Gospel expositions of the four canonical gospels can be found on the following pages:
The Gospel according to Matthew
. (the Gospel from the perspective of the Twelve)
The Gospel according to Luke
. (the Gospel from the perspective of Paul)
written by Luke, a coworker of Paul, in Philippi of Macedonia in 56 CE, based on the Gospel according to Matthew and his own research and interviews of eyewitnesses. It is from the perspective of the Pauline mission or apostolate, and its underlying motif is the apostolate itself, Jesus’ and ours. It is the first volume of a two volume set. The second volume is the Acts of the Apostles, which continues on the same theme from the same perspective. The two volumes were separated in the middle of the second century when the gospel portion was set apart to be included in the new fourfold Gospel canon. In effect, Luke writes about the nature of the apostolate, the vitae apostolicae.
The Gospel according to Mark
. (the Gospel from the perspective of Peter)
written by John Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, around 68-70 CE, from the transcription of Peter when he was in Rome (64). It is an abridged and urgent retelling of the Gospel, weaving together the accounts of both Matthew and Luke with the freshness of Peter’s own recollection. It thus attempts both to affirm Luke’s (the Pauline) gospel alongside of Matthew’s (the Twelve’s) and to assert a bridge between the two. This gospel is about how the disciples, namely us, that is, Mark’s auditors or readers, can overcome our blindness by following Jesus in the way of the cross, the via crucis.
The Gospel according to John
. (the Gospel from the perspective of Mary, the mother of Jesus)
written by an original disciple of Jesus named John (also known as “the Elder”) in Ephesus of Anatolia about 90 CE. John was not a leader of the church alongside the apostles but the beloved disciple of Jesus who took Mary, the mother of Jesus, into his home, the two of them adopting each other as mother and son. Together they ended up for some reason living in Ephesus, the heart of the Pauline mission. Unlike the other gospels, which were written for public reading and as bases for teaching in the context of the Christian gathering, this gospel is a cruciform mandala designed for meditation. Written after the Roman persecution that created a hiatus of Christian leadership lasting more than two decades, and the equally long malaise for Jews and Christians that followed the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (when Jesus did not return), this gospel brings into focus the inner meaning of the Gospel. Its underlying motif is the divine life and the coming of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the vitae Spiritus. It’s approach has interesting correspondences to what we find in the Epistle to the Hebrews, a document I am persuaded was written by the teacher Priscilla (wife of Aquila) who, like John and Mary, also lived in Ephesus.
These pages organize my sermon notes within the basic outline of each gospel so that they can be read in the order of the gospel text. Together they provide a commentary on each gospel.