The fourth Gospel is considered a primer on the essential basics of Christianity. In the book of John, Christ is clearly and pre-eminently exalted as deity. In simple (yet profound) terms, Jesus is set forth so that all may believe He is indeed the Son of God. Hopefully, this lesson, which provides a bird’s-eye view of the 21 chapters in John, will help all of us realize eternal life begins with Christ.
I remember Mom crying a lot and Dad reminding, “Don't forget where you come from son and don't forget to call.” He told me that they would always love me and trust me to be faithful to God now that I'm away from home.
Dr. Luke, Paul’s travelling companion, was probably the only Gentile writer of any part of the New Testament. His Gospel focuses on providing a complete account of the life of Jesus. Certainly, none of the other three evangelists gave us a more detailed or descriptive analysis of the Saviour’s birth, childhood, and manhood.
Although the shortest of the four Gospels, the book of Mark wastes no words portraying the Saviour as a servant to others. The tone is practical, which appealed to the Roman mindset. We want to observe the Servant at work in this account of His life, noticing especially how clearly the key verse of the book (Mark 10:45) outlines the two major phases of His earthly existence and ministry.
God is more concerned about our hearts and our being, more than He is about our doing—who we are as opposed to what we do. That sounds pretty radical.
Matthew, a tax collector by trade, wrote his book to emphasize Christ, the King. The book includes numerous facts and expressions, which would have appealed to the Jewish reader. The fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and the presentation of Jesus as Messiah are clearly emphasized. When we understand the book of Matthew we bow before King Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel.
I want to pass along some thoughts by way of four simple reminders. Let's call them “commandments,” which apply to anyone graduating—as well as to those of us who graduated years ago.
We now begin the second phase of our safari through Scripture. Our desire is to see all 27 books as a whole—to see how they fit together, how they relate to us, and the value of each section to the person who reads and believes the Bible. Of special interest is the “flow” of thought carried through these books and letters of the New Testament.
Good or bad things can be stressors therefore stress is unavoidable. Anything that stresses one aspect of our being affects our total being.
All of us need heroes to inspire and challenge us to live authentic lives of integrity. Centuries ago, one such hero of integrity kept himself afloat in the swamps of ethical compromise. His name was Daniel, and he serves as an example of authenticity for us to become heroes in our own generation. A life well lived not only inspires others but also results in great rewards both in this world and in the world to come.