In modern memoirs written by real people about another real person we would expect just that sort of diversity which we find in the Gospels. If it surprises us there, it is perhaps because we have fallen out of the habit of looking on Jesus and his disciples as really real people.
- Dorothy Sayers, Introduction to The Man Born to Be King
HT: Quote from God's Politics
We're studying John in our bible study right now, and the unique view that John gives us on Jesus' ministry is valuable. We started the study weeks ago by talking about how we picture Jesus- is he the meek-and-mild baby in a manger? Is he the Sunday School drawings, cradling a lamb, surrounded by children, fair skinned & bearded, with long brown hair? The Gospels give us pictures from different angles and perspectives- not ever contradictory, just the same life seen from different eyes and described in different interviews from eyewitnesses that the authors gathered. The synoptic ("seeing together") Gospels relay many of the same stories, and often in approximately the same order, but John is the poet- the one who sees differently. Each story of his life allows us to get a deeper and brighter look at who Jesus is, as a "really real person" walking along the earth and as the Messiah who came to save us.