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The 4 Gospels and their Themes

The authors of the four gospels in the Bible had a specific group of people they wrote to and in this assignment I am going to look at those specific people and what the authors said about the life and work of Jesus. I am going to also going to look at the main themes of these four gospels, beginning from Matthew to John.

The author of the book of Matthew is the Apostle Matthew who was one of Jesus` disciples. The gospel of Matthew was written in Greek. The author wrote to a particular group of people mainly Greek speaking Jews, even though the author wrote to certain group of people the writing does have a worldwide outlook. Matthew concentrated more on the fulfilment of the Old Testament than the writers of the other gospels. In Matthew Jesus teaching pointed to the blessings of the kingdom being extended to gentiles.

MATTHEW’S MAIN THEMES

The main purpose of Matthew is to prove that Jesus Christ is the Messiah which means the anointed one. Jesus can also be interpreted as Joshua in Greek which means the Lord saves. Matthews’s goal was to convince his readers that the King of kings has come, with this in mind he uses words and names that the Jews are familiar with. Also unique to Matthew is the expression, “that it might be fulfilled” which is spoken by various prophets. [1] 

THE MAIN PURPOSE AND FOCUS OF MARK

The gospel of Mark was written by John Mark. Mark was a close associate of peter, it was from Peter that he received the tradition of things done and said by the Lord Jesus Christ. Mark has more of the preaching of Peter, put together by John Mark. According to early church tradition Mark was written in the region of Italy more specifically in Rome. In book of Mark John Mark explains Jewish customs and interprets Aramaic words John Mark seemed to have an interest in persecution and martyrdom. John Mark wrote that the suffering Jesus was also the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Christ and the Lord.

MARK`MAIN THEMES

Mark’s gospel is simple and holds an important account of the ministry of Jesus Christ, with an emphasis on more of what Jesus did than what he said. Mark moves quickly from one scene in Jesus` ministry to another. Even though Mark bases his emphasis on the humanity he does not neglect the deity of Christ. Mark wrote to strengthen and guide the Roman believers who were being persecuted by Nero. After the death of Peter and eyewitnesses to Jesus` life, this gospel message needed to be written down. [2] 

THE MAIN PURPOSE AND FOCUS IN LUKE

The writers name is not mentioned but evidence points to Luke. The gospel of Luke was written to Theophilus and the message in this gospel was meant for his own instruction and also for those among whom the book would be distributed. Luke was probably written around A.D. 59-63. The book of Luke would have likely been written in Rome. Luke had an outstanding command of the Greek language. Luke’s words in general seem to reveal geographical and cultural sensitivity. Luke’s gospel centers on God’s plan to provide salvation to the world.

LUKE`MAIN THEMES

Luke was written to strengthen the faith of all believers and to give an answer to the unbelievers. It was written to displace and unveil the false reports about Jesus. This third gospel presents the works and teachings of Jesus that are especially vital for understanding the way of salvation. The first two chapters of Luke emphasize the Old Testament and its promises of a Messiah while the third and part of the fourth chapters show clearly that Jesus is the Messiah, who can fight against the evil one, Luke continues in the rest of the chapters to write about the life and works of Jesus and everything that had been revealed by the law, the prophets and the Psalms about Jesus had been fulfilled. [3] 

Luke often stressed the humanity and compassion of Jesus. Luke’s favourite expression is “the Son of Man.” The disciples were witnesses of to this fact and their mission was to share this Good News with all nations.

THE MAIN PURPOSE AND FOCUS IN JOHN

Some translators have felt that John’s aim was to present a forth from a different view point the Christian message that would appeal to Greek thinkers. John would have been thinking of the Greek readers some of whom were being influenced by heresy. John` main purpose was evangelistic, to build up believers as well as to win new converts. John also focuses on Jesus` claim that He was God by including Christ’s seven “I am” statements. John records certain occasions when Jesus equals Himself with the Old Testament “I AM.” John 8:58 “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

JOHN` MAIN THEMES

The writer of John also said that ” These are written that you may believe that Jesus Christ the Son of God and that believing you may have life in His name” John 20:31. John also speaks of Jesus as the pre-existent divine Word who became a human being so as to speak the words of God, reveal the glory of God’s grace and truth, to put a bridge between the children of light and the children of darkness, to bring judgment on the unbelieving world and to give eternal life through the gift of the Holy Spirit to all believe and abide in Jesus. John wrote that Jesus was and is the saviour of the world. [4] 

John reveals the Bible’s most important message, believe and follow Jesus, because He is the way to eternal life. John speaks of Jesus as the light of the world and the bread of life, the way, the life and the good shepherd.

CONCLUSION

The four canonical gospels are very detailed and factual about the life and work of Christ. Matthew writing to prove to the Jews that Jesus is their Messiah, while Mark stressed the humanity of Jesus but he does not neglect His deity. Luke wanted to show that the place of the gentile Christian in God’s kingdom is based on the teachings of Jesus. Luke` main theme is the nature of Jesus Christ` messiah ship and mission. The gospel of Luke presents Jesus in ways that would appeal to an audience of high minded gentiles. The gospel of John is presented firstly with a prologue or introduction. John speaks of Jesus as one sent from God to reveal His love and grace to man. All the four gospels have unique story on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and they all speak of one person only Jesus who is the saviour of the Jews and the saviour of the world. All the resources I used are very helpful for doing a research like this one and I would recommend any theological student to use these books when doing their essays or research work. [5] 

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