What’s the Point of the Gospels?

It would, perhaps, be a seemingly great advantage had God simply inspired one, long, comprehensive and exhaustive account of Jesus life from birth to resurrection with every detail recorded.  However, that is not what seemed best to God. Unlike parts of a modern day biography, the gospel accounts of Jesus do not exist primarily tell us about the menial aspects of his life (as if the God-man had anything menial about his life), particularly childhood and adolescence. Furthermore, details that don’t seem to add up between the four gospels are most likely attributed to the perspective and emphasis the author has.  Upon deeper examination, of course, those details will more often than not complement, not contradict, each other.

If the gospels are not an exhaustive biography of Jesus’ life, what is their point? They were mainly written to show how Jesus revealed the Father to the world and how and why he came to save sinners and reconcile them to God.  In short, they were written so that we would believe Jesus as Lord and Savior.

At the end of his gospel, John wrote his purpose statement. It would be fair to say that John’s purpose is the same purpose God intends for all four gospels and the Bible itself. What was the purpose? It was not so that you might know everything about Jesus’ life, but rather that “you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31). Moreover, to begin his gospel, Luke said that he wrote his account for Theophilus so that he “may have certainly concerning the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:4).

Father, help us believe and be certain about this God-man, your Son, Jesus!

One reply on “What’s the Point of the Gospels?”

Sure. Jesus Christ Superstar says, Couldn’t Jesus have reached a lot more people a lot more effectively if the Father had sent Him to earth two thousand years later, when there were video cameras and the Internet? But I think C. S. Lewis somewhere (I forget where) suggests that God did it the way He did partly precisely because He didn’t want us to be able to miss the point and obsess over details of Jesus’ life (or His physical appearance, for example, I suppose) and become devoted to them rather than to God Himself.


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