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The Teacher’s suffering The Passion, Matthew 26—27

Matthew includes nearly every verse of Mark’s Passion in the same order, except little details about the young man (Mk. 4.51–52), and Simon of Cyrene’s sons (Mk. 15.21b). Only about 26 verses are unique to Matthew (26.1–2, 25, 52–54; 27.3–10, 19, 24–25, 29, 51b–53, 62–66, all discussed below). Despite this similarity, Matthew’s Passion is very different in its atmosphere. As throughout his gospel, his account is more awesome – and there is no ambiguity. Mark’s Passion narrative depicted the suffering of Jesus as the final absence of God; here it is the means of his presence, underlining the identity of Jesus. As with Mark, the Passion narrative pulls the main themes of Matthew’s gospel together: the history of Israel and God’s salvation, the fulfilment of scripture, the portrayal of Jesus as the obedient Son of God, and the final conflict with the Jewish leaders causing the transfer of the kingdom to the Gentiles. The Teacher has given his teaching; now we have his example of righteous suffering…

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