This is the beginning of a new thread. We are embarking on a journey through the gospels. This journey will follow a timeline and we will try to integrate all the gospel accounts together rather than taking each one individually.
What are the gospels? The gospels record the story or testimony about Jesus. It is important to consider what the authors intended the gospels to say. They are not histories in the manner we write histories. The authors recorded information with a particular end in mind. This end? To communicate the good news about the coming of Jesus and the implications of this event.
1 Peter 3:15-16 (CSB)
15 but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 16 Yet do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame.
Luke 1:1-4 (CSB) 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.
John 20:30-3 (CSB)
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
The Bible contains four accounts testifying of Jesus. Each gospel writer had an audience, a particular time and place, and a purpose for recording a narrative of events. We must resist the temptation to imprint our expectations and preconceived ideas on to what is written. Our task is to discover the message, and then to evaluate our response.
Both purpose statements want us to have some understanding, to look at the evidence and then draw a conclusion. The writers are giving an account for the hope they have in Jesus. They want to inform the previously uninformed regarding what has happened. The goal would be that the hearer would respond with belief.
The good news is Jesus! God sent His son to reconcile us to Himself. He walked this earth, taught, and died on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice. As a result we can be made right with God, can draw near to Him, walk in relationship with Him, and have our lives transformed. That my friends is good news. Let us explore the records written about Him. Let’s see what He said, what He did, and what He accomplished. Let us see it through the eyes of the first century witnesses.