The Gospel’s have different flavors. Generally speaking, Matthew focuses on fulfillment of scripture and more Jewish issues. Mark is very action oriented. Luke focuses on the Christ’s love for the downtrodden. John gives us a view of Jesus’ life from the inner circle. They all have so much to offer and so many stories to teach us. Let’s have a little informal poll:
Which Gospel do you relate with the most?
Which Gospel is your favorite? Why?
I prefer the Gospel of John for two reasons:
I appreciate John’s emphasis on concepts, such as love, life, truth, and light.
I also appreciate the stories of Jesus’s interactions with people like Nicodemos, the Samaritan woman, and the man born blind.
John is poetry.
John’s kinda like my wife. I love her, but don’t understand her (stole that line from Wright).
I prefer Luke. Plus, it’s the lead-in to Acts.
Mark is mine. It was the first Gospel (and first book of the Bible for that matter) where I discovered that the writer’s had a literary agenda in terms of structuring their content. I knew about John’s stated purpose (20:30-31)but I discovered something even more eye-opening in Mark. For instance – almost all of Mark’s miracles occur before Peter’s confession. Then the triumphal entry occurs sooner then the other books and is almost half of Mark’s gospel. So Mark’s gospel was the first gospel and book where I started to read about these little literary details. So I have been fascinated with Mark every since.
Sounds like you would really like the book, “Israel’s Scripture Traditions and the Synoptic Gospels: Story Shaping Story” by Willard M. Swartley. It is a great read and points out more of those “little things” than you can shake a stick at.
12.05 + shipping – Amazon.com
I would have say John.
You see Jesus prayer in the garden before going to the cross in John 17 and it gives me a drive to make Christianity ONE. I like also how John finishes the gospel, in John 21:24-25 “This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that this testimony is true. Jesus did many other this as well. IF every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”
I am always torn between Mark and John. John seems to present the story of Jesus from Jesus’/God’s view point, which opens many theological conversation (that is not to say that Mark is not theological). But Mark’s Gospel is a call to faith expressed in true discipleship (not to say that other Gospel’s do not discuss discipleship). When studying the Bible with people who are not Christians and do not know what Christianity is all about, I normally start by reading through Mark with people. Also, beginning next week I will start preaching a sermon series from the Gospel of Mark titled “His Name is Jesus.” So… perhaps Mark is my favorite at the moment.
I like John, but I find myself reading mostly from Luke–not sure why but I am particularly drawn to the crucifixion/resurrection story in Luke, it always touches me in a very profound way.
Have a wonderful worship tomorrow
Matt, thanks for the suggestion. I’ll put it on my list.
I like Matthew because, I think it shows Jesus’ fulfillment of the Scriptures as the promised Messiah in a much more clearly defined way, and I think Jesus constantly refering to Himself as The Son of Man, makes it easier for me to understand jesus’ earthy mission.
Ilike John because again we see Jesus through God’s point of view. I also find myself reading from Luke more though. I guess it is because it links to Acts and then it has more tidbit information in it. Have a wonderful worship day everyone
I am torn between Luke and Matthew. I love them both. Perhaps it is the Jewish veins …
I like your current reading too. A good follow up to Christ and Culture is Resident Aliens by Haurwas and Willimon.
I got Resident Aliens under my belt a while back. That one was a tough read for me. It was what I needed to hear.
Results so far:
Matthew – 1.5
Mark – 2
Luke – 1.5
John – 5
Looks like John is the winner. Maybe we should do a post on each one to convince you why it should be your favorite.
I found Mark exhilarating. I was reading the amazing dramatic build up to the crucifixion when my young son was arrested. I found that Mark’s candid approach prepared me for dealing with him and the family in a calm way that I do not think I could have managed otherwise. I am worried and fearful but not panicky. This is not my story but his, and God’s.