The Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
Matthew and John were disciples. Mark and Luke were eye witnesses and possibly followed Jesus but were not one of the twelve disciples. The Gospels were written a very few years after the death and resurrection of Jesus in 33 AD. The Holy Spirit helped them to remember. In John 14:26, Jesus said, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Each of the four Gospel writers were telling a different story and talking to different people. The Bible which is the Word of God is the only book ever written that has great opposition.
Since Matthew was Jewish and was speaking to the Jewish people, he listed the genealogy of Jesus, starting with Abraham. Matthew was a tax collector. and tax collectors were considered traitors. But Jesus could use everybody. Matthew wanted the Jews to understand all about Jesus and that Jesus was the Messiah. According to church tradition, Matthew was the first Gospel to be written. 70 AD is when the Temple was destroyed, and John doesn’t mention anything about the Temple destruction in his Gospel. He called Jerusalem the Holy City.
Luke was a Gentile and a physician. He gave the genealogy of Jesus starting with Adam. He had the account of Jesus as a boy and probably had access to Jesus’ mother, Mary. He wrote of the preparation of Jesus for His public ministry. Luke began his Gospel saying, “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” Luke 1:1-4 (NIV)
Mark is the shortest Gospel. Mark is considered as the one who wrote what Peter said. His intended audience were the Romans, and he was writing to Gentiles. The book of Mark was Peter’s account of Jesus’ teaching, written in Rome. He frequently referred to Jesus as the Son of God.
Major part of John is a book of signs and miracles, and he wrote that Jesus was God in the flesh. John was in the inner circle. John was referred to as the disciple that Jesus loved. His purpose was to declare the Gospel. He used the word “believe” 98 times, and also used “know”, so that you may know. In John 21:25, he said that is why he wrote the book.
John has 7 “I AM” statements in his Gospel. These were statements that Moses said first in the Old Testament.
1. I am the Bread of Life. John 6:35 says “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.'” Then in John 6:45, Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.”
2. I am the Light of the World. “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” (John 8:12)
3. I am the Door. John 10:9 states, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”
4. I am the Vine. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
5. I am the Good Shepherd. John John 10:11 says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Then in verse 14 of John 10, we read, “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
6. I am the Resurrection and the Life. “Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.'”(John 11:25)
7. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. John 14:6 says, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”