by Pastor Tim Burt
Mark, a thoughtful student who was known for always pondering the meaning of life, met his friend and classmate Sarah in their college library to study together. Sarah was a devout Christian and loved that Mark liked to study with her. She was unashamed about her faith and was always excited to answer a spiritual question that she knew Mark would ask. He couldn’t help himself. He was looking for answers to life that were not in the books he read, and he was slightly jealous that she seemed so confident about things he only had questions for. How could she be that confident?
As she walked into their corner of the library, he stood to give her a hug and greet her. She immediately blurted out, “Hi Mark, hey, I’ve been thinking. You’ve been asking me some great questions lately, but they are so piecemeal. I’ve got a great idea! I’ve been thinking, perhaps we could start uncovering life’s deeper mysteries by reading the four Gospels of the Bible together.”
Mark’s inquisitive nature eagerly accepted her proposal. As they delved into the Gospels, they were not just law school buddies anymore; they were embarking on a shared journey of discovery. They were on a quest for wisdom, purpose, and spiritual enlightenment.
Mark’s penchant for deep contemplation and Sarah’s strong Christian faith proved to be a dynamic combination. Their intellectual curiosity was now intertwined with their exploration of faith. As they flipped through the pages, their discussions often touched on the complexities of law and the profound questions that Mark had pondered for so long.
One day, Mark confessed to some confusion he was struggling with. “Sarah, the Gospels seem to have contradictions and differences. Why don’t each of these authors, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, tell the same story if they were all there together?”
Sarah, with a gentle smile, responded, “Mark, think of the Gospels as four witnesses to the same event, much like what we learn in law school. Each writer had a unique perspective and purpose. “Imagine you’re a judge in a courtroom. You’re hearing testimony from four different eyewitnesses to a car accident. If they all repeated the exact same words, you might be suspicious that they collaborated or were coached. But if each witness provided their own perspective and unique details, it would make the testimony more credible.”
Mark’s eyes lit up as he grasped the concept. “So, God used these different writers to provide a more comprehensive and authentic account of Jesus, like the diverse testimony in a courtroom.”
Sarah nodded in agreement. “Exactly, Mark. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John each had their own audience and purpose. Their unique perspectives offer a richer understanding of Jesus’s life and teachings.”
As Mark continued reading, he realized that the diversity of the Gospels added depth and authenticity to the story of Jesus. The contradictions and distinctions were not flaws but features, revealing the beauty of the Christian story from multiple angles. He had unlocked a deeper layer of meaning that connected both his quest for understanding and the spiritual insights Sarah had offered.
A week later, as Mark and Sarah sat in the library, Mark was deep in thought. He asked, “Sarah, it seems like every question that gets answered for me leads to more questions! How can we truly understand all of this? It’s so profound and complex.”
Sarah responded with a reassuring smile, “Mark, there’s a limitation to the human intellect. The Bible teaches of the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of Jesus who comes to live within each person who becomes a believer. It is the Holy Spirit who brings enlightenment to the Scriptures. To truly grasp it all, one must receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, and the gift of eternal life and the Holy Spirit will be instantly given. And then, through His guidance, all the pieces will definitely come together.”
She turned to John 16:13 (NIV), and said, “Let’s read this together.” “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth…”
Mark felt a sense of calm wash over him. He realized that, with faith and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, he could continue his journey of discovery, knowing that understanding the depths of life and faith was an ongoing, rewarding endeavor.
“How does that happen and begin?” asked Mark. “With a simple prayer of faith,” Sarah responded,”… asking Jesus to forgive you of all your sins and become the Lord and Savior of your life. Are you ready to pray that prayer? I can help you!” With Mark’s nod and bowed head, Sarah led him in prayer, and the beginning of Mark’s quest for answers took on a new dimension. He could feel the breath of God speaking to His soul like he had never experienced before.”
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In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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