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.

Gentile tyrannical leadership (Mk 10:42-10:42)

“Jesus called them.

He said to them.

‘You know

That among the gentiles

Those whom

They recognize

As their rulers,

Lord it over them.

Their great ones

Are tyrants

Over them.”

 

καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγει αὐτοῖς Οἴδατε ὅτι οἱ δοκοῦντες ἄρχειν τῶν ἐθνῶν κατακυριεύουσιν αὐτῶν καὶ οἱ μεγάλοι αὐτῶν κατεξουσιάζουσιν αὐτῶν.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 20:25, almost word for word, and Luke 22:25, but slightly different.  Mark said that Jesus called his 12 apostolic leaders to himself (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) because of this dispute among them.  He said to them (λέγει αὐτοῖς) that they knew that among the recognized gentile rulers (Οἴδατε ὅτι οἱ δοκοῦντες ἄρχειν τῶν ἐθνῶν), the Romans and the Greeks, they lorded it over their people (κατακυριεύουσιν αὐτῶν).  Their great men acted like tyrants, exercising authority (καὶ οἱ μεγάλοι αὐτῶν κατεξουσιάζουσιν αὐτῶν).  Jesus explained that this autocratic power system, sometimes dictatorial, within the Roman Empire system was the way of the world.

 

Gather in my name (Mt 18:19-18:20)

“Again truly!

I say to you!

If two of you agree

On earth

About anything

You ask,

It will be done for you

By my Father in heaven.

Where two

Or three

Are gathered

In my name,

I am there

Among them.”

 

Πάλιν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἐὰν δύο συμφωνήσωσιν ἐξ ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς περὶ παντὸς πράγματος οὗ ἐὰν αἰτήσωνται, γενήσεται αὐτοῖς παρὰ τοῦ Πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς.

οὗ γάρ εἰσιν δύο ἢ τρεῖς συνηγμένοι εἰς τὸ ἐμὸν ὄνομα, ἐκεῖ εἰμι ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν.

 

This saying about prayer in common is unique to Matthew.  Jesus had another solemn pronouncement, “Again truly! I say to you (Πάλιν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν)!”  He said that if two of them could agree on earth about anything (ὅτι ἐὰν δύο συμφωνήσωσιν ἐξ ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς περὶ παντὸς πράγματος) they asked for, it would be done for them by his heavenly Father (οὗ ἐὰν αἰτήσωνται, γενήσεται αὐτοῖς παρὰ τοῦ Πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς).  Where two or three of them were gathered together (οὗ γάρ εἰσιν δύο ἢ τρεῖς συνηγμένοι) in his name (εἰς τὸ ἐμὸν ὄνομα), Jesus would be there in the middle, among them (ἐκεῖ εἰμι ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν).  Some groups of Christians exist all over the world today, where 2 or 3 followers of Jesus gather to pray to the heavenly Father.

Do not tempt people (Mt 18:7-18:7)

“Woe to the world

Because of stumbling blocks!

Occasions for stumbling

Are bound to come.

Woe to the person

By whom

The stumbling block comes!”

 

Οὐαὶ τῷ κόσμῳ ἀπὸ τῶν σκανδάλων· ἀνάγκη γὰρ ἐλθεῖν τὰ σκάνδαλα, πλὴν οὐαὶ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ δι’ οὗ τὸ σκάνδαλον ἔρχεται.

 

This saying about temptations and stumbling blocks is unique to Matthew.  However, it is a follow up to the preceding verses.  The world is cursed (Οὐαὶ τῷ κόσμῳ) because of these stumbling blocks, snares, or temptations (ἀπὸ τῶν σκανδάλων).  These snares, stumbling blocks, or temptations are necessarily bound to happen (ἀνάγκη γὰρ ἐλθεῖν τὰ σκάνδαλα,).  However cursed is the man or person (, πλὴν οὐαὶ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ) by whom these stumbling blocks or temptations come (δι’ οὗ τὸ σκάνδαλον ἔρχεται).  Temptations and snares are to be cursed.  But also, the humans or people who bring these temptations, snares, stumbling blocks should also be cursed.

Jesus explains the field and the seeds (Mt 13:38-13:38)

“The field is the world.

The good seeds

Are the children

Of the kingdom.

The weeds

Are the children

Of the evil one.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀγρός ἐστιν ὁ κόσμος· τὸ δὲ καλὸν σπέρμα, οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ υἱοὶ τῆς βασιλείας· τὰ δὲ ζιζάνιά εἰσιν οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ πονηροῦ,

 

Only Matthew has this explanation about the parable of the weeds that was earlier in this chapter, 13:24-30.  Jesus, via Matthew, went into great detail about this earlier parable, as he explained the field, the good seed, and the weeds.  The field was the world (ὁ δὲ ἀγρός ἐστιν ὁ κόσμος).  The good seeds were the sons of the kingdom (τὸ δὲ καλὸν σπέρμα, οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ υἱοὶ τῆς βασιλείας).  The weeds were the sons of the evil one (τὰ δὲ ζιζάνιά εἰσιν οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ πονηροῦ).  This is the classic battle of good and evil in the world with the sons of the kingdom against the sons of the evil one.

Explanation of the seeds among the thorns (Mt 13:22-13:22)

“As for what was sown

Among the thorns,

This is the one

Who hears the word,

But the cares of the world

With the lure of wealth

Choke the word.

It yields nothing.”

 

ὁ δὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας σπαρείς, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων, καὶ ἡ μέριμνα τοῦ αἰῶνος καὶ ἡ ἀπάτη τοῦ πλούτου συμπνίγει τὸν λόγον, καὶ ἄκαρπος γίνεται.

 

This explanation of the sower parable was about the seeds among the thorns that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:18-19, and Luke, chapter 8:14, with Matthew closer to Mark.  As for the seeds that were sown among the thorns (ὁ δὲ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας σπαρείς), these are the ones who heard the word of the kingdom (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων), but the cares and anxiety of this present age (καὶ ἡ μέριμνα τοῦ αἰῶνος), as well as the allure or deceit of material wealth (καὶ ἡ ἀπάτη τοῦ πλούτου), choked or crowded out the word (συμπνίγει τὸν λόγον).  Thus, it yielded nothing because it was barren (καὶ ἄκαρπος γίνεται).  The thorns were the cares about physical riches that choked off the growth of the seeds or the words of the kingdom.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.

The golden rule (Mt 7:12-7:12)

“In everything,

Do to others,

As you would

Have them

Do to you.

This is

The Law.

This is

The prophets.”

 

Πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν θέλητε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς· οὗτος γάρ ἐστιν ὁ νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται.

 

This saying of Jesus is nearly the same as in Luke, chapter 6:31, indicating a common Q source, except that Luke never mentioned the Law and the prophets.  This saying is often known throughout the world as the philosophical golden rule.  In everything, whatever you wanted other men to do to you (Πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν θέλητε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι), you should do to them the same (οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς).  Matthew emphasizes that this already was in the Hebrew scriptures in the Torah, the Law (οὗτος γάρ ἐστιν ὁ νόμος), and among the various Judaic prophets (καὶ οἱ προφῆται).  Pure and simple, treat other people the way that you would want to be treated.