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Jovely Galecio

BSED – RE 1

Christ in the Gospel


Infancy Narratives" of Matthew and Luke
http://www.catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/do-the-infancy-narratives-of-matthew-and-luke-contradict-each-other
What do apologists for atheism and liberal Scripture scholars have in common? They both love to find alleged “contradictions” in
Scripture. And this is no easy task, mind you, because these “contradictions” do not actually exist.
Though there are many of these alleged “contradictions,” one of the favorites of both of these camps is one that you can expect
to find being re-hashed again and again on the internet:—especially now that we are approaching Christmas—the
“contradictions” found in what are commonly referred to as “the infancy narratives” of St. Matthew and St. Luke.
The late Fr. Raymond Brown, S.S., for example, who definitely made positive contributions to biblical study in the Church, also
made some not-so-good contributions. In his book, The Birth of the Messiah, p. 46, for example, he flatly declares the two
infancy narratives “are contrary to each other.”
Oy vey!
So What Gives?
The two “infancy narratives” are found in Luke 2:1-39 and Matthew1:18-2:23. We’ll use St. Luke’s account as our beginning
point of reference and from there we’ll move forward inserting the alleged “contradictions” as we go.
I’ll give you a very important pointer here at the outset for clarity’s sake: keep your eyes on the words I put in bold print as I
lay out the narrative for St. Matthew and St. Luke's Gospels. These are the problem areas. And also keep in mind that these
problems are not created by the texts of Scripture. They are created in the imaginations of those creating the so-called
“contradictions.” Here we go:
According to St. Luke’s account, Mary and Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem because of the census called for by Caesar
Augustus. It would be there that Mary “gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a
manger…” (2:1-7) Are we good, so far?
Well, maybe not!
According to St. Matthew’s Gospel, there is no account of a journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. And this is true. But skeptics
claim St. Matthew portrays the Holy Family to have been living in Bethlehem, not Nazareth. There would have been no way for
there to have even been a journey to Bethlehem if Matthew’s scenario were true. The Holy Family was already there!
Moreover, Jesus is not found in St. Luke’s “manger,” but Matt. 2:11 says the Wise Men found him in a “house” in Bethlehem
where the Holy Family was not staying in the Inn—or more precisely, the manger attached to an Inn—that we find in Luke’s
Gospel. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is depicted as being born in the family home of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem where they
had lived all along, contradicting St. Luke’s account. Herein we find the first of these narratives’ supposed irreconcilable
contradictions.
A Biblical Response:
There are two crucial assumptions made here that have nothing to do with the actual text of Scripture.
1. Because there is “no account of a journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem” in St. Matthew’s Gospel, this does not mean St.
Matthew’s Gospel excludes it as a possibility. It doesn’t. It just means St. Matthew chose not to mention it.
2. And this is the most crucial error that, when understood properly, will end up dispelling most of the misconstrued
contradictions we find out and about in cyberspace. The assumption is made that St. Matthew’s recording of the Wise Men
following the star leads them to the Holy Family at the time of Jesus’ actual birth, and in Bethlehem. But the text does not
actually say this.
Let me explain.
First, let’s look at Matthew 2:1:
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, Wise Men from the East came to
Jerusalem…

