Christ In The Four Gospels -- By: Edward P. Gardner

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 069:274 (Apr 1912)
Article: Christ In The Four Gospels
Author: Edward P. Gardner

Christ In The Four Gospels

Edward P. Gardner

We have four pictures of Christ in the Bible, — one given in each of the Gospels. They are essentially the same, for they represent the same glorious person, yet they are distinct from one another.

In the first chapter of Ezekiel, there is a vision that appears to the prophet, of four living creatures sent forth from the throne of God, — wonderful creatures, shining like fire and speeding swift as lightning on their course. They are a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle. You see them again in the fifth chapter of the book of Revelation, and there they are represented as being in the midst of, and round, the throne of God. Clearly, these creatures correspond to the cherubim of the Jewish worship, and represent the fourfold energy of God as it issues forth toward the world. Accordingly they may be taken as symbols of the fourfold life of God revealed in Christ, and set forth in the four Gospels. Matthew gives us Christ as the lion; Mark, Christ as the ox; Luke, Christ as the man; John, Christ as the eagle. Matthew, Christ the lion, sets forth his power and majesty, the lion of the tribe of Judah; Mark, Christ the ox, his strength for labor, bending his neck beneath the yoke; Luke, Christ the man, his humanity as one with us in nature and experience; John, Christ the eagle, his divinity, soaring above the earth into the presence of God.

The closing verse of each Gospel gives the characteristic of

each. Matthew’s last verse is, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” That is Christ the King. Mark’s last verse is, “They went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” That is Christ the Worker. Luke says, “They were continually in the Temple, praising and blessing God. That is the disciple’s joy in Christ, their Friend. John says at the close of the twentieth chapter (which is the real end of the Gospel, for the twenty-first is an appendix), “These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name.” That is Christ, the Divine One.

Matthew tells of Christ the King. The Jew, trained in the Old Testament, was expecting that the Christ would be a king. Prophecies of his kingly power run through all those Scriptures. God told Adam that “his seed should bruise the serpent’s head.” He made a covenant with Abraham “that his seed should possess the earth.” Through Jacob, he said that “the scepter” should “not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his fee...

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