The Four Faces of God – The Gospels

Gospel Matthew Mark Luke John
Face Lion Bull Man Eagle
The nativity Joseph and the kingly details none Mary and the ordinary details Jesus’ heavenly origin
Key word righteousness immediately give eternal life
Jesus’ miracles show his authority over evil and nature his unobtrusive service his compassion and sympathy God’s glory
Special insights the kingdom of heaven, leadership, authority, judgement, the church servanthood, gestures, suffering, submission, secrecy joy, meals, prayer, money, women love, light, truth and glory, unity, belief, signs and claims, new birth
Jesus’ parables illustrate the kingdom service ordinary life none
Jesus is powerful king suffering servant perfect human being holy Son of God
The passion emphasis the power of his death the price of his service his perfect martyrdom his peaceful divine majesty
The ending authority and obedience service and rejection praise and joy love and belief
The gospel structures seven acts of the kingdom three journeys a human mixture sacred feasts

2 thoughts on “The Four Faces of God – The Gospels”

  1. That’s a great chart – but how do you justify the assignment of the faces? Is there a source for this beyond Ezekiel/Revelation?


    1. Kiaora Ed!

      Long time, no hear. Great to hear from you. How’re Rene and the kids? Fiona asks if Rene has a FaceBook page yet?

      That chart I lifted directly from a book “The Four Faces of God” by Timmothy Pain & John Burgon Bickersteth (posthumously). They claim that the four faces used to be a common understanding in the early church, of which we have only recently lost sight. The councils which determined the 66 books of the Bible would have been well aware of the four faces, when they prayerfully considered and kept the four gospels.

      Personally, while I wouldn’t build a new church on it (get it? Four Square Gospel Fellowship) it makes sense to me.



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