The Social Outlook In Matthew And Luke -- By: William Allen Knight

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 066:262 (Apr 1909)
Article: The Social Outlook In Matthew And Luke
Author: William Allen Knight

The Social Outlook In Matthew And Luke

Rev. William Allen Knight

As an approach to the social outlook in the First and Third Gospels we notice certain differences between these two pieces of writing which mark the workmanship of the authors. These differences, it is believed, will exhibit a distinct social sensitiveness in Luke.

Matthew, agreeing with Mark, has, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Luke has this, word for word, adding “daily,” “Let him take up his cross daily.”

Mark in a passage paralleled by Matthew says, “The unclean spirit convulsing the man, came out of him.” Luke adds, “having done him no hurt.”

Mark, speaking of the woman who had an issue of blood twelve years, puts the case thus: “She had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing better, but rather grew worse.” Matthew drops this distinctly lay view of the case entirely and does not attempt to record a judgment. Luke sums up the matter with words describing it as a physician would see it: “She could not be healed of any.”

Matthew says of the epileptic son, “He suffereth grievously; for oft-times he falleth into the fire, and oft-times into the water,” thus noticing outward matters. Luke says instead, He suddenly crieth out, and he foameth, and is sorely bruised. That is, he notes pathological effects.

Matthew with Mark speaks of the man with a withered hand; but Luke says his right hand was withered. Every one knows why a physician would be interested as to which side of the body was smitten.

In the story of Jairus’ daughter, told by the three Synoptics, Luke alone mentions that she was an only daughter and that she was “about twelve years of age,” the sense of the pathetic appearing in the phrase “and she lay a dying”; and Luke keeps the point in Mark’s narrative which Matthew omits, how, when life was restored, the Master commanded “that something be given her to eat.”

Again, in the story of the demoniac boy, told by all three, Luke alone heightens the father’s appeal by the words “for he is mine only child.”

In the account of the Temptation, Matthew says, “Then the devil leaveth him “; Luke adds, “for a season.”

Matthew says, “Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you”; Luke adds, concerning enemies, “and do them good, and lend, never despairing.”

Matthew has it, “Be ye perfect, as your Father is” ; Luke says, “merciful.”

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