Introduction (10/12/2012 ~ Expanded, Revised, Fixed, & Reformatted)
Unfortunately, While this article has been one of the most viewed, due to the insertion of the table necessary to present it; it has been the most flawed due to the editor’s inability to present it properly. Recently, I have not only reformatted it in attempting to deal with this problem, but have updated and revised it.
What is amazing about the 4 aspects or perspectives of Christ First Coming, is that they perfectly reflect the 4 ensigns (A flag with a symbol representing the tribe) of the 4 tribes as they were located around the tabernacle. Why this is remarkable is that the tabernacle itself displays perfect unanimity and presenting symbolism that point to the first coming of Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel.
Yet this is not the topic at hand, wherein if you follow this LINK we will touch upon it in more detail.
I first taught this presentation over 20 years ago. It was a milestone in my life not only as a Christian, but as a teacher as well. One of the foundational Scriptures of this ministry is Romans 10:17, which states:
“faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
This passage baffled me for the first 10 years of my life as a believer, what is it in God’s Word that is supposed to be the basis of faith. Is it the presumption that I’m supposed to take the Bible on faith, yet this is not what the passage says. What it says is that the Bible itself is meant to be the primary tool that builds faith in the life of the believer. But how?
For the past 30 years I have come to understand that everything in the Bible has symbolism, and meaning; all in order to grow faith in the life of the believer. One of our other passages, John 5:39 states:
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
The word translated into the English, “search“, is the Greek word: ereunáo, which means: “to diligently investigate.” It means to dig into deeply, not simply superficially. This is one of those mandates that Christ gave us, because it is in the imperative; meaning that it is a command that we are to search God’s Word, and in so doing, uncover that all of God’s Word testifies of Jesus; this is where we are to gather our faith. Reading everything in God’s Word, not simply the New Testament and its direct teaching of doctrine, but also the Old Testament, with many of its mysteries, as well as presentations that seem boring – they all point to Jesus, and this is our assignment as students of the King. To did through God’s Word and find those things that build faith in our lives.
How immature, and unstable is a faith built upon solely upon personal experience. Don’t get me wrong, when God has said something in His Word, which specifically can be applied to my life, and I stand on that promise, not twisting God’s arm; but waiting in faith, and He fulfills what His Word has said; this is a personal experience based upon NOT upon self, as is seen in so much presumptuous teaching concerning healing and prosperity. No, this is a faith which is Biblically experiential, because it is based upon God’s Word wherein faith can be achieved that is life-changing.
Yet, this is not what Romans 10: 17 states. If you want to stay purely and scripturaly correct, as a believer your faith must be established and grown based upon what is in God’s Word.
You see what we must understand is that everything in God’s Word is there for a reason: matter, substances, materials, things made, numbers, colors, animals, names, places, people and lives; all have meaning which point to the person of Jesus Christ, and/or His missions upon the earth.
Please search the following Scriptures (1 Corinthians 10:1-6; Romans 15:4; Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 9:5; Hebrews 10:1; but for a few), which validate this principle of “Expositional Constancy,” wherein the Bible utilizes types and symbols, as well as over 214 other rhetorical devices (see LINK).
(“Expositional Constancy” is where a common word is used outside of its normal range to indicate that it is referring to that which is not common, but to something else, it is a type, a model, an example to lead to greater meaning beyond the simple text – this does not mean that the text is not literal in its interpretation, all text is to be taken literally as God spoke it, yet included with this literal interpretation is deeper insights which add emphasis concerning that which was is spoken – such as: silver is utilized concerning redemption, gold references divinity, bronze is utilized in judgment and sacrifice concerning judgment – this is a small example of metallurgy when it comes to how the Bible utilizes the subjects to extend meaning beyond the simple verbiage.
