Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. No, those aren’t the names of the four Beatles, those are the four Gospels that start the New Testament. A “gospel” is an announcement of good news, and each of these four biblical books were written to proclaim the good news of who Jesus is and what He’s done for us.
Most famous people have biographies written about them, but the Gospels aren’t really biographies. Only Matthew and Luke tell about Jesus’ birth. And other than that time He amazed the teachers in the Temple as a boy (Luke 2:40-53), the Gospels tell us almost nothing about His childhood and early adult years.
One question you might ask would be why are there four similar but different accounts of Jesus’ life and work? A reasonable answer would be the Evangelists are like four witnesses called to the stand to testify of the same events from four different vantage points.
Or, as my seminary professor, Dr. Doug Brown explains, they’re like four paintings of a king in different settings. Imagine one artist paints the king as a warrior on his white horse, while another paints him reigning on his throne. A different scene might have the king distributing food to his needy people. Different portraits highlighting different aspects of his character, but all featuring the same king.
The Gospels are like this. Matthew emphasizes Jesus as the rightful King of Israel. Mark portrays Jesus as a suffering Servant. Luke shines light on Jesus’ care for those often overlooked in society. And John presents Jesus as the Son of God who gave His life for the world– “that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Four Gospels; One Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. As you read, may you find different portraits of Christ in the Scriptures and praise Him for every one of His perfections you see.
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