From the Author
As we read the entire Chronological sequence of events that took place in the life of Jesus, as one story, we see many important details that would otherwise be unknown to us. For example, the controversy over the Roman Centurion who requested that Jesus heal his servant.
Luke's account of this event appears to some critics of the Bible, as contradictory to Matthew's account. Matthew describes the Centurion coming to Jesus personally with a request; Luke speaks of the leader of the Jews being sent on behalf of the Centurion, to ask for help from Jesus.
Luke 7:1-4 After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2 Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. 3 When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy to have you do this for him..."
Matthew 8:5-6 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented."
What we observe here is not a contradiction but a common writing method used by Matthew to abbreviate certain events. Matthew simply reports what the Centurion said to Jesus through his friends in the Jewish authority.
A second observation is that two people are recounting the same event by their own recollection. This is quite common amongst eye witnesses who see the same incident. Witnesses will tell similar stories, with slightly different versions. Police officers who interview witnesses who were present at an accident or crime, often report a similar phenomenon. People were clearly at the same event, but saw and heard slightly different things. These are not conflicts; they are a common occurrence in recording eye witness testimony.
The fact that we see a slight variation of the same event, as recorded by Matthew and Luke, gives greater credibility to the authenticity of what is written. Contrived stories almost always take special care to make certain that their testimonies match exactly, whereas genuine testimony almost always consists of similar versions of the same events, told from a slightly different perspective.
A key in understanding the two different versions of Matthew and Luke's testimony is that in both instances, the Centurion himself reports that he understands the principle of imputed authority. It was understood during this time that a man who is in authority, when he sends his servant, that servant carries with him the authority of his master.
When the Centurion sent one of his servants with a request, it was as if he was speaking the words directly. The servant who carried his masters words also carried his master's authority.
As you go through each chapter of this book, blending all four gospels into a single story, you will understand why this is so important. You will see things that took place during each event of Jesus life, death, and resurrection, that you could not realize unless you saw these four gospels together at once.
From the Inside Flap
How would you feel if you had a son and he went into hostile territory to seek out and save people who would never thank him for what he had done? What would you do if these individuals falsely accused your son of crimes he did not commit and had him arrested, beaten, and executed?1 What emotions would you feel if your son cried out to you to forgive the men who were torturing your son, and he asked you to not hold these crimes against them? What would you do to these men, when they treated the love that your son gave to them, as garbage to be thrown out and disregarded?
We forget that there was a Father who was watching His Son die, as Jesus hung on the cross. God planned this event, before the creation of the universe. The Son wanted to save us and He was willing to take upon Himself, all of our sins.
Consider that all of the drops of rain that have fallen upon the earth since its creation, are comparable to the tears that fell from the face of the Father, when His Son bore our sins upon the cross, suffered so greatly, and died.
Near the end of John's Gospel, he writes that all of the things that are recorded for us in the New Testament, were written so that we might believe in Jesus and have life.
But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that by believing you might have life through his name. --John 20:30-31
The word Gospel, means Good News. The purpose of the writers of the New Testament was to tell the greatest news that the world has ever heard. God was coming to earth to demonstrate to every person that He exists, He loves us, and He has sent His Son into the world so that all of the suffering, sickness, evil, and death that we endure, would come to an end.
The Four Gospel writers, were attempting something that had never been done before.They were seeking to record the most extraordinary event that has ever taken place on the earth. The implications of Jesus' presence here, are earth-shattering. God was demonstrating His existence, power, grace, mercy, and desire to save us. The Father was giving the world what was most precious to Him, His Son. The Love that God has for each person is exceedingly greater than we could possibly imagine.