The word redemption means: “to purchase a slave from the market,” yet in purchasing a slave mandated the use of silver coins, Judas was paid in silver coins in betraying the Lord, the payment for the redemption of mankind based upon human assumption. The sockets of the tabernacle planks were held in place by silver bases. The structure of the tabernacle stood upon silver – redemption; in the same way that Jesus first coming was to establish man’s relationship with God solely based upon redemption, not bartering, purchasing or reward.
The tabernacle, is a temporary building where God met man based upon God’s mandate of redemption solely at God’s discretion. No man was allowed to enter the holy of holies, the place of God’s dwelling. Once a year, a priest, who had met many obligations, and toured the holy of holies on the day of atonement. We know that this was a type, a figure of the high priest, Jesus Christ as stated in the book of Romans. Jesus, when in John 1:14 spoke about his first coming, or in he “dwelt” among men.
The Word dwelt is actually tabernacle, a tentlike structure; meant as a temporary dwelling only. This was Jesus first coming as a man, Jesus was displayed in imagery as seen in the tabernacle and all of its furniture and building materials, as well as the structure of Israel having the tabernacle in the center, with the priest all around it; indicating that man at this time would only come to God through a priesthood – wherein 2000 years later our high priest Jesus Christ, made interests into the holy of holies achievable for us based upon the sacrifice of himself for us. The tabernacle is a beautiful symbol of Jesus Christ first coming to die as a Lamb of God for the sins of the world..
Everything used in the building of the tabernacle had symbolic meaning [Hebrews 5:8], meaning that drew the reader to the personage of Jesus Christ and his first coming. There can be than one symbol, yet that symbol always means the same thing. Look at the word rock or stone. Who was the rock that was carried through the desert – Exodus 17:6 – see 1 Corinthians 10:4, then Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:8; Exodus 33:22; Dan 2:34, 35, 45; as well as the 26 references to “a rock” in the Psalms.)
The Gospels are meant to be a multifaceted perspective of the Messiah of Israel – who would suffer and die for the iniquity of man as the deliverer of mankind, as the perfect man – sinless and without blemish as the only acceptable sacrifice to God; who was God incarnate; divine in His Majesty.
These are the 4 perspectives as seen in the diversity of the 4 different Gospels. These 4 perspectives of Christ are mainly meant to display the role that He fulfills in His First Coming, while at the same time showing a small glimpse of who He is as the Eternal Son of God, Deity.
These 4 roles must not be mixed up with the personage of the “Word” (John 1:1), of God (the Logos in the Greek, meaning: the revelation or communication of God), who became human and called Jesus, the Christ (“The Anointed One of God” – The Messiah of Israel; wherein the definite article, “The” is utilized to indicate there is only one. This term “Anointed,” when generically used in general referred to prophets and Kings whom God had anointed, yet when used with the definite article “The,” refers to one individual, it regards the deliverer of Israel – a specific personage above all others – The Deliverer of Israel, The Messiah), Who is not divided in who He is, He is singular in his personage, yet in His first coming is understood more completely as displayed and 4 aspects of the role that He fulfills as the Savior of the world.
This mission was determined and planned by Him and the Father before the foundations of the earth (see Psalm 2, which refers to Jesus’ First Coming and Second Coming). These 4 facets as seen in the 4 Gospels, is not a new perspective; it has been understood from the time of the disciples of the apostles, wherein the purpose in these 4 books has been understood until our current day, though rarely tought. There are hundreds of plaques and reliefs found in Europe and Asia, which display the 4 symbols of the 4 Gospels: the Lion, the Ox, the Man, and the Eagle.
The plaque on the left is of the 4 figures of the 4 books of the Gospel (the Lion, the Ox, the Man, and the Eagle), with the Lamb of God in the middle – it was made less than 400 hundred years after Christ, displaying an early understanding of the diversity of the 4 different Gospels. The writings of Irenaeus (who was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John the author of the gospel, the 3 letters, and the Revelation of Jesus Christ); referred to these 4 perspectives of these 4 Gospels, which were commonly accepted as canonical at his time.
