Well isn’t that curious. Mark’s account is by far the longest of them all. Even though both Matthew and Luke shorten Mark’s account considerably they don’t keep to the standard Markan / traditional story. Instead they add significant material of their own but material which doesn’t match each other. Certainly not from the shared tradition which sometimes Matthew and Luke utilize (Q). It is curious too that Matthew chooses to use the “mustard seed” saying relating to faith moving mountains in this section whereas Luke uses it in 17:6, a very eclectic passage with a combination of all sorts of sayings. We don’t know where it rightly belonged because only Matthew and Luke use it and they both use it in different places.
Mark has a huge section belonging to demoniac boy which the others don’t use at all. (Orange) Luke’s account of the story seems so much more centred on the boy and the human element in the story. That fits with his character as a doctor. There are numbers of occasions when Luke follows Matthew in preference to Mark.
Luke ends the story in an interesting way. He totally omits the comment “this kind does not go out except by prayer [and fasting].” But rather joins the end of this story with the second prediction of the resurrection which the other two separate off in time. Why does Luke give it immediacy after the demoniac boy story, as though it had happened directly after it? Whereupon Luke follows Mark’s order in adding the dispute over who is the greatest followed by the who-is-not-against-us-is-for-us segment. Then he leaves out the segment about plucking your eye out if it offends you and sundry other elements. After this Luke begins his Greater Interpolation. Jesus starts the journey toward Jerusalem. What unifies all of this together for Luke? Take some time to think about it.
Although Luke excludes the statement about prayer and fasting, it is worth us looking at what is happening here and how you should read the footnotes. If you ever bother to read the footnotes that is.
[“But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”] *
- * Many manuscripts do not contain this verse
- * Many manuscripts add “and fasting”.
What are we to make of this and how do find out more about it? We will investigate the knotty problem of “the other readings”.
Do you see that the magnificence of the Transfiguration clothed in glory gives way to a series of the disciples foibles and weaknesses? This indeed seems to be what Luke is emphasizing because from the end of the Transfiguration story to the beginning of his Greater Interpolation he only deals with the disciples blunders or shortcomings. And all that after the grandeur of the manifestation of glory on the mountain. Oh how far we have come down again to ordinary life. Luke especially seems to be drawing a stark contrast between the glory moments and the frailty of the disciples. After seeing the glory for themselves (that is of course just Peter, James and John) the disciples seem to come unstuck again and descend to the normal human levels of emotions and reactions. Such a contrast to what it was like on the mountain. All their lives the glory of Moses shining face had been instilled in them . Now they have seen and experienced it for themselves but it hasn’t made any difference. Mountain top experiences always tend to descend to the depths afterward; just ask Elijah he knows all about that.
Take time to ponder these things
Focus on what you have, not what you’ve lost! What’s left is the seed for a new beginning!Rick Godwin
Never say “I have a BIG problem”. Instead, do say “Hey problem , I have a BIG God.”Leticia Seviraneta
Compliment people. Magnify their strengths, not their weaknesses.Joyce Meyer
There’s no oil if olives are not crushed, no wine if grapes aren’t crushed. Feeling pressure? God is bringing out the BEST in you!Rick Godwin