The Gospels

@midjourneybot: /imagine: the bride of christ

Ever wonder why there are four separate Gospels that share many of the same stories about Jesus?

It’s because each of them sees Jesus from a different perspective. In the previous essay, “The Writings”, we discussed how the Old Testament in its original order ends with the reader at the age of betrothal. The age of betrothal is the time in a young person’s life when they get married. So think of the four Gospels sort of like that “friend ensemble” in the Song of Solomon. The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come next in the Bible to teach the young “bride of Christ” all about this new groom that they should marry.

Matthew

Matthew is super Jewish about it. He doesn’t even say hello, he just immediately begins with a list of who-begat-who going all the way back to Abraham.

Matthew 1: 1 The historical record of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:

2 Abraham fathered Isaac,
Isaac fathered Jacob,
Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar,
Perez fathered Hezron,
Hezron fathered Aram,
4 Aram fathered Amminadab,
Amminadab fathered Nahshon,
Nahshon fathered Salmon,
5 Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab,
Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth,
Obed fathered Jesse,
6 and Jesse fathered King David.

Then David fathered Solomon by Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon fathered Rehoboam,
Rehoboam fathered Abijah,
Abijah fathered Asa,
8 Asa fathered Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat fathered Joram,
Joram fathered Uzziah,
9 Uzziah fathered Jotham,
Jotham fathered Ahaz,
Ahaz fathered Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah fathered Manasseh,
Manasseh fathered Amon,
Amon fathered Josiah,
11 and Josiah fathered Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the exile to Babylon.

12 Then after the exile to Babylon
Jechoniah fathered Shealtiel,
Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel fathered Abiud,
Abiud fathered Eliakim,
Eliakim fathered Azor,
14 Azor fathered Zadok,
Zadok fathered Achim,
Achim fathered Eliud,
15 Eliud fathered Eleazar,
Eleazar fathered Matthan,
Matthan fathered Jacob,
16 and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary,
who gave birth to Jesus who is called the Messiah.

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were 14 generations; and from David until the exile to Babylon, 14 generations; and from the exile to Babylon until the Messiah, 14 generations.

What’s so amazing about this account is that when we combine it with the genealogies in Genesis 5 (Adam to Noah) and Genesis 11 (Noah to Abraham), we can trace all the y-chromosomal descendants from Jesus all way back to Adam, the very first man on Earth.

Even more amazing, modern genetics allows scientists to use y-chromosomal DNA to trace every living man on Earth today back to the three sons of Noah mentioned in Genesis 5. Evolution isn’t real. I don’t see how any modern geneticist can still be an atheist. If you want to learn more about DNA tracing, check out “Traced” by Nathaniel Jeanson.

The Gospel of Matthew refers to the Old Testament more than 60 times to demonstrate how Jesus fulfills all the prophecies about the coming Messiah. Matthew wants to convince us all that Jesus is the true King of the Universe and legal heir to the throne of King David. Matthew also provides the most revelation about the Kingdom to come.

Mark

The Gospel of Mark has a totally different perspective of Jesus. Mark is very practical. He sees Jesus as a hard worker and a servant. Here’s an example from the first chapter,

Mark 1: 35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there. 36 Simon and his companions went searching for Him. 37 They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for You!”

38 And He said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” 39 So He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

40 Then a man with a serious skin disease came to Him and, on his knees, begged Him: “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”

41 Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. “I am willing,” He told him. “Be made clean.” 42 Immediately the disease left him, and he was healed.

Mark documents more miracles than the other three gospels despite only having 16 chapters.

Luke

The Gospel of Luke is the nerdiest of the four. If Luke were alive today, he would probably be a doctor or some kind of scientist. Just listen to the way he starts his book,

Luke 1: 1 Many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed them down to us. 3 It also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in an orderly sequence, most honorable Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed.

So nerdy. 🤓

Luke addresses the reader as “Theophilus”, which means “god lover” in Greek. That’s kind of nerdy too. Luke provides much more detail about the humanity of Jesus because he wants us to understand that Jesus was a real person who really walked the Earth. Here’s an example from the last chapter. After Jesus’s death and resurrection, his disciples gathered together to try and figure out what just happened.

Luke 24: 36 And as they were saying these things, He Himself stood among them. He said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. 38 “Why are you troubled?” He asked them. “And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself! Touch Me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” 40 Having said this, He showed them His hands and feet. 41 But while they still were amazed and unbelieving because of their joy, He asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, 43 and He took it and ate in their presence.

See how Luke wants us to understand that Jesus still has a real body? Evidently Jesus can teleport his molecules into a room and still eat a piece of broiled fish. Why else is that detail important to the story?

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John

Matthew is an accountant, Mark is a worker, Luke is a scientist, but John is a philosopher. Let’s read how he starts his book about Jesus. This passage follows the “hidden wisdom” of the Bible Key, so I’ve included the meaning next to each verse number.

1 (begin) In the beginning was the Logos,
and the Logos was with God,
and the Logos was God.
2 (witness) He was with God in the beginning.
3 (strong) All things were created through Him,
and apart from Him not one thing was created
that has been created.
4 (create) Life was in Him,
and that life was the light of men.
5 (gift) That light shines in the darkness,
yet the darkness did not overcome it.
6 (man) There was a man named John
who was sent from God.

7 (God's plan) He came as a witness
to testify about the light,
so that all might believe through him.
8 (new life) He was not the light,
but he came to testify about the light.
9 (wisdom) The true light, who gives light to everyone,
was coming into the world.

