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The Gospel according to MATTHEW.
pp. 214 - 220
From the many attempts that must have been made in the early centuries to record the
life, words and works of the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 1: 1, 2), four have been inspired by
the Spirit of God and preserved by Him to the present time. When these are examined
carefully and reverently they disclose different aspects of the earthly life and ministry of
Christ. It is of great importance to recognize these differences, for they show the divine
purpose behind each Gospel and this keeps the student from wandering away from the
theme or importing wrong ideas into each book.
Four verses from O.T. Scripture can be used to set out these four distinctive aspects of
"Behold thy King" (Zech. 9: 9).
"Behold my Servant" (Isa. 42: 1).
"Behold the Man" (Zech. 6: 12).
"Behold your God" (Isa. 40: 9).
The Gospel according to Matthew presents the Lord Jesus as the Messiah and King of
Israel and traces His genealogy back through David the king. It was evidently written for
Hebrew believers. Mark presents the Saviour as the perfect Servant, hence there is no
genealogy, for this is not necessary for a servant. His Gospel commences with immediate
service and this is stressed right through to the resurrection. Even then it is not forgotten,
for it closes with the words "the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with
signs following" (Mark 16: 20). Mark has the Roman world in view.
Luke sets forth the Lord as the perfect Man and traces His genealogy back to Adam.
He has the Gentiles in view and the Greeks in particular. John's Gospel is severed off
from the other three in time of writing, although the modern tendency is to give it an
earlier date than it usually receives. He wrote to present Christ as the Son of God, the
One who was both God and Man and he had the whole world in view for the word
"world" is one of his key words and occurs some 78 times and this cannot be ignored by
any one who desires to expound correctly the fourth Gospel.
Thus we see that the needs of the Hebrews, the Romans, and the Greeks who were the
three great representative peoples of the world, are covered by the first three Gospels, and
John writes and addresses them all, in fact the world at large, for, as we have seen, the
word "world" is one of his key-words.
From the early centuries there has been an attempt to link the four Gospels with the
fourfold cherubim with their four faces of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle, as designated
in Ezek 1: 6-10. The trouble was that it could not be agreed as to which face was to be