Our Apostle Paul wrote, “All Scripture…is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were written to and for the nation Israel under the law, in accordance with her earthly, millennial hope. It is in the epistles of Paul that we find the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny for us, the Church, the Body of Christ, today under grace. However, there is great value in studying the four Gospels. They are “profitable” for our spiritual lives.
When I was taking classes at Berean Bible Institute in Slinger, Wisconsin, I took a Missions class. Pastor and missionary Joe Watkins was my instructor. In one class, he pointed out what he perceived to be a weakness in the grace movement: that we were too often guilty of neglecting the four Gospels. He said, “That is our Savior too. There is much we can learn from His love, humility, compassion, and kindness.” Then Pastor Watkins shared an example: the healing of the leper in Mark 1.
“And there came a leper to Him, beseeching Him, and kneeling down to Him, and saying unto Him, If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth His hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean” (Mark 1:40-41).
Pastor Watkins pointed out that nobody touched a leper. But in healing this man, the Lord was “moved with compassion, put forth His hand, and touched him.” He didn’t need to touch him to heal him. All He needed to do was say the word. But that man hadn’t felt a human touch in years. Thus, out of His great compassion, the Lord reached over, touched him, and said, “Be thou clean.”
Like Paul, we are to teach “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). In my pastorate at Kettle Moraine Bible Church in West Bend, Wisconsin, in both the Sunday School and Worship Service, I taught series of messages from the four Gospels. I shared how the Lord lived under the law and kept it perfectly, how He taught Israel in light of the coming Tribulation and her hope of the earthly Kingdom, and how the Gospels portray the Lord as Prophet, Priest, King, God, and man. Most of all, as Pastor Watkins had shown me, I made sure to teach about the love and mercy of our Savior. And as a result of a series on the miracles of Christ, one woman in the assembly shared that, although she had known about rightly dividing the Word for years, it was the differences in the four Gospels that really helped her to see the truth of grace for the Body of Christ today. There is value in learning the four Gospels!
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.