Tuesday, September 1, 2020 -
Critics of the infallibility of Scripture love to point out differences in the Gospel accounts in an attempt to deny that it is divinely inspired. As we read in 2 Timothy 3:16, “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.”
Since I have been in prison, I have grown to love looking at the various nuances in the accounts provided by the different riders. I had never before taking the time to do this, but it is very important to do so in order to gain a full understanding of each incident or parable or teaching. I just discovered a book by a. Tea. Robertson which “our“ has and called “A Harmony of The Gospels“ which I cannot wait to acquire and devour when I get home.
Each gospel writer is looking at the life of Jesus from a different perspective. Of course, Matthew and John were eyewitnesses, although John was present on some occasions where Matthew was not, such as the transfiguration of Christ. Each gospel writer has a different purpose for writing and a potentially different audience. Scholars say Matthew was written to a Jewish audience, Mark to a Roman audience, Luke, himself a gentile to a Greek audience, and John, to all of mankind.
Matthew dealt specifically with demonstrating how Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, quoting from it 129 times. Mark emphasized Christ as a servant, showing how he demonstrated through his actions his supernatural power. He writes in a fast-paced manner. Luke, the doctor, or scientists, approached the account of Jesus’ life from a Gentile’s perspective providing more miraculous accounts and parables than the other gospels – – 38 of them, which are unique to Luke!
This morning, I read the Mark account of James and John, the two sons of 70, asking for the special favor of one sitting on His left and the other on His right in His kingdom. Yet in Matthew's account, their mother is seemingly the instigator when asking Jesus this special favor. Why does Mark leave this out? I have tried desperately to figure this out and finally went to “R “ To ask him what he thought. Off the top of his head, he said “sure, that’s what Matthew saw, he was there. I had just written that he was and I witness. Mark merely gave what was necessary to explain the intent of the incident – – the lesson of humility. The brilliance of “R“ in understanding the scripture truly amazes me as he has been in prison for nearly 48 years and has only been a believer for 17. Yet he seems far more knowledgeable than me. He’ll soon get his Bachelors's degree in biblical studies and then begin work on his Masters and he’s my age!
The other incident which a read this morning; of the blind beggar Bartimaeus, also has a big difference between Matthew’s account And Mark and Luke’s account. Matthew’s account which doesn’t mention Bartimaeus by name, says there were two blind men begging, those who were healed by Jesus. Again, we must understand that Matthew witnessed this incident, And Mark got it secondhand. Matthew's emphasis was on the healing power of Christ, but And Mark seems to emphasize the faith of the man also. For he adds, “And Jesus said to him, ‘go your way, your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.”