Just in case you are wondering, here are the seven stories that are all the same in all 4 gospels. Also in case you are wondering, no one (including me!!!!) got them right. I had to go back and pull my notes from a previous Bible Study.
I should mention that there are 3 caveats. Of course.
1. The baptizing of Jesus by John the Baptist and John talking about Jesus. Different gospels have more or less about John with only Luke talking about his birth but all four have John declaring that Jesus is the Son of God and that he is unworthy to baptize Jesus.
2. Jesus finding his disciples.
The 3 synoptic have Jesus finding Andrew and John fishing but even John finds Andrew and Peter in Galilee and has them immediately leaving for following Jesus. All mention A & P by name as first.
3. The feeding of the 5,000.
All have this miracle. All have the baskets and the loaves and fishes. All have massive leftovers. Must have been an incredible witness to the power of God.
4. The moneychangers in the Temple.
While John has it happen at the beginning of Jesus' ministry and the syn optics have it just before the arrest, all of them have Jesus running the Temple guys swapping Roman coins for Temple money.
5. The Anointing of Jesus.
My personal favorite of the 7 commons, I like it best in John with Mary named and accounted for.
6. The Garden of Gethsemane and the Betrayal/Arrest/Trial of Jesus. Sorry to lump all these together but the story is consistent throughout the gospels.
Caveat one: Peter denying Jesus is in the middle of each of these narratives. I personally feel that it should get its own billing. Why? Well, for one thing, why is this story in all 4 gospels?? Who would tell such a thing? Peter. That is who would tell it. And he must have told it a lot since so very many people heard it, reported it and it made its way almost unchanged in 4 very distinct gospels. Especially John. I think Peter told this story over and over on himself to point out that HE had done something this horrible and he KNEW Jesus personally. Was one of the first (see #2). How much more so would people be who had not known Jesus in the flesh.
7. The Crucifixion.
All 4 gospels tell it slightly different but take away the minute details and you have a stripped down, all the same story. A graphic commentary on how much Jesus loves us and what he is willing to do for us.
Caveat two. Most people want to add the resurrection. But the oldest manuscripts of Mark do not contain the resurrection. What all 4 gospels do contain is that the women go to the tomb and find it empty. I personally think that this is a common but my instructor and I fought about it and the class I was in voted him over me. You have to chose on that one.
Caveat three. There are two mini sermons that are possible commons. I also lost on this point too. The first is the whole "prophet in hometown" issues Jesus had in Nazareth. I think John 4:43 qualifies but John puts Jesus in 'Galilee' while the other 3 put him in Nazareth. Part of the problem is that we don't exactly know where Nazareth is.
The other mini sermon has to do with the Temple being thrown down. I won this argument. I thought since all the gospels were at least codified if not written after AD 70, it was not fair to have Jesus going on about the Temple being thrown down. And in John and Luke, he is mystical and cryptic about it while he is flat out on the table in Matthew. Mark is vague.
I did not think sermonizing was fair game since the Matthew Beatitudes and all the wanderings in John can be interpreted six ways to Sunday.
You get to chose on these as well.
So there you have it. My sevens with three caveats. Agree or disagree?
Blessings to you all.