10 (begin order) He was in the world,
and the world was created through Him,
yet the world did not recognize Him.
11 (confusion) He came to His own,
and His own people did not receive Him.
12 (kingdom) But to all who did receive Him,
He gave them the right to be children of God,
to those who believe in His name,
13 (strong change) who were born,
not of blood,
or of the will of the flesh,
or of the will of man,
but of God.

14 (God moves) The Logos became flesh
and took up residence among us.
We observed His glory,
the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
15 (strong blessing) (John testified concerning Him and exclaimed,
“This was the One of whom I said,
‘The One coming after me has surpassed me,
because He existed before me.’”)
16 (love) Indeed, we have all received grace after grace
from His fullness,
17 (pour forth) for the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 (strong man) No one has ever seen God.
The One and Only Son—
the One who is at the Father’s side—
He has revealed Him.  

I have tried to point out the Bible Key at least once in every essay of this chapter. It’s the simplest way to recognize that the Bible isn’t just some random collection of ancient letters. The Bible was authored by something way smarter than people.

In this passage, John calls Jesus the Logos in the beginning with God. Logos is the Greek word that became “logic” in English. In other parts of the New Testament, logos is also translated as:

  • account (8), accounting (2), accounts (2)

  • answer (1)

  • appearance (1)

  • instruction (1)

  • matter (4), matters (1)

  • message (10)

  • news (3)

  • reason (2), reasonable (1)

  • remark (1), report (1)

  • said (1), say (1), saying (4), sayings (1)

  • speaker (1), speech (10), statement (18), story (1), talk (1),

  • teaching (2), utterance (2)

  • word (179), words (61)

Logos means intelligence. John basically claims that Jesus is the Wisdom that God created at the “start of his way” in Proverbs 8. If you want to learn more about the Wisdom of God, check out the first story of this chapter:

Throughout the Gospel of John, he reiterates that Jesus existed in heaven and was sent to us by God the Father. He says it in almost every chapter.


@ChatGPT: How many times is the word father or god used in the gospel of john?

ChatGPT: In the Gospel of John, the words “father” or “God” are used approximately 257 times, depending on the translation.

@ChatGPT: How many times is the word father or god used in the gospel of mark?

ChatGPT: In the Gospel of Mark, the words “father” or “God” are used approximately 27 times, depending on the translation.


Here are some examples from the rest of the chapters:

John 3: 31 The One who comes from above is above all. The one who is from the earth is earthly and speaks in earthly terms. The One who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what He has seen and heard, yet no one accepts His testimony. 33 The one who has accepted His testimony has affirmed that God is true. 34 For God sent Him, and He speaks God’s words, since He gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hands. 36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.

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John 4: 21 Jesus told her, “Believe Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

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John 5: 19 Then Jesus replied, “I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He is doing, and He will show Him greater works than these so that you will be amazed. 21 And just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to anyone He wants to. 22 The Father, in fact, judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all people will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

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John 6: 43 Jesus answered them, “Stop complaining among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to Me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except the One who is from God. He has seen the Father.

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John 7: 16 Jesus answered them, “My teaching isn’t Mine but is from the One who sent Me. 17 If anyone wants to do His will, he will understand whether the teaching is from God or if I am speaking on My own. 18 The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. 19 Didn’t Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law! Why do you want to kill Me?”

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John 8: 14 “Even if I testify about Myself,” Jesus replied, “My testimony is valid, because I know where I came from and where I’m going. But you don’t know where I come from or where I’m going. 15 You judge by human standards. I judge no one. 16 And if I do judge, My judgment is true, because I am not alone, but I and the Father who sent Me judge together. 17 Even in your law it is written that the witness of two men is valid. 18 I am the One who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.”

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John 9: 30 “This is an amazing thing,” the man told them. “You don’t know where He is from, yet He opened my eyes! 31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He listens to him. 32 Throughout history no one has ever heard of someone opening the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, He wouldn’t be able to do anything.

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John 10: 14 “I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, 15 as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father. I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 But I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 This is why the Father loves Me, because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father.”

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John 11: 41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You heard Me. 42 I know that You always hear Me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so they may believe You sent Me.” 43 After He said this, He shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him and let him go.”

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John 12: 24 “I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop. 25 The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me. Where I am, there My servant also will be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. 27 “Now My soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name!”

Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again!”

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John 13: 1 Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

2 Now by the time of supper, the Devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Him. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that He was going back to God. 4 So He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel, and tied it around Himself. 5 Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him.

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John 14: 7 “If you know Me, you will also know My Father. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.”

8 “Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been among you all this time without your knowing Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on My own. The Father who lives in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Otherwise, believe because of the works themselves.

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John 15: 15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper. 2 Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. 6 If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.

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John 16: 25 “I have spoken these things to you in figures of speech. A time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in My name. I am not telling you that I will make requests to the Father on your behalf. 27 For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

29 “Ah!” His disciples said. “Now You’re speaking plainly and not using any figurative language. 30 Now we know that You know everything and don’t need anyone to question You. By this we believe that You came from God.”

All of John 17 is Jesus talking directly to the Father before his crucifixion. We don’t hear much else about the Father during Jesus’s betrayal, trial, crucifixion, or resurrection.

Putting them all together

  • In Matthew, Jesus is the Son of David, which means he is a king.

  • In Mark, Jesus is the Son of Man, which means he is a servant.

  • In Luke, Jesus is the Son of Adam, which means he is a man.

  • In John, Jesus is the Son of God, which means he is a god.

If you want to learn more about Jesus and what he believed, get some sleep headphones, a Bible app, and hear what his friends have to say for yourself.

You can also read my version of the Good News here:


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