The Lord Jesus Christ is a wonderful person. The more you seek to know Him, the more you realize that He is unsearchably rich (Eph. 3:8). In order to give a proper, full account of this wonderful person, there was the need for not one, but four gospels. These gospels are biographies of the Lord Jesus, and each emphasize a particular aspect of the Lord.
“As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and the four of them had the face of a lion on the right side, and the four of them had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four of them had the face of an eagle.” Ezekiel 1:10
The living creatures in Ezekiel and Revelation are a picture of Christ, and each face is meaningful. The four gospels actually correspond to these four faces!
The Gospel of Matthew: King-Savior
The lion represents the king. Lions are the king of the jungle, and Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David (Rev. 5:5). Judah is the tribe of kings, so you see the connection between the lion and the king.
The gospel of Matthew is unique in a few ways. Firstly, it gives a genealogy to Christ. This genealogy is distinct from that in Luke though, for it is showing something particular about the Lord, namely that He is the King.
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” Matthew 1:1
“And Jesse begot David the king.” v.6
Unlike Luke, Matthew only traces Jesus back to Abraham, emphasizing David and Solomon in the line. He is trying to show that this Jesus truly is the king who was to come (2 Sam. 7:12-16).
Another unique feature of this gospel is the term “kingdom of the heavens.”
“And saying, Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” Matthew 3:2
see also 4:17; 5:3, 10, 20; 7:21; 10:7; 11:11; 13:24; 25:1
This term is unique to this gospel and is different from the “kingdom of God” in John 3:3 and Mark 1:15. While the kingdom of the heavens is included in the kingdom of God, it has specific reference to the believers living under the heavenly rule of Christ in the spiritual realm. The kingdom of God includes the physical kingdom of the Jews (Matt. 21:43) and is entered into via regeneration (Jn. 3:3), but the heavenly kingdom is something we learn to live by throughout our life as revealed in chapters 5-7 of Matthew.
The Gospel of Mark: Slave-Savior
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Signified by the ox, Christ in the gospel of Mark is revealed as the Slave of Jehovah who diligently served Him, even unto death. He is further revealed as the Slave-Savior in that this gospel has no genealogy, for the ancestry of a slave is not noteworthy.
This gospel is simple, revealing the Lord’s diligence in service toward God. A defining characteristic of the gospel is the word “immediately,” which is used over 40 times. The Lord steadfastly goes to the cross in this gospel as the slave-savior.
The Gospel of Luke: Man-Savior
Our Lord Jesus is a man! The gospel of Luke presents the perfect man in a full way. It includes a genealogy that links Christ all the way back to the first man:
“The son of Adam” Luke 3:38m
Luke is not concerned with dispensational truths or proving Christ as the Messiah to come as Matthew is, rather he presents a genuine man was came to save all men (2:10). This gospel is the longest gospel and contains many parables and stories that are not found in the other three. These include the good Samaritan, the Shepherd seeking His sheep, the Woman seeking the coin, the Father receiving the prodigal son, healing the bent woman, the story of the beggar Lazarus, the saving of Zaccheus, and the healing of the widow’s only son.
All of these stories reveal something particular about the Lord’s humanity and His loving care for men. He is revealed as the compassionate one who wants to enter into all of our situations. It is so wonderful to have a man-savior! He is truly our sympathetic High-Priest (Heb. 4:15).
The Gospel of John: Jesus Christ is God
Our Lord Jesus is the very God of the universe, represented by the eagle (Ex. 19:4; Dt. 32:11). The eagle is transcendent over every situation and soars in the heavens. This is used to represent God in Ezekiel. The gospel of John reveals, more than any other book in the New Testament, that Jesus is God.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 (see v. 14)
“Before Abraham came into being, I am.” 8:58b (see Ex. 3:14)
This gospel is the most unique gospel, not intended to give a full account of Christ’s life (20:30), but rather to reveal Him as life (v.31; 10:10; 11:25; 14:6), light (1:4; 8:12; 9:5), and the full Triune God (1:1; 10:30; 14:10, 26, 28). In Christ is the fullness of the God-head (Col. 1:19; 2:9).
Wonderful Person For Our Experience
Jesus Christ is a wonderful person. He is our king, yet He serves us. He is a man just like us, yet He is the very God. This, however, is only doctrine. The reason why God became a man and is all these wonderful things is not for our study, but for our experience:
“that I may gain Christ” Philippians 3:8
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14
We need to gain this wonderful Christ! He is available and near as the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17; 1 Cor. 15:45). He desires not only to enter into us, but to spread into our every part (Eph. 3:17-19)! I hope no one reads this and is impressed with a presentation of Christology. I rather hope that all reading would begin or continue this journey of seeking to personally and subjectively know this wonderful One!