We had a great study this morning in my Wednesday Men’s Group. We caught up with each other, talked about the bane & boon of email (more tomorrow), and prepared for our study of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).
During our study, I was reminded of the incredible wisdom and creativity of God — to have four different men present four different perspectives on Jesus’ earthly ministry 2000 years ago — each of them complete and yet complementary in their presentations.
If you’ve never seen it, here’s a quick reset:
1. Matthew – Jesus presented as "The King of the Jews." In the very first verse, Jesus is called "Son of David" (connected to His right to the throne) and "Son of Abraham" (connected to the promises). The genealogy in chapter 1 is the line of kings. Jesus warns His apostles to focus solely on reaching a Jewish audience.
2. Mark – Jesus presented as "The Perfect Servant." Mark doesn’t waste time with genealogies or histories. He dives right in. The first you hear of Jesus, He’s serving God & serving people. Mark’s key word is "immediately" (used 8 times in chapter 1 alone). Mark presents Jesus "MTV-video-style", with one image cascading after another.
3. Luke – Jesus presented as "The Son of Man." Luke’s a doc. He presents the humanity of Jesus. The book starts with his relatives and details his human birth. The genealogy in chapter 3 describes his human (not royal) lineage. Dr. Luke includes some medical descriptions of Jesus like sweating blood (called "hematidrosis"). My question is how could anyone read Luke’s writing? He was a Doctor! (Just kidding my doctor friends.)
4. John – Jesus presented as "The Son of God." John rolls back the clock the farthest in his opening line, to the very beginning. He presents the deity of Jesus. He handpicked miracles from Jesus’ life which proved His deity to his disciples and to us.
This is the kind of stuff that inspired me to invest more time and energy in growing my relationship to God through the Bible.