No switching places (Lk 16:26-16:26)

“Besides all this,

Between you

And us

A great chasm

Has been fixed.

Thus,

Those who might want

To pass

From here

To you

Cannot do so.

No one can cross

From there

To us.”

 

καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τούτοις μεταξὺ ἡμῶν καὶ ὑμῶν χάσμα μέγα ἐστήρικται, ὅπως οἱ θέλοντες διαβῆναι ἔνθεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς μὴ δύνωνται, μηδὲ ἐκεῖθεν πρὸς ἡμᾶς διαπερῶσιν.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, but not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that Abraham continued with his talk to the rich man.  He said that besides all this (καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τούτοις), between him and Abraham with Lazarus (μεταξὺ ἡμῶν καὶ ὑμῶν), there was a great chasm that had been established (χάσμα μέγα ἐστήρικται).  Thus, those who might want to pass from here to there cannot do so (ὅπως οἱ θέλοντες διαβῆναι ἔνθεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς μὴ δύνωνται).  No one can cross from there to here (μηδὲ ἐκεῖθεν πρὸς ἡμᾶς διαπερῶσιν).  He had no way out.  Abraham pointed out that there was a big chasmic difference between where the rich man was and where Lazarus and Abraham were.  No one could, even if they wanted to, cross over from one to the other.  Somehow, they were able to talk to each other.  Yet they were in two distinct milieus that could not meet and exchange personal contacts.  What is your vision of hell and heaven?

Zechariah cannot speak (Lk 1:22-1:22)

“When he did come out,

Zechariah

Could not speak

To them.

They realized

That he had seen

A vision

In the sanctuary.

He kept motioning

To them.

However,

He remained

Unable to speak.”

 

ἐξελθὼν δὲ οὐκ ἐδύνατο λαλῆσαι αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν ὅτι ὀπτασίαν ἑώρακεν ἐν τῷ ναῷ· καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν διανεύων αὐτοῖς, καὶ διέμενεν κωφός.

 

Luke indicated that the people praying in the Temple, outside the sanctuary, were surprised when Zechariah finally came out (ἐξελθὼν δὲ) of the sanctuary.  They saw that Zechariah could not speak to them (οὐκ ἐδύνατο λαλῆσαι αὐτοῖς) or give his blessing.  They realized or recognized (καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν) that he had seen a vision or had a supernatural experience (ὅτι ὀπτασίαν ἑώρακεν) while he was in the sanctuary (ἐν τῷ ναῷ).  Zechariah kept motioning or making signs to them (καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν διανεύων αὐτοῖς).  However, he could not communicate with them, since he was unable to speak as he remained mute (καὶ διέμενεν κωφός).

Jesus asks them to be silent (Mt 17:9-17:9)

“As they were coming down

The mountain,

Jesus instructed them.

‘Tell no one

This vision,

Until the Son of Man

Has been raised

From the dead.’”

 

Καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν ἐκ τοῦ ὄρους ἐνετείλατο αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγων Μηδενὶ εἴπητε τὸ ὅραμα ἕως οὗ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγερθῇ.

 

Once again, we are back at the messianic secret that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:9, Luke, chapter 9:36, and here in Matthew that is closer to Mark.  Jesus and his 3 disciples came down or descended from the mountain (Καὶ καταβαινόντων αὐτῶν ἐκ τοῦ ὄρους).  He commanded, instructed, or ordered them (νετείλατο αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγων) not to tell anyone about this spectacular vision (Μηδενὶ εἴπητε τὸ ὅραμα) until the Son of Man had been raised from the dead (ἕως οὗ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγερθῇ).  They would be free to speak about this after the death and resurrection of Jesus, but not before that turning point among the followers of Jesus.

The vision of the woman in the basket (Zech 5:5-5:7)

“Then the angel

Who talked with me

Came forward.

He said to me.

‘Look up!

See what this is

That is coming out.’

I said.

‘What is it?’

He said.

‘This is a basket coming out.

Then he said.

‘This is their iniquity

In all the land.’

Then a leaden cover

Was lifted.

There was a woman

Sitting in the basket.”

Next this angel revealed the 7th vision to Zechariah.  He told Zechariah to look up.  He asked him what he saw.  Zechariah responded that he saw a basket coming towards him.  The angel explained that the basket was full of iniquity from the whole land.  Then the lead cover of the basket was lifted to show a woman sitting in this basket, as if iniquity came from women.

The questioning of Zechariah (Zech 4:4-4:5)

“I said to the angel

Who talked with me.

‘What are these?

My lord!’

Then the angel

Who talked with me

Answered me.

‘Do you not know

What these are?’

I said.

‘No!

My lord.’”

Zechariah questioned the angel who had been talking to him.  He wanted to know what did this vision meant.  The angel then responded to Zechariah by asking him the same question.  He seemed bewildered that Zechariah did not understand this vision about the lampstands and the olive trees.  However, Zechariah was very respectful by calling the angel “lord.”

A great fish swallows Jonah (Jon 1:17-1:17)

“Yahweh

Provided

A large fish

To swallow up

Jonah.

Jonah was

In the belly

Of the fish

Three days

As well as three nights.”

Here we get to the great story of Jonah and the whale that has delighted young children for centuries. First, is this the end of the 1st chapter or the beginning of the 2nd chapter? Is this a male of female fish? There are many interpretations about this fish. Was it a big fish or a whale? Was it a special fish just for this one occasion that Yahweh provided it? Is this just an allegorical story like a dream or vision? Most people have interpreted this large fish as a whale or shark. However, most whales could not swallow a whole human. Perhaps, it was a sea monster or a sea serpent. The obvious comparison between the 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the fish and Jesus in the tomb was not lost on the early Christians.