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Critics nearly unanimously interpret this to mean that St. Matthew is claiming the Wise Men arrived in Bethlehem at the time
Christ was born. The truth is: it doesn’t say that. It simply says Christ was born during the days of King Herod and that the
Wise Men came in those days to see—as they themselves asked upon their arrival in Jerusalem—where they could find “he
who has been born king of the Jews” (Matt. 2:2).Matthew 2:1-2 does not specify how much time had transpired since the actual
birth of our Lord.
However, having said that, though Matthew 2:1-2 doesn’t specify the time of Christ’s birth, we do have clues elsewhere that
indicate the Wise Men did not arrive at the time Christ was actually born; rather, ca. one to as much as two years later.
Little Drummer Boy History
I know what you’re thinking. Or, at least, what you should be thinking. I love “The Little Drummer Boy,” too! (Yes, that was
said “tongue and cheek,” folks!) My family and I watch it every year at Christmas! And multiple times (we have the DVD).
(It's great having young children in the house. It gives me an excuse to watch all those kid-oriented Christmas specials!)
But unfortunately, “The Little Drummer Boy,” as well as a whole slew of atheists and liberal theologians, has his (and their)
time-line all wrong here. Perhaps there is a lesson here about getting one’s theology, or history, through children’s Claymation
television shows… or, from atheists and liberal Scripture scholars?
At any rate, the Nativity of our Lord is commonly portrayed with Magi, Shepherds, and yes, maybe even the little drummer boy,
all together at the manger with the Holy Family and the new-born baby Jesus. But that is not the way the Bible portrays it.
First of all, when the Magi “saw his star” in the East that indicated the birth of the “king of the Jews,” it was only then that
they began their journey to Israel, according to Matthew 2:2. And remember, this was before you could jump on a commuter jet.
Coming from Persia, most likely, they would have had to travel ca. 970 miles to get to Jerusalem. At least, that’s the distance
from modern Tehran, anyway. Even if you move eastward as far as modern Bagdad as their starting point, they would have still
had to travel ca. 500 miles.
Why is this significant?
Matthew 2:3-7 tells us that after the Wise Men arrived in Jerusalem and began asking about the location of “he who has been
born king of the Jews” (notice, they did not say “new-born king” as many assume, they said, “he who has been born king of
the Jews…”), Herod was troubled, for obvious reasons. He was corrupt and didn’t want another “king” to threaten his position
of power. So, after “assembling all of the chief priests, and scribes” (vs. 4), and asking them where the Messiah was to be born,
they informed him of Micah’s prophecy (5:2) that foretold Bethlehem as the birthplace of the coming king. Herod then decided to
pretend he was interested in welcoming, and worshipping, this new “king of Israel” just as the Magi were, so he could find out
precisely where this king was located, so he could eliminate the threat… permanently.
But notice what Matt. 2:7 says:
Then Herod summoned the Wise Men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared, and he sent them to
Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come
and worship him.”
Herod wanted to know “when the star appeared” so he could know the approximate age of the child. This indicates that the
star appeared to the Magi when Jesus was born, before their journey to Israel. This eliminates the possibility of the Magi meeting
the shepherds and the Holy Family at the manger.
Moreover, after God warned the Magi “not to return to Herod” in Matt. 2:12, and Herod later realizes they were not coming
back to give him his desired information about the location of our Lord, in 2:16, “in a rage” he determined to “kill all of the
children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained
from the Wise Men" (emphasis added).
Thus, if we allow for Herod hedging his bet to make sure he kills the right child, the information he garnered from the Magi
would probably have placed the birth of Christ at about a year or so before the Magi’s arrival. Herod would probably want a
cushion on each side of the approximate time of Christ’s birth.
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Most importantly, this would indicate Christ would have been ca. 1 to at most 2 years-old (though I would again say it would be
unlikely Christ would have been a full two years-old) at the time the Wise Men arrived in Jerusalem to find the Christ-child. This
would have been ca. 1 to 2 years after the nativity of St. Luke’s Gospel.
Many will say at this point that a journey of 500 to 1,000 miles would not take that long. If you say the caravan of the Wise
Men could travel ca. 5 to 10 miles per day, it would have taken anywhere from ca. two to seven months of travel. This is true,
but this does not take into account many variables. You didn’t just jump into a car or airplane and go. It would have taken
time to plan the trip, gather supplies, security, etc. These and more contingencies are simply not revealed to us in the text. But
we do get hints here about what Herod concluded from his personal interview of the Magi themselves. The text of Scripture
indicates it was the Magi that revealed the time of Christ's birth to have been long before the Magi's arrival in Nazareth.
Check Your Assumptions at the Door
Once we get the above time-line right, the “contradictions” between “infancy narratives” are not so contradictory any longer. We
are not going to get to all of the “contradictions” claimed, but as one other example, the claim is also made that when the
Wise Men were sent to Bethlehem by Herod, then that would naturally have been where they ended up finding the Holy Family
when they arrive at the place “where the child was” in Matt. 2:9. This is the foundation for the “contradiction” between St.
Luke’s “manger” and St. Matthew’s “house,” and more. The problem is: the text doesn’t say the Wise Men actually found the
Christ-child in Bethlehem. This is another non-biblical assumption.
In fact, Matthew 2:9 tells us that after Herod told the Magi to go to Bethlehem, it would be the miraculous star that would
actually guide them to Christ. The text doesn’t explicitly say this, but we can reasonably assume the star would not lead them to
the wrong location! If the Wise Men would have then headed to Bethlehem, the Holy Family would have been long gone. The
star would have led them to Nazareth, where, St. Luke tells us, in 2:39, “[the Holy Family] returned,” but only after “they had
performed everything according to the law of the Lord.”
Back to St. Luke’s Gospel
It is crucial to understand that other than the mention of Christ’s actual birth in Matt. 2:1, there is no overlap with Luke’s
infancy narrative and Matthew’s. Here’s a time-line:
Matt. 2:1 mentions Christ’s actual birth in Bethlehem. This sole overlap parallels Luke 2:6-7.
But because we know St. Matthew’s Gospel then leaps forward to the story of the Magi, ca. one to at most two years after
Christ’s birth, the story of the shepherd and the angels finding Christ in Bethlehem inLuke 2:8-20, the circumcision of Christ
while the Holy Family was still in Bethlehem in Luke 2:21, the “Presentation of the Lord” in the temple of Luke 2:22-36 (ca. a
six-mile trip that would take the better part of a day to walk), and the “return to Nazareth” of Luke 2:39, all happen within
ca. 40 or so days after Christ’s birth, and long before the Magi arrive at Nazareth in search of the “king of Israel.”
With this in mind, we can now eliminate the above-mentioned “contradictions” quite easily:
1. The “home” in Matthew 2:11 does not conflict with the “manger” inLuke 2:7. The “home” was in Nazareth where the Holy
Family had traveled well over a year before the coming of the Magi.
2. Matthew’s Gospel never actually says the “home” mentioned in2:11 was in Bethlehem.
3. The Wise Men were “sent” to Bethlehem by Herod, but the text never says that is where they ended up. We know, in fact,
they would have ended up in Nazareth where Christ actually was, not Bethlehem.
Another Assumption Exploded
As I said above, in this brief post, we are not going to eliminate all of the errors that are out there claiming contradictions
between the infancy narratives. In fact, there are some who argue for contradictions even within the narratives themselves. But if
you keep in mind the historical time-line laid out here, you can deal with most of the claimed anomalies.
Here is one final example:
Matthew 2:23 tells us the Holy Family never went to live in Nazareth until after the coming of the Magi and the flight into
Egypt. It was only then, the text says, “[Joseph and the Holy Family] went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth.” Yet, St. Luke
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says, it was after the 40 days of purification after the birth of Christ that “[the Holy Family] returned into Galilee, to…
Nazareth.”
Actually, Matthew 2:23 does not say the Holy Family “first” went to Nazareth after the flight into Egypt. That is another
unbiblical assumption. After being warned by God to flee Herod’s wrath and travel to Egypt in Matt. 2:13-14, and then after
being told by an angel of the Lord to return to Israel, in Matt. 2:20, it appears St. Joseph’s desire was to go back to his
family’s native Bethlehem in Judea, but because Herod’s son, Archela’us, was reigning there, “he was afraid to go there, and
being warned in a dream” he went to Nazareth instead (2:22-23).
We have to remember that the inspired authors place emphases on particular aspects of the life of Christ and the Holy Family
for particular theological reasons. St. Matthew is writing to a Jewish Christian community; thus, he emphasizes both Christ’s birth
in Bethlehem to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy of Micah 5:2 (Matt. 2:5-6), and the fulfillment of the Oral Tradition, or word
“spoken by the prophets,” that Christ would be “called a Nazarene” (Matt. 2:23). St. Luke, the only inspired Evangelist who was
also a Gentile, did not seem as interested in pointing those things out.
For St. Matthew’s purpose, it would not suffice for him to simply mention our Lord’s brief sojourn in Bethlehem as an infant and
toddler; he had to be raised in Nazareth in order to be “called a Nazarene.” Thus, the emphasis of St. Matthew is on Christ and
the Holy Family coming to Nazareth where Christ would be raised in order to fulfill the prophecy “spoken by the prophets”
(Matt. 2:23). But he never says this was the “first” time they had been there.
Final Thought
There is much more to be done here—multiple alleged “contradictions” to clear up. But as a parting word of advice, I will
repeat the words Fr. Ken Roberts used to say many years ago when he was on the sawdust trail, as they say: “Whenever
someone quotes a verse of Scripture to you, ask him to quote the four before it and the four after it before even thinking of
beginning a conversation.”
The point Fr. Roberts was making was this: Be sure to establish a true context for Scripture free from assumptions that don’t jive
with the entirety of the text.
That’s at the very least a good place to start!

