Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 27, 2018

In Harmony With Jesus

We are now two months into the new year, and I am two months into my new Bible reading plan. For years I have engaged in read through the Bible plans at the start of each new year. My read through the Bible plans have been just that — reading the Scriptures each morning and then reflecting on what I have read throughout the day.

This year I decided to try something new. Instead of reading through the Bible I decided to read through the Gospels. My goal is to saturate my head and my heart with the story of Jesus — to ask God to open my eyes to better understand the life and ministry of Jesus. What better way than to read the Gospels this year again and again.

Instead of simply reading through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, I am reading through chronologically integrated harmonies of these Gospels. And, as familiar as I am with these accounts, I feel as though I am reading about the life of Jesus in a refreshingly new and engaging way.


In March of 1982, some friends gave me a copy of A.T. Robertson’s “A Harmony of the Gospels.” This was the first volume of its kind in my personal library. It was the first book I read that helped me to see the Gospels and the story of Jesus in a new light. While helpful, it is a bit tedious to read because it presents the four New Testament Gospels in parallel columns. I also have a 1917 copy of “A Harmony of the Synoptic Gospels” by Burton and Goodspeed that also presents the story in parallel columns.


In anticipation of my new reading plan, I purchased a copy of “The Four In One Gospel of Jesus” by Nikola Dimitrov. This volume, based on the King James text, weaves the events recorded in the four Gospels into a single chronological narrative that enables the reader to see Jesus in a dynamic light. I told a friend that it felt like I was reading the Gospels for the first time.


This month I purchased a copy of “A Simplified Harmony of the Gospels” by George W. Knight. Like Dimitrov’s book, this volume also chronologically weaves the story of Jesus into one flowing text. Based on the text of the Holman Christian Standard Bible, this book also integrates helpful exegetical notes. I like this book so much that I also purchased the Kindle version so that I can have it with me at all times.

While I enjoy reading books about Jesus, there is something different about reading the Gospels and allowing the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to the beauty of Jesus sans any commentary from others. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of the greatest orators of the 19th century, observed that it is God’s Word, not man’s comments on God’s Word, that is made powerful with souls. He was right.

The older I get the more I want to read about and to focus on the life of Jesus. I am more determined than ever to guard against the things that can distract me from Him. I want to become even more familiar with all that made His life absolutely distinctive, beautiful, and worthy of imitation. I want to live my life in harmony with Jesus.


Responses

  1. Amen Pastor!! Keep it up

  2. Currently reading the Dimitrov harmony and anxious to have a read of the Knight book. Any way you slice it, the words of the Lord bring hope and healing!

  3. What a blast from the past! This is one of the few textbooks I kept from my college years. We studied this book in my New Testament class at Houston Baptist University my freshman year in 1975. Dr. A. O. Collins was the professor. Again, one of the few professors I remember from those days. Just pulling it off the bookshelf now to re-read.

    • Very cool. A good way to read the gospels.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Categories