The Catholic Church has displayed these 4 symbols of the Gospels since the time of Irenaeus and is seen in the writings of Augustine, Jerome, and many others. If you enter many Orthodox Churches in American; such as Lutheran, Presbyterian, Anglican, Methodist, and many other churches that are hundreds of years old, going back to the reform movement of Martin Luther in 1517, when he publicly accused in separating himself from the Catholic Church, you will find references to these 4 perspectives as seen in the 4 Gospels.
God’s Word is meant to be taken literally, and everything in God’s Word serves a purpose, and that purpose Jesus referred to in John 5:39, which records His words:
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
We must understand that the Bible’s main focus is not the redemption of man; but the glorification of God as seen in Isaiah 43:7, which states:
“Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
God’s Word is about God, not man. Yet, we are blessed in that man is addressed as God’s creation (Adam was made in God’s Image, not us – we fallen men are made in Adams image after his fall. However, we still carry some of the imageness of God, but corrupted by sin. We pollute our imageness of God), originally formed in His Image, made to be His children, based upon a relationship established and maintained in faith.
This is what Adam violated, yet Christ corrected (1st Corinthians 15:22 & 45). Therefore, we understand that the words of Jesus as recorded in John 5:39 our literal (Hebrews 3:1-6); that the complete “Word of God” speaks about Him, not only in direct terminology, but as noted in the book of Hebrews; God utilizes types and shadows (Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 10:1), and in 1 Corinthians 10:11; 1 Corinthians 10:6; and in Romans 15:4 and Colossians 2:16-17, with many other types of object lessons throughout God’s Word.
This is why there are over 300 different titles given to Christ in the Old Testament. All meant to paint a picture so we would recognize Him when He shows up on the stage of time. And this we see as well in the 4 Gospels.
They present four different perspectives of Christ’s role in His 1st coming. Yet, we must also understand that these roles that He fulfilled are not to be confused with His personage.
Because the next time that Jesus comes (Rev. 19:11-14), He will not come as the Lamb of God to die for man’s sin. He will come as the conquering King (with His saints Deu. 33:2; Zec. 14:5; Jude 1:14; Rev.19:10-14; Dan. 7:10), the Kinsmen-Redeemer of Israel (LINK), who wages war upon the “earth dwellers” (“them that dwell upon the earth” see: Revelation 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10 2xs; 13:8, 12, 14 2xs; 14:6; 17:8) that came against the nation of Israel. The blood at His vengeance (Rev. 19:2) is so vast that it is said to be up to the bridle of a horse (Rev. 14:14,20). We must never mix up the personage of Jesus with the roles that He has, and will play within history.
At His Second Coming, you will not observe the Christmas baby that has been neutered by the world with no power. This will be Christ in His glorification coming to take that for which He paid for at the cross. He comes with His saints (Deu. 33:2; Zec. 14:5; Jude 1:14; Rev.19:10-14; Dan. 7:10), the redeem mankind, to save Israel.
JESUS AS HE IS RELATED TO THE TABERNACLE, AND ISRAEL ENCAMPED AROUND IT
the Tribes: (a)
On the East Side,
|West Side||South Side||North Side|
Levites, representing the priesthood centered around all four sides of the Tabernacle.
Wherein the only way to approach the tabernacle was through priest; who at the time was the only way to God. This was a representation of God’s relationship with man prior to the atonement made possible by the death of Jesus Christ, who became our high priest; making null the earthly priesthood system.
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
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The 3 charts were pproduced by K-House.org
We would like to thank Chuck Missler for his teaching in this matter, and the production of the above slides, though Chuck did not create this teaching, as it has been around for quite some time.
How amazing that the tabernacle, a symbol of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of Israel, would be surrounded by the priest on all 4 sides, in that man could not come to God on his own basis, but needed a mediator. And that all 12 tribes surrounded the tabernacle as they walked across the desert wherein from above a pectoral of a cross would be seen.