the baptism of Jesus in the synoptics


Every Gospel, that is, biography or recording of Jesus the one called Christ, portrays its subject in a unique perspective. Each
perspective may have a different bias and purpose, but there is still a common narrative being told. Examples of this can be
seen in the individual narratives that consummates the different Gospel accounts of Jesus. One such individual narrative presented
in the beginning of each Gospel is that of the teachings of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus by John. By investigating
the separate perspectives of this story among the synoptic Gospels, one can interpret the different impressions, roles, beliefs, and
implications that each writer is hoping to present. Implicit in this investigation is the assumption of the two-source theory of the
synoptic Gospels that places the hypothetical “Q” document in combination with the Gospel of Mark as the two early sources for
the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
The Gospel that is attributed to Mark is agreed upon as an early source for later Gospels and thus has a certain accreditation of
primacy among the works that we currently have regardless of the question of authorship. Mark’s account of John the Baptist
and the baptism of Jesus is the shortest of the synoptic Gospels, with expectedly less rhetoric. Mark’s Gospel actually begins with
the preparation of John the Baptist (Mk. 1:2-6), which suggests that John is a prominent, if not controversial, figure among the
contemporary religious discourse. Mark skips right from the introduction of the characteristics of John to the messianic preaching
which will set the stage for the baptism of Jesus. There is an implicit reference to John as an important figure as well in the
“humbleness” of John’s pronouncement of a coming person of significance. Mark would not compare person of remote significance
in order to elevate the importance of this mysterious newcomer.
Mark, interestingly enough, does not explain the purpose of John’s situation. He does not explain the theological or religious
importance of John’s water baptism. This suggests that Mark is not interested in the theological significance of baptism itself, but
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in the situation of one prominent figure exalting a more powerful and importance one. Not only will this new “baptizer” be
more important, but will baptize in a whole new way, one that strongly links to God (Mk. 1:8). Mark then immediately
introduces Jesus as a traveler from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan [river] (Mk. 1:9). This baptism itself is not
given any specific significance other than stating the limitations of John’s role as a teacher and Baptist. The importance of the
baptism narrative is found in the majestic account in Mark 1:10-11. As Jesus came out of the water after the baptism, the
heavens opened and the Spirit descended on him “like a dove” (Mk. 1:10). Mark is signaling the direct connection that Jesus has
as a unique messenger from heaven. Mark 1:11 is used to support the earlier verse by explicitly bonding Jesus with the heavenly
God and introducing Jesus as the Son of God. Since the baptism is the only event thus far that Jesus is recorded to have done
has been used to explain implications for his followers. The voice from heaven states that he is well pleased with his son
immediately after this act and thus it can be assumed that the act of baptism is pleasing to God in general. This interpretation
is highly doubtful to myself since the theological reasoning for baptism is not emphasized in Mark as the baptism appears to be
used solely as a way of signifying the elevation of Jesus and his connection to the heavenly God. This connection is emphasized
in the following passages as the Spirit that had previously descended upon him immediately “drove” him to the wilderness to be
tempted by Satan (Mk. 1:12-13), almost as if this divine Spirit is in control of the actions of Jesus.
The Gospel attributed to Matthew, like Mark, antecedes an introduction of John the Baptist as prominent figure among the
religious, and possibly political (if that can be distinguished) atmosphere of the time. Matthew’s introduction of John’s teachings,
however, gives more explanation of the meaning of baptism (Mt. 3:8). For whatever reason, Matthew seems obliged to need to
explain the importance of John’s message of repentance rather than solely concentrate on the elevation of Jesus over John. John
goes on to overtly state that his form of baptism is, in fact, for repentance (Mt. 3:11). This is exclusive to Matthew and may
insinuate that there might be an important difference between the teachings of John and the teachings of Jesus, albeit
compatible. Matthew proceeds to use his Markian source to elevate the coming “baptizer” with the example of sandals, although
switches the action of stooping down and untying with carrying (Mt. 1:11). This difference seems to be only a literally difference
preferred by Matthew as the principle of lowliness is in tact. Matthew also adds a rhetorically significant aspect to the difference
of the coming baptizer’s version as not only with the Holy Spirit, but also with fire. Matthew qualifies this addition with a
relatively large addition to his Markian source that pronounces the authority for judgment that this new baptizer will possess.
This baptizer, Matthew states, will have the authority to divide the “wheat” from the “chaff” and put each in its space, whether
that is in the protectiveness of the “granary” or the burning with unquenchable fire. It is unclear to myself whether the original
reference to fire is to be applied as either a purifier or a judgment. If the original reference is meant to be separate from the
later reference it would be used in conjunction with the Holy Spirit as a purifier of souls or something to that effect. If, however,
it is meant as a juxtaposition to the Holy Spirit, it would suggest that the fire is solely a reference to judgment.
Matthew follows his Markian source as he introduces the adult Jesus as coming from Galilee after John’s messianic prophesying. It
should be noted that this is not the first time that Jesus is spoken of in Matthew as that gospel includes a genealogy and birth
narrative about Jesus. Matthew leaves out the specificity of Jesus’ origin of Nazareth because it was earlier explained he would be
raised there because of an Old Testament prophecy (which in itself has serious interpretative errors and is a whole other subject)
(Mt. 2:23). Matthew goes on to add an interesting edit to the Markian source that is exclusive to Matthew’s Gospel. This edit has
John attempting to prevent Jesus’ baptism by recognizing the inverted situation (Mt. 3:14). Since Matthew had previously clarified
the theological role of baptism as a symbol of repentance he needed to address the seemingly paradoxical problem of the exalted
and obvious needlessness for Jesus’ repentance (especially by a man not fit to carry his sandals). According to Matthew, John only
consents when Jesus states that this is necessary in order to “fulfill all righteousness” (Mt. 3:15). The interpretations of this text
are no doubt plentiful. I would merely contend that this statement is doing several things. The statement alludes to the
paradoxical nature of Jesus as a powerful figure as well as humble one. It also gives added authority to Jesus in a way that may
be counter-intuitive which states that there no matter how absurd something may seen, he still must be obeyed. Furthermore,
the understanding that it is to “fulfill righteousness” alludes to an Old Testament understanding of the fulfillment of prophecies.
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Matthew continues with the baptism of Jesus with small additions to the Markian source. Some of these changes are merely
rhetorical as well as such changes to what appears to be grammatical (Mt. 3:16). Matthew 3:17, however, offers quick solution to
problem that Matthew thinks might come out of the wording used by Mark. Matthew appears to view what seems to be a private
matter between God and Jesus (“Thou art my beloved Son…” Mk. 1:11b) as detrimental to the divine or imminent connection
Jesus is supposed to have with God. Matthew fixes this by making it a definite pronouncement to John and his follower’s by
stating “This is my beloved Son…”. This turns the focus away from a somewhat awkward identity affirmation to a public decree.
The Gospel attributed to Luke offers an intriguingly unique perspective of John and the baptism of Jesus which begs to question
whether the authors of Matthew or Luke had any knowledge of the other’s book (and consequently which one came first). Luke’s
introduction of John is not only much more complete than Matthew’s account but also shows that John’s teachings were a
precursor to Jesus thus giving more weight or explanation to the connection between the Old Testament and Jesus (Lk 3:1-6, 10-
14). Luke’s introduction of John may also insinuate a much different audience than Mark or Matthew who are not entirely
acquainted with the Hebrew Scripture (Gentiles?).
Luke’s account of John’s preaching begins with an exclusive stress on the anticipatory atmosphere that Luke wants to stage for
the messiah. He does this by pointing out that people were questioning (if only in their hearts) whether John the Baptist was the
expected Christ (Lk. 3:15). This points out that not only was John the Baptist an important figure, but was also a respected
figure at the time. The importance, however, is the emphasis that the people of the time were, according to Luke, were awaiting
anxiously for the coming messiah. John seems to miraculously answer them with the familiar humble statement that he is only
baptizes by water (Lk. 3:16a). Luke is asserting John more as a prophet than the other synoptic gospels as it is apparent that
not only does John foretell a coming “baptizer” of fire, but he can also read the hearts of men, which is similar to language
used in the prophets of the Old Testament. Luke continues on to correct some redundancy in Mark’s speech in Lk. 3:16b by
deleting “stoop down” since one naturally has to stoop in order to untie sandals.
There are two instances in this first section of John’s preaching where the hypothetical “Q” source comes into play. The first
seems to be the addition of “fire” to the rhetoric seen in both Matthew and Luke that complements the coming baptizing of the
Holy Spirit. “Q” most likely overlaps Mark in this area by pointing out that the coming baptizer will do so by use of the Holy
Spirit since it does not make much sense without it. The second instance directly follows that with the apocalyptic reference of
judgment of the separation of wheat and chaff, as found in Matthew (Lk. 3:17). Luke, however, makes in a minor edit to the
“Q” source by clarifying that the winnowing fork is the tool used for the clearing of the threshing floor. This may suggest that
Luke was aware of the Matthew text and was using improving it in his version. More probable, however, is that Luke simply saw
a way to clarify the “Q” source. This, however, could more strongly state that Matthew did not know of Luke’s writing. Luke
concludes this section by stating that John continued to exhort and preach “the good news” (Lk. 3:18). This seems to give more
a temporal element to the narrative of John and Jesus, which fleshes out John’s character. John is not used here simply to
proclaim and baptize Jesus, but to preach for some time before the ministry of Jesus was to start.
The temporal element of Luke is supported by an insertion of John’s imprisonment between the narrative of John’s preaching and
Jesus’ baptism. Matthew and Mark both include this narrative in other parts (Mt. 14:3-4 & Mk. 6:17-18) but Luke purposely
changes the order of the imprisonment from the Markian source. The reasoning, however, cannot be understood without the
understanding of the changes made in the baptism account of Luke.
Luke does not explicitly state that Jesus was baptized by John, but instead begins with an exclamation of the exaggerated
universal baptism of “all people” (Lk. 3:21a). It does not proclaim that John was necessarily the baptizer, which might imply that
John was not the only baptizer in the area. Although this may be true, Luke is more likely emphasizing the completed nature of
John’s ministry as Jesus is meant to start his ministry. Luke’s account merely states that Jesus had been baptized, although it
does not state whom this was by. Luke, aware of Mark’s Gospel and the possible complicated implications made by the
humbleness of Jesus, pays no attention to the details of the baptism, such as the identity of the baptizer, but also the action of
rising out of the water itself. Furthermore, Luke inserts a comment that Jesus was praying almost as a way of downplaying the
importance of the passive action of being baptized with the proactive action of praying (Lk. 3:21b).
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We can now suggest an understanding of the imprisonment of John in light of the lack of detail of the baptism narrative. Luke,
who obviously does not want to diminish the importance of John, needs to rectify the apparent reduction of the role of John. By
inserting the imprisonment of John between the teaching of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus, Luke is suggesting to the
reader that John most likely did actually baptize Jesus but the baptism itself should actually be more of an understanding of a
passing of ministry. Luke ends John’s ministry in the midst of his popularity only to begin Jesus’ ministry.
In conclusion, it is readily apparent to a synoptic reader that Mark gives the prime narrative of the proclamation of Jesus by
John the Baptist in such a way to seems to emphasize a reference to messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. Matthew and
Luke continue on to deal with some theologically troubling verses that might have insinuated a dependence of Jesus on John.
Matthew, however, attempts an explanation of the situation whereas Luke merely skips around the issue. Matthew and Luke both
make use of the additional “Q” source that adds an apocalyptic concept to John’s speech that highlights a reason for repentance.
In the end, each synoptic Gospel makes it very clear that Jesus is not only the anticipated messiah, but also the Son of God.

