The Gospels

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					Each of the three gospels (Matthew, Mark, and John) begins by portraying Jesus as the almighty Son of God, and the “word of God”. Each gospel however shows us the power of Jesus in a different way. The Gospel of Matthew opens with an overview of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah. After discussing the 14 generations behind Jesus, the writer of the gospel of Matthew then talks about the angel that appeared to Joseph, and that Joseph should not fear his wife Mary, for she will give birth to the Son of God. Written around 80-90 CE, the Gospel of Matthew recounts the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus speaks to crowds about the way life should be lived in the kingdom. He presents these ideas as a blueprint to the ideal human community in which commitments made to one another are unbreakable oaths: You can live by the way god has designed for you, or you can just follow the crowds. In this Sermon on the Mount, we see Jesus speak to the people the wills of God. Jesus speaks of things like how to treat your neighbors and your spouses, ideas brought forth in the 10 commandments. In comparison to the gospel of Mark, the gospel of Matthew is nearly the same, containing 90% of the material contained in Mark, however in Matthew there appears to be more teaching than action. The Gospel of Mark, written approximately 70 CE, is thought by historians to be the earliest written gospel. In the beginning of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is again depicted as the Almighty Son of God. In Mark however, more attention is placed on the idea that Jesus has the power of the Messiah, and will bring an alternative to oppressive spiritual power. Symbols of Jesus’ power are the crowds that were in awe of him, the authorities that rejected him, and the disciples who chose to follow him. Because his power was becoming more widely realized, Jesus began to teach in parables as a way to conceal himself better. This becomes known as the secrecy motif of mark, in that Jesus tries to conceal his identity, and prevent people from telling others that he is the messiah. It is possible that through this we gain a slight misunderstanding or misinterpretation of Jesus… it seems that not many people can understand him, or what he is. The healing of a blind man represents the disciples’ gradual understanding of Jesus’ death and power. Following the secrecy motif, the text abruptly cuts off at the end, leaving the reader to fill in any possible conclusions. The Gospel of John, written approximately 90 CE is the most unique of the three, in that 90% of the material in it is not in Mark or Matthew. The opening is powerful, and alludes to the graphic imagery used in Genesis. Again, Jesus is presented as the exalted word of God. In this Gospel, we are basically told that Jesus is the living God, as opposed to Mark and Matthew where such is inferred. In John, we see this philosophical dualism, a sense of separation of the spiritual world and the physical world. Jesus’ miracles come as signs of power, whereas in the other gospels miracles come as a sense of prophecy fulfilled. The crucifixion is the ultimate exalting act, symbolizing his ascension to god Even though it is hard to say who exactly wrote each of these gospels, the most important thing is that the disciples of Jesus were trying to figure out who he really was, and the importance of his death.

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Description: Essay on The Gospels