Mark

The shortest of the Gospels, the Gospel of Mark is thought by some to date to as early as 40 AD, though commentators who dated it that early may have been basing that on the tradition that Peter came to Rome around 42 AD. That tradition likewise asserts that Peter was the guiding force behind Mark's record of the ministry of Christ. Most scholars, however, date the work to around 70 AD.

I differ from the majority opinion in that I question the notion that Matthew would ever have copied portions of his Gospel from Mark’s, although a dispassionate textual analysis suggests that. To me, it is unreasonable to hold that Matthew, who had been present during the entire ministry of Christ, would make use of something written by Mark, who was present for little more than the events leading up to the Crucifixion. Eusebius (Hist. eccl., 111, xxxix, 16), quoted Papias as saying that Matthew wrote a collection of the oracles of Jesus in “the Hebrew language,” and the existence of an early Aramaic Matthew might explain the apparent similarity between the two Gospels, and how the texts of Matthew we have can seem to be derived from Mark’s Gospel. I suspect that Mark either employed an original copy of Matthew’s Aramaic Gospel in the creation of his own Gospel (sometimes called the Parker Hypothesis), or else a Greek version of Matthew’s Gospel that he condensed. Luke, who knew Mark, may have taken this document and added to it in the creation of his own Gospel. Finally, that Mark wrote to a Roman audience is indicated by 15:44 where a Latin spelling is used for the word centurion.

 

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 1

1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;

2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.1

6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts2 and wild honey;

7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.

8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

12 And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.3

16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

19 And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.

20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.

21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.

22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.

23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,

24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth?4 art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.

26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.

27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.

28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.

29 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

30 But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.

31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.

32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.

33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.

34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.

35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him.

37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.

38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

39 And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.

40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;

44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

45 But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.

1 This is how the “Good News” regarding Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God began!

2 It was written in the scroll of the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

4 John the Baptizer immersed people out in the wilderness, and proclaimed the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

5 And everyone from Judea and Jerusalem went out to be baptized by him in the Jordan river, (publicly) confessing their sins.

6 John dressed in a garment of camel hair with a leather girdle around his loins. He ate (carob) and wild honey.

7 And he preached, saying: There is one coming after me who is mightier than I am, whose sandal straps I am not even worthy to bend down and untie!

8 I have certainly baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!

9 It came to pass in the days of John’s ministry that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and was baptized by him in the Jordan.

10 And as Jesus came up out of the water, John had a vision of the heavens opening and the Spirit of God descending upon Jesus like a dove;

11 And a heavenly voice spoke and said: You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!

12 Immediately after this, the Spirit compelled Jesus to go into the desert.

13 He was there for forty days, being tempted by Satan, and facing wild animals; and angels ministered to him.

14 Now after Herod Antipas had put John in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the “Good News” of the Kingdom of God,

15 Saying: The time is here, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent, all of you, and believe the Gospel!

16 Now as Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Shimon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea from a boat, for they were fishermen.

17 Jesus said to them: Come follow me, and I will cause you to fish for men!

18 And they immediately left their nets behind, and followed him.

19 When he’d gone a bit further down the shore, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his (younger) brother, who were also in a boat mending their nets.

20 He immediately called them too, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired hands, and went with him.

21 The group went to Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue, and taught.

22 The people were amazed at his doctrine, for he taught as one who had authority, and not as the Torah teachers (who offered up opinion after opinion from the sages, living and dead, on what the Law meant).

23 Now in the synagogue was a man with a demon who cried out:

24 Let us alone! Why are you bothering us, Jesus of Nazareth? Are you here to destroy us? I know who you are--you are the Holy One of God!

25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying: Shut up, and come out of him!

26 When the demon had thrown the man to the ground in convulsions, it screamed out and left him.

27 Everyone was amazed, and wondered amongst themselves things like: What sort of new teaching is this? He even has authority to command demon spirits, and they must obey him!

28 And his fame immediately spread throughout Galilee and the region.

29 After they left the synagogue, Jesus, James, and John went to stay at the house of Shimon and Andrew.

30 There, Shimon’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever, and they told Jesus about her.

31 He came and took her by the hand, lifted her to her feet, and immediately the fever left. Then she prepared food for them.

32 At sunset, a host of sick people, along with many who were afflicted by demons, were brought to the house.

33 The whole city, in fact, was outside Shimon’s door!

34 Jesus healed many who were ill, and he cast out many demons, though he did not allow the demons to speak because they knew who and what he was.

35 Hours before dawn, Jesus sought out an isolated place to go pray.

36 A while later, Shimon and the others followed after him.

37 When they found Jesus, they told him: Everyone is looking for you!

38 But Jesus said: Let us go instead to the next towns so I can preach there as well, for this is why I came.

39 So Jesus preached in the synagogues throughout Galilee, and he cast out demons too.

40 At one point, a leper came to him [and knelt down], pleading: If you will it to be done, you can cleanse me of this disease!

41 Jesus, moved with compassion, extended his hand and touched him, saying: I do will it--so be cleansed!

41 (Alternate reading): Jesus, irritated with him, extended his hand and touched him, saying: I do will it--so be cleansed!

42 As soon as he spoke this, the leprosy vanished, and he was cleansed!

43 Jesus curtly sent him on his way, telling him:

44 Don’t say anything to anyone about this healing, but go to the High Priest and make the required offering in the Law for a cleansed leper. This will be a testimony for the priests (of what I am, and that miracles still happen).

45 But the man instead went and told everyone he saw. So many people descended upon Jesus after this that he could no longer go into any city, but had to retreat into the deserts; and people still came to him from every direction.

1. This shows an original pattern of baptism that is no longer followed: As the people repented, they would verbally confess their sins to those assembled. Then they would immerse in water three times.

2. As mentioned in the Matthew commentary, this is a mistranslation. Carob pods is the correct understanding, although locusts were kosher, and John would have eaten them when he could catch them.

3. It is interesting to note that here we have an absolute record of what Jesus was teaching the people: Repent! This is in contradiction to some popular teaching in the past few years that Jesus went around emphasizing that He was anointed.

4. Better paraphrased as: “Why are you bothering us?” Matthew 8:29, in the instance of the Gaderene demoniac(s), shows a similar question being asked, with the additional information that the demons know they are ‘free’ until a preset time in the future. It apparently came as a surprise to these demons that prior to the Last Judgment, Christ and those who would follow Him would overturn their authority and freedom.

 

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 2

1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.1

6 But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?2

8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

13 And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.

14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi3 the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.

16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?4

17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?

19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.

22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.5

23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.

24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?6

25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?

26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar7 the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

1 After a few days, Jesus returned to Shimon’s house in Capernaum. It didn’t take long for word to spread.

2 And in no time there was a crowd so thick that they couldn’t even fit through the door as Jesus preached the Message to them.

3 Four men, meanwhile, brought a paralytic man (who could not move off his bed).

4 But when they saw it was impossible to get near Jesus because of the throng of people, they went around back, climbed upon the roof of the house; then pried off the tiles of the roof above Jesus so they could lower the sick man down--bed and all--into the house!

5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic man: Son--your sins are forgiven you!

6 But some of the Torah teachers sitting there who heard that were offended, and thought to themselves:

7 Why does this man say blasphemous things?! Who but God can forgive sins?

8 But Jesus immediately knew in his spirit what their thoughts were, and he answered by saying: Why are you debating such things inside your hearts?

9 Is it easier to say that a man’s sins are forgiven than it is to tell a paralytic to get up, pick up his bed, and walk?

10 But so that you can know that the Son of Man (--the bar Enash, prophesied of by Daniel--) has the authority on earth to forgive sins,

11 I say to you--get up, pick up your bed, and go back home!

12 And immediately he got up, picked up his bed, and walked out before the whole crowd! Everyone was dumbfounded, and glorified God, saying: We’ve never seen anything like this!

13 Jesus went out again to the shore, where a crowd soon gathered, and he taught them.

14 As he walked along, he saw (Matthew), son of Alphaeus, sitting at his tax-collecting booth, and he told him: Follow me! So he arose and followed him.

15 That evening, as Jesus dined in (Matthew’s) house, many tax collectors and unrighteous people--some of whom followed Jesus about as he traveled--sat with Jesus and his disciples.

16 But when the Pharisee Torah teachers saw Jesus dining with tax collectors and sinners, they asked the disciples: How is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?

17 When Jesus heard this, he said: The well have no need of a doctor; it’s the sick who do! I came not to call the righteous to repent, but to call those who are sinners.

18 Now both the disciples of John and the Pharisees, would often fast (and afflict their souls by rejecting anything pleasurable, while offering up many prayers). Once, they were all fasting, and some (of John’s disciples) came to Jesus to ask: Why do both the disciples of John and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?

19 Jesus responded: Can the bridegroom’s retinue fast (and mourn) while the bridegroom is in their midst? As long as the bridegroom is with them they cannot fast (for the joy they have).

20 But soon enough, the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them. When those days come, they will indeed fast (and mourn).

21 No one sews a patch of brand new cloth on an old article of clothing, for the new patch will shrink in the wash and tear an even bigger hole in the garment.

22 Nor do men put fresh, fermenting wine in stiff old wineskins that can crack and spill the contents out. You put new wine into new wineskins.

23 One Sabbath (during the Feast of Unleavened Bread), Jesus was passing through a wheat field, and as they walked along making a path, the disciples plucked some of the wheat heads to eat.

24 Some Pharisees who watched this were offended, and said: Look there--why are they doing what is forbidden in the Torah on the Sabbath?!

25 But Jesus responded: Have you never read what David did when he and his men were hungry, and had no food?

26 How he went into the Tabernacle of God (when Abiathar was High Priest,) and ate the shewbread that the Law restricts to the priests? And how he gave some to his men as well? (Was God offended by this “transgression?“)

27 Jesus concluded: The Sabbath came into existence to serve man; man did not come into existence to serve the Sabbath!

28 Therefore, the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath (with the right to determine what acts are, and are not, permissible to do on it).

1. Yet another instance where physical illness is clearly shown, in some cases, to be a result of sin. It is also interesting that Jesus seems to forgive the infirm man’s sins on the basis of his friends’ faith rather than the man's own.

2. Their thoughts are perfectly reasonable, and are a proof text to establish that Jesus was Himself God in the flesh.

3. Levi was apparently Matthew’s Hebrew name (assuming this was not Matthias as Origen claimed). As noted in Matthew, he may have been a mokhsa, who could levy taxes at will in the area he supervised, taxing goods, charging tolls, enacting tariffs, and so on, while overseeing a number of underlings that directly collected the taxes due in everyday life.

4. In the time of Christ--and even today--an attitude had developed that the righteous must separate themselves from the unrighteous, and thus the religious elders of Judaism are amazed that Jesus fellowships with sinful people. Recall that in the Jewish mind, the “sinners” were those who either were non-religious, or else were somewhat religious but failed to obey either the written or Pharisee oral Torahs with sufficient zeal to mark them as truly righteous.

5. Back then, “new bottles” could refer to newly created leather wineskins, or else to pre-existing wineskins that were thoroughly immersed and washed in clean water, which rendered them usable once again.

6. As noted in the Matthew commentary, the Pharisees here are accusing the disciples of harvesting grain,* which is forbidden on the Sabbath. However, in Luke's account of this event, we see that the group were rolling the grain in their hands to loosen the kernels for eating, which at the time was believed by the Galileans to be a technically permissible way to obtain morsels of food on the Sabbath if none was otherwise available. Note that Jesus does not personally do likewise.

 

* Actually, wheat. Not corn, as we know it.

 

7. This appears to be a scribal error that has crept into the text as Ahimelech was the High Priest at this time. Some early texts in fact do not include this portion of the verse in it.

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 3

1.And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered1 hand.

2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.2

3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians3 against him, how they might destroy him.

7 But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea,

8 And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.

9 And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.

10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.

11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.

12 And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.

13 And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.

14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:

16 And Simon he surnamed Peter;

17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges4, which is, The sons of thunder:

18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite5,

19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.

21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself6.

22 And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.

23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?

24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man7; and then he will spoil his house.

28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.8

31 There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.

32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.

33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?

34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

1 Jesus again returned to the synagogue where there was a man with a deformed hand.

2. (Offended by his earlier Sabbath comments,) the religious leaders were also there to see if Jesus would heal him on the Sabbath so they could have some accusation to make against him.

3 Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand: Stand forth!

4 Then he asked the religious leaders: Does the Law permit doing good on the Sabbath? Or does it permit doing evil? Does it allow saving life on the Sabbath? Or does it allow killing? But they would not answer.

5 After he had stared angrily at them, frustrated at their hard hearts, Jesus said to the man: Stretch out your hand! He did, and the hand was made whole like the other!

6 These Pharisees then left, and quickly made an alliance with a group of elite priests--supporters of the Herods--and they all debated how to destroy Jesus.

7 But Jesus and his disciples left for the shore of the lake, and a great multitude from Galilee and Judea followed him.

8 Crowds from Jerusalem, Idumea, from the east side of the Jordan River, and even Tyre and Sidon also joined them after hearing what great miracles Jesus was doing.

9 But Jesus ordered the disciples to find and keep a boat handy in case he was forced into the water by the crowd thronging him.

