September 8, 2021
Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
–Gospel = “good news”
*Jesus brought good news from God. He called His message of salvation “the gospel.” The four books written about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus came to be known as the Gospels. They tell how the good news came to us.
-The Gospels comprise 89 chapters. Of those chapters,
• 4 cover the first thirty years of Christ’s life.
• 85 cover the last three years of Christ’s life.
• 27 of these 85 chapters cover the last eight days of Christ’s life.
-The emphasis of the Gospels is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
The Gospel According to Matthew: Behold Your King
-Matthew wrote to the Jews. He used 93 quotations from the Old Testament to prove that Jesus was the Promised King. He showed the Jews that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
-Proving that Jesus came from the family of King David was Matthew’s first step in proving that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
-Matthew focused on the teachings of Jesus, and also recorded more parables of the kingdom than the other Gospel writers.
The Gospel According to Mark: Behold My Servant
-Historical evidence suggests that Mark wrote his Gospel to the Romans. He probably wrote it while in Rome. Explaining Jewish terms and customs (5:41; 7:2–4), Mark reported the simple facts of Jesus’ life. He gave little interpretation. Each event was described as if Mark were an eyewitness or as if he got his information from an eyewitness.
-One of Mark’s key words is the Greek word that is usually translated as straightway or immediately and it occurs 40 times.
-Mark writes with a sense of urgency: the time for the Jews, Romans, and Greeks to come to Christ is now.
The Gospel According to Luke: Behold the Man
-Luke wrote his Gospel to Theophilus (1:3), probably a Roman official. Theophilus became a Christian, and Luke wanted him to know and understand the details of his faith (1:4).
-Writing to this government official made Luke’s Gospel a public record. It was copied and shared freely among the Gentiles.
-Luke gave the most detailed account of the birth of Jesus.
-Jesus’ words to Zacchaeus in 19:10 summarize his theme: For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
-Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called the Synoptic Gospels because they record Jesus’ life from a similar point of view. (synoptic = to see together.)
-The Gospel of John, however, has a unique point of view.
The Gospel According to John: Behold Your God
-The Synoptics emphasized Jesus’ ministry in Galilee; whereas John emphasized His work in Judea and Jerusalem. Jesus’ teaching in John focused on His identity and His relationship to the Father. In the Synoptics, Jesus taught mainly about the kingdom. Instead of Jesus’ parables, John recorded Jesus’ symbols and illustrations—sometimes called His “I Am’s.”
-Examples: I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35); I am the Light of the Word (John 8:12); I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11); I am the True Vine (John 15:1).
-Each of these analogies helps us to understand in a simple way who Jesus is. None of these statements is found in the other Gospels.
-John presents five different kinds of proofs that Jesus is the Son of God:
1. Eyewitness testimony 2. Jesus’s own teaching
3. Jesus’ miracles 4. John the Baptist’s testimony
5. Old Testament prophet’s testimony
John 20:30-31 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Jesus’ Birth, Childhood, and Beginning of Ministry
-Matthew and Luke record Jesus’ miraculous and humble birth.
-Luke describes in 2:52 Jesus’ childhood as a time during which He “grew in wisdom and stature and in grace with God and man.”
-All four Gospels mention John the Baptist’s introduction of Jesus’ ministry.
Around the age of 30, Jesus ministry commences with His baptism (Mt. 3:13-17), temptation in the wilderness (Mt. 4:1-11), His teaching about the kingdom (Lk. 4:14-22; Mt. 4:17), and His calling of disciples (Mk. 1:16-20).
Jesus’ Ministry of Teaching
Pronouncements (Basis Ideas Jesus taught):
• Matthew 5:43–48: Love your enemies
• Matthew 6:5–6: Pray with humility
• Matthew 18:21–35: Forgive others and be forgiven
• Matthew 2:23–28: Jesus is Lord of Old Testament law
• Mark 12:28–31: Love God and human beings
• Luke 9:22: Jesus must suffer, die, and rise again
• Luke 9:23–25: Jesus’ followers must deny themselves and follow Him
• Luke 12:22–26: Trust God instead of worrying
• Luke 13:3: Repent or perish
• Luke 19:10: Jesus came to seek and save us
• John 3:1–8: You must be born again
• John 4:23–24: Worship God in spirit and truth
• John 14:6: Jesus is the only way to God
Parables (short stories that teach truth by comparison):
-Jesus used real-to-life stories to teach truths about the kingdom of God.
-Examples: Sower – Mt. 13:3-8; Mustard Seed – Mt. 13:31-32; Unmerciful Servant – Mt. 18:23-35; Wise and Foolish Builders – Lk. 6:47-49
Promises (assurances of supernatural actions/provision):
-In His teaching, Jesus made many promises to His disciples and the people. Among other things, He promised to help them, heal them, lead them, supply their needs, forgive them of sin, and love them. Although they did not understand it, Jesus promised to die for them too. His final promise as He left earth was that He would return again.
-3 Major Promises of Christ:
1. To build His church (Mt. 16:18)
2. To send His followers the Comforter/ Holy Spirit (Jn. 16:5-15)
3. To give eternal life to all who receive Him (Jn. 3:16)
Jesus’ Ministry of Miracles
-Jesus showed His love for people by helping them in ways no one else could. He healed them without medicine. He fed them by turning water into wine and a few fish into many fish. He cast evil spirits out of people, giving freedom from Satan. However, Jesus’ miracles not only helped people, but they also proved that He came from God.
-Examples: Walking on water (Mt. 14:22-33); Feeding 4,000 (Mt. 15:32-39); Changing water to wine (Jn. 2:1-11); Healing man with leprosy (Mt. 8:1-4); Raising Lazarus from the dead (Jn. 11:38-44); Calming a storm (Mt. 8:23-27)
Jesus Dies, but…
-How do you convince your close friends that you are about to die when they can see that you are in good health? Jesus tried to explain what would happen to Him, but His disciples did not understand. They knew that the Jewish leaders did not like Jesus and wanted to kill Him; however, they did not believe that Jesus would ever let them touch Him.
-The disciples thought that Jesus, as the Messiah, would live a long and prosperous life. Expecting Him to save the Jews by His leadership, they had no idea that He would die to save them from sin. How could anyone be saved if the Savior was killed? Later, however, they understood that Jesus died to save people from a greater enemy than Rome—sin and death.
-The Gospel writers record that in addition to the discovery of the empty tomb, for the duration of 40 days, Jesus appeared to His closest disciples and others (about 500 total) before returning to heaven and taking His heavenly throne.
*According to Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8, what does Jesus want us to be doing while He is away?
1. Make disciples throughout the world
2. Be witnesses throughout the world
Consider: If you were to become more obedient to Jesus’ command to make disciples throughout the world, what would have to change in your life?
*Study from Route 66: Travel Through the Bible by Mark Reed, Positive Action for Christ, Inc.