We started out this study on the Synoptic Gospels by looking at the political and religious development that frame the world in which Jesus came into and today, we will taking a quick look on each of the Synoptic Gospels and their objective.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the Synoptic gospels. They are called synoptic because they can be viewed together to gain parallel understanding of the life and ministry of Jesus. In that, all three have close similarities in content, order and wording that they can easily be set side by side to provide a comparison of their content even though there are omissions and additions in each of them. John, however, is not considered synoptic because it has many different events, content and order in contrast with Matthew, Mark, and Luke. (E.g. there’s no mentioned of any parable of Jesus in the gospel of John neither did he mention the end of the age prophecies of Jesus at the Olivet discourse etc) 

The gospel of Matthew was written for Jews. The Jews look in anticipation for the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah who will usher in the kingdom of heaven, an heir to the throne of David. Matthew’s objective was therefore, to reveal Jesus as the fulfillment of prophecies and as the king of Jews, the legal heir to throne of David. So he spells this out in his genealogy as he connected Jesus to the covenant of Abraham and of David so they realize the promises made to them are fulfilled in him. The Jews, however, missed it all because they expected the Messiah will be a mighty warrior who will lead them in conquest against the Romans and establish an earthly kingdom where he will rule over them forever in their holy city (Jerusalem). (See Zech 9:9; Matt 21:1-6, Jer 23:5; Matt 2:1-10)

The gospel of Mark was written to the Romans who were vitally interested in one who can work and perform great deed. It therefore represent the character and career of Jesus from the Roman point of view as answering to the idea of divine power, work, conquest and universal sway. This gospel presents Jesus as a servant and so there’s no mention of his genealogy for ancestry of servants are not worthy of note. (See Isa 42:1, Zech 3:8, Mark 10:45)
Luke presented Jesus as the perfect man and universal savior. We see this clearly in his genealogy as he connected Jesus back to Adam, son of God; stressing his possession of all. It was a gospel written for the Greeks who were vitally interested in knowledge, so he presented Jesus as the wisdom of God incarnate. (See Zech 6:12-13, Luke 2:30-32, 3:38, 19:10)

Friends, the New Testament is a revelation of the redemptive activity of God as it culminates in the; incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; the spread of the gospel and the end of the world (end of the Old Covenant age). That is what the New Testament is all about and understanding the synoptic gospels in their proper context, is key to understanding the Epistles; for the epistles are explanations of the gospel as even as they give us details of how the gospel spread throughout the vast Roman Empire. 

I hope you find this study helpful in aiding your understanding of the synoptic gospels. You can share with friends, drop a comment and ask questions.

Grace to you.

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