James and John on either side of Jesus (Mt 20:21-20:21)

Jesus said to her.

‘What do you want?’

She said to him.

‘Declare

That these two sons of mine

Will sit,

One at your right hand

And one at your left hand,

In your kingdom.’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ Τί θέλεις; λέγει αὐτῷ Εἰπὲ ἵνα καθίσωσιν οὗτοι οἱ δύο υἱοί μου εἷς ἐκ δεξιῶν καὶ εἷς ἐξ εὐωνύμων σου ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ σου.

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 10:36-37, but there the brothers, rather than their mother spoke with Jesus.  Jesus then asked her what did she want or wish (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ Τί θέλεις)?  She said to him (λέγει αὐτῷ) that she wanted Jesus to declare or command that her two sons (Εἰπὲ ἵνα καθίσωσιν οὗτοι οἱ δύο υἱοί μου) would sit at the right hand (εἷς ἐκ δεξιῶν) and at the left hand (καὶ εἷς ἐξ εὐωνύμων σου) of Jesus in his kingdom (ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ σου).  After all, they had been with Peter at the transfiguration and were one of the four original disciples.  Thus, they were already very special.  Perhaps, she thought of this as an earthly kingdom.  Strangely enough at the crucifixion of Jesus, it would be two thieves on his right and left side.

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The first part of the Lord’s prayer (Mt 6:9-6:10)

“Pray then in this way!

‘Our Father

In heaven!

Holy be your name!

Let your kingdom come!

Your will be done,

On earth,

As it is in heaven.’”

 

οὕτως οὖν προσεύχεσθε ὑμεῖς Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς· Ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου·

ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου· γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου, ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς·

 

Matthew, as well as Luke, chapter 11:2-3, both have the “Lord’s Prayer,” “The Our Father,” with only slightly different versions, perhaps indicating a Q source.  The text in Luke is shorter than here, since Matthew has 7 demands of God, one of his favorite numbers.  The first part of the prayer is about the glory of God himself, the Father.  Jesus simply tells them to pray like this (οὕτως οὖν προσεύχεσθε ὑμεῖς).  The Greek word for praying “προσεύχεσθε” means an exchange of wishes.  Jesus opened this prayer with a call to their common “our” Father (Πάτερ ἡμῶν) who is in the heavens (ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς).  The heavenly father was a major theme throughout Matthew.  His name should be holy (Ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου), just as in the Hebrew scriptures where the name of Yahweh was holy, especially Psalm 105:1-5.  His kingdom should come (ἐλθάτω ἡ βασιλεία σου).  His will should be done (γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου) on earth (καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς), just as it is done in heaven (ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ).  Obviously following the will of God, Yahweh, was a common theme of Judaic life.  The followers of Jesus would not be exempt from following the will of their heavenly Father.