Jesus goes to Capernaum (Lk 7:1-7:1)

“After Jesus

Had finished

All his sayings,

In the hearing

Of the people,

He entered Capernaum.”

 

Ἐπειδὴ ἐπλήρωσεν πάντα τὰ ῥήματα αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰς ἀκοὰς τοῦ λαοῦ, εἰσῆλθεν εἰς Καφαρναούμ.

 

Luke said that after Jesus had finished all his sayings (Ἐπειδὴ ἐπλήρωσεν πάντα τὰ ῥήματα αὐτοῦ), which the people had heard (εἰς τὰς ἀκοὰς τοῦ λαοῦ), he entered Capernaum (εἰσῆλθεν εἰς Καφαρναούμ).  This story can be found in Matthew, chapter 8:5, and John, chapter 4:46, with of course some variations.  Jesus once again returned to Capernaum, his headquarters in Galilee, implying that Jesus had finished with his sermon on the plain or the mountain.  Mark, chapter 2:1, indicated that Capernaum was now his new home.  Capernaum was a fishing village of about 1,500 people, on the northwest seaside corner of the Sea of Galilee.  According to Matthew, chapter 4:13, Capernaum had become Jesus’ own home town.  Have you always lived in the same hometown?

Jesus at prayer (Lk 6:12-6:12)

“Now during those days,

Jesus went out

To the mountain

To pray.

He spent the night

In prayer

To God.”

 

Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις ἐξελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι, καὶ ἦν διανυκτερεύων ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ τοῦ Θεοῦ.

 

Luke said that during those days (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις), Jesus went out to the mountain to pray (ἐξελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι).  He spent the night (καὶ ἦν διανυκτερεύων) in prayer to God (ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Mark, chapter 3:13, also said that Jesus went up a mountain, much like Moses.  Going to a mountain was a way of getting closer to God in the high heavens.  Here Luke emphasized the prayerful solitary preparation of Jesus before his decision about the 12 apostles, as he spent the night praying to God.  This also brings up the separation between Jesus and God,the Father.

Jesus went to pray (Mk 6:46-6:46)

“After saying farewell,

To them,

He went up

On the mountain

To pray.”

 

καὶ ἀποταξάμενος αὐτοῖς ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι.

 

This incident about Jesus praying alone can also be found in Matthew, chapter 14:23.  After he had bid farewell to his disciples and the crowd (καὶ ἀποταξάμενος αὐτοῖς), Jesus went up the mountain (ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸ ὄρος) to pray (προσεύξασθαι).  Jesus wanted to be alone with his Father to pray.  It is not clear where this mountain was.

Jesus asks them to be silent (Mt 17:9-17:9)

“As they were coming down

The mountain,

Jesus instructed them.

‘Tell no one

This vision,

Until the Son of Man

Has been raised

From the dead.’”

 

Καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν ἐκ τοῦ ὄρους ἐνετείλατο αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγων Μηδενὶ εἴπητε τὸ ὅραμα ἕως οὗ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγερθῇ.

 

Once again, we are back at the messianic secret that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:9, Luke, chapter 9:36, and here in Matthew that is closer to Mark.  Jesus and his 3 disciples came down or descended from the mountain (Καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν ἐκ τοῦ ὄρους).  He commanded, instructed, or ordered them (νετείλατο αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγων) not to tell anyone about this spectacular vision (Μηδενὶ εἴπητε τὸ ὅραμα) until the Son of Man had been raised from the dead (ἕως οὗ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγερθῇ).  They would be free to speak about this after the death and resurrection of Jesus, but not before that turning point among the followers of Jesus.

The mountain near the Sea of Galilee (Mt 15:29-15:29)

“Jesus left that place.

He passed along

The Sea of Galilee.

He went up on the mountain,

Where he sat down.”

 

Καὶ μεταβὰς ἐκεῖθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἦλθεν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ ἀναβὰς εἰς τὸ ὄρος ἐκάθητο ἐκεῖ.

 

Mark, chapter 7:31, has a more detailed explanation of his travel from Sidon back to the Decapolis region of the Sea of Galilee.  Here Jesus simply left there (Καὶ μεταβὰς ἐκεῖθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς) and returned to the Sea of Galilee (ἦλθεν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας).  Then he went up a mountain and sat down (καὶ ἀναβὰς εἰς τὸ ὄρος ἐκάθητο ἐκεῖ), much like in chapter 14:23.  Was he going to pray here?

Jesus prays alone (Mt 14:23-14:23)

“After he had dismissed

The crowds,

Jesus went up the mountain

By himself

To pray.

When evening came,

He was there alone.”

 

καὶ ἀπολύσας τοὺς ὄχλους ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος κατ’ ἰδίαν προσεύξασθαι. ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης μόνος ἦν ἐκεῖ.

 

This incident about Jesus praying alone can be found in Mark, chapter 6:46.  After he had dismissed the crowds (καὶ ἀπολύσας τοὺς ὄχλους), Jesus went up the mountain (ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος) by himself (κατ’ ἰδίαν) to pray (προσεύξασθαι).  Thus, when evening came (ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης), he was there alone (μόνος ἦν ἐκεῖ).  Jesus wanted to be alone with his Father to pray.  It is not clear where this mountain was.

Great crowds (Mt 8:1-8:1)

“When Jesus came down

From the mountain,

Great crowds

Followed him.”

 

Καταβάντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί.

 

Just like Moses went up the mountain and came down from the mountain, Jesus went up the mountain in chapter 5:1, now he came down from the mountain (Καταβάντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους).  Matthew continued to use the phrase great crowds followed or accompanied him (ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί).  A new phase in the life of Jesus was to begin.  The time of mountain teaching had ended.  It was time for action.