“The Son of Man came
Not to be served,
But to serve.
He gives his life
As a ransom for many.”
ὥσπερ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἦλθεν διακονηθῆναι, ἀλλὰ διακονῆσαι καὶ δοῦναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν.
There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 10:45, word for word. Jesus said that the Son of Man came not to be served (ὥσπερ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἦλθεν διακονηθῆναι), but to serve others (ἀλλὰ διακονῆσαι). He was going to give his life (καὶ δοῦναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ) as a ransom for many people (λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν). This ransom or freeing of slaves was a divine liberation from the slavery of sin. Quite often in the Old Testament, Yahweh said that he was going to save his people, the Israelites. Jesus was going to pay the penalty of death. Thus, he ransomed a great number of people from their sins or their debts.
“Then Jesus answered her.
Great is your faith!
Let it be done for you
As you wish!’
Was healed instantly.”
τότε ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῇ Ὦ γύναι, μεγάλη σου ἡ πίστις· γενηθήτω σοι ὡς θέλεις. καὶ ἰάθη ἡ θυγάτηρ αὐτῆς ἀπὸ τῆς ὥρας ἐκείνης.
A similar but expanded response can be found in Mark, chapter 7:29-30. Jesus recognized her great faith, that was so important in this gospel of Matthew. Jesus answered her (τότε ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς). He said to her that she was a woman of great faith (εἶπεν αὐτῇ Ὦ γύναι, μεγάλη σου ἡ πίστις). He was going to grant her wish (γενηθήτω σοι ὡς θέλεις). Her daughter was healed instantly, at that very hour (καὶ ἰάθη ἡ θυγάτηρ αὐτῆς ἀπὸ τῆς ὥρας ἐκείνης). Despite the reluctance of Jesus to go outside of the Israelites, the great faith of this woman persuaded him to cure her daughter of her demonic illness.
“But Jesus answered.
‘It is written.
One does not live
By bread alone,
But by every word
From the mouth of God.’”
ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Γέγραπται Οὐκ ἐπ’ ἄρτῳ μόνῳ ζήσεται ὁ ἄνθρωπος, ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ παντὶ ῥήματι ἐκπορευομένῳ διὰ στόματος Θεοῦ.
Once again, Matthew and Luke, chapter 4:4 shared a common source, perhaps Q. Jesus responded (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς) to the tempter by citing a written phrase (εἶπεν Γέγραπται) from Deuteronomy, chapter 8:3, about the fact that man does not live by bread alone (Οὐκ ἐπ’ ἄρτῳ μόνῳ ζήσεται ὁ ἄνθρωπος,), but rather man lives by all the words that come from the mouth of God (ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ παντὶ ῥήματι ἐκπορευομένῳ διὰ στόματος Θεοῦ.). Actually, the Book of Deuteronomy was the most quoted book of the Torah in these New Testament writings. In Deuteronomy, Yahweh had reminded the Israelites that they had been tested for 40 years with hunger. Then came this saying about not living by bread alone, but by every word that came from the mouth of Yahweh. The mouth of God was an anthropomorphism for Yahweh’s law.
And forty nights.
He was hungry.”
καὶ νηστεύσας ἡμέρας τεσσεράκοντα καὶ τεσσεράκοντα νύκτας ὕστερον ἐπείνασεν.
Once again, this text is like Luke, chapter 4:2, word for word, indicating a common source, perhaps the Q source. There was a symbolism in this fast of 40 days (ἡμέρας τεσσεράκοντα) and 40 nights (καὶ τεσσεράκοντα νύκτας). Fasting (νηστεύσας) was a common Hebrew exercise, while 40 was the same number of years that the Israelites were in the wilderness during the Exodus. This was a real fast, not one that ended when the sun went down, since it included a night fast also. Jesus was really hungry of famished (ἐπείνασεν) at the end of this time. (ὕστερον).
The Old Testament Hebrew Bible raises questions of interpretation for a Christian. To what extent am I, as a Christian, projecting Christian views and values on the children of Israel, the people of Israel, the Israelites? There are various terms that translators have used to describe the slowing forming group of Yahweh believers over three thousand years ago. Yahweh was their God and intervened in their lives. They had a special relationship or covenant with him. The Hebrew sacred writings were incorporated into Christianity because all the early Christians were Jewish. However, the writings were not originally meant for Christians, but for the Hebrew people. Can I really fully understand the Semitic thought process of three thousand years ago? Will I be able to appreciate how important the promised land of Israel was to Jewish people? What role did the exodus from Egypt, the Temple, the exile, and the various codes play in their lives? I can try, but I doubt if I will be fully successful.