The Lord’s Supper in Synoptic Gospels + Church Traditions

We cannot answer all the questions in this overview, but we can exegete the Lord’s Supper in its original context in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This post also looks very briefly at 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 and 11:23-34. Then, what do various churches teach about the Lord’s Supper (or Communion or Eucharist)? I am here to learn (and offer my own opinions at various times).

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Mark 15

In continuity with Mark 14, Jesus is turned over to Pilate, who is amazed at his silence. Pilate delivers him to be crucified. Jesus is beaten and mocked. He is crucified. He dies, by giving up his spirit. A centurion says that Jesus truly was the Son of God. Joseph of Arimathea asks permission from Pilate to bury Jesus, and Pilate is amazed that the crucified one is dead already. Mary Magdalene and Mary (the mother of James and Joses [Joseph]) and Salome are following and observe from a distance. See the table of events during Passion Week at the end of this post.

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Mark 14

The Passion Narrative begins. (See the table at the end for the events in Passion Week.) Jesus is anointed at Bethany. Judas betrays Jesus. Jesus institutes the Last Supper and New Covenant. He foretells Peter’s and the other apostles’ denial. Jesus prays in Gethsemane. He is arrested, a young man flees, and Jesus is brought before the Council. At the same time, Peter denies Jesus.

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Mark 13

In verses 5-31, Jesus predicts the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, which will happen before his generation passes away (v. 30). He saw the near-future and accurately predicted it. In verses 32-37 he talks about the day or hour of his Second Coming, which has not yet happened for the past two thousand years (and counting).

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Mark 12

Jesus tells the Parable of the Vineyard Owner and Wicked Tenants. He brilliantly replies to a challenge about paying taxes to Caesar. He answers the Sadducees’ question about the resurrection. He tells a teacher of the law what the Greatest Commandment is. He clarifies who the Son of David is. He says to beware of the teachers of the law who devour widows’ houses yet say long prayers. He observes a poor widow giving all she had.

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Mark 11

Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey in an action parable. He tells a fig tree not to bear fruit ever again, in another action parable. He clears out an area of the temple in yet another action parable. The chief priests, the teachers of the law (scribes), and elders fight back and challenge him. Who authorized you to do this? See table of the events during Passion Week, at the end of this post.

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Mark 10

Jesus teaches on divorce and marriage. He blesses the children. He tells a rich young man to sell all he has and follow him. Jesus predicts his death and resurrection a third time. Right after Jesus makes this prediction, James and John request to sit next to Jesus in his glory, and the other ten become indignant. Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus.

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Mark 9

Jesus goes up the Mount of Transfiguration. He heals a boy with severe demonic possession; he again predicts his death and suffering and resurrection, and the disciples don’t understand. Ironically, they argue over who is greatest. John tried to prevent a man who expelled demons, but Jesus replies that the man is doing good. Jesus teaches about removing hand, foot or eye, if it “causes” you to sin.

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Mark 8

Jesus feeds the four thousand. Pharisees demand a sign. He tells the disciples to beware of the leaven of Pharisees and Herod. The disciples are confused about his meaning. He heals a blind man at Bethsaida in an unusual way. Peter confesses Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus predicts his own death and resurrection and has to rebuke Peter. He tells the crowds about the cost of following him.

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Mark 7

Jesus talks about washed and unwashed hands, clean and unclean foods and the command of God taking priority over the traditions of the elders. He goes up north to retreat, but he is spotted. He heals a Syro-Phoenician Greek woman—a Gentile and a woman!—who “defeats” his challenge to her, in his role as a reluctant teacher who is testing his “student” to answer correctly. Finally, in the Decapolis, east of the Lake of Galilee, he heals a deaf and mute man, in an unusual manner.

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Mark 6

Jesus is unable to work many miracles in his hometown because of their unbelief. Jesus sends out the twelve. John the Baptizer is beheaded after a girl’s dance and a foolish promise. Jesus feeds the five thousand. He walks on water. He heals many sick people, when he walks by in the marketplaces, and they merely touch his garment. This post briefly discusses his divine attributes, his miracles, and his human nature.

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Mark 3

Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. He teaches and heals the multitudes by the lakeside. He chooses the Twelve. His family intends to take custody of him. The teachers of the law claim that he expels demons by Satan’s mastery. He warns them not to blaspheme the Spirit. He tells the crowd that the one who does the will of God is his brother, sister, and mother.

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Mark 1

In this Gospel in the very beginning of Jesus’s ministry: John the Baptist is introduced; Jesus is baptized by John. Satan tempts Jesus. Jesus begins his Galilean ministry. He calls four fishermen: Peter, Andrew, James, and John. He expels an unclean spirit from a man. He heals Peter’s mother-in-law and many others and expels many demons. He goes on a preaching tour. He cleanses a leper with a command.

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“Some Shall Not Experience Death until They See Son of Man Coming”

Matt. 16:28, Mark 9:1, and Luke 9:27 say that some standing there with Jesus would not experience death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom. How can that be true, when the Second Coming has not happened in the past two thousand years (and counting)? The answer will surprise you because it goes beyond the “standard” one.

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What Jesus Told High Priest and Sanhedrin Now Makes Sense

At his “hearing” or “trial,” Jesus said that Caiaphas (the high priest) and the Sanhedrin (the highest council and court in Judaism) would see him coming in the clouds of heaven. How could they see his Second Coming, which has not happened in the past two thousand years (and counting)? Or does it refer to some other kind of coming?

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Jesus Turns a Gentile Mother’s Desperation into Faith

Jesus seemed to be “rude” to a Gentile (pagan, non-Jew, or foreign) woman, someone outside his outreach to Israel. Here’s an exegesis (close reading) that explains his reasons, in a little more detail, in his own cultural context.

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Matt 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 and 17 in Parallel Columns Are Finally Clear

These chapters are on Jesus’s discourse about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple (AD 70) and then the Second Coming, which has not happened yet, 2000 years later (and counting). Looking at the chapters side by side clarifies what he really taught.

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Quick Reference to Jewish Groups in Gospels and Acts

This is quick reference guide to religious and political Jewish groups who appear in the Gospels and the Book of Acts.

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Mark 13:5-31 Predicts Destruction of Jerusalem and Temple

We must look at these verses in their textual and historical contexts. And we must not skip over the most stubborn verse in the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke); then we can interpret this Scripture more clearly. Please view the photos at the end.

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The Son of Man Claims God’s Authority to Forgive Sins on Earth

Mark 2:1-12 says that the Son of Man–Jesus–forgave a paralytic’s sins. Does this mean that Jesus claimed authority that only God has, thus making himself equal to God? Did he use a Hebrew word for “forgiveness” which only God can offer?

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Works Cited

Here is a list of the principal works referenced or used at this site. More will be added as time goes on, so please check back.

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