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The heart of the 4 gospels


Isaiah 33:17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty”

  1. When we consider the word, the story and the testimony of what Jesus has done and what he is going to do we must come from the perspective that he is beautiful and that he is glorious.
  2. Why are there 4 Gospels
  3. This fall Paul and I will be leading a Bible study on Wednesday nights by systematically going through the 4 gospels and studying the life of Christ.
  4. First session of that bible study, which will rely on A.W. Pinks book. Why 4 gospels 1921.

Common misconceptions

  1. Making a case for the importance of the word.
  2. Having a Passion for the word of God is not related to your personality type or your level of passion. Some people say your passionate…
  3. Dismissing ourselves from the word yet operating in the flow of the spirit produces a community that is rife with prophetic vulgarity.Prophetic vulgarity – Words delivered in vain and that are unworthy of God. This creates a hype and swirl where it becomes difficult to decipher what is of God and what is of man. It leads people astray as it generates excitement around things that are not of God resulting in disappointment and despair related to unrealistic expectations.

    Ezekiel 13:17
    Now you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who are prophesying from their own inspiration.

    Jeremiah 23:16

    Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; They speak a vision of their own imagination, Not from the mouth of the Lord.

    2 Timothy 4:5 (Paul exhorts Timothy to preach the word in truth)
    For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

  4. Jesus is the word

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    Revelation 19:13 …and His name is called The Word of God.

    Jesus was the personification of the written and spoken Word. In essence Jesus is taking the Old Testament in one hand and the new Testament in the other and he saying “If you love me, consume this with your mind. Love me with all of your mind (Matthew 22:37-38) and feast of the knowledge of who I am.

    Proverbs 2:1-5 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

    Proverbs 18:51 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.

  5. 16 times in the Bible Jesus is says “He who has an ear let him hear” associated with a teaching or exhortation.
  6. The word of God itself is a great example of the parable of the hidden treasure. (If you want it, come and get it Matthew 13:44)
  7. The Bible was written by many people over hundreds of years. Doesn’t it seem unrealistic that it’s the infallible authoritative word of God? The fact that it is written by many people over hundreds of years yet still contains a unified story is a testament to the holy spirits influence not mans corrupted ways. The holy spirit enjoys showing his power through human weakness and vulnerability.
  8. Some say the gospels are contradictory because one gospel account might leave off a detail while another adds more details and additional stories. For instance Matthew and contain the virgin birth but mark and John skip virgin birth. It also seems that the gospels are contradictory within themselves for instance: Matthew 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 11:30 “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”
  9. The 4 gospels do not contradict, they work in unison to create a full picture. If I were to ask 4 people in the room to describe the house on the corner, its very likely each person would come back with a different piece of information. The house is Gray, it has a red door, the front window is broken, its a big house.

The unified work and the uniqueness of each gospel.

  1. When we become alert of what is common and what is unique about each gospel it gives us a more complete picture of what the Holy Spirit wants to say about Jesus’ life. The treasure hunt becomes far more glorious and fascinating. It helps increase our capacity to love him. The Holy Spirit wants to help us.
  2. They are common yet distinct.
  3. The Holy Spirit gifted the church with 4 distinct yet unified accounts of the life of Jesus. There is no contradiction between the Gospels, they do however provide a continuum…
  4. The reason for 4 Gospels is very intentional, though they work in unison they each serve a very important emphesis. When all four are put together gives us a broader picture of who Jesus is. Each of the 4 Gospels purposefully highlights 4 parts of Jesus nature and character.
  5. Matthew – Jesus is presented as the Son of David – The King of Israel- Written to the Jews
  6. Mark – Jesus is presented as the Servant of God – The leader who serves – Written to the Romans
  7. Luke – Jesus is presented as the Son of Man – Connected yet contrasted with fallen men – Written to the Greeks
  8. John – Jesus is presented as the Son of God – Connected with God and humans – Written to all believers

Matthew: The son of David, King of Israel

  1. The book of Matthew, which is specifically written to the Jews, presents Jesus as the rightful heir to the throne of Israel as the “Son of David”
  2. The wise men ask where is the King of the Jews Matthew 2:2
  3. Matthew is the only Gospel to contain a genealogy, as proof that he is from the royal blood line.
  4. Matthew presents Jesus as the one who fulfills the old testament promises and prophecies in relation to Israel’s messiah. The word fulfilled is used 15 times in the book of Matthew. The Old testament is quoted more times in the book of Matthew than the other 3 gospels combined.
  5. Jesus is presented as King 12 times.
  6. The first verse of Matthew is the Key to understanding the book. Matthew 1:1 labels David as king twice! Making it clear that Jesus comes from the royal Davidic bloodline
  7. Matthew opens with a visit from the Maji. They did not ask for a savior but for “The King of the Jews” The other gospels do not mention this event.
  8. Only Matthew contains all 7 Parables of the Kingdom Matthew:13
    Jesus preaches the sermon on the mount to reveal the ethics and culture of his kingdom. Then he shares the seven parables of the Kingdom to set our expectations for how this kingdom will grow and influence the culture around us. Jesus tempering our expectations, because he is a realist. The Zealots wanted a hostile take over and the religious leaders wanted a dominating King. This is the one issue that gets many believers off track. Unrealistic expectations.
  9. Only Matthew mentions the seven fold rebuke of the scribes and Pharisees.

    Matthew 23:13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces

  10. Matthew ends without any mention of the ascension. However Jesus declares at the end of the gospel that

    Matthew 28:18 “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”

Mark: The servant of God and humanity

  1. The book of Mark does not mention the genealogy, birth or visit from the maji because a servant does not need a record personal status to tell their story, but serves from a position of humility.
  2. The book of Mark begins more abruptly than any of the other gospels. It contains no back story and starts immediately with John the baptist preaching

    Mark 1:7 “After me One is coming who is mightier than I.”

