Follow the commandments (Mk 10:19-10:19)

“You know

The commandments!

‘You shall not murder!

You shall not commit adultery!

You shall not steal!

You shall not bear false witness!

You shall not defraud!

Honor your father!

Honor your mother!’”

 

τὰς ἐντολὰς οἶδας Μὴ φονεύσῃς, Μὴ μοιχεύσῃς, Μὴ κλέψῃς, Μὴ ψευδομαρτυρήσῃς, Μὴ ἀποστερήσῃς, Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα

 

This response of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:17-19, and Luke, chapter 18:20, but slightly different, since Luke and Mark are closer to each other.  Mark said that Jesus gave the classic answer for those who wanted to enter eternal life.  They knew the commandments or laws (τὰς ἐντολὰς οἶδας).  Follow them!  Mark did not have any question about which commandments to follow.  Jesus just mentioned some of the commandments.  You shall not kill or murder (Μὴ φονεύσῃς)!  You shall not commit adultery (Μὴ μοιχεύσῃς)!  You shall not steal (Μὴ κλέψῃς)!  You shall not bear false witness (Μὴ ψευδομαρτυρήσῃς)!  You shall not defraud (Μὴ ἀποστερήσῃς)!  Honor your father (Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου)!  Honor your mother (καὶ τὴν μητέρα)!  All of these are from the Ten Commandments in Exodus, chapter 20:12-16, and Deuteronomy, chapter 5:16-20.  Mark does not have the reminder to love your neighbor.  However, he added the comment about not defrauding others.

The tradition of Moses (Mk 7:10-7:10)

“Moses said.

‘Honor your father!

Honor your mother!’

‘Whoever speaks evil

Of father

Or mother,

Must surely die!’”

 

Μωϋσῆς γὰρ εἶπεν Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα σου, καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα θανάτῳ τελευτάτω.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 15:4.  Mark indicated that Jesus gave an example of one of God’s Ten Commandments that Moses had given them (Μωϋσῆς γὰρ εἶπεν) about honoring your father and mother (Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα σου), as found in Exodus, chapter 20:12 and Deuteronomy chapter 5:16.  There it said that you will live long and things will go well with you, if you take care of and honor your parents.  Jesus then added in the saying about speaking evil of one’s parents (καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα) from Exodus, chapter 21:17, and Leviticus, chapter 20:9, where the penalty for striking or cursing a parent was death (θανάτῳ τελευτάτω).

His family asks for Jesus (Mk 3:32-3:32)

“A crowd

Was sitting

Around Jesus.

They said to him.

‘Look!

Your mother,

Your brothers,

And your sisters

Are outside,

Asking for you.’”

 

καὶ ἐκάθητο περὶ αὐτὸν ὄχλος, καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Ἰδοὺ ἡ μήτηρ σου καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου καὶ αἱ ἀδελφαί σου ἔξω ζητοῦσίν σε.

 

Luke, chapter 8:20, and Matthew, chapter 12:47, have something similar, almost word for word, so that Mark might be the source of this saying.  Mark indicated that someone from the crowd sitting around him (καὶ ἐκάθητο περὶ αὐτὸν ὄχλος) said that he should look (καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Ἰδοὺ) because his mother (ἡ μήτηρ σου), his brothers (καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί σου), and his sisters (καὶ αἱ ἀδελφαί σου) were outside (ἔξω) wanting to talk to him or searching for him (ζητοῦσίν σε).  Matthew and Luke never mentioned anything about his sisters, only his brothers, who were all unnamed.

Which commandments? (Mt 19:18-19:19)

“He said to Jesus.

‘Which ones?’

Jesus said.

‘You shall not murder!

You shall not commit adultery!

You shall not steal!

You shall not bear false witness!

Honor your father!

Honor your mother!

Also,

You shall love your neighbor

As yourself!’”

 

λέγει αὐτῷ Ποίας; ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἔφη Τὸ Οὐ φονεύσεις, Οὐ μοιχεύσεις, Οὐ κλέψεις, Οὐ ψευδομαρτυρήσεις,

Τίμα τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα, καὶ Ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.

 

Jesus, via Matthew, indicated which commandments he wanted this man to keep.  This can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:19, and Luke, chapter 18:20, but slightly different, without the reminder to love your neighbor.  There also was no question about which commandments.  Here this person asked Jesus which commandments (λέγει αὐτῷ Ποίας;).  Jesus responded to him (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἔφη) directly citing which commandments.  You shall not kill or murder (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἔφη)!  You shall not commit adultery (Οὐ μοιχεύσεις)!  You shall not steal (Οὐ κλέψεις)!  You shall not bear false witness (Οὐ ψευδομαρτυρήσεις)!  Honor your father (Τίμα τὸν πατέρα)!  Honor your mother (καὶ τὴν μητέρα)!  All of these are from the Ten Commandments in Exodus, chapter 20:12-16, and Deuteronomy, chapter 5:16-20.  However, Matthew added something not in the other two gospel stories.  This man was to love or esteem his neighbor as himself, that was from Leviticus, chapter 19:18.

