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The ethnon of Jerusalem

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

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[Note: This is one of a series listed under the heading: Wordie Post." It was originally posted on the Word Press blog entitled "Our Daily Bread," found at The changes at Word Press are similar to those on Twitter and Facebook, where I was posting to an empty space. That was because I began and maintained that blog as one of their free offerings. When their force to change to a paid blog website did not move me, they cancelled their "Reader," so posting on Word Press has become like a caged animal at the zoo, where only workers occasionally toss the animals a bite to eat. Word Press [et al] is like what I imagine life was like in the satellite countries of the Soviet Union: meager, bleak, spiritless. So, I am transferring those forty articles here.]


In the tenth chapter of Mark’s Gospel, verses 32 – 34 tell of Jesus foretelling of his coming persecution, death and resurrection. The big view timing of that third time telling his disciples that prophecy is that the group had just spent the winter [late-December to early March] in the region “beyond the Jordan” and they were then packing up to go back to Jerusalem.

In John’s eleventh chapter, he tells how messengers had been sent to tell Jesus Lazarus was ill. This was when the group began to relocate; but they were not in any hurry, because “Lazarus was just sleeping.”

In Mark’s verses 35 – 45, there is a request made by James and John of Zebedee, “one of us at your right hand and one of us at your left hand might sit.” Jesus divinely knew why the “sons of thunder” [“Boanerges”] wanted to stay by his sides, knowing they wanted to protect Jesus from the harm he had not long before said was coming to him. In response, Jesus asked the two, “Are you able to drink from the cup that I drink?”

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That needs to be a question that means Jesus was divinely led to know his future; so, it asked the ‘bruiser brothers’ if they could die for Jesus too, by drinking from the cup of death. The follow-up question, “Are you able to be baptized in the same way I am baptized?” [recalling how they were not there when John baptized Jesus and God spoke, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased,” but they were with Jesus at the Transfiguration when they heard God say, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”] was asking them if them dying in Jesus’ place would bring them back, as the Son of God.

They were questions of the divine things that are death [of self] and resurrection [as a Christ], so to speak.

The mundane reason Jesus asked if the two could drink from his cup was this: drinking wine from cups was a ritual of the Passover Seder meals [there are two each year]; and, the group was on the move because it was Passover time. Plus, Lazarus would be raised … privately.

Now, Matthew’s Gospel tells how it was the mother of James and John who initiated them asking Jesus to let them protect his life. That says the road trip beyond the Jordan had family invited to come along too. The entourage included women and children, wives and mothers of the disciples. Being gone from home for three months did not demand Jesus’ disciples be away from family, as his ministry was basically on ‘winter break.’

All of this timing is easy to see, as their trip back to Jerusalem would take them through Jericho, where things would take place; and, Jesus would invite himself and his followers to stay at Zacchaeus’ place overnight.

Still, after Jesus told James and John they were not ready yet to “drink from the same cup and be baptized in the same way,” we read that the other ten disciples heard the conversation and got angry. One can assume their anger was because James and John were not supposed to ask permission to protect Jesus.  They were to be the ones who all had decided that’s the way it will be, as agreed upon by all twelve.

The confusion then comes when we read Jesus heard their anger at their plan having failed, so he told them: “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them; but it is not so among you.” The confusion comes from reading that translation and asking, “What the heck do “the Gentiles” have to do with anything?”

The probability is Jesus was speaking in Aramaic, which means he would have used the word “goyim,” which means “nations of people,” with the intent being non-Israelite peoples. The Israelites had been taken from a “goy” in Egypt and taught by Moses to not be like the typical “nations of people” in the world.

In the translation of the actual language spoken by Jesus into Greek, Mark wrote “ethnōn,” which is the genitive plural of “ethnos.” That word then says, “of nations” or “of peoples.” To then translate that into English as “Gentiles” becomes significant; and, this one word explains why Jesus said this.

Jesus had not long before told his disciples that they would be returning to Jerusalem. He forewarned them of what would happen when they got there. He said [literally translated into English from the Greek]:

“the Son of man will be betrayed to the chief priest  kai  to the scribes  kai  they will

condemn him to death  kai  will betray him to the esthnesin [Romans and non-Israelites] 

kai  they will mock him  kai  will spit on him  kai  will flog him  kai  will put to death  kai  on

the third day he will rise again.”

