Comparing the Christology of John and The Synoptic Gospel (2)
C. Overlap Of The Four Gospels:
- The Early Galilean Ministry as recorded in Mt. 4:12-17; Mk. 1:14-15; Luke 4: 14-15 and John 4:3, 43-45
- Jesus’ vacation is interrupted in Mt. 14:13-14; Mk. 6:30-34; Lu. 9:10-11; Jn. 6:1-4
- The miracle of Five Thousand Fed in Mt. 14:15-21; Mk. 6:35-44; Lu. 9:12-17; Jn. 6:5-14
- Jesus walking on the Sea to show his divine nature is recorded in Mt. 14:22-33; Mk. 6;45-52; Jn. 6:16-21
- The anointing at Bethany in Mt. 26:6-13; Mk. 14:3-9 and Jn. 12:2-8
- The Triumphal entry into Jerusalem as The Suffering Saviour recorded in Mt. 21:1-11; Mk. 11: 1-11; Luke 19 29-44; and John 12:12-19
- The reveal of traitor Designated in Mt. 26:21-25; Mk. 14:18-21; Luke 22:21-23; John 13:21-30.
- The Agony in the garden indicating His Human Nature is recorded in Mt. 26:36-46; Mk. 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46 and John 18:1
- Jesus’ Betrayal in Mt. 26:26:47-56; Mk. 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:3-13
- Jesus’ Crucifixion as recorded in Mt. 27:35-38; Mk. 15:25-28; Luke 23:33-38; and John 19:18-24
- Darkness prevails as Jesus expires in Mt. 27:45-50; Mk. 15:33-37; Luke 23:44-46; John 19:28-30
- The Descent from the Cross-in Mt. 27:57-58; Mk. 15:42-45; Luke 23:50-53; John 19:31-38.
- The burial indicative of who He was in Mt. 27:59-61; Mk. 15:46-47; Luke 23:53; John 19:39-42.
- The women’s record to the Sepulchre to Anoint the Body of Jesus Christ not knowing that He has risen from dead in Mt. 28:1-7; Mk. 16:1-5; Luke 24:1-2; John 20:1.
D. Differences In The Synoptic And Joannie Gospels
John offers a different approach to its subject from that of the Synoptic. The content is different concerning the incidents related (before the last week in Jerusalem) and the content and style of the teaching; the result is a different picture of Jesus.
In the Synoptic, the Son of Man’s sayings are in three groups:
- Son of Man ministering on earth.
- Son of Man in humiliation and death.
- Son of Man in apocalyptic glory to judge people and inaugurate the kingdom of God.
John Gospel does not fall into this classification. The first three Gospels (Synoptic) provide something like a photograph, while John provides an artist’s portrait, in which Jesus is seen more explicitly in the light of who Christians knew him to be after the Resurrection. John aims to draw out the inner meaning of the story of Jesus. In the Synoptic, there are only a few isolated references to the Spirit. Jesus is portrayed much more frequently as the Son of God and as speaking of Himself openly as such in John’s Gospel (John 5:16-23; cf. 10:33). Jesus gives a much stronger impression of having supernatural knowledge acquired from God, and He’s open about the close relationship between Himself and God as His Father.
The passages in John 6:33-35, 6:27; 6:53; 6:51) show conclusively that a reference to the death of Jesus is intended, and this suggests a sacrificial meaning. To some extent, these sayings are analogous to the Synoptic sayings about the suffering and death of the Son of Man, which provide background for the most distinctive element in the Johannine usage. The difference between the Synoptic and Johannine uses of “Son of Man” is that John played down the eschatological sayings by omitting them and emphasizing one aspect implicit in the Synoptic sayings: the pre-existence and incarnation of the Son of Man. Another difference is in the role Jesus’ Sonship plays between the Synoptic and John Gospels. In the Synoptic tradition, Jesus is reticent to speak of His Sonship and God’s fatherhood; this form of speech is confined to the latter half of his ministry and is used by Jesus only when speaking to his disciples.
In John, Jesus speaks of God as father 106 times. And the usage is not restricted to any period of his ministry or group of hearers. The Synoptic Gospels present a human, historical Jesus and also portray Jesus as the Son of God, but John’s Gospel enables us to see the Synoptic Christ in depth. John portrays Jesus in a twofold light without reflection or speculation. Jesus is equal to God; he is indeed God in the Flesh, yet he is fully human.
The Gospel Accounts Found Only In The Synoptic
1. Nine special events are recorded in the Gospel of Matthew that is not recorded in other gospels; five of these events are the fulfillment of the Old Testament Prophecies. i.e.
