Are you the King of the Jews? (Mk 15:2-15:2)

“Pilate asked Jesus.

‘Are you

The King of the Jews?’

Jesus answered him.

‘You say so.’”

 

καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτὸν ὁ Πειλᾶτος Σὺ εἶ ὁ Βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων; ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτῷ λέγει Σὺ λέγεις. 

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:11.  Luke, chapter 23:3, is similar, but there is a longer introduction before Pilate spoke.  In John, chapter 18:33-35 there was a longer discussion between Jesus and Pilate.  Mark said that Pilate asked Jesus (καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτὸν ὁ Πειλᾶτος).  He wanted to know if Jesus was the “King of the Jews (Σὺ εἶ ὁ Βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων).”  If Jesus responded that he was, then he could be considered a threat to the ruling Roman authority.  Instead, Jesus had a simple reply (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτῷ λέγει) that if he Pilate had said so, then it must be so (Σὺ λέγεις).  Jesus would only confirm what Pilate had said, without saying it explicitly himself.  Thus, Jesus was identified as the King of the Jews, or leading a political rebellion against the Roman authorities, without saying so himself.  Are you reluctant to speak out?

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Is Jesus the king of the Jews? (Mt 27:11-27:11)

“Now Jesus

Stood

Before the governor.

The governor

Asked him.

‘Are you

The King of the Jews?’

Jesus said.

‘You have said so.’”

 

Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐστάθη ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ ἡγεμόνος· καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτὸν ὁ ἡγεμὼν λέγων Σὺ εἶ ὁ Βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων; ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἔφη Σὺ λέγεις.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:2.  Luke, chapter 23:3, is similar but there is a longer introduction before Pilate spoke.  In John, chapter 18:33-35 there was a longer discussion between Jesus and Pilate.  Matthew said that Jesus stood before the governor (Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐστάθη ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ ἡγεμόνος), without mentioning his name.  This governor then questioned Jesus (καὶ ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτὸν).  He wanted to know (ὁ ἡγεμὼν λέγων) if Jesus was the “King of the Jews (Σὺ εἶ ὁ Βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων).  If Jesus responded that he was, then he could be considered a threat to the ruling Roman authority.  Instead, Jesus had a simple reply (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς) that if he Pilate had said so, then it must be so (ἔφη Σὺ λέγεις).  Jesus would only confirm what Pilate had said, without saying it explicitly himself.  Thus, Jesus was identified as the King of the Jews, or leading a political rebellion against the Roman authorities.

 

Development of Protestant Fundamentalism

A particular form of American Evangelicalism developed in the 1920s to combat the secular culture after World War I, during the Roaring Twenties with its jazz age Gatsby morality.  From 1890-1920 over 20,000,000 people, mostly Roman Catholic Europeans, immigrated into the major American cities.  These new immigrants brought an end to the Victorian morals with their gambling and their bootlegging alcohol drinking during the Prohibition era.  The League of Nations and the growth of international communism were other factors.  Most fundamentalists were against the scriptural criticism of Protestant liberalism and the various other modernism trends.  They feared losing their world, because others were aggressively posing a threat to their traditions.  This was an apocalyptic view of history, where the past was great, the present cloudy and the future assured.

Jacob goes to Egypt (Ps 105:23-10:25)

“Then Israel came to Egypt.

Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham.

Yahweh made his people very fruitful.

He made them stronger than their foes.

He turned their hearts to hate his people.

Thus they dealt cunningly with his servants.”

Once again, this is a condensed version of the story in Genesis, chapters 46-47. Israel or Jacob came to Ham, because Ham supposedly settled in Egypt, at the request of Joseph, who had an important position in the Egyptian government. Then the sons of Jacob or the Israelites, as they came to be called, were very fruitful in Egypt. They grew stronger but the hearts of the Egyptians turned to hate them. They began to treat them cunningly. They became a treath to the immigrant Israelites since the Egyptians considered them as outsiders.

The old man’s prayer (Ps 71:7-71:11)

“I have been as a portent to many.

You are my strong refuge.

My mouth is filled

With your praise.

My mouth is filled

With your glory all the day.

Do not cast me off

In the time of old age.

Do not forsake me

When my strength is spent.

My enemies speak concerning me.

Those who watch for my life

Consult together.

They say.

‘God has forsaken him.

Pursue and seize that person.

There is no one to deliver him.’”

This psalmist was like a threat to many, but God was his strong refuge. All day long he was filled with praise and glory to God. He did not want God to cast him aside in his old age. His strength was decreasing. People were out to get him. They said that God had forsaken him. Thus they wanted to pursue him and take hold of him. This old man asked for God’s help.