Our Gospel series has been an amazing and enlightening experience for us and we hope it has been for you as well. Along the way, we have discovered a lot about the writers of the Gospels, the individuals around Christ's ministry and Jesus' ministry itself. The uniqueness of each gospel is amazing considering they center around one figure. Today, we step back and look at the whole scope of this series and identify how these unique perspectives of Christ work in harmony. We'll also point towards the
Four Men. Four Reasons Christ Came
Matthew was redeemed from a sinful life, Mark was given another chance at ministry after abandoning his calling, Luke was welcomed in to the fold despite being a Gentile, and John was the one who loved Christ and was loved by Christ. These four men, their background and the primary method by which they interacted with Christ helps to reveal Christ's purpose for coming. Jesus came to redeem the lost. He came to give people second chances. He came to open up communion and covenant to all people. He came to love and be loved by His creation. These four men embody these ideas and concepts as do the other people highlighted in the gospels
The Results of These Four Desires
Next, we dive into the main ideas from this serious, namely that each gospel is unique from the others and yet they all work in concert to create a clear cohesive history of Christ and his ministry.
Matthew: Redemption Leads To Knowledge and Service
Matthew details Christ's dissertations on how to live for and serve God, how to bring the gospel and how to work with each other. These are concepts that start to come from receiving the redemption from Jesus Christ. When we receive redemption, we start to get the insights in how we can live and serve God. Redemption opens a communication channel with God where we can then hear His voice and follow His wisdom. We've turned away from the confusion and chaos of the world and are now able to hear what Christ has to say without the distraction of sin and this world. When we receive redemption, we have access to the good news of Christ and are empowered to go and share it with others. Because we are redeemed by God, we are fully qualified to share His story. We have experienced Christ and are able to clearly share Christ with others in need of redemption. Finally, we can work with others because we are living a redeemed life. If God can forgive us and set us on the right path, our empathy and mercy for others increases. We are able to get along more easily with each other because we have received the awesome power of redemption.
Mark: Taking Action To New Horizons
Mark details the actions of Christ and shows that Christianity is a belief system that is just as much action driven as it is thought and word driven. Works might not save us, but they do drive us further into relationship with God. Works are what we take on when we've tried to do it our way. Mark thought he could just set his calling and ministry aside, but he couldn't escape it. When we find ourselves called to ministry, that tug won't ever leave our hearts. Until we return to fulfill what God intends for us, we'll have this nagging feeling in our lives. It's why, when we finally accept our calling, we can't stop. We are too drawn to the calling to let up, even when others tell us to slow down. Christ takes the actions of people who fully commit and he grows something great out of them, developing them into people and ministries they never thought possible. Finally, taking up the call to action will lead us to some dirty places and dirty people in need. This will lead us to trust God and His processes more firmly than ever before. We'll see God do things we never thought possible because we went with Him rather than followed Him from afar like so many do. When we do this, we'll get the full revelation of what God desires and wants for not just us but all peoples.
Luke: Ownership Leads to Confidence
Luke took ownership of his calling in Christ rather than just being a spectator. He shows Christ as being thoughtful and thought provoking towards us. That thoughtfulness leads to inclusion and that thought provoking nature leads to further ownership of our faith and action on our part. This ownership serves us when we face opposition and encourages through push back and persecution. It also allows us to tell the gospel like it is rather than sugar coating or shrouding it in veils to make it more appealing to a carnal person. Christ's calling doesn't conform to carnality. It causes carnality to conform to it. Living our faith honestly will lead us to enacting all the power that Christ has put in us. This will lead to miracles and signs and wonders being performed by God through us. All because we took ownership. Further, Luke shows that we don't just abandon our talents and skills when we come to believe in Jesus Christ. Instead we take those skills and apply them to the faith. He used his doctoral status to serve the faith and the education that he accrued in service to his doctorate to further the cause of Christ. We all have abilities, talents and education. God wants to tap into those things and use them for the furtherance of His cause. He put in us passions that led us to pursue our interests. It's up to us to bend those interests to His purpose.
John: Love Leads to Life
John was a guy who loved God and allowed God to love Him. This led him to write about the life giving power of Christ. Christ's love for us is tied to His life giving power. When we open up ourselves to be loved by God, He will pour His love on us. That love is full of life and power. It affects every area of our lives and our calling in Christ. This life power is directly tied to the loving sacrifice of Christ to lay down his life for us. It is that kind of love that will inspire us to lay our lives down for Christ. The wonderful paradox of this is, when we lay our lives down, God infuses us with true life. True life is following God's plan rather than our own. When we do that, our lives feel fuller and more valuable. Peace, spiritual prosperity and joy serge through our being. Life itself springs from love. When we allow ourselves to be loved by God we will allow ourselves to love others, even when they don't deserve it. This absolute love will lead to true life flowing from us and into the lives of others around us. Finally, life can be breathed back into those who have become overwhelmed in their service to God. God sees us as his friends when we open ourselves up to be loved by Him. Like a true friend, Christ sees us when we are at our weakest and is ready to act on our behalf. Sometimes it doesn't happen the way we want or think; but if we trust in Him, God will do something greater in us than we ever imagined. That life giving blessing will further open our hearts to receive more of His love, thus creating a beautiful cycle of love and life filling and flowing from us.
Having gone through this series, we now have a clearer picture of the Gospels. To be sure, Christ's story is about the redemption and salvation of mankind. However, we see that there is a greater depth to what that means. All of it is relevant to us, and we did not come close the fullness of that depth in this series. It's what makes the Four Gospels so intriguing and wonderful. There is no limit to the depth of relationship with Christ.
What we found over the last few months has only confirmed that. It's a topic worth revisiting and we may do this in the future. Until then, we must move on to new concepts and ideas found in Christianity and the Bible.
What is our next series on this website and what else are we up to? We'll have that post Monday. Until then, thanks again for going through the gospels with us. We hope to here your thoughts on this series in the comments and on our Facebook page. God Bless and Keep Searching.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.