- Joseph’s dream to support the Virgin birth – Mat. 1: 20-24
- The visit of the Magi to show a Saviour is born – Mat. 2:1-12
- The Escape to Egypt – Mat. 2:13-15
- The Slaughter of the Children – Mat. 2:16-18
- The death of Judas – Mat. 27: 3-10
- The dream of Pilate’s wife – Mat. 27: 19
- The other Resurrections – Mat. 27:52
- The bribery of the guards – Mat.28:11-15
- The baptism emphasis in the Great Commission – Mat. 19, 20
2. Mark’s Gospel carried three events that were not recorded in other gospels:
- The Story of the growing seed – Mk. 4:26-29
- Jesus healing of a deaf man who could hardly talk – Mk. 7:31-37
- Jesus healing of a blind man at Bethsaida – Mk. 8:22-26
3. There are about eleven events recorded only in the Gospel of Luke that are not present in other gospels.:
- Special events leading up to the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus – Lu. 1:5-80
- Events from Jesus’ Childhood – Lu. 2:1-52
- Jesus’s rejection at Nazareth – Lu. 4:16-30
- Jesus’s provision of a miraculous catch of fish – Lu. 5:1-11
- Jesus raises a widow’s son from the dead – Lu. 7:11-17
- A sinful woman anoints Jesus’ feet – Lu. 7:36-50
- Women travel with Jesus – Lu. 8:1-3
- Events, miracles, and teachings during the months before Christ’s death – Lu.10:1-18;14
- Jesus’ meeting with Zacchaeus and the parable of the King’s ten servants – Lu.19:1-27
- Jesus’ trial before Herod – Lu. 23:6-12
- Some of Jesus’ last words before His ascension – Lu. 24:44-49
Similarities In The Four Gospels
Similarities in the Johannine and Synoptic gospels are seen in the affirmative of the Humanity and Divinity of Jesus Christ. The Four gospels supported and gave evidence that Jesus possessed attributes of Deity. The Four gospels affirm the full absolute Deity of Jesus Christ and agree that He is truly and fully God as he is truly and fully man. His name is called “Emmanuel,” God with us (Matt. 1:22). The correct Christological position presented by the four gospels is that Jesus is fully man and fully God.
Pieces of Evidence that Jesus Possessed Attributes Of Deity:
- Jesus demonstrated his Omnipotence – Matt.8: 26-27; 14:19; John 2:1-11
- Jesus asserts His eternity – John 8:58
- Jesus demonstrated his Omniscience in knowing people’s thoughts – Mark 2:8; John 6:64; 2:25; 16:30
- Jesus possessed divine sovereignty – Mark 2:5-7; Matt.5:22, 28, etc.
- Jesus possessed the attribute of immortality – John 2:19; 10:17-18
F. Synthesis and Harmonization of the Christology of the Synoptic Gospels and that of John:
The central theme of the Four Gospels is Jesus Christ. Each Gospel tells the story of the significant part of Jesus’ life, which begins with the forerunner, John the Baptist, and terminates with Christ’s death and Resurrection. The Gospels enable us to trace how Jesus’ actions and sayings revealed who He was; fully man and divine. Jesus’s identity was revealed in Matthew and Luke; this is achieved by the Stories of Jesus’s birth and the events leading up to it. Luke’s account is told from Mary’s point of view, whereas Matthew focuses on Joseph. The Gospels tell the story of Jesus as he traveled around the Jewish villages in Galilee and eventually made his way to Jerusalem, speaking about the arrival of the kingdom of God (Mk. 1:14-15).
The identification of Jesus as Messiah was believed to have been vindicated by God (Luke 24:19-27), and the final picture is of a Lordly figure commanding his followers to engage in a worldwide mission (Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24:44-49).
Jesus and Forgiveness of Sins:
- Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic lowered on a mat through the roof – Mat. 9:2-8
- Jesus forgave the sins of the woman caught in adultery – John 8:3-11
- Jesus forgave the sins of the woman who anointed his feet with oil – Luke 7:47-50
- Jesus forgave Peter for denying he knew Jesus – John 18: 15-18, 25-27
- Jesus forgave the criminal on the Cross – Luke 23:39-43
- Jesus forgave the people who crucified him – Luke 23:34
All who follow Jesus Christ as Lord have treasured the seven last words of Jesus on the Cross; they demonstrate both His humanity and Divinity. They also capture the last moments of all that Jesus went through to gain forgiveness for our sins. These statements are recorded in the four gospels:
- “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” – Luke 23:34
- “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” – Lk. 23:43
- Speaking to John and Mary, “Dear woman, here is your son, here is your mother” John 19:26, 27
- “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – Mt. 27:46; Mark 15: 34
- “I am Thirsty” – John 19:28
- “It is finished” – John 19:30
- “Father, unto your hands I commit my Spirit” – Luke 23:46
Believing in the records of the Four Gospels (the Synoptic and John Gospels) is believing in Jesus Christ, His death & Resurrection.