Why Are There Four Gospels?
Most Christians are aware that there are four gospels in the New Testament but not every Christian knows why. A vision seen by the prophet Ezekiel provides interesting information as to how the four gospels work together as one.The Synoptic Gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Synoptic means seeing together or having a common view. In this case, four views together as one.
WHAT ARE THESE FOUR VIEWS?
Ezekiel 1:10 holds the key.
'As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle'.
In this vision (EZEKIEL 1) Ezekiel saw four faces: the face of a man, the face of a lion, the face of an ox and the face of an eagle. Now these four faces were the ensigns of the tribes of Israel. The lion was the ensign of the tribe of Judah, the ox was of Ephraim, the man was the ensign of the tribe of Reuben and the eagle was of Dan. Judah, the lion, camped on the east, opposite Ephraim, the ox, on the west. Dan, the eagle, camped to the north, opposite Reuben, the man, to the south.
FOUR FACES REVEAL HIS CHARACTER
Now things get even more interesting! These four faces represent the four sides (if you will), of the person of Jesus Christ our Lord.
It's just as interesting to note what each gospel contains, as well as what it does not. They each reveal important pieces for us to have a deeper knowledge of 'I AM'.
In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus Christ is figuratively portrayed with the face of a lion. He is the Lion of Judah, the Messiah of Israel and the King of kings.
In Mark, Yeshua is figuratively portrayed with the face of an ox, that is, as a Servant.
In Luke, Christ is portrayed as a man, the "second" Adam.
In John, Jesus is figuratively portrayed with the face of an eagle, the Son of God.
These four living creatures, also found in Revelation, are witnesses to Christ, revealing four different and crucial aspects of His character and work of salvation, and thus bringing glory to our holy God. Each covenant God has made with man, He has revealed more about Himself and His glory, which also inevitably reveals and highlights man's wickedness and rebellious heart, thus the necessity of the cross.
- Judah Ayling