bright light or white snow.  Suddenly, the human Jesus seemed more brightly divine.  White and light were good, while black and darkness were bad.  What is the whitest white that you have seen?

The seeds on the rock (Lk 8:6-8:6)

“Some seeds fell

On a rock.

As they grew up,

They withered away,

Because of no moisture.”

 

καὶ ἕτερον κατέπεσεν ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν, καὶ φυὲν ἐξηράνθη διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν ἰκμάδα.

 

This sower parable about the seeds on rocky ground can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:5, Mark, chapter 4:5, and Luke here, with Matthew closer to Mark, almost word for word.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that some seeds fell on a rock (καὶ ἕτερον κατέπεσεν ἐπὶ τὴν πέτραν).  As these seeds grew and sprung up (καὶ φυὲν), they withered away (ἐξηράνθη), because they had no moisture (διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν ἰκμάδα).  Matthew and Mark had a more elaborate description about these unsuccessful seeds.  They said that this second group of seeds fell on rocky ground that did not have much soil.  Thus, the seeds sprang up quickly, even though they did not have much soil depth.  However, they were scorched when the sun rose and withered them up, because they did not have good solid roots.  Do you have good roots?

The healings (Lk 4:40-4:40)

“As the sun

Was setting,

All those who had

Any person

Who was sick

With various kinds

Of diseases,

Brought them

To Jesus.

He laid his hands

On each of them.

He cured them.”

 

Δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου ἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλαις ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν· ὁ δὲ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιτιθεὶς ἐθεράπευεν αὐτούς.

 

Luke said that as the sun was setting (Δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου), all those who had any person who was sick with various kinds of diseases (ἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλαις) brought them to Jesus. (ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν).  This would not have been the Sabbath, because the sun had set on the Sabbath.  Jesus laid his hands on each of them (ὁ δὲ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιτιθεὶς) and so he cured them (ἐθεράπευεν αὐτούς).  Luke concentrated on the sick people, emphasized healing.  There are similar generic statements about healing sick and chasing out demons in Mark, chapter 1:32-33, and Matthew, chapter 8:16.  Matthew emphasized the casting out of demons.  Jesus cast out these demons with merely a word.  At the same time, he also healed all the sick people around there, without indicating how this was done.  Apparently, during biblical times, there were a lot of people who were possessed by the devil.  Mark was the only one to mention that the whole city gathered at his door.  Mark said that they brought to him all who had a sickness or were possessed with demons.  Jesus was also a daring faith healer, since many saw the connection between both sickness and demonic evil spirit possession.

They went to the tomb on the first day of the week (Mk 16:2-16:2)

“Very early

On the first day

Of the week,

When the sun

Had risen,

They went

To the tomb.”

 

καὶ λίαν πρωῒ τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων ἔρχονται ἐπὶ τὸ μνῆμα, ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου.

 

All 4 gospel stories. Matthew, chapter 28:1, Luke, chapter 24:1, John, chapter 20:1, and here in Mark have this visit to the tomb take place in the early morning of the first day of the week, Sunday.  Interesting enough the same Greek word is used for the day Sabbath and the week “σαββάτων.”  Thus, this would have been the 3rd day since the death of Jesus on Friday.  Mark said that very early on the first day of the week (καὶ λίαν πρωῒ τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων) when the sun had risen (ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου), these 3 women went to the tomb (ἔρχονται ἐπὶ τὸ μνῆμα).

The seeds on rocky ground (Mk 4:5-4:6)

“Other seeds fell

On rocky ground.

They did not have much soil.

They sprang up quickly,

Since they had no depth

Of soil.

When the sun rose

They were scorched.

Since they had no roots,

They withered away.”

 

καὶ ἄλλο ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὸ πετρῶδες ὅπου οὐκ εἶχεν γῆν πολλήν, καὶ εὐθὺς ἐξανέτειλεν διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν βάθος γῆς·

καὶ ὅτε ἀνέτειλεν ὁ ἥλιος ἐκαυματίσθη, καὶ διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν ῥίζαν ἐξηράνθη.

 

This sower parable about the seeds on rocky ground can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:5-6, and Luke, chapter 8:6, with Matthew closer to Mark, almost word for word.  The second group of seeds fell on rocky ground (καὶ ἄλλο ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὸ πετρῶδες).  They did not have much soil or good ground (ὅπου οὐκ εἶχεν γῆν πολλήν).  They sprang up quickly, even though they did not have much soil depth (καὶ εὐθέως ἐξανέτειλεν διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν βάθος γῆς).  However, they were scorched (ἐκαυματίσθη) when the sun rose (καὶ ὅτε ἀνέτειλεν ὁ ἥλιος).  These seeds withered away because they did not have good roots (καὶ διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν ῥίζαν ἐξηράνθη).

The darkness in the skies (Mt 24:29-24:29)

“Immediately

After the sufferings

Of those days,

The sun

Will be darkened.

The moon

Will not give its light.

The stars

Will fall

From heaven.

The powers

Of the heavens

Will be shaken.”

 

Εὐθέως δὲ μετὰ τὴν θλῖψιν τῶν ἡμερῶν ἐκείνων ὁ ἥλιος σκοτισθήσεται, καὶ ἡ σελήνη οὐ δώσει τὸ φέγγος αὐτῆς, καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες πεσοῦνται ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται.

 

This is exactly the same, almost word for word, in Mark, chapter 13:24-25, with a vague reference to this in Luke, chapter 21:25.  Jesus said that immediately after the sufferings mentioned earlier in those days (Εὐθέως δὲ μετὰ τὴν θλῖψιν τῶν ἡμερῶν ἐκείνων), there would be a cosmic upheaval.  The sun would be darkened (ὁ ἥλιος σκοτισθήσεται).  The moon would not give its light (καὶ ἡ σελήνη οὐ δώσει τὸ φέγγος αὐτῆς).  The stars would fall from the skies (καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες πεσοῦνται ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  The powers of the heavens would be shaken or stirred up (καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται) in this time of complete darkness, during this celestial disturbance.  This is fully in line with the great Israelite prophetic tradition of the Day of Yahweh, like Ezekiel, chapter 32:7, Joel, chapter 2:10, Amos, chapter 8:9, and Zephaniah, chapter 1:15