The good news (Lk 16:16-16:16)

“The law

And the prophets

Were in effect

Until John came.

Since then,

The good news

Of the kingdom of God

Is proclaimed.

Everyone

Tries to enter it

By force.”

 

Ὁ νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται μέχρι Ἰωάνου· ἀπὸ τότε ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ εὐαγγελίζεται καὶ πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that the law (Ὁ νόμος) and the prophets (καὶ οἱ προφῆται) were in effect until John came (μέχρι Ἰωάνου).  Since then (ἀπὸ τότε), the good news has been proclaimed (εὐαγγελίζεται) about the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Everyone tries to enter it by force (καὶ πᾶς εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται).  The law and the prophets were the two major parts of the Hebrew Bible.  John the Baptist represented some sort of turning point.  His preaching about the kingdom of God meant that the days of the law and prophets were numbered.  There is something similar, but in a different context with a different meaning in Matthew, chapter 11:12-13.  There Jesus talked about the days of John the Baptist until the present (ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ ἕως ἄρτι), not a very long time.  The kingdom of heaven has suffered violence (ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται).  What kind of violence was taking place in the heavenly kingdom?  Did this mean that so many people were violently seeking the kingdom of heaven that John was talking about?  Is this some kind of violence within the kingdom of heaven?  Were these violent people trying to get into the kingdom of heaven?  The next sentence seems to support this idea that violent people wanted to seize the kingdom of heaven by force (καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν).  In Matthew, chapter 17:11-13, Jesus compared John to Elijah.  Like here in Luke, all the prophets and the law had prophesied until the time of John the Baptist (πάντες γὰρ οἱ προφῆται καὶ ὁ νόμος ἕως Ἰωάνου ἐπροφήτευσαν).  Then Jesus said that John was the new Elijah (αὐτός ἐστιν Ἡλείας), the one who was to come (ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι).  However, they had to be willing to accept this (καὶ εἰ θέλετε δέξασθαι).  Anyone who had ears to hear should listen to this (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω).  Clearly, something fundamental changed with John the Baptist and his proclamation of the kingdom of God.  How were John and Jesus connected in their preaching?  What is your opinion about John the Baptist?

Preaching and healing (Lk 9:6-9:6)

“The twelve apostles

Departed.

They passed

Through the villages,

Bringing the good news

And curing diseases

Everywhere.”

 

ἐξερχόμενοι δὲ διήρχοντο κατὰ τὰς κώμας εὐαγγελιζόμενοι καὶ θεραπεύοντες πανταχοῦ.

 

Luke said that the 12 apostles departed (ἐξερχόμενοι δὲ).  They passed through the various villages (διήρχοντο κατὰ τὰς κώμας), bringing the good news or evangelizing (εὐαγγελιζόμενοι) and curing diseases everywhere (καὶ θεραπεύοντες πανταχοῦ).  There was something similar in Mark, chapter 6:13, but not in Matthew, where these 12 apostles carried out the dual functions of casting out demons and healing people.  Mark always put a lot of emphasis on casting out these demons.  But they also anointed many sick with oil that cured them, since oil was considered a basic healing element in the ancient world.  Mark never mentioned preaching, but it was part of Jesus’ message, as indicated by Luke.  What do you think the role of a Christian missionary should be?

The Holy Spirit and Jesus (Lk 3:22-3:22)

“The Holy Spirit

Descended upon Jesus

In a bodily form,

Like a dove.”

 

καὶ καταβῆναι τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον σωματικῷ εἴδει ὡς περιστερὰν ἐπ’ αὐτόν,

 

The role of the Holy Spirit after the baptism of Jesus was very important. Matthew, chapter 3:16, Mark, chapter 1:10, and John, chapter 1:32, are almost the same as here.  Luke said that the Holy Spirit (τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον) descended (καὶ καταβῆναι) upon Jesus (ἐπ’ αὐτόν) in a bodily form (σωματικῷ εἴδει), like a dove (ὡς περιστερὰν).  John did not mention a dove, but he said that John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descend and remain on Jesus.  In Matthew and Mark, Jesus saw the Holy Spirit as a dove descend on him.  This all took place after the baptism itself.   Just as the dove after the great flood in Genesis, chapter 8:8-12, heralded a new age, so too Jesus would preach the good news in this new age.  With his prophetic vocation, Jesus had the power to begin his public ministry of healing and exorcising.  The later concept of the anointing of Jesus with the Spirit referred to this action of the dove, after his baptism in the Jordan River.  There was a clear distinction between the baptism of Jesus himself, and the specific dove bestowal of the Spirit that followed.  Despite the fact that there was no indication of any real anointing in any of these baptismal accounts of Jesus, the coming of the Spirit, in the form of a dove, was considered a symbolic anointing of Jesus within the Judaic prophetic line.  This incident functioned as the basis for an understanding of Jesus’ metaphorical anointing to become “the anointed one,” “Christ.”  This symbolic metaphorical anointing action gathered many of the Hebrew bible strands of a messianic king, a sacerdotal high priest, a servant, and a prophet into this one event.  Within this process, the messianic time began with a pre-figuration of what was going to take place at the later Pentecost event, when the fullness of the Spirit came to all the followers of Jesus.

Preach the gospel (Mk 16:15-16:15)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Go into all the world!

Proclaim the good news!

