Chapter LXIV.-Of the Occasions on Which He Foretold His
Passion in Private to His Disciples; And of the Time When the Mother of
Zebedee's Children Came with Her Sons, Requesting that One of Them Should
Sit on His Right Hand, and the Other on His Left Hand; And of the Absence
of Any Discrepancy Between Matthew and the Other Two Evangelists on These
124. Matthew continues his narrative in the following terms: "And Jesus,
going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples apart, and said unto them,
Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto
the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death,
and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify
Him; and the third day He shall rise again. Then came to Him the mother
of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping Him, and desiring a certain
thing of Him;" and so on, down to the words, "Even as the Son of man came
not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom
for many."463 Here again Mark keeps the same order as Matthew, only he
represents the sons of Zebedee to have made the request themselves; while
Matthew has stated that it was preferred on their behalf not by their own
personal application, but by their mother, as she had laid what was their
wish before the Lord. Hence Mark has briefly intimated what was said on
that occasion as spoken by them, rather than by her [in their name]. And
to conclude with the matter, it is to them rather than to her, according
to Matthew no less than according to Mark, that the Lord returned His reply.
Luke, on the other hand, after narrating in the same order our Lord's predictions
to the twelve disciples on the subject of His passion and resurrection,
leaves unnoticed what the other two evangelists immediately go on to record;
and after the interposition of these passages, he is joined by his fellow-writers
again [at the point where they report the incident] at Jericho.464 Moreover,
as to what Matthew and Mark have stated with respect to the princes of
the Gentiles exercising dominion over those who are subject to them,-namely,
that it should not be so with them [the disciples], but that he who was
greatest among them should even be a servant to the others,-Luke also gives
us something of the same tenor, although not in that connection;465 and
the order itself indicates that the same sentiment was expressed by the
Lord on a second occasion.
Chapter LXV.-Of the Absence of Any Antagonism Between Matthew and
Mark, or Between Matthew and Luke, in the Account Offered of the Giving
of Sight to the Blind Men of Jericho.
125. Matthew continues thus: "And as they departed from Jericho, a great
multitude followed Him. And, behold, two blind men sitting by the wayside
heard that Jesus passed by, and cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O
Lord, thou Son of David;" and so on, down to the words, "And immediately
their eyes received sight, and they followed Him."466 Mark also records
this incident, but mentions only one blind man.467 This difficulty is solved
in the way in which a former difficulty was explained which met us in the
case of the two persons who were tormented by the legion of devils in the
territory of the Gerasenes.468 For, that in this instance also of the two
blind men whom he [Matthew] alone has introduced here, one of them was
of pre-eminent note and repute in that city, is a fact made clear enough
by the single consideration, that Mark has recorded both his own name and
his father's; a circumstance which scarcely comes across us in all the
many cases of healing which had been already performed by the Lord, unless
that miracle be an exception, in the recital of which the evangelist has
mentioned by name Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, whose daughter Jesus
restored to life.469 And in this latter instance this intention becomes
the more apparent, from the fact that the said ruler of the synagogue was
certainly a man of rank in the place. Consequently there can be little
doubt that this Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, had fallen from some position
of great prosperity, and was now regarded as an object of the most notorious
and the most remarkable wretchedness, because, in addition to being blind,
he had also to sit begging. And this is also the reason, then, why Mark
has chosen to mention only the one whose restoration to sight acquired
for the miracle a fame as widespread as was the notoriety which the man's
misfortune itself had gained.
126. But Luke, although he mentions an incident altogether of the same
tenor, is nevertheless to be understood as really narrating only a similar
miracle which was wrought in the case of another blind man, and as putting
on record its similarity to the said miracle in the method of performance.
For he states that it was performed when He was coming nigh unto Jericho;470
while the others say that it took place when He was departing from Jericho.
Now the name of the city, and the resemblance in the deed, favour the supposition
that there was but one such occurrence. But still, the idea that the evangelists
really contradict each other here, in so far as the one says, "As He was
come nigh unto Jericho," while the others put it thus, "As He came out
of Jericho," is one which no one surely will be prevailed on to accept,
unless those who would have it more readily credited that the gospel is
unveracious, than that He wrought two miracles of a similar nature and
in similar circumstances.471 But every faithful son of the gospel will
most readily perceive which of these two alternatives is the more credible,
and which the rather to be accepted as true; and, indeed, every gainsayer
too, when he is advised concerning the real state of the case, will answer
himself either by the silence which he will have to observe, or at least
by the tenor of his reflections should he decline to be silent.
463 Matt. xx. 17-28.
464 Luke xviii. 31-35.
465 Luke xxii. 24-27.
466 Matt. xx. 29-34.
467 Mark x. 46-52.
468 See chap. xxiv. § 56.
469 Mark v. 22-43.
470 Luke xviii. 35-43.
471 [Various other solutions are suggested. Comp. Robinson's
Greek Harmony, rev. ed. pp. 234, 235.-R.]