Diversity In The Four Gospels

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The four gospels reflect diversity, yet they all share one key element: each tells the story of Jesus, his suffering and his death. That story is intimately connected to the ritual that is the centerpiece of Christian worship, the celebration of the Eucharist, the Last Supper. Story and ritual are deeply connected. The ritual cannot live without the story. In the worship of the emerging church, the story was sustained and deepened by the ritual.

Writing for a Jewish Christian audience, Matthew's main concern is to present Jesus as a teacher even greater than Moses. Matthew grounds his entire work in the traditions of Judaism. Matthew's narrative includes most of Mark's gospel but is supplemented with sayings material, another written source
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The opponents of Jesus are "the Jews", who cannot or will not recognize who he is. The author of John deliberately creates a story that may be interpreted on two levels. That is, the story that John tells of Jesus' encounter with the Jews consciously parallels the tensions between John's community and its contemporary Jewish opponents. His community is being expelled from the synagogues, because they believe in Jesus as the Messiah. The Jews in John's gospel simply cannot grasp his true identity. They constantly ask "Where are you from?" and "Where are you going?" Jesus responds by saying where he is going they cannot go; they think that he intends to travel abroad. "Does he intend to go to the Diaspora among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?" In this gospel, the Jews cannot know because they are from the darkness; Jesus and his followers are from the light: "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this cosmos, I am not of this cosmos" (8:23). Just as Jesus addresses his disciples, the author of John addresses his community. And he offers them reassurance: "Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that through believing you may have life in his name." (JN
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