The Gospels are narratives about the life and time of Jesus. They describe not only Jesus' life but also what was taking place at that time. This helps to give us a better perception of why some things happened the way they did and what it was possibly like for Jesus. We are able to better understand some of the social and political aspects of life during Jesus' time period, which can help us to overall understand the meaning behind the Gospels better.
(Bible Dictionary) The story of Jesus' life is meant not only as a biography but also as an example to us as how to live our lives. Through Jesus' example of even everyday activities we can draw from that how to apply his message to our daily lives as well. (Bible Notes) Jesus is portrayed not only as a messenger and savior but also as a normal human beings complete with a full range of emotions. (Bible Dictionary) This means that in the Gospels we can see Jesus angry, sad, joyful, scared and expressing many other human emotions. But, he also shows us how to deal with those emotions and not let them get the better of us. Even the examples of Jesus getting angry show us that he was human too and that he was truly experiencing life the way we know it.
It shows us also how that we can survive, that it can be done, that we can live a productive and happy life through faith in God. Jesus's cared moments show us that even he knew what it was like to feel despair and loneliness but also that when we do feel that way that we are not alone. The Gospels also spend time talking about Jesus' teachings. Jesus used parables and stories so that the average person could better understand the message he came to bring us. Through parables all people, even those who were not educated were able to comprehend what he was getting at and what his message to us was.
(New Testament Studies) Jesus told stories also, that could relate to all types of people depending on who he was speaking to so that it would be even easier for them to adapt what he was saying into a situation from their daily lives. The parables are an important part of the Gospels because they are like quotes from Jesus and therefore an even more direct summary of what he came to preach to us about. Even though some of the parables differ from gospel to gospel still the direct message is the same with the same underlying meaning. (Bible Notes) Although the context may differ still the basic points are the same, giving us many ways to picture what exactly Jesus was trying to say in those instances.
Jesus' parables help all people to understand his universal message for salvation. The gospels may differ from one to the next but they still all carry the same basic message and considering that the writers were all speaking to unique and separate audiences. This enabled at that time, many different groups of people to relate to Jesus' universal theme. The people at that time might not have been totally united in religion or politics therefore having a personalized version of the gospel allowed them to understand how God was communicating directing with them. A theme repeatedly used in the gospels is Jesus' was of challenging us through change. He wants us to directly access what keeps us from being closer to him and change so that we can live fully through him.
The gospel is 'good news' and it has three real stages: 1) Who Jesus is and what His message to us is, 2) Jesus' teachings-his challenges and our salvation, 3) the four officially approved written records-gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All of these are made to help us better understand what exactly went on when Jesus was alive and what the point of his coming to save us was. (New Testament Studies) The Gospels can also help us to interpret what the Old Testament is directing us to do because Jesus helps us to clarify it. He relates to us exactly how the Old Testament is meant to be applied. (Unbound Bible) He told the people of his time when they were and were not properly using the laws. He found that they were taking some things too literally and other things not literally enough.
Jesus helped to amend these problems and that is noted in the bible by the authors. We can continue to use the Gospels today as a way to guide us in understanding Jesus' message. They can aid when we are confused about the meaning in the Old Testament by clarifying more along the lines of what God really wants us to be doing. Jesus embodies the Good News and the Gospels are a way of analyzing it and putting it into easier terms to understand while at the same time recording important information about what Jesus' message was to us. (Bible Notes) Personally, I think that the Gospels are like a cliffs notes for the entire message that God has sent us through Jesus.
They are like a special aid to help us more fully understand how God fulfilled his covenant with us. It is like the sequel to the Old Testament. I think that the Gospels are important because they help us to better understand Jesus and God. The criticisms of the Gospels help us to also understand more fully the different reasons certain things were important to certain gospel writers and not others. (Bible Dictionary) So, we can mentally put together a full picture of what each of them were attempting to portray to their perspective audiences or congregations. We get help in fully forming our own version of how to live and apply the Good News of Jesus Christ.
'Evangelist,' Microsoft (R) Encarta (R) Online Encyclopedia 2000 < web > (c) 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation. Gigot, Francis E. 'Gospel and Gospels.' Catholic Encyclopedia 9. 24 (1999) 8. 20 (2000) web.