Late in the day (Lk 9:12-9:12)

“The day was growing

To a close.

The twelve came

To Jesus.

They said.

‘Send the crowd away!

Thus,

They may go

Into the surrounding villages

And the countryside

To lodge

And get provisions.

We are here

In a deserted lonely place.’”

 

Ἡ δὲ ἡμέρα ἤρξατο κλίνειν· προσελθόντες δὲ οἱ δώδεκα εἶπαν αὐτῷ Ἀπόλυσον τὸν ὄχλον, ἵνα πορευθέντες εἰς τὰς κύκλῳ κώμας καὶ ἀγροὺς καταλύσωσιν καὶ εὕρωσιν ἐπισιτισμόν, ὅτι ὧδε ἐν ἐρήμῳ τόπῳ ἐσμέν.

 

Luke said that when the day was growing to a close (Ἡ δὲ ἡμέρα ἤρξατο κλίνειν), the twelve apostles came to Jesus (προσελθόντες δὲ οἱ δώδεκα).  They said to him (ἶπαν αὐτῷ) to send the crowd away (Ἀπόλυσον τὸν ὄχλον), so that they might go into the surrounding villages and the countryside (ἵνα πορευθέντες εἰς τὰς κύκλῳ κώμας καὶ ἀγροὺς) to find lodging and provisions (καταλύσωσιν καὶ εὕρωσιν ἐπισιτισμόν).  They said that they were in a deserted lonely place (ὅτι ὧδε ἐν ἐρήμῳ τόπῳ ἐσμέν).  There were similar indications about this crowd needing to eat in Matthew, chapter 14:15, and Mark, chapter 6:35-36.  Mark said that the disciples wanted to send the crowds home.  After all, there were no fast food places to get something to eat.  However, there were some places in the nearby villages where you could buy some food.  Mark said that when it grew late, Jesus’ disciples came to him.  They told him that they were in a deserted place.  They wanted to send the crowds away, so that they could go into the surrounding region and nearby villages to buy food for themselves.  This seemed like a good or reasonable plan.  Matthew also said that the disciples wanted to send the crowds home.  When it was evening, the disciples came to Jesus.  They told him that there were in a deserted place at a late hour.  They wanted to send the crowds away so that they could go into the nearby villages to buy food for themselves.  Have you ever been in a large crowd without food?

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The twelve apostles (Lk 6:13-6:13)

“When day came,

He called his disciples.

He chose

Twelve of them,

Whom he named apostles.”

 

καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἡμέρα, προσεφώνησεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐκλεξάμενος ἀπ’ αὐτῶν δώδεκα, οὓς καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν,

 

Luke said that when daylight or the day came (καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἡμέρα), Jesus called his disciples (προσεφώνησεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ).  However, he chose twelve of them (καὶ ἐκλεξάμενος ἀπ’ αὐτῶν δώδεκα), whom he named apostles (οὓς καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν).  The number 12 corresponded to the number of sons of Jacob or the 12 tribes of Israel.  These 12 had what was later referred to as apostolic authority.  Jesus thus established or picked out these 12 disciples to carry on his work.  The distinction was that disciples were learners or followers.  The apostles, on the other hand, were to be sent out on a mission to do something.  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 3:13-14, where Jesus called these special disciples, apostles, also.  Jesus called these 12 that he wanted to be with him.  They, of course, came to him.  Matthew, chapter 10:1, said that Jesus gave these 12 apostles authority to cast out unclean spirits just as he had done.  Jesus summoned or called his 12 apostles to give them spiritual authority over unclean or impure spirits.  Thus, they could cast out or banish these evil spirits or demons.  They were also able to cure, treat, or heal all diseases and illnesses, sicknesses, or weakness.  In other words, Jesus was giving his own power or authority to cast out evil spirits and heal people to these 12 apostles.  This was a big deal.

The twelve-year old (Lk 2:42-2:42

“When Jesus was

Twelve years old,

They went up

As usual

For the festival.”

 

Καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἐτῶν δώδεκα, ἀναβαινόντων αὐτῶν κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἑορτῆς,

 

Now we have another unique saying of Luke about the age of Jesus.  When Jesus was 12 years old (Καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἐτῶν δώδεκα), the whole family went up to Jerusalem (ἀναβαινόντων αὐτῶν) as usual for the festival of Passover (κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἑορτῆς).  This was not a bar mitzvah or confirmation, since this Jewish practice came later.  However, Jesus would have been on the verge of puberty.  The number 12 would play a major role in the life of Jesus, since he had 12 apostles, who were called the Twelve.  This episode is the only insight into the life of Jesus between his birth and the baptism by John, that can be found in any of the canonical biblical gospel narratives.  There are many stories about the boyhood of Jesus in some apocryphal gospels.  Thus, this story takes on a special canonical importance.

Judas Iscariot (Mk 14:10-14:10)

“Then Judas Iscariot,

Who was one of the twelve,

Went to the chief priests

In order to betray Jesus

To them.”

