“When they heard
Some in the crowd
‘This is really
Ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου οὖν ἀκούσαντες τῶν λόγων τούτων ἔλεγον
Οὗτός ἐστιν ἀληθῶς ὁ προφήτης·
uniquely said that when the people heard these words of Jesus (οὖν ἀκούσαντες
τῶν λόγων τούτων), some in the crowd (Ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου) said (ἔλεγον) that Jesus
was really a true prophet (Οὗτός ἐστιν ἀληθῶς ὁ προφήτης). In fact, this would have been a letdown from
the early Prologue in chapter 1, where Jesus was truly the Word with God. However, it was a recognition by the people
in the crowd in Jerusalem that Jesus was special as a true prophet. Do you believe that Jesus was a prophet or God?
“This is the one
It is written.
I am sending
Ahead of you.
He will prepare
οὗτός ἐστιν περὶ οὗ γέγραπται Ἰδοὺ ἀποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου πρὸ προσώπου σου, ὃς κατασκευάσει τὴν ὁδόν σου ἔμπροσθέν σου.
Luke indicated that Jesus saw a special role for John the Baptist. He said that John was the one about whom Malachi, the prophet, chapter 3:1, had written (οὗτός ἐστιν περὶ οὗ γέγραπται), without mentioning the prophet’s name. Malachi had said that he was sending his messenger ahead of him or before his face (δοὺ ἀποστέλλω τὸν ἄγγελόν μου πρὸ προσώπου σου) to prepare the way before him (ὃς κατασκευάσει τὴν ὁδόν σου ἔμπροσθέν σου). This Scripture written passage about the role of John was from the prophet Malachi, although not explicitly mentioned here. This saying about John the Baptist can be found word for word in Matthew, chapter 11:10. Thus, this may have been a Q source about John, like many of the other passages about John. Actually, Mark, chapter 1:2, had part of this saying as the beginning of his gospel when he introduced John. In Malachi, Yahweh was going to send his messenger or angel before him or his face to prepare the way for him. Originally, Yahweh would re-enter into his Temple, because the messenger of the delightful covenant had prepared things for him. There is no mention of the Temple here. John was clearly inferior to Jesus, since he was there to prepare the way for Jesus as his messenger, much like an angel of God. Who prepared the way to Jesus for you?
With good things.
He has sent
The rich away
πεινῶντας ἐνέπλησεν ἀγαθῶν καὶ πλουτοῦντας ἐξαπέστειλεν κενούς.
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:4, that praised Yahweh for her son the prophet Samuel. Luke had Mary elaborate on Hannah’s thought about how the mighty and the rich would stumble, but the low and the poor would succeed. Mary said that God had filled or satisfied the needy hungry people with good things (πεινῶντας ἐνέπλησεν ἀγαθῶν), while at the same time he had sent away (ἐξαπέστειλεν) the rich people (καὶ πλουτοῦντας) empty handed (κενούς.). God was going to reverse the human order of rich and poor as far as food was concerned. The rich would have nothing, but the poor would be satisfied.
“God has brought down
From their thrones.
He has lifted up
καθεῖλεν δυνάστας ἀπὸ θρόνων καὶ ὕψωσεν ταπεινούς
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:4, that praised Yahweh for her son, the prophet Samuel. Just like here, Hannah said that the mighty and the rich would stumble, but the lowly and the poor would succeed. Luke indicated that Mary said that God had brought down the powerful (καθεῖλεν δυνάστας) from their thrones (ἀπὸ θρόνων), while he has lifted up the lowly (καὶ ὕψωσεν ταπεινούς). There is almost an exact equivalency between Hannah and Mary. Mary had mentioned nothing about lowly people until now. Luke emphasized this theme of the poor or lowly as important throughout his gospel.
Has shown strength
With his arm.
He has scattered
The proud thinking
In their hearts.”
Ἐποίησεν κράτος ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ, διεσκόρπισεν ὑπερηφάνους διανοίᾳ καρδίας αὐτῶν·
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:3-4, that praised Yahweh for her son, Samuel the prophet. Hannah said that the mighty and the rich would stumble but the low and the poor would succeed. Here Luke indicated that Mary said that God had shown strength with his arm (Ἐποίησεν κράτος ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ). Thus, he has scattered the proud thinking in their hearts (διεσκόρπισεν ὑπερηφάνους διανοίᾳ καρδίας αὐτῶν). The power of God would scatter the proud people.