The Temptation of Christ


Article 1. Whether it was becoming that Christ should be tempted?
Objection 1. It would seem that it was not becoming for Christ to be tempted. For to tempt is to make an experiment, which is not
done save in regard to something unknown. But the power of Christ was known even to the demons; for it is written (Luke 4:41) that "He
suffered them not to speak, for they knew that He was Christ." Therefore it seems that it was unbecoming for Christ to betempted.
Objection 2. Further, Christ was come in order to destroy the works of the devil, according to 1 John 3:8: "For this purpose the Son of
God appeared, that He might destroy the works of the devil." But it is not for the same to destroy the works of a certain one and to suffer
them. Therefore it seems unbecoming that Christshould suffer Himself to be tempted by the devil.
Objection 3. Further, temptation is from a threefold source--the flesh, the world, and the devil. But Christ was not tempted either by the
flesh or by the world. Therefore neither should He have been tempted by the devil.
On the contrary, It is written (Matthew 4:1): "Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil."
I answer that, Christ wished to be tempted; first that He might strengthen us against temptations. Hence Gregory says in a homily (xvi in
Evang.): "It was not unworthy of our Redeemer to wish to be tempted, who came also to be slain; in order that by His temptations He
might conquer our temptations, just as by His death He overcame our death."
Secondly, that we might be warned, so that none, however holy, may think himself safe or free from temptation. Wherefore also He wished
to be temptedafter His baptism, because, as Hilary says (Super Matth., cap. iii.): "Thetemptations of the devil assail those principally who are
sanctified, for he desires, above all, to overcome the holy. Hence also it is written (Sirach 2): Son, when thou comest to the service of God,
stand in justice and in fear, and prepare thysoul for temptation."
Thirdly, in order to give us an example: to teach us, to wit, how to overcome thetemptations of the devil. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. iv)
that Christ "allowed Himself to be tempted" by the devil, "that He might be our Mediator in overcoming temptations, not only by helping
us, but also by giving us an example."
Fourthly, in order to fill us with confidence in His mercy. Hence it is written (Hebrews 4:15): "We have not a high-priest, who cannot have
compassion on our infirmities, but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin."
Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei ix): "Christ was known to the demons only so far as He willed; not as
the Author of eternal life, but as thecause of certain temporal effects," from which they formed a certain conjecture that Christ was the Son
of God. But since they also observed in Him certain signsof human frailty, they did not know for certain that He was the Son of God:
wherefore (the devil) wished to tempt Him. This is implied by the words ofMatthew 4:2-3, saying that, after "He was hungry, the tempter"
came "to Him," because, as Hilary says (Super Matth., cap. iii), "Had not Christ's weakness in hungering betrayed His human nature,
the devil would not have dared to temptHim." Moreover, this appears from the very manner of the temptation, when he said: "If Thou be
the Son of God." Which words Ambrose explains as follows (In Luc. iv): "What means this way of addressing Him, save that, though
he knewthat the Son of God was to come, yet he did not think that He had come in the weakness of the flesh?"
Reply to Objection 2. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, not by powerful deeds, but rather by suffering from him and his
members, so as to conquer the devil by righteousness, not by power; thus Augustine says (De Trin. xiii) that "the devil was to be overcome,
not by the power of God, but by righteousness." And therefore in regard to Christ's temptation we must consider what He did of His
8

own will and what He suffered from the devil. For that He allowed Himself to be tempted was due to His own will. Wherefore it is written
(Matthew 4:1): "Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, to be tempted by thedevil"; and Gregory (Hom. xvi in Evang.) says this is to be
understood of the Holy Ghost, to wit, that "thither did His Spirit lead Him, where the wicked spirit would find Him and tempt Him." But He
suffered from the devil in being "taken up" on to "the pinnacle of the Temple" and again "into a very high mountain." Nor is it strange,
as Gregory observes, "that He allowed Himself to be taken by him on to a mountain, who allowed Himself to be crucified by His members."
And we understand Him to have been taken up by the devil, not, as it were, by force, but because, as Origen says (Hom. xxi super Luc.),
"He followed Him in the course of His temptation like a wrestler advancing of his own accord."
Reply to Objection 3. As the Apostle says (Hebrews 4:15), Christ wished to be "tempted in all things, without sin." Now temptation which
comes from an enemy can be without sin: because it comes about by merely outward suggestion. Buttemptation which comes from the flesh
cannot be without sin, because such atemptation is caused by pleasure and concupiscence; and, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xix), "it is not
without sin that 'the flesh desireth against the spirit.'" And hence Christ wished to be tempted by an enemy, but not by the flesh.
Article 2. Whether Christ should have been tempted in the desert?
Objection 1. It would seem that Christ should not have been tempted in the desert. Because Christ wished to be tempted in order to give us
an example, as stated above (Article 1). But an example should be set openly before those who are to follow it. Therefore He should not
have been tempted in the desert.
Objection 2. Further, Chrysostom says (Hom. xii in Matth.): "Then most especially does the devil assail by tempting us, when he sees us
alone. Thus did he temptthe woman in the beginning when he found her apart from her husband." Hence it seems that, by going into
the desert to be tempted, He exposed Himself totemptation. Since, therefore, His temptation is an example to us, it seems that others too
should take such steps as will lead them into temptation. And yet this seems a dangerous thing to do, since rather should we avoid the
occasion of being tempted.
Objection 3. Further, Matthew 4:5, Christ's second temptation is set down, in which "the devil took" Christ up "into the Holy City, and set
Him upon the pinnacle of the Temple": which is certainly not in the desert. Therefore He was nottempted in the desert only.
On the contrary, It is written (Mark 1:13) that Jesus "was in the desert forty days and forty nights, and was tempted by Satan."
I answer that, As stated above (1, ad 2), Christ of His own free-will exposed Himself to be tempted by the devil, just as by His own free-
will He submitted to be killed by His members; else the devil would not have dared to approach Him. Now the devil prefers to assail a man
who is alone, for, as it is written (Ecclesiastes 4:12), "if a man prevail against one, two shall withstand him." And so it was
that Christ went out into the desert, as to a field of battle, to betempted there by the devil. Hence Ambrose says on Luke 4:1, that
"Christ was led into the desert for the purpose of provoking the devil. For had he," i.e. the devil, "not fought, He," i.e. Christ, "would not
have conquered." He adds other reasons, saying that "Christ in doing this set forth the mystery of Adam's delivery from exile," who had
been expelled from paradise into the desert, and "set an example to us, by showing that the devil envies those who strive for better
things."
Reply to Objection 1. Christ is set as an example to all through faith, according to Hebrews 12:2: "Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher
of faith." Now faith, as it is written (Romans 10:17), "cometh by hearing," but not by seeing: nay, it is even said (John 20:29):
"Blessed are they that have not seen and have believed." And therefore, in order that Christ's temptation might be an example to us, it
behooved that men should not see it, and it was enough that they should hear it related.
Reply to Objection 2. The occasions of temptation are twofold. one is on the part of man--for instance, when a man causes himself to be
near to sin by not avoiding the occasion of sinning. And such occasions of temptation should be avoided, as it is written of Lot (Genesis
19:17): "Neither stay thou in all the country about" Sodom.
Another occasion of temptation is on the part of the devil, who always "envies those who strive for better things," as Ambrose says (In Luc.
iv, 1). And such occasions of temptation are not to be avoided. Hence Chrysostom says (Hom. v in Matth. [From the supposititious Opus
Imperfectum): "Not only Christ was led into the desert by the Spirit, but all God's children that have the Holy Ghost. For it is not enough
for them to sit idle; the Holy Ghost urges them to endeavor to do something great: which is for them to be in the desert from
the devil'sstandpoint, for no unrighteousness, in which the devil delights, is there. Again, every good work, compared to the flesh and the
world, is the desert; because it is not according to the will of the flesh and of the world." Now, there is no danger in giving the devil such
an occasion of temptation; since the help of the Holy Ghost, who is the Author of the perfect deed, is more powerful* than the assault of
theenvious devil. [All the codices read 'majus.' One of the earliest printed editions has 'magis,' which has much to commend it, since St.
Thomas is commenting the text quoted from St. Chrysostom. The translation would run thus: 'since rather is it (the temptation) a help from
the Holy Ghost, who,' etc.].
9