One would ask, since there were no flying machines at that time, what good did this produce. God does not do things solely that man would understand, though we do know that when Balaam was overlooking the 12 tribes wherein he was being coaxed to curse them by King Balak, this is the view he would’ve seen from the cliffs (Numbers 23:9).
One thing that must be understood is that the 3 tribes on each, based upon God’s direction would meet behind their ensign – their standard, and would line up at a certain with across, so as not to crowd into those tribes on their left of those tribes on their right. Then at the tail of the first tribe, the 2nd tribes ensign – standard would be where that tribe set up, and the same for the 3rd ensign – standard. This is why it would look like a giant cross rather than a giant square. Rather you take this at face value or not it is based upon God’s description to Moses as seen in the Torah, the Talmud, and other Jewish writings.
What is also amazing is that in heaven, in God’s throne room, we have Him seated in the middle with the 4 angelic figures with the face of: a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle; wherein according to the book of Hebrews, the tabernacle was a type of the throne room of God, with God in the middle, the same as the tabernacle.
If the table below runs off to the left too far, it is because the screen you are using is too small – it needs a bigger screen to be seen correctly.
JESUS AS HE IS RELATED TO THE GOSPELS THROUGH FOR DIVERSE BANDAGE POINTS
|Symbol of the Book:
|Presents Jesus as:||Messiah
|Son of God
to King and
they have no
need for one,
due to no
to fallen man
to David,~ David to
Past as God
|Son of God||Son of Joseph,
Son of Heli
|Signifies:||Israel||Common Man||Perfect Man||Believers|
|Jerusalem||Rome||Area of the
of the Greek
To the World
of the day
A Jew who
as a tax
|One of the
the book of
|One of the
A Cousin of
|Said(Jesus’ Teachings)||What He Did (An Action
|What He Felt
|Who He Was (A Fact Book)|
Jesus As the
Son of God
“Where is he
who has been
born King of
“and they put
up over his
him: this is
of the Jews”
“for even the
Son of Man
did not come
to be served,
but to serve,
and to give
his life a
As well as
and Publicans, Sinners, and
23:43)All the Above
As well As
the Jews (Luke
1:33; 2:10) And
(Luke 7:36; 11:37; 14:1)Including the
(Luke 1:53; 2:7;
6:20; 7:22) And the Rich;
23:50)All can have redemption (c)
“but these that
is the Christ,
of God, and
you may have
life in his
|Presents:||Verbatim Teachings of Christ||Concise
Based upon Chronology
came and spoke
to them, saying,
all authority has
been given to
me in heaven
of all nations,
in the name
of the father
and the son
and the Holy
them to observe
all things that
I have commanded;
and lo, I am
even to the
end of the
|A Theme of
book of Mark
and compare it
“But take heed
for they shall
and in the
ye shall be
rulers and kings
for my sake, for
shall lead you,
take no thought beforehand what
ye shall speak,
neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall
be given you in
that hour, that
speak ye: for it
is not ye
but the Holy
Now the brother
shall betray the
brother to death,
and the father
shall rise up
them to be
put to death.
And ye shall
be hated of
all men for my name’s sake:
but he that
end, the same
shall be saved.”
|The book of
part 2 of the
book of Luke,
“most excellent Theophilus”
(Luke 1:3 &
law had to proceed
him to his trial at
to be written
(Luke 23:4, 14,
John is not being deceptive by
There are 7
(this was an
insult to the
leprosy was a
symbol of sin;
wherein the implementation
Symbolic of the
(symbolic of man
from sin, where
in the evil
was on escape
about, and that
Christ is the only deliverance)
Symbolic of the
Best of Men
saved from sin,
where in the
evil within him
was on escape
about, and that
(Common Made Supernatural)
|Second Longest Book of the
of the Gospels
of the Gospels
Book of the Gospels
|Chronological Order||Not in
together by topic
|Covers 3 years||Covers 3 years||Covers 3 years||Covers 3 years
Primary Focus on
“And lo a voice
from heaven, saying, This is
Son, in whom
I am well pleased.”
