Blessed are these slaves! (Lk 12:38-12:38)

“If the lord comes

During the middle

Of the night,

Or near dawn,

And finds them so,

Blessed are those slaves!

 

κἂν ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ κἂν ἐν τῇ τρίτῃ φυλακῇ ἔλθῃ καὶ εὕρῃ οὕτως, μακάριοί εἰσιν ἐκεῖνοι.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus stated that these slaves had to be alert at night also, not just during the day.  Jesus said that if the lord came (ἔλθῃ) during the middle of the night, during the 2nd watch (κἂν ἐν τῇ δευτέρᾳ), or near dawn, during the 3rd watch (κἂν ἐν τῇ τρίτῃ φυλακῇ), and found them alert (καὶ εὕρῃ οὕτως), they would be blessed slaves (μακάριοί εἰσιν ἐκεῖνοι).  If the Lord found them alert at night, they would be happy, fortunate, or blessed.  Mark, chapter 13:35, said that Jesus warned his disciples to be vigilant.  They were to stay awake (γρηγορεῖτε οὖν) because they did not know (οὐκ οἴδατε) when the lord or the master of the house would come back (γὰρ πότε ὁ κύριος τῆς οἰκίας ἔρχεται).  It could be at some unexpected time, late in the evening (ἢ ὀψὲ), midnight (ἢ μεσονύκτιον), cockcrow (ἢ ἀλεκτοροφωνίας), or at morning dawn (ἢ πρωΐ).  Staying awake at night was a good idea.  Do you stay up late, waiting for people?

The shepherds (Lk 2:8-2:8)

“In that region

There were shepherds

Camping out

In the fields.

They were

Keeping watch

Over their flock

At night.”

 

Καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ ἀγραυλοῦντες καὶ φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς τῆς νυκτὸς ἐπὶ τὴν ποίμνην αὐτῶν.

 

Luke had a special emphasis on these common shepherds in the fields, while Matthew had the important Magi get a special sign or star.  Luke said that in that same region of Bethlehem (ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ), there were shepherds (Καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν) living or camping out in the fields (ἀγραυλοῦντες).  They were keeping watch over their flock of sheep at night (καὶ φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς τῆς νυκτὸς ἐπὶ τὴν ποίμνην αὐτῶν).  They were doing their jobs as shepherds watching their sheep at nighttime.  Perhaps there was a connection between these shepherds and the young shepherd David in the fields of Bethlehem in 1 Samuel, chapter 16:6-13.  This may have been Luke showing concern for the common people as expressed in these shepherds.

The stone was rolled back (Mk 16:4-16:4)

“When they looked up,

They saw

That the stone,

Which was very large,

Had already

Been rolled back.”

 

καὶ ἀναβλέψασαι θεωροῦσιν ὅτι ἀνακεκύλισται ὁ λίθος· ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα.

 

However, just like in the other gospel stories, Luke, chapter 24:2, and John, chapter 20:1, the stone had been removed when they got there.  Matthew, chapter 28:2, had the women watch as an earthquake and an angel rolled back the stone at the entrance to the tomb.  Mark said that when the 3 women looked up (καὶ ἀναβλέψασαι), they saw (θεωροῦσιν) that the stone had already been rolled away (ὅτι ἀνακεκύλισται ὁ λίθος), even though it was very large (ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα).  Thus, that was another problem solved.

Why are you asleep? (Mk 14:37-14:37)

“Jesus came back.

He found them

Sleeping.

He said to Peter.

‘Simon!

Are you asleep?

Could you not

Keep awake

One hour?’”

 

καὶ ἔρχεται καὶ εὑρίσκει αὐτοὺς καθεύδοντας, καὶ λέγει τῷ Πέτρῳ Σίμων, καθεύδεις; οὐκ ἴσχυσας μίαν ὥραν γρηγορῆσαι

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:40, but Mark calls Peter “Simon”.  Luke, chapter 22:45-46, is somewhat similar, while in John, chapter 22, there were no indications of this action in the garden.  Mark recounted that Jesus came back to his 3 special apostles (καὶ ἔρχεται), where he found them sleeping (καὶ εὑρίσκει αὐτοὺς καθεύδοντας).  Then he complained to Simon Peter (καὶ λέγει τῷ Πέτρῳ Σίμων) that he was asleep (καθεύδεις).  He could not even stay awake or watch with him for merely one hour (οὐκ ἴσχυσας μίαν ὥραν γρηγορῆσαι).  Jesus was upset at their lack of attentiveness.

Jesus was sorrowful (Mk 14:34-14:34)

“Jesus said to them.

‘I am deeply grieved,

Even to death.

Remain here!

Keep awake!’”

 

καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Περίλυπός ἐστιν ἡ ψυχή μου ἕως θανάτου· μείνατε ὧδε καὶ γρηγορεῖτε

 

This is almost exactly word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:38.  Mark indicated that Jesus said to his 3 favorite apostles (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) that he was very sorrowful or deeply grieved (Περίλυπός ἐστιν ἡ ψυχή μου), even unto death (ἕως θανάτου).  He wanted them to stay there (μείνατε ὧδε) to watch, and remain awake or vigilant (καὶ γρηγορεῖτε).  Thus, began the so-called agony of Jesus in the garden.

Be on watch (Mk 13:34-13:34)

“The end times

Is like a man

Going on a journey.

When he leaves home,

He puts his slaves

In charge,

Each with

Their own work tasks.

He commands

The doorkeeper

To be on the watch.”

 

ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν, ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ, καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ.

 

This parable is similar to Matthew, chapter 25:14 and to Luke, chapter 19:12-27, where the story is about the power of a nobleman with 10 slaves, but the basic concept is the same.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that the end times would be like a man going on a journey (ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος).  He left his house (ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ).  He gave his slaves the authority (καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν) to perform their own individual tasks (ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ).  He commanded a doorkeeper to stand watch over this whole situation (καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ).

Jesus walks on the sea (Mk 6:48-6:48)

“When Jesus saw

That they were straining

At the oars

Against an adverse wind,

Jesus came towards them.

Early in the morning

Jesus was walking

On the sea.

He intended

To pass them by.”

 

καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτοὺς βασανιζομένους ἐν τῷ ἐλαύνειν, ἦν γὰρ ὁ ἄνεμος ἐναντίος αὐτοῖς, περὶ τετάρτην φυλακὴν τῆς νυκτὸς ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης· καὶ ἤθελεν παρελθεῖν αὐτούς. 

 

This incident about Jesus walking on water can be found in Matthew, chapter 14:24-25, and John, chapter 6:18-19, but without some of the details here.  Mark said that Jesus saw that they were straining at their rowing oars (καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτοὺς βασανιζομένους ἐν τῷ ἐλαύνειν).  They had an adverse wind against them (ἦν γὰρ ὁ ἄνεμος ἐναντίος αὐτοῖς).  In other words, they were in a little trouble. Early in the morning, or the 4th watch of the night (περὶ τετάρτην φυλακὴν τῆς νυκτὸς), Jesus came walking towards them on the sea (ἔρχεται πρὸς αὐτοὺς περιπατῶν ἐπὶ τῆς θαλάσσης).  He intended to pass them by (καὶ ἤθελεν παρελθεῖν αὐτούς).  There is no indication in any of these stories why Jesus was walking on the water.