As we strive to Know His Word more deeply in 2018, we’ll be reading the Bible together in genres. Our hope is that together we will see how each book of the Bible fits into the overarching story of Scripture. On the first day of each month, we’ll walk through a new biblical genre together. This month, we’ll be looking at the Gospels.
This month, we (finally) enter the New Testament in our reading. Some of you may be greatly rejoicing! Instead of wading through the stories of the judges and prophets, we now turn our attention to the stories of Jesus’ life here on earth. He is the One the whole Old Testament pointed to, whether overtly or in a more subtle way. He is the One they’ve been waiting on since Genesis 3.
As we read about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection this month, we’ll discover that He is the true King, the righteous Judge, the almighty Warrior, and the fulfillment of prophecy. He is our Messiah, the promised One, the Hope we’re all looking for.
We’ve structured this reading plan a little differently this month. Instead of reading straight through the Gospels one book at a time, Dustin, our reading plan guru, planned it so that we will be reading chronologically through the life of Jesus. We’ll read some stories a few times from the different perspectives of the Gospel writers. We hope that this helps you see familiar stories in a new way to gain a better understanding of our Savior.
And that is why we read the Gospels. As Colossians puts it, Jesus is “the image of the invisible God” (1:15). Jesus, a man who walked the earth and made friends, grants us a view of our God—the almighty Creator of the universe. Jesus points to Him in every action and word. We read the Gospels to get a glimpse of God. We read the Gospels because they tell of Immanuel—God with us.
We read the Gospels to get to know the One who gave His life for us and conquered death so that we might have eternal life with our God.
The CSB Study Bible puts each book in light of the rest of Scripture:
As the first book in the New Testament, Matthew serves as a gateway between the two testaments. Of the New Testament books, Matthew has the strongest connections to the Old Testament. Matthew gave us God’s entire plan from Genesis to Revelation. This Gospel refers to Hebrew prophecies about sixty times and looks forward by showing the Messiah’s future plan for His church and kingdom.
Mark contributes a clarification of the idea of the Messiah and a redefining of the term itself. Mark also shows us the human side of Jesus. In fact, more than the other Gospel writers, Mark emphasizes Jesus’ human side and His emotions. Thus Mark gives us a strong picture of both the humanity and divinity of Jesus.
Nearly 60 percent of the material in the Gospel of Luke is unique. Thus, there is a great deal that readers of Scripture would not know if Luke were not in the Bible.
Of all the Gospels and any of the New Testament books, the Gospel of John most clearly teaches the deity and preexistence of Christ. John’s Trinitarian teaching is among the most overt presentations of the tri-unity of the Godhead—Father, Son, and Spirit—in the entire New Testament and has provided much of the material for early Trinitarian and Christological formulations in the history of the church.
And now, here’s a PDF of the July reading plan to print!
We would love to hear what you’re learning as we read through His Word together. Share on social media with the hashtag #KnowHisWord18, so we can learn together! We’ve also included an image below, featuring a verse we’ll read this month, perfect for Instagram.