Each of the Gospels has features about it I love. Like many Christians my idea of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a mixed-upped conflation in my mind of all four Gospels.
When I started studying the Bible as a young man I began noticing how each Gospel tells the story in a somewhat different way, and something about that bothered me. I wondered, “Where they differ what is the truth of the story?”
One of my teachers helped me with this by having me imagine a beloved mother with four children, and upon her death each child wrote a remembrance of her. Each child’s remembrance of their mother would be different, but they would all be true.
Another helpful analogy I heard was that the Gospel is like a diamond, when you turn the diamond the light catches different facets of the precious stone. Each of the four Gospels is a different facet of the one Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It was in the Christmas story where I first noticed the differences in the several Gospels. Mark and John say nothing about the birth of Jesus. Only in Matthew do we hear about the visit of the Magi, their meeting with Herod and his slaughter of the innocents, and Mary and Joseph’s flight to Egypt.
But it is especially Luke we think of most often at Christmas time. Only Luke has the annunciations to Elizabeth and Mary, Mary’s Magnificat, and only in Luke do we have the choir of angels addressing the shepherds.
And so these early chapters of Luke might be a good place for me to start to tell you what I especially love about Luke. Continue reading