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house the disciples were wont to assemble; that he was the nephew or cousin of St. Barnabas, and the spiritual son of St. Peter ; that he accompanied the Apostles Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey as far as Perga, in Pamphylia, where he left them, and returned to Jerusalem ; that this conduct 50 displeased St. Paul that the Apostle refused to take him on his second journey; whereupon Mark went with Barnabas to Cyprus. We next hear of him, after an interval of some years, as St. Paul's fellow-labourer at Rome; and the Apostle sends Mark's salutation to the Colossians and to Philemon (Col. iv. 10; Philem. 24). At a still later period— just before his martyrdom--St. Paul writes to Timothy, “Take Mark, and bring him with thee, for he is profitable to me for the ministry” (2 Tim. iv. 11). Lastly, he appears with St. Peter (1 Pet. v. 13). According to tradition, after being with St. Peter at Rome, St. Mark went to Egypt, became the Bishop of Alexandria, and was martyred.
There is very early and strong testimony connecting St. Mark's Gospel with St. Peter. The Evangelist is called by some of the Fathers St. Peter's interpreter," i.e. secretary. This expression we should probably take to mean that St. Mark derived the matter of his Gospel from the oral teaching of the Apostle.
The readers for whom this Gospel was mainly intended were gentiles : for (1) it omits all
For what account of our Lord's birth and descent; readers it was (2) it contains very few quotations from
written, the Old Testament, except in our Lord's discourses ; (3) it does not mention the Jewish law; (4) it leaves out the restrictive command given to the twelve (Matt. x. 5, 6); (5) it determines the value of the widow's mite in Roman money.
St. Mark's Gospel does not embrace so wide a view as the other Gospels; but it is very Characterrich in detail. Its descriptions are won- istics.
derfully graphic, vivid, and minute.* We fancy ourselves present at the scenes depicted; we see our Lord's very look and gesture ; we hear the very tones of his voice; we note the behaviour of those round about him ; nowhere else are we so thoroughly taught to know Christ after the flesh.
Again: St. Mark records actions and events rather than discourses and parables. He brings before us “Jesus of Nazareth a man approved of God among the people by miracles, and wonders, and signs” (Acts ii. 22); but not Christ the Lawgiver, nor Christ the Prophet. Facts peculiar The facts peculiar to St. Mark's Gospel to St. Mark's are:
Gospel. 1. The miracle of the deaf and dumb man healed (vii. 31-37).
2. The blind man at Bethsaida (viii. 22-26).
3. The parable of the secd growing secretly (iv. 26-29).
4. The account of the young man with the linen cloth cast about his naked body (xiv. 51-52).
The third record is
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE. The writer was the person St. Paul, in his Epistle
to the Colossians, calls “ Luke, the beThe writer. loved physician” (Col. iv. 14)., From the same epistle we gather that he was a gentile convert; for St. Paul marks him off from those of the circumcision. Eusebius says St. Luke was a native of Antioch. Very possibly he had become a proselyte to Judaism before his conversion to Christianity, for he shows himself familiar with Jewish customs, and makes use of Jewish modes of computing time.
From the use of the pronoun“we,” in Acts xvi. 10, * Instances in point are : v. 2-19 ; iii. 34; viii. 33; x. 21; x. 23; iii. 5.
we know that St. Luke began to be St. Paul's companion at Troas during the Apostle's second missionary journey; that he went with St. Paul to Philippi ; that he there awaited the Apostle's return from Corinth, and accompanied him to Troas, Miletus, Tyre, Cesarea, and Jerusalem.
During St. Paul's imprisonment at Cesarea, it is probable that St. Luke was one of those that ministered and came to him. Certain it is that he was with St. Paul in the perils by sea, described in Acts xxvii. ; and was with him some time during the two imprisonments at Rome (see Col. iv. 11; Phil. 24; and 2 Tim. iv. 11).
The striking point in his Gospel is the universality of its scope. It begins by professing to
For what be written for the benefit of one Theo- readers and philus-probably a gentile Christian living with what out of Palestine—that he might have a object it was trustworthy record of the facts on which his faith was built; but it goes far beyond Theophilus. Its great lesson is, that “God is not the God of the Jew only, but also of the gentile,” and sent his Son “ to be the light to enlighten the gentiles, as well as to be the glory of his people Israel ;" that “it behoved Christ to suffer, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached among all nations.”
Hence we find that while St. Matthew traces our Lord's descent to David and Abraham, St. Luke ascends to Adam, the father of the human race. Hence in this Gospel we find so many of those precious parables and incidents that set forth God's tender mercy and compassion : e.g. the parable of the prodigal son; the parable of the lost sheep; the parable of the woman rejoicing with her neighbours over the piece of money she had lost and found; the parable of the good Samaritan; the parable of the contrite publican accepted; the parable of the two debtors; the incident of our Lord showing mercy to
woman that had been a sinner ;" his weeping over Jerusalem. Here we find Jesus praying for those that were crucifying him, promising paradise to the penitent thief; here our Lord is the great Physician, out of whom “goes virtue to heal all,” even the servant of the high-priest sent to take him (xxii. 51).
St. Luke's Gospel has been associated with St. Paul, as St. Mark's with St. Peter. It is certainly a striking fact that the account of the institution of the Blessed Eucharist, in the third Gospel, should be, almost word for word, the same as that St. Paul tells us he received from the Lord (1 Cor. xi. 23-26). The latest date that can be assigned to this Gospel
is A.D. 64. It was certainly written before Date.
the Acts, and before St. Paul's second imprisonment at Rome. Some would make it older than the traditional date of the Gospel of St. Matthew, placing its publication before A.D. 58.
Facts peculiar to St. Luke are: Facts peculiar
1. The angel appearing to Zachary (i. to St. Luke's 1-25).
Gospel. 2. The annunciation (i. 26-38).
6. Appearance of the angel to the shepherds (ii. 4-20).
7. The circumcision, the presentation, the testimony of Simeon and Anna (ii. 21-38).
8. Our Lord with the doctors in the temple, and his subjection to his Mother and St. Joseph (ii. 40-52).
9. Our Lord's sermon in the synagogue, and its effect (iv. 16-30).
10. The miracle of the draught of fishes (v. 4-11).
11. The widow's son at Naim raised to life (vii. 11-17).
12. The woman with the spirit of infirmity (xiii. 11-17).
13. The man with the dropsy (xiv. 1-6).
32. Conversion of the woman that had been a sinner (vii. 36-50).
33. Mission of the seventy-two (x. 1-17).
37. The words to St. Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired," &c. (xxii. 31-32).
38. Our Lord strengthened by an angel, the sweat of blood (xxii. 43, 44).
39. Our Lord's meeting with the women of Jerusalem (xxiii. 26-31).
40. Our Lord's prayer for those that were crucifying him (xxiii. 33, 34).
41. The penitent thief (xxiii. 39-43).
42. The two disciples going to Emmaus (xxiv. 13-35).
The fourth record is