10 For people were being whipped into a frenzy at seeing Jesus healing many people, and hosts tried to get close enough just to touch him, because many had serious diseases.

11 Demon spirits, when they saw him, caused the people they inhabited to fall down, and they shouted: You are the Son of God!

12 But he sternly commanded them to keep silent, and not reveal who and what he was.

13 In time, he went up to a mountain calling for some of his disciples to follow, and they went with him.

14 He (laid hands on, and) ordained twelve, making them his (chief) disciples, that they might travel with him (and learn); then go out to preach.

15 He also gave them the power to heal people, and to exorcise demon spirits.

16 And Jesus gave Shimon the surname of Peter--or Rock.

17 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, he dubbed Thunderheads.

18 The disciples also included: Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus (Jude), Simon the Cannanean (Zealot),

19 Along with Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (After they were all ordained,) they returned to a house in town.

20 The multitude quickly assembled again, and Jesus and the disciples couldn’t even find time to eat a snack.

21 When Jesus’ friends heard about all this, they tried to usher him away from the scene, saying: He must have lost his mind!

22 Meanwhile, the Torah teachers from Jerusalem were saying: He is possessed by Beelzebub, and by the dark power of the prince of devils he is casting out all these demons!

23 When he heard this, Jesus summoned the Torah teachers over and spoke parables to them, saying: Why would Satan cast out his own demons?

24 If a kingdom is divided by civil war, it will fall.

25 A family divided will not stand.

26 And if Satan rises up against his own forces and turns against them, then he, himself, cannot stand--and is actually bringing about his own downfall!

27 Look--no man enters into the house of a mighty man and takes his goods unless he first confronts the mighty man, overcomes him, and ties him up. Then he takes every item of value from the house with impunity.

28 And I want you to know that all sins will be forgiven mankind, and all evil words they speak will also be forgiven.

29 But he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, for he is caught in an everlasting sin he cannot repent of.

30 He told them this because they said, “He has a demon spirit!”

31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent word for Jesus to come out.

32 As the crowd sat around him, Jesus was told: Your mother and brethren are here, and want to see you.

33 But he answered: Who are my mother and brethren?

34 Then he looked about to those who sat around him (listening to his words), and said: These are my mother and brethren!

35 For anyone who does the will of God is my brother, my sister, and my mother!

1. A strong word is used here meaning that the hand was totally shriveled up and crippled in such a way as to be noticeably deformed.

2. As noted elsewhere, this preoccupation with treating healing on the Sabbath as a sin suggests that these were probably Shammaiites. We might also point out their own hypocrisy in going out (which would be traveling on the Sabbath) and forming a plot against Jesus on the Sabbath when they should have been resting themselves!

3. Herodians were religious elders and priests with political ties to King Herod.

4. The precise meaning of the word here translated as “sons of thunder” is not fully known since it is not a true Greek word, but a transliteration from Aramaic. It may be that “Hotheads,” “Thunderheads,” or something similar may be closer to what Jesus was saying.

5. Cannanean (i.e, Zealot) is the correct translation.

6. The word translated as “beside himself” is better understood as, “lost his mind,” or “gone stark-raving mad.”

7. The “strong man” is the devil himself, and Jesus is here is revealing that He--even at this point, before the cross--has taken authority over Satan.

8. There is some debate about just what constitutes the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit Jesus warns against. In the context here, knowledgeable Jewish elders have seen a divine miracle, and despite knowing in their hearts it is of God, attribute that miracle to the devil simply because they reject the Messenger. This is what Jesus seems to say is unforgivable. Perhaps the best point that can be made with respect to this sin is that it is unforgivable because it is not repentable: someone who has committed it has no concern over it, no desire to repent, and no desire to seek forgiveness, since that ability comes from the Holy Spirit’s conviction in the first place.

 

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 4

1 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.

2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,

3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.

11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.1

13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

14 The sower soweth the word.

15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.

18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.2

21 And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.

23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.

26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:

32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.

34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

39 And he arose, and rebuked3 the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

1 And Jesus began again to teach along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, but so many people came that he had to get into a boat and preach from a few yards out on the water as the crowd listened on shore.

2 He used many parables in teaching his doctrine, including this one:

3 Listen! A farmer went out to sow some seeds.

4 As he sowed, some fell by the side of the road, and the birds came and ate the seed up.

5 Some fell on rocky ground where there wasn’t much soil, and the seed sprouted immediately because it lay on the surface of the dirt.

6 But when the sun grew hot, it withered up and died because it had no roots.

7 Some seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns choked the plants so that they gave no fruit.

8 But some fell on good ground, and grew up to yield fruit: Some a little; some a lot; and some bountiful.

9 Jesus said to them: He who is able to understand, let him understand.

10 When Jesus was alone, (his followers) and the twelve apostles asked him what the parable meant.

11 He replied: You have been given the privilege to understand the mysteries regarding the Messianic Kingdom, but those outside of our group do not have that privilege, and so I speak to them in parables,

12 That (as was prophesied), seeing they will see, yet not perceive; and hearing they shall hear, but not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins forgiven.

13 Jesus added: Do you really not understand this parable? If not, how can you understand anything I am going to teach in parables?

14 The sower sows the Message (of the Gospel).

15 Those by the wayside represent people who hear the Message. But after they’ve heard it, Satan comes immediately to steal away the Message that was sown in their hearts.

16 Likewise, the seed sown on stony ground represents people who hear the Message, and immediately receive it with joy,

17 But they have no root of the Message in their hearts, so these endure for a time, but when trouble or persecution comes upon them for the sake of the Message, they immediately stumble (in their faith).

18 The seed sown amongst the thorns represents those who hear the Message,

19 But the burdens of this world, the lie that wealth is the answer to all problems, and the lust for possessions choke the Message so that it never bears fruit in their lives (because they set their priorities on these other things).

20 But the seed sown on good ground represents those who hear the Message, receive it into their hearts, and bring forth fruit: Some a little; some a lot; and some bountiful.

21 Jesus added: Is a candle meant to be put under a basket or to be hid under a bed? Isn’t it meant to be put in a candlestick?

22 So nothing is hidden without its eventually being meant to be revealed, and nothing is kept secret without the intent of its being known.

23 If any man can understand what I mean, then let him understand!

24 Jesus continued: Be sure to listen carefully: What you hear, and your degree of understanding of it, will affect how much revelation you will receive, and the more you understand, the more revelation you will receive.

25 For he that has (understanding) shall be given more; and he that does not have (understanding) will have what little (revelation) he has taken from him.

26 He added: This is why the Messianic Kingdom itself is akin to a farmer who sows seed into the ground,

27 And then goes to bed and gets up every morning. The seed will grow of its own accord, and it doesn’t matter that the farmer doesn’t understand how that happens.

28 For the earth will produce the growth--first, a blade of grass, then a sprout, and finally a full stalk of wheat.

29 Then, when the fruit that sprang from the earth that birthed it is ripe, the farmer immediately goes out and puts the sickle to his harvest because the time has come for it.

30 Jesus asked: What shall we compare the Kingdom of God to? What is it like?

31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of seeds on earth.

32 But it grows to be among the largest of herbs, shooting out great branches the birds of the air nest in.

33 With many parables like this, Jesus conveyed his doctrine as best as they were able to understand it.

34 But he never spoke to the crowds without using parables. Then later, when they were alone, he would explain the meanings to his disciples.

35 Now the same day as he spoke this parable, as dusk approached, he said: Let us go to the other side of the lake.

36 After the crowds were sent away, they conveyed Jesus across the Sea of Galilee in a boat. A few other small boats followed as well.

37 But a great storm arose, and the waves washed into the boat and threatened to swamp it.

38 Jesus, meanwhile, was asleep at the stern, resting upon a cushion. They awakened him, and said: Master--don’t you care that we’re going to drown?!

39 So Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and waves, saying: Peace! Be still! And the wind halted, and the sea became very calm.

40 Jesus then asked the disciples: Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith?

41 Yet they feared greatly, and said to one another: What sort of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey his commands?!

1. This is one of the most difficult-to-understand verses in the New Testament. There is no way to be fully certain what Jesus means, and some have drawn some incorrect conclusions such as:

Jesus doesn’t want the masses to understand Him, and be saved. Untrue, according to 2 Peter 3:9.

Jesus is deliberately teaching and speaking in a manner that will manipulate the Jews into rejecting Him so God can turn from the Jews and open the way to the Gentiles to receive Him. Untrue, according to Rom. 11:1.

To make an educated assessment on what Jesus actually means, we must first go back to Isaiah 6, which is the prophecy Jesus uses in this discourse:

6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

6:9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

6:10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

This event occurs after God has repeatedly dealt with the rebellious king and nation of Judah, which is eventually to be taken captive by the Babylonians for its sins. It is less an intentional curse from God upon the people as much as it is God’s finally stepping back and letting them reap the fruits of their refusal to repent, which will cause them to be blinded and unable to perceive the truth. Thus, God is giving them over to a type of ‘reprobate mind’ (Rom. 1:28). Jesus encounters the same stubborn rejection in verse 22 of the last chapter, and thus as He sits with His apostles speaking about “them that are without,” He is referring to those who, in their stubborn pride and hard-heartedness, are both outside their group and outside of the Kingdom, for they have rejected the ‘fountain of Living Water’ that God has sent them. The Knox translation of the Vulgate may actually come closest to what Jesus means in its translation of verses 11 and 12: “And he said to them, It is granted to you to understand the secret of God’s Kingdom; for those others, who stand without, all is parable*: so they must watch and watch, yet never see, must listen and listen, yet never understand, nor ever turn back and have their sins forgiven them.”

 

* Probably meaning something along the lines of: “Those outside the Kingdom think these are just entertaining stories.”

 

2. An important verse showing that the net of salvation is open not only for the ultra-righteous (the 100 fold), but even the moderately righteous and obedient who receive the message of repentance, endure to the end, and yet follow Christ with less vigor than some of their brethren may.

3. The word used throughout the Gospels for casting out a demon, and thus it is possible that the storm was demonic in origin (Job 2:19).

 

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 5

1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.1

8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.

11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.

15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.

17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.

18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.

19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis2 how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

21 And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.

22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,

23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.

24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.

25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,

26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,

27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.

28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.

29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?

31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?

32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.

33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.3

34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

35 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?

36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.

37 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.

38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.4

39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.

40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.

41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.5

42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.

43 And he charged them straitly that no man should know it6; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.

1 So they made it to the country of the Gadarenes, across the Sea of Galilee.

2 When Jesus stepped out of the boat, a (naked,) demon-possessed man ran out of the tombs and came up to him.

3 He lived there among the graves and tombs, and no one could overpower and bind him--even with chains!

4 They had often tried that with leg irons and manacles, and he would just tear them into pieces, then turn on those who tried to overcome him. The man simply could not be controlled or reasoned with.

5 Day and night, he would stalk about the hills and tombs, howling and making cuts in his flesh with sharp stones.

6 But when he saw Jesus in the distance, he ran up and kneeled.

7 He shouted out: What do I and you have to do with each other, Jesus--Son of the Most High God?! Swear by God that you won’t torment me (if I go, for Judgment Day isn’t here yet)!

8 He said this after Jesus told the demon: “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”

9 (Surprised at the demon’s power,) Jesus asked him: What’s your name? It answered: “Legion”--for there are many of us in here!

10 The demon then implored Jesus not to send him and his fellow demons out of the area.

11 Now there was a large herd of pigs feeding in the nearby hills.

12 And the demons begged Jesus, saying: Send us into those (unclean) pigs, that we may at least possess them!

13 Jesus agreed, and the demons went out from the man and possessed the pigs. Then the herd--numbering two thousand pigs--ran off a cliff and drowned in the lake!

14 The overseers of the herd saw this, and ran into town and the outlying area to spread word of what had happened. Then everyone came out to see for himself.

15 The people then approached Jesus and saw the man who had formerly been possessed by the legion of demons sitting down clothed and apparently in his right mind, and they were afraid.

16 Others who had seen the incident told the story of how the demons left the man and entered into the pigs.

17 But the people urged Jesus to go away from their territory.

18 Now when Jesus had returned to the boat, the former demoniac begged to go with him.

19 But Jesus said no, and told him: Go home, and tell your friends what a great thing the Lord has done for you, and how he had compassion on you.

20 So the man departed, and spread the tale throughout the “Ten Cities” region--and everyone was amazed (for they all knew about this wild man and were stunned at his deliverance).

21 When Jesus sailed back to the other side of the lake, so many people were waiting on the shore that he could hardly even land and get out of the boat!

22 Now one of the rulers of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, came and fell at Jesus’ feet when he saw him,

23 And pleaded with him, saying: My little girl is dying! Please come and lay hands on her so she will be healed; and she will live!

24 So Jesus accompanied Jairus with the crowd following and thronging about him.

25 Now there was a certain woman who had suffered from a uterine discharge for twelve years,

26 Who had followed all the advice of the doctors, and spent every cent she had on medicine and painful cures--but she never improved, and actually got worse.

27 Having heard about Jesus, she forced her way through the crowd behind him and reached out from to touch his prayer shawl.

