GREAT BIBLE WRITERS – MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE, AND JOHN
“This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” -John 21:24,25
Some people think that the life of Jesus is mentioned in all 66 books of the Bible. Although all the books tell us about God’s plan for Jesus to save everyone, there are only four books in the Bible that tell us the details of Jesus’ life. They are the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The word “gospel” means good news. These books tell the good news of Jesus’ life. In these four books, we can read about Jesus’ birth, his life and ministry, and his death and resurrection. God chose these four men to write the biography of Jesus. Their story is very special. You hear a reading from one of these four men every Sunday. In many churches the assembly stands to show respect for the account of Jesus’ life and his very words.
Who were these four men? We’ll begin with Matthew, since his book comes first. Matthew was one of the men Jesus chose to be in his special group of twelve apostles. Before Jesus met him, Matthew was a tax collector near the Sea of Galilee. He set up his table along the road and collected money from the people. Matthew was not liked by anyone because the tax collectors were often considered cheaters and traitors. You can read the story about Matthew’s conversion in the book that he wrote. The book of Matthew includes Jesus’ longest sermon called the Sermon on the Mount in chapters 5, 6, and 7.
Mark is the next of the gospel writers. He was not one of the twelve apostles. But after Jesus ascended into heaven we find Mark traveling with Barnabas and Paul as a missionary to foreign lands. Mark’s mother was also named Mary, and he was the cousin of the missionary Barnabas. Mark’s gospel is the shortest of the four, but it tells about many of Jesus’ miracles.
Luke is the third of the gospels. Luke also was not one of the twelve apostles; in fact, Luke may never have met Jesus personally. We know that Luke was a doctor and he wrote his gospel to a friend named Theophilus, whom he names at the end of his book. Luke also wrote the book of Acts which contains a history of the early missionaries including Peter and Paul, Silas and Timothy.
The fourth gospel is John. He was a fisherman and the younger brother of James. They were the sons of Zebedee and Salome. He was also one of the special twelve apostles chosen by Jesus. In John’s book he calls himself the disciple whom Jesus loved. John liked to call Jesus the Good Shepherd. John also wrote 1, 2, and 3 John and the book of Revelation. We believe John lived to be the oldest of the apostles, dying at about the age of 100.
Take time to read the four gospels. They are special books that tell us about our Savior. Each book mentions different moments in Jesus’ life, but they all tell the same precious story.
In Christ, Mike Allard, Principal @ St. John’s, Neillsville