  3. The book of Mark does not include the temple cleansing or a rebuke of the religious leaders. There is also an obvious omission to many of Jesus Divine titles in the book of Mark. Jesus is not mentioned as King (except in mockery). He is also called “the Son of David” once.
  4. The terms “immediately” or “at once” is used over 4o times in the book of Mark. As the best example of a servant Jesus never delayed in his obedience of the father. Showing us that true servant hood is not reluctant. Jesus doesn’t want to wrestle us to serve, but he will.
    Mark 1:18 – 21
  5. Mark mentions Jesus hand related to Jesus acts of service more than any of the other Gospels. In this we can see the power, kindness and tenderness of his hand and touch!
    Mark. 1:31, 41; 5:41; 7:32; 8:22-25; 9:27

Luke: Jesus the Son of Man

  1. A savior is born Luke 2:11
  2. Luke’s presentation of Jesus is of the Son of Man, instead of the Son of David or the Son of God. This connects him with humanity and highlights his nature as a human.
  3. Luke gives the fullest account of Jesus birth and provides a Genealogy that goes all the way back to Adam. Luke 3 The book of Luke also emphasizes that Jesus is a friend of sinners. He is comfortable relating to humanity in its weakness. Lk. 7:34. 15:2; 19:7. Jesus is also emphasized as a man of prayer, relating to God with the same limitations as humans. Luke 3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:28-29; 11:1; 5-8; 18:1-8; 22:31-32; 22:41,44; 23:34
  4. Luke presents Jesus as subject to human circumstances. He seeks the Lost Luke 15. He weeps over Jerusalem Luke 19:41 displaying compassion. The book of luke emphasizes Jesus eating with people Luke 7:36; 11:37; 14:1; 19:7; 24:30, 42, 43
  5. Luke is the only one who records the parable of the Good Samaritan showing His heart for people.
  6. In Luke the One born is not called “The King of the Jews,” but Savior of all people. This title reaches out beyond the confines of Israel
    and takes in the Gentiles too. Luke 2:11

John: Jesus the Son of God – Glory and Deity

  1. John’s gospel presents Jesus as the Son of God and His relationship with the family of God. John’s gospel emphasizes Christ’s divine glories. He is the Word “in the beginning” with God and is declared to be God. Notice how different John’s introductory statements are from the other gospels.

    1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through Him… (Jn. 1:1-3)

  2. As the Son of David and the Son of Man we see Jesus’ connection to the earth— but as the Son of God, we see His connection with Father in heaven. John described Jesus as dwelling “with God” before creation (1:1, 2), “the only Begotten of the Father” (1:14), the very “Son of God” (1:34).
  3. The theme of the deity of Christ is central as no other Gospel presents the Godhead of Jesus so clearly. Today many are drifting from Truth, so we must clearly and regularly present Jesus’ deity.

    Colossions. 2:9 For in Him [Jesus] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily…

  4. Thirty-five times in this Gospel, Jesus speaks of God as “My Father.” The pharisees hated this this.
  5. Seven people affirm Jesus’ deity in this gospel—John the Baptist: (1:34); Nathaniel (1:49); Peter (6:69); Jesus Himself (10:36); Martha (11:27); Thomas (20:28) and John (20:31).
  6. No parables are found in John’s gospel. Jesus taught in parables to conceal truth from those who had rejected Him. In John’s gospel, Christ is not concealing truth, but revealing God. A popular yet inadequate definition of Christ’s parables is telling earthly stories with a heavenly meaning.
  7. Only John declared the following divine titles and statements—Jesus revealed as “the Word” (1:1) and declared to be the creator of all things (1:3); “the only Begotten of the Father” (1:14) and “the Lamb of God” (1:29); “the “Light of the world” (8:12); “the Bread of God who gives life to the world” (6:35); “Before Abraham was, I am” (8:58); “I and Father are One” (10:30). “He who has seen Me, has seen the Father” (14:9). “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me” (14:10).
  8. In the Sabbath controversy, John records a different reply—Jesus insisted on the right to do works of mercy on the Sabbath by appealing to having a higher authority, “My Father and I work” (5:17).

    John 5:17-18 Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” 18Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

  9. John 17:1

    John 17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.

  10. Jesus is revealed as the great “I am” with a 7-fold fullness—“I am the bread of life” (6:35); “I am the light of the world” (9:5); “I am the door” (10:7); “I am the good shepherd” (10:11); “I am the resurrection” (11:25); “I am the way, truth, and life” (14:6); “I am the vine” (15:1).

The Messiah the Branch of the Lord

The branch of the Lord is an old testament term used to describe the ministry of the the messiah. It starts small and it branches out.

Jeremiah 23:5“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.

Zechariah 3:8 – for “behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch.

Zechariah 6:12 “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord.”

Isaiah 4:2 In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.”

The Four living creatures and the faces of Jesus

Ezekiel 1:10 “As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle.”

Ezekiel 10:14 “The first face was the face of a cherub, the second face was the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.”

Revelation 4:7 “The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle.”

Additional Questions

  1. Why is Jesus humanity linked to Adam, Abraham and David. Adam was put to sleep in his sleep from his rib woman was made. Genesis 2:18-14 It’s a prophetic foreshadow. In Jesus (the second Adam 1 Corinthians 15:45) death his side was punctured and from it came? John 19:31–34 The bride of Christ.
  2. Why 4 living creatures in Ezekiel and the book of Revelation and then 4 demonic beasts in Daniel 7.
  3. Why does the 2nd beast have 3 ribs in its mouth.