FIRST POSTED ON 15 DECEMBER 2019.
Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!
Previously, we listed the many ways in which the Old Testament scriptures pointed us to the Only One who matters - Jesus Christ. As we turn now to the Gospels, we are given four unique perspectives of Jesus, each highlighting a particular role or mission of His.
The Gospel of Mark was the first to be written. Targeting Roman Gentile believers, Mark was a short, fast-paced, action and miracles-oriented account portraying Jesus as the Suffering Servant and Son of God. Although Mark highlighted Jesus’ divine authority as God’s Son, he did not touch on Jesus’ ancestry or family line because the Roman gentile readers then were unlikely to appreciate what it meant and why it was significant. You could say that Mark was written in a simple and engaging style to reach out to a wide audience of ordinary folks.
Next came the Gospel of Luke. Addressing the Greek Gentiles, Luke was a systematic account portraying Jesus as the Perfect Saviour of the World and Son of Man. In Luke, Jesus’ ancestry was traced all the way back to Adam - the first man. Luke probably did this to show the intellectually-minded Greek readers that Jesus was not just sent to the Jews but to all mankind as their Saviour. If Mark reads like a news tabloid, then Luke is like a lengthy research paper carefully laying out the details of Jesus’ life.
The Gospel of Matthew was written next and was aimed at the Jews, to show that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies as God’s Promised Messiah and King, the Son of David. In Matthew, Jesus’ family line was traced to Abraham and David as further proof to the Jews that Jesus was who they were waiting for. Matthew is therefore like the Jewish edition of the Gospels.
Last came the Gospel of John. Meant for everyone, John was a deeply intimate, reflective, and spiritual account of Jesus as the Divine “I AM” - God Himself. In John, Jesus was revealed to be the Word that was with God and was God. You see, by the time John wrote this Gospel, at least fifty years had passed since Jesus’ death and resurrection. As many believers by then would not have seen Jesus personally or even met the Apostles or others who had known Jesus in person, some began to question if Jesus could come as a man and yet be fully God. John wrote this Gospel partly to counter these false teachings that were emerging then.
Some scholars have noticed a correlation between the four faces of the cherubim found in the books of Ezekiel and Revelations and the four roles or missions of Jesus as seen in the four Gospels - here, the Ox represented Jesus’ Servanthood, the Man reflecting how Jesus was also the Son of Man, the Lion symbolizing Jesus as the Lion of Judah and King of Kings, and lastly the Eagle a depiction of Jesus as God Himself. Taken together, the four Gospels portrayed Jesus as both God and Man, Saviour of Jews and Gentiles, and finally as both Servant and King.
Turning back to our perspective of the Seven Days of Creation, we see that Jesus was the Greater Light that capped the end of the Fourth Day of Creation. If you recall, the completion of the Temple in AM 3000 marked the beginning of the Fourth Day of Creation, with Israel now fully equipped to act as God’s Lesser Light. But - as Paul had described in Galatians - when the set time or Kairos had fully come, which is a thousand years later in AM 3992, God sent His Son Jesus to redeem His people by dying for us on the Cross.
Now, the Gospel did not simply end here with all of us living happily ever after. We are, after all, only at the end of the Fourth Day of Creation with 3 more days to go. Instead, Jesus spoke of the need for Him to depart in order to herald in the New Life in the Spirit and Body of Christ and that there would be opposition culminating in the rule of the Antichrist before He returns again to finally establish His Millennial Reign.
Link to presentation.