This saying of Jesus, via Mark, can be found in Matthew, chapter 13:31, and Luke, chapter 13:18, with Luke closer to Mark, who might have been the source of this saying. Mark reported that Jesus said (Καὶ ἔλεγεν) what can we compare the kingdom of God with (Πῶς ὁμοιώσωμεν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ)? What parable will we use for it (ἢ ἐν τίνι αὐτὴν παραβολῇ θῶμεν)? Jesus wanted to know how to explain the kingdom of God with a good parable?
This saying of Jesus that points to the importance and indissolubility of marriage can also be found in Mark, chapter 10:6-9, almost word for word. Jesus used the creation story of Genesis to emphasize his point. Jesus answered them (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) by asking them if they not read or know Genesis, chapters 1:27 and 2:24 (Οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε). Jesus noted that from the beginning God had made humans male and female (ὅτι ὁ κτίσας ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτοὺς). At the pinnacle of creation, God created humans in his image. Both men and women were created equal in God’s image. Jesus continued that a man leaves his father and mother (Ἕνεκα τούτου καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα), so that he could become joined to his wife (καὶ κολληθήσεται τῇ γυναικὶ αὐτοῦ). The two of them will become one flesh (καὶ ἔσονται οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν), so that they are no longer two but one flesh (ὥστε οὐκέτι εἰσὶν δύο ἀλλὰ σὰρξ). The conclusion was that what God has joined together (ὃ οὖν ὁ Θεὸς συνέζευξεν), no one should separate (ἄνθρωπος μὴ χωριζέτω).
This saying of Jesus is unique to Matthew, thus, not in the Mark narrative. Jesus did not respond to her with any words at all (ὁ δὲ οὐκ ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῇ λόγον). However, his disciples came to him to tell him to implore or urge her (καὶ προσελθόντες οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἠρώτουν αὐτὸν λέγοντες) to go away (Ἀπόλυσον αὐτήν), because she was shouting after them (ὅτι κράζει ὄπισθεν ἡμῶν), Then Jesus answered (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν) that he was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Οὐκ ἀπεστάλην εἰ μὴ εἰς τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἀπολωλότα οἴκου Ἰσραήλ), not to other people. However, Jesus had cured the Roman centurion’s servant in chapter 8:5-13.
This saying of Jesus is exactly the same, word for word, in Luke, chapter 11:23, thus indicating a Q source. You are either with Jesus or against him. There is no in between. Whoever is not with Jesus (ὁ μὴ ὢν μετ’ ἐμοῦ), is against him (κατ’ ἐμοῦ ἐστιν). Whoever does not gather with Jesus (καὶ ὁ μὴ συνάγων μετ’ ἐμοῦ), scatters abroad (σκορπίζει). Either you stand and gather with Jesus or you are against him and scatter everywhere. The choice is yours.
There does not seem to be a parallel verse to this saying of Jesus, via Matthew. It seems like an extension or explanation of the preceding verse. If you accept or welcome a prophet (ὁ δεχόμενος προφήτην) in that prophet’s name (εἰς ὄνομα προφήτου), then you would get a prophet’s reward (μισθὸν προφήτου λήμψεται). If you accept a righteous man (καὶ ὁ δεχόμενος δίκαιον), in the name of a righteous man (εἰς ὄνομα δικαίου), then you would receive a righteous reward (μισθὸν δικαίου λήμψεται). These prophets and righteous men will be the new disciples of Jesus. Clearly Jesus emphasized the role of righteousness among his followers. Jesus was incorporating the idea of prophetic justice or prophetic righteousness into his followers, who would not be afraid of his name.
This saying of Jesus is almost the same in Luke, chapter 9:59-60, indicating a possible Q source. Once again, this is a harsh saying about discipleship of Jesus. Another follower of Jesus (τερος δὲ τῶν μαθητῶν) said to him (εἶπεν αὐτῷ), calling him the “Lord” (Κύριε) that he wanted to be allowed to bury his father first (ἐπίτρεψόν μοι πρῶτον ἀπελθεῖν καὶ θάψαι τὸν πατέρα μου), as it was the Jewish custom to bury people within 7 days. However, Jesus’ response was not very compassionate. Quite the opposite, Jesus told his follower (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς λέγει αὐτῷ), a true disciple of Jesus who was a “μαθητῶν,” to follow him (Ἀκολούθει μοι). Jesus added, that the dead should bury their own dead (καὶ ἄφες τοὺς νεκροὺς θάψαι τοὺς ἑαυτῶν νεκρούς). This seems to deny any mourning period.
