Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene (Mk 16:9-16:9)

“Now when Jesus

Rose early

On the first day

Of the week,

He appeared first

To Mary Magdalene,

From whom

He had cast out

Seven demons.”

 

Ἀναστὰς δὲ πρωῒ πρώτῃ σαββάτου ἐφάνη πρῶτον Μαρίᾳ τῇ Μαγδαληνῇ, παρ’ ἧς ἐκβεβλήκει ἑπτὰ δαιμόνια.

 

Next, we have the longer ending of Mark that contains the appearances or apparitions of the risen Jesus that can be found in the other gospel stories.  This too was an addition to the original ending, but it was in Greek, probably from the late second or early third century.  It was included in the Latin Vulgate and the King James English version of the Bible, so that it is found in most Bibles today.  This particular text is similar to Matthew, chapter 28:9, where Jesus appeared to the women as they were leaving the tomb.  Luke, chapter 24:10, had the women tell the apostles about the resurrection, without Jesus appearing to them.  In John, chapter 20:14-17, Mary Magdalene has a conversation with the risen Jesus.  Clearly Mary Magdalene was involved in these incidents at the tomb.  Here Mark said that the risen Jesus (Ἀναστὰς) first appeared to Mary Magdalene (ἐφάνη πρῶτον Μαρίᾳ τῇ Μαγδαληνῇ,) early on the first day of the week (δὲ πρωῒ πρώτῃ σαββάτου).  In this unique text, it explicitly said that this was the Mary Magdalene that Jesus had cast out 7 demons from (παρ’ ἧς ἐκβεβλήκει ἑπτὰ δαιμόνια).

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The dogs eat crumbs (Mk 7:28-7:28)

“But she answered him.

‘Yes!

Lord!

But even the dogs,

Under the table,

Eat the children’s crumbs.’”

 

ἡ δὲ ἀπεκρίθη καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ναί, Κύριε· καὶ τὰ κυνάρια ὑποκάτω τῆς τραπέζης ἐσθίουσιν ἀπὸ τῶν ψιχίων τῶν παιδίων.

 

This Canaanite woman responded somewhat like in Matthew, chapter 15:27.  This woman was willing to accept that she was like a despised dog.  Mark said that she responded to Jesus, by calling him Lord and agreeing with him (ἡ δὲ ἀπεκρίθη καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Ναί, Κύριε).  She reminded him that even the dogs (καὶ τὰ κυνάρια), who are under the table (ὑποκάτω τῆς τραπέζης), eat the children’s crumbs (ἐσθίουσιν ἀπὸ τῶν ψιχίων τῶν παιδίων) that fall from the table.  In a wealthy materialistic country, we sometimes forget how our crumbs might feed or help poor people around the world today.

Try to arrest Jesus (Mt 21:46-21:46)

“They wanted

To arrest him.

But they feared

The crowds

Because they regarded him

As a prophet.”

 

καὶ ζητοῦντες αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι ἐφοβήθησαν τοὺς ὄχλους, ἐπεὶ εἰς προφήτην αὐτὸν εἶχον.

 

This idea of arresting Jesus can be found in Mark, chapter 12:12, and Luke, chapter 20:19, but with slightly different wordings.  The chief priests and the Pharisees wanted to arrest or seize Jesus (καὶ ζητοῦντες αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι).  However, they feared the crowds (ἐφοβήθησαν τοὺς ὄχλους) who regarded him as if he were a prophet (ἐπεὶ εἰς προφήτην αὐτὸν εἶχον).  In fact, the idea of Jesus as a prophet still exists until today, but Matthew is the only one who calls him a prophet.

The second son (Mt 21:30-21:30)

“The father went

To the second son.

He said the same thing.

The second son answered.

‘I will go!’

But he did not go.”

 

προσελθὼν δὲ τῷ δευτέρῳ εἶπεν ὡσαύτως. ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Οὐ θέλω, ὕστερον μεταμεληθεὶς ἀπῆλθεν.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, somewhat like the parable of the day laborers in the vineyard in chapter 20:1-16.  Jesus continued his parable story with the father landowner going to his second son (προσελθὼν δὲ τῷ δευτέρῳ).  He told this second son the same thing (εἶπεν ὡσαύτως) that he had said to his first son.  He wanted him to go out and work in the vineyard today.  The second son answered (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) that he was willing to go (Οὐ θέλω) into the vineyard and work that day.  However, afterwards, he changed his mind.  He did not go to work in the vineyard.  The “οὐκ” or “not” is missing in a lot of the Greek manuscripts.