28 For she said to herself, If I can but touch his clothing, I will be healed!

29 The moment she touched him, she felt the change in her, and realized she was healed!

30 Immediately Jesus halted, realizing that power had gone out from him. So he turned and looked all around, asking: Who touched my clothes?

31 Puzzled, the disciples shouted back: You see that you’re almost being crushed to death by this crowd, yet you’re asking, “Who touched me”?!

32 But Jesus kept looking around, trying to find the woman who had touched him.

33 Then the woman, fearing and trembling, and knowing it was she Jesus was looking for, fell at his feet and told him the whole truth.

34 And Jesus answered: Daughter, your faith has made you whole. Go with peace upon you, and be healed of your ailment.

35 While he was speaking this, some from Jairus’ house came up, and said: Your daughter has died. Why trouble the Master any further?

36 When Jesus heard that, he said to Jairus: Don’t give in to fear--just believe!

37 And he wouldn’t let anyone other than Peter, James, and John the brother of James, accompany him.

38 When he came to Jairus’ house, he saw a great commotion being made by the mourners.

39 Upon Jesus entering, he said: Why are you making such a commotion? This girl is not dead, but only asleep.

40 When they heard that, they laughed derisively. But after Jesus expelled them all from the house except for the girl’s parents and his three disciples, he went to where the girl was lying.

41 He took her by the hand, and said in Aramaic: Little girl, arise!

42 And immediately the girl, who was twelve years old, arose and walked. Everyone there was shocked to the core.

43 Jesus, however, warned them not to spread word of this miracle, and he instructed them to give the girl something to eat.

1. An interesting verse showing a preview of the eventual time when, “at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow.”

2. The Decapolis, or region of 10 cities, was comprised of Gadara, Scythopolis, Hippos, Pella, Philadelphia (today Amman), Gerasa, Dion, Kanatha, Raphana and Damascus, most of which were located in today’s Jordan. It was a Hellenistic, not Jewish region, which is why pigs were being raised in the fertile lands around the east side of the Sea of Galilee. Jews did live here, however, and Jesus appears to want to minister to them. With limited available time, perhaps, He asks the redeemed demoniac to broadcast the miracle that was done for him so that the masses will hear and quickly gather on the other side of the lake where Jesus forthwith returns to minister.

3. She had good reason to fear. To reach out and touch a man while in her unclean state--which normally defiles a man--was a stoning offense. As David Stern points out, rather than her uncleanness defiling Jesus, His righteousness is actually transferred to her, healing the disease! Jairus, meanwhile, has taken a bold step of faith on his own, for by this time the elders may have ruled that anyone promoting the idea that Jesus was the Messiah was to be expelled from the synagogues (John 9:22). We can only imagine how the poor man must have been holding the stress in like a boiler as Jesus stops and the woman goes into the story of her illness, delaying His walk to Jairus’ house.

4. The customary mourners of Eastern funerals, mourning less for grief than for tradition, which is why, in verse 40, they can instantly turn from wailing to sarcastic laughter.

5. This verse is usually said to prove that Jesus went around speaking Aramaic. However, it could show something different. Long before the first Aramaic quote here, Jesus is going around making statements like “Your faith has made you whole,” “Your sins are forgiven you,” “Arise, and take up thy bed,” etc. Nowhere are those statements quoted in Aramaic and then interpreted in Greek. But out of nowhere here, we suddenly have a transition in language where Jesus is quoted as saying, “Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.” If Jesus has been speaking Aramaic the whole time, we must wonder why Mark would cite an Aramaic quote out of nowhere when every word Jesus has already been speaking has been in Aramaic, which Mark has already been translating into Greek anyway! We might thus speculate that Mark would only mention the Aramaic quote in this circumstance if the quote was out of the ordinary. Thus, Jesus may have been speaking some other language (perhaps Greek or classical Hebrew), then changed, in this instance, to Aramaic, and Mark makes that point. The same could hold true regarding the few other places Jesus speaks in Aramaic.

6. Why Jesus now does the opposite of what he did with the madman--commanding the parents not to broadcast the miracle--is impossible to know for sure. Perhaps, as noted earlier, He wishes to delay the ultimate confrontation with the elders that He knows lies ahead.

 

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 6

1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.

2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?

3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary1, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.

6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief.2 And he went round about the villages, teaching.

7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;

8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:

9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.

10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.

11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.3

13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick4, and healed them.

14 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.

15 Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.

16 But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.

17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her.

18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.

19 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:

20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

21 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;

22 And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel,5 Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.

23 And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.

24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.

25 And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.

26 And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.

27 And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,

28 And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.

29 And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.

30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.

31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.

33 And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.

34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:

36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.

37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?6

38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.

39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.

40 And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.7

41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed8, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.

42 And they did all eat, and were filled.

43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.

44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.

45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.

46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.

47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.

48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:

50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.9

51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

53 And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore.

54 And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,

55 And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.

56 And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.10

1 Jesus now left Capernaum to return to Nazareth, and his disciples accompanied him.

2 When the Sabbath came, he taught in the synagogue, and many of the people were amazed, saying: Where did he get all this (knowledge and talent)? What sort of wisdom has been given to him that at his hands such incredible miracles are performed?

3 Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Miriam? The brother of James, Joses, Judah, and Simon? Don’t we know his sisters? So the people were offended by him.

4 But Jesus responded: A prophet is not without honor--except in his own country, among his own family, and in his own house.

5 So he could do no great miracles there except for healing a few sick people by laying hands on them.

6 He was amazed at their lack of faith, so (instead of working miracles,) he went about the area, teaching in the villages.

7 Then he called the twelve and began sending them out in pairs, giving them the power to exorcise demon spirits.

8 He told them not to take anything for their journey except a staff. They were not to take so little as a scrap of bread, a sack, or any money in a purse.

9 They were only to take a pair of sandals and one set of clothing.

10 And he instructed them: Stay in whatever house you enter into until your work in that city is done.

11 As for anyone who does not welcome you or receive your message--shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them when you leave. Truly, Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than that city will, come Judgment Day!

12 So they went out, preaching that men should repent.

13 They also cast out many demons, and anointed many of the sick with oil, healing them.

14 Finally, Herod Antipas heard about Jesus and all he was doing, because his reputation was spreading everywhere. And he said: This must be John the Baptist risen from the dead, and that’s why he can do such miracles!

15 But others said: “It is Elijah!” Or, “It is one of the ancient prophets returned, or else a new prophet like the ones in days of old!”

16 But Herod was convinced it was John, and when he heard that said: It is John, whom I beheaded--he has risen from the dead for sure!

17 For Herod Antipas had captured and cast John into prison for the sake of his brother Philip’s wife Herodias, whom he had taken and married.

18 John had condemned him for this, saying: The Torah does not permit you to marry your brother’s wife (through using Roman divorce)!

19 Therefore, Herodias held a grudge against John, and would have killed him, but she could not,

20 For Herod feared John, realizing he was a holy and just man of God. He even watched over him, and liked to hear him regularly, though he was troubled by what John said. (Thus, Herodias was forced to bide her time.)

21 Her chance finally came when Herod threw a banquet on his birthday, inviting all the chief officers, officials, and well-to-do businessmen in the region of Galilee.

22 It was during the banquet that Herodias’ young daughter Salome came in and did a striptease for Herod that pleased him and those sitting at the feast. Antipas exclaimed to her: Ask anything you wish, and I will give it to you!

23 He was so worked up, he even swore: Whatever you ask, I will give it--even half my kingdom!

24 So she went to her mother, and said: What should I ask for? Herodias told her: Ask for the head of John the Baptizer!

25 So she ran back to the banquet and announced: I want you to bring me the head of John the Baptizer on a platter right now!

26 King Herod was exceedingly sorry to hear this, but for the sake of his pride before his guests, he had to honor his oath and accede to her request.

27 So king Herod immediately sent an executioner out to the prison to behead John and bring back his head.

28 The executioner did this, and delivered John’s head on a platter to the adolescent girl Salome who, in turn, presented it to her mother Herodias.

29 When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and took the body, laying it in a tomb.

30 Meanwhile, Jesus’ apostles returned in a group, and gave a report of all they had been doing and teaching.

31 Jesus said: Let's go to some isolated spot for some privacy and rest. He said this because there was a constant flow of people following him everywhere, and no one had time to even eat.

32 So they sailed off to a secluded place.

33 But some who recognized them, saw them leave, and many guessed where they might be going--so the crowd actually ran around the lake and beat the ship to where it was heading!

34 Moved with compassion as he exited the boat, Jesus began to teach many things to the vast crowd, because they were like lost sheep without a shepherd.

35 Now when night was about to fall, the disciples came and said: This is an isolated area, and night is coming.

36 Send the people away to the villages to buy food, for they have nothing to eat.

37 Jesus answered: You feed them! They said back: (Shall we just create money out of thin air, and go buy them all dinner?!)

38 Jesus then replied: How much bread do we have amongst us? Go see. After the disciples checked, they answered: Five loaves, and a couple of fish.

39 So Jesus commanded the crowd to break into small groups and sit on the green grass.

40 So they sat down in groups of fifty and a hundred.

41 When Jesus had taken the loaves and fish, he looked up to heaven and blessed God. Then he broke up the loaves, dividing them and the fish among the disciples, and fed the crowd out of what was there.

42 Everyone ate until they were full,

43 And the leftover bread fragments and fish filled twelve baskets!

44 Moreover, the crowd that had eaten the bread numbered nearly five thousand men!

45 Just after this, he commanded the disciples to sail to Bethsaida, while he sent the crowds away.

46 After sending them away, Jesus departed to a mountain to pray.

47 During the night, the ship was on the lake, while Jesus was alone on shore.

48 He could see them rowing, but making no headway against the wind, for it was blowing against them. Around 3 AM, he then came out to them, walking upon the surface of the lake, and would have actually walked on by them!

49 But when they saw him walking on the water, they screamed in fear, thinking it was a ghost,

50 For they all saw him, and were terrified. But he immediately called out to them: Cheer up--it’s me! Don’t be afraid!

51 And he walked up, entered the ship, and the winds calmed down. To say everyone was amazed was an understatement!

52 For the miracle of the loaves hadn’t even caused them to expect that Jesus could do such things, for they had hard hearts.

53 When they had crossed to where they were going, they were now again in the land of the Gadarenes, and there they landed.

54 On disembarking from the ship, everyone recognized Jesus.

55 This time, he was welcomed, and some ran to spread word. Then everyone from the area brought the bed-ridden to be healed when they heard where Jesus was.

56 And anyplace Jesus went--be it village, town, or the countryside--they brought out the sick to lay in the streets, and they begged to be permitted to touch his prayer shawl; and everyone who did that was healed fully!

1. The town is probably Nazareth. It is interesting to note that Jesus is referred to as “the son of Mary.” This suggests that Joseph had been dead a very long time at this point, or Jesus would still have been known as the son of Joseph.

2. The word here (apistea) indicates a lack of confidence in the person (i.e, Jesus). Jesus’ cure for that is to teach the Scriptures in an effort to help them grow in faith.

3. Once again, confirmation that every message of Jesus began with a call to repentance!

4. An interesting verse, showing that the normal pattern for supernatural healings apparently incorporated an anointing with oil rather than, for instance, simply commanding the sick to arise.

5. Though always portrayed as a seductive teenager, the Greek means Salome was a child or adolescent. Whether she did some sort of striptease, or danced a “cute” child’s jig that amused everyone, cannot be known with certainty, but given the fact that John dies over the incident, the likelihood is that she was an adolescent doing an inappropriately sexual dance before the crowd.

6. This is months’ worth of wages, and the disciples are being sarcastic.

7. Some have suggested that Jesus, by breaking the people into groups no larger than 100, was establishing a guideline for how big church congregations should be.

8. Jesus blessed God in thanksgiving, not the food.

9. Here is the strongest indicator that Peter aided Mark in composing parts of his Gospel: the fact that Peter’s walking on the water, and nearly drowning, is left out. Peter apparently left out that part of the story, or Mark omitted it to keep from embarrassing Peter.

10. The tale of the woman with the issue of blood has spread, and now everyone wants to touch Jesus to receive healing.

 

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 7

1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.

2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.

4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.

5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?1

6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.2

8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.

12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;

13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.3

14 And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:

15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him4: but the things which come out of him5, those are they that defile the man.

16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.

18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;

19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

24 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.

25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:

26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.

27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs6.

28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs.

29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.

30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.7

31 And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.

32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.

33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;

34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.

35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it;

37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

1 About this time, a group of Pharisees and Torah teachers from Jerusalem came on the scene.

2 But when they saw some of the disciples eating bread with unclean hands--that is, without first performing a ritual hand washing and prayer--they criticized them.

3 You see, the Pharisees, and all the Jews of Judea, do not eat without regularly immersing their arms to the elbows, for this is a tradition instituted by the elders of Israel.

4 When they return from the marketplace, for instance, they will not eat unless they perform this ritual, called the Nitilat Yada’im. They also perform similar immersions upon cups, pots, bronze vessels, and tables (to make them ritually pure).

5 So these Judean Pharisees and Torah teachers asked Jesus: Why do your disciples not keep rabbinic tradition, and immerse their hands before eating?!

6 But Jesus answered them by saying: Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites when he wrote: This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

8 For, ignoring the commandments in the written Law, you elevate oral laws, like baptizing pots and cups, to even more importance than written commandments, and you do things like that all the time!

