The Gospels aren’t just biographies. They’re stories written with a clear purpose in mind.
Matthew writes to convince the Jews that Jesus is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament promises about a Messiah.
Mark writes to tell the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Luke writes an orderly account so that a guy named Theophilus (and everyone else who hears it) would have certainty about the facts about Jesus.
John writes so that the hearer would believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and believing have life in His name.
Why do I write?
Because writing is a chance to create. Because words have power. That’s true of words in general, but infinitely (literally) true of the power of God’s Word.
Let me write about the Gospels for a minute. The Gospels are absolute literary masterpieces. They’re the books of the Bible I have studied the most, read the most often, translated the most times. And the more familiar I become with them, the more I am blown away by how well-crafted they are.
This should be no surprise. After all, I believe what Scripture tells me – that when the Gospel writers articulated thoughts and events into words, they were carried on by the influence of the Holy Spirit. And I believe one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to make Scripture clear and understandable, that a finite human mind can grasp the infinite plan and workings of God Himself.
But the other thing I love about the Gospels is how human they are. Matthew writes like a first-century Jew. Mark slips into self-deprecating humor about the time he went streaking in the midst of a detailed account of the betrayal and arrest of Jesus. Luke – the physician – write with clinical precision. John humbly gives the account from the inner circle as the disciple Jesus loved.
That’s part of why I write. Because God has given us universal truths and an unchanging Word. But he also personalizes our faith and challenges us to connect His eternal Gospel with the individual lives of unique human beings.
So, if my personality flows through my keystrokes, I follow a long line of creators, made in the image of the Creator – the Word who was from the beginning.
I love the Gospels; they’re writing with purpose. I can only hope that the words I write clearly convey my own convictions about Jesus, whose words carry the kind of depth and substance needed to change lives – starting with my own.