Reply to Objection 3. Some say that all the temptations took place in the desert. Of these some say that Christ was led into the Holy City,
not really, but in animaginary vision; while others say that the Holy City itself, i.e. Jerusalem, is called "a desert," because it was deserted
by God. But there is no need for this explanation. For Mark says that He was tempted in the desert by the devil, but not that He
was tempted in the desert only.
Article 3. Whether Christ's temptation should have taken place after His fast?
Objection 1. It would seem that Christ's temptation should not have taken place after His fast. For it has been said above (Question 40,
Article 2) that an austere mode of life was not becoming to Christ. But it savors of extreme austerity that He should have eaten nothing for
forty days and forty nights, for Gregory (Hom. xvi inn Evang.) explains the fact that "He fasted forty days and forty nights," saying that
"during that time He partook of no food whatever." It seems, therefore, that He should not thus have fasted before His temptation.
Objection 2. Further, it is written (Mark 1:13) that "He was in the desert forty days and forty nights; and was tempted by Satan." Now,
He fasted forty days and forty nights. Therefore it seems that He was tempted by the devil, not after, but during, His fast.
Objection 3. Further, we read that Christ fasted but once. But He was tempted by the devil, not only once, for it is written (Luke 4:13)
"that all the temptationbeing ended, the devil departed from Him for a time." As, therefore, He did notfast before the second temptation, so
neither should He have fasted before the first.
On the contrary, It is written (Matthew 4:2-3): "When He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards He was hungry": and then
"the tempter came to Him."
I answer that, It was becoming that Christ should wish to fast before Histemptation. First, in order to give us an example. For since we are
all in urgent need of strengthening ourselves against temptation, as stated above (Article 1), by fasting before being tempted, He teaches us
the need of fasting in order to equip ourselves against temptation. Hence the Apostle (2 Corinthians 6:5-7) reckons "fastings" together with
the "armor of justice."
Secondly, in order to show that the devil assails with temptations even those whofast, as likewise those who are given to other good works.
And so Christ'stemptation took place after His fast, as also after His baptism. Hence since ratherChrysostom says (Hom. xiii super Matth.): "To
instruct thee how great a good isfasting, and how it is a most powerful shield against the devil; and that afterbaptism thou shouldst give
thyself up, not to luxury, but to fasting; for this causeChrist fasted, not as needing it Himself, but as teaching us."
Thirdly, because after the fast, hunger followed, which made the devil dare to approach Him, as already stated (1, ad 1). Now, when "our
Lord was hungry," saysHilary (Super Matth. iii), "it was not because He was overcome by want of food, but because He abandoned His
manhood to its nature. For the devil was to be conquered, not by God, but by the flesh." Wherefore Chrysostom too says: "He proceeded
no farther than Moses and Elias, lest His assumption of our flesh might seem incredible."
Reply to Objection 1. It was becoming for Christ not to adopt an extreme form of austere life in order to show Himself outwardly in
conformity with those to whom He preached. Now, no one should take up the office of preacher unless he be already cleansed
and perfect in virtue, according to what is said of Christ, that "Jesus began to do and to teach" (Acts 1:1). Consequently, immediately after
Hisbaptism Christ adopted an austere form of life, in order to teach us the need of taming the flesh before passing on to the office of
preaching, according to theApostle (1 Corinthians 9:27): "I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection, lest perhaps when I have preached
to others, I myself should become a castaway."
Reply to Objection 2. These words of Mark may be understood as meaning that "He was in the desert forty days and forty nights," and that
He fasted during thattime: and the words, "and He was tempted by Satan," may be taken as referring, not to the time during which
He fasted, but to the time that followed: sinceMatthew says that "after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards He was
hungry," thus affording the devil a pretext for approaching Him. And so the words that follow, and the angels ministered to Him, are to be
taken in sequence, which is clear from the words of Matthew (4:11): "Then the devil left Him," i.e. after the temptation, "and
behold angels came and ministered to Him." And as to the words inserted by Mark, "and He was with the beasts," according
toChrysostom (Hom. xiii in Matth.), they are set down in order to describe thedesert as being impassable to man and full of beasts.
On the other hand, according to Bede's exposition of Mark 1:12-13, our Lord wastempted forty days and forty nights. But this is not to be
understood of the visible temptations which are related by Matthew and Luke, and occurred after thefast, but of certain other assaults which
perhaps Christ suffered from the devilduring that time of His fast.
Reply to Objection 3. As Ambrose says on Luke 4:13, the devil departed fromChrist "for a time, because, later on, he returned, not
to tempt Him, but to assail Him openly"--namely, at the time of His Passion. Nevertheless, He seemed in this later assault to tempt Christ to
dejection and hatred of His neighbor; just as in the desert he had tempted Him to gluttonous pleasure and idolatrous contempt ofGod.
Article 4. Whether the mode and order of the temptation were becoming?
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Objection 1. It would seem that the mode and order of the temptation were unbecoming. For the devil tempts in order to induce us to sin.
But if Christ had assuaged His bodily hunger by changing the stones into bread, He would not havesinned; just as neither did He sin when
He multiplied the loaves, which was no less a miracle, in order to succor the hungry crowd. Therefore it seems that this was nowise
a temptation.
Objection 2. Further, a counselor is inconsistent if he persuades the contrary to what he intends. But when the devil set Christ on a pinnacle
of the Temple, he purposed to tempt Him to pride or vainglory. Therefore it was inconsistent to urge Him to cast Himself thence: for this
would be contrary to pride or vainglory, which always seeks to rise.
Objection 3. Further, one temptation should lead to one sin. But in thetemptation on the mountain he counseled two sins--
namely, covetousness andidolatry. Therefore the mode of the temptation was unfitting.
Objection 4. Further, temptations are ordained to sin. But there are seven deadlysins, as we have stated in I-II, 84, 4. But the tempter only
deals with three, viz.gluttony, vainglory, and covetousness. Therefore the temptation seems to have been incomplete.
Objection 5. Further, after overcoming all the vices, man is still tempted to prideor vainglory: since pride "worms itself in stealthily, and
destroys even goodworks," as Augustine says (Ep. ccxi). Therefore Matthew unfittingly gives the last place to
the temptation to covetousness on the mountain, and the second place to the temptation to vainglory in the Temple, especially
since Luke puts them in the reverse order.
Objection 6. Further, Jerome says on Matthew 4:4 that "Christ purposed to overcome the devil by humility, not by might." Therefore He