The first son (Mt 21:28-21:29)

“What do you think?

A man had two sons.

He went to the first one.

He said.

‘Son!

Go!

Work

In the vineyard today.’

He answered.

‘I will not!’

But later

He changed his mind.

He went out to work.”

 

Τί δὲ ὑμῖν δοκεῖ; ἄνθρωπος εἶχεν τέκνα δύο· προσελθὼν τῷ πρώτῳ εἶπεν Τέκνον, ὕπαγε σήμερον ἐργάζου ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι.

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Ἐγὼ κύριε, καὶ οὐκ ἀπῆλθεν.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew and is reminiscent of the parable of the day laborers in the vineyard in chapter 20:1-16.  Jesus was still talking with the chief priests and elders.  Jesus continued with another parable by asking them what did they think (Τί δὲ ὑμῖν δοκεῖ)?  In this parable story, a man had two sons (ἄνθρωπος εἶχεν τέκνα δύο).  He went to the first one (προσελθὼν τῷ πρώτῳ).  He told this first son to go and work in his vineyard that day (εἶπεν Τέκνον, ὕπαγε σήμερον ἐργάζου ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι).  However, this first son answered (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) that he was not going to go out into the vineyard to work (Ἐγὼ κύριε, καὶ οὐκ ἀπῆλθεν).  Interesting enough, most of the Greek manuscript texts do not have the last phrase that this son changed his mind.  However, the explanations assume this verse that the first son later or afterwards changed his mind and went out to work in the vineyard (ὕστερον δὲ μεταμεληθεὶς ἀπῆλθεν).

The weather signs (Mt 16:2-16:3)

“Jesus answered them.

‘When it is evening,

You say.

‘It will be fair weather

Because the sky is red.’

In the morning,

You say.

‘It will be stormy today

Because the sky is red

And threatening.’

You know how to interpret

The appearance of the sky.

But you cannot interpret

The signs of the times.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ὀψίας γενομένης λέγετε Εὐδία, πυρράζει γὰρ ὁ οὐρανός·

καὶ πρωΐ Σήμερον χειμών, πυρράζει γὰρ στυγνάζων ὁ οὐρανός. τὸ μὲν πρόσωπον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ γινώσκετε διακρίνειν, τὰ δὲ σημεῖα τῶν καιρῶν οὐ δύνασθε;

 

Matthew is the only one who has this weather saying of Jesus, although Luke, chapter 12:54-56, has Jesus issue some weather commentary about northern and southern winds and rain.  Jesus told the Pharisees and Sadducees that they could read the signs in the sky about weather and storms, but they were unable to recognize the signs in their own world.  Most farmers are aware of the red sky in the morning was a warning, while the red sky at night was a delight.  Jesus answered them (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that at evening time, people would say that there would be good or fair weather if the setting sun in the sky was red (Ὀψίας γενομένης λέγετε Εὐδία, πυρράζει γὰρ ὁ οὐρανός).  On the other hand, if the sky was red today in the morning, they thought that it would be a stormy day (καὶ πρωΐ Σήμερον χειμών, πυρράζει γὰρ στυγνάζων ὁ οὐρανός).  Then he asked them how come they were so good at discerning the overcast stormy weather signs in the heavens (τὸ μὲν πρόσωπον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ γινώσκετε διακρίνειν), but they were unable to interpret the signs of the times (τὰ δὲ σημεῖα τῶν καιρῶν οὐ δύνασθε), since the weather signs were in the heavenly skies.

The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew had 3 chapters devoted to Jesus and his preaching on the mount or hill.  This Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus that emphasize his moral teaching, the first of his 5 discourses. early in the ministry of Jesus.  Luke had something similar in his sermon on the plain.  This sermon is the longest continuous section of Jesus speaking in the New Testament, containing the central tenets of Christian discipleship.  Thus, it had become the most widely quoted and best known of the teachings of Jesus, with the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer.  These Jesus sayings echo the highest ideals of Jesus’ teachings on spirituality and compassion with acts of mercy, providing both temporal and spiritual benefits.  Jesus also used many metaphors in his sermon.  He reinterpreted the Ten Commandments, particularly about lying, killing and adultery.  The teachings of this sermon have been a key element of Christian ethics with its demanding high moral standards.  Christians were to be perfect with a Christian righteousness.  There have been many different interpretations of this demanding ethical life.  Was this only for clergy and monks?  Is it only an impossible ideal?  Should we take this literally?  Is this only an interim ethic or a future ethic?  Is this the basis of the social gospel and Christian existentialism?  What value do these ideals have for our lives today?