9 And he said: Yes, you cunningly rationalize ways for your oral laws to take precedence over the written Law!

10 For instance, Moses said, See to the needs of your parents; and, Anyone who curses his mother or father must be put to death.

11 But then you teach that if a man says to his father or mother: “My goods are Korban (--dedicated to the Temple--) and so I do not have to help you out of my own resources,” he is relieved from observing that commandment.

12 So you permit him to turn his back on the needs of his parents,

13 Thus making the command of God meaningless because of your oral tradition. You do a lot of things like this!

14 Then Jesus summoned the crowd and told them: Listen and understand, whoever can.

15 There is nothing from outside a man that can defile him when it enters him; it’s what comes out of him that defiles him in God’s eyes.

16 If you can understand--then understand!

17 When Jesus left the crowd and returned into  the house he was staying at, the disciples asked him to explain what he meant.

18 He replied: Do you have no more understanding than those Pharisees? Do you not understand that a man cannot be defiled by things like the sort of food that he eats?

19 Because what he eats doesn’t enter his heart, but his stomach, and eventually leaves him, going into the sewer. (Thus, Jesus pronounced all foods clean.)

20 (But what comes out of his mouth can defile his soul.)

21 For what comes out, comes from within the heart of man, where adultery, fornication, murder,

22 Theft, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lust, greed, blasphemy, pride and foolishness make their home.

23 All these evil things dwell in the heart of a man and are what really defile him!

24 Jesus now left for the region of Tyre and Sidon, where he hoped to abide secretly in the house of someone there--but word got out,

25 For a certain woman, whose daughter was possessed by a demon, heard about him and came, falling at his feet.

26 She was a Gentile--a Syrophenician--and she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

27 But Jesus replied: Let the children eat their fill first, for it is not right to take their bread and simply toss it to the puppies.

28 She responded: True, Lord--but even the family dogs beneath the table get to eat the children’s crumbs!

29 And Jesus answered: For saying this, go home--the demon is gone from your daughter.

30 When she returned home, she found it was so, the demon was gone, and her daughter was resting peacefully in bed.

31 And again leaving the area of Tyre and Sidon, Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee by way of the “Ten Cities” region of Jordan.

32 At one point, they brought a man who was deaf and dumb; and they begged Jesus to touch and heal him.

33 Jesus took him away from the crowd and put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit, and touched the spittle to the man’s tongue.

34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed, then said in Aramaic: Be opened!

35 And immediately the man could hear, and was able to speak clearly!

36 Jesus told the man and his friends not to tell anyone about the miracle, but the more he told people to keep silent, the more they seemed to tell everyone!

37 And everyone who heard was utterly astonished, saying: Everything he does is done well! He can even make the deaf and dumb able to hear and speak!

1. There is a presupposition amongst the elders that the rulings of the Pharisees are binding upon all of Judaism, and they demand to know why Jesus and His followers are not falling in line with that understanding. As we will see from Jesus’ following criticism, these Pharisees are followers of Shammai.

2. A valid criticism against both Judaism and many Christian groups that likewise uphold man-made doctrines as the commandments of God. Two examples are smoking and gambling, against which there is no biblical commandment whatever. Rather than exhorting Christians to avoid these activities as merely unedifying, some Christians elevate avoidance from such activities to commands of God upon which salvation may hinge. Other examples would include things like making the eating of meat on Friday a Mortal sin, to teaching that women who cut their hair, or wear jewelry, lose their salvation.

3. These may be Shammaiites, for Talmudic writings descended from the Hillelites directly condemn the practice of dedicating all of one’s goods to the temple. (Maimonides even considered one who did this to be a fool.) As the Shammaiites seem to have believed that one could not get out of a vow to the Temple (Nazir 9A), this explains how the giver could be “free” in the sense of being able to avoid the otherwise permissible means of overturning an oath: Appearing before three witnesses, and retracting it.

4. A denial that eating with unwashed hands defiles a person.

5. As shown in verse 21, the true defilement comes out of the heart, and the accompanying ungodly actions that follow its dictates.

6. There is a common misunderstanding that Jesus is calling the mother a “dog.” The word is better translated as “puppy,” and thus Jesus, in His initial denial to the woman, is referring to her daughter. This brings up the question of why Jesus is apparently so rude to the woman. The answer lies in the fact that the Gentiles, at this point in time, are relegated to the position of the enemies of God. Only after the Chosen People of Israel reject their Messiah are the Gentiles placed on equal footing with the Hebrews in the sense that both are now equally lost and out of covenant with God, and both must now come to God in the same manner--through repentance and faith. I suspect that there was also an object lesson for the Jews and the elders in this incident: Jesus wished to show that God could indeed hear the Gentile as well as the Jew--when the Gentile approaches with faith!

7. This woman, according to an ancient tradition, later commissioned a statue of Jesus to be carved--the only known image of Him ever made. The statue was destroyed in the 2nd century by one of the Roman Emperors.

 

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 8

1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them,

2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.

4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?

5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.

6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people.

7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.

8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.

9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

10 And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.

11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.

12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.

14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.

15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod1

16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.

17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?

18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

19 When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.

20 And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.

21 And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

22 And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.

23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit2 on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.

25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.

27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?

28 And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.

29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.

30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.

31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.

33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

1 Once, there was a great crowd gathered who had nothing to eat, so Jesus summoned the disciples and said:

2 I worry for this huge crowd, because they have been with me for three days, and have nothing to eat.

3 If I send them home hungry, some may faint on the way since they may have come from a far distance.

4 But the disciples answered: What can we do? How could anyone get food enough to feed this crowd out here in the desert?

5 Jesus asked them: How many loaves do you have? They replied: Seven.

6 Then he commanded the people to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves and gave thanks to God. Then he broke them and began distributing them to the disciples to set before the people, and they did so.

7 They also had a few small fish, and after Jesus blessed God, he did the same thing as he had done with the bread, having the disciples hand them out to the crowd.

8 So everyone ate until they were full, and the leftovers filled seven baskets!

9 The crowd numbered about four thousand, by the way. After they had eaten, Jesus told them to return home.

10 Then Jesus took to sea again with the disciples and made his way to the region of Dalmanutha (on the west side of the Sea of Galilee, near Magdala).

11 There, some Pharisees wasted no time in confronting him and demanding he produce a sign from heaven (to prove God was with him).

12 But Jesus sighed deeply in his spirit (for their hard hearts and blind eyes), and said: Why does this generation always demand a sign? I tell you truly, no sign will be given this generation!

13 So Jesus turned his back on them and re-entered the boat. He then sailed to the other side of the lake.

14 Now the disciples themselves had forgotten to bring any bread with them, and all they had in the boat was one loaf.

15 Jesus warned them, saying: Watch out! Don’t eat bread yeasted by either the Pharisees or the Herodians!

16 The disciples didn’t understand, so they murmured, speculating: Since we forgot to bring bread, he must mean we shouldn’t buy any bread from the Pharisees or the Herodian priests.

17 When Jesus realized their train of thought, he said to them: Why do you think I’m talking about normal bread? Are you still not able to see past my language to the heart of what I mean? Are your hearts still hard?

18 Having eyes, do you see not? Having ears, do you hear not? Do you not remember what you’ve seen?

19 How I broke up the five loaves to feed five thousand people? How many baskets were left after that? They replied: Twelve.

20 And when I fed four thousand with seven loaves, how many baskets of leftover bread did you recover? They answered: Seven.

21 So Jesus replied: How is it that you don’t understand me then?

22 When the boat brought Jesus to Bethsaida, upon his arrival some people brought a blind man up to him, begging Jesus to touch (and heal) him.

23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of town. Then he put some spittle on the man’s eyes, laid hands upon him, and asked if he could see.

24 The man looked up, saying: I can see, but my vision is blurry--people look like trees moving about!

25 Jesus again placed his hands upon the man’s eyes and then bade him to look up. When he did, his sight was fully restored and he could see people clearly.

26 Jesus then sent him back to his home, saying: Don’t go into town, or tell anyone from the town about this miracle!

27 Jesus and the disciples, meanwhile, made their way to Caesarea Philippi, and on the way Jesus asked them: Who are men saying that I am?

28 They answered: John the Baptist, risen from the dead. Others say Elijah, or one of the other prophets.

29 Jesus asked: But whom do you say that I am? Peter spoke up, and said back to him: You are the Messiah!

30 Then he solemnly told them not to tell anyone this.

31 He also began to teach them that the Son of Man would have to suffer greatly, and be rejected and killed by the elders of Israel, the chief priests, and the Torah teachers of the various factions. But after three days he would rise again.

32 He said this clearly (without talking in a parable), and Peter took him aside, and started rebuking him.

33 But when Jesus turned and saw the other disciples, he rebuked Peter (using the words Abraham had used to Satan during the journey to sacrifice Isaac,) saying: “Get behind me, Satan”! You are thinking man’s way, not God’s!

34 Later he called both the people and his disciples to him, and said: Whoever chooses to follow me must take up his cross and follow me!

35 For whoever will save his own life (by living his own way), will lose it in the end; but whoever shall lose his life for my sake, and the Gospel’s, shall save it.

36 For what profit is there to gain the world but lose one’s eternal soul?

37 What price will a man sell his eternal soul for?

38 Therefore, whoever shall be ashamed of me and my teachings in this (spiritually) adulterous and sinful generation, of him shall the Son of Man also be ashamed when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels!

1. The leaven of the Pharisees was predominantly a belief that rabbinic tradition was equal in authority to Scripture, along with a conscious denial that they were sinners because of their zeal in obeying the commandments. The leaven of “Herod” (actually, the text should read Herodians as Matt. 16:6 shows the comment relates to the Sadducees, and not to Herod personally) was that he and his Sadducee followers had aligned themselves with the Romans, thus compromising themselves with the world.

2. At the time, spit was thought to have some medicinal properties, but Jesus’ reason for using it in the healing--and why the healing was accomplished in two stages--is a mystery.

 

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 9

1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.1

2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.

3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.

5 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

6 For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.

7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

8 And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.

9 And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.

10 And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.

11 And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?

12 And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things2; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.

13 But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come3, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.

14 And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.

15 And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.

16 And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?

17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;

18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.

19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.

20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.

21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.

22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. 4

25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.

27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.

28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.5

30 And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it.

31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

32 But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?

34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.6

35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.7

36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,

37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.8

39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

42 And whosoever shall offend9 one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched10:

44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.11

45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.12

50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

1 And he added: Truly I say to you, there are some standing here who will not see death before they glimpse the Kingdom of God come in power!

2 Six days after this, Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him up onto a high mountain by themselves--and he was transfigured before their very eyes!

3 His clothing shone white as snow--so white, in fact, that no bleached garment on earth could compare to it!

4 Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with him!

5 Peter, dumbfounded, blurted out: Rabbi, it is good for us to be here! We’ll make three shelters--one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah!

6 But he really didn’t know what to say because they were all terrified.

7 Then a cloud overshadowed them and a heavenly voice came forth that said: This is my beloved Son--listen to him!

8 In the next instant when they looked up, they saw no one else, for only Jesus was there with them.

9 And as they descended the mountain, he told them to say nothing of what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

10 They did keep the secret, but the disciples kept wondering amongst themselves what “rising from the dead” meant. (For their minds were closed so they could not fully understand Jesus’ words.)

11 They finally asked him: Why do the Torah teachers say Elijah must come before the Messiah?

12 Jesus answered: Truly, Elijah will return and make everything right again. And it’s also written that the Son of Man will endure much suffering and be treated badly (before entering into his kingdom).

13 I also say that Elijah has already come, but they did as they wanted with him, as the Scriptures said they would.

14 Now when Jesus returned to the other disciples waiting with the crowd in the valley below, he saw some Torah teachers questioning them.

15 When the people saw Jesus, they were very amazed, and ran up to greet him.

16 But Jesus queried the Torah teachers: What are you arguing about with them?

17 A man in the crowd answered: Master, I brought my son who has a demon of muteness (and epilepsy).

18 And whenever the demon manifests, it causes him to writhe about, gnash his teeth, and fall comatose. I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.

19 Jesus answered them: O faithless generation! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you (and your weakness of faith)? Bring the boy to me.

20 So they brought the boy, and when the lad saw Jesus, the demon in him caused an immediate epileptic fit, and he fell down frothing at the mouth as he convulsed.

21 Jesus asked the father: When did this first start? The man answered: Since he was a young child.

22 And it often causes him to fall into the fire, or into the waters to drown him--so if you can do anything, please have mercy, and help us!

23 Jesus replied: (If I can do anything?) If you can believe, all things are possible!

24 Then the father burst into tears, and said: Lord, I believe--help the part of me that doesn’t!

25 When Jesus saw the whole crowd now running up, he rebuked the foul demon with these words: You deaf and dumb spirit, I order you to come out, and never return into him!

26 The demon screamed, and caused him to writhe all the worse. Then it was gone, and the boy seemed to be in a coma. Many even said: He is dead!

27 But Jesus grasped his hand, lifted him up, and the boy got to his feet.

28 When Jesus had returned to the house that was his headquarters, the disciples asked him privately: Why couldn’t we cast it out?

