Jesus spoke with authority (Lk 4:32-4:32)

“They were astonished

At his teaching,

Because he spoke

With authority.”

 

καὶ ἐξεπλήσσοντο ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ ἦν ὁ λόγος αὐτοῦ

 

Luke said that they were astonished (καὶ ἐξεπλήσσοντο) at his teaching (ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ), because he spoke with authority (ὅτι ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ ἦν ὁ λόγος αὐτοῦ).  There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 1:22, and Matthew, chapter 7:29, where Jesus was teaching with authority.  Mark said, just like Luke, word for word, that the people of this Capernaum synagogue were amazed at his teaching since he taught them as if he had authority.  However, Mark added that he was not like one of the Scribes, who were religious experts that determined the traditions to be followed.  Matthew, chapter 7:29, said that this amazing Jesus taught on his own authority without referring to tradition.  What was this authority that Jesus had?

Advertisements

This is my beloved Son (Mk 9:7-9:7)

“Then a cloud

Overshadowed them.

There came

A voice

From the cloud.

‘This is my beloved Son!

Listen to him!’”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο νεφέλη ἐπισκιάζουσα αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἐγένετο φωνὴ ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ.

 

This voice from the cloud can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:5, Luke, chapter 9:34-35, and here in Mark, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  The wording of the voice from the cloud sounds almost exactly like the voice from heaven in chapter 1:11, after the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.  Instead of from heaven there, the voice comes from a cloud here.  This voice did not address Jesus personally.  However, the idea of a heavenly voice or a voice from a cloud had a very strong tradition in the Jewish writings of the Hebrew Bible, especially among the prophets and Moses.  The Baptism of Jesus, like the transfiguration here, has become the starting point for any theological reflection about early Christian Christology.  Mark said that a cloud overshadowed them (καὶ ἐγένετο νεφέλη ἐπισκιάζουσα αὐτοῖς).  Then there was a voice from the cloud (καὶ ἐγένετο φωνὴ ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης) that said Jesus was his Son, the beloved one (Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός).  There was nothing about being pleased by him here.  However, there is the further admonition to listen to him (ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ).  Mark has a clear connection between the Baptism of Jesus and his transfiguration.  Both times, the Father as the voice from heaven or the cloud pronounced that Jesus was his beloved Son.

The use of parables (Mk 4:2-4:2)

“Jesus began

To teach them

Many things

In parables.

This is what

He said to them

In his teaching,”

 

καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς πολλά, καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ

 

A similar statement can be found in Matthew, chapter 13:3, and Luke 8:4.  This is the beginning of the parable section in Mark.  Jesus taught them many things in parables (καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς πολλά).  This is how Jesus delivered most of his teachings (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ).  Parables were one of the many literary forms in the biblical literature.  These parables of Jesus can be found in all the synoptic gospels, since they represent about 1/3 of Jesus’ teachings.  These simple and memorable stories conveyed important messages, central to the teachings of Jesus.  Many of Jesus’s parables refer to simple everyday events.  The word “parable” can also refer to a riddle, as it was used in the Old Testament.  The use of parables was a natural teaching method that fit into the tradition of the time of Jesus.  Matthew has 23 parables of which 11 are unique.  There are 2 unique parables in Mark and 18 unique parables in LukeMatthew and Luke share 4 parables, while Matthew, Mark and Luke share 6 parables.  Many of these parables have been subjects of art and literature, especially during the Middle Ages.

The beloved son (Mt 3:17-3:17)

“A voice

From heaven

Said.

‘This is my Son

The beloved one.

I am well pleased

With him.’”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ φωνὴ ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν λέγουσα Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν ᾧ εὐδόκησα

 

This voice from the heavens (καὶ ἰδοὺ φωνὴ ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν) did not address Jesus personally, as in Mark, chapter 1:11, and Luke, chapter 3:22.  However, the idea of a heavenly voice had a very strong tradition in the Jewish writings of the Hebrew Bible, especially among the prophets.  This voice of God the Father said that Jesus was his most beloved son (λέγουσα Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός), in whom he was well pleased (ἐν ᾧ εὐδόκησα).  The gospel writers did not clarify whether others saw and heard these things.  In fact, this saying and incident after the baptism of Jesus might have been the basis for a Subordinationschristologie that Jesus the Son was somehow subordinate to the Father.  According to this adoption theory, God the Father had to send his Spirit to anoint and empower Jesus in this concrete event, before he could begin his public ministry.  This adoptionist theory, and the Christological disputes of the later 4th century CE, led to the diminution of this baptismal event within later patristic and medieval theological circles.  Nevertheless, the baptism of Jesus has become the starting point for any theological reflection about early Christian initiation practices.  It is not clear whether all the primitive Christian communities linked the baptism of Jesus with the baptism of the new followers of Christ, despite the fact that many post-apostolic Christians did so.

The virgin birth of Jesus (Mt 1:25-1:25)

“Joseph

Had no marital relations

With Mary,

Until she had borne

A son.

He named him

Jesus.”

 

καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν υἱόν· καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν

 

Joseph did not have sex or martial relations with Mary until after the birth of his son. The Greek text has the euphemistic term, he did not know her (οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν). This of course brings up the question of Mary’s virginity. Clearly, the text indicates that nothing sexual happened prior to the birth or coming forth of her son (οὗ ἔτεκεν υἱόν). Thus, Jesus was clearly born of the virgin Mary. The real questions concerned the word ἕως that means “until the birth of the son”. In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, the child was called the firstborn child (τὸν πρωτότοκον). The tradition of the Christian community, since the second century, has been that Mary was always a virgin. There is nothing here in this text of Matthew to preclude that. Joseph called the child by the name of Jesus (ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν), just as the angel had asked him to do.

The judgment of God (Ps 75:5-75:8)

“Not from the east or from the west,

Not from the wilderness comes lifting up.

It is God who executes judgment.

He puts down one.

He lifts up another.

In the hand of Yahweh,

There is a cup,

With foaming wine,

Well mixed.

He will pour a draught from it.

All the wicked of the earth

Shall drain it down to the dregs.”

Judgment does not come from the east, the west, the wilderness in the south, or the mountains in the north. Only God can execute judgment. He puts one down and lifts the other up. The cup of anger was important in the prophetic tradition. The wicked would drink from the wine cup with the specially mixed foaming wine. They would drink it all down until nothing was left, their judgment.