Week 9: In these chapters Jesus is asking God to help his disciples when he is no longer around. For Jesus was well aware of his mortality and knew that he wouldn’t be around forever.

If you read only Matthew, Mark and Luke you would have one particular view of the prayer that Jesus offers up to God.

These Gospels place Jesus in The Garden of Gethsemane and although it is said that he prays for an hour the emphasis seems to be on the disciples’ reaction to this event and Jesus reaction to their behaviour which is not the reaction he was hoping for – as they fall asleep, twice! However, John places much more emphasis on the prayer itself and gives us a verbatim account of the prayer itself. He does not tell us if anyone else was present.

It is interesting that Matthew suggests a crowd, and Mark and then Luke make even more of this crowd was there when the officials came to arrest Jesus and the that they seem to hint that the officials are acting at the biding of the crowd rather than just on their own orders. John, however, does not mention a crowd at all. Instead he states that it is the temple leaders that have come to arrest him because they believe him to be causing upset. There is no suggestion that they are acting on the wishes of the people. Also, although all the Gospels mention that a man’s ear is cut, it is only Luke who mentions that the man’s ear was healed by Jesus. It is thought that ‘Luke’ was a physician. Furthermore, it is interesting to see how the Gospels treat the Romans not as the villains but almost as the good guys in this situation with the crowd being the aggressors.

For example, although Jesus was flogged and eventually crucified, The Romans (and particularly Pontius Pilate) treated him reasonably well considering: a) the position Jesus was in b) the baying crowd outside calling for Jesus to be crucified c) the fact that Jesus would not give a straight answer to a straight question It would not have been out of character for an official who had tired of Jesus’ vague answers and silence to strike him and cry ‘how dare you speak to me like that. I asked you a direct question. Give me a direct answer.’ But, he doesn’t do this. He is flogged publicly but this seems to be done more to appease the crowd rather than on any desire of Pilate. It seems almost as though Pilate begins to be in awe of Jesus and becomes slightly worried about the consequences of killing him.

However, frustratingly, we hear no more about what Pilate thought about Jesus once he has been sent for crucifixion.

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