Mary goes too (Lk 2:5-2:5)

“Joseph went

To be registered

With Mary,

To whom

He was engaged.

She was expecting

A child.”

 

ἀπογράψασθαι σὺν Μαριὰμ τῇ ἐμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ, οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ.

 

Luke explained that Joseph went to be registered with Mary (ἀπογράψασθαι σὺν Μαριὰμ).  He said that Joseph was engaged to be married, betrothed to Mary (τῇ ἐμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ), not yet married, but Mary was expecting or with child (οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ), as his fiancée.  The divine circumstances of that pregnancy had been laid out in the preceding chapter.  Matthew pointed out in chapter 1 or his work that Joseph had been disturbed about this pregnancy.  It was about an 85-mile trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem.  This was the third time that Mary had made this trip from Nazareth to the Jerusalem area in the last six months, after going to visit Elizabeth in the Judean hill country outside Jerusalem, and then returning, as mentioned in the preceding chapter.  On top of that, her pregnancy was near its end.  Today, she would have been refused an air flight, so that this land trip of about a week would have been very dangerous for her and her child.

The tender mercy of God (Lk 1:78-1:78)

“By the tender mercy

Of our God,

The dawn

From on high

Will break

Upon us.”

 

διὰ σπλάγχνα ἐλέους Θεοῦ ἡμῶν, ἐν οἷς ἐπισκέψεται ἡμᾶς ἀνατολὴ ἐξ ὕψους,

 

Luke continued Zechariah’s canticle with an insistence on the mercy of their God.  Zechariah said that by the heart felt tender mercy and compassion of their God (διὰ σπλάγχνα ἐλέους Θεοῦ ἡμῶν), a new day or a sunrise (ἀνατολὴ) from on high (ἐξ ὕψους) would break out upon them or visit them (ἐν οἷς ἐπισκέψεται ἡμᾶς).  As many of the prophets had pointed out already. the messiah or savior would come like a sunrise to break into their lives.  So too, John, his son, would be part of this process that would culminate in Jesus.

Mary goes to Judea (Lk 1:39-1:39

“In those days,

Mary set out.

She went

With haste

Into the hill country,

To a Judean town.”

 

Ἀναστᾶσα δὲ Μαριὰμ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις ἐπορεύθη εἰς τὴν ὀρεινὴν μετὰ σπουδῆς εἰς πόλιν Ἰούδα,

 

Luke established a further connection between John and Jesus as he had Mary go to visit Elizabeth.  This was not an easy trip, about 80 miles from Nazareth to Jerusalem.  Luke said that in those days (ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις), Mary rose up (Ἀναστᾶσα δὲ Μαριὰμ) and went with haste into the hill country (ἐπορεύθη εἰς τὴν ὀρεινὴν μετὰ σπουδῆς), to an unnamed town in Judae (εἰς πόλιν Ἰούδα).  Many believe that this town was Ein Karem, about 5 miles west of Jerusalem, which would make sense since Zechariah would be close to the Temple.  This trip of Mary must have taken at least a week or so, depending on the roads and who went with her.  There was no explanation of who was with her on this trip.

You did not take care of me (Mt 25:42-25:43)

“I was hungry!

You gave me

Nothing to eat!

I was thirsty!

You gave me

Nothing to drink!

I was a stranger!

You did not

Welcome me!

I was naked!

You did not

Give me clothing!

I was sick!

I was in prison!

You did not

Visit me!’”

 

ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν, ἐδίψησα καὶ οὐκ ἐποτίσατέ με,

ξένος ἤμην καὶ οὐ συνηγάγετέ με, γυμνὸς καὶ οὐ περιεβάλετέ με, ἀσθενὴς καὶ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ οὐκ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew, as he reversed the sayings about the righteous sheep against these goat people.  Here in a first person singular response, Jesus said that he was hungry and they did not give him anything to eat (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν).  He was thirsty and they did not give anything to drink (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν).  He was a stranger or foreigner and they did not welcome him or take him in (ξένος ἤμην καὶ οὐ συνηγάγετέ με).  He was naked and they did not give him any clothes (γυμνὸς καὶ οὐ περιεβάλετέ με).  He was sick and in prison and they did not visit him (ἀσθενὴς καὶ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ οὐκ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με).  They had failed in the corporal works of mercy, not the legal following of the Mosaic Law.