 

Καὶ Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριὼθ, ὁ εἷς τῶν δώδεκα, ἀπῆλθεν πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς ἵνα αὐτὸν παραδοῖ αὐτοῖς.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:14, and somewhat similar in Luke, chapter 22:3-4, and in John, chapter 13:2, where Satan played a role.  Here in Mark, there is just the simple statement that Judas Iscariot (Καὶ Ἰούδας Ἰσκαριὼθ), one of the beloved 12 leaders or apostles (ὁ εἷς τῶν δώδεκα) went to the chief priests (ἀπῆλθεν πρὸς τοὺς ἀρχιερεῖς).  He wanted to betray or turn over Jesus to these high priests (ἵνα αὐτὸν παραδοῖ αὐτοῖς).  Apparently, according to John, chapter 12:6, Judas had been in charge of their common money, but he was stealing from this fund.  Thus, there may have been financial reasons or greed pushing Judas to betray Jesus.  John seems to be much more vehemently opposed to Judas.

Jesus entered Jerusalem and the Temple (Mk 11:11-11:11)

“Then Jesus

Entered Jerusalem.

He went

Into the Temple.

When he had looked around

At everything,

As it was already late,

He went out

To Bethany

With the twelve.”

 

Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα εἰς τὸ ἱερόν· καὶ περιβλεψάμενος πάντα, ὀψὲ ἤδη οὔσης τῆς ὥρας, ἐξῆλθεν εἰς Βηθανίαν μετὰ τῶν δώδεκα.

 

This generic remark about Jesus entering Jerusalem and the Temple is in stark contrast with Matthew, chapter 21:30, where he said that the whole city was in turmoil or stirred up wondering who was this man entering the city was.  Matthew emphasized that Jesus was from Galilee, the north, rather than a Judean or a southerner.  Mark said, in a more descriptive simple manner, that Jesus simply entered Jerusalem (Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα) and the Temple (εἰς τὸ ἱερόν).  He just looked around at everything (καὶ περιβλεψάμενος πάντα).  There was nothing spectacular about the arrival of Jesus and his apostles.  Since it was already a late hour (ὀψὲ ἤδη οὔσης τῆς ὥρας), he went out to Bethany (ἐξῆλθεν εἰς Βηθανίαν) with his twelve apostles (μετὰ τῶν δώδεκα).  There they probably spent the night, since it was only about a mile and a half east of Jerusalem.  This was the same city of Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, but there was no mention of them here.

On the way to Jerusalem (Mk 10:32-10:32)

“They were

On the road,

Going up

To Jerusalem.

Jesus was walking

Ahead of them.

They were amazed.

Those who followed

Were afraid.

He took

The twelve aside again.

He began to tell them

What was to happen

To him.”

 

Ἦσαν δὲ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἀναβαίνοντες εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα, καὶ ἦν προάγων αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς, καὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο, οἱ δὲ ἀκολουθοῦντες ἐφοβοῦντο. καὶ παραλαβὼν πάλιν τοὺς δώδεκα ἤρξατο αὐτοῖς λέγειν τὰ μέλλοντα αὐτῷ συμβαίνειν,

 

Matthew, chapter 20:17, and Luke, chapter 18:31, have something similar to this.  Mark said that while they were on the road towards Jerusalem (Ἦσαν δὲ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ ἀναβαίνοντες εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα), Jesus was walking ahead of them (καὶ ἦν προάγων αὐτοὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  These followers of Jesus were amazed or astonished, yet at the same time they were afraid (καὶ ἐθαμβοῦντο, οἱ δὲ ἀκολουθοῦντες ἐφοβοῦντο).  Jesus then took his 12 leaders aside again by themselves (καὶ παραλαβὼν πάλιν τοὺς δώδεκα).  They were merely called the 12 “τοὺς δώδεκα,” not distinguishing between apostles and disciples, but clearly indicating the elite 12 apostle leaders.  Jesus began to speak to them (ἤρξατο αὐτοῖς λέγειν) about what was going to happen to him (τὰ μέλλοντα αὐτῷ συμβαίνειν).  In other words, this was not a general proclamation, but a semi-secret saying just for the leaders, the 12, much like a gnostic group with some at the top people knowing more than the others.

Cast out demons (Mk 6:13-6:13)

“The twelve cast out

Many demons.

They anointed

Many sick people

With oil.

They cured them.”

 

καὶ δαιμόνια πολλὰ ἐξέβαλλον, καὶ ἤλειφον ἐλαίῳ πολλοὺς ἀρρώστους καὶ ἐθεράπευον.

 

There is something similar in Luke, chapter 9:6.  These 12 apostles carried out the dual functions of casting out demons and healing people.  Mark always put a lot of emphasis on casting out many demons (καὶ δαιμόνια πολλὰ ἐξέβαλλον).  But they also anointed many sick with oil (καὶ ἤλειφον ἐλαίῳ πολλοὺς ἀρρώστους) that cured them (καὶ ἐθεράπευον).  Oil was considered a basic healing element in the ancient world.