The Four Gospels of Jesus

Posted: 25 November, 2008 in Ponderings
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ever wonder why in the New Testament of the Bible are there four Gospels of Jesus? Why the need to be written by four different disciples, but mostly with accounts that were similar and repeated? Well, with these multiple accounts and witnesses, not only was Jesus’ earthly ministry verifiable and accountable, but more importantly, these four gospels give four unique pictures and aspects of Jesus and His work.

The Four Gospels of Jesus, A Mystery Revealed

The King of Kings (Gospel of Matthew)
In Matthew’s account, the gospel started by tracing the ancestry of Jesus all the way back to King David and then to Abraham. This is because Jesus is God’s fulfillment to His covenant that a great King and promised Messiah would come from among their line of descendents. Matthew’s gospel was written primarily for the Jews then. Within the writings of Matthew, Jesus portrays His majestic fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies about Himself, the ultimate identity to who He is; the King of kings and the Lord of lords where His kingdom will never end.

The kingship and power of Jesus can also be represented as a Lion, the Lion of Judah. This symbolism goes back to the time when Jacob, father of the nation of Israel, called his sons together on his deathbed to bless each one with a prophecy concerning their future. As he came to Judah, he likened him to a young lion that would one day overpower his enemies, earning the adulation and allegiance of all his brothers. And from this came the tribe of Judah, where King David, King Solomon and Jesus the Messiah came from; the royal bloodline.

The Humble Servant (Gospel of Mark)
With Mark’s account, Jesus and his work were portrayed as a patient Servant constantly on the move, serving, ministering and working tirelessly, instantly responsive to the needs of the people and to the leading of the Spirit. From the start to the end of this book, we see Jesus in the role of the humble Servant; and the way how He did it. Even in the last verse of Mark, after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to heaven, He continues the work that He began when He was on earth.  And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.  Mark 16:20  To this day, we know that He is still continuing His good works.

The Gospel of Mark is depicted as the Ox, the great burden bearer, the great accompanying worker, the great almost untiring animal. Mark’s gospel was written primarily for the Romans then. Jesus as the serving One, the One who always does the will of the Father.

The Perfect Man (Gospel of Luke)
Luke’s account not only traces Jesus’ earthly ancestry all the way back to Adam, the first man, but also tells us of Jesus’ childhood and the lives of his earthly family. In this way, Luke establishes Jesus’ humanity. Jesus often referred to Himself as Son of Man. Written primarily for the Greeks then, the moving description and narration of His suffering and temptation to forego the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane shows both His humanity as well as His perfection, the perfect Man.

Illustrated with the head of man, Jesus came in perfection, and his life lived perfectly for our imperfect living becomes transferred to us. In his death he pays the debt, because in Luke, sin is set forth as a debt we owe to God. Every sin that we commit is like a debt, and Jesus paid the debt we owed to God. His resurrection is like a receipt stamped paid, the proof that the debt has been paid. He went through every temptation and experienced everything known to mankind so that He could identify with us completely. In this way, He was the perfect substitute for mankind, the perfect sacrifice to redeem us from sin.

The Son of God (Gospel of John)
Jesus’ divinity is established from the beginning of John’s account. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  John 1:1-2  John records no genealogy because Jesus as God has got no beginning and has got no end. His genealogy begins before time and identifies Jesus as the Eternal One who was with God and who is God

John wrote primarily to the Church, believers, disciples, describing how Jesus felt about peoples’ reaction to His ministry. And this book contains multiple records of Jesus’ “I am” declarations, for example, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), “I am the door” (John 10:9), and “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). This is significant because in Exodus 3:14, God declared His name to Moses as “I am who I am”.

The eagle represents the Gospel of John. The eagle, which can fly so high, and look with uncovered eye at the meridian sun, becomes a symbol of the Gospel of John which sets forth Jesus as the Divine Son of God. The whole concentration is the divinity of Jesus. It starts in eternity, it opens in eternity. The Gospel of John goes on to describe many things with a “higher” level of theology and spirituality than the other three gospels.

It is most interesting to note that in all three other gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke wrote about the Great Tribulation (Matt 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21). However, John makes no reference to this very important message in his gospel. I reckon this is probably a hint that the Church won’t be present on earth during that period but will have been called up (Rapture) to the awaiting Bridegroom.

How exciting!

  1. Hello Blessed one 😉
    I’m a man from Holland and since a whle i read your web-sit (blog). I lik it very much! So cool, how you write about God’s Grace, His Son, His Word.
    I have also a question, because you are saying that John is writing to the chruch. But why do you say that? Can you give me excamples? Scripures. Because i don’t follow you there.
    My excuses for my bad english, but that’s because i am a Dutch man 😉

    Be Blessed with the best!

  2. King David says:

    Hi Job,

    The Gospel of John were written primarily to the Church, the new-covenant believers because many precious teachings from Jesus to all the disciples were recorded. Many of these teachings do not appear in either of the other three gospels. And many of these teachings are repeated subsequently in the epistles of the New Testament written specifically to believers.

    For example, the teaching given to Nicodemus in John 3. Some may think Nicodemus was a Pharisees but exactly because of that and being on the ruling council, I think by his address towards Jesus as rabbi and the important foundational teachings Jesus gave says alot.

    In the Last Supper, Jesus taught many things concerning real discipleship:
    A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

    Go compare the gospels yourself and note their differences. Do share with us your precious findings.

    God Bless!

  3. […] this picture moved me. It reminds me of another, Who (depicted as an Ox in the gospel of Mark and as the Red Heifer) was fatally pierced, but yet still pleading; pleading on our behalf. With a […]

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