For an introduction to this series, click here.
Jan. 11, 2007
This chapter tells the story of the Resurrection. Matthew tells us very little about the events of the Resurrection, except for one detail that once again demonstrates one of Matthew's purposes: to demonstrate the depths to which the Jews had sunk in their rejection of Jesus:
“While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, ‘Tell people, “His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.” And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.” (28:11-15, ESV)
The Jews were willing to lie to themselves and to their fellow Jews to keep the truth about Jesus suppressed. Matthew wrote this just in case a Jewish Christian heard this story and believed it might be true.
So that wraps up the book of Matthew.
Mark is quite different. Mark is a psychologist. He is more concerned with other people and their reaction to Jesus. Not that he does not faithfully record important events in the life of Jesus- of course he does. But he also investigates the reactions of the disciples, the people whom Jesus healed, and His opponents. Mark is dreadfully honest and painfully forthright in his descriptions of Jesus' ministry, writing about how His own family mocked Him and how many people who seemed to be honest in seeking to know Jesus were offended by the things He said. And in many cases, I can hardly blame them. But we'll get to that when we get to that.
As a journalist, I identify with Mark's gospel. His writing is brief and to the point. And Mark seems more concerned with the human impact of what Jesus did. I know there are plenty of comparisons between the Gospels, but here is mine: John is the omniscient narrator. He tells us many times what Jesus was thinking or what Jesus knew. He interjects a lot of his own (inspired) commentary into the story. Matthew and Luke are in the front row, feverishly writing down everything Jesus says. They are the court reporters. They give us long stretches of Jesus' teaching. Mark is on the fringe of the crowd. He hears Jesus, but he seems just as interested in what people are saying around him. Mark records a lot of miracles and "facts" about Jesus, much like a journalist would.