Do not be afraid! (Lk 21:9-21:9)

“When you hear

Of wars

And insurrections,

Do not be terrified!

These things

Must take place first.

The end will not

Follow immediately.”

 

ὅταν δὲ ἀκούσητε πολέμους καὶ ἀκαταστασίας, μὴ πτοηθῆτε· δεῖ γὰρ ταῦτα γενέσθαι πρῶτον, ἀλλ’ οὐκ εὐθέως τὸ τέλος.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that when they heard of wars (ὅταν δὲ ἀκούσητε πολέμους) and insurrections (καὶ ἀκαταστασίας), they were not to be terrified (μὴ πτοηθῆτε).  These things had to take place first (δεῖ γὰρ ταῦτα γενέσθαι πρῶτον).  The end times would not follow immediately (ἀλλ’ οὐκ εὐθέως τὸ τέλος).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:6, and in Mark, chapter 13:7, almost word for word.  Mark indicated that Jesus told them that they would hear about wars or battles (ὅταν δὲ ἀκούσητε πολέμους) and rumors of wars (καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων).  They should not be alarmed (μὴ θροεῖσθε).  This was going to happen (δεῖ γενέσθαι).  However, this was not the end, since it was not near (ἀλλ’ οὔπω τὸ τέλος).  Matthew indicated that Jesus told them that they would hear about wars or battles (μελλήσετε δὲ ἀκούειν πολέμους) and rumors of wars (καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων).  They should not be alarmed (ὁρᾶτε, μὴ θροεῖσθε).  This was going to happen (δεῖ γὰρ γενέσθαι), but the end was not near (ἀλλ’ οὔπω ἐστὶν τὸ τέλος).  The idea of strife and rumors of violence and wars was a great prophetic theme with Isaiah, chapter 19:1-4, and Jeremiah, chapter 51:46.  Do you often hear about wars and revolutions?

The apostles kept silent (Lk 9:36-9:36)

“When the voice

Had spoken,

Jesus was found alone.

They kept silent.

In those days

They told no one

Any of the things

They had seen.”

 

καὶ ἐν τῷ γενέσθαι τὴν φωνὴν εὑρέθη Ἰησοῦς μόνος. καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐσίγησαν καὶ οὐδενὶ ἀπήγγειλαν ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις οὐδὲν ὧν ἑώρακαν.

 

Luke said that when the voice had spoken (καὶ ἐν τῷ γενέσθαι τὴν φωνὴν), Jesus was found alone (εὑρέθη Ἰησοῦς μόνος).  Peter, James, and John kept silent (καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐσίγησαν).  In those days (ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις), they told no one (καὶ οὐδενὶ ἀπήγγειλαν) about any of the things that they had seen (οὐδὲν ὧν ἑώρακαν).  The other two synoptics said that Jesus told them to be silent, but here they did so on their own.  This leaving of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:8-9, Mark, chapter 9:8-9, and here in LukeMatthew was more elaborate than the others, but there are some differences in all 3 accounts.  Mark said that suddenly or unexpectedly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone, but only Jesus himself alone with them.  Once again, we are back at the messianic secret where Mark was closer to Matthew.  He said that Jesus and his 3 disciples came down from the mountain.  Jesus admonished them not to tell anyone about what they had seen until the Son of Man had been raised from the dead.  Matthew said that when the disciples heard this voice from the cloud, they fell face down to the ground.  They were greatly terrified.  However, Jesus came to them and touched them.  Then he told them to get up and not be afraid.  When they looked up, they saw no one, but only Jesus himself alone.  Where were Moses and Elijah?  Was this just a dream?  Matthew said that Jesus and his 3 disciples came down from the mountain.  Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone about this spectacular vision until the Son of Man had been raised from the dead.  They would be free to speak about this after the death and resurrection of Jesus, but not before that turning point among the followers of Jesus.  Have you ever had a secret for a limited time?

The cloud overshadows them (Lk 9:34-9:34)

“While he was saying this,

A cloud came.

It overshadowed them.

They were terrified,

As they entered

The cloud.”

 

ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ λέγοντος ἐγένετο νεφέλη καὶ ἐπεσκίαζεν αὐτούς· ἐφοβήθησαν δὲ ἐν τῷ εἰσελθεῖν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν νεφέλην.

 

Luke said that while Peter was saying this (ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ λέγοντος), a cloud came (ἐγένετο νεφέλη) and overshadowed them (καὶ ἐπεσκίαζεν αὐτούς).  They were terrified (ἐφοβήθησαν), as they entered the cloud (δὲ ἐν τῷ εἰσελθεῖν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν νεφέλην).  This cloud can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:5-6, Mark, chapter 9:6-7, and here in LukeMark said that a cloud overshadowed them.  Mark also said that Peter was speechless, since he did not know what to say, as he, John, and James, were greatly terrified.  Matthew, like Luke, said that suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, while Peter was still speaking.  He also mentioned that the 3 apostles were afraid.  Would you be afraid if a cloud came down and enveloped you?

The angel appears to the shepherds (Lk 2:9-2:9)

“Then an angel

Of the Lord

Appeared before them.

The glory

Of the Lord

Shone around them.

They were terrified.”

 

καὶ ἄγγελος Κυρίου ἐπέστη αὐτοῖς καὶ δόξα Κυρίου περιέλαμψεν αὐτούς, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν.

