The people of this generation (Lk 7:31-7:31)

“To what then

Will I compare

The people

Of this generation?

What are they like?”

 

Τίνι οὖν ὁμοιώσω τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης, καὶ τίνι εἰσὶν ὅμοιοι;

 

Luke indicated that Jesus asked the crowd to what then would he compare the men or the people of this generation (Τίνι οὖν ὁμοιώσω τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τῆς γενεᾶς ταύτης)?  What are they like (καὶ τίνι εἰσὶν ὅμοιοι)?  Luke took on the present generation also, just like Matthew, chapter 11:16, indicating a possible common Q source.  Jesus wanted to know to what he should compare this generation to?  What do you think about this present contemporary generation of people?

Pilate released Barabbas (Mk 15:15-15:15)

“Thus,

Pilate wished

To satisfy the crowd.

He released Barabbas

For them.

After flogging Jesus,

He handed him over

To be crucified.”

 

ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος βουλόμενος τῷ ὄχλῳ τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι ἀπέλυσεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Βαραββᾶν, καὶ παρέδωκεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν φραγελλώσας ἵνα σταυρωθῇ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:26.  In Luke, chapter 23:24-25, Pilate rendered a verdict, while in John, chapter 19:16, Pilate also handed him over to be crucified.  Mark said Pilate wished to satisfy the crowd (ὁ δὲ Πειλᾶτος βουλόμενος τῷ ὄχλῳ τὸ ἱκανὸν ποιῆσαι).  Thus, he released Barabbas to them (ἀπέλυσεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Βαραββᾶν).  After flogging or whipping Jesus (καὶ παρέδωκεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν φραγελλώσας), he handed him over to be crucified (ἵνα σταυρωθῇ).  Crucifixion was a common Roman death penalty.  This whipping, flogging, or scourging was also the normal way of preparing a person for death.  Those condemned to die were then nailed to planks in order to die of asphyxiation on a cross planted in the ground, so that they were not able to breath.  It sounds gruesome, but that is the way they did things back in the day.

Insist on Barabbas (Mk 15:11-15:11)

“But the chief priests

Stirred up the crowd

To have him

Release Barabbas

For them instead.”

 

οἱ δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς ἀνέσεισαν τὸν ὄχλον ἵνα μᾶλλον τὸν Βαραββᾶν ἀπολύσῃ αὐτοῖς.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 27:20, but nothing like this in Luke.  Mark said that the chief priests alone (οἱ δὲ ἀρχιερεῖς), not the elders or presbyters as in Matthew, stirred up or excited the crowd (ἀνέσεισαν τὸν ὄχλον) to have Pilate release Barabbas for them instead of Jesus (μᾶλλον τὸν Βαραββᾶν ἀπολύσῃ αὐτοῖς).  The chief priests were the main villains here in Mark.  Do you always choose Jesus?

Jesus touches the person (Mk 7:33-7:33)

“Jesus took him aside,

Away from the crowd,

In private.

He put his fingers

Into his ears.

He spat.

He touched his tongue.”

 

καὶ ἀπολαβόμενος αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου κατ’ ἰδίαν ἔβαλεν τοὺς δακτύλους αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰ ὦτα αὐτοῦ καὶ πτύσας ἥψατο τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ,

 

This physical healing is unique to Mark.  Jesus took the deaf and mute person aside in private, away from the crowd there (καὶ ἀπολαβόμενος αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου κατ’ ἰδίαν).  Jesus then put his fingers into his ears (ἔβαλεν τοὺς δακτύλους αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰ ὦτα αὐτοῦ).  Jesus spit and then touched his tongue (καὶ πτύσας ἥψατο τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ).  Jesus had just cured a young girl without any physical contact, but this healing was quite physical and dramatic.

The boats leave (Mk 4:36-4:36)

“Leaving the crowd,

They took him

With them

In the boat,

Just as he was.

Other boats

Were with him.”

