Was John the Christ Messiah? (Lk 3:15-3:15)

“The people

Were filled

With expectations.

All were wondering

In their hearts

Concerning John.

Was he perhaps

The Christ,

The Messiah?”

 

Προσδοκῶντος δὲ τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ διαλογιζομένων πάντων ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν περὶ τοῦ Ἰωάνου, μή ποτε αὐτὸς εἴη ὁ Χριστός,

 

This question about John the Baptist being the Messiah can be found in John, chapter 1:25, where the Pharisees asked this question.  Here Luke said that the people were full of expectations (Προσδοκῶντος δὲ τοῦ λαοῦ).  All were questioning or wondering in their hearts concerning John (καὶ διαλογιζομένων πάντων ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν περὶ τοῦ Ἰωάνου).  Was he perhaps the Christ, the Messiah (μή ποτε αὐτὸς εἴη ὁ Χριστός)?  In other words, the question was not explicitly stated, but only thought about.  They were wondering if John the Baptist, the son of Zechariah, was the expected Messiah or Christ.

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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.

The good seed grows (Mk 4:26-4:27)

“Jesus said.

‘The kingdom of God

Is as if

Someone would

Scatter seed

On the ground.

He would sleep.

He would rise

Night and day.

Meanwhile,

The seed

Would sprout

And grow.

He does not know

How this happens.’”

 

Καὶ ἔλεγεν Οὕτως ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὡς ἄνθρωπος βάλῃ τὸν σπόρον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς,

καὶ καθεύδῃ  καὶ ἐγείρηται νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν, καὶ ὁ σπόρος βλαστᾷ καὶ μηκύνηται ὡς οὐκ οἶδεν αὐτός

 

This unique parable of Mark is not found in any of the other synoptic gospels.  Jesus said (Καὶ ἔλεγεν) that the kingdom of God (Οὕτως ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) was like as if someone or a man would scatter, place, or drop some seeds on the ground (ὡς ἄνθρωπος βάλῃ τὸν σπόρον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  He would then go to sleep (καὶ καθεύδῃ) and wake up (καὶ ἐγείρηται) every night and day (νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν).  Meanwhile, the seeds would sprout (καὶ ὁ σπόρος βλαστᾷ) and grow (καὶ μηκύνηται).  However, he did not know how this happened (ὡς οὐκ οἶδεν αὐτός).  This is a little like the sower and the seeds in the various difficult places.  However, this is a simpler story.  He was just wondering how things grew in the kingdom of God.