“While he yet
a bright cloud overshadowed
behold a voice
out of the
cloud, which said,
This is my
in whom I am
hear ye him.”
“And there came
a voice from
Thou art my
in whom I am
“And there was
a cloud that
them: and a
out of the
“And the Holy
in a bodily shape
like a dove upon
him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou
art my beloved
Son; in thee I am
“And there came
a voice out of the cloud, saying, This
is my beloved Son: hear him.”
“And John bare
I saw the Spirit descending from
heaven like a
dove, and it
I knew him not:
but he that sent
me to baptize with water, the same
said unto me,
thou shalt see
descending, and remaining on
him, the same
is he which
the Holy Ghost.”
|Concludes With:||The Resurrection||The Ascension||Promise:
Of The Spirit
(Bridge to the
Book of Acts)
(Bridge to the
a. Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1:10; 10:14; Revelation 4:7. (Some feel seraphim in Isaiah 6 are the same.)
b. “Salvation comes through the Jew,” John 4:22; Romans 1:16. Redemption comes from Jesus the Messiah of Israel, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah; it is through Him alone that man now has (full) access to God,
c. Holman Bible Dictionary, Holman Bible Publishers,Nashville,Tennessee, 1991, Page 900, 920.
d. Numbers 2
e. The term in Luke 3:23 is nomizo in Greek: meaning: “reckoned as by law.” Joseph was adopted by Heli, Mary’s father in accordance with the Torah for inheritance through brother-less sisters given to Zelophehad (Numbers 27:1-11; Joshua 17:3-6; Ezra 2:61; cf. Nehemiah 7:63; Numbers 32:41; I Chronicles 2:21-23, 34-35).
The Following is presented in written form with a few other insights.
The Gospels ~ Four Perspectives of Christ
Have you ever wondered why the Bible contains four accounts of the life of Christ? Each of the four Gospels presents Jesus Christ from a different point of view, with variations which sometimes seem to contradict each other. Atheist and unbelievers attempt to make the point that the Bible is man-made by pointing out these apparent discrepancies. However, the Gospels don’t really contradict each other; they merely present distinct emphasis, or different aspects, or even diverse perspectives of the personage and Mission of Jesus Christ.
Matthew presented “the Messiah the King, “symbolized by the lion of the tribe of Judah (the King of Israel, the Lord God of mankind).
Matthew, being a Levite, emphasizes Jesus as the Messiah, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Each of the subtleties of his design supports this primary theme. His genealogy begins with the “first Jew,” Abraham, and continues through David and the royal line to the legal father of Jesus, Joseph (according to Hebrews Law, in the same way that a step father was a legal guardian and father). Matthew’s emphasis is on the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Tanakh, the Old Testament.
As a customs official, Matthew was skilled in shorthand, an essential asset in a culture that did not have the advantages of printing, copiers, and the like. Matthew focuses on what Jesus said, and includes the extensive discourses, which he probably was able to take down verbatim. Matthew’s first miracle is the cleansing of a leper, a Jewish metaphor for sin itself. Matthew concludes with the resurrection, also a distinctive Jewish preoccupation.
Mark presented the “Suffering Servant,” symbolized by the ox (oxen were examples of extreme servitude, which exemplifies Jesus complete humility and servitude of the father as well as Him serving man by dying for him, though He was King. Thus fulfilling Isaiah 52 & 53 as the servant of God, who laid down His life, and became poor that we would become rich).
Each one of these for symbols (lion, ox [sometimes mistranslated “calf” ~ Revelation 4:7], man, and eagle) were the ensigns that the twelve tribes of Israel stationed themselves around the temple during the time of the Exodus. This same symbolization is seen concerning the “Living Creatures,” the Cherubim, and the Seraphim (Isaiah 6 [some believe that the Seraphim are the same thing as the cherubim]; Ezekiel 1; Revelation 4:7), of God which oversee God’s throne room.