 

καὶ ἀφέντες τὸν ὄχλον παραλαμβάνουσιν αὐτὸν ὡς ἦν ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ, καὶ ἄλλα πλοῖα ἦν μετ’ αὐτοῦ.

 

This short episode of everyone getting into the boats can be found somewhat similar in Matthew, chapter 8:23, and Luke, chapter 8:22.  Mark said that Jesus and his disciples left or dismissed the crowds (καὶ ἀφέντες τὸν ὄχλον).  Then his disciples and Jesus got into a couple of boats.  They took him, as he was in a boat (παραλαμβάνουσιν αὐτὸν ὡς ἦν ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ), but there were other boats there also. (καὶ ἄλλα πλοῖα ἦν μετ’ αὐτοῦ).  This was a small group of boats crossing the Sea of Galilee.

They open the roof for the paralytic (Mk 2:4-2:4)

“They were not able

To bring him

To Jesus

Because of the crowd.

Thus,

They removed

The roof above him.

After having dug

Through it,

They let down

The paralytic

With the pallet mat

On which

He was lying.”

 

καὶ μὴ δυνάμενοι προσενέγκαι αὐτῷ διὰ τὸν ὄχλον ἀπεστέγασαν τὴν στέγην ὅπου ἦν, καὶ ἐξορύξαντες χαλῶσι τὸν κράβαττον ὅπου ὁ παραλυτικὸς κατέκειτο.

 

Matthew, chapter 9:2, had no mention of this roof opening.  Luke, chapter 5:19, on the other hand, has the same story as Mark here.  Mark said that they were not able to bring this paralytic to Jesus (καὶ μὴ δυνάμενοι προσενέγκαι αὐτῷ) because of the crowd there (διὰ τὸν ὄχλον).  Thus, they removed the roof of this house (ἀπεστέγασαν τὴν στέγην ὅπου ἦν).  They dug through or gouged out a hole in the roof (καὶ ἐξορύξαντες), so that they let down the paralyzed man lying on the pallet mat (χαλῶσι τὸν κράβαττον ὅπου ὁ παραλυτικὸς κατέκειτο), through the hole in the roof.  This large crowd of people would have this paralyzed man on a bed come through the roof in the middle of the house.  What a sight!

The value of the baptism of John (Mt 21:25-21:26)

“‘Did the baptism of John

Come from heaven

Or was it of human origin?’

They argued

With one another.

‘If we say,

‘From heaven.’

He will say to us,

‘Why then did you not

Believe him?’

But if we say.

‘From human origins,’

We are afraid

Of the crowd.

All regard John

As a prophet.’”

 

τὸ βάπτισμα τὸ Ἰωάνου πόθεν ἦν; ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἢ ἐξ ἀνθρώπων; οἱ δὲ διελογίζοντο ἐν ἑαυτοῖς λέγοντες· Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, ἐρεῖ ἡμῖν Διὰ τί οὖν οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ;

ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων, φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον· φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον.

 

This question about John the Baptist and the value of his baptism can be found in Mark, chapter 11:30-32, and Luke, chapter 20:4-6, almost word for word.  Jesus asked this one question.  Did the baptism of John the Baptist come from heaven or was it of human man-made origin (τὸ βάπτισμα τὸ Ἰωάνου πόθεν ἦν; ἐξ οὐρανοῦ ἢ ἐξ ἀνθρώπων)?  Then the high priests and the elders argued with each other (οἱ δὲ διελογίζοντο ἐν ἑαυτοῖς).  If they said that his baptism was from heaven (λέγοντες· Ἐὰν εἴπωμεν Ἐξ οὐρανοῦ,), then Jesus would ask them why they had not believed in John the Baptist (ἐρεῖ ἡμῖν Διὰ τί οὖν οὐκ ἐπιστεύσατε αὐτῷ)?  If they said that this baptism of John was from human origins (ἐὰν δὲ εἴπωμεν Ἐξ ἀνθρώπων), they were afraid of the crowds of people (φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον) since they all regarded John the Baptist as a prophet (φοβούμεθα τὸν ὄχλον).  They were stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The disciples could not heal the epileptic (Mt 17:15-17:16)

“The kneeling man said.

