I love reading through the gospels. I think every believer ought to try and read through all four gospels at least two times a year. Why all four? Because each is written to a different audience, and each adds perspective to the others. Did you know that?
- Matthew was written to a primarily Jewish audience.
- Mark was written to the Christians in Rome (a Roman audience that was a mix of people groups — primarily non Jewish)
- Luke was written to an individual named, Theophilus, but also a broader audience of Gentiles (from all over)
- John was written to young believers and seekers.
Each book also had a primary purpose.
- Matthew was written to prove to the Jews that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah.
- Mark was written to present the person, work and teachings of Jesus.
- Luke was written to present and accurate and comprehensive account of the life of Christ as both God and man.
- John was written to prove the deity of Jesus Christ and to bring certainty of eternal life.
In fact, there has never been such a thorough and comprehensive book written before or after the Bible. It absolutely blows my mind the extent God went to to communicate His love and purposes to us, and it’s equally mind-numbing to see how many people miss it flat out. Or worse, spend their entire lives trying to refute the Bible as though it is some sort of dangerous virus that will eventually wipe out life as we know it. It’s never refuted out of logic or even honest argument over the long haul, but rather, out of an almost desperate hatred of God and a frantic search for a way to explain life apart from Him. But when we all stand before Him someday, he won’t take the old, “I didn’t know any better,” excuse so many will try to offer up.
That’s why this time through the gospel of Matthew showed me something so dark and sinister in the heart of man I had to reread it over and over to really fathom how hard we try to stiff arm God and go anywhere and with anyone other than Him. And what do we do when God calls us on the carpet?
We go into spin mode.
Oh no, God, I wasn’t avoiding You.
No, Lord, You have it wrong, I’m a good, religious person…
The spin cycle is shown over and over again in the gospels. I’ll show you specifics in the next couple blogs.