Each one of these symbols represents the mission and personage of Jesus Christ (we must remember that the central point of the Bible is the person and mission of Jesus Christ; the central theme of the Bible is not Man or his salvation, but the glory of God [Isaiah 43:7]), His preeminence in creation (see John 5:39, Hebrews 10:7 [Psalms 40:7]; Colossians 1:16; Matthew 5:18; Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44-47; John 1:45; John 12:16; John 15:25; Acts 1:16; Acts 8:35 [Isaiah 53:7]; Acts 10:43; John 1:1; John 1:14; John 1:29; John 5:46-47; John 14:6; John 17:7; Acts 2:16-36; Acts 3:18; Acts 13:27-37; Acts 26:22-23; Acts 28:23; Romans 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-8; Hebrews 4:14; Hebrews 10:7, for but a few references), and has been hailed as pictorials of Jesus since His time until now, as is seen in many Orthodox churches (Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc.), though not as widely taught as previously before.
Mark was the amanuensis (secretary) for Peter, and he emphasizes Jesus as the obedient Servant of YHWH. His is the only Gospel with no pedigree or genealogy; because slaves don’t have genealogies. Genealogies are meant to display pedigree concerning a royal line in order to continue the lineage of a King by establishing a record of his children and descendents. Slaves never had genealogies. Mark focuses on what Jesus did; it deals in graphic images, almost like a movie or video shooting script. Mark concludes with the final visual appearance, the Ascension.
Luke presented the “Son of Man,” the perfect man (a sinless man, the same as Adam, man as he was meant to be).
Luke was a Gentile and a doctor, and his Gospel reflects a very distinctive point of view, emphasizing Jesus as the Son of Man. His genealogy begins with Adam, the first man. From Abraham to David, his list is identical to that of Matthew. However, when he gets to David, he doesn’t track through Solomon (the first surviving son of Bathsheba) but through a different son, Nathan (the second surviving son of Bathsheba). He continues through to Heli, the father of Mary (Joseph is the son-in-law of Heli).
The term used in Luke 3:23 concerning Jesus is: “being (“as was supposed” in the Greek) the son of Joseph,” which is nomizo in the Greek, which is literally translated: “reckoned as by law.” this indicates a legal adoption of Jesus by Joseph which is part of the rule of inheritance concerning the Hebrews. In the Hebrew society the intended heir of the household received the household inheritance by the legal act of adoption which separated him from his siblings.
The heir received the whole estate with his siblings receiving only what he might decide to hand down to them. This is what is being referred to here; Joseph legally adopted Jesus as his heir; which validated Jesus legal claim in this bloodline.
But what is glossed over is that this genealogy is not the genealogy of Joseph, but is the genealogy of Mary through her father, Heli to Jesus (Matthew is the genealogy of Joseph who had legally adopted Jesus concerning the royal bloodline of Judah through David), establishing Jesus’ genealogy back to Adam the first man, which is what this book emphasizes. Luke 3:38 states that Adam was the “son of God” (God established the pattern of using the expression, “son of…” in referring to anything that flows out of the original source, or that was created by the source, therefore the angels are referred to as “sons of God” [Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7] as God created them in the same way that Adam is referred to as a “son of God,” because God created him as well [Luke 3:38], and as Jesus had called the scribes and Pharisees “sons of the devil” [John 8:44], because they flowed from their father Satan and their actions betrayed this. Yet, this is different from Sonship according to essence, which is what Jesus Christ is, a literal “Son of God,” not figurative.) and in this genealogy concerning the humanity of Christ it confirms Jesus as the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), the true son of God in every sense in Luke 3:23, in the original language, the definite article (tou) is in the genitive form and appears before every name in the genealogy except one, that one name is Joseph. This singular exception strongly suggests that Joseph was included only because of his marriage to Mary.
