PORTRAITS OF CHRIST
Saturday, December 23, 2017
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“‘But what about you?’ He asked, ‘Who do you say I am?’” Matthew 16:15

Some of us may wonder why there are four Gospel accounts instead of one. Having different versions of Jesus’ life and ministry can seem confusing, but the Gospels do not conflict with each other in any way. Rather, they complement, endorse and add to each other, giving us a fuller picture of who Jesus Christ is.

Matthew presents a portrait of Christ as King. The opening statement, “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David…” immediately identifies Him with the royal throne of David. Christ’s kingship is neither nationalistic nor materialistic, though its roots are in Israel’s royal line of David. One of the outstanding features is the reoccurrence of the word “kingdom”, together with statements or allusions identifying Christ as King. Although the concept of the kingdom is not exclusive to Matthew’s Gospel, it is the central theme. The work of Jesus Christ is to set up a kingdom and to exercise His authority as king within that kingdom.

Mark’s Gospel presents Christ as a servant. There is no need for a genealogy because a servant’s ancestry is of little interest to the public. To be king is to be acknowledged for who you are, but to be a servant is to be acknowledged for what you do. This is why Mark’s Gospel includes very little teaching, but is full of action. He often uses the word “immediately” to describe Jesus’ movement from place to place, performing miracles and healing people.

Luke portrays Christ as the Son of Man. The emphasis is on the broader humanity of Jesus and traces His ancestry back to Adam, the father of the human race. Luke is the only Gentile writer of the New Testament, and presents Jesus as more than the son of Abraham, the fulfillment of God’s covenant with the Jews, but as a son of the human race.

John presents Christ on the greatest canvas of all as the Son of God. There is no genealogy given in his Gospel for John’s record of Christ begins outside of time and space. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1). This is the divine incarnation – God made flesh and living among us!

Each Gospel teaches us something different about who Jesus Christ is: King of the Jews, a servant, the Son of Man and the Son of God. We get the fullest picture of Jesus both in His humanity and divinity when we read all four Gospels, revealing to us a loving, compassionate Lord and Saviour, born in a Bethlehem stable over 2000 years ago.

PRAYER: Thank You, Jesus, for coming to earth as our Lord and Saviour, and for giving us all four Gospels, so that we may have a better understanding of both Your divinity and humanity.


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