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Acting under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Gospel writers arranged their accounts to emphasize different aspects of Jesus and His ministry.
I want to explore that a bit today on Through the Word in 2020, where our schedule finds us in Hebrews 13:20–21; Isaiah 36–38; Proverbs 28 and Luke 19:45-20:8.
Matthew is bound and determined to prove who Jesus is in the light of the Old Testament. He has been conquered by the love of the King. Once a tax-collector, Matthew wants us to know what a forgiving, gracious, merciful Savior Jesus is to the worst of humanity. No one is too wicked for Jesus Christ to save. Sin has abounded, but in Christ, grace has abounded infinitely more. No less than 12 times he will tell us that Jesus directly fulfilled Scripture prophecies. Jesus’ lineage establishes Him as a rightful heir to David’s throne. His fulfillment of Scripture establishes Him as the promised Messiah. His resurrection, is to His enthronement. And Matthew exposes us to Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom more than any other Gospel. The charge against Him will finally be “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
Mark’s gospel is urgent. His predilection for the word “immediately” jumps off of every page. Jesus is a man, yes, but so much more – he’s the Son of God. He’s not to be taken lightly. He’s not just another religious leader or teacher. He cannot be marginalized. He cannot be ignored. Mankind’s need is urgent. Jesus’ mission is urgent. Jesus’ message is urgent. He acts swiftly, decisively. He has but 3 short years to accomplish all. Eternal matters are at a place of crisis. He calls us to repent and believe with urgency – now!- for “The kingdom of God is at hand” (1:15). The kingdoms of this world are about to meet their end. No one can remain indifferent. He is coming back. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned (16:16). The time – is now!
Luke emphasizes Jesus’ most common way of Jesus referring to Himself: The Son of Man. By it, He is constantly reminding us that He did not take on the nature of angels, but of mankind. He comes in the likeness of sinful flesh though He is sinless. He does not appear like the Adam before the Fall – whatever that glory might have looked like. He comes sharing our weaknesses, our griefs, sorrows, aches and pains. He suffers weariness, hunger, abandonment, misunderstanding, thirst, loneliness and whatever else belongs to the human condition. He is a Priest who can have compassion on us knowing the feeling of our infirmities. He did not insulate Himself from us. What a Savior!
John reminds us that in the beginning, the Word, already “was.” This Word, THE Word, was with God – without need for attachment to the created order about to come. This Word, THE Word – was in fact – both with, and was Himself – God. He is the ultimate and complete revelation and communication of – God. He took to Himself a human nature that He might be among us, without destroying us. His body, was the “veil” the curtain separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies in the Temple. Incarnationally, He tabernacled with us. And since Pentecost He tabernacles in us by His Spirit. But when He returns, He will dwell in the New Temple. He will raise us from the dead and we will become the New Jerusalem. His people in glory. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, even with this much information we have not even begun to imagine what He has prepared for those who love Him. Oh what a Christ we serve!
I’m Reid Ferguson.
God willing, I’ll be back tomorrow.