Re: On the right and left of Jesus (fwd)

Stephen C. Carlson (
Sat, 14 Sep 1996 23:56:14 -0400

At 11:05 9/13/96 -0700, Larry Chouinard wrote:
> Although it is doubtful the full ramifications of the
>response was understood by them, Jesus concedes that ultimately they
>will suffer a similar fate v.23. But what is it that was not within his
>authority to grant? Certainly in v.23 the idiom <right and left> refers
>to places of honor. I see no indication in Jesus' response that he
>found the request to be seated on Jesus' <right and left> as an
>ironical foreshadowing of events at Calvary.

If I understand you correctly, you would argue that "right and left"
refers to places of honor in Jesus' answer because he did not have
the authority to grant it. However, Jesus goes on to say that they
"belong[ed] to those for whom they have been prepared by the Father."
I would say that Matthew's (and Mark's) audience was surely familiar
with the Is53:12 prophetic proof-text ("and he was numbered with the
transgressors") as some MSS of Mark attest at 15:27. Thus, Jesus'
comments can be understood to mean that those places at his "right and
left" had been prepared at least as far back as Isaiah the prophet,
if not earlier.

Stephen Carlson

Stephen C. Carlson                   : Poetry speaks of aspirations,              : and songs chant the words. :               -- Shujing 2.35