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Home > Fathers of the Church > The Harmony of the Gospels (Augustine) > Book II, Chapter 64

The Harmony of the Gospels, Book II

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Chapter 64. 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 Subjects.

124. Matthew continues his narrative in the following terms: And Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples apart, and said to 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. 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. 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; and the order itself indicates that the same sentiment was expressed by the Lord on a second occasion.

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Source. Translated by S.D.F. Salmond. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 6. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1888.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <>.

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