When studying the New Testament, it’s important to look at the different perspectives given by the Gospel writers. One area where this is particularly interesting is in their descriptions of Jesus’ disciples. In this article, we’ll compare Matthew’s description of Jesus’ disciples to that of Mark and explore the differences between the two.
Matthew’s Description of Jesus’ Disciples
Matthew’s Gospel gives us a detailed account of Jesus calling his first disciples. In chapter 4, we read that Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when he saw two brothers, Simon (who would later be called Peter) and Andrew.
He called out to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
Matthew goes on to describe how Jesus then called two more brothers, James and John, who were also fishermen. They too left their boat and their father to follow Jesus.
Throughout Matthew’s Gospel, we see these four men mentioned frequently as part of Jesus’ inner circle. They are often referred to as “the disciples” or simply “the twelve.” Matthew also includes a list of all twelve apostles in chapter 10.
Mark’s Description of Jesus’ Disciples
Mark’s Gospel also describes how Jesus called his first disciples by the Sea of Galilee. However, Mark’s account is shorter and less detailed than Matthew’s.
In Mark chapter 1, we read that Jesus saw Simon (Peter) and Andrew fishing and called out to them, “Follow me.” They immediately left their nets and followed him. Mark then goes on to describe how James and John were also called while they were working with their father Zebedee.
While Mark mentions these four men throughout his Gospel as part of Jesus’ inner circle, he doesn’t provide as much detail about them as Matthew does. In fact, Mark doesn’t even provide a list of all twelve apostles.
Differences Between Matthew and Mark
One of the main differences between Matthew and Mark’s descriptions of Jesus’ disciples is the level of detail provided. Matthew gives us a more in-depth account of how these men were called and their subsequent role in Jesus’ ministry. Mark, on the other hand, provides a more concise description, focusing more on the action than the details.
Another difference is in the way that these men are referred to. While Matthew often calls them “the twelve” or “the disciples,” Mark simply refers to them as “the apostles.”
This may reflect a difference in emphasis between the two writers. Matthew seems to focus more on the disciples’ role as learners and followers of Jesus, while Mark emphasizes their role as messengers sent out by Jesus.
While both Matthew and Mark describe Jesus’ disciples as being an important part of his ministry, there are noticeable differences between their accounts. Matthew provides a more detailed description of how these men were called and their subsequent role in Jesus’ ministry. Mark, on the other hand, provides a more concise account that focuses more on their actions than their personal details.
As we continue to study the New Testament, it’s important to keep these differences in mind and consider how they can enhance our understanding of this foundational text.