“On the fourth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me . . . four Calling Birds . . . “

The four who call our attention most pointedly to Christ are the evangelists (gospel writers, if you prefer): Matthew Mark, Luke and John. Of these four, two were among the number of the Twelve, and the other two were closely associated with Paul.

One might ask why it is necessary to have four gospels, wouldn’t one tell the story? In all candor there are other ancient documents claiming to be other gospel stories which for one reason or another were not included in the canon when the church spent months debating over the writings to include in Holy Scripture. So, not only why four? but why these four? It is not my purpose to get into a deep historical debate over which came first (I trust the experts who have concluded that Mark was the earliest to write his account), and I will also admit that if you find something wrong with my statements about each of the gospels, then you are free to comment and state your opinion (if it came down to debate, you’d probably win because you’re probably smarter than me, but I’d still stand behind what I write).

So, why four calling birds?

  1. Matthew wrote his account–from his perspective–with an audience in mind that would be interested in why Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ (Messiah). He went to great lengths to disclose the overwhelming number of prophecies concerning Messiah that Jesus fulfilled.
  2. Mark wrote his account–from his perspective–with a desire to get a record into existence that proved definitively that Jesus was not only the Christ, but also that He was God and Man united in one person.
  3. Luke, the doctor–writing from his perspective–was a stickler for detail. He included a multitude of historical details that set the events of Jesus in a historical perspective for us.
  4. John, the “beloved disciple”–writing from his perspective–gave us the most eloquent of the gospels in which he showed in the miraculous manner of His ministry, Jesus could be none other than the Word made flesh (dwelling among us).

Taken separately, these four gospels give us (some 2000 years later) a good picture of who Jesus was (the Christ) and what He did. Taken together they paint an entire picture from which we as Christ’s followers can tell the World about the Messiah who came to earth to save us from our sinful selves.