‘Lord!

Have mercy on my son!

He is an epileptic!

He suffers terribly!

He often falls

Into the fire.

He often falls

Into the water.

I brought him

To your disciples.

But they were not able

To cure him.’”

 

καὶ λέγων Κύριε, ἐλέησόν μου τὸν υἱόν, ὅτι σεληνιάζεται καὶ κακῶς ἔχει· πολλάκις γὰρ πίπτει εἰς τὸ πῦρ καὶ πολλάκις εἰς τὸ ὕδωρ.

καὶ προσήνεγκα αὐτὸν τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου, καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνήθησαν αὐτὸν θεραπεῦσαι.

 

The story of the man with the incurable epileptic son can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:17-18, Luke, chapter 9:38-40, and here in Matthew, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Here it is the kneeling man, and not someone from the crowd who yells out to Jesus.  He addressed Jesus as the Lord (καὶ λέγων Κύριε).  He wanted Jesus to have mercy on his son (ἐλέησόν μου τὸν υἱόν), who was an epileptic (ὅτι σεληνιάζεται).  Epileptics were often considered to be possessed by the devil.  Even today, we are still unsure of the exact cause of epilepsy seizures.  This man’s son suffered very badly (καὶ κακῶς ἔχει).  He often fell into a fire (πολλάκις γὰρ πίπτει εἰς τὸ πῦρ) and into water (καὶ πολλάκις εἰς τὸ ὕδωρ).  Then there is the kicker that he had asked Jesus’s disciples to cure his son (καὶ προσήνεγκα αὐτὸν τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου), but they were not able to cure him (καὶ οὐκ ἠδυνήθησαν αὐτὸν θεραπεῦσαι).  Why were the disciples of Jesus unable to cure his son?

The man knelt before Jesus (Mt 17:14-17:14)

“When they came

To the crowd,

A man came to Jesus.

He knelt before him.”

 

Καὶ ἐλθόντων πρὸς τὸν ὄχλον προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ ἄνθρωπος γονυπετῶν αὐτὸν

 

As Jesus left the small group of his disciples, they went towards the crowds (Καὶ ἐλθόντων πρὸς τὸν ὄχλον).  A man then approached Jesus and knelt before him (προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ ἄνθρωπος γονυπετῶν αὐτὸν).  There is something similar to this in Luke, chapter 9:37-38.  However, only Matthew has the man kneel in front of Jesus.

Herod was afraid of John the Baptist (Mt 14:4-14:5)

“John had been telling him.

‘It is not lawful

For you to have her.’

Though Herod

Wanted to put him

To death,

He feared the crowd,

Because they regarded John

As a prophet.”

 

ἔλεγεν γὰρ ὁ Ἰωάνης αὐτῷ Οὐκ ἔξεστίν σοι ἔχειν αὐτήν.

καὶ θέλων αὐτὸν ἀποκτεῖναι ἐφοβήθη τὸν ὄχλον, ὅτι ὡς προφήτην αὐτὸν εἶχον.

 

This mention of Herod being afraid of John the Baptist can be found only in Mark, chapter 6:18-20, and here.  John had called out Herod for his marriage with Herodias, his brother’s recently divorced wife.  John had told Herod (ἔλεγεν γὰρ ὁ Ἰωάνης αὐτῷ) that It was not lawful for him to have her as his wife (Οὐκ ἔξεστίν σοι ἔχειν αὐτήν).  Even though Herod wanted to put John to death (καὶ θέλων αὐτὸν ἀποκτεῖναι), he was afraid of the large crowds of people (ἐφοβήθη τὸν ὄχλον), because they regarded John as a prophet (ὅτι ὡς προφήτην αὐτὸν εἶχον).