Luke said that the day of the Unleavened Bread (δὲ ἡ ἡμέρα τῶν ἀζύμων) came (Ἦλθεν), when the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed (ᾗ ἔδει θύεσθαι τὸ πάσχα). This was similar to Matthew, chapter 26:17, and Mark, chapter 14:12. Mark said that this was the first day of the Unleavened Bread (Καὶ τῇ πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν ἀζύμων). He then explained that the Passover lamb was sacrificed then (ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον), but Matthew did not feel the need to explain that to his Jewish Christian readers. Matthew simply said that this was the first day of the Unleavened Bread (Τῇ δὲ πρώτῃ τῶν ἀζύμων), with no mention of Passover. Mark and Luke explained that this was the Passover (τὸ πάσχα), but Matthew did not feel the need to explain that to his Jewish Christian readers. Do you know what Passover is?
Now we have another unique saying of Luke about the age of Jesus. When Jesus was 12 years old (Καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἐτῶν δώδεκα), the whole family went up to Jerusalem (ἀναβαινόντων αὐτῶν) as usual for the festival of Passover (κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἑορτῆς). This was not a bar mitzvah or confirmation, since this Jewish practice came later. However, Jesus would have been on the verge of puberty. The number 12 would play a major role in the life of Jesus, since he had 12 apostles, who were called the Twelve. This episode is the only insight into the life of Jesus between his birth and the baptism by John, that can be found in any of the canonical biblical gospel narratives. There are many stories about the boyhood of Jesus in some apocryphal gospels. Thus, this story takes on a special canonical importance.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:32, and Luke, chapter 23:26, but who had no mention of Simon being the father of Alexander and Rufus. John, chapter 19:17, on the other hand, had no mention of Simon at all, since he said that Jesus carried his cross by himself. Mark said that they compelled a passer-by who was coming from the country (καὶ ἀγγαρεύουσιν παράγοντά τινα…ἐρχόμενον ἀπ’ ἀγροῦ) to carry the cross for Jesus (ἵνα ἄρῃ τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ). This passerby was Simon of Cyrene (Σίμωνα Κυρηναῖον), the father of Alexander and Rufus (τὸν πατέρα Ἀλεξάνδρου καὶ Ῥούφου). Cyrene had a large Jewish community in current day Libya. This Simon may have been in Jerusalem for the Passover. Mark seemed to indicate that this Simon was well known with two sons, but Matthew and Luke did not mention the sons. However, there was a Rufus mentioned at the end of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, chapter 16:13, that could be this son of Simon.
This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 14:60. However, this emphasis on witnesses and testimony was not in Luke, chapter 22, and John, chapter 18. Mark said that many people gave false testimony against Jesus (πολλοὶ γὰρ ἐψευδομαρτύρουν κατ’ αὐτοῦ). Their testimonies did not agree (καὶ ἴσαι αἱ μαρτυρίαι οὐκ ἦσαν). Some people stood up (καί τινες ἀναστάντες) and gave these false testimonies against Jesus (ἐψευδομαρτύρουν κατ’ αὐτοῦ λέγοντες). There is almost a redundancy in these remarks. According to Jewish law in Deuteronomy, chapters 17:6 and 19:15, it took 2 witnesses to convict anyone. This gathering sounds more like a trial than an informal meeting. Not only were they seeking pseudo or false witnesses, the whole council meeting may have been illegal, since they were not allowed to meet during the festivals, including Passover. This council included the elders or presbyters and the Scribes of Jerusalem, along with the priests and the high priests. However, the dreaded Pharisees and Sadducees were not part of this council meeting.