This saying of Jesus is exactly the same in Luke, chapter 9:58, indicating a possible Q source. Jesus responded to this scribe (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) by telling him that he was homeless. Foxes had foxholes (Αἱ ἀλώπεκες φωλεοὺς ἔχουσιν). Birds of the air had nests (καὶ τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατασκηνώσεις). However, the Son of Man (ὁ δὲ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) had nowhere to put his head (οὐκ ἔχει ποῦ τὴν κεφαλὴν κλίνῃ). This is the first instance of Matthew having Jesus say that he was the “Son of Man” (Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου), since this might be based on the Book of Daniel, chapter 7:13. Daniel also saw in his night vision that the “son of man” was coming from heaven. This Son of Man went to the Ancient One and presented himself to God. However, he was given dominion, glory and kingship over all people, nations, and languages. Everyone would serve him, since his kingdom would last forever, and never be destroyed. This has been often interpreted as the coming of the Messiah, the savior. Jesus and his disciples used this term. However, in the Book of Ezekiel, Yahweh used this term for Ezekiel. So that, the “Son of Man” may also mean that Jesus was trying to point out his humanity, like everyone else.
This saying of Jesus is somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 6:42, perhaps from the Q source. This is a basic common-sense statement. The good tree produces good fruit (οὕτως πᾶν δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς καλοὺς ποιεῖ). The bad or evil tree produces bad or evil fruit (τὸ δὲ σαπρὸν δένδρον καρποὺς πονηροὺς ποιεῖ). The good tree is not able to produce bad or evil fruit (οὐ δύναται δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς πονηροὺς ἐνεγκεῖν), while the bad or evil tree is not able to produce good fruit (οὐ δύναται δένδρον ἀγαθὸν καρποὺς πονηροὺς ἐνεγκεῖν). Simply stated, a good or bad tree will only produce what it is. There will be no mixing of the good and the bad fruits. Good fruit only comes from good trees, while bad fruits only come from bad trees.
This saying of Jesus is somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 6:44-45, perhaps indicating a Q source. Jesus told his disciples, via Matthew, that they would know or discern people by their fruits (ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιγνώσεσθε αὐτούς). Then he asked the question whether grapes could be gathered from thorn bushes (μήτι συλλέγουσιν ἀπὸ ἀκανθῶν σταφυλὰς) or figs gathered from thistles (ἢ ἀπὸ τριβόλων σῦκα). Certain kinds of fruits only come from certain kinds of trees. Thus, you can tell what kind of tree it is by its fruit.
This saying of Jesus is somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 13:23-24. You had a choice between two gates. Jesus, via Matthew, wanted you to enter the narrow gate (ἰσέλθατε διὰ τῆς στενῆς πύλης). Matthew in his description of the wide or spacious gate (ὅτι πλατεῖα ἡ πύλη καὶ εὐρύχωρος) used two words for wide and spacious, “πλατεῖα” and “εὐρύχωρος,” that never appear elsewhere in the New Testament. The easy way of the wide gate led to destruction (ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ἀπώλειαν). Many people were entering through this wide destructive easy gate (καὶ πολλοί εἰσιν οἱ εἰσερχόμενοι δι’ αὐτῆς). On the other hand, the narrow gate (ὅτι στενὴ ἡ πύλη) had a difficult way, leading to life (καὶ τεθλιμμένη ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ζωήν). Only a few people were able to find their way through this difficult hard narrow life filled gate (καὶ ὀλίγοι εἰσὶν οἱ εὑρίσκοντες αὐτήν). This idea of two ways can be found also in Deuteronomy, chapter 30:15-20, and among other religions with the way of death and the way of life. The early Christian teachings of the Didache used this concept, as did many other dualistic religions that pointed to the choice of life or death, good or bad. As you had basic choices in life, God was giving you the choice, life and prosperity with the narrow gate or death and adversity through the wide gate. You could choose your path.