should not have repulsed him with a haughty rebuke, saying: "Begone, Satan."
Objection 7. Further, the gospel narrative seems to be false. For it seems impossible that Christ could have been set on a pinnacle of
the Temple without being seen by others. Nor is there to be found a mountain so high that all the world can be seen from it, so that all
the kingdoms of the earth could be shown to Christ from its summit. It seems, therefore, that Christ's temptation is unfittingly described.
On the contrary is the authority of Scripture.
I answer that, The temptation which comes from the enemy takes the form of a suggestion, as Gregory says (Hom. xvi in Evang.). Now a
suggestion cannot be made to everybody in the same way; it must arise from those things towards which each one has an inclination.
Consequently the devil does not straight awaytempt the spiritual man to grave sins, but he begins with lighter sins, so as gradually to lead
him to those of greater magnitude. Wherefore Gregory (Moral. xxxi), expounding Job 39:25, "He smelleth the battle afar off, the encouraging
of the captains and the shouting of the army," says: "The captains are fittingly described as encouraging, and the army as shouting.
Because vices begin by insinuating themselves into the mind under some specious pretext: then they come on the mind in such numbers as
to drag it into all sorts of folly, deafening it with their bestial clamor."
Thus, too, did the devil set about the temptation of the first man. For at first he enticed his mind to consent to the eating of the forbidden
fruit, saying (Genesis 3:1): "Why hath God commanded you that you should not eat of every tree ofparadise?" Secondly [he tempted him] to
vainglory by saying: "Your eyes shall be opened." Thirdly, he led the temptation to the extreme height of pride, saying: "You shall be as
gods, knowing good and evil." This same order did he observe intempting Christ. For at first he tempted Him to that which men desire,
howeverspiritual they may be--namely, the support of the corporeal nature by food. Secondly, he advanced to that matter in
which spiritual men are sometimes found wanting, inasmuch as they do certain things for show, which pertains to vainglory. Thirdly, he led
the temptation on to that in which no spiritual men, but only carnal men, have a part--namely, to desire worldly riches and fame, to the
extent of holding God in contempt. And so in the first two temptations he said: "If Thou be the Son of God"; but not in the third, which is
inapplicable to spiritual men, who are sons of God by adoption, whereas it does apply to the two precedingtemptations.
And Christ resisted these temptations by quoting the authority of the Law, not by enforcing His power, "so as to give more honor to
His human nature and a greater punishment to His adversary, since the foe of the human race was vanquished, not as by God, but as
by man"; as Pope Leo says (Serm. 1, De Quadrag. 3).
Reply to Objection 1. To make use of what is needful for self-support is not thesin of gluttony; but if a man do anything inordinate out of
the desire for such support, it can pertain to the sin of gluttony. Now it is inordinate for a man who has human assistance at his command
to seek to obtain food miraculously for mere bodily support. Hence the Lord miraculously provided the children of Israelwith manna in
the desert, where there was no means of obtaining food otherwise. And in like fashion Christ miraculously provided the crowds with food in
thedesert, when there was no other means of getting food. But in order to assuage His hunger, He could have done otherwise than work
a miracle, as did John the Baptist, according to Matthew (3:4); or He could have hastened to the neighboring country. Consequently
the devil esteemed that if Christ was a mereman, He would fall into sin by attempting to assuage His hunger by a miracle.
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Reply to Objection 2. It often happens that a man seeks to derive glory from external humiliation, whereby he is exalted by reason
of spiritual good. HenceAugustine says (De Serm. Dom. in Monte ii, 12): "It must be noted that it is possible to boast not only of the
beauty and splendor of material things, but even of filthy squalor." And this is signified by the devil urging Christ to seek spiritualglory by
casting His body down.
Reply to Objection 3. It is a sin to desire worldly riches and honors in an inordinate fashion. And the principal sign of this is when a man
does something wrong in order to acquire such things. And so the devil was not satisfied with instigating to a desire for riches and honors,
but he went so far as to temptChrist, for the sake of gaining possession of these things, to fall down and adorehim, which is a very great
crime, and against God. Nor does he say merely, "if Thou wilt adore me," but he adds, "if, falling down"; because, as Ambrose says onLuke
4:5: "Ambition harbors yet another danger within itself: for, while seeking to rule, it will serve; it will bow in submission that it may be
crowned with honor; and the higher it aims, the lower it abases itself."
In like manner [the devil] in the preceding temptations tried to lead [Christ] from the desire of one sin to the commission of another; thus
from the desire of food he tried to lead Him to the vanity of the needless working of a miracle; and from the desire
of glory to tempt God by casting Himself headlong.
Reply to Objection 4. As Ambrose says on Luke 4:13, Scripture would not have said that "'all the temptation being ended, the devil departed
from Him,' unless the matter of all sins were included in the three temptations already related. For the causes of temptations are
the causes of desires"--namely, "lust of the flesh,hope of glory, eagerness for power."
Reply to Objection 5. As Augustine says (De Consensu Evang. ii): "It is notcertain which happened first; whether the kingdoms of the earth
were first shown to Him, and afterwards He was set on the pinnacle of the Temple; or the latter first, and the former afterwards. However,
it matters not, provided it be made clear that all these things did take place." It may be that the Evangelists set these things in
different orders, because sometimes cupidity arises from vainglory, sometimes the reverse happens.
Reply to Objection 6. When Christ had suffered the wrong of being tempted by the devil saying, "If Thou be the Son of God cast Thyself
down," He was not troubled, nor did He upbraid the devil. But when the devil usurped to himself thehonor due to God, saying, "All these
things will I give Thee, if, falling down, Thou wilt adore me," He was exasperated, and repulsed him, saying, "Begone, Satan": that we might
learn from His example to bear bravely insults leveled at ourselves, but not to allow ourselves so much as to listen to those which are
aimed at God.
Reply to Objection 7. As Chrysostom says (Hom. v in Matth.): "The devil set Him" (on a pinnacle of the Temple) "that He might be seen by
all, whereas, unawares to the devil, He acted in such sort that He was seen by none."
In regard to the words, "'He showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and theglory of them,' we are not to understand that He saw the
very kingdoms, with the cities and inhabitants, their gold and silver: but that the devil pointed out the quarters in which each kingdom or
city lay, and set forth to Him in words theirglory and estate." Or, again, as Origen says (Hom. xxx in Luc.), "he showed Him how, by means
of the various vices, he was the lord of the world."

