The Four Perspectives of Jesus in the Gospels

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The four Gospels are the accounts at the beginning of the New Testament about the saving work of God in his son Jesus Christ. The writers of the four gospels introduced a new literary category into literature. The gospels are not exactly biographies, because apart from certain events surrounding Jesus’ birth, (Matt. 1-2; Luke 1-2) and one from Jesus’ youth (Luke 2:41-52), they record only the last two or three years of Jesus' life. Moreover, the material included is not written as an objective historical survey of Jesus' ministry. The gospels present Jesus in such a way that the reader realizes that God acted uniquely in Jesus. The authors of the gospels wrote not only to communicate knowledge about Jesus as a person, but also to call us to commitment to Jesus as Lord. The authors of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all wrote each of their stories in different times and different places. Their tales were told in such a manner that would appeal to the masses in their respective areas. Each author also focused their message on a different characteristic of Jesus, from his portrayal as a teacher to his portrayal as a fulfiller of prophecies to the portrayal of Jesus as eternally divine.

For Matthew and Mark, Jesus was the fulfillment of Old Testament. He was the teacher of Israel. However, both differ in the depiction of the teacher. For Mark, Jesus was an authoritative Jewish teacher. His actions and miracles, including calming a storm (Mark 4: 39) to curing the blind (Mark 8: 23) to conquering death (Mark 5: 21), were deliberately showing his power. He was mysterious in his ways and purpose, but on the cross, defined his life through his death as a ransom for the sins of his people.

Matthew’s version shows Jesus as more prophet like. In his description of Jesus, Jesus is the fulfillment of all Jewish hopes (Matthew 8: 17; 11: 5). Throughout his teachings and life, Jesus sets himself apart as the Song of God. He is holy and without sin,...
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