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All four gospels in the New Testament relate the theme that Jesus is the Son of God. They all contain the words and works of Jesus. The major proof of Jesus' divinity in all four gospels is the resurrection. However, each gospel was probably written for a different audience; thus each stresses different aspects of this theme. Mark was probably aimed at a Roman audience who valued great deeds. It focuses on Jesus as a suffering servant. His miraculous works are accomplished in order to serve both mankind and God. According to Luke 1:1-4, this gospel was meant to be a historical investigation of Jesus, primarily for a man named Theophilus. Since this is a Greek name and Greeks aspired to human perfection, this gospel's theme focuses on Jesus as the perfect man. Matthew, a Jew, wanted to prove Jesus was the much anticipated Messiah. Thus his gospel includes many allusions to Messianic prophesies in the Old Testament. All three of these gospels are similar in the accounts they give of Jesus and are thus called the Synoptic Gospels. John's gospel is very different. Probably written much later than the first three gospels, it is organized around seven key events in Jesus' ministry. It emphasizes the idea that God came to earth in the flesh,"so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ. . and believing you may have life in his name." ( John 21:31). Thus it has a more mystical theme, the wonder of God's visitation on earth.
There are several themes common to the gospels. The first and most obvious is Jesus as the Messiah and the salvation of mankind through his shed blood. Next, you have the theme of the miraculous works of Jesus, which are sprinkled throughout the gospels and serve to support belief in his divine annointing.
Another theme is that of Jesus's authoritative commentary on the hottest topics of rabbinical debate of the times with an emphasis on the condition of the heart. For instance, argument over the topic of divorce raged between the houses of Hillel and Shammai during this time due to the ambiguity of the language of the original Old Testament text. Jesus weighs in on the interpretation of the text, revealing that the condition of the heart is the root of the actions of man. Similarly, purity of heart is revealed as the most important goal during Jesus's discussions on anger, murder and the giving of alms as well as his warnings to the Pharisees. Jesus, as a rabbi, addresses the most important theological arguments of his time from the perspective of living from a pure heart (as opposed to following the law to the letter while maintaining evil within).
Another theme is the importance of servanthood, or the idea that “the first will be last and the last will be first,” which is repeated many times throughout the gospels and demonstrated through parables and other stories (such as Jesus washing the feet of the disciples).
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