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A Comparison of the Passion Narratives of the Gospels of Matthew and John - Essay Example

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A Comparison of the Passion Narratives of the Gospels of Matthew and John

The paper throws light on the Passion of Jesus, which refers to the sufferings that the Lord has experienced from the moment He is arrested at Gethsemane to His Death on the cross, is told in all four Gospels. In the Gospel of Matthew, it can be found in Matthew 26:47-27:61 and in the Gospel of John it is found in John 18:1-19:42. These two Gospels both have similarities and differences on the account of the Passion. Furthermore, a number of these similarities and differences may have profound theological implications. One of the differences between the Gospels is when it comes to the arrest of Jesus where Matthew gives a longer account of the events while John gives a shorter one and does not mention any kiss of betrayal from Judas. In all three synoptic Gospels including Matthew, Judas turns to the crowd he is with and gives them a signal saying “The man I kiss is the one you want. Arrest him!”. Judas then approaches Jesus and says, “Peace be with you, Teacher!” but to which Jesus replies, “Be quick about it, friend”. John, on the other hand, never mentions any exchange of words between Jesus and Judas, who was mentioned to be just standing with the crowd, but rather only between the former and the crowd of soldiers themselves. Jesus asks them, “Who is it you are looking for?” and when they say “Jesus of Nazareth”, Jesus replies, “If, then, you are looking for me, let these others go”. The role of Judas in the Gospel of John during the arrest is not underlined and is presumably a minor one. Upon the arrest of Jesus, a disciple of His cuts off the ear of the High Priest’s slave with a sword. While in Matthew the disciple and the slave are both unnamed, John identifies them as Simon Peter and Malchus. It is also interesting to note that in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus reprimands the disciple who is assumed to be Peter, by saying, “Put your sword back in its place…All who take the sword will die by the sword.” (Matt. 26:52) On the trial of Jesus, the Gospel of John mentions that Jesus has first been taken to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was the High Priest that year (Jn. 18:13). Nevertheless, the Gospel of Matthew mentions of no such thing. Although John does not indicate whether the trial of Jesus before Annas is visible to the crowd, the complete account is found in John 18:19-24. Based on John’s narration of the trial, it is interesting to note that Jesus seems to defy Annas’ authority by saying, “”I have always spoken publicly to everyone…Why, then do you question me? Question the people who heard me…they know what I said” (Jn. 18:20-21). After which, Jesus is taken to Caiaphas, which both John and Matthew mentions. Nevertheless, it is Matthew who gives a rather full account of Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas. Perhaps one of the most important statements of Jesus stated by Matthew is this: “From this time on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right side of the Almighty and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matt. 26:64), which Caiaphas himself considers blasphemous. During the death sentence of Jesus that follows, it is interesting to note that, according to Matthew, Pilate’s wife sends him a message while he is sitting in the judgment hall right after Jesus’ trial. The message of Pilate’s wife says, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, because in a dream last night I suffered much on account of Him” (Matt. 27:19). Nevertheless, John does not mention of such a message. Moreover, while Matthew mentions nothing of where Jesus has been presented during the death sentence, John makes reference to “The Stone Pavement” or “Gabbatha.” (Jn. 19:13) Another striking difference between the Gospels of Matthew and John when it comes to the events surrounding the crucifixion is the fact that John ...Show more

Summary

The researcher states that there are various similarities between the Gospels of Matthew and John, namely the general agreement on the sequence of events as well as the occasional references to the Old Testament to reflect the idea that Jesus’ passion and death serve to fulfill the Scriptures.
Author : kelvin49
A Comparison of the Passion Narratives of the Gospels of Matthew and John essay example
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