 

Honor your parents (Mt 15:4-15:5)

“God said.

‘Honor your father!

Honor your mother!’

‘Whoever speaks evil

Of father

Or mother

Must surely die.’

But you say.

‘Whoever tells

His father

Or his mother.

Whatever gift

He made

To God,

It would not profit

Or honor

His parents.’”

 

ὁ γὰρ Θεὸς εἶπεν Τίμα τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα, καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα θανάτῳ τελευτάτω·

ὑμεῖς δὲ λέγετε Ὃς ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ πατρὶ ἢ τῇ μητρί Δῶρον ὃ ἐὰν ἐξ ἐμοῦ ὠφεληθῇς,

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 7:10-12.  Jesus gave an example of how the Pharisees had turned away from God’s commandments in favor of their own traditions.  He took as an example, one of God’s Ten Commandments (ὁ γὰρ Θεὸς εἶπεν) about honoring your father and mother (Τίμα τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα), as found in Exodus, chapter 20:12 and Deuteronomy chapter 5:16, where it said that you will live long and things will go well with you if you take care of and honor your parents.  Jesus then added in the saying about speaking evil of one’s parents (καί Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα) from Exodus, chapter 21:17, and Leviticus, chapter 20:9, where the penalty for striking or cursing a parent was death (θανάτῳ τελευτάτω).  He seemed to indicate that the Pharisees believed and said (ὑμεῖς δὲ λέγετε) that an individual could tell his parents (Ὃς ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ πατρὶ ἢ τῇ μητρί) that whatever gift they had given to God as a “korab” Temple offering, their parents could not profit from it (Δῶρον ὃ ἐὰν ἐξ ἐμοῦ ὠφεληθῇς).  Therefore, they would only offer gifts to God and not their parents.  Sometimes people did not give their temple gift or “korab” until just before death, but never give anything to their parents.

Take care of your father (Sir 3:10-3:16)

“Do not glorify yourself

By dishonoring your father.

Your father’s dishonor

Is no glory to you.

The glory of one’ father

Is one’s own glory.

It is a disgrace for children

Not to respect their mother.

My child!

Help your father in his old age!

Do not grieve him

As long as he lives.

Even if his mind fails,

Be patient with him!

Because you have all your faculties

Do not despise him!

Kindness to a father

Will not be forgotten.

Kindness to a father

Will be credited to you against yours sins.

In the day of your distress

It will be remembered in your favor.

Like frost in fair weather,

Your sins will melt away.

Whoever forsakes his father

Is like a blasphemer.

Whoever angers his mother

Is cursed by the Lord.”

Continuing the theme of taking care of parents, you should not consider dishonoring your father as a glory to you. It is a disgrace not to honor your mother also. You should help your father in his old age. You should not bother him. Be patient with him, even if his mind fails and you have all your faculties. The kindness to a father will be credited against your sins. When you are in trouble, it will be remembered in your favor. Like frost melting in sunny weather, your sins will melt away. However, if you forsake your father, that is like a blasphemy. If you anger your mother, you will be cursed by God.

Your duty to your parents (Sir 3:1-3:9)

“Listen to me!

Your father!

O children!

Act accordingly!

Thus you may be kept in safety.

The Lord honors a father above his children.

The Lord confirms a mother’s right over her children.

Whoever honors their father

Atones for sins.

Whoever respects their mother is

Like one who lays up treasure.

Whoever honors their father

Will have joy in their own children.

When one prays

They will be heard.

Whoever respects their father

Will have a long life.

Whoever honors their mother

Obeys the Lord.

They will serve their parents as masters.

Honor your father by word.

Honor your father by deed.

Thus his blessing may come upon you.

A father’s blessing

Strengthens the houses of the children.

But a mother’s curse

Uproots their foundations.”

Now Sirach asks children to listen to their fathers. If they do so, they will be safe. The Lord has placed the father in charge of the children, so the children should respect their fathers. If they do, they will atone for their sins. They should respect their mothers because she is like an important treasure. If you honor your father, you will have joy in your own children. Their prayers will be heard. They will have a long life. If you honor your mother, you obey God. You should honor your parents by word and deed as if they were your masters. This is like the divine right of parents. Blessings will come upon you to strengthen the house of your children. However, watch out for the curse of your mother, which could uproot everything.