Bible Summary, The Gospels

For your reading pleasure, a summary of The Gospels.


Matthew: Matthew’s Gospel provides the vital link between the Old and New Testaments. Matthew begins by tracing the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph; the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary; the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist; and Satan’s temptation of Jesus while in the wilderness. Jesus speaks more in Matthew than in the other Gospels, and his teachings discourses include: the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5-7); sending out the Twelve (chapter 10); parables of the kingdom (chapter 13); fellowship of the kingdom (chapter 18); and the Olivet Discourse concerning the future (chapters 24-25). During Jesus’ final week his betrayal, trial, crucifixion, burial and resurrection take place. Matthew concludes with the call of the Great Commission to all believers.

Key Words: “fulfillment”; Kingdom of Heaven”. Matthew quotes from many books of the Old Testament to solidify further the claim that indeed Jesus is the “fulfillment” of the promised Messiah, the Savior of the world. The term “kingdom of heaven” is used repeatedly by Matthew to introduce the Good News that God is present in Jesus Christ and lives to reign in men’s lives. This term appears nowhere else in the New Testament.

Themes: Jesus came to save both the Jews and the Gentiles. There is one true God, but with the essence of 3, the Trinity: God the Father; God the Son; and God the Holy Spirit. The standards of God are high, but the example He gave us is perfect…Jesus. Christ is sufficient for whatever need we might have. The ways of God are infinitely higher than the ways of the world. Jesus willingly laid own His life to redeem a sinful world with His perfect and acceptable sacrifice.

Jesus’ birth and infancy 1:1 – 2:23
The preparation and beginnings of Jesus’ ministry 3:1 – 4:25
The Sermon on the Mount 5:1 – 7:29
Jesus’ ministry of miracles 8:1 – 9:34
Jesus’ sending out the Twelve 9:35 – 11:1
The continuation of Jesus’ ministry with claims and parables 11:2 – 25:46
Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion 26:1 – 27:56
Jesus’ burial, resurrection and ascension 27:57 – 28:20

Mark: The Gospel according to Mark vividly portrays Jesus teachings, healing and ministering to the needs of others. Jesus is the perfect example and the perfect sacrifice for people of all time. His public ministry includes exhibits of his divine power over disease, nature, demons and even death. These miracles also reveal Jesus’ compassion for a hurting world. However, opposition and hostility grow against Jesus from the chief priests, Pharisees and Sadducees. Finally, Jesus willingly allows his arrest and crucifixion to take place. But his resurrection seals the ultimate victory for all who trusts Him to save them.

Key Words: “servant”; “immediately”. The ministry of Jesus Christ centers around His being a “servant” to all, giving His life as a ransom for many. Mark’s Gospel uses the term “immediately” many times to emphasize the importance and urgency of believing in God’s Son now!

Themes: Jesus is concerned about every aspect of our lives. Jesus’ actions paralleled His words, and so must our if we hope to be a positive witness unto Him. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price for each of our sins if we will but turn to him with a repentant heart and trust Him as Savior. There is none so down and out that he can ever be beyond the extending arms of God’s love. Even as Jesus came to serve us, so must we also serve others.

The beginning of Jesus Christ’s ministry 1:1 – 1:13
Jesus’ ministry of healing and teaching 1:14 – 8:26
Jesus’ instruction of his disciples 8:27 – 13:37
Jesus’ betrayal, trial, and crucifixion 14:1 – 15:41
Jesus’ burial and resurrection 15:42 – 16:20

Luke: Luke begins by telling us about Jesus’ parents; the birth of His cousin, John the Baptist; Mary and Joseph’s journey tomBethlehem, where Jesus is born in a manager; and the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph. Jesus’ public ministry reveals His perfect compassion and forgiveness through the Good Samaritan (chapter 10); the lost (prodigal) son (chapter 15); and the rich man and Lazarus (chapter 16). While many believe in Jesus’ unprejudiced love that surpasses all human limits, many other challenge and oppose His claims. Jesus’ followers are encouraged to count the cost of discipleship, while His enemies seek His death on the cross. Finally, Jesus is betrayed, tried, sentenced and crucified. But the grave cannot hold Him. His resurrection assures the continuation of His ministry to seek and save the lost (chapter 19:10). After appearing on a number of occasions to His disciples, His Holy Spirit is promised, and Christ ascends to the Father.

Key Words: “Jesus”; “Son of Man”. As God incarnate, “Jesus” is often referred as the “Son of Man”. The genealogy of Jesus through Joseph is detailed, as are many other specifics of His human characteristics and life.

Themes: Jesus understands our weaknesses, our temptations and our trials. Jesus came to save both the Jews and the Gentiles. Jesus came to save both the outcasts and the accepted. Jesus came to save both the poor and the rich. Jesus came to save both adults and children. Jesus came to save both men and women. Jesus came to save both the free and the oppressed. Jesus came to save each and every one of us!

Introduction 1:1 – 1:4
The birth and childhood of John the Baptist and of Jesus 1:5 – 2:52
The ministry of John the Baptist 3:1 – 3:20
Jesus’ baptism, genealogy and temptation 3:21 – 4:13
Jesus’ teachings and healing ministry 4:14 – 9:50
Jesus’ journeys from Galilee to Jerusalem 9:51 – 19:27
Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion 19:28 – 23:49
Jesus’ burial, resurrection and ascension 23:50 – 24:53

John: While Luke presents Jesus as the “Son of Man,” John presents Jesus in His deity as the “Son of God.” Jesus’ relationship to the Father is emphasized as he teaches, heals, prays and ministers. Miracles listed in John include: turning water to wine (2:1-11), feeding of the 5,000 (6:1-14), walking on water (6:16-21) and the raising of Lazarus (11:1-46). But in addition to being totally God, Jesus’ humanity is shown by his being tired, hungry, thirsty and sorrowful. 7 times Jesus refers to Himself in “I Am” passages which clearly shown His claim to Godhood and the way to salvation. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, great detail is given to appearances of The Lord before His ascension.

Keys Words: “Word”; “life”; “believe”. Jesus is the pre-existent eternal “Word” who became a man. In order to gain eternal “life” one must “believe” upon the name of Jesus. Jesus, who always was with God and indeed is God.

Themes: God loves each of us so much that He gave up His Son so that anyone believing in Jesus shall not perish but shall have eternal life (chapter 3:16). Miracles are given not only to heal, but also as signs pointing to Jesus. God expects us to love not only him, but also our neighbors . Christ fully understands our hurts, He paid the supreme price to heal them. The Holy Spirit gives us an eternal peace which the world cannot manufacture or purchase.

The incarnation of the Son of God 1:1 – 1:14
The introduction and public ministry of Jesus 1:15 – 5:15
Opposition to Jesus’ ministry 5:16 – 12:50
Jesus’ preparation of a His disciples for His betrayal 13:1 – 17:26
Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion 18:1 – 19:37
Jesus’ burial and resurrection 19:38 – 21:25

God bless you!

Source material from KJV Rainbow Study Bible