This past weekend, the 90 days was up on my 90 day reading. Guess what?
I’m not finished!
Evidently there is grace time for the pokey ones of us to finish in 100 days. It will be a tight fit, but reading a little more than two days of readings every day will get me to the goal.
So far, so good!
It is interesting to read many of the gospel passages with the same stories from the different perspective of each of the writers.
Mark, often considered to be from Peter’s perspective, tends to be the most fast paced Gospel.
It tells what happened and moves on at a rapid pace through the life of Christ. It is a Gospel of action. It is thought that Peter was the source of John Mark’s first hand information about Jesus. If so, it is easy to understand the pace of the book! It is also the shortest of the four books.
Matthew was written for the Jewish reader.
Isn’t it interesting that it was written by a former tax-collector? This was a man hated by the Jews because his job was considered to be the next best thing to being a traitor.
As an apostle, he was now using his knowledge of the Old Testament to show the Jews that Jesus was the one who brought in the Kingdom. No, it didn’t look anything like the Kingdom they were looking for. That’s why Jesus spent so much time describing what it entailed. This has a lot to do with why they were so slow to catch on.
Just as Messiah looked different than their expectations, so did His Kingdom. He and His Kingdom are quiet and unassuming. There is power, but it is the quiet power of someone with authority, not of someone who is trying to prove himself. It is humble and meek; It loves and forgives the unforgiveable. Who would have thought the GOD of the Universe would bring in a Kingdom like that? It was unlike anything they were familiar with in their culture. The same goes for us. We don’t catch on to this Kingdom concept of Jesus either. It certainly isn’t in our DNA!
Luke wrote about the Son of Man. His perspective was from the Gentile viewpoint.
His is the longest gospel (in terms of verses). His doctor’s compassion for the weak and unfortunate comes through in this book.
Luke was a story teller too…only his stories were true! Well, except for stories like the parables that are clearly indicated to be illustrations.
They are true-to-life, but not actual stories of real people like the rest of the gospels. Despite the large number of parables in Matthew, Luke has about fifteen parables that aren’t mentioned in the other gospels.
Then, last of all is the Gospel of John…written by the closest friend of Jesus when He was here on earth.
I can’t imagine what that would have been like! Of all the disciples, John lived the longest. It wasn’t an easy life, but he did live to be an old man and probably died a natural death in exile on Patmos.
The Gospel of John, while it has some of the same stories from Jesus’ life as the others, has a style different from the others. John’s book doesn’t emphasize the events as much as it teaches theology. Each of his stories has a clear point…often they are linked to a metaphor that teaches us more about Jesus.
Think about the WORD in John 1 or the VINE in John 15 or the concept of NEW BIRTH in John 3. Well, I could go on, but his book is full of metaphorically-rich theological truths that teach us about Christ in ways that many, many words could not.
Metaphors reinforce the idea that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Because that is what a metaphor often is…a picture of the concept you want to communicate.
It puts an abstract idea into something more concrete and helps us understand and picture it. Metaphors carry with them emotion as well as facts. It is important for us to realize that our hearts need to be wed to the knowledge in our heads. Often, these metaphors help in ways that reams of theological explanations don’t.
Well, you can see I could go on about this book. I love metaphors. My learning style is visual. They are woven all through Scripture and are helpful to us as we study it…as long as we don’t get carried too far afield. We need the balance of all of Scripture to keep us from not reading too much into any given metaphor.
But I digress, well, maybe I just plain ramble. Despite the rushy way I must do it, I am enjoying this trip through the gospels. If you haven’t done so, you might take some time to read them through.
Reading the Bible on a chronological plan is fun because you read the same event over in as many gospels as it is written before moving on to the next event in Jesus’ life.
Take a look at Mom’s Toolbox to see a variety of plans she has going for Bible readings. If you want to bite off a shorter section, you can…or join the next Bible in 90 Days group. You won’t regret it!