Matthew 28:20; 2 Timothy 2:2
MATTHEW, Mark, Luke and John are not the only Gospels. There is the “Gospel according to you.”
Most people do not read the Four Gospels. Once in a while they hear a few verses in a sermon. Or read a chapter for conscience’s sake. Or listen to a message in Sunday school or at a funeral. But for the most part, the first Gospels lie untouched. A diamond mine on the library table waits to be explored… while we chase dirt and dollars!
But people will read the “Gospel according to you.” For if you are one of His disciples, you are a living “epistle… known and read of all men” (2 Cor. 3:2). The life you live is His personal witness, and it will be read and studied where the other Gospels lie unused.
Men do not read the beatitudes. But if you are poor in spirit, if you are meek and hungering for righteousness, if you are a peacemaker, pure in heart, they will not be slow to see it and call you blessed.
They may not study the Master’s life nor follow Him in His gracious ministry along the roads of Galilee. But if you go about doing good, speaking love and truth, radiant with His Spirit, they will be reading in you the Gospel after all. They may not know the parables nor delight in the beautiful imagery with which He painted the pictures of His kingdom, but if you walk in the light as He is in the Light you will be a living human symbol of His grace and truth.
What sort of Gospel is this “Gospel according to you”? Is it a whole Gospel, a full reflection of the original? Or, is it a partial and patchy Gospel made of verses snatched from here and there, just those passages that suit your whims and fancies?
Some of these human Gospels compare rather badly with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They come out strongly enough on those sections that happen to coincide with their pet, private notions, but they shine weakly or not at all where some personal sacrifice is required.
We have known some that talked a great deal about the wedding at Cana where there was plenty of wine. And they skipped altogether that passage about “offending one of these little ones” with its subsequent advice to pluck out whatever offends. Such Gospels are man-made parodies on the true and misrepresentations.
But the living Gospel that goes about reliving the Master here and now—what a beautiful Gospel is that! It is easily readable, truly practical, and breathes not the breath of libraries but of life. It translates the ideal into the actual, the theory into practice, and by it once again the Word becomes flesh and dwells among us.
And the Master Himself, who is really the Gospel, thought highly of these editions when He declared that not those who only prophesied in His name should be accepted at the Great Day, but rather those whose daily ministrations of love and kindness proclaimed more truly than any book they could write their loyalty to Him. Above hymn and book and sermon, He values the “Gospel according to you.”