By Julie M. Smith
When the Gospels are read as separate texts, it becomes apparent that each writer emphasized certain themes. Matthew’s Gospel strongly emphasizes Jesus’s role as the one who fulfilled scripture. (By way of contrast, Mark virtually never mentions this.) In Matthew, Jesus is the “new Moses” who brings to fruition all that had been prophesied. In Luke, there is a definite emphasis on marginalized people: widows, orphans, the poor, the ill, and women take center stage as Jesus interacts with them. While there is some of this material in Mark’s Gospel, it is much more subtle. John’s Gospel is very cosmic and philosophical, and the distance between it and Mark’s Gospel is quite great here. By contrast, the spotlight is almost always on the idea of discipleship in Mark; there is general agreement among scholars that discipleship is a key theme in this text.