Is for those
Who fear him
καὶ τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ εἰς γενεὰς καὶ γενεὰς τοῖς φοβουμένοις αὐτόν.
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:1-10, that praised Yahweh for her son, the prophet Samuel. Luke indicated that Mary said that God’s mercy (καὶ τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ) was from generation to generation (εἰς γενεὰς καὶ γενεὰς) to those who feared him (τοῖς φοβουμένοις αὐτόν). Fear of the Lord was the first step towards seeking mercy from God, no matter when you lived.
“The Mighty One
Has done great things
Is his name.”
ὅτι ἐποίησέν μοι μεγάλα ὁ δυνατός. καὶ ἅγιον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ,
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:2-6, that praised Yahweh for the birth of her son, the prophet Samuel. Yahweh was the rock of Hannah’s knowledge. Luke indicated that Mary said that the Mighty One (ὁ δυνατός) had done great things for Mary (ὅτι ἐποίησέν μοι μεγάλα). Thus, Holy is his name (καὶ ἅγιον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ). Mary appreciated that the powerful holy God had gone great things for her.
“God had looked
On the lowliness
Of his slave.
From now on,
Will call me blessed!”
ὅτι ἐπέβλεψεν ἐπὶ τὴν ταπείνωσιν τῆς δούλης αὐτοῦ. ἰδοὺ γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν μακαριοῦσίν με πᾶσαι αἱ γενεαί·
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:1-10, that praised Yahweh for the birth of her son, Samuel the prophet. Mary’s lowliness was like Hannah’s misery. Luke had Mary say that God had looked (ὅτι ἐπέβλεψεν) on her lowliness or the humiliation of his slave (ἐπὶ τὴν ταπείνωσιν τῆς δούλης αὐτοῦ), Mary. However, from now on (ἰδοὺ γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν) all generations (πᾶσαι αἱ γενεαί) would count Mary blessed or happy (μακαριοῦσίν με). Thus, the phrase “Blessed Mary, Mother of Jesus!” By extension, as Jesus was the son of God, Mary became known as the Mother of God.
“They answered him.
‘John the Baptist!’
‘One of the prophets.’”
οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες ὅτι Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν, καὶ ἄλλοι Ἡλείαν, ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι εἷς τῶν προφητῶν.
This same response can be found in Matthew, chapter 16:14, and Luke, chapter 9:19, but there are slight differences. Matthew is the only one who explicitly mentioned Jeremiah, who was a Judean prophet active from 626 BCE to 587 BCE, around the time of the destruction of the Temple. Mark and Luke only had the more generic term of one of the prophets, rather than any individual prophet. Mark said that the disciples responded to him (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες) that some people said he was John the Baptist (ὅτι Ἰωάνην τὸν Βαπτιστήν). Others said Elijah (καὶ ἄλλοι δὲ Ἡλείαν). This Elijah was a 9th century BCE northern Israel prophet whose work can be found in the Old Testament Books of 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles. Finally, other people said that he was one of the many prophets (ἄλλοι δὲ ὅτι εἷς τῶν προφητῶν). No one called him the Messiah or Christ.
The whole city
Was in turmoil.
‘Who is this?’
The crowds were saying.
‘This is the prophet Jesus
καὶ εἰσελθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ἐσείσθη πᾶσα ἡ πόλις λέγουσα Τίς ἐστιν οὗτος;
οἱ δὲ ὄχλοι ἔλεγον Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ προφήτης Ἰησοῦς ὁ ἀπὸ Ναζαρὲθ τῆς Γαλιλαίας.
Only Matthew has these remarks about what happened to Jesus as he entered the city of Jerusalem (καὶ εἰσελθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα). Matthew said that the whole city was in turmoil or stirred up wondering (ἐσείσθη πᾶσα ἡ πόλις) who was this man entering the city (Τίς ἐστιν οὗτος). The crowds (οἱ δὲ ὄχλοι), a favorite theme of Matthew, said that this was the prophet Jesus (ἔλεγον Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ προφήτης Ἰησοῦς), from Nazareth in Galilee (ὁ ἀπὸ Ναζαρὲθ τῆς Γαλιλαίας). How the crowds could speak with one voice was not explained. However, there was no messianic overtone here, but merely Jesus as a northern prophet. Also note that the emphasis was on Jesus from Galilee, the north, rather than a Judean or a southerner.