‘This is the Christ,
But some said.
‘Is the Christ,
ἄλλοι ἔλεγον Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Χριστός· οἱ δὲ ἔλεγον Μὴ
γὰρ ἐκ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ὁ Χριστὸς ἔρχεται;
uniquely indicated that others (ἄλλοι) in this Jerusalem crowd in the Temple said
(ἔλεγον) that Jesus was the Christ (Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Χριστός), the Messiah. However, there were some others who asked (οἱ
δὲ ἔλεγον) how could this Christ, Messiah, come (ὁ Χριστὸς ἔρχεται) from
Galilee (Μὴ γὰρ ἐκ τῆς Γαλιλαίας)? There
was a whole tradition that the Hebrew Messiah would be from the line of David,
in Judea, not someone from northern Israel in Galilee. However, John indicated that some in
this crowd were willing to accept Jesus as the Christ Messiah, more than just a
mere prophet. Do you believe that Jesus was
and is the Christ, the anointed savior of the Israelites?
“Jesus answered them.
What you have seen
Receive their sight.
Are raised up.
Have good news
Brought to them.’”
καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πορευθέντες ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰωάνει ἃ εἴδετε καὶ ἠκούσατε· τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν, χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν, λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται, καὶ κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν, νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται, πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται·
Luke said that Jesus answered the disciples of John (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς). He told them to go tell John (Πορευθέντες ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰωάνει) what they had seen and heard (ἃ εἴδετε καὶ ἠκούσατε). The blind ones receive their sight (τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν). The lame walk (χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν). The lepers are cleansed (λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται). The deaf hear (καὶ κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν). The dead are raised up (νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται). The poor have good news brought to them (πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται). This is almost word for word like Matthew, chapter 11:4-5, indicating a possible Q source. Jesus responded or answered these disciples and their main question. He told them to report back to John after their journey what they had heard and seen. Then Jesus listed what he had been doing. The blind people have recovered their sight. The lame people were walking around. The lepers were cleansed. The deaf were able to hear. The dead were raised up. The poor and destitute people were getting good news brought to them. This is a very strong response, as if to say that he was the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed one, something that Jesus did not do often. This messianic expectation was based on Isaiah, chapter 35:4-6, when the savior, their God would come with a vengeance to make up for past problems. He would come to save them. Isaiah seems to indicate that there would be a reversal of fortune, a change in the ways that things happen. The blind would see. The deaf would hear. The lame would run. The mute people would speak. Have you had a change in your life?
“Jesus sternly ordered them
Not to make him known.”
καὶ πολλὰ ἐπετίμα αὐτοῖς ἵνα μὴ αὐτὸν φανερὸν ποιήσωσιν.
Mark said that Jesus strictly or sternly ordered, rebuked, chided, warned or admonished these unclean spirits (καὶ πολλὰ ἐπετίμα αὐτοῖς) that they should not make it known that he was the Son of God (ἵνα μὴ αὐτὸν φανερὸν ποιήσωσιν). This warning about the messianic secret can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels. Jesus, in some ironic way, did not want the people to know that he was the Messiah, the Christ, or the Son of God. Thus, the name “Jesus Christ” did not take hold until after his death and resurrection. Only these unclean spirits and a few elite followers of Jesus knew that he was the Christ messiah, the Son of God, much like a gnostic special knowledge. Somehow, Jesus had power over these unclean spirits.
Of the gospel
Of Jesus Christ,
The Son of God.”
Ἀρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ Υἱοῦ Θεοῦ.
When you compare the beginnings of the other gospels to Mark, you can see the differences. Matthew, chapter 1:1, called his account a book or account (Βίβλος) that starts with a genealogy, while Luke, chapter 1-4, talked about an orderly account for his friend Theophilus. John, chapter l:18, had his long logos prologue. Mark was the only one to call his work a gospel (τοῦ εὐαγγελίου), or more precisely, the beginning of a gospel (Ἀρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου). Just like in Genesis, chapter 1:1, this is the beginning (Ἀρχὴ) of something important, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news about Jesus Christ (τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ). Like Matthew, Mark called Jesus the Christ (Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ) or the Messiah right from the beginning. Jesus was the anointed one, the “Christ (Χριστοῦ).” This author clearly stated at the beginning of this book that it would be about Jesus the expected anointed Messiah, Christ. However, there is nothing about the genealogy or the birth of Jesus as in Matthew and Luke. Instead, like John, the emphasis was on the divine Jesus, the Son of God (Υἱοῦ Θεοῦ). Right from the beginning, Jesus is and was the Son of God.
