Faith and the Four Gospel AuthorsVolume 3, Number 3
Created Date: July 7, 2008
Posted Date: July 7, 2008
The faith of Jesus in the Gospel Accounts:
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each recorded the life and ministry of Jesus Christ according to their unique perspectives and as inspired by the Holy Spirit. The first three give a brief glimpse of His background and/or early 30 years of life and the rest deal with His three years of actual public life/ ministry.
Matthew was one of Jesus' apostles. Before Jesus called him he was a tax collector or publican for the Roman government. In the first sentence of his book Jesus is introduced as the son of David and thus the book of Matthew presents Jesus in His particular ordained role as Israel's King. The first three chapters of Matthew's account tell about Jesus from His birth to the beginning of His ministry. Then, at the end of chapter 3 Jesus is introduced into His public life/ ministry: "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." Matthew 3:16 - 4:1.
John Mark was not an apostle of Jesus. Some believe he identified himself in his Gospel, Mark, as the young man at the arrest of Jesus in the garden who was wearing a linen cloth around his body and when attacked by the young men in the mob he fled from them naked, leaving the linen cloth in their hands,. Mark's mother owned a house in Jerusalem where the disciples often met for prayer, . He was a nephew of Barnabas and accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, , but he returned to Jerusalem when the going got tough and Paul refused to take him on the next journey, so causing a rupture in the fellowship between Paul and Barnabas, . However, Paul later writes that Mark proved faithful and became profitable to Paul's ministry, ; . Mark also had close ties with Peter who calls him my son, .
Mark's Gospel presents Jesus as God's perfect servant. His account provides no genealogy for Jesus and nothing is mentioned about Jesus' childhood, in keeping with His role as a servant. Mark's account opens with a brief narrative of John the Baptist introducing and baptizing Jesus into His public life/ministry: "And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.".
Luke was not one of Jesus' apostles. In addition to the Gospel that bears his name he also wrote the book of Acts. He was a doctor and was very close to the Apostle Paul, accompanying him on missionary journeys, Timothy 4:11. Luke's Gospel presents Jesus as God's perfect man and in keeping with this theme Luke traces the genealogy of Jesus back to the first man Adam,. As in Matthew and Mark, Luke's record of Jesus' public life/ ministry begins with the faith of Jesus being tried by Satan himself: "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered." .
The Gospel of John was written by Jesus' beloved Apostle,; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7; 21:20, who also wrote 1st, 2nd and 3rd John as well as the book of Revelation. In his Gospel John presents Jesus as God: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." & 14. Thus John does not record Jesus human genealogy because He was the Word of God when He came as human flesh. Nor does John record Satan's temptation of Jesus in the wilderness because God cannot be tempted, .
As we proceed in Volume 3 of these Faith Studies we will attempt to observe Jesus' perfect life of faith during His three years of ministry. To begin with it is interesting and informative to note how the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Gospels to use the word "faith" in their accounts of Jesus' life. Our English word "faith" is generally used to translate the Greek word "pistis," which is found 244 times in the New Testament (it is occasionally translated with a different English word.) The word pistis/ faith is found in almost every book of the New Testament.
Of special interest to us in this study is that "pistis," that is the word "faith," is found eight times in the Gospel of Matthew wherein Jesus is presented as King; five times in the Gospel of Mark where He is presented as Servant and eleven times in Luke where Jesus is presented as Man. However this word is not once used in the Gospel of John, which is in keeping with the purpose of that Gospel for Jesus was the Word made flesh that dwelt among us,. In other words, we see the faith of Jesus in His role as king, servant and man demonstrated in Matthew, Mark and Luke but in John Jesus is presented as the Word of God, upon which the faith of man is based. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." .
Jesus was/is the "Author and Finisher" of faith,and it can be stated that in His life as a man here on earth He personified faith. The Gospel accounts demonstrate His faith, along with His many other attributes. In our next study we will begin looking at how His faith was tried by Satan himself, right at the outset of His ministry, and how He answered and withstood those temptations.