Friday, August 17, 2012

Mark 14-16, Luke 1-4:30

It's funny; for all the similarities between the gospels, there are also some pretty stark differences. Mark follows Matthew very closely, but is twelve chapters shorter. Luke (the doctor) wrote an incredibly detailed account. John wrote a lot of poetry in his version. Matthew and Mark tend to blend together a little in my head, but Luke and John are sharp and distinct.

The funny thing about Luke is how he can be telling an incredibly detailed story and then just kind of end it. An example is in Luke 4:28-30. Jesus has been preaching in the synagogue, and has just announced that He is the Messiah, and everyone is starting to freak out a little. They try to deny His authority, but he responds quietly and calmly and refuses to get riled up.

"Then all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went on His way."

What? An angry mob dragged Him to the top of a cliff to throw Him off and He walks away? How? Did He do something to distract them? Did He influence their hearts and minds to forget what they were trying to do? Was He invisible?

Luke gives us genealogies, family background, stories about John the Baptist, reports of civil unrest and political intrigue, descriptions of the emotions of each major character at important points of the story, and geographical detail. And then he leads us to the top of a cliff and simply walks away.

Shoddy storytelling, Luke. If this were a graded assignment, you'd probably end up with a C+.

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