One day Jesus left the crowds to pray alone. Only His disciples were with Him, and He asked them, "Who do people say I am?"
"Well," they replied, "some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say You are one of the other ancient prophets risen from the dead."
Then He asked them, "But who do you say I am?" Peter replied, "You are the Messiah sent from God!"
Jesus warned His disciples not to tell anyone who He was. (Luke 9:18-21)
Luke follows the Feeding of the 5000 with the verses above. Whereas Matthew, Mark and John continue the story with something entirely different. Matthew and Mark describe how after a busy day of "bread making" for those who came to lunch Jesus told the guys to get into the boat while He went off to pray alone. Following this all three other gospel writers lead into the story of Jesus walking on the water. In chronological terms it was clearly the next event after the miracle of bread making. But Luke does not even mention it at all in his gospel. Either in this place where it belongs or transposed to another place where he might want to use it for greater effect. HE DOESN"T USE IT AT ALL. That is remarkable. Does Luke not know this story? Of course he does. He is the one who is writing a gospel to harmonize all the other accounts which have been written. He uses Mark on many other occasions but not this time. He shares material with Matthew often but not this time. He just doesn't use it. And yet it is a passage that is majestic in its insight as to exactly who Jesus is.
Rather than use the act of walking on water to give us a clearer picture of who Jesus is, Luke decides instead to use the Caesarea Philippi confession which the others put in their story at same place significantly later. (Matthew 16:13-20 and Mark 8:27-30). At that point Luke is back-tracking alongside the other writers.
He then includes the following segments in exactly the same order they do before he moves on to his Greater Insertion of unique Luke material. (Namely Luke 9:51-18:14).
Following this segment on the confession of who Christ is Luke has the same segments as the other writers.
Then following these pericopes Luke launches in a long unique to Luke series.
This leads us to ask the question what else does Luke omit in this jump he makes after the Miracle of the Feeding of the 5000 ?
Here is the list of what the other writers deal with and Luke omits
Jesus goes off to prayer alone
Jesus walks on water
The leaven of the Pharisees
The Canaanite woman from Tyre and Sidon – crumbs under the table
Healings in Decapolis
Feeding of the 4000
Return to Galilee – Pharisees looking for signs
Leaven of the Pharisees again
Jesus questions the disciples on their understand of Feeding the 5000 and the 4000
Healing the blind man at Bethsaida
Then Peter's classic confession of who Christ is (which Luke returns to).
It is fascinating isn't it? There are some surprises there. I will let you find them and ponder them while I do the same. This has puzzled a number of people for a long while. Now it is your turn to be puzzled. This has been called "the Missing Block'. Seventy four and a half verses from Mark 6:47 to Mark 8:27a have been omitted from Luke. All sorts of reasons have been offered to explain the reasons behind this. I will take a break at this point and leave you with the puzzle to solve for yourself for 24 hours.
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