Preach the gospel

To the whole creation!’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πορευθέντες εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἅπαντα κηρύξατε τὸ εὐαγγέλιον πάσῃ τῇ κτίσει.

 

This addition of Mark, is like the addition in Matthew, chapter 28:19-20.  This text indicated that Jesus told the 11 apostles (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that they were to go into the whole world (Πορευθέντες εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἅπαντα).  They were to proclaim the good news or preach the gospel (κηρύξατε τὸ εὐαγγέλιον) to all creation (πάσῃ τῇ κτίσει).  Obviously, the mission of the early Christians was to preach the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ, to everyone.

Jesus taught in the Galilee synagogues (Mk 1:39-1:39)

“Jesus went

Throughout Galilee.

He proclaimed

The message

In their synagogues.

He was casting out

Demons.”

 

καὶ ἦλθεν κηρύσσων εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς αὐτῶν εἰς ὅλην τὴν Γαλιλαίαν καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐκβάλλων.

 

This was another of Mark’s summary statements.  Luke, chapter 4:44, has something similar, but Luke said that it was Judea and not Galilee.  Besides, Luke did not mention anything about casting out demons.  Matthew, chapter 4:23, is also somewhat similar.  Matthew implied that Jesus went all over Galilee, as he was teaching in their synagogues.  He said that Jesus was proclaiming the good news or the gospel about the kingdom, without saying whether it was the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, or even an earthly kingdom.  Here Mark said that Jesus went throughout the whole of Galilee (καὶ ἦλθεν…εἰς ὅλην τὴν Γαλιλαίαν), as he proclaimed or preached this unspecified message in their synagogues (κηρύσσων εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς αὐτῶν).  The synagogue was a new developing Jewish gathering place that might mean a group or assembly of Jewish people rather than a building, since some places may not have been able to afford a building.  At the same time, Jesus was casting out demons (καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ἐκβάλλων).  Mark seemed very intent on emphasizing that Jesus was casting out demons along with his undefined preaching.  He gave the impression that this took place all over Galilee without mentioning any particular place.

Jesus came to preach (Mk 1:38-1:38)

“Jesus said

To them.

‘Let us go on

To the neighboring towns.

Thus,

I may proclaim

The message there also.

That is what

I came out to do.’”

 

καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Ἄγωμεν ἀλλαχοῦ εἰς τὰς ἐχομένας κωμοπόλεις, ἵνα καὶ ἐκεῖ κηρύξω· εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ ἐξῆλθον.

 

There is something similar in Luke, chapter 4:43, but Luke explicitly said that the message was “to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God”.  Here Mark simple recounts that Jesus said to his followers (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) that they were going to go another way (Ἄγωμεν ἀλλαχοῦ) into the nearby neighboring towns or villages (εἰς τὰς ἐχομένας κωμοπόλεις).  Thus, he could proclaim or preach (ἐκεῖ κηρύξω) this unspecified message there, since that is what he came to do (εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ ἐξῆλθον).  It was time to get to work.  They had to move on to the other nearby towns and villages to proclaim the message of Jesus.

 

The Spirit descended on Jesus (Mk 1:10-1:10)

“Just as he was coming up

Out of the water,

He saw

The heavens

Torn apart.

The Spirit

Descended upon him

Like a dove.”

 

καὶ εὐθὺς ἀναβαίνων ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος εἶδεν σχιζομένους τοὺς οὐρανοὺς καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα ὡς περιστερὰν καταβαῖνον εἰς αὐτόν·

 

The role of the Holy Spirit at the baptism of Jesus was very important.  The four gospel stories show what happened to Jesus after he had been baptized Matthew, chapter 3:16, Luke, chapter 3:21-22, and John, chapter 1:32, are almost word for word the same as here.  John did not mention a dove, while Luke called it a bodily form of a dove.  Mark said that just as Jesus was coming up out of the water (καὶ εὐθὺς ἀναβαίνων ἐκ τοῦ ὕδατος), he saw the heavens torn apart (εἶδεν σχιζομένους τοὺς οὐρανοὺς).  The Spirit descended upon him like a dove (καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα ὡς περιστερὰν καταβαῖνον εἰς αὐτόν).  The heavens opened up or broke open was a theme found among the prophets Isaiah, chapter 63:19, and Ezekiel, chapter 1:1.  As Jesus came up from the water, not during the baptism itself, the Holy Spirit, as a dove, came to stay on Jesus.  Just as the dove after the great flood in Genesis, chapter 8:8-12, heralded a new age, so too Jesus would preach the good news in this new age.  With his prophetic vocation, Jesus was anointed with power to begin his public ministry of healing and exorcising.  The later concept of the anointing of Jesus with the Spirit referred to this action of the dove, after his baptism in the Jordan.  There was a clear distinction between the baptism of Jesus himself, and the specific dove bestowal of the Spirit that followed.  Despite the fact that there was no indication of any real anointing in any of these baptismal accounts of Jesus, the coming of the Spirit, in the form of a dove, was considered a symbolic anointing of Jesus within the Judaic prophetic line.  This incident functioned as the basis for an understanding of Jesus’ metaphorical anointing as “the anointed one,” “Christ.”  This symbolic metaphorical anointing action gathered many of the Hebrew bible strands of a messianic king, a sacerdotal high priest, a servant, and a prophet into this one event.   Within this process, the messianic time began with a pre-figuration of what was going to take place at the later Pentecost event, when the fullness of the Spirit came to all the followers of Jesus.