Note again the typical performance variations. If the tradition goes back to Jesus (it is soundly dismissed by Funk, Five Gospels 173-74 as contradicting Jesus' commendation of unqualified love, and by Ludemann, Jesus 350 as reflecting later experience; but see further below, ยง 17.4d), it simply draws on the eschatological expectation of severe and disruptive tribulation (references in Meier, Marginal Jew 3.111 n. 96), modelled no doubt by corporate memory of many family betrayals in the history of Israel's not infrequent crises, and particularly 7.6 (C. Heil, 'Die Rezeption von Micha 7,6 LXX in Q und Lukas', ZNW88 [1997] 211-22; other references in Davies and Allison, Matthew 2.219-20). Such family disruption is thought of as an unavoidable consequence of the coming eschatological crisis (Mark 13.12-13 pars.), not as a necessary concomitant to discipleship (Allison, End of the Ages 118-20).

that there would be abundant compensation in the fellowship of 'the new escha-tological family'?243

After all, it is Mark who also makes a point of including the story of Peter at home with his mother-in-law after he and Andrew had 'left their nets' to follow Jesus (Mark 1.29-31);244 and we should perhaps recall that later on Peter would apparently go on mission accompanied by his wife (1 Cor. 9.4)! The mother of James and John is included among the women at the cross, as also the mother of (the other) James (Mark 15.40/Matt. 27.56).245 Mark and Matthew recall Jesus as giving high priority to the commandment to honour one's parents (Mark 7.9-13/Matt. 15.3-6).246 It is the Markan version of Jesus' teaching on divorce which teaches the indissolubility of the marriage bond (Mark All three Synoptists include the same commandment in Jesus' reply to the rich young man (Mark 10.19 pars.).248 They also make a point of including stories where Jesus responds to the appeals of distraught parents on behalf of their children, thus in effect affirming the importance of the parental role and bond.249 And we should perhaps also recall that the most vivid portrayal of conversion in the Jesus tradition, the parable of the prodigal son, depicts the son as returning to his father and to his family household (Luke Powerful though the imagery of discipleship as new family is, therefore, it should not be pressed into too sharp a contrast with responsibility to birth-

243. Note particularly Barton's cautioning remarks (Discipleship 106-107). To be noted also is the element of eschatological hyperbole: 'hundredfold . . . houses, mothers

244. Barton observes that 'there is no sign of antipathy toward familial and occupational ties per se . . . (and) no indication that the leaving is to be a permanent state of affairs' (Discipleship 66). 'The centurion in Capernaum does not give up his property or profession' (Matt. 8.5-13) (Osiek and Balch, Families 133). J. Painter, 'When Is a House Not Home? Disciples and Family in Mark 3.13-35', NTS AS (1999) 498-513, notes that the mission of Jesus depended on the hospitality of the households of his followers. See also Jesus and Community 39-44.

245. Was 'Salome' (Mark 15.40) 'the mother of the sons of Zebedee' (Matt. 27.56)?

247. Jesus' vision of a quite different post-resurrection existence, where no marriage is necessary (or possible?) (Mark 12.25 pars.), should not be set against the teaching here or counted as evidence for an anti-family attitude in the present.

248. Note that in the final exchange with the young man, the one thing lacking (to sell his possessions, give to the poor and follow Jesus, 10.21 pars.) is called for in addition ('one thing you lack') to the commandments of the second table of the decalogue (10.19 pars.), not in place of them.

249. Mark 5.21-24, 35-43 pars.; 7.25-30 par.; 9.14-29 pars.; see further J. Francis, 'Children and Childhood in the New Testament', in S. C. Barton, ed., The Family in Theological Perspective (Edinburgh: Clark, 1996) 65-85, particularly 72-75.

250. Pace Funk, who suggests that 'the prodigal mirrors the journey of Jesus; it has autobiographical overtones' (Honest 189).

family.251 The Jesus tradition certainly resonates very positively with the imagery, but none of the stages of the Jesus tradition reflected in the Gospels (not even Mark) would validate pressing it to a necessary or unavoidable antithesis.

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