Introduction: The Gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ. Though there is none highly esteemed like Jesus, He is the most misunderstood person in the world. For many consider Jesus as a good man and a model humanitarian. Others consider Him as a great prophet and teacher. For many Jesus is a compassionate miracle worker. Once Jesus asked His disciple the personal question" who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15). Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Peter recognized and openly confessed the deity of Jesus Christ. It was supernaturally revealed to him by God the Father. Natural man can never understand Christ because He is a mystery (1Timothy 3:16). Mystery can't be understood apart from divine revelation. Disciples were divinely enabled to understand Christ and confess that He is the Christ, the Son of God (Matthew 16:16, 17). Secular historians paid little interest to know and write about Jesus Christ. Yet Jesus remains as the historical person. Gospels are the historical account of the life and work of Jesus Christ. The four gospels present four portraits of Jesus. History is His story. History is incomprehensible without Christ.
The Bible is all about Jesus Christ : In the Old Testament we see Him in types and shadows. The New Testament is the historical account of His life and ministry. The gospels reveal Christ. In fact He is the Gospel, the good news of salvation (Luke 2:30). The fact of the Gospel is found in the Gospels. The force of the Gospel is seen in the book of Acts. The interpretation of the Gospel is given in the Epistles. The Epistles are important books because facts without interpretation can lead to error. Christ is predicted in the Old Testament, revealed in the Gospels, preached in the Acts of Apostles, explained in the Epistles and anticipated in Revelation.
Authorship of the Gospels: The four Gospels were written by the Apostles and their close associates. Matthew was an Apostle and an eye witness of Christ. He presents Jesus as the promised Messiah and the hope of the nation of Israel (Matthew 1:21). Mark was one of the close associate of Peter. He presents Jesus as the Servant God who came to serve others, and to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Luke was a close associate of Paul. He presents Jesus as the Savior of the world (Luke 19:10). John was the beloved Apostle of Jesus Christ. He wrote his gospel to silence the philosophical speculation about the person and work of Jesus Christ. John presents Jesus Christ as the very Son of God (John 20:31). He was an eyewitness of Jesus Christ (John 1:14). Scholars suggest that the writings of early church fathers often quote from the Gospel of John and attribute the authorship to Apostle John.
Date and Place of Writing: There is general agreement that Apostle John wrote his gospel between A.D.85 and 95 from Ephesus. This date is supported by the discovery of papyrus manuscript. Most scholars agree with early church fathers, Irenaeus, clement of Alexandria and Jerome that John is the last of the four Gospels written.
Purpose: John identifies the purpose of writing his gospel in two verses (20:30, 31). John selected eight miracles Jesus performed to prove His deity. Also John reviews the seven “I Am “claims, Jesus made to develop the argument for Jesus deity. The three key words in this gospel are sign, believe and life. The first three Gospels are called synoptic Gospels because they look alike in the chronological account of the life of Jesus. But John's Gospel is different from other Gospels in many ways. It was written in a narrative format. John’s Gospel is the interpretation of the historic account of the life of Jesus Christ. Ninety percent of its content is not discussed in the synoptic Gospels. The heartbeat of John’s Gospel is evangelism (John 1:29). Some consider this as the most amazing book ever written. It is commonly recommended to new believers as a training manual. John 3:16 is the Gospel in nutshell and the best known Bible verse. The study of John’s Gospels will produce deeper understanding of the person and the work of Jesus Chris. Christ is the source of eternal life (John 17:3). May this study inspire us to love the Lord and motivate us for humble service (1 Peter 2:21).
May God bless you all.