~ Jesus Christ Is Messiah, Servant, Son of Man, Son of God, and Much More ~
The Bible is about Jesus Christ ~ “Jesus said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself” (Luke 24:25-27). The Apostle Paul told us the Scriptures present many shadows of things to come but the reality is found in Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:17).
The Word Gospel ~ It is commonly understood that the word Gospel means “Good News.” In Scripture it refers specifically of the good news of Jesus Christ—The Messiah.
There are some critically important aspects of the New Testament term Gospel. 1. It costs you nothing—it cost The Messiah His human life. 2. You can do nothing to earn it or improve it. The Good News is that it is “done” and you do not have to “do” anything except accept the free gift God offers you. 3) It is strictly an aspect of the grace of God, and finally, 4) properly understood it demands everything (your heart, soul, allegiance, etc. to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords).
important note: I can categorically say that there is no Christianity without The Gospel!
Fortunately God in His grace has provided on-going forgiveness as we fail from time-to-time while on earth. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10).
Overview Of The Four Gospels ~ Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called The Synoptic Gospels since they cover very similar material—covering parallel historic accounts. Together they stress the humanity of Jesus Christ—the outward, earthly side of Him. John on the other hand has been called The Fourth Gospel since it occurs fourth sequentially in Scripture and is the most different. John stresses the deity of Jesus Christ—the inward, heavenly side of Him. In summary, the overall clarity regarding the life of Christ is given to us by four of His contemporaries telling His story from their four personalities and perspective (a wonderful reality—since if they were all identical one would suspect collusion between the four).
Christ in The Four Gospels ~ Together they tell one story—but each with its own nuances. If we were missing any one of the four we would have a less complete picture of Jesus Christ—The Messiah. Consider some of the differences between the Gospels in the comparisons below:
Matthew’s Gospel presents Jesus Christ as the King—The Messiah.
Mark’s Gospel presents Jesus Christ as Servant—full of action.
Luke’s Gospel presents Jesus Christ as Man—the Son of Man.
John’s Gospel presents Jesus Christ as the God-Man—Son of God.
Matthew’s emphasis is on what He thought and what He said.
Mark’s emphasis is on what He did.
Luke’s emphasis is on what He felt.
John’s emphasis is on what He was.
Matthew is about His Kingdom and the way of righteousness.
Mark is about His humanity and the way of suffering.
Luke is about His ministry and the way of wisdom.
John is about His deity and the way of love.
Matthew presents the King of Israel.
Mark presents the servant of the Word.
Luke presents the Son of Man.
John presents the Son of God.
Matthew shows His sovereignty—reigning and ruling.
Mark shows His humility—serving and suffering.
Luke shows His humanity—sharing and sympathizing.
John shows His deity—Savior redeeming fallen man.
Matthew appeals to the Hebrew mind (Jesus, Son of Abraham).
Mark appeals to the Roman mind (action, no genealogy).
Luke appeals to the Greek mind (Jesus, Son of Adam).
John appeals to the Church in this present age (Jesus, Son of God).
Matthew begins with The Messiah’s genealogy—His credentials as Messiah.
Mark begins with no genealogy—not necessary for a servant.
Luke begins with Adam—in keeping with his humanity theme.
John begins with eternity past—in sync with His divine nature.
Matthew ends with The Messiah’s resurrection—the crowning proof of His Messiahship.
Mark ends with The Messiah’s ascension—exalted with glory and honor.
Luke ends with The Holy Spirit—a promised Comforter for man.
John ends with The Messiah’s Second Coming—The Messiah’s promised return.
Matthew presents David’s Righteous Branch (Jeremiah 23:5, 33:15).
Mark presents Jehovah’s servant, the Branch (Zechariah 3:8).
Luke presents the man who’s name is The Branch (Zechariah 6:12).
John presents The Branch of Jehovah (Isaiah 4:2).
Matthew pictures the Royal Lawgiver (Matthew 28:18-20).
Mark pictures the Mighty Worker (Mark 16:16-20).
Luke pictures the Friend of Man (Luke 24:50-53).
John pictures the Son of God (John 20:28-31).
Matthew portrays the Prophesied King.
Mark portrays the Obedient Servant.
Luke portrays the Perfect Man.
John portrays the Divine Son.
Matthew’s approach and style is that of a teacher.
Mark’s approach and style is that of a preacher.
Luke’s approach and style is that of a writer.
John’s approach and style is that of a theologian.
The Gospel by Matthew is characterized by outstanding sermons.
The Gospel by Mark is characterized by outstanding miracles.
The Gospel by Luke is characterized by outstanding parables.
The Gospel by John is characterized by outstanding doctrines.
Matthew’s prominent idea is the Law.
Mark’s prominent idea is power.
Luke’s prominent idea is grace.
John’s prominent idea is glory.
Conclusion ~ “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). This is the most important question you will ever answer. If you do not answer it, or answer it incorrectly, you have made the biggest mistake anyone can make!
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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