Today I post what I translated last week in my Gospel Advent readings. These verses are very dramatic, featuring the conclusion of the frightening Olivet Discourse, Jesus predicting Peter’s denial, Judas’ betrayal and the Lord’s Supper. Curiously, the Gospel readings take a side trip away from Luke and over to John 8 for the “woman taken in adultery.” Some of the horrorific language in the Olivet Discourse was hard to straighten out; but as always it was fun.
But when you see armies encircling Jerusalem, then you will know devastation is near. Then those of you in Judea escape into the mountain and you leave from her midst and also do not let those in other towns come back into her. That day vindication of those cities will fulfill everything written. Woe for those pregnant and those nursing then, for it will be a great disaster upon the land and wrath to this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword. They will be taken prisoner into every nation and Jerusalem will be under the heel of the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. There will be a sign on the sun, and on the moon, and among the stars as well as upon the land. The Gentiles will have anxiety over not knowing what to do, like a sound tossing the sea. Men will have died for fear and the whole inhabitation of the earth will be waiting, for the power of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the son of man coming in the clouds’ with power and all glory. Now, when these things begin to occur, you straighten up and lift up your heads because your redemption is near.
And he spoke a parable to them, “You see the fig and all those other trees? When it blossoms you see for yourselves and you know now that summer is near. In the same way, when you notice these things happening you will know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you that this generation will not pass by until everything happens. The heavens and the earth will pass away but my words will never pass away. Watch yourselves, that you do not let wildness, drunkenness, and the cares of everyday life overtake your hearts in those days. It will come upon every one of those living everywhere like a trap. You must be awake at all times; praying that you will have the strength to flee out of all these things that are about to happen and to stand before the son of man.” Now he was in the temple teaching in those days, but every night he came out and spent the night on the Mount of Olives. All the people rose up early to hear him in the temple.
Now, it drew near time for the Feast of Unleavened Bread; which is called Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes kept looking for how they might kill him, but they feared the people. But Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve. He went away to speak with the chief priests and soldiers about how he might hand him over to them. And they were overjoyed and agreed to give him silver. He consented to seek a good opportunity to hand him over apart from the crowd.
Now, the Day of Unleavened came. This is the day in which it is necessary to kill the Passover. And Jesus sent Peter and John saying, “You yourselves go and prepare the Passover so that we may eat it.” And they said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare?” He said to them, “Behold, as you are going into the city you will meet a man carrying a jar of water to his house. Follow him in. If the owner of the house should ask, you say, “The teacher asks, ‘Where is the guestroom where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ Then he will show you a great room upstairs spread with couches where you may prepare.” So they went away and found it just as he said to them and so they prepared the Passover.
And when he came to the house he and the apostles with him reclined. He said to them, “I eagerly desire to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I say to you, I will not eat it again until the time of the kingdom of God is fulfilled.” Then, taking the wine cup, he blessed it and said “You receive this and share it among yourselves. I say to you that I will not drink from now on of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And receiving bread he blessed it and broke and gave to them saying, “This is my body that I am giving for you, you do this as a remembrance of me.” And the wine cup he did likewise after they ate the meal, saying, “This is the wine cup of the new covenant in my blood poured out for you. Behold, however, the hand of the one handing me over is with me upon the table. For now, the son of man will be taken away, as it has been appointed. Nevertheless, woe to the man who hands him over.” They began to discuss among themselves who from them could be going to do it when a dispute arose among them about who is considered greatest. Then he said to them, “The kings of the nations rule and wield authority over people and they call them benefactors. But with you it is not so. The greatest among you will be the youngest and the leader as the servant. For who is greater, the one reclining at table or the one serving? Is it not the one reclining? But I am in the midst of you as one serving. You are those people who remained throughout with me in my trials. I myself appoint you, just as the Father put me upon my kingdom, so that you eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and you yourselves will sit upon thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
“Simon, Simon, behold Satan requests to sift you as wheat! But I prayed about you so that you would not fail. But when you return to yourself, strengthen your brothers.” Then he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to follow you into prison and into death.” But he said, “I say to you, Peter, before the rooster crows tonight you will deny me three times.”
Then he said to them, “When I sent you without purse and bag and sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” Then he said to them, “But now those having a purse, take it and the same for those with a bag. The ones not having these things should sell his coat and buy a sword. For I say to you that in me the Scripture saying, ‘And with the lawless he was reckoned’ is completed. It is near realization.” So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” He said to them, “It is enough.”
And they lead off each one into his home. But Jesus went out onto the Mount of Olives. Again at dawn he appeared in the temple and all the people came to him, so he, sitting down, taught them. But the Scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman they had captured in the act of adultery and made her stand in the midst of the crowd. They said to him, “Teacher, this very woman she was seized in the act of adultery. Now, in our law Moses commanded such as these to be stoned, but what do you say?” Now this they said testing him, so that they would have accusation of him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dirt with his finger. As those remaining behind inquired of him, he gazed up and said to them, “The sinless among you should be first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped, writing in the dirt. Those hearing this began to depart, one by one, starting with the oldest until the only one remaining was the woman in the middle. Jesus now gazed up again and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Do you have no one to judge you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus said, “Neither do I judge you. Go. From now on do not sin any longer.”