The Four Gospels

Matthew’s Gospel begins with the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham,
showing that Jesus is the rightful heir of the Davidic Covenant and Abrahamic Covenant. Jesus holds title
to David’s throne through Solomon to Joseph.

1. He was born the King of the Jews, Matthew 2:2
2. He was worship by Gentile Magi as King of the Jews, 2:2, 11
3. He declared Himself King of the Jews, 27:11
4. He was mocked as King of the Jews, 27:29
5. He died the King of the Jews, 27:37
6. He arose triumphantly from the grave with all authority in heaven and on earth, 28:18

Mark’s Gospel begins by identifying Jesus Christ as “the Son of God,” but offers no genealogy or
explanation. Mark introduces John the Baptizer and quickly mentions the Baptism and Temptation of
Jesus. The pivotal statements of Jesus come in 8:29: “Who do men say I am?” and in 10:45: “For even
the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” The
message of Jesus is Repent, Believe and Follow Me (1:14-20).

Luke’s Gospel begins with birth of John the Baptizer, who in the spirit and power of Elijah is the
forerunner of the Messiah, predicted by the prophets Isaiah and Malachi. Luke’s genealogy of Jesus
shows that He is a descendant of David through Nathan by Virgin Mary, who became pregnant by the
Holy Spirit. Luke’s purpose is demonstrate that salvation is in the Perfect Person of Jesus Christ, who
came to seek and save the lost. Jesus is “the Son of Man,” who is “the Kinsman-Redeemer” (Goel, cf.
Lev 25:25, 47: Luke 4:16-21; Ruth 2:20: 3:9, 12; 4-16; Job 19:25).

John’s Gospel opens with a sevenfold introduction to the Person of Christ:

1. The Word, John 1:1-3, 14
2. The Light, 1:4-13
3. The Son of God, 1:15-28, 49
4. The Lamb of God, 1:29-34
5. The Messiah, 1:35-42
6. The King of Israel, 1:43-49
7. The Son of Man, 1:50-51

In John’s Gospel, Jesus asserts that He is Yahweh of the OT with His seven “I am” declarations:

1. The Bread of Life, John 6:35
2. The Light of the World, 8:12
3. The Door of the Sheep, 10:7
4. The Good Shepherd, 10:11
5. The Resurrection and Life, 11:25
6. The Way and the Truth and the Life, 14:6
7. The True Vine, 15:1

John records that the Person of Christ is God in flesh and He came to reveal the Father (John 1:1-5, 18;

Matthew, Luke and John with precise detail introduce the Person of Christ as no ordinary man. He is the
God-man, the fulfillment of prophecy: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and
they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14).

There are various hypotheses on how the Synoptic Gospels were formed.

The form critics hold to sources being employed to write the Gospels and to redaction by the Christian
community, asserting that the primary purpose of the canonical Gospels is not to give the reader an
authentic historical account of actual events. The evangelical view is that the Gospels are a reliable
account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus because these events are rooted in history. Obviously,
Luke claims to have used sources in writing his account of Christ. Certainly, the Holy Spirit could have
called to the memory of Matthew and John the literal words that Jesus spoke. Mark apparently wrote his
account from the teachings of Peter.

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