The Greek word for “son,” is uihos, [G5207] and was used primarily to signify the relationship of offspring to the parents in a literal sense, yet it was also used in a figurative sense concerning a full range of relationships or descriptions.
Heli, Mary’s father, having no sons, only daughters, would normally have his lineage stopped at his death. However, in preparation for this very event, that of the birth of God’s Son, incarnate, the Logos (“the Word” ~ John 1:1) of God (Jesus) becoming a Man, in which the necessity to establish not only His bloodline of Kingship (Matthew’s genealogy), but also His bloodline concerning his humanity (Luke’s genealogy), God instituted a situation back during the Exodus that would validate Jesus concerning both issues, in the situation concerning the daughters of Zelophehad. Where Moses went to God, and God declared that the blessing of the bloodline could flow through the adoption of son-in-law’s in order to maintain the blessing of blood through genealogy when there were no sons to do so.
Therefore, we understand that Joseph was adopted by Heli in accordance to this exception created in the Torah for inheritance (Numbers 27:1-11; Joshua 17:3-6; Ezra 2:61; cf. Nehemiah 7:63; Numbers 32:41; 1 Chronicles 2:21-23, 34-35).
As a Gentile, Luke’s emphasis is different. His emphasis is Christ’s humanity; he focuses on what Jesus felt. His first miracle is the expulsion of a demon, a very human concern. Luke concludes with the promise of the giving of the Holy Spirit, which is a natural bridge to Luke’s subsequent volume, The Book of Acts.
John presented the “Son of God,” God incarnate, God indwelling flesh, Divine; in symbolized by the Eagle (the Eternal Son of God, the Logos, God’s Communication of Himself through His Son).
In all four of the Gospels Jesus make statements concerning and its own divinity, yet one of the clearest is found in the John 10:30-33, which states:
“I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”
John had a very distinctive view, emphasizing Jesus as the Son of God. It focuses on who Jesus is. His “genealogy” is that of the Preexistent One, constituting John’s opening verses: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This is a genealogy of the Divine Son of God, who has no beginning and no ending, who was never created yet created all things. John’s Gospel is organized around seven miracles, seven discourses, and seven “I AM” statements.
John’s first miracle involves the use of the water of purification being changed to wine at Cana (a pictorial of the church), a private demonstration to the disciples that Jesus was preeminent even over the Levitical priesthood. John concludes with the promise of Jesus’ return, and becomes the appropriate prequel to John’s final writing, The Revelation.
In Summation Matthew wrote to the Jew, God’s chosen people; Mark wrote to the Romans; representing the power of world government (from Rome), Luke wrote to the Greeks; representing the cultural masses, And John wrote to the church, those adopted into God’s kingdom.
Matthew was written by a Jewish tax collector, Mark was written by a Jewish companion of Peter, Luke was written by a Gentile physician, a companion of Paul, and John was written by a Jewish fisherman.
Matthew concentrated on what Jesus said, His teachings (“said” ~ 151 times), Mark concentrated on what Jesus did (with Jesus’ actions most prominent), Luke concentrated on what Jesus’ felt (88 times), and John concentrated on who Jesus was (247 times).
A key word in the book of Matthew is “fulfilled“ (38 times ~ concerning the Messiah of Israel), a keyword in the book of Mark is “immediately” (42 times ~ concerning the actions of Jesus), a keyword word in the book of Luke is a “came to pass” (42 times ~ concerning the transition of God becoming man), and the key phrase in the book of John is “verily, verily” meaning: “truly,” (25 times ~ concerning how God is Truth), nothing more encapsulates the identity of God than His inability to be false or a lie, God is either righteous, just and therefore Divine; or false, sinful, and a lie which mandates that he would be a concept of man.