Disciple (Christianity)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disciple_(Christianity)
Not to be confused with the Twelve Apostles
For other uses, see Disciple (disambiguation).
Jesus giving the Farewell Discourse (John 14-17) to his disciples, after the Last Supper, from the Maesta by Duccio, 1308-1311.
In Christianity, the term disciple primarily refers to students of Jesus and is found in the New Testamentonly in the Gospels and Acts. The
New Testament records many followers of Jesus during his ministry, but only some became disciples. Some disciples were given a mission,
such as the Little Commission, Luke's commission of the 70, the Great Commission after theresurrection of Jesus, or the conversion of Paul,
making them Apostles, charged with proclaiming the Good News (or Gospel) to the world.
Etymology
The term "disciple" is derived from the Koine Greek word mathetes,[1] which means a pupil (of a teacher) or an apprentice(to a master
craftsman), coming to English by way of the Latin discipulus meaning a learner while the more common English word is student. A disciple is
different from an apostle, which instead means a messenger.[2][3] While a disciple is one who learns from a teacher, an apostle is one sent
to deliver those teachings or a message.
Great crowd and the seventy
Main article: Seventy disciples
12

In addition to the Twelve Apostles there is a much larger group of people identified as disciples in the opening of the passage of the Sermon
on the Plain. [Luke 6:17] In addition, seventy (or seventy-two, depending on the source used) people are sent out in pairs to prepare the
way for Jesus (Luke 10). They are sometimes referred to as the "Seventy" or the "Seventy Disciples". They are to eat any food offered, heal
the sick and spread the word that the Kingdom of God is coming.
Discipleship
"Love one another"[edit]
Main article: New Commandment
A definition of disciple is suggested by Jesus' self-referential example from the Gospel of John 13:34-35: "I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my
disciples, if you have love for one another." (NRSV) Further definition by Jesus can be found in theGospel of Luke, Chapter 14. Beginning
with a testing trap laid out by his adversaries regarding observance of the Jewish Sabbath, Jesus uses the opportunity to lay out the
problems with the religiosity of his adversaries against his own teachingby giving a litany of shocking comparisons between various, apparent
socio-political and socio-economic realities versus the meaning of being his disciple.
"Be transformed"[edit]
“Discipleship” and “following Christ” are used synonymously. The canonical Gospels, Acts, and Epistles urge disciples to be imitators of Jesus
Christ or of God himself. Being imitators requires obedience exemplified by moral behavior.[4] With thisbiblical basis, Christian
theology teaches that discipleship entails transformation from some other World view and practice of life into that of Jesus Christ, and so, by
way of Trinitarian theology, of God himself.[5]
The Apostle Paul stressed transformation as a prerequisite for discipleship when he wrote that disciples must "not be conformed to this
world” but must “be transformed by the renewing of [their] minds” so that they “may discern what is the will of God—what is good and
acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 NRSV) Therefore a disciple is not simply an accumulator of information or one who merely changes
moral behavior in conformity with the teachings of Jesus Christ, but seeks afundamental shift toward the ethics of Jesus Christ in every way,
including complete devotion to God.[6]
In several Christian traditions, the process of becoming a disciple is called the Imitation of Christ. This concept goes back to the Pauline
Epistles: “be imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1) and “be imitators of me, as I am of Christ”(1 Corinthians 11:1).[7]The The Imitation of
Christ by Thomas à Kempis promoted this concept in the 14th century.
The Great Commission[edit]
Main article: Great Commission
Ubiquitous throughout Christianity is the practice of proselytization, making new disciples. In Matthew, at the beginning of Jesus' ministry,
when calling his earliest disciples Simon Peter and Andrew, he says to them, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew
4:19). Then, at the very end of his ministry Jesus institutes the Great Commission, commanding all present to "go therefore and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey
everything that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20a). Jesus has incorporated this practice into the very definition of being a disciple
and experiencing discipleship.
Family and wealth[edit]
See also: Evangelical counsels
Jesus called on disciples to give up their wealth and their familial ties. In his society, family was the individual's source of identity, so
renouncing it would mean becoming virtually nobody. In Luke {Luke 9:58-62}, Jesus uses a hyperbolic metaphor to stress the importance of
this.
Discipleship Movement[edit]
Main article: Shepherding Movement
The "Discipleship Movement" (also known as the "Shepherding Movement") was an influential and controversial movement within some British
and American churches, emerging in the 1970s and early 1980s.[citation needed] The doctrine of the movement emphasized the "one
another" passages of the New Testament, and the mentoring relationship prescribed by the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 2:2 of the Holy Bible.
It was controversial in that it gained a reputation for controlling and abusive behavior, with a great deal of emphasis placed upon the
importance of obedience to one's own shepherd.[citation needed] The movement was later denounced by several of its founders, although
some form of the movement continues today.[8][9][10]
Radical discipleship[edit]
13

Radical discipleship is a movement in practical theology that has emerged from a yearning to follow the true message ofJesus and a
discontentment with mainstream Christianity.[11] Radical Christians, such as Ched Myers and Lee Camp, believe mainstream Christianity has
moved away from its origins, namely the core teachings and practices of Jesus such as turning the other cheek and
rejecting materialism.[12][13] Radical is derived from the Latin word radix meaning "root", referring to the need for perpetual re-orientation
towards the root truths of Christian discipleship.
Radical discipleship also refers to the Anabaptist Reformation movement beginning in Zurich, Switzerland in 1527. This movement grew out of
the belief that the Protestant Reformers such Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli were not going far enough in their respective reforms. Several
existing denominational bodies may be regarded as the successors of the original Anabaptists: Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, Mennonites and to
some extent the Bruderh of Communities.

Mary the Model Disciple


Luke 8:20-21,
"And it was told him: Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.
Who answering, said to them: My mother and my brethren are they who hear the word of God and do it."

Luke 11:27-28,
"And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him:
Blessed is the womb that bore thee and the paps that gave thee suck.
"But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it."

What is happening here? The first impression for some would be that it would seem that Jesus is distancing Himself somewhat from His
mother. However, that is not true at all, for the context shows that Jesus was speaking not about His natural immediate family, but about
His supernatural or spiritual family, His disciples and followers. In other words, all of those who take up their crosses and follow Him.
His spiritual family are all those "who hear the word of God and keep it."

Now who is the New Testament model who had heard the word of GOD and kept it in faith in all cases?
It was His natural mother and the first member of His spiritual family. It was His first disciple, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
She was the most faithful of all. She was there with Him at His beginning and she was there with Him at the foot of the cross at His death.
Blessed Mary is the model of motherhood.
Well what about His 'faithful' Apostles?
Well if you will recall, one betrayed Him, one denied Him three times, one doubted Him, and all ran away from Him. John did come to the
foot of the cross after Jesus had been crucified. However, His Blessed Mother was with Him all the way.

Here are a few examples of the Blessed Virgin's faithfulness to GOD.

1. Luke 1:38,
"And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."
And the angel departed from her."
She had such faith that she immediately accepted this great gift that GOD had bestowed upon her.
This is called her 'Fiat', a Latin word meaning, 'let it Be'. Here, she has established herself as the 'New Eve', by demonstrating her
obedience, in contrast to the disobedience of the first Eve, and her humility, in contrast to the pride of the first Eve.
Blessed Mary is the model of humility.

2. Luke 1:39,
"In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,"
In Luke 1:36, she had been told by the Angel Gabriel that her kinswoman, Elizabeth, was pregnant six months in her old age.
Without questioning the details, Mary left 'in haste' to be of assistance to Elizabeth. She knew that a woman of the age of Elizabeth would
need assistance in her pregnancy. Mary, pregnant in herself with the GOD of the universe, traveled many miles to assist her.
14

Blessed Mary is the model of charity.

3. Luke 1:45,
"And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord."
Because she believed,
Blessed Mary is the model of faith.

John 2:3-4
"And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus said to him: They have no wine.
And Jesus said to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come."

The first impression that one may get from this verse, is that Jesus acted irreverently towards His mother by calling her 'woman'.
This is not at all the case when Holy Scripture is taken in its full context.
He called her 'woman' to show us the connection between His mother and the 'woman' in the first book of the Bible (Genesis 3:15),
and later the 'woman' that He would address from the cross (John 19:26-27),
and to the 'woman' with the crown of twelve stars in the last book of the Bible (Revelation 12:1).
John 2:5,
"His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever He tells you."
Those were the last words spoken by Blessed Mary in Holy Scripture.
This is her role today. She leads us to her Son and reminds us to, "Do whatever He tells you."

Blessed Mary is the model of discipleship.

