- Matthew – the Jews
- Mark – the Romans
- Luke – the Greeks
- John – the world
In the last post on Biblelink, I recommended to you Eugene Peterson’s book, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. In the years since I first purchased a copy of The Message, I know that I have used it to read most, if not all, of the Bible. After sending out that post on Biblelink, I felt impressed to do something I had done only once before. Over a two week period of time, I read all four gospels straight through. According to the author, The Message is a “reading” rather than a “study” Bible. Therefore, it was easy to read through these gospels one right after the other.
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear you ask, so what? When I finished, I seemed to have some new insight into what Jesus was saying to anyone who chose to listen. Before this experience, I have to admit that I always had some “discomfort” in reading any of the four gospels. For me, what Jesus was saying was often hard to grasp in the midst of all the “events” that were taking place. So many different people coming and going with, what seemed to me, such a wide and confusing range of questions! I found the whole story in any of the gospels to be somehow “disjointed.”
As I finished reading all four gospels in “contemporary language,” I realized that, for me, Jesus was much more specific and consistent in what He had to say about Himself! I had always understood Him to be more or less “vague” in many of the statements He made about Who He was and why He was here. I found myself saying, “Wow, he really was specific in declaring that He is the Messiah!” I’m sure I was also helped by the consistency of what He had to say in all four gospels!
I also came away with a better understanding of why so few people really received Him and accepted Him to be the long awaited Savior. It saddened me to see that most of the people would not have given Him five minutes of their time and attention except for the many miracles that were taking place before their eyes. For most of them, even the undeniable miracles could not override the heavy load of lie-based thinking that “fallen man” has always carried in his head! The rich young ruler is a classic example (Matt. 19:16-20; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30).
Hopefully your past experience in reading any or all of the gospels has been more positive than mine. If not, please allow me to recommend using The Message to complete a “read through” of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John!
Here’s your next question: Can you name the two world empires God used during the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments to prepare for Jesus’ entrance into the world? The answer is found in Part 3 of the Bible Overview Mini-Course. Here’s a link for those of you who might not have a Bible at your finger tips: www.BibleGateway.com. Praying that you will allow the transforming power of His Word into your heart!!!!!
Don’t forget to refer your family, friends and church to the Bible Overview Mini-Course – http://www.bibleoverview.net/.
If you have been blessed by this Blog, you might want to check out the Heartlink Blog.
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