Friday, March 4, 2016

Why 4 Gospels? Why not 443?

The Word for today:
Matthew 13:53-14:12
Why four gospels?
We might better ask, why not 443 gospels? Even if there were 443 gospels, they could not combine to make a complete biography of Jesus:
And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (1)
So the gospels aren't even attempting to paint a complete picture of Jesus. This is most obviously seen by the fact that not one of the gospels mentions anything about Jesus' life between ages 12 and 30.
Each of the gospel authors is very selective: only a few of Jesus' miracles are described and only a portion of his teachings are given. Each writer has recorded only that which is relevant and pertinent to his particular theme.
So if the gospels aren't biography, what are they?
They are what they call themselves: 'gospel' means Good News!
Matthew proclaims the Good News: the King is here! ( A flourish of trumpets can be heard.)
Mark brings the Good News: the servant of God is here! (Just the facts, please.)
Luke narrates the Good News: the Son of Man is here! (He's one of us!)
John exudes the Good News: the Son of God is here! (Transcendent and eternal!)
The Old Testament can be summed up in two words: Promises Made.
The New Testament is a record of those Promises, Kept!--
God promised a King to lead and guard us:
Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever
Promise kept! in Matthew.
God promised a suffering servant to die for us, to set us free:
Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till He has established justice in the earth;
A light to the Gentiles,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house
Promise kept ! in Mark.
God promised that unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given (4).
That's the Son of Man in Luke!
Promise kept!
God promised that a virgin will conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel--"God with us" (5).
That's the Son of God in John!
Promise kept!
The four gospels present a Person who is everything to us. But even 443 gospels couldn't explain everything about him.
(1) John 21:25 (2) Isaiah 9:7; see also Psalm 72; Isaiah 32:1; Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 9:9; 14:9 (3) Isaiah 42:1-7; see also Isaiah 52:13-15, 53 (4) Isaiah 9:6; see also Genesis 3:15; 22:18 (5) Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:35; see also Isaiah 9:6; 40:3-5; 47:4; Jeremiah 23:6

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