Bear testimony (Lk 21:13-21:13)

“This will give you

An opportunity

To testify.”

 

ἀποβήσεται ὑμῖν εἰς μαρτύριον.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this persecution would give them an opportunity (ἀποβήσεται ὑμῖν) to testify as a witness or a martyr (εἰς μαρτύριον).  This verse is somewhat similar to Mark, chapter 13:10, with a hint of this in Matthew, chapter 24:14.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that the good news of the gospel (τὸ εὐαγγέλιον) must first be proclaimed (πρῶτον δεῖ κηρυχθῆναι) to all the gentile nations (καὶ εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη).  That would be a difficult task, certainly putting the end times at a further distance.  This mission to the gentile nations was a trademark of the Gospel of Mark with its emphasis on the gentile non-Jewish Christians.  Matthew had the same idea in chapter 10:22, and also in chapter 24:14, where Jesus said that this gospel, this good news of the kingdom (τοῦτο τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας) would be preached (καὶ κηρυχθήσεται) throughout the whole inhabited world (ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ οἰκουμένῃ), as a witness or testimony to all the gentile nations (εἰς μαρτύριον πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν).  Then the end would come (καὶ τότε ἥξει τὸ τέλος).  Matthew seemed to set a precondition before the coming of the end times that the gospel would be preached throughout the whole known world.  Luke was more restrained here simply saying that there was an opportunity to be a witness or martyr.  Would you be a Christian martyr?

Why did Jesus not answer? (Mk 14:60-14:60)

“Then the high priest

Stood up

Before them.

He asked Jesus.

‘Have you no answer

To what they testify

Against you?’”

 

καὶ ἀναστὰς ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς εἰς μέσον ἐπηρώτησεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν λέγων Οὐκ ἀποκρίνῃ οὐδέν; τί οὗτοί σου καταμαρτυροῦσιν;

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:62.  There is nothing like this in Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 18.  Mark said that the high priest stood up or rose up (καὶ ἀναστὰς ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς) before them or in the middle of them (εἰς μέσον).  He then questioned Jesus (ἐπηρώτησεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν λέγων) why he had not answered (Οὐκ ἀποκρίνῃ οὐδέν) to what these men were testifying against him (τί οὗτοί σου καταμαρτυροῦσιν).  Apparently, this was the first time that the high priest had spoken directly to Jesus.

The high priest speaks (Mt 26:62-26:62)

“The high priest

Stood up.

He said.

‘Have you

No answer?

What is it

That these men

Testify against you?’”

 

καὶ ἀναστὰς ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Οὐδὲν ἀποκρίνῃ, τί οὗτοί σου καταμαρτυροῦσιν;

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:60.  There is nothing like this in Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 18.  Matthew and Mark said that the high priest stood up or rose up (καὶ ἀναστὰς ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς).  He, assuming it was Caiaphas, then asked Jesus (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) if he had any answer (Οὐδὲν ἀποκρίνῃ) to what these men were testifying against him (τί οὗτοί σου καταμαρτυροῦσιν).  Apparently, this was the first time that the high priest Caiaphas spoke directly to Jesus.

You are like your ancestors (Mt 23:31-23:32)

“You testify

Against yourselves.

You are descendants

Of those

Who murdered

The prophets.

Fill up,

Then,

The measure

Of your ancestors!”

 

ὥστε μαρτυρεῖτε ἑαυτοῖς ὅτι υἱοί ἐστε τῶν φονευσάντων τοὺς προφήτας

καὶ ὑμεῖς πληρώσατε τὸ μέτρον τῶν πατέρων ὑμῶν.

 

There is something similar in Luke, chapter 11:48.  The Pharisees and Scribes testified or witnessed against themselves (ὥστε μαρτυρεῖτε ἑαυτοῖς), since they admitted that they were the descendants or sons of those who murdered the prophets (ὅτι υἱοί ἐστε τῶν φονευσάντων τοὺς προφήτας).  Jesus then told them to fill up or complete the work with the measuring rod of their ancestors (καὶ ὑμεῖς πληρώσατε τὸ μέτρον τῶν πατέρων ὑμῶν).   Thus, they have the same attitude as their ancestors.  However, there is very little evidence of Jewish prophets being killed.

The future destruction of Israel (Am 3:13-3:15)

“‘Hear!

Testify

Against the house of Jacob!’

Says Yahweh God!

The God of hosts!

‘On the day

That I punish Israel

For its transgressions,

I will punish

The altars of Bethel.

The horns of the altar

Shall be cut off.

They shall fall

To the ground.

I will tear down

The winter house,

As well as the summer house.

The houses of ivory

Shall perish.

The great houses

Shall come to an end.’

Says Yahweh.”

Amos has this oracle of Yahweh, the God of many hosts or heavenly armies, about the future destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel. Yahweh wanted them to hear and testify against the house of Jacob. On the day that he was going to punish them, he was going to destroy the altars at Bethel, the holy shrine, with its altar horns. He also was going to tear down the many great houses in Israel, including the winter and summer homes of the officials of the northern kingdom, even the ivory houses.

The failure of Ephraim (Hos 5:5-5:7)

“Israel’s pride

Testifies against him.

Ephraim stumbles

In his guilt.

Judah also shall stumble

With them.

With their flocks,

With their herds,

They shall go

To seek Yahweh.

But they will not find him,

He has withdrawn

From them.

They have dealt faithlessly

With Yahweh.

They have borne

Illegitimate children.

Now the new moon

Shall devour them

With their fields.”

Israel’s pride would testify against them. Ephraim would stumble with guilt. But Judah would also stumble with them. They would go with their flocks and herds seeking Yahweh, but they would not find him. Yahweh has withdrawn from them, because they did not treat Yahweh faithfully. They, thus, bore illegitimate children, so that the new moon festivals would devour them with their fields.

The accusation against Susanna (Dan 13:34-13:35)

“Then the two elders

Stood up

Before the people.

They laid their hands

On her head.

Through her tears,

Susanna looked up

Toward heaven.

Her heart trusted

In the Lord.”

These two old judges laid their hands on the head of Susanna before this assembly of people, indicating that they were going to testify against her. She was weeping, but Susanna looked up to heaven, because she trusted in the Lord.