Sunday, December 9, 2012

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John...

Have you ever looked at the beginning of each of the four Gospels and wondered at the diversity of their writers?  They each tell the most important story in the history of the world, yet they all see things differently.

Matthew begins with:
"This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:"
He goes on to list all of the people who made up the lineage of the Messiah -- the great men and those who were not great, the born Israelites and those who came as foreigners and were accepted into the family.  Matthew wants us to see all the diverse people who make up the genealogy of Christ on Earth.  He wants to show us the great truth that he learned -- that no matter where you come from, no matter what you've done, Jesus accepts you.

Mark begins very differently:
"The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:"
Mark starts off by quoting Isaiah 40:3.  He wants to show how the prophecies made hundreds of years ago came to pass before his eyes.  Skipping right past Jesus' birth, Mark goes on to speak of His miracles and works.

Luke begins this way:
"Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word."
He then goes on to say he has carefully investigated all that has gone on surrounding Jesus' life and will try to give an accurate account of it.  Luke gives us a very complete picture of Jesus' birth -- right down to the song Mary sang after meeting with Elizabeth.  Luke's concerned about getting all the facts written down straight and true for his friend, Theophilus, whom he's writing his Gospel to.

Lastly, John writes:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
I love John's opening words.  He continues, after verse 1, to say that the Word came and dwelt among us.  This is a reference to Jesus' name, Emmanuel -- God with us.  The great, awesome, mighty, Creator of the Universe came to our tiny earth as a helpless baby.  Because He loved us.

So, if you read through the Christmas story this December, take note of the author.  Read through the verses with open eyes and a wide open heart.  It has something profound to tell you.

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