Interesting enough, Luke has the friends of the centurion speak in the first person singular to indicate that these are the exact words of the centurion. The centurion said that he was a man who was appointed by authority (καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπός εἰμι ὑπὸ ἐξουσίαν τασσόμενος) with soldiers under him (ἔχων ὑπ’ ἐμαυτὸν στρατιώτας). He would say to one go (καὶ λέγω τούτῳ Πορεύθητι) and he went (καὶ πορεύεται). He would say to another come (καὶ ἄλλῳ Ἔρχου) and he came (καὶ ἔρχεται). He would tell his slave to do something (καὶ τῷ δούλῳ μου Ποίησον τοῦτο) and he would do it (καὶ ποιεῖ). This saying of the centurion is exactly the same as in Matthew, chapter 8:9, perhaps indicating a Q source. In Matthew, the Roman centurion spoke for himself directly to Jesus, but the message was the same. This centurion understood authority, since he was a Roman solider under the authority of his superiors and yet at the same time, he had soldiers under him. Thus, if he said to any of them to go or come, they would do precisely that. The same would be true of his slaves who would do whatever he told them to do. Are you willing to obey the commands of Jesus?
This is almost word for word at times in Matthew, chapter 26:64. In Luke, chapter 22:67-70, there is something similar, but there is nothing like this in John, chapter 18. Mark said that Jesus replied to the high priest (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν), pure and simple in the first person singular “I am (Ἐγώ εἰμι).” He was the Messiah Christ and the Son of the Blessed One. There was no ambiguity as in Matthew, “because you have said so”. This answer is direct and unambiguous. There was no more Messianic secret. Then Jesus told him that he would see the Son of Man (καὶ ὄψεσθε τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) seated at the right hand of the Power, Yahweh, or God, the Father (ἐκ δεξιῶν καθήμενον τῆς δυνάμεως). He would come on or with the clouds of heaven (καὶ ἐρχόμενον μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ). Jesus gave a strong theological response that the end times were near when the Son of Man, himself, would appear with the heavenly clouds. Jesus was and is the Christ Messiah, case closed.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:22, and something similar to Luke, chapter 22:23, and John, chapter 13:22. The 12 apostles began to be greatly distressed or pained (ἤρξαντο λυπεῖσθαι) on hearing that one of them was going to betray Jesus. They said to Jesus, one after another (καὶ λέγειν αὐτῷ εἷς κατὰ εἷς) that it was surely not any of them. Each one declared in the first person singular “Surely! Not I! (Μήτι ἐγώ)!” Mark did not have them say “Lord!” as Matthew indicated.
This is almost word for word in Mathew, chapter 26:11, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:8. Mark indicated that Jesus said that they would always have poor people with them (πάντοτε γὰρ τοὺς πτωχοὺς ἔχετε μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν). In other words, there would be no immediate solution to the difficulties of poverty that has persisted for over 2,000 years. Mark also indicated that Jesus added that they were able to do kind or good acts to the poor whenever they wished or wanted (καὶ ὅταν θέλητε δύνασθε αὐτοῖς εὖ ποιῆσαι). However, Jesus reminded them in the first person singular that they would not always have him (ἐμὲ δὲ οὐ πάντοτε ἔχετε).
This is unique to Mark. When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together (ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἐπισυντρέχει ὄχλος), he rebuked the unclean spirit (ἐπετίμησεν τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ). He spoke directly to this evil spirit (λέγων αὐτῷ) as he commanded, in the first person singular, this unclean spirit (ἐγὼ ἐπιτάσσω σοι), in the second person “you”. This evil spirit had kept this boy from speaking and hearing. This mute and deaf spirit (Τὸ ἄλαλον καὶ κωφὸν πνεῦμα,), was to come out of him (ἔξελθε ἐξ αὐτοῦ), never again to enter him (καὶ μηκέτι εἰσέλθῃς εἰς αὐτόν). Jesus then got rid of the unclean spirit that was in this boy in a public act in front of a crowd.
This is unique to Mark. Immediately (εὐθὺς), the father of the child cried out (κράξας ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ παιδίου ἔλεγεν) that he believed (Πιστεύω), in the first person singular. However, he wanted help with his unbelief (βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ). This was a strong statement of belief that also recognized unbelief at the same time.
This is similar, almost word for word, to Mark, chapter 14:19, and something similar in Luke, chapter 22:23, and John, chapter 13:22. The 12 disciples became greatly distressed or pained (καὶ λυπούμενοι σφόδρα) on hearing that one of them was going to betray Jesus. They began to say to Jesus, one after another (ρξαντο λέγειν αὐτῷ εἷς ἕκαστος) that it was surely not any of them. Each one declared in the first person singular “It is not I, Lord (Μήτι ἐγώ εἰμι, Κύριε)!”
This last judgment section is unique to Matthew. Jesus said to the sheep on the right side that they had taken care of him. He said that when he was hungry, they gave him food to eat (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν). When he was thirsty, they gave him something to drink (ἐδίψησα καὶ ἐποτίσατέ με). When he was a stranger, they kindly took him in (ξένος ἤμην καὶ συνηγάγετέ με). When he was naked, they gave him clothes to wear (γυμνὸς καὶ περιεβάλετέ με). When he was sick, they visited and took care of him (ἠσθένησα καὶ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με). When he was in prison, they came to visit him (ἐν φυλακῇ ἤμην καὶ ἤλθατε πρός με). All of this was in the first person singular. This sounds like the beatitudes mentioned earlier in chapter 5:3-11, but here they are more specific and personal.
Yahweh, here in Zechariah, assumed the first person singular. He was going to strengthen and save the house of Judah and Joseph, because he was going to bring them back in a compassionate way. They were going to be, as if they had never been rejected. Yahweh was clear. He was their God. Thus, he would answer them. He would be particularly kind to the northern people in Ephraim. They would become like warriors with wine filled glad hearts. Their children would see what was going on and be happy as they exulted in Yahweh.
Joel has Yahweh speak directly in the first-person singular. Yahweh himself wanted them to return to him, with all their hearts, after this devastating plague of locusts has hit them. They were to return to Yahweh by fasting, weeping, and mourning. They were to break open their hearts, and not tear their garments.