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:57, but there is no mention of the house of Caiaphas here as there was in Matthew. In Luke, chapter 22:54, Jesus was simply brought to the high priest’s house, which would have been Caiaphas. In John, chapter 18:13-14, they brought Jesus to the house of the father-in-law of Caiaphas, Annas, who had been the high priest of Jerusalem from 6-15 CE, before he was removed by the Romans at the age of 36, even though he lived to the age of 61. Thus, he had a lot of influence on things. John remarked that Caiaphas had said it was better for one person to die for the people. Caiaphas was the high priest from 18-36 CE since he had married the daughter of Annas. Mark simply said that they took Jesus to the high priest (Καὶ ἀπήγαγον τὸν Ἰησοῦν πρὸς τὸν ἀρχιερέα), without mentioning his name or saying it was his house. Apparently, the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς), the elder presbyters (καὶ οἱ πρεσβύτεροι), and the Scribes (καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς) had all gathered or assembled there (καὶ συνέρχονται πάντες). Was this an official meeting of the Jerusalem Sanhedrin? Probably not, because these official meetings could not be held during the festival days or during the Passover. On the other hand, some kind of informal meeting was possible. However, there was no mention of any Pharisees or Sadducees being there either.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:20, and Luke, chapter 22:14. Mark said that when it was evening or when evening arrived (Καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης), Jesus came (ἔρχεται) with the 12 apostles (μετὰ τῶν δώδεκα). Jesus and his 12 apostles were ready to celebrate the Passover in this large upper room in the city of Jerusalem.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:18, and Luke, chapter 22:11. Mark indicated that Jesus told his 2 unnamed disciples what to say to the proprietor or the owner of the house, as he entered it (καὶ ὅπου ἐὰν εἰσέλθῃ εἴπατε τῷ οἰκοδεσπότῃ). They were to say that the teacher asked him where his guest room was (ὅτι Ὁ Διδάσκαλος λέγει Ποῦ ἐστιν τὸ κατάλυμά μου). Jesus wanted to eat the Passover at this house with his disciples (ὅπου τὸ πάσχα μετὰ τῶν μαθητῶν μου φάγω). This Passover was the remembrance of the Israelites fleeing Egypt by eating special foods. There is no indication of whose house this was or who the owner of the house was. Certainly, it was someone who knew Jesus.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 26:9, and somewhat similar to John, chapter 12:4-6, where Judas Iscariot complained about wasting money, but John then made other derogatory remarks about Judas. Mark said here that these unnamed disciples said that this was a waste of this precious “oil (μύρον)” that could have been sold for a large sum (ἠδύνατο γὰρ τοῦτο τὸ μύρον πραθῆναι), more than 300 denarii (ἐπάνω δηναρίων τριακοσίων), worth about $450.00 US. This must have been a very expensive small jar of nard oil imported from the Indian Himalayan mountains. They complained that this large sum of money could have been given to the poor (καὶ δοθῆναι τοῖς πτωχοῖς). Giving to the poor at the time of Passover was a common custom. Thus, these disciples angrily scolded her (καὶ ἐνεβριμῶντο αὐτῇ).
There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 26:2, and in Luke, chapter 22:1, where there was talk of the Passover in 2 days. There were 3 major annual pilgrimage festivals in Jerusalem, Pentecost, Booths, and Passover, with Passover the most popular. This Passover feast celebrated the Israelite Exodus from Egypt. Therefore, this festival reminded the Jewish people of their escape from a foreign country. Thus, the Roman leaders had a heightened alert with more troops in Jerusalem. Mark indicated that Jesus said to his disciples that it was 2 days (μετὰ δύο ἡμέρας), before the Passover (Ἦν δὲ τὸ πάσχα), the festival of Unleavened Bread (καὶ τὰ ἄζυμα) that lasted a whole week. Passover and Unleavened bread were one festival, not 2 separate ones.
This is unique to Matthew, who said that the next day or the tomorrow (Τῇ δὲ ἐπαύριον), after the day of Preparation (ἥτις ἐστὶν μετὰ τὴν Παρασκευήν), the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate (συνήχθησαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι πρὸς Πειλᾶτον). Now we have the problem of dating the crucifixion. What does the following day mean? This tomorrow was the day after the day of Preparation. Was it the day of preparation for the Sabbath or the day of preparation for Passover? Perhaps Passover fell on the Sabbath. Anyway, the chief priests were joined by the Pharisees, but not the elders or presbyters of Jerusalem as in all the other preceding meetings. Why did the Pharisees suddenly show up here? There were no elders, scribes, or Sadducees at this meeting before Pilate, the governor of Judea.