 

Luke once again introduced an angel, but an unnamed angel, into the scene as an angelic messenger from God.  Luke said that an angel of the Lord (καὶ ἄγγελος Κυρίου) appeared or stood before them (ἐπέστη αὐτοῖς).  The glory of the Lord (καὶ δόξα Κυρίου) shone around them (περιέλαμψεν αὐτούς).  However, the shepherds were terrified with a great fear (καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν), and rightfully so.  Out of nowhere, this angel with a bright light was there before them.  This glory of the Lord could be understood as perhaps the presence of God himself.

The disciples were afraid (Mk 6:49-6:50)

“But when the disciples

Saw him

Walking on the sea,

They thought

It was a ghost.

They cried out.

They all saw him.

They were terrified.

But immediately,

He spoke

To them.

He said.

‘Take heart!

It is I!

Have no fear!’”

 

οἱ δὲ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα ἔδοξαν ὅτι φάντασμά ἐστιν, καὶ ἀνέκραξαν

πάντες γὰρ αὐτὸν εἶδαν καὶ ἐταράχθησαν. ὁ δὲ εὐθὺς ἐλάλησεν μετ’ αὐτῶν, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Θαρσεῖτε, ἐγώ εἰμι, μὴ φοβεῖσθε.

 

This incident about Jesus walking on water can be found in Matthew, chapter 14:26-27, and John, chapter 6:19-20.  In all three stories, the disciples were afraid and the response of Jesus was the same, reassuring.  Mark said that when the disciples saw him walking on the sea (οἱ δὲ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα), they thought Jesus was a ghost or an apparition (ἔδοξαν ὅτι φάντασμά ἐστιν).  They cried or shouted out (καὶ ἀνέκραξαν).  They all saw him (πάντες γὰρ αὐτὸν εἶδαν) and were terrified (καὶ ἐταράχθησαν).  But immediately, Jesus spoke to them to reassure them (ὁ δὲ εὐθὺς ἐλάλησεν μετ’ αὐτῶν).  He told them to have courage and take heart (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Θαρσεῖτε).  He said that he was not a ghost, but Jesus himself (ἐγώ εἰμι), so that they did not have to be afraid.  They had nothing to fear (μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  Jesus reassured his disciples, while he walked on the waters of the sea.  Once again, the disciples seemed weak or not understanding what was going on.

The adoration of the three apostles (Mt 17:6-17:8)

“When the disciples heard this,

They fell to the ground,

Face down.

They were overcome

With fear.

But Jesus came.

He touched them.

Saying.

‘Get up!

Do not be afraid!’

When they looked up,

They saw no one

Except Jesus himself alone.”

 

καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα.

καὶ προσῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἁψάμενος αὐτῶν εἶπεν Ἐγέρθητε καὶ μὴ φοβεῖσθε.

πάραντες δὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν οὐδένα εἶδον εἰ μὴ αὐτὸν Ἰησοῦν μόνον.

 

This adoration of the apostles can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:8, Luke, chapter 9:36, and here in Matthew, which is more elaborate, even though there are other differences in all 3 accounts.  When the disciples heard (καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ) this voice from the cloud say that Jesus was the beloved Son, in whom the Father was well pleased, they fell face down to the ground (ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν).  They were greatly terrified (ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν).  However, Jesus came (καὶ προσῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς) to them.  He touched them (καὶ ἁψάμενος αὐτῶν).  Then he told them to get up (εἶπεν Ἐγέρθητε) and not be afraid (μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  When they looked up or lifted up their eyes (πάραντες δὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν), they saw no one (οὐδένα εἶδον), but only Jesus himself alone (εἰ μὴ αὐτὸν Ἰησοῦν μόνον).  Where were Moses and Elijah?  Was this just a dream?

Jesus walks on water (Mt 14:25-14:27)

“Early in the morning,

Jesus came

Walking toward them,

On the sea.

But when the disciples saw him

Walking on the sea,

They were terrified.

They said.

‘It is a ghost!’

They cried out in fear!

But immediately,

Jesus spoke to them.

He said.

‘Have courage!

It is I!

Do not be afraid!’”

 

τετάρτῃ δὲ φυλακῇ τῆς νυκτὸς ἦλθεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν.

οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα ἐταράχθησαν λέγοντες ὅτι Φάντασμά ἐστιν, καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ φόβου ἔκραξαν.

εὐθὺς δὲ ἐλάλησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς αὐτοῖς λέγων Θαρσεῖτε, ἐγώ εἰμι· μὴ φοβεῖσθε.

 

This incident about Jesus walking on water can be found in Mark, chapter 6:48-50, and John, chapter 6:19-20, but without some of the details here.  However, in all three stories, the disciples are afraid and the response of Jesus is the same.  Early in the morning or the 4th watch of the night (τετάρτῃ δὲ φυλακῇ τῆς νυκτὸς), Jesus came walking towards them on the sea (ἦλθεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν).  When the disciples saw him walking on the sea (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης περιπατοῦντα), they were terrified, troubled, or disturbed (ἐταράχθησαν).  They said that it was a ghost or an apparition (λέγοντες ὅτι Φάντασμά ἐστιν).  They cried out in fear (καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ φόβου ἔκραξαν).  But immediately, Jesus reassured them (εὐθὺς δὲ ἐλάλησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς αὐτοῖς).  He told them to have courage and take heart (λέγων Θαρσεῖτε).  He said that he was not a ghost but Jesus himself (ἐγώ εἰμι), so that they did not have to be afraid.  They had nothing to fear (μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  Jesus reassured his disciples, while he walked on the waters of the sea.