The gospel according to you

th-15The Gospel According to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are the four different accounts of the life of Jesus. Why do we have four accounts and not just one, especially when they sometimes don’t agree? Actually, this is something that confirms the authenticity of these texts rather than challenges it. Why didn’t they amalgamate them all into one document when the early church fathers put the books together to form the Bible we have today? Because they believed each one of them was inspired by God and therefore important in its own right. If four people witnessed the same event, each one would tell about it differently because they each witnessed it from a different perspective. At the same time, where they most agree will show the most important facts about what actually happened. You would expect them each to tell the same story with a different emphasis, which is exactly what we have.

Matthew is all about how Jesus was the promised Messiah. It’s the most Jewish of the four (where we find out all about the scribes and the Pharisees). Mark is the shortest and most stripped down version. “Just the facts, Ma’am…” — that’s Mark. Luke is the longest and most detailed about the humanity of Jesus and of the people he affected. Luke was a physician; he looked at things from a distinctively human perspective. John is concerned about showing us that Jesus was the full expression of God’s love for the world. John is the gospel of salvation. Together, they tell us more than just one, or even a combination of them all, could tell.

Now, here’s where we come in. The story is still being told, and it’s being told by you and me. Each one of us has encountered Jesus in a different way. Our versions will be similar, but different. Similar in that they will each tell us how God got our attention when we heard about His Son and what He did for us on the cross, how we believed it, and how our lives have been impacted ever since. But how we came to know that story and what we are experiencing of Him now will be different, because we are different people and we have different perspectives. Yet all are important; all are necessary to tell the whole story. This is not an amalgamated gospel; it’s a personal gospel.

This is why you and I are important. We are here to interact with God through Christ and tell the story of what we are finding out. It’s the gospel according to you and me.

In fact, this is what it means to “witness” or more accurately “be a witness”: it’s simply to tell your story — the story of you and God — the gospel according to you. It’s your perspective, and it’s important because it’s true. It’s what happened to you, and what is still happening every day. This is not a stock story you memorize and give out. It’s personalized. It’s your story, and that’s why people want to hear it. They want to know you, and what’s important to you. So when you tell someone about Jesus, that’s what you’re doing; you’re giving them the gospel according to you — even if you’re only in the process of believing, it’s still your story, and that’s the one you tell.

That makes you just as important as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. No one else has your story.

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4 Responses to The gospel according to you

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head. Control. That’s why people prefer the “legal” God to follow, but the “loving” God to say we believe in. My atheist friends constantly remind that “religion” is generally used for control. And believe me, it’s hard to have a discussion with someone about that. Ironically, when we let go of control and follow God’s lead of love, justice and mercy, it seems to always work out in some crazy way.

  2. I have some great testimonies during my life that God has given me and then I have the angry testimony where someone dared tell me that I wasn’t in His will! Why, because they were legalistic, I wasn’t reading the ‘true’ bible, I wasn’t saved, and I wasn’t living my life for Him! I find not only was it hurtful,but they never knew where He found me and lifted me up. It had such an impact on me that when I speak of the goodness he had brought to my life that never,ever, tell a person what church to attend, what bible to read, or that they should go at all. Catholic has 2 meanings, the denomination and universal. So I belong to the universal church and I approach the minute I step outside my door! Yes, if you are wondering I have a huge problem with someone trying to control me and in my experience these well intended folks made me ‘feel’ like a puppet on a string, it’s not for me. However God in His mercy, love, seeking to bring back the lost lamb has been very patient with me, to work out the damage. Honestly, some pastors and people wonder why I still believe, but I can’t let go of what I know even if it destroys me!

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