On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . . four calling birds.
One of the easiest facets of the song’s code to figure out, these fowl are the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The four calling birds of the fourth day of Christmas remind us of how God uses the words he inspired each of those 4 Gospel writers to record to call people to faith in Jesus as their Savior.
Did you ever wonder why there are 4 Gospels instead of just one? There are a number of reasons we can be thankful that we have 4 Gospels. First of all, we do not have a complete record of the events of God’s saving plan recorded in just one of the Gospels. While there is definite crossover and correlation between all four Gospels, you need all four Gospels to get a full and complete picture of the life and work of our Savior, Jesus.
Another reason we can be thankful for all four Gospels is that they give us a look at the life and work of Jesus from different perspectives. A big part of the Gospel of Matthew is to show us that Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy as Matthew writes with an eye toward Jewish Christians. The Gospel of Mark has a particular emphasis that Christ is for the Gentiles as well as for the Jews. The Gospel of Luke shows us that Christ is the Savior of the whole world and how the Gospel was spreading across the then-known world. With Luke being a doctor, we also get some more detailed medical insights into some of the life of Jesus. The Gospel of John focuses on Jesus as the Son of God and gives us a rather close and intimate look at the life and ministry of Jesus as John was a close earthly friend of Jesus.
Even though each of these 4 writers shares the story from a different perspective, they all have the common goal which John states in the very last verse of his Gospel: “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name”. (John 20:31). You cannot read all 4 Gospels and not come away with the clear understanding that God sent Jesus as the Savior of the world.
Just as you would likely get different viewpoints and perspectives on a situation if you were to ask 4 different people, it is good for us to know that these 4 different perspectives on the most important man in history all agree and all end up telling the same story.
Think of how those 4 calling birds have called people from many different nations, in different situations and different backgrounds to the one thing they all need – a Savior!
Prayer: Dear Jesus – as I read your Word, I marvel at all that you make known to me and to all people of the world. Thank you for using Matthew, Mark, Luke & John share with the world the complete story of your work for my forgiveness and salvation. Lead me to read and treasure the way you used these servants to share the most important story of all. Amen.