What is a story found in all three of the synoptic gospels, and where is it located in each?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Many of the gospels are reported by three witnesses, a condition that reinforces the truth of what happened. Since the Law of Moses decreed, "Let every word or matter be confirmed in the mouths of two or three witnesses," the gospels of the New Testament often repeat themselves as they are reported by more than one of the four apostles.

One such gospel is that of the casting out of devils and unclean spirits by Jesus Christ that are recorded in the following:

Matthew 8:28-29; Mark 1:23 and 3:11-12; Luke 4:41

While these gospels vary some, the themes are similar.

  • In the gospel of Matthew, for instance, Jesus is met in Gergesenes by two "possessed with devils." When they encounter, Jesus, they cry out that He torments them "before the time?" Because these devils recognize Christ, Jesus, then, drives them out.
  • In the gospel according to Mark, there was a man possessed by "an unclean spirit" who was in the synagogue. He, too, cries out, asking if Jesus have come to drive him out. "I know thee who thoui art, the Holy One of God." And, they "fell down" before Him.
  • In the gospel according to Luke, devils "came out of many, crying out, and saying, 'Thou art Christ the Son of God.'" And Jesus "rebukes them," telling them not to speak.

In the gospels according to Mark and Luke, Jesus charges the devils to not make Him known, but in Matthew's gospel this order by Jesus is not mentioned.


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