29 He replied: One like this won’t come out without intense prayer (and fasting).

30 Eventually they left the area, and Jesus hoped to discreetly travel through Galilee.

31 For on the way he taught the disciples, and told them: The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him--but after they kill him, he will rise again on the third day!

32 But they did not comprehend his words, and were afraid to ask for an explanation.

33 Now after Jesus had returned to Capernaum, the disciples eventually joined him. When they entered the house he was in, Jesus asked: What were you arguing about on your way here?

34 But they hemmed and hawed and kept silent, because on the road they had been arguing over which of them was the most important Disciple.

35 So Jesus sat down and called the twelve, saying: If any man wants to be the most important, he must make himself the least of all, and the greatest servant of all.

36 Then Jesus took a child and set him before them, and taking him into his arms, said:

37 Whoever receives a child like this receives me as well. And whoever receives me, actually receives (God) who sent me!

38 John now spoke up, saying: Master--we saw a man exorcising demons in your name, and we told him to stop doing that because he wasn’t a part of our group.

39 But Jesus answered: Don’t stop him! No man can do a miracle in my name and then just go out and denounce me.

40 If he’s not against us, then he is for us!

41 And truly, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will in no way lose his reward.

42 But whoever causes one of the little ones who believes in me to stumble--well, it would be better if an (anchor) were tied to his neck, and he was thrown into the sea to drown.

43 So if your hand causes you to sin--cut it off! It’s better to enter into life maimed, than to have two good hands and be cast into hell--and the fire that shall never quenched.

44 Where (--as you’ve heard in the legends of sinners who are eaten by maggots every day, over and over again--) the maggots do not die, nor does the fire go out!

45 So if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off! It’s better to enter into life a cripple, than to have two good legs and be cast into eternal hellfire,

46 Where the maggots (of the tormented) do not die, and the fire does not go out!

47 Likewise, if your eye makes you to sin--pluck it out! Better to enter the Kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two good eyes, and be cast into hell’s fire,

48 Where the maggots of the lost do not die, and the fire does not go out!

49 For the fire of God will purify everyone, even as salt draws out the lifeblood from a sacrificial offering. (Thus, the life from you will be drawn out until you have died to yourselves and become a pure sacrifice in God’s eyes, while the wicked will be consumed.)

50 Now salt is a good thing, but what can be done with it if the salt loses its flavor? Keep your flavor pure, and live in peace with each other (instead of arguing over who is the most important).

1. This was no doubt one of the statements of Jesus that some misunderstood as teaching His return would be imminent--and certainly within the lifetime of John (John 21:23). Jesus probably desired it to be so, for by consciously believing they had only a few years to work--instead of 2000 years--the apostles worked all the harder in evangelizing the world.

Skeptics, however, like to seize upon Jesus’ words as somehow false, for those hearing Him indeed died before the prophesied return of Christ. First, they make the mistake of presuming that Jesus is talking about the literal fulfillment and physical establishment of the Kingdom, when He is probably talking about the release of the Spirit during Pentecost, which ushers in the Age of the Church. In any event, the statement is still technically true because John later is shown visions of the Messianic Kingdom and thus does “see” that Kingdom coming in power. Others would hold that the vision following this chapter showed a glimpse of Christ in all the power of the Messiah, and fulfilled His words.

2. Rev. 11:3. Most theologians agree that Elijah is one of the two witnesses.

3. Referring to John the Baptist, who came with the same anointing and authority of Elijah despite the fact that he did absolutely no miracles during his life.

4. It is difficult to comment on the theological implications of: “I believe; help thou mine unbelief,” but the incident reflects the mercy of Christ, for while the man’s unbelief was the same sort that the people of Capernaum had (apistea), he at least humbles himself and expresses some faith in Christ rather than rejecting Him as the people did earlier.

5. We know from chapter 2, verse 18 that the disciples did not fast. Jesus here seems to be indicating that while they need not fast as a commandment, there is greater power available through fasting and prayer that some situations in their lives will call for. It should be noted that the earliest manuscripts do not mention fasting, so some believe this was added in later centuries. Assuming that to be true, the correct teaching of the text was that the disciples could not cast out the demon because they had been lax in their prayer life.

6. “Greatest” in the sense of temporal authority in the Messianic Kingdom they expect Jesus to imminently usher in. This constant jockeying for position in the group may provide some understanding of Judas’ eventual betrayal. It may have been a Machiavellian move to force Christ’s hand--in which case He must triumph (in Judas’ mind) if Christ is indeed the Messiah--and if He is not, then Judas would curry favor with the Sadducees and become a hero for helping to defeat a false prophet.

7. This is a concept the group just cannot grasp. In their minds, they look forward to positions of authority as ministers in the court of a conquering king, rather than as servants headed for suffering and martyrdom.

8. The strongest verse in the New Testament to destroy the notion that there is only one acceptable denomination while others are excluded as illegitimate.

9. “Offend” means to entice into sin.

10. The end of the verse reads, more literally: “To go off into the Gehenna, into the fire the inextinguishable.” The word translated “never shall be quenched” is asbestos! We can thus see that the verse helps to confirm the idea that the lost will be cast into hellfire and not be consumed in the same way that asbestos can be placed in fire and yet will not burn.

11. In Jewish oral tradition was a belief that hell had different levels to it, one of which contained the souls of sinners who would be bound and eaten alive by worms (maggots). The process would then re-start each day. Jesus is thus clearly affirming that hell is not simply a place where the souls of the sinners are consumed and then end their existence; but is eternal torment with no end. And so, while the reference is partially to the local garbage dump, along with being a quote from the last portion of Isaiah, it also touches on some Jewish beliefs about eternal punishment.

12. Salt was used in Temple sacrifices to draw the blood out of sacrificial animals before they were used as burnt offerings. Jesus may be saying something along the lines that a godly man will undergo the trials of life (fire) that will draw forth the life and power of God in him, just as the salt in the Temple draws forth the blood in the sacrifice to make it pure and acceptable; and/or He could be referring to the judgment of 1 Cor. 3:13.

 

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 10

1.And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.

2 And the Pharisees1 came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.

3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?

4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.

5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.2

6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;

8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.

11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.3

12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.4

13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.5

19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.6

23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

24 And the disciples were astonished at his words.7 But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,

30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

32 And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,

33 Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:

34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?

37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:

40 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.

42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.

43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:

44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.

48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace:8 but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.

49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.

50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord,9 that I might receive my sight.

52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.10 And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

1 Jesus then arose and left the area, arriving at the border of Judea at the farther side of Jordan. The people, as usual, came to him; and as he always did, Jesus reiterated his doctrines to them.

2 Eventually the Pharisees came up, hoping to trick him. They asked: Do you agree that the Law allows a man to divorce his wife if he deems it necessary?

3 Jesus answered: What is your understanding of what Moses ordered about divorce?

4 The Pharisees replied: Moses allowed a man to write a Bill of Divorce, and to put her away.

5 Yes, Jesus agreed, he said that--but he wrote it into the Law because of your hard and stubborn hearts.

6 From the beginning of time (and the Garden of Eden, divorce was never a part of God’s plan, and) He created man as male and female.

7 That’s why a man shall leave his father and mother, and become one with his wife;

8 And they shall no longer be two separate people, but one flesh.

9 So what God has joined together, man must not tear apart.

10 When Jesus entered back into a house he was staying at, the disciples asked him for more clarification on the matter of divorce.

11 He told them: A man who divorces his wife and marries another person commits adultery against his original wife.

12 Likewise, if a woman (--Herodias, for example--) divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.

13 Now some mothers brought small children to Jesus so he would lay hands on them (and bless them), but the disciples were offended at this, and rebuked them.

14 When Jesus realized this, he was angry at them, and said: You let the little children come to me, and don’t stop them--for the Kingdom of God is made up of ones just like them!

15 And I tell you truly, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God just like a little child will never enter it!

16 Then Jesus took the children into his arms, laid hands on them, and blessed them.

17 Now later, when he was leaving the area, a man ran up the road and kneeled, asking: Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?

18 Jesus replied: Why call any man “Good” when only God is good?

19 However, you know the commandments: Don’t commit adultery; Don’t kill; Don’t (kidnap or rob); Don’t lie about others; Don’t cheat; Honor, and take care of your parents.

20 The man answered, and said: Master, I have done all these things from my youth.

21 Jesus looked back, and his heart went out to him in love. He said: You only lack one thing: Go, sell whatever you have, give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, take up the cross, and follow me!

22 The man was sad at hearing this, and left with his head hung low, for he had great possessions.

23 Jesus looked around, then said to the disciples: Only with difficulty will people with riches enter into the Kingdom of God.

24 The disciples (--who, like everyone, thought prosperity was a sign of God’s favor--) were amazed at hearing this. Jesus reiterated: Children, it is very hard for those who trust in wealth to enter into the Kingdom of God!

25 It is easier for a rope to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.

26 Now the disciples were really shocked, and said among themselves: Who can be saved then?!

27 Jesus, looking back to them, said: With men, it is impossible, but not with God--for with God, anything is possible!

28 Peter began saying: Look at us…we have left all, and followed you--

29 Jesus spoke up: Truly I tell you, there is no man who has forsaken his house, his brothers, his sisters, his parents, his wife, or even his children or lands for my sake and that of the Gospel,

30 Who will not receive back, in this lifetime, a hundredfold houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and lands--along with persecution--and in the Messianic Age eternal life as well!

31 But many who are most important in the here-and-now will be the lowest-of-the-low then; and those least esteemed now will be the most important then!

32 Now as they were going along the road to Jerusalem with Jesus leading the way, a feeling of unnatural dread and concern came upon the disciples. So Jesus took the twelve aside and began to elaborate on what was ahead of him.

33 He said: We are near Jerusalem now, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief Sadducee priests and the Torah teachers. They will condemn him to death, and hand him over to the Gentiles.

34 The Gentiles will then mock him, whip him, and spit upon him before killing him--but on the third day he will rise again.

35 (Despite the gravity of what lay ahead,) James and John, Zebedee’s sons, came up to Jesus and said: Master, we want you to agree to do whatever we ask of you.

36 Jesus replied: And just what is it that you two want me to do for you?

37 They responded: Grant that the two of us can sit at your right and left hands (as the highest officials in your glorious Kingdom).

38 But Jesus replied: Do you have any idea what you’re asking?! (Do you know the price that comes with that?!) Can you drink from the cup I must drink from, and endure the baptism I must undergo?!

39 They said: We can! Then Jesus replied: Well, you will drink from that cup, and you will share the baptism I must undergo.

40 But to sit on my right or left hand is not mine to give, but God shall appoint those who will occupy those positions.

41 When word made its way back to the other ten about this, they started to get furious at James and John.

42 But Jesus summoned the disciples and said to them: You know that among the Gentiles, everyone tries to lord it over everyone else; and the higher you climb, the more you trod upon those beneath you, treating them as your servants.

43 (As I said before:) Among you, it must not be that way! Whoever wants to be important must be servant to the others.

44 And the most important of you must be the greatest slave of all.

45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve others, and give his life to ransom many.

46 Now they came to Jericho, and as he departed with the disciples, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the side of the road, begging.

47 When he asked what the commotion was, and heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, he cried out: Jesus, Son of David--have mercy on me!

48 Many of the crowd told him to be still, but he shouted out all the louder: You who are the Son of David, have mercy on me!

49 Jesus heard, and halted. Then he commanded that the man be brought up to him. They ran and told bar Timaeus: This is your day--get up, for Jesus is calling you!

50 So bar Timaeus cast away his cloak, and arose. Then he stumbled toward Jesus.

51 Jesus said to him: What is it that I can do for you? Bar Timaeus answered: Great Rabbi--let me receive my sight!

52 Jesus responded: Go your way--your faith has made you whole! And immediately, bar Timaeus received his sight and followed down the road behind Jesus.

1. “The Pharisees” is not necessarily a precise translation. “Some Pharisees” would be equally allowable, for this particular group is most likely some Hillelites, who were very liberal on the issue of divorce.

2. A critical verse showing that not all of the Torah came directly from God, but that Moses had his own authority to create parts of it (with God’s approval, of course).

3. Meaning that a man who divorces his wife so that he will be free to marry another is committing adultery.

4. A direct reference to the fact that Herod’s wife Herodias had used Roman law to divorce her husband and marry Herod since Jewish Law forbade it. The context is the same as the point above: It is forbidden to divorce in order to marry someone else. Divorce for other reasons outlined both by Christ and Paul is permissible in some cases, and, as Paul says, the believer “is not under bondage” in that event (1 Cor. 7:15).

5. A controversial statement used by some who deny the Deity of Christ. As Jesus affirms He is the “Good Shepherd” (John 10:14), He is ultimately making the point that He is God. Additional confirmation of the fact is found in John 14:13, where Jesus promises to answer prayers made to Him in His Name. If Jesus were anything short of God, this would be blasphemy.

6. What a shame this man did not respond to Christ’s call. As Jesus is only recorded as saying the words “follow me” to those He called to be apostles, this man would almost certainly have become an apostle, and probably Judas’ replacement if not the one who would have embarked on Paul’s mission to the Gentiles.

