Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Fourfold Picture of Jesus

  The new testament presents to us a multi-dimensional view of Jesus Christ. The entire Bible for that matter, whether from the Law, Psalms, and Prophets, or right into the last book of the Bible, Revelation, Jesus is shown to us. There is just no one way to tell how glorious Jesus is, a whole vocabulary of language is used to show us Jesus. Most often however when we think of Jesus we think of what we learn in his biography, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They present to us a "fourfold" picture of Jesus. These are four accounts that were written to form the lifeblood of Christian faith. All four books supplement each other in many ways and complement each other in ways and also overlap in many details. Each book also seems to emphasize a certain aspect of Jesus.
  Matthew could be called the "Hebrew Gospel", right from the very start of the writing is the genealogy of Jesus emphasizing the lineage from Abraham and "King David". He is being portrayed as the true heir of the "throne of David", of all the kings in the list only David is listed as "King".Shortly after that is his birth and "wise men" from the east come looking for the "King of the Jews", and this means Herod isn't the true King. Matthew goes on to give us the the "sermon on the mount", many miracles, parables illustrating the "kingdom of heaven" (the reign of heaven upon earth). Matthew narrates a detailed description of the "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem fulfilling the prophetic words of Zechariah
             "Tell the daughter of Zion,
           Look, your King is coming to you,
              humble, and mounted on a donkey,
                  and on a colt, the foal of a
As the crowds witness this they respond by saying "Hosanna to the Son of David". Matthew is filled with this thought of "King Jesus" and the closing words of the book are the King's commission "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..."(Matthew 28:18-20).
  Mark's writing picks up and moves quickly, the word "immediately" is found often and the emphasis is clearly on the miracles or "works of power" done by Jesus. Marks writing is called often the "servant gospel" because  it shows Jesus as the "servant of the Lord" bringing healing to the people. One of the often referred to statements in Mark is "the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). Jesus is shown as servant doing good and showing the "kingdom" in action.
  Luke is written with a emphasis on Jesus and his relation to all humanity, he is in Luke's genealogy the "son of Adam", showing his universality and relation to all humanity. Luke shows very emphatically Jesus and his relation to the "outcasts", the poor respond to his message, and a samaritan is venerated in his famous parable of the "good samaritan" in chapter 10.Luke's gospel is often called the gospel to the greek mind as it shows Jesus as humanity in perfection.
   John in his writing shows the incarnation of Jesus that he is the "embodiment of God". To many of that time as well as today, could not understand how God could become "flesh", flesh to them was evil and spirit only was good. But John says "the Word became flesh and dwelled among us". This is what it looks like when God comes into the world, it is seen in Jesus. "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" Jesus told Philip.
  This short blog is not nearly enough to describe all that is being shown to us about Jesus, not nearly enough to describe him ,it is really a lifetime endeavor, but I hope its enough to excite your interest in Jesus and in learning of him you will fall in love with Jesus and want to follow him in living.

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