That prophecy was much more detailed than had the forewarning given the prior two times. In it, the Romans were known to be “Gentiles,” who were the ruling force occupying what had once been Israel and Judea. However, everything Jesus said would happen in Jerusalem has to be seen as by the hands of “ethnon.”

In Matthew 15:24, Jesus said to a Canaanite woman, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” He was not sent to the Jews, although the “lost sheep of Israel” identified by that race [a meaning of both “goy” and “ethnos”] and religious customs. This means understanding “ethnos” be important, as that is the root Greek word written by Mark.

According to HELPS Ministries and their Word-studies, they write: “éthnos (from ethō, “forming a custom, culture”) – properly, people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture; nation(s), usually referring to unbelieving Gentiles (non-Jews).”

That says the “customs or common culture” of the Jews who led Jerusalem constituted them as being in the same classification as they themselves would see “Gentiles.” Thus, Jesus was speaking of both the Jews of Herod’s Temple and the Romans under governor Pilate as practitioners of “customs or common culture” that had nothing to do with the “customs and common culture” of the Israelites led by Moses in the wilderness.

By seeing that, when Jesus then said, “those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them,” that speaks of the Temple elite (“their rulers who lord over them”] and the Roman power (“their great ones who tyrant over them”). This is then the Jews being deemed unworthy of affiliation with Yahweh’s “peoples,” if one’s soul hoped to be given life eternal (the objective brought before Jesus not long before this, by the young, rich ruler).

When Jesus then added, “whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all,” that becomes a synopsis of what being a true “Israelite” is, with the name “Israelite” meaning “On Who Retains God.” Those who are “peoples” or “nations” they give all honor and glory to “customs and common culture,” they are then too busy to become servants of Yahweh. They are too full of themselves to sacrifice self (and the riches that worship brings) in submission to a divine power.

When all of this is seen as coming from Jesus asking James and John, “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” the custom or common culture of the Passover had been lost by the Jews. James and John were Jews; thus, they were not yet prepared to be Christians.

They were close, but not yet there.

They still followed the rituals they had been taught as children, with nobody ever telling them the truth about why they reenacted the Passover every year, a responsibility for eternity. The Jews were Gentiles in that sense; so, all Christians today are likewise “ethnos” who try to drink from the cup that Jesus drank from, when Jesus went to Jerusalem and said, “I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Jesus did not drink from a physical cup. Jesus did not pass around one cup for a bunch of disciples and their families to all slobber over. [COVID forbid that happen today!!!] The Jews each had their own cup. It is that way every year they recognize a Passover Seder meal.  Cups for everyone, because one of the “customs or common cultures” is everyone gets drunk on wine!

The Jews are not like peoples who pass around a jug of wine by the campfire, at the railroad tracks. Everyone has their own cup to drink from; but Christians have no idea what the Jewish customs and common cultures are, relative to Passover.

Thus the question to be one at the right hand and one at the left hand.

You cannot go to heaven by being close to Jesus. You have to be Jesus reborn. When you drink from your cup, Jesus then drinks from the same cup, because his soul has been resurrected within your soul. Both souls possess the same body of flesh.  That state of being can only come when your soul has married Yahweh. At that time “Your Soul Retains God,” so you become a true “Israelite.”

Christianity today sits at the right hand of Jesus: passing around one cup of wine at an altar rail. It also sits at the left hand of Jesus: washing baby foreheads with water, or dunking teens in an industrial-sized baptismal pool. None of those “customs or common cultures” are teaching the children to become willing servants of Yahweh, marrying their soul to Him out of true love; and, then being reborn as the Son of man.

Heck, they can’t even teach their children the name of Yahweh.

So, like being turned over to the “ethnesin” of Jerusalem, Jesus is crucified time and time again.

He hangs on a cross (a beloved icon for car window decals and jewelry worn around the neck), while to the right hand of Jesus hangs a common criminal who confesses his sinful ways.  To the left hand of Jesus hangs another common criminal who curses Jesus, telling him what to do.

Those two, like the request made by the children James and John, came close to Jesus, but got no cigar, as far as redemption and salvation are concerned.

One got to be reincarnated after Judgment beside Jesus [not one with him]. The other went to the outer darkness and eternally grinds his spiritual teeth.

Meanwhile, Jesus is still waiting “until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” That would be your body of flesh newly married to Yahweh (“my Father’s kingdom”), with Jesus’ soul your new ‘live in brother’ for eternity.

#ethnosinJerusalem #failuresofChristianity #sitatthelefthandandrighthandofJesus #Mark103245 #Gentilelordsandtyrants

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