7. Because material prosperity was viewed as a sign of God’s blessing and acceptance of a person.

8. Possibly not so much because he was shouting, and more for the fact he is using a Messianic title about Jesus after the elders have largely rejected Him and begun putting out of the synagogue those who follow Christ.

9. The word for “Lord” is not the usual one, but refers to a major rabbi.

10. Bartimaeus’ faith probably not only encompassed his belief that Jesus could heal, but recognition that Jesus was also the Messiah.

 

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 11

1 And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,

2 And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.

3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.

4 And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.

5 And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt?

6 And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.

7 And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.

8 And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way.

9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:

10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.

12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves;1

16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.2

17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

18 And the scribes and chief priests3 heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.

19 And when even was come, he went out of the city.

20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.4

22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.5

27 And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,

28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.

31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?

32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.

33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

1 When they approached Jerusalem and arrived at the villages of Bethany and Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent out two disciples,

2 Saying to them: Go into the village there, and as soon as you enter it you will find a young donkey upon which no man has ever sat. Untie it, and bring it back here.

3 If anyone asks, “Why are you doing that?”, just say: “The Lord has need of him, and will send him right back here.”

4 So the two went, and it happened just as Jesus said: A donkey was tied up next to the door of a house at the crossroads, and they untied it.

5 Sure enough, some who were standing around (--thinking they were thieves--) demanded to know: What do you think you’re doing, untying that donkey?!

6 The disciples answered as Jesus had told them, and the men let them go.

7 So they brought the donkey to Jesus and spread their cloaks upon its back, and Jesus sat upon it.

8 The crowd now began to lay their cloaks on the road before the beast, while others cut down tree branches and laid them down on the road as well.

9 And those who went on ahead of Jesus, and the crowd behind, started shouting: Save now! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

10 Blessed be the Kingdom of our father David that the Lord is bringing forth! Save now, O God in the highest heaven!

11 And Jesus entered Jerusalem and made his way up to the Temple (where he assessed the practices there). Then, it being near dusk, he and the twelve returned to Bethany.

12 Now the next morning, when he was returning to the city from Bethany, Jesus was hungry.

13 He saw a nice-looking fig tree in the distance, and made his way over to it, hoping to find some figs. But when he got to it, there was nothing but leaves on it, for harvest time hadn’t come yet (--the fig tree only looked like it might have fruit).

14 In response to this, Jesus answered: May no man ever eat fruit off of you again! And his disciples heard him say this.

15 After this, they re-entered Jerusalem. Jesus then went up to the Temple and began to throw out those in the Court of Gentiles who did business there. He also overturned the tables of the money-changers and the chairs of the sacrificial dove-sellers (who should not have been sitting in that court of the Temple).

16 He also wouldn’t allow people to carry any wares for sale on the Temple grounds.

17 And he taught, saying: Is it not written: My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? But you have made it into a den of thieves!

18 The Torah teachers and the chief Sadducee priests heard him say this, and they yearned to find some way to kill him--but they were afraid to take action because the multitudes were enraptured by his words and teachings.

19 When evening was come, Jesus left the city.

20 Now the next morning, when they were going back to Jerusalem, the disciples saw the fig tree from the day before was dried up from its roots.

21 Peter, remembering Jesus’ words, said: Rabbi, look--the fig tree you cursed has dried up, and died!

22 Jesus’ reply to this was: Have faith in God!

23 For truly I tell you that whoever says to this mountain, “Get up and be cast into the sea”--without doubting in his heart, but believing what he says shall happen--will have whatever he has asked for!

24 I thus say to you, whatever things you desire when you pray, believe you already have them, and you shall!

25 And when you stand praying, forgive if you have a grudge against someone so your Father in heaven can forgive your own trespasses!

26 But if you don’t forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your wrongdoing!

27 They returned to Jerusalem and the Temple, and this time as Jesus walked through it the chief priests, the Torah teachers, and the elders of the city accosted him.

28 They said: By what authority do you presume to come in and do all these things, and who gave you that authority?!

29 Jesus replied to them: I’ll ask one question of you, and if you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things!

30 John’s baptism: Was it given him from heaven, or was it his own invention? Answer that.

31 The authorities talked it over, and concluded: If we say heaven gave it to him, he’ll ask: “Then why didn’t you believe him?”

32 But if we say he made it up on his own, who knows what the crowd will do, seeing they count him as a true prophet?

33 So they answered by saying: We can’t tell. Jesus replied: Then I will not tell you by what authority I do these things!

1. The event happened in the Court of the Gentiles, which had been taken over by the money-changers and those selling sacrificial animals. There was not necessarily a sin in doing this, for in those times many could not practically bring sacrificial animals from great distances to the Temple, and foreign coinage could be considered idolatrous from the images thereon. The problem lay in the exorbitant prices charged by the vendors that were tied to Annas, who then used the profits from these sales and exchanges to bribe the Romans into letting his family keep the High Priesthood. The reason that Jesus overturns the seats of the dove-sellers is that technically the only Temple court one could sit down in was the Court of Women.

2. This is an interesting verse that is hard to understand. It almost suggests Jesus was demanding men do no servile work in the Temple, but there is no Scriptural justification for that concept. Some of the Pharisees, interestingly, had a belief that one should not even carry a purse or staff on the grounds of the Temple Mount, and it may be that Jesus was actually confronting those coming to buy the animals, forbidding them to enter if they brought “vessels” containing valuables or goods relating to the trade going on. (The word translated “vessels” can also be translated as “wares.”) One last possibility is that Jesus was preventing people from taking holy objects or dedicated things from the main Temple and its holy inner courts to the less holy outer courts.

3. The Sadducees and their cronies who, as noted, controlled the trade going on.

4. There is some important symbolism here. Jesus is definitely cursing something to do with Israel, for the fig tree was a symbol for Israel and the Jews. More than one theologian has speculated that Jesus was cursing Judaism for its failure to produce true fruit, and given that this event centers around what is going on at the Temple, there is little doubt of that. At minimum, He is cursing the religious and political system of Jerusalem that had become corrupt. But since He is saying that whatever He is cursing is never to bear fruit again “forever,” there is little doubt that He is referring to the covenant of Law, represented by the Temple, which looks good, but which has no good fruit because of man’s corruption. as noted in the commentary under Matthew 21.

5. A sobering warning we should all heed: Forgiveness is not optional.

 

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 12

1 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.

3 And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.

4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.

5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.

6 Having yet therefore one son, his well beloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.

7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.1

8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.

9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.

10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

11 This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

12 And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.

13 And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees2 and of the Herodians3, to catch him in his words.

14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.

16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's.

17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.

18 Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,

19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

20 Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed.

21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.

22 And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also.

23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.

24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?

25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?

27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

35 And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David?

36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

37 David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.

38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,

39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:

40 Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

1 Jesus began to preach in parables once again, saying: A man once planted a vineyard, made a fence around it, dug a winepress, erected a guard tower, and then handed it over to some sharecroppers to run while he left for a faraway country.

2 When harvest time arrived, he sent a servant to the sharecroppers to collect his share of the vineyard’s fruits.

3 But the sharecroppers grabbed hold of him, beat him, and ran him out of the vineyard empty-handed.

4 The man sent another servant who had rocks thrown at him, and had to leave with a bad head wound after being treated shamefully.

5 He sent a third, and this one they killed. They beat or killed many other servants sent to them as well.

6 At the end, he sent his one beloved son to them, saying to himself: “Surely, they’ll respect my own son!”

7 But the sharecroppers said: “Here is the man’s heir--let’s kill him, and then the vineyard will be ours forever!”

8 So they took the son, killed him, and then threw his body out of the vineyard.

9 What would you expect the lord of the vineyard to do to these evil men? He will come and destroy them, and hand over the vineyard they wanted to keep for themselves to others (who are worthy).

10 Now: Have you ever read the Scripture that says, The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

11 This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

12 The group knew this parable was directed straight at them, and they wanted to arrest Jesus on the spot. But they feared the people so they went away to bide their time.

13 They later sent a select group of (Shammaiite) Pharisees with some of the Herodian priests, hoping to outsmart Jesus and catch him in his own words.

14 When the group arrived, they said to Jesus: Teacher--we know you’re sincere, and that you could care less about the opinion of man, but stand up for the truth of God regardless of the consequences. Now we have a question: Does the Law of Moses permit paying taxes to Caesar (and thus supporting the empire that oppresses the nation)?

15 Should we pay, or should we not pay? Jesus, however, knew their hypocrisy, and said: Why do you try to trick me? Show me a coin of the tribute!

16 They sent someone for a denarius, and Jesus asked them: Whose image and inscription is on this coin? They replied: Caesar’s.

17 Jesus responded by saying: Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but give to God what is God’s! And they were astonished by the wisdom of his answer.

18 Then some Sadducee priests--who deny there is a resurrection of the dead--took a crack at him, saying:

19 Teacher--Moses wrote that if a man dies childless, his brother must marry his wife, and produce an heir for him.

20 Now there were seven brothers, and the first married a woman, and died childless.

21 The second then married her, and also died. The third married her, and died too.

22 Eventually, all seven married the woman and died childless, and finally she also died.

23 Now--in the resurrection, whose wife would she be, since all seven married her?

24 Jesus replied by saying: Don't you fall into error from the start since you don't even know or understand the Scriptures, or the power of God on top of that?!

25 When people rise from the dead in the resurrection, they will neither marry, nor be given in marriage, but will be like the angels in heaven.

26 Now as regards your error over whether men (have immortal souls, and whether or not they) will rise in resurrection: Haven’t you read in the Torah how God spoke to Moses in the bush, saying, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”?

27 (Not “I was the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”) So God is the God of those who still live and worship him even in the grave, rather than a God of those who have gone to the grave and forever lost all consciousness. Thus, you greatly err in your theology.

28 One of the (Hillelite) Torah teachers came up, and overhearing the discussion, knew Jesus had answered them brilliantly, so he asked him: What do you believe is the most important command in the Law?

29 Jesus answered: The first, and most critical, of all the commandments is: Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first commandment given.

31 The second is like it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There are no other commandments more important than these.

32 (Hillel had a similar teaching, and) the Torah teacher responded: Master, you have spoken well, for there is only one God, and no others.

33 And to love Him with all one’s being and understanding, along with loving one’s neighbor as himself, is more important than any burnt offerings or sin sacrifices!

34 When Jesus saw the man displayed wisdom in his statement, he told him: You are close to the Kingdom of God. After this, none of Jesus’ enemies dared try to outsmart him.

35 But while Jesus was teaching in the Temple courts, he asked: Why do the Torah teachers say the Messiah is the son of David (and thus in an inferior position to him)?

36 For the Holy Spirit inspired David to write in the Psalms: The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

37 David thus calls the Messiah his own Lord, so how can he be nothing more than his descendant and heir? The common people (delighted at hearing new teachings and revelations like this).

38 And he warned them in his doctrine: Beware of Torah teachers who love to walk around in richly embroidered prayer shawls with their long commandment threads, and to be greeted in the marketplaces with deference to their positions,

39 And love the best seats in the synagogues, and the best seats at feasts,

40 Yet turn widows out into the streets where they make long, hypocritical public prayers. In hell, these men will have a greater punishment than the worst sinners!

41 Jesus then took a place near the collection boxes in the court, and watched people casting their money in. Many rich people deposited great amounts.

42 In time, a poor widow came up and deposited two copper coins.

43 Jesus called the disciples and said: Truly I say to you, this poor widow gave more than any of the others,

44 For they gave from their surplus (after their own needs were met), while she gave all that she owned!

1. A verse showing that the elders who ultimately rejected Christ did so knowing He was the promised Messiah, rather than in ignorance. It is to the Sadducees that this parable seems most directly tied to since the High Priest makes the final choice to reject Christ. The Sadducees, remember, deny the idea of a Messiah to start with, and deny there is an afterlife--so, in their mind, they may as well kill Jesus even if He is the Messiah if it means keeping their positions of power.

2. Probably hostile Shammaiites.

3. Sages and priests allied with Herod because of their mutual collaboration with the Romans.

 

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 13

1 And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!1

2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.2

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,

4 Tell us, when shall these things be?3 and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:

6 For many shall come in my name4, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.

8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.

13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet5, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:

16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.

17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.6

19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:

22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.7

31 Heaven8 and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son9, but the Father.

33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

1 As Jesus exited the Temple grounds, one of his disciples excitedly said: Master--look what magnificent huge stones and architecture are here!

2 Jesus replied: You see these great buildings? I tell you there will not be so much as two bricks left cemented together that will not be thrown down!

3 Later, as Jesus sat upon the Mount of Olives in the shadow of the great Temple, Peter and Andrew, and James and John, came privately to him and asked:

4 Tell us when these things will happen to the Temple. And what will be the signs that it is approaching fulfillment?

5 Jesus began to say in response: Beware, lest someone deceive you.

6 For between now and then, many will come, usurping my position, and saying, “I am the Messiah.” Many will be deceived by them.

7 And when you hear of impending war or rumors of war, don’t be worried. Such things must happen, but the end of the Age will not come yet.

8 Nation will indeed rise against nation, and race will battle race, and there will be great earthquakes and famines. These will be the start of the Birthpangs of the Messiah.

