Jesus responds (Mt 26:63-26:64)

“But Jesus was silent.

Then the high priest

Said to him.

‘I put you under oath

Before the living God!

Tell us!

If you are the Christ,

The Messiah,

The Son of God?’

Jesus said to him.

‘You have said so.

But I tell you!

From now on

You will see

The Son of Man

Seated at the right hand

Of Power.

He will be coming

On the clouds of heaven.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐσιώπα. καὶ ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ἐξορκίζω σε κατὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ζῶντος ἵνα ἡμῖν εἴπῃς εἰ σὺ εἶ ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ.

λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Σὺ εἶπας· πλὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀπ’ ἄρτι ὄψεσθε τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καθήμενον ἐκ δεξιῶν τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ ἐρχόμενον ἐπὶ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:61-62.  In Luke, chapter 22:67-69, there is something similar, but there is nothing like this in John, chapter 18.  Matthew said that Jesus was originally silent (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐσιώπα).  Then the high priest Caiaphas said to Jesus (καὶ ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) that he was going to put him under oath according to the living God (Ἐξορκίζω σε κατὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ζῶντος).  Caiaphas told Jesus to tell everyone there (ἵνα ἡμῖν εἴπῃς) whether he was the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God (εἰ σὺ εἶ ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ).  This was a strongly worded theological statement.  Then Jesus replied to Caiaphas, the high priest (λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς), that he had said so (Σὺ εἶπας).  Then Jesus gave him a warning with a solemn pronouncement (πλὴν λέγω ὑμῖν).  He told him that from now on (ἀπ’ ἄρτι), he would see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power, Yahweh, or God, the Father (ὄψεσθε τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καθήμενον ἐκ δεξιῶν τῆς δυνάμεως), coming on the clouds of heaven (καὶ ἐρχόμενον ἐπὶ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  Jesus gave a strong theological response that the end times were near when the Son of Man would appear on a cloud.

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The sheep and the goats (Mt 25:32-25:33

“All the nations

Will be gathered

Before him.

He will separate people,

One from another.

Just as a shepherd

Separates

The sheep

From the goats,

He will place

The sheep

At his right hand.

He will place

The goats

At his left side.”

 

καὶ συναχθήσονται ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, καὶ ἀφορίσει αὐτοὺς ἀπ’ ἀλλήλων, ὥσπερ ὁ ποιμὴν ἀφορίζει τὰ πρόβατα ἀπὸ τῶν ἐρίφων,

καὶ στήσει τὰ μὲν πρόβατα ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ, τὰ δὲ ἐρίφια ἐξ εὐωνύμων.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that all the gentile nations would be gathered before him (καὶ συναχθήσονται ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη).  Then he would separate them from each other (καὶ ἀφορίσει αὐτοὺς ἀπ’ ἀλλήλων).  Just like a shepherd separated the sheep from the goats (ὥσπερ ὁ ποιμὴν ἀφορίζει τὰ πρόβατα ἀπὸ τῶν ἐρίφων), he would place the sheep at his right hand (καὶ στήσει τὰ μὲν πρόβατα ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ).  Then he would place the goats at his left hand (τὰ δὲ ἐρίφια ἐξ εὐωνύμων).  The divine judgment of Yahweh was a common biblical theme.  Here it is the Son of Man who judges everyone.  On the right side are the just righteous sheep, while on the left side are the wild or bad goats, a common generic theme.  Good is to the right, just as right-handed people are good.  Left-handed people are looked at with suspicion, as are left leaning policies.

The Son of Man on the clouds (Mt 24:30-24:30)

“Then the sign

Of the Son of Man

Will appear

In heaven.

Then all the tribes

Of the earth

Will mourn.

They will see

The Son of Man

Coming on

The clouds of heaven

With power

And great glory.”

 

καὶ τότε φανήσεται τὸ σημεῖον τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν οὐρανῷ, καὶ τότε κόψονται πᾶσαι αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς καὶ ὄψονται τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐρχόμενον ἐπὶ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ μετὰ δυνάμεως καὶ δόξης πολλῆς·

 

This is exactly the same, almost word for word, in Mark, chapter 13:26, and in Luke, chapter 21:27, for the last sentence.  The first two sentences, however, are unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that the sign of the Son of Man would appear in the heavens (καὶ τότε φανήσεται τὸ σημεῖον τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν οὐρανῷ).  Then all the tribes or races of people on the earth would mourn or lament (καὶ τότε κόψονται πᾶσαι αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς).  They would all see or experience the Son of Man (καὶ ὄψονται τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) coming on the clouds of heaven (ἐρχόμενον ἐπὶ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ) with his power (μετὰ δυνάμεως) and great glory (καὶ δόξης πολλῆς).  The clouds were the common place where theophanies in the Old Testament occurred, as Yahweh often appeared in a cloud on a mountain.

Your house is desolate (Mt 23:38-23:39)

“See!

Your house

Is left to you

Desolate!

I tell you!

You will not see me again,

Until you say.

‘Blessed is the One

Who comes

In the name

Of the Lord!’”

 

ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν.

λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν, οὐ μή με ἴδητε ἀπ’ ἄρτι ἕως ἂν εἴπητε Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου.

 

Both Luke, chapter 13:35, and Matthew have this desolation of Jerusalem, almost word for word the same, so that this may be a Q source.  Jesus said that their house of worship would be left desolate at its destruction (ἰδοὺ ἀφίεται ὑμῖν ὁ οἶκος ὑμῶν), because Yahweh God would abandon the Temple of Jerusalem.  In a solemn pronouncement (λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν), they would not see him again (οὐ μή με ἴδητε ἀπ’ ἄρτι), until they would say the Hallel Psalm 118:26 about blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord (ἕως ἂν εἴπητε Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου).  This was a warning against the powerless Temple of Jerusalem, perhaps indicating that Temple had already been destroyed.

The living God of their ancestors (Mt 22:31-22:32)

“As for the resurrection

Of the dead,

Have you not read

What was said to you

By God?

‘I am the God of Abraham.

I am the God of Isaac.

I am the God of Jacob.’

He is God.

Not of the dead,

But of the living.”

 

περὶ δὲ τῆς ἀναστάσεως τῶν νεκρῶν οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑμῖν ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ λέγοντος

Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ καὶ ὁ Θεὸς Ἰσαὰκ καὶ ὁ Θεὸς Ἰακώβ; οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ Θεὸς νεκρῶν ἀλλὰ ζώντων.

 

Jesus continued his explanation that can also be found in Mark, chapter 12:26-27, and Luke, chapter 20:37-38.  They both refer to Moses at the burning bush, a mysterious theophany that overwhelmed Moses, but is not explicitly mentioned here.  However, this was implied by the comment about God based on Exodus, chapter 3:6.  As for the resurrection of the dead (περὶ δὲ τῆς ἀναστάσεως τῶν νεκρῶν), Jesus reminded the Sadducees that they had not read the correct sayings of God (οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑμῖν ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ λέγοντος).  He then referenced the saying of Yahweh to Moses at the burning bush, that he was God of Abraham (Ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ Θεὸς Ἀβραὰμ), the God of Isaac (καὶ ὁ Θεὸς Ἰσαὰκ), and the God of Jacob (καὶ ὁ Θεὸς Ἰακώβ).  Jesus ended by saying that Yahweh, the Father, was the God of the living (ἀλλὰ ζώντων), not the dead (οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ Θεὸς νεκρῶν).

Prophecy of Zechariah (Mt 21:4-21:5)

“This took place

To fulfill

What had been spoken

Through the prophet.

Saying.

‘Tell the daughter of Zion!

Look!

Your king is coming

To you,

Humble,

Mounted on a donkey,

And on a colt,

The foal of a donkey.’”

 

Τοῦτο δὲ γέγονεν ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος

Εἴπατε τῇ θυγατρὶ Σιών Ἰδοὺ ὁ Βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεταί σοι πραῢς καὶ ἐπιβεβηκὼς ἐπὶ ὄνον καὶ ἐπὶ πῶλον υἱὸν ὑποζυγίου.

 

This is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that this activity took place (Τοῦτο δὲ γέγονεν) to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet (ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος).  Although not named, this prophet was Zechariah, chapter 9:9, one of the 12 minor prophets that lived in the 6th century BCE under Persian rule.  This prophet had said to tell the daughter of Zion (Εἴπατε τῇ θυγατρὶ Σιών) to look for their king coming to them (Ἰδοὺ ὁ Βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεταί σοι).  He would be humble, mild, or gentle (πραῢς), but mounted on a donkey (καὶ ἐπιβεβηκὼς ἐπὶ ὄνον) and a colt, that was the foal or son of a donkey (καὶ ἐπὶ πῶλον υἱὸν ὑποζυγίου).  This was an actual misreading of the prophet, since Zechariah had spoken of a young colt donkey, who had been the foal of a donkey, not two separate animals.  Matthew used this passage to show how Jesus was the expected Israelite king.  He was to be the prince of peace.  Originally, Yahweh wanted Zion or Jerusalem to shout and rejoice, because their new king was coming.  He would be triumphant, victorious, and humble at the same time, but riding on a young donkey colt.  Matthew’s intention was clear.  Jesus was the expected messiah king.

The Son of Man will give up his life (Mt 20:28-20:28)

“The Son of Man came

Not to be served,

But to serve.

He gives his life

As a ransom for many.”

 

ὥσπερ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἦλθεν διακονηθῆναι, ἀλλὰ διακονῆσαι καὶ δοῦναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν.

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 10:45, word for word.  Jesus said that the Son of Man came not to be served (ὥσπερ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἦλθεν διακονηθῆναι), but to serve others (ἀλλὰ διακονῆσαι).  He was going to give his life (καὶ δοῦναι τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ) as a ransom for many people (λύτρον ἀντὶ πολλῶν).  This ransom or freeing of slaves was a divine liberation from the slavery of sin.  Quite often in the Old Testament, Yahweh said that he was going to save his people, the Israelites.  Jesus was going to pay the penalty of death.  Thus, he ransomed a great number of people from their sins or their debts.