Christ’s Public Ministry

Sermon on the Mount


The Sermon on the Mount (anglicized from the Matthean Vulgate Latin section title: Sermo in monte) is a collection of sayings
and teachings ofJesus, which emphasizes his moral teaching found in the Gospel of Matthew (chapters 5, 6 and 7).[1] It is the
first of the Five Discourses of Matthew and takes place relatively early in the Ministry of Jesus after he has
been baptized by John the Baptist and preached in Galilee.
The Sermon is the longest piece of teaching from Jesus in the New Testament, and has been one of the most widely quoted
elements of theCanonical Gospels.[2] It includes some of the best known teachings of Jesus, such as the Beatitudes, and the widely
recited Lord's Prayer. To most believers in Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount contains the central tenets of Christian discipleship.[2]
The last verse of chapter 5 is considered to be a focal point that summarizes the teaching of the sermon: "be perfect, as your
heavenly Father is perfect", advising his disciples and followers to seek the path towards perfection and the Kingdom of God.[3]
Background and setting
The Sermon on the Mount is the longest piece of teaching from Jesus in theNew Testament, and occupies chapters 5, 6 and 7 of
the Gospel of Matthew. The Sermon has been one of the most widely quoted elements of theCanonical Gospels.[2] To most
believers in Jesus, the Sermon contains the central tenets of Christian discipleship.[2]
This is the first of the Five Discourses of Matthew, the other four being Matthew 10, Matthew 13 (1–53), Matthew 18 and
the Olivet discourse in Matthew 24.[4][5][6]
The Sermon takes place relatively early in the Ministry of Jesus, after he has been baptized by John the Baptist in chapter 3 of
Matthew and gathered his first disciples in chapter 4.
Before this episode, Jesus had been "all about Galilee" preaching, as in Matthew 4:23, and "great crowds followed him" from all
around the area. The setting for the sermon is given in Matthew 5:1-2. Jesus sees the multitudes, goes up into the mountain, is
followed by his disciples, and begins to preach.
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Theological structure[edit]
The issue of the theological structure and composition of the Sermon on the Mount remains unresolved.[7][8][23] One group of
theologians ranging from Saint Augustine in the 5th century to Michael Goulder in the 20th century, see the Beatitudes as the
central element of the Sermon.[7] Others such as Bornkamm see the Sermon arranged around the Lord's prayer, whileDaniel Patte,
closely followed by Ulrich Luz, see a chiastic structure in the sermon.[7][8] Dale Allison and Glen Stassen have proposed a structure
based on triads.[8][23][24] Jack Kingsbury and Hans Dieter Betz see the sermon as composed of theological themes, e.g. righteousness
or way of life.[7]

List of The Parable of Jesus

 Parables Introduction Definitions, parable, fable, analogy, count of parables


 List of Parables in Order Brief descriptions and scripture references for all 46 parables.
 Parables #1-2-3-4 New cloth, New wine. Lamp on a stand. Wise & foolish builders.
 Parables #5-6 Moneylender forgives unequal debts. Lamp on a stand (2nd time).
 Parables #7-8 Rich man builds bigger barns. Servants must remain watchful.
 Parables #9-10 Wise and foolish servants. Unfruitful fig tree.
 Parable #11 Sower of seeds into four types of soil.
 Parable #12 Weeds among good plants. “Kingdom of Heaven”.
 Parables #13-15 Growing seed. Mustard seed. Yeast. “Kingdom of Heaven”.
 Parables #16-19 Hidden treasure. Pearl. Fishing net. Owner of a house. “Kingdom of Heaven”.
 Parables #20-21 Lost sheep. The sheep, gate, and shepherd.
 Parables #22-23 Master and his servant. Unmerciful servant.
 Parables #24-25 Good Samaritan. Friend in need.
 Parables #26-27 Lowest seat at the feast. Invitation to a great banquet.
 Parable #28 Cost of discipleship.
 Parables #29-30 Lost sheep (sheep as sinners). Lost copin.
 Parable #31 Lost (prodigal) son.
 Parable #32 Shrewd manager.
 Parable #33 Rich man and Lazarus.
 Parable #34 Workers in the vineyard, early and late.
 Parables #35-36 Persistent widow and crooked judge. Praying: Pharisee and tax collector.
 Parable #37 King's servants given minas.
 Parables #38-39 Two sons, one obeys, one does not. Wicked tenants.
 Parable #40 Invitation to a wedding banquet.
 Parables #41-42 Signs from a fig tree. Wise and foolish servants.
 Parables #43-44 Wise and foolish virgins. Servants must remain watchful.
 Parable #45 Three servants given talents.
 Parable #46 Sheep and goats will be separated.

T he word parable (Hebrew mashal; Syrian mathla, Greek parabole) signifies in general a comparison, or a parallel, by which one thing is
used to illustrate another. It is a likeness taken from the sphere of real, or sensible, or earthly incidents, in order to convey an ideal,
or spiritual, or heavenly meaning. As uttering one thing and signifying something else, it is in the nature of a riddle (Hebrew khidah,
Gr. ainigma or problema) and has therefore a light and a dark side ("dark sayings", Wisdom 8:8; Sirach 39:3), it is intended to stir
curiosity and calls for intelligence in the listener, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear"Matthew 13:9. Its Greek designation
(from paraballein to throw beside or against) indicates a deliberate "making up" of a story in which some lesson is at once given and
concealed. As taking simple or common objects to cast light on ethicsand religion, it has been well said of the parable that "truth embodied
in a tale shall enter in at lowly doors." It abounds in lively speaking figures, and stands midway between the literalism of mere prose and
the abstractions of philosophy. The derivation of the Hebrew is unknown. If connected with Assyrian mashalu, Arabic matala, etc., the root
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meaning is "likeness". But it will be a likeness which contains a judgment, and so includes the "maxim" or general proposition bearing on
conduct (Greek "gnomic wisdom"), of which the Book of Proverbs (Meshalim) is the chief inspired example. In classic Latin, the Greek word
is translated collatio(Cicero, "De invent.", i-xxx), imago (Seneca, "Ep. lix."), similitudo (Quintil., "Inst.", v, 7-8). Observe that parabole does
not occur in St. John's Gospel norparoimia (proverb) in the Synoptics.

The List of Miracle of Jesus


 Jesus changed water into wine (John 2:1-11).
 Jesus cured the nobleman's son (John 4:46-47).
 The great haul of fishes (Luke 5:1-11).
 Jesus cast out an unclean spirit (Mark 1:23-28).
 Jesus cured Peter's mother-in-law of a fever (Mark 1:30-31).
 Jesus healed a leper (Mark 1:40-45).
 Jesus healed the centurion's servant (Matthew 8:5-13).
 Jesus raised the widow's son from the dead (Luke 7:11-18).
 Jesus stilled the storm (Matthew 8:23-27).
 Jesus cured two demoniacs (Matthew 8:28-34).
 Jesus cured the paralytic (Matthew 9:1-8).
 Jesus raised the ruler's daughter from the dead (Matthew 9:18-26).
 Jesus cured a woman of an issue of blood (Luke 8:43-48).
 Jesus opened the eyes of two blind men (Matthew 9:27-31).
 Jesus loosened the tongue of a man who could not speak (Matthew 9:32-33).
 Jesus healed an invalid man at the pool called Bethesda (John 5:1-9).
 Jesus restored a withered hand (Matthew 12:10-13).
 Jesus cured a demon-possessed man (Matthew 12:22).
 Jesus fed at least five thousand people (Matthew 14:15-21).
 Jesus healed a woman of Canaan (Matthew 15:22-28).
 Jesus cured a deaf and mute man (Mark 7:31-37).
 Jesus fed at least four thousand people (Matthew 15:32-39).
 Jesus opened the eyes of a blind man (Mark 8:22-26).
 Jesus cured a boy who was plagued by a demon (Matthew 17:14-21).
 Jesus opened the eyes of a man born blind (John 9:1-38)
 Jesus cured a woman who had been afflicted eighteen years (Luke 13:10-17).
 Jesus cured a man of dropsy (Luke 14:1-4).
 Jesus cleansed ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19).
 Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-46).
 Jesus opened the eyes of two blind men (Matthew 20:30-34).
 Jesus caused the fig tree to wither (Matthew 21:18-22).
 Jesus restored the ear of the high priest's servant (Luke 22:50-51).
 Jesus rose from the dead (Luke 24:5-6).
 The second great haul of fishes (John 21:1-14).

The miracles of Jesus are the supernatural[1] deeds attributed to Jesus inChristian and Islamic texts. According to the Gospel of John, only
some of these were recorded.[2] The majority of those described are exorcisms, as well as faith healing, resurrection of the dead and control
over nature.[3][4]
In the Synoptic Gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke), Jesus refuses to give a miraculous sign to prove his authority.[5] In the Gospel of John,
Jesus is said to have performed seven miraculous signs that characterize his ministry, fromchanging water into wine at the start of his
ministry to raising Lazarus from the dead at the end.[6]
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To many Christians and Muslims, the miracles are actual historical events.[7]Certain Christian scholars present arguments for the historicity of
miracles.[8][9]Other religious believers, including liberal Christians, consider these stories to be figurative.[10] Modern scholars, working from
an Enlightenment viewpoint, tend to be skeptical about miracles.[11]