9 But watch out for yourselves, for you will be tried before religious courts, and they will beat you in the synagogues. You will also be taken before rulers and kings because of your stand for me; and then you will testify of me to them.

10 (But before the end,) the Gospel must be preached to all people.

11 And when the time comes that they haul you before these tribunals, don’t plan what you’re going to say beforehand. The Holy Spirit will give you the words to respond with in the hour you need them, and it will be He, not you, who speaks.

12 In the times to come, brother will betray brother to death, as will the father betray his son, and the children their parents, causing them to be put to death.

13 You will be hated by all men for your commitment to me, but those who endure the persecution to the end will be saved!

14 But note: When you see the Abomination of Desolation prophesied of by Daniel the prophet standing (in the Holy of Holies), let those in Judea flee to the mountains.

15 Let him on the housetop run for the hills without even stopping long enough to grab anything from his house.

16 Let him in the field not even go back to grab his cloak before fleeing.

17 And woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days!

18 And keep praying that the time of your flight does not come in the cold of winter.

19 For in those days shall be tribulation such as has never been seen before, nor will be seen again.

20 And unless God cuts those days short, everyone will die. But God will intervene on behalf of His elect people, and the days of tribulation will be cut short.

21 In those days if any man says, “Look--the Messiah is in this place or that,” don’t believe him!

22 For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and produce (false) miracles to deceive many, including God’s elect if that were possible.

23 But stay on guard, because I have warned you about this.

24 In those days, at the climax of the tribulation, the sun will grow dark and the moon will give no light.

25 And the stars in the sky will fall (as the demonic powers in the heavens are cast down to perdition).

26 Then all will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

27 And he shall send forth his angels to gather his elect people from every part of creation, from the four corners of the earth, to the four corners of heaven.

28 Learn a parable from the fig tree: When its branches are supple and sprout leaves, you know summer is near.

29 In like manner, when you see these things come to pass, know that the culmination of this Age, and the start of the Messianic Age, is at hand.

30 I assure you that the generation alive to see each of these things will not vanish before it sees the culmination of those things come to pass.

31 The cosmos and the earth will pass away, but what I say never will!

32 But the day and the hour (--the Rosh Hashanah--) that all these things will happen, no one, including the angels, knows; but the Father alone. Even I do not know it.

33 So stay in prayer, remaining faithful and on watch--because you don‘t know when that time will be.

34 For the Son of Man is like a man who went on a long journey, leaving his holdings in care of his servants, and commanding the gatekeeper to keep watch.

35 So (you gatekeepers) keep yourselves ready, for you don’t know when your Master will return to call you to account for what you’ve done with what he’s left in your possession. He may come at dusk, at midnight, at dawn, or in the morning!

36 You don‘t want him to arrive without warning and find you asleep at your post!

37 So what I say to one, I say to all--watch (and be faithful)!

1. One of the wonders of the ancient world, the whole of the magnificent Temple complex in Jerusalem took over 46 years to build. Because it was a project of Herod the Great, the Pharisees hated it.

2. This is hyperbole, but still true. The Wailing Wall, for instance, was only a retaining wall and not a part of the actual Temple itself.

3. Jesus here begins to jump back and forth between the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD and the eventual tribulation period (an apotelesmatic application of prophecy in technical terms). Matthew 24:3 gives a more complete record of the question asked by the disciples, who wish to know not only when the Temple will be destroyed, but when Christ’s coming will be (since they incorrectly equate the two events), and verse 10 here obviously refers to a time far removed from the apostolic era when all the world will have had an opportunity to hear the Gospel.

4. Not necessarily representing themselves as servants of Jesus Christ, but coming and claiming to be the Messiah.

5. Daniel 9:27: And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. The precise nature of the “abomination” is not understood, but almost universally is believed to be some sort of idol. Some have suggested it could be everything from a talking crucifix, statue of the Virgin Mary, to a statue of the Antichrist based on Rev. 13:15. Caligula, it should be noted, had planned to erect a statue of himself in the Holy of Holies, but was assassinated before he could follow through.

6. Note that Mark omits mention of the Sabbath, unlike Matthew. This is because it was not applicable to his Gentile audience!

7. Grammatically referring to those listening to Jesus at that time, but referring also to those who are alive when “the fig tree” (Israel) puts forth branches’--i. e., when the Jews return to the land from the Diaspora.

8. Passages about “Heaven” passing away do not refer to the dimension God lives in, but to what we would call space.

9. Jesus here is speaking from the limitations of His human ministry. Since He is indeed God, in eternity where He now dwells, He likewise exists simultaneously in the past, present and future even as the Father does, and so indeed He knows “the Day and the Hour” at this time. Note that the term “the Day and the Hour” is itself a specific term connected with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish Festival of Trumpets, the symbolism of which indicates that it will be the “Day” upon which Christ returns in some year. Since it is a two-day Festival, one could never know the precise day even if he knew which Rosh Hashanah of which year would herald the return of Christ. Since Rosh Hashanah came to be viewed as the Jewish New Year, Jesus may also be using the term to say that no one can know the year this will happen in.

This otherwise is the most problematic verse in the New Testament for Trinitarians since the heavenly hierarchy is (apparently) listed here, with no mention of the Holy Spirit. To some, this proves that the Holy Spirit is not an independent personality within the Godhead, but what it was understood to be at the time: the active power and inspiration of God working in the earth. The next step in this concept is usually to deny the Deity of Christ once the Holy Spirit is reduced only to a force. But there is actually no great mystery why Jesus does not mention the Spirit. The Spirit at this time is not clearly understood to be a personality within the triune Godhead, but in later Scriptures that fact is brought out clearly. Jesus did not mention the Spirit in this passage simply because it was not yet the right time to reveal that hidden truth. Thus, by not mentioning the Spirit He avoids questions that otherwise would require Him to reveal a fact about the nature of God that the disciples (and the Jews) are not yet ready to hear (John 16:12)

 

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 14

1.After two days was the feast of the passover1, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.

2 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.

3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper2, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?

5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.

7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

10 And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.

11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.

12 And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover3, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?

13 And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water4: follow him.

14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?

15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.

16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

17 And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.

18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.

19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?

20 And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.

21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.

23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.

24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.

28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.5

29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.

30 And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock6 crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.

31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.

32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.

33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;

34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.

35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me7: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

37 And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?

38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

39 And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.

40 And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.

41 And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

42 Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.

43 And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

44 And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.

45 And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.

46 And they laid their hands on him, and took him.

47 And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

48 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?

49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.

50 And they all forsook him, and fled.

51 And there followed him a certain young man8, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:

52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.

54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.

55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.

56 For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.

57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,

58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.

59 But neither so did their witness agree together.

60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

63 Then the high priest rent his clothes9, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?

64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all10 condemned him to be guilty of death.

65 And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.

66 And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest:

67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.

68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.

69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.

70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.

71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.

72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

1 After two days was the Feast of Passover, and then Unleavened Bread. As this day approached, the chief Sadducee priests and the Torah teachers sought to find a way to trick Jesus into being taken into custody so they could kill him.

2 But they said: Not on the Passover itself, lest the crowds rise up.

3 Now as Jesus was in Bethany eating dinner at the house of Simon the Leper (father of Judas), a woman with an alabaster vial filled with precious perfumed ointment came in and broke the vial, pouring its contents upon Jesus’ head.

4 Some present were offended at the act, and asked: Why was this vial of ointment wasted like this?

5 It could have been sold for nearly a year’s wages that could have been given to the poor! And they grumbled against her.

6 But Jesus said: Leave her be! Why do you bother her? She has performed a righteous act on me.

7 The poor will always be there for you to help, but you will not always have me.

8 She has done what she could in the time remaining, for she has anointed my body for burial.

9 I want you to know that wherever in the world this Gospel is preached, the tale of what she did will be preached too as a memorial of her and what she did.

10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief Sadducee priests, offering to betray Jesus to them.

11 When he made the offer they were delighted, and offered him money in return. So from that point, he began looking for the best way to deliver Jesus into their hands.

12 On the eve of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lambs were slain, the disciples asked Jesus: Where do you want us to hold our Passover?

13 And he sent out two disciples, telling them: Go into Jerusalem, and you’ll spot something unusual: A man (--not a woman--) carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him to the house he goes to.

14 Then seek out the owner of the house, and say to him: “The Master says, ‘Where is the guest chamber where I can eat the Passover with my disciples?’”

15 He will show you a large room on an upper floor furnished and ready. Prepare our Passover there.

16 So the disciples went into Jerusalem and found things as Jesus had told them. Then they prepared for the Passover Festival.

17 Jesus arrived that evening with the twelve disciples.

18 As they reclined and ate, Jesus said: I assure you that one of you eating with me tonight will betray me.

19 The disciples were all filled with sorrow, and began asking in turn: Is it I? Is it me? Even (Judas) asked: Is it I?

20 Jesus’ reply was: It is one of you twelve who dip in the dish with me.

21 And sure enough, the Son of Man will go on to what is prophesied about him in the Scriptures, but woe to the one who is sending him down that road! It would be good for that man if he had never been born!

22 As they ate the meal, Jesus took unleavened bread, blessed God, and handed it out, saying: Take and eat this. This is my body.

23 Then he took the cup of wine, and after giving thanks to God, he passed it around and they all drank from it.

24 He said: This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

25 I assure you that I will never drink any fruit of the vine again until the day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God!

26 After they had sung one of the Hymns of Ascent, they made their way to the Mount of Olives.

27 As they went, Jesus said to them: All of you will (stumble in your faith and abandon me tonight,) for it is written: I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.

28 But after I rise, I will go and wait for you in Galilee.

29 Peter, however, assured him: Even if everyone else here stumbles (and abandons you)--I won’t!

30 Jesus’ reply was: I assure you that this day, even this very night, before the “rooster” crows twice--you will deny even knowing me, not just once, but three times!

31 But Peter denied it all the more vehemently, declaring: If I have to die at your side, I will not deny you in any way! The other disciples said likewise.

32 Eventually they came to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to the disciples: Sit here, while I go pray.

33 And he took Peter, James, and John with him a few yards away. But as he went, a feeling of utter dread and sorrow came upon him.

34 Jesus told them: My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, almost to the point of death. Wait here, and keep watch.

35 Jesus went forward a few steps, and fell prostrate upon the ground, praying that what lay ahead could be avoided if possible.

36 He prayed: Abba Father, all things are possible for You...take this cup away from me--yet not my will, but Yours be done.

37 After a while, he returned to find everyone asleep. So he awakened Peter and said: Shimon--are you asleep?! Could you not stay on watch for just one hour?!

38 Stay alert and pray, lest you enter into temptation. Your spirit is willing, but your flesh is weak (and may be your downfall).

39 And he went back, praying the same words as before.

40 When he returned, the disciples were once more asleep, and they had no good answer as to why they could not stay awake.

41 When this happened a third time, Jesus said: Fine, sleep on, and rest. Enough is enough--the hour is come. Behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

42 Get up! Let’s go--my betrayer has come!

43 Now while he was speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived at the head of a crowd armed with swords and clubs that had been sent by the Sadducees, the Torah teachers, and the city elders.

44 Earlier, the betrayer had told them to look for the sign he would give them: The one I give the customary kiss of greeting to is Jesus. Take him into custody, and you’ll be able to lead him away in safety!

45 As soon as he arrived, Judas went over to Jesus, calling out: Rabbi! Rabbi! Then he gave him a kiss of greeting.

46 The others then rushed up and took Jesus into custody.

47 Now one of the disciples (--trying to help Jesus--) drew a sword and cut the ear off a man in the crowd who happened to be a servant of the High Priest.

48 (Before things could escalate,) Jesus said: Why do you come out, armed to the teeth, like you’re apprehending some bandit?

49 You saw me in the Temple each day preaching, and you didn’t touch me then--but the Scriptures must be fulfilled, mustn’t they?

50 At this, the disciples all scattered and ran for their lives.

51 Now a young man (--John Mark, who was present in the house during their Passover--) had slipped out to follow and see what would happen, but he was clad only in a fine linen sheet. Some of the young men in the crowd spotted him and tried to catch him,

52 But he managed to slip from their grasp, leaving the sheet in their hands as he ran away naked.

53 The others, meanwhile, led Jesus to the palace of the High Priest where all chief priests, the key city elders, and the Torah teachers were gathered.

54 Peter was following along in the distance, and he managed to slip into the palace of the High Priest. He then mingled with some of the servants in the courtyard, warming himself at a bright bonfire.

55 Meanwhile, the chief Sadducee priests and their (city) Sanhedrin sought for two witnesses who could say something giving them leave to kill Jesus, but found none.

56 All sorts of people spoke lies against him, but they couldn’t find two who could get their stories straight.

57 Finally, a couple of men testified falsely against Jesus, saying:

58 We heard him say: “I will destroy this Temple made by human hands, and within three days will erect another built without human hands”!

59 But even these didn’t say exactly the same thing.

60 Finally, the High Priest stood up in the midst of the gathering and asked Jesus: Do you have nothing to say? What are all these things you’re being accused of by the people?

61 But Jesus kept silent, and finally the High Priest demanded: Are you the Messiah, Son of the Blessed?!

62 And Jesus said: I AM! And you all will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of Power, and coming in the clouds of heaven!

