An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Itoo decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first. To write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.
In the beginning was the Word. and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The verses printed above are the different introductions to the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The evangelist, Matthew is writing to an audience with a distinctly Jewish background and he wants to show Jesus as a legitimate heir to the royal house of David. Unlike the gospels of Matthew and Luke which include stories related to Jesus’ birth, the evangelist Mark begins his gospel by focusing on Jesus’ ministry and its impact for the benefit of a Gentile and Jewish audience. One might initially suspect that the evangelist Luke is writing his gospel for a particular person named “Theophilus,” until one understands that the name means “lover of God.” The gospel of John explains the mystery of Jesus and is written with Gentiles in mind. Now the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke share a common source of material called “Q.” These three gospels are called the Synoptic Gospels. The Gospel of John is quite different from them.
My favorite gospel is the Gospel of Luke, but there are selections in the other gospels that are not included in Luke. For example, the Beatitudes are found in the Gospel of Matthew and the “I am” sayings of Christ are found only in John. Some healings and parables are particular to Mark’s Gospel. The much beloved Parable of the Prodigal Son or the Loving Father is unique to the Gospel of Luke.
The four gospels with their different sayings and stories of Jesus do much to enrich our picture of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. We get a better and more detailed understanding of Jesus ministry by having the four gospels.
O God, we are grateful for the evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John who wrote their gospels and for those who acted to preserve them so that they could be used to share the faith. Help us always to be fascinated by the story of Jesus Christ so that our love for Him deepens and our desire to serve Him increases as we live day-by-day. In His name, we pray. Amen.