 

When did we take care of you? (Mt 25:37-25:39)

“Then the righteous

Will answer him.

‘Lord!

When was it

That we saw you hungry?

When did we

Give you food?

When were you thirsty?

When did we

Give you something to drink?

When was it

That we saw you

A stranger?

When did we

Welcome you?

When did we

See you naked?

When did we

Give you clothing?

When was it

That we saw you

Sick?

When did we

See you in prison?

When did we

Visit you?’”

 

τότε ἀποκριθήσονται αὐτῷ οἱ δίκαιοι λέγοντες Κύριε, πότε σε εἴδομεν πεινῶντα καὶ ἐθρέψαμεν, ἢ διψῶντα καὶ ἐποτίσαμεν;

πότε δέ σε εἴδομεν ξένον καὶ συνηγάγομεν, ἢ γυμνὸν καὶ περιεβάλομεν;

πότε δέ σε εἴδομεν ἀσθενοῦντα ἢ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ ἤλθομεν πρός σε;

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus then said that the righteous ones answered the Lord (τότε ἀποκριθήσονται αὐτῷ οἱ δίκαιοι λέγοντες Κύριε).  They wanted to know when they had seen him hungry and gave him food (πότε σε εἴδομεν πεινῶντα καὶ ἐθρέψαμεν)?  When was he thirsty and they gave him something to drink (ἢ διψῶντα καὶ ἐποτίσαμεν)?  When was he a stranger and they welcomed him (ἢ διψῶντα καὶ ἐποτίσαμεν)?  When was he naked and they gave him some clothing (ἢ γυμνὸν καὶ περιεβάλομεν)?  When was he sick (πότε δέ σε εἴδομεν ἀσθενοῦντα)?  When was in prison (ἢ ἐν φυλακῇ)?  When did they visit him (καὶ ἤλθομεν πρός σε)?  They wanted to know when did all these activities take place?

You will be hated (Mt 10:22-10:23)

“You will be hated

By all,

Because of my name.

But the one who endures

To the end

Will be saved.

When they persecute you

In one town,

Flee to the next town.

Truly,

I say to you!

You will not have gone

Through all the towns

Of Israel,

Before the Son of man

Comes.”

 

καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι ὑπὸ πάντων διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου· ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος, οὗτος σωθήσεται.

ὅταν δὲ διώκωσιν ὑμᾶς ἐν τῇ πόλει ταύτῃ, φεύγετε εἰς τὴν ἑτέραν· ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐ μὴ τελέσητε τὰς πόλεις τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ ἕως ἔλθῃ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

 

Mark 13:13 has a similar saying, word for word, as found in Matthew, verse 22, but Matthew continues alone in verse 23, even though he has something similar in chapter 24:9.  Jesus, via Matthew, told his disciples that they would be hated or detested by everyone (καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι ὑπὸ πάντων) because of his name (διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου).  However, those who were able to be endure to the end (ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος), they would be saved, rescued, or healed (οὗτος σωθήσεται).  Whenever they were persecuted in one town, they were to leave or flee that town for the next town (ὅταν δὲ διώκωσιν ὑμᾶς ἐν τῇ πόλει ταύτῃ, φεύγετε εἰς τὴν ἑτέραν).  Then there is the solemn saying of Jesus (ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν).  They would not be able to visit all the towns of Israel (οὐ μὴ τελέσητε τὰς πόλεις τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ) before the Son of Man would come (ἕως ἔλθῃ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  Although not comforting words, the end times of the judgment, with the Son of Man coming, would save them pretty soon.  They just had to be ready for some rough times.

 

Yahweh will be a guard (Zech 9:8-9:8)

“Then I will encamp

At my house

As a guard.

Thus,

No one shall march to and fro.

No oppressor

Shall again overrun them.

Now I see

With my own eyes.”

Yahweh was going to be the guard of his house.  People would not be able to move around or overtake it.  Perhaps, this is an allusion to a visit of Alexander the Great to Jerusalem on some of his exploits.  He obviously spared the city.  Thus, no oppressor would be able to overrun them.  Yahweh was going to see all this with his own eyes.