I’ve always been confused about this passage: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me…..” Luke 9: 23. Did He, (Jesus), know he would be crucified and predict it exactly or did Luke paraphrase His words after the fact?
This is a great question for you to try a Saint Ignatius mediation technique: praying over a scripture/theological question, like the one you ask.
To help you begin let’s look at each of the Gospel writers individually:
- Most scholars believe that the Gospel of Mark was written by a second-generation Christian and Mark’s material was dictated to him by St. Peter, who later compiled it into his, (Mark’s), gospel. He seems to not be from the area, because much of the geography was wrong, but that does not take away from the importance of the message.
- The Gospel of Matthew was written by an witness: Matthew himself. His Gospel was written for Jewish Christians by a Jewish Christian.
- The Gospel of Luke written by Luke who was an associate of St. Paul but not an eye witness. Luke was a Christian writing for Christian.
- As for the Gospel of John is very interesting. Many scholars believe that the “beloved disciple” is a person who heard and followed Jesus, and the gospel of John is based heavily on the witness of this “beloved disciple.”
|Gospel||Traditional author and apostolic connection|
|Gospel of Matthew||Saint Matthew, a former tax-collector, one of the Twelve Apostles.|
|Gospel of Mark||Saint Mark, a disciple of Simon Peter, one of the Twelve|
|Gospel of Luke||Saint Luke, a companion of Saint Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles|
|Gospel of John||Saint John, one of the Twelve, referred to in the text as the beloved disciple|
If we read the passages before verse 23 we read: “And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Luke 9: 21-23
Did Luke paraphrase? I don’t think that paraphrase is the right word here. As Catholics we believe that the writers of the Gospels were guided by the Holy Spirit, had the resources of the oral tradition of the knowledge of those disciples who were in a directed relationship with Jesus and had gone on before them, as well as the teaching of the early church. Seeing that each writer had a specific audience the wording difference, or paraphrasing, is the choice of the writer to make Jesus’ message clearer, not as an attempt to change the meaning.
Now for the technique. Before you begin take the time to pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit. Imagine yourself in the scene of Luke where he telling his disciples that he will die. Imagine yourself there. Imagine you asking a disciple what they think, ask Jesus himself. Take time to pray over what you experienced. Then let me know what you come up with, write me a comment, I think many would be interested by what you experience.