Jesus asks questions about John (Mt 11:7-11:8)

“As the disciples of John

Went away,

Jesus began to speak

To the crowds

About John.

‘What did you go out

Into the wilderness

To look at?

Was he a reed

Shaken by the wind?’

Why then did you go out

To see him?

Was he a man

Dressed in fine clothes?

Look!

Those who wear fine clothes

Are in royal palaces.’”

 

Τούτων δὲ πορευομένων ἤρξατο ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγειν τοῖς ὄχλοις περὶ Ἰωάνου Τί ἐξήλθατε εἰς τὴν ἔρημον θεάσασθαι; κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον;

ἀλλὰ τί ἐξήλθατε ἰδεῖν; ἄνθρωπον ἐν μαλακοῖς ἠμφιεσμένον; ἰδοὺ οἱ τὰ μαλακὰ φοροῦντες ἐν τοῖς οἴκοις τῶν βασιλέων.

 

These question sayings are word for word like Luke, chapter 7:24-25, indicating a possible Q source.  As these disciples of John were leaving on their journey (Τούτων δὲ πορευομένων), Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John (ἤρξατο ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγειν τοῖς ὄχλοις περὶ Ἰωάνου).  He asked them some questions.  Why did they go out into the wilderness to see John (Τί ἐξήλθατε εἰς τὴν ἔρημον θεάσασθαι)?  Was he a reed shaking in the wind (κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον)?  Why did they go out to see him (ἀλλὰ τί ἐξήλθατε ἰδεῖν)?  Was he a man dressed in fine clothes or soft robes (ἄνθρωπον ἐν μαλακοῖς ἠμφιεσμένον)?  Or course not, since fine clothes or soft robes can only be found in royal palaces (ἰδοὺ οἱ τὰ μαλακὰ φοροῦντες ἐν τοῖς οἴκοις τῶν βασιλέων).

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No fasting with the bridegroom present (Mt 9:15-9:15)

“Jesus said to them.

‘The wedding guests

Cannot mourn

As long as

The bridegroom

Is with them.

The days will come,

When the bridegroom

Is taken away

From them,

Then they will fast.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Μὴ δύνανται οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ νυμφῶνος πενθεῖν ἐφ’ ὅσον μετ’ αὐτῶν ἐστιν ὁ νυμφίος; ἐλεύσονται δὲ ἡμέραι ὅταν ἀπαρθῇ ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ὁ νυμφίος, καὶ τότε νηστεύσουσιν.

 

This bridegroom story is almost the same as in Mark, chapter 2:19-20, and Luke, chapter 5:34-35.  Jesus spoke directly in response to the disciples of John (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  He compared himself to a bridegroom (ὁ νυμφίος).  The wedding guests or the sons of the bride chamber were not able to mourn (Μὴ δύνανται οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ νυμφῶνος πενθεῖν), while the bridegroom, Jesus, was with them (ἐφ’ ὅσον μετ’ αὐτῶν ἐστιν ὁ νυμφίος).  However, when the days came when the bridegroom of Jesus was taken away from them (ἐλεύσονται δὲ ἡμέραι ὅταν ἀπαρθῇ ἀπ’ αὐτῶν ὁ νυμφίος,), after his death, then they would fast (καὶ τότε νηστεύσουσιν).  Fasting would come when Jesus was gone.

The disciples of John (Mt 9:14-9:14)

“Then the disciples

Of John

Came to Jesus.

Saying.

‘Why do we,

As well as the Pharisees,

Fast?

But your disciples

Do not fast.’”

 

Τότε προσέρχονται αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάνου λέγοντες Διὰ τί ἡμεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι νηστεύομεν, οἱ δὲ μαθηταί σου οὐ νηστεύουσιν;

 

This response of Jesus is almost the same as in Mark, chapter 2:18, and Luke, chapter 5:33.  The disciples of John the Baptist showed up here as in Mark and Luke, wanting to know why the disciples of Jesus did not fast.  These disciples of John came to Jesus (Τότε προσέρχονται αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάνου) since John was in jail.  They seemed to be on the side of the Pharisees, and not followers of Jesus, as they wondered why they and the Pharisees were often fasting or abstaining from food (λέγοντες Διὰ τί ἡμεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι νηστεύομεν), while the disciples of Jesus were not fasting (οἱ δὲ μαθηταί σου οὐ νηστεύουσιν).