Another Christian lady I know shared some really fascinating information with me last night about defending our faith, and I thought I'd share it with you. We'll return to our "regularly-scheduled programming" (our verse-by-verse study of Matthew) on Thursday.
First off, you may have heard the argument before that Jesus fulfilling the Messianic prophesies of the Old Testament was easy due to "vagueness," or just coincidental. But for a man to fulfill just three main prophecies (out of many, many more) - being a descendant of David, being born in Bethlehem, and being crucified - He would have to beat 1 in 500 BILLION odds.
And second, you may or not be familiar with the focus of each of the four Gospels, so I'll reveiw those below before we dive deeper.
Matthew's theme is Jesus as the prophesied Messiah and coming King. If you look at this Gospel's genealogy, the focus on Abraham to David to Joseph mirrors the theme.
Luke's theme is Jesus as a man. Likewise, this genealogy, which includes Adam and Mary, emphasizes His manhood.
Mark's theme is Jesus as servant and Son of God. Its first words (Mark features no genealogy) focus on the latter.
John's theme is Jesus as God. Its first sentence, too, brings up this point.
Now, if you look at Revelation 4:6-9, you'll find four angelic creatures worshiping God, each with a different face: one that of a lion, one that of an eagle, one that of a man, and one that of a calf. These four faces reflect four different sides of Jesus - the very same four sides represented in the Gospels. The lion ties with Matthew (Messiah and KING), the eagle with John (eagle symbolic of God), the man with Luke (man=man), and the calf with Mark (as the suffering servant - the sacrifice).
Now tell me, what cool things have you learned lately that can be used to defend the Christian faith? :-)