The first part of this series concentrated on Hasert’s research into the relationship between the gospels of Luke and Matthew. Here we examine the evidence for the connections between the Gospel of Luke and Paul’s life and letters. But we begin with what Hasert interpreted as the third evangelist’s denigration of the Twelve, especially when contrasted with their treatment in the Gospel of Matthew. (See the previous post for bibliographic and author references.)
Salt of the earth no more
Matthew’s Jesus addresses his (twelve) disciples and tells them they are the salt of the earth (5:13). Luke omits those words; Luke’s Jesus does not so compliment the twelve.
Luke finds a vicious way to twist the knife into the Twelve when he moves the scene of the disciples arguing amongst themselves about who will be the greatest into the Last Supper, immediately after Jesus told them that one of them would betray him.
21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Such a relocation of this incident makes a complete mockery of the disciples, intimating that they are ironically disputing over which of them would betray Jesus.
Peter’s light fades from view
We know Matthew’s famous moment when Jesus declared Peter to be the possessor of the keys to the kingdom and the rock upon which the church was to be built (16:18-19). Luke’s Jesus finds no occasion on which to bestow such honourable status upon Peter.
Democratizing the family
In Matthew 12:49 Jesus once again confers special status upon his disciples:
Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. (NIV)
Luke, on the contrary, has Jesus say that any and everyone (not only his disciples) who hear and do the words of Jesus are his mother and brothers, (8:21):
He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” (NIV)