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The Four Gospels
by Don Pedal
1/30/2018 / Christian Living
Many of the people in the world today, both believers and non-believers, could not answer the question of why there are four Gospels. Many will dismiss this question as having no answer they can find. It is to these people that we address this study. We have gathered information from several authoritive sources as well as Scripture and present it in an organized form, book by book. The order of presentation is no indication of the importance of each book; it simply follows the order given in scripture.
The Book of Matthew
Matthew presents Jesus as the King of the Jews, the long awaited Messiah. The Book of Matthew is focused on the Jewish nation, waiting for centuries for the coming Messiah. Jesus' genealogy, baptism, message and miracles all point to the conclusion that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah. Matthew was a Galilean Jew who became one of Jesus' disciples. He collected taxes for the Romans. Tax collectors were hated by the Jewish people and despised by the Romans. They were known to collect taxes the Romans demanded and then add whatever they felt like to their own pocket. The Book of Matthew ends with Jesus giving all believers the Great Commission, which calls for us to go forth and make disciples of all nations. We are to baptize them in the name of The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We are to teach these disciples to obey all the commands He has given us. If we are faithful, Jesus assures us that He will be with us, even to the end of the age.
The Book of Mark
Mark was not an Apostle as were Matthew and John. Mark's Gospel was aimed at the Gentiles. The Book of Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels. Jesus is shown in action instead of speaking. The Gospel of Mark is aimed at the Roman Empire showing Jesus as the King of the material world as well as the supernatural world. It was said, by the Early Church, that Mark wrote his Gospel while in Rome as a disciple of Peter. The Book of Mark records more miracles than any of the other Gospels. Mark wrote to encourage Roman Christians and prove that Jesus was the Messiah. The key in Mark's Gospel is God's purposes for the world. Matthew's key is for God's purposes for Israel. Mark presents The Lord as a servant in His life, death, and resurrection offering mankind the free gift of Eternal Life through His shed Blood.
The Book of Luke
Luke is the only known Gentile author in the New Testament. He was a doctor, Greek, and Gentile Christian. He was also a close friend of the Apostle Paul and in close fellowship with the other Apostles --- this gave him an intimate knowledge of the birth of the early church. He also wrote the Book of Acts. Luke wrote from Rome and maybe Caesarea. He makes frequent references to illnesses and diagnoses. Luke was not only a doctor but also an Historian. He put emphases on dates and details connecting Jesus to events and people in history. Luke stresses Jesus' relationships with people. He also gives a prominent place to women in Gospel and history. Luke's details and dates help us to believe in the authenticity and reliability of the history of Jesus' life. More important, he helps us to believe, with certainty, that Jesus is our Lord and Savior and also the long awaited Messiah.
Book of John
John and his brother James were Galilean fishermen. They were members of a prosperous family. John's father, Zebedee, had many servants. John was in the inner circle, close to Jesus. At the last supper, he leaned on Jesus' bosom. The Book of John was the last of the canonical Gospels written. John and his brother were fiery and impetuous and were known as the "Sons of Thunder". It is believed that John wrote The Book of John in his old age. He was referred to as "The disciple Jesus loved". At the Cross, John was entrusted with the care of Jesus' mother.He gives us an eyewitness account of The Last Supper in the Upper Room. At the tomb, John was the first to believe in Jesus' resurrection. He lived in Ephesus in Asia Minor. It was there that he served by leading the local church. John tells us that living a Christian life is allowing Jesus to live His life in and through us.
We are all at different stages in our walk with Jesus. The question now is what to do with the knowledge we have gained? We can simply toss it aside. We can say, "that's interesting --- I will look at it later". Most of the time later never comes. It sinks into the pile as other interests take over. We might say, "It's not my cup of tea" and toss it into the trash. I would caution anyone who thinks this way, that you might never get another chance to seek God's grace and forgiveness. There are no second chances, after death, in the Bible. There are those who are serious in desiring to walk with Jesus. To help put your thoughts together I would suggest beginning the day with a quiet time in prayer before Jesus and ask Him to bless and help you. It doesn't matter at what stage our walk with the Lord is. We might think we are too busy and need to get to work, etc. That may truly be the case and Jesus recognizes that. What about when you come home? How much time do you spend in front of your TV? To walk with Jesus daily requires sacrifice and discipline. The Christian life is a daily battle against our sinful nature and the forces of evil aligned against us in the secular world. We can be sure that, if we are sincere, the Lord will bless us with love, peace of mind, Godly wisdom and guidance so that we may soon find our daily problems becoming less troubling and easier to manage
As a senior citizen, I am dedicated to serving the Lord through sharing my experiences and insights with other believers. My primary focus is upon being an disciple of Jesus and, in being one, I can help others to find their spiritual way also.
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