(SIDE NOTE: An interesting fact is that Jesus gave us clues in His terminology concerning the weight that He placed on that which he stated in the form of the preceding comment he made concerning any subject. When Jesus wanted His hearers to take note of what He was about to say, He would say: “I say unto you,” which is recorded over a 122 times in the Gospels. When He wished to add weight to His comment He would say: “verily,” this is recorded over 53 times in the Gospels. And when He wanted to place the greatest significance on His statement He would say: “verily, verily,” which is recorded 25 times,and only in the book of John, which again is the book that establishes Jesus as God, He who cannot lie ~ “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” ~ Numbers 23:19)
Even the styles of each book are diverse, with Matthew utilizing elegant groupings, Mark providing simple snapshots, Luke presenting a logical narrative and John writing in a very mystical style (representing God’s mysterious Majesty).
It must be kept in mind that when dealing with the subject of the diversity between the Gospels, 3 of the gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke) seem to present the last three years of Jesus life, chronologically, and in a similar order (yet not precise, with differing timelines and events) and are therefore referred to as the Synoptic (Greek syn: meaning “together” ~ or technically: displaying conditions as they exist simultaneously over a broad area) Gospels.
Many writers attempt to produce a “Harmony of the Gospels,” by fitting the three Gospels together into one chronological timeline. However, doing so introduces more problems than can be answered, in that it is obvious that this was not the intent of the Holy Spirit. Because there may be two very similar events in two or more of the Gospels that vary in the details for a very good reason, they were totally different events that just appeared very similar (i.e. the feeding of the multitudes).
Also, concerning the diversity between John and the other three Gospels, there is the issue of multiple events as seen in Jesus clearing of the Temple which is referred to as taking place at the first of His ministry on one account , and then at the end of this ministry at another (Matthew 21:12).
Each gospel needs to stand on its own, with us understanding that the Holy Spirit might choose sometimes to omit certain details in order that other aspects of an event are made clearer in order to create a certain emphasis. Yet, in other situations the Holy Spirit might bring out other details in order to create yet another emphasis in a separate account; or they may be completely different accounts.
The point is God engineered four different accounts of the last three years of Jesus life because He wanted us to have four different perspectives, diverse from each other and never to be mixed, and to twist the text so as to fit together a puzzle never met to be arranged this way is unwise at best, and un-Biblical at worst (yet there is a benefit from fitting together timelines in a loose manner in order to cross reference situations and to glean different aspects of the same event, yet this must be done very carefully and loosely; never forcing any issues or changing any events in order to have them fit together in a particular chronological order).
One last consideration that needs to be addressed is that of the diversity of acceptable writing styles of the Hebrews (the Hebrews and Jews of two thousand years ago or more) as compared to modern English today. To us in America, we are very linear in the way that we think and process information. When we present events in someone’s life we start with a timeline from the left to the right, which is chronological concerning the events as they occur one after the other.
According to Western train of thought this makes complete sense to you and I, yet, it is not the same concerning the Hebrews of thousands of years ago. To the Hebrew, the most important thing was the priority of what was being communicated, rather than the sequence of events. What they focused in on was the important issues first, with the chronology of the timeline a servant to what was more important.
This doesn’t become a problem as most of time the Old Testament follows a linear chronological order which does not do violence to the priority of what is being communicated. However, whenever we read John’s Gospel, the mysterious Gospel which presents “The Son of God,” Deity (perhaps the greatest mystery to man [“a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”] and far beyond his ability to comprehend is, God; and even within this yet further more unfathomable conception is God in man in the person of Jesus Christ); we need to understand it’s presented according to the mindset of the Hebrew.
The Gospel of John presents groupings of situations according to the importance of what is trying to be communicated, as opposed to any chronological logical presentation. The outline of the book of John is not chronological, but is organized around seven miracles, which lead to seven discourses, and then seven “I AM” statements; all in order to establish the profound insight that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Divine, beyond human compare, Preeminent among all of creation.
Thank you Chuck Missler for so much of this information; much noted by wise men of the last few centuries commented to God and His Word.