63 Then the High Priest (broke the Law of Moses, and) rent his clothing. He said: What need is there of more witnesses?

64 You all heard him (blasphemously apply the name of God to himself), so what is your judgment? So they held a quick vote, and all of them voted Jesus guilty, and deserving of death.

65 Some now began to spit on Jesus, and blindfolded him so he couldn’t see while they slapped him. They shouted out: Prophesy (who it was that struck you)! The servants also slapped him in the face with their palms.

66 Now as Peter was in the courtyard below the palace, one of the female servants of the High Priest came along.

67 She noticed Peter warming himself at the fire, and fixed her gaze at him, saying: You were with Jesus of Nazareth too!

68 But he immediately denied it, saying: I have no idea what you could possibly be talking about! Then he began to walk toward the gate leading outside to the street as the “rooster” crowed.

69 Another female servant then saw him and cried out to those there: This is one of them!

70 Again Peter denied it (--this time, with an oath). But after a while, others standing there said: You must be one of them--you even have a Galilean accent!

71 Then Peter began cursing and swearing, stating: I don’t know that man you’re talking about!

72 Now the “rooster” cried out again, and Peter recalled Jesus telling him: “Before the ‘rooster’ crows twice--you will deny even knowing me, not just once, but three times!” When he remembered that, he went out and wept bitterly.

1. Wednesday, Nisan 14-15 of 30 AD.

2. Probably the father of Judas, who in John’s Gospel (6:71) is called ‘Simon’s son.’ In Matthew 26:6 we note additionally that as soon as Jesus criticizes Simon while defending the woman’s act, Judas goes out to betray Him.

3. Technically incorrect, for the lamb is not slaughtered on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but on the day before. As noted, however, the term had become synonymous for the Passover, and this may explain Mark’s apparent “mistake,” assuming the cause is not that the group was following a different calendar.

4. An amazing sight to start with, for carrying water was strictly woman's work (except in the case of the Essenes). This servant probably worked for Mark's family, and the house where he entered must have been Mark's house, for many theologians believe Mark accompanies the group to Gethsemane in verse 41. That being said, the Greek here can theoretically be referring to a person of either sex, not only a man.

5. The apostles will refuse to believe this, and instead remain hiding in Jerusalem until Christ comes to show them He has risen.

6. Not referring to a rooster, but to the Temple officer in charge of calling for the priests to take their stations. Chickens, remember, were not allowed in Jerusalem.

7. The precise meaning of the “cup” is not fully known. Jesus is probably not begging to avoid crucifixion (since many saints after Him went to their deaths singing and rejoicing), but almost certainly desires to avoid ‘becoming sin’ on the cross and enduring the wrath of God against sin in the process of our atonement.

8. The boy is believed by many to be Mark, though apocryphal sources assert it may have been a boy Jesus had resurrected earlier in His ministry. See also the note about Mark under Luke 22:42.

9. By doing this, Caiaphas has disqualified himself as High Priest, for he is forbidden by the Torah (Lev. 10:6) to rend his garments despite this being appropriate for one who thinks he hears blasphemy against God.

10. As noted elsewhere, this is not the Sanhedrin proper, controlled by the Pharisees, but the city Sanhedrin controlled by the Sadducees. The “all” who condemn Christ consist of the Sadducees, Herodians, and perhaps some hostile Pharisees. It cannot possibly have included the Hillelite Gamaliel who headed the Sanhedrin proper because he is praised in Acts.

 

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 15

1 And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes1 and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.

2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto them, Thou sayest it.

3 And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.

4 And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.

5 But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.

6 Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.

7 And there was one named Barabbas2, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.

8 And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.

9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.

11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.

12 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?

13 And they cried out again, Crucify him.

14 Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.

15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.

16 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.

17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,

18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!

19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.

20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.

21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus3, to bear his cross.

22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.4

23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.5

24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.

25 And it was the third hour6, and they crucified him.

26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.

29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,

30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross.

31 Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.

32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.7

33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.8

36 And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.

37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;

41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath9,

43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor10, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly11 unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion,12 he asked him whether he had been any while dead.

45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.

47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.

1 As soon as dawn broke, the chief Sadducee priests consulted with the religious leaders, the Torah teachers, and the entire (city) Sanhedrin. Then they bound Jesus and sent him to the Roman governor Pilate.

2 When he met him, Pilate asked: Are you, “The King of the Jews”? Jesus’ response was: You are saying that I am (by what you are doing).

3 The chief Sadducee priests then made numerous accusations against Jesus, but he remained silent.

4 Pilate again spoke to Jesus, saying: Have you nothing to say at all? Look how many charges they’re bringing against you!

5 But still Jesus kept silent, and Pilate was amazed at this.

6 Now at the Feasts (as a gesture of goodwill,) the governor would release a condemned criminal of their choice to the people.

7 In custody was a violent, murderous revolutionary named bar Abbas, who with his gang had been apprehended and now awaited execution.

8 The crowd now began calling for Pilate to follow the custom, and release one man (--namely, this same bar Abbas).

9 But Pilate answered: Do you want me to release “The King of the Jews” to you?

10 For Pilate knew full well that the chief Sadducee priests had delivered Jesus solely out of envy.

11 But those chief priests moved the crowd to holler for bar Abbas instead.

12 So Pilate answered again: Then what do you want me to do with the one you call “The King of the Jews”?

13 The crowd screamed out again: Crucify him!

14 Pilate responded: Why? For what evil that he has done? But they shouted out all the louder: Crucify him!

15 And so Pilate--desiring to placate the people--gave in to the crowd ,and released bar Abbas to them. Then, after flogging Jesus, he ordered him to be crucified.

16 The legionnaires now led Jesus into the Praetorium hall and called their fellow soldiers out to see the spectacle.

17 They threw a purple cloak upon his back, wove together a crown of thorns, then placed it upon his head,

18 And began mockingly shouting: Hail, King of the Jews!

19 And they beat him with a reed stick, and spat upon him, and mockingly got on their knees in obeisance to him.

20 When they tired of this mocking, they took back the cloak and dressed him back in his own robe. Then they led him out to be crucified.

21 As they were going, a man named Simon of Cyrene was coming from the country into Jerusalem for the Festival. This Simon, who was father to Alexander and Rufus, was forced by the Romans to help Jesus bear his cross.

22 And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of the Skull (of Adam).

23 There, they offered him some wine drugged with myrrh to drink, but he refused it.

24 When they crucified Jesus, they divided his clothing and diced to see who would get to choose what.

25 It was 9 AM when all this happened.

26 And above Jesus’ head on the cross was an inscription that read: THE KING OF THE JEWS.

27 Crucified on both sides of Jesus were also two thieves.

28 This fulfilled a prophecy that said: And he was numbered with the transgressors.

29 Those who passed by mocked Jesus, saying: So, you who were going to destroy the Temple, and rebuild it in three days--

30 Save yourself, and come down off that cross!

31 Likewise, the key Sadducee priests and Torah teachers mockingly said among themselves: He saved others, but he can’t save himself!

32 Let us see the “Messiah and King of Israel” come down now from that cross, and we’ll believe! The two thieves being crucified also mocked him like this.

33 Now when noon came, a great darkness fell over all the land until 3 PM (when the High Priest sacrificed the Passover lamb).

34 At 3 PM, Jesus cried out on a loud voice in the Aramaic language, quoting a Psalm, and saying: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

35 (Because the words “My God” and the name of Elijah in Aramaic are both pronounced “Eli,”) some said: Look--he’s calling for Elijah!

36 Someone ran off and soaked a sponge with non-kosher vinegar wine, placed the sponge on a stick, and then lifted it up to Jesus to drink. Others said: Leave him alone, and let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down from that cross!

37 Jesus then cried out with a loud voice, and expired.

38 At the same instant, the curtain sealing off the Holy of Holies was ripped apart from top to bottom!

39 When a centurion present saw how Jesus cried out and yielded his spirit up to death, he noted: This man truly was the Son of God!

40 Now some female followers of Jesus were watching the scene from a distance. They included Mary of Magdala, and Mary the mother of James the younger, Joses, and Salome.

41 These women followers had ministered to Jesus in Galilee, and many other women had come with them to Jerusalem.

42 Now as evening drew near, since it was the preparation for the Sabbath,

43 Joseph of Arimathaea, a just man on the Great Sanhedrin who also was looking for the Kingdom of God to come, boldly went before Pilate and asked to be given Jesus’ body.

44 Pilate was amazed that Jesus was already dead, so he summoned the centurion in charge of the crucifixion to verify the fact that Jesus had been dead for a while.

45 When the officer confirmed it, he allowed Joseph to take the body.

46 So Joseph took a fine linen shroud, took him down, wrapped Jesus in it, and placed him in a tomb hewn out of a rocky outcrop. He then had a large stone rolled in front of the opening to seal it.

47 And Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joses observed where he was laid to rest in a tomb.

1. Note that no specific mention is made of the Pharisees.

2. Barabbas’ name means “Son of the Father.”

3. Simon apparently converted to Christianity along with his family, since it is presumed the reader is acquainted with his sons, Alexander and Rufus.

4. The site of the Crucifixion has never been known with precise certainty. However, a good case can be made that it was on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, close to one of the city gates near the outdoor altar where the Yom Kippur sacrifice was made and the red heifer slain. Local legend held that Adam's skull was buried in this area. Jeremiah's Grotto is also a candidate for the site of the Crucifixion because of a skull-like outcropping of rock there. However, the amount of natural decay over the last couple of centuries suggests that this formation probably was not recognizable as a skull 2000 years ago.

5. It was a custom to offer this narcotized wine to those being crucified to help deaden the pain.

6. The “third hour” is 9 AM.

7. Apparently, one of those crucified with Christ repented (Luke 23:39).

8. They think this because “eloi” or “Eli” in Aramaic is also the name for Elijah.

9. Nisan (April) 14.

10. Meaning that he was a member of the Sanhedrin proper.

11. Possibly meaning that he courageously went to Pilate, knowing that this would bring condemnation upon him from the elders or else that he ignores Shammai’s prohibition against entering the house of a Gentile, thereby bringing personal defilement upon himself in the act.

12. That Mark was writing to a Roman audience is implied by his use of a Latin spelling for “centurion,” rather than the usual Greek spelling employed in other Gospels. Another possibility is that he was indicating a Roman officer was in charge over the Syrian troops overseeing the Crucifixion.

 

CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 16

1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.1

10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.

11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world2, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

1 After the Sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, and Mary the mother of James and Salome, brought spices to cover the body of Jesus.

2 At sunrise on Sunday morning, they came to the tomb.

3 They were wondering among themselves: Who will roll the stone away for us from the entrance of the tomb?

4 But when they came to the tomb and looked, they found the very large stone was already rolled aside.

5 The women entered into the tomb and there saw what looked like a young man clothed in a long white garment sitting on the right side of where the body had lain--and they were terrified!

6 But he said: Don’t be afraid. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, and is not here! See--this was where they laid him.

7 But go your way, and tell his disciples, including Peter, that he has gone to Galilee, and is waiting for them there--and there they will see him as he said earlier.

8 Yet the women fled from the tomb in terror and amazement, and said nothing to anyone because of their fear.

9 Now when Jesus had risen early Sunday, he first appeared to Mary of Magdala, who had once been totally possessed by seven demons.

10 This same Mary went and told the disciples, who were mourning Jesus’ death with tears.

11 But though she swore she had seen Jesus alive, the disciples did not believe her.

12 After this, Jesus appeared in another form to two of his followers as they were walking in the country.

13 They came and reported this to the disciples, but they wouldn’t believe them either.

14 Finally, Jesus appeared to the eleven as they were having dinner, and he gave them a severe tongue lashing for their hardness of heart in refusing to believe those who had seen him alive after his resurrection.

15 Then he said: As you go forth into the world, preach the Gospel to every creature.

16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.

17 And these signs will follow those who have believed: As my representatives and followers, they will cast out devils; they will speak with new tongues;

18 They will handle snakes with impunity; if they drink anything dangerous, it will not harm them; and they will lay hands on the sick and the sick shall recover.

19 After the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven and sat down at God’s right hand.

20 And the disciples went out and preached everywhere, the Lord’s power being with them, and the Message was confirmed by many signs following. Amen.

1. The oldest manuscripts omit verse 9 forward, and there is speculation it may have been added subsequent to the original text's creation, especially since they use some words not otherwise found in Mark's Gospel. Unfortunately, many study Bibles thus go on to treat these verses as apocryphal. However, the 2nd century Diatesseron actually noted the key ending of Mark:

Then said Jesus unto them, I have been given all authority in heaven and earth; and as my Father hath sent me, so I also send you. Go now into all the world, and preach my gospel in all the creation; and teach all the peoples, and baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and teach them to keep all whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you all the days, unto the end of the world. For whosoever believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but whosoever believeth not shall be rejected. And the signs which shall attend those that believe in me are these: that they shall cast out devils in my name; and they shall speak with new tongues; and they shall take up serpents, and if they drink deadly poison, it shall not injure them; and they shall lay their hands on the diseased, and they shall be healed. But ye, abide in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be clothed with power from on high.--Roberts-Donaldson translation.

2. “Go ye” is a bad translation. It is better rendered: “As you go.”

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