Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Saying 33


Jesus said, ‘What you hear in your [one] your ear, [in the other ear] proclaim from your rooftops.’

‘Because no one lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel basket, nor puts it in a hidden place. Instead, the person sets it on a lampstand so that everyone who enters and leaves will see its light.’


Saying 33 comprises multiple teachings, grouped together for their similar message. Sayings 32–33 arranges three teaching—the city, the rooftop, and the lamp—as an immediate sequence to stress that the disciples must keep Jesus’ message known to the public, and must be willing to endure challenges which might pressure them to retreat from the public eye. Matthew and Luke place the rooftop saying in an eschatological context. In Matthew, it is found in a (somewhat messily arranged) warning about the threat of divine punishment on the day of judgment, when all the things people said and did will be revealed (Matt 10.26–33). Luke 12.3 retains this interpretation of the saying as concerning eschatological revelations in the final judgment (12.1–3), but Luke’s author changes Jesus’ wording so that it is not he who speaks privately to the disciples (‘in the dark’; cf. Mark 4.11). Instead, it is others who ‘whisper’ inappropriate things, which will be revealed to everyone when the final day comes. Matthew moves the lamp saying earlier in his book compared to his source in Mark. Luke places the lamp saying next to his equivalent of Saying 24.



4.21 He said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand?’


5.15 ‘No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.’

10.27 ‘What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops.’


11.33 ‘No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar, but on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.’

12.3 ‘Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.’

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