“Then Jesus sternly instructed
Not to tell anyone
That he was the Christ.”
τότε ἐπετίμησεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἵνα μηδενὶ εἴπωσιν ὅτι αὐτός ἐστιν ὁ Χριστός.
This warning about the messianic secret can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 8:30, Luke, chapter 9:21, and here. However, this warning came right after the Peter’s response in Mark and Luke since they did not have the unique Matthew reward for Peter. Jesus, in some ironic way, did not want the people to know that he was the Messiah or the Christ. Thus, the name “Jesus Christ” did not take hold until after his death and resurrection. Then Jesus sternly ordered, instructed, or charged his disciples (τότε ἐπετίμησεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς) that they were not to tell anyone (ἵνα μηδενὶ εἴπωσιν) that he was the Christ (ὅτι αὐτός ἐστιν ὁ Χριστός) or the Israelite Messiah, just like he had done in chapter 8:4 and chapter 12:16. This messianic secret was even stronger in Mark. Only the elite followers of Jesus knew that he was the Christ messiah, much like a gnostic special knowledge.
“Simon Peter answered.
‘You are the Christ!
Of the living God.’
Jesus answered him.
‘Blessed are you!
Son of Jonah!
Flesh and blood
Has not revealed this
But my Father
ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Σίμων Πέτρος εἶπεν Σὺ εἶ ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ζῶντος.
ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μακάριος εἶ, Σίμων Βαριωνᾶ, ὅτι σὰρξ καὶ αἷμα οὐκ ἀπεκάλυψέν σοι ἀλλ’ ὁ Πατήρ μου ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.
The response of Peter can be found in all four gospels, Mark, chapter 8:29, Luke, chapter 9:20, and John, 6:69, but all slightly different. The name of Peter is sometimes just Peter. Are the Greek “Christ” and the Hebrew “Messiah” the same? Matthew is the only one who had Peter say the son of the living God. Matthew is also the only one that mentioned the special relationship that Peter had with his Father in heaven. Peter gave a strong positive response. Simon Peter replied (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ Σίμων Πέτρος) to the question of Jesus immediately. He said that Jesus was the Christ (εἶπεν Σὺ εἶ ὁ Χριστὸς) or the Messiah that they were expecting in Israel. Jesus was the son of the living God (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ζῶντος.), not just merely the son of God. Jesus then responded to Peter (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς). He said that Simon, the son on Jonah, was blessed (εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μακάριος εἶ, Σίμων Βαριωνᾶ), because flesh and blood or humans had not revealed this saying of his (ὅτι σὰρξ καὶ αἷμα οὐκ ἀπεκάλυψέν σοι), but Jesus’ heavenly Father (ἀλλ’ ὁ Πατήρ μου ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς) had done so. Peter had a special relationship with the Father in heaven. Peter, as the leader of this new group of Jesus followers, asserted this important belief about Jesus. For the first time, Jesus is called the Christ, the messiah. The only other mention of this was in the prologue with the expectation of a messiah and the question about John the Baptist on whether he was the messiah. Here Peter, in the name of the nascent Christian community, proclaimed that Jesus was the messiah, the Christ, the son of the living God. Matthew, more than any of the other gospel writers, emphasized the role of Peter as the leader of the early Christian community, the disciples, and the apostles of Jesus.
“Jesus answered them.
‘Go on your way!
What you hear!
What you see!
The blind receive their sight.
The lame people walk.
The lepers are cleansed.
The deaf hear.
The dead are raised up.
The poor have good news
Brought to them.
Blessed is anyone
Who takes no offense at me!’”
καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πορευθέντες ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰωάνει ἃ ἀκούετε καὶ βλέπετε·
τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν καὶ χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν, λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται καὶ κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν, καὶ νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται καὶ πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται·
καὶ μακάριός ἐστιν ὃς ἐὰν μὴ σκανδαλισθῇ ἐν ἐμοί.
This is word for word like Luke, chapter 7:22-23, indicating a possible Q source. Jesus responded or answered these disciples and their question (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς). He told them to report back after their journey to John (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πορευθέντες ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰωάνει) what they had heard and seen (ἃ ἀκούετε καὶ βλέπετε). Then Jesus listed what he had been doing. The blind recovered their sight (τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν). The lame people were walking around (καὶ χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν καὶ χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν). The lepers were cleansed (, λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται). The deaf were able to hear (καὶ κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν). The dead were raised up (καὶ νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται). The poor and destitute people were getting good news brought to them (καὶ πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται). The blessed, happy, and fortunate people were not scandalized, offended, or stumbled because of Jesus (καὶ μακάριός ἐστιν ὃς ἐὰν μὴ σκανδαλισθῇ ἐν ἐμοί). This is a very strong response, as if to say that he was the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed one, something that Jesus did not do often. The messianic expectation was based on Isaiah, chapter 35:4-6, when the savior, their God would come with a vengeance to make up for past problems. He would come to save them. Isaiah seems to indicate that there would be a reversal of fortune, a change in the ways that things happen. The blind would see. The deaf would hear. The lame would run. The mute people would speak.
About the works
Of the Christ.
He sent word
By his disciples.”
Ὁ δὲ Ἰωάνης ἀκούσας ἐν τῷ δεσμωτηρίῳ τὰ ἔργα τοῦ Χριστοῦ, πέμψας διὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ
Now we are back to the question of John the Baptist. Luke, chapter 7:18, has something similar. John the Baptist heard (Ὁ δὲ Ἰωάνης ἀκούσας) about the works or deeds of Jesus the Christ, the anointed one, the Messiah (τὰ ἔργα τοῦ Χριστοῦ), while he was in a prison (ἐν τῷ δεσμωτηρίῳ). Clearly John still had a number of disciples, despite his imprisonment. Thus, he sent a few of his disciples (πέμψας διὰ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ). Luke said that there were two, but there is no number here. John may have been in prison in Machaerus, about 5 miles east of the Dead Sea. Notice that this is the first time that Jesus is called the Christ (τοῦ Χριστοῦ).
“When King Herod heard this,
He was frightened.
All of Jerusalem
King Herod called together
All the chief priests,
As well as the scribes
Of the people.
He inquired of them
Where the Christ
Was to be born.”
ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἡρῴδης ἐταράχθη, καὶ πᾶσα Ἱεροσόλυμα μετ’ αὐτοῦ, καὶ συναγαγὼν πάντας τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ γραμματεῖς τοῦ λαοῦ ἐπυνθάνετο παρ’ αὐτῶν ποῦ ὁ Χριστὸς γεννᾶται.
When the old King Herod heard this (ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς Ἡρῴδης) from the magi, he was frightened, troubled, and annoyed (ἐταράχθη), since he did not have a new born son. He might have worried about his own sons, since his oldest son Archelaus would become the ethnarch of the tetrarchy of Judea, while Herod Antipas would become tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, when he died. In fact, the whole town of Jerusalem (πᾶσα Ἱεροσόλυμα μετ’ αὐτοῦ) was troubled also, because they had not heard anything about a new king. Thus, King Herod assembled all the chief priests and the scribes (συναγαγὼν πάντας τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ γραμματεῖς τοῦ λαοῦ) in Jerusalem to find out (ἐπυνθάνετο) where this new anointed king might have been born (αὐτῶν ποῦ ὁ Χριστὸς γεννᾶται). Interesting enough, Matthew has the new child called Χριστὸς, the anointed one. King Herod probably gathered the great Jewish Sanhedrin to discuss this matter. Herod himself was from Edom and not really a traditional Jew, but had converted to Judaism, so that his knowledge of Jewish traditions was weak.