Engage the Bible: the Gospel(s)
January 19, 2020
John 21:25, Mark 1:14-15, Luke 4:17b-21, Matthew 6:10, Luke 24:48
Are you drawn to good news or bad news?
The Bible has a transformative affect
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell us about the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John show us the extent of God’s love for us.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are good news and hope for the world, so we call them Gospels.
Why 4 (not 1)?
Marcion of Sinope:
- First person to make a New Testament canon (a list of which books belonged in the Bible)
- He rejected the Old Testament and Hebrew influence on Christianity
Only accepted an edited version of the Gospel of Luke
- Created a harmonized version of the Gospels
- Diatessaron (“through the four”)
The early church wanted to preserve the complexity and diversity of who Jesus was and what Jesus' life, death and resurrection meant.
John 21:25 (ESV)
Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
In Matthew, Jesus is the Jewish expected Messiah
In Mark, Jesus is the Suffering Servant
In Luke, Jesus is King over the New Covenant and Kingdom
In John, Jesus is the Divine Son of God an eyewitness and apostle of Jesus
The idea of “good news” wasn’t original to Jesus and early Christianity
Alexander the Great used evangelists to share the political value and dominance of his Greek empire.
The Roman Empire also promoted the "good news" of Pax Romana (Roman Peace) and a divine king, Caesar Augustus.
The New Testament gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, the biographies of Jesus are intentionally written in a way that subverts the Gospel of Rome and the Good News of Caesar!
Mark 1:14-15 (ESV)
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Luke 4:17b-21 (ESV)
He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Matthew 6:10 (ESV)
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Luke 24:48 (ESV)
You are witnesses of these things.
Pray Jesus' Model Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13 each day this week.
Consider whether you've been trusting in earthy kingdoms, or living under God's kingdom.
Look for opportunities to share the good news of Jesus this week. Ask God to prepare your heart and open your eyes.