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GOSPEL WRITERS - written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        gospel message, witnesses,
.             Jesus’ confirmation
SCRIPTURE:    Matt., Matt.5:16, Mark, Luke, John,
.             John 1:4
Style:        satire/conversation: the four gospel
.             writers sit on a panel to discuss
.             their writings
Set & Props:  table, 4 chairs


(MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE and JOHN sit in a row at the table.
HOST first addresses the congregation.)

HOST  Hello, ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to
.     “The Writer’s Panel.”  Joining us today
.     are the four gospel writers:
.     Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

(WRITERS all nod as their names are mentioned.)

HOST  Let’s begin with you, Matthew, and move on down.
.     Please tell us a little bit about yourselves.

MATT  My name is Matthew.  My career began as
.     a tax collector, but my life changed radically
.     when I met Jesus Christ.  Not only did I become
.     a believer, but I became a follower.

MARK  I am Mark.  One of my closest friends is
.     Apostle Peter, and I served with Apostle Paul
.     and my cousin Barnabas on the very first
.     missionary journey.  Being a little unreliable
.     at that point, Paul and I had a falling out.
.     But continuing on with Barnabas as a missionary,
.     I eventually matured.  Jesus Christ never gives up-
.     He continues to work on, and in, and through us.
.     Apostle Paul and I eventually reconciled.

LUKE  Hello, I’m Dr. Luke.  I am probably the only
.     GENTILE author of the New Testaments.
.     I also knew and served with Paul;
.     but more importantly,
.     I know and serve Jesus Christ.

JOHN  I’ll be brief and get straight to the point:      2
.     I am known as John, also known as “the disciple
.     whom Jesus loved.”  And I - am a follower –
.     who loves Jesus Christ.

HOST  Thank you, gentlemen.  Now, some of us
.     avid readers can’t help but notice that
.     all four of you – wrote – on the exact
.     same subject.  In fact, just hearing
.     you all now, each and every one of you,
.     included Jesus Christ in your
.     personal introductions.

(WRITERS all nod in agreement.)

HOST  But I have also noted, that there are –
.     a lot of differences.  So I suppose
.     my first question for all of you, is:
.     “Why write on the exact same topic?”

JOHN  Jesus Christ and what He did for all humankind
.     is a very important topic.  Critical, in fact.

LUKE  And understandably, the more eyewitnesses
.     you have, the more credibility there is.
.     As I personally was not an eyewitness,
.     I made sure to consult MANY people
.     who were eyewitnesses and carefully
.     researched and documented everything.
.     Doing ALL of this with the guidance
.     of the Holy Spirit, of course.
.     So my work is really a compilation
.     of many eyewitnesses.

HOST  Which leads me to my next question:
.     “If you are all eyewitnesses,
.     or an author for OTHER eyewitnesses,
.     WHY are there so many differences?”

LUKE  Besides having different writing styles, each of us
.     have had slightly different personal experiences
.     from having Jesus in our lives.

MATT  Also, because I was writing more to the nation
.     of Israel, I was addressing the “religious man”
.     of that time, and so, quoted a lot of Old Testament
.     prophecies.  The Jew is all about the Messiah
.     coming and fulfilling what God promised to Israel
.     through the Abrahamic Covenant.

MARK  My focus was more to the Gentile –               3
.     to the Roman – to the “man of action,”
.     if you will.  So I make a lot of references
.     regarding government, control, law and order...
.     Praise God, HE - is in control.
.     I did NOT include such things
.     as Jesus’s genealogy, or many instances
.     where Jesus dealt with the Jewish sects,
.     such as the Pharisees.  Praise God,
.     HE died and rose again - for ALL nations.

LUKE  As I have already stated, my work is a compilation,
.     and so, my book is very methodical, directed more
.     to the Greek, and thus to the “thinking man.”

JOHN  And my account is written - to “the believer”.
.     It is more theological in nature, and explains
.     such things in greater detail, such as –
.     what it means to have faith in Jesus.

HOST  Most interesting.  So humor me, if you will,
.     with my third question:  “Are there any
.     inconsistencies then?”

LUKE  Hm, could you give us a “for-instance”.

HOST  For instance, the feeding of the multitudes...
.     was it 5,000, or was it 4,000?

MARK  Both!  There were two such incidences mentioned
.     in my book.

MATT  As well as in mine.

(LUKE and JOHN nod in agreement.)

HOST  You all four wrote about the feeding of the 5,000,
.     but only Matthew and Mark wrote about the feeding
.     of the 4,000.  Why the need to mention both?

MATT  Well, obviously, us disciples just weren’t getting
.     the message.   And I know what I’m saying –
.     I was right there!  I mean, here Jesus JUST took
.     5 tiny loaves and 2 tiny fish – meant to feed
.     one tiny person – and split it up miraculously
.     to feed 5,000 men – AND their families.
.     We had food left over.  Then not long afterward,
.     we found ourselves with ANOTHER hungry multitude.

(DISCIPLES all roll their eyes in embarrassed agreement.)
.                                                      4
MATT  Jesus tested us by giving us a chance to say,
.     “Hey, why don’t we takes these seven measly
.     loaves of bread and have Jesus split them up?
.     We can trust Jesus to provide for all our needs.”
.     But nooo, we all said, AGAIN, “Duuuh, where
.     are we going to find food for so many people?”
.     I mean, how short is our memory at times?  Huh?
.     How unbelieving can we be?

HOST  Then, why didn’t all four of you write about
.     both incidences?

LUKE  We just couldn’t cover it all.  Again, it came
.     down to our individual focuses, and the
.     Holy Spirit’s guidance and divine inspiration
.     which lead us to write what we did.  

MATT  But back to the unbelieving nature that man has,
.     it was crucial that we noted SOME of
.     Jesus’s miracles.  This confirmed – this validates
.     that Jesus IS the Son of God.

JOHN  Most certainly.  At the time Jesus was here
.     on earth with us, His miracles established
.     His mighty power - to the people.

HOST  So then, amongst the four of you,
.     you covered all of the miracles
.     that Jesus performed?

MATT  Oh, never.

MARK  There were way too many.  We could only note a few.

LUKE  And Jesus’s purpose wasn’t to come down amongst us
.     to perform miracles.  Again, that was only proof
.     to the people - that He was the Son of God.

JOHN  His purpose–

MATT  -as prophesized in the Old Testament scriptures–

JOHN  (nodding) -was to die for our sins, and rise again
.     so that we can have everlasting life with Him!

MARK  Our purpose - in writing the four gospels,
.     was and is to proclaim Jesus’s purpose in coming –
.     for us.  Jesus is the life and light of men.

MATT  And WE are to be the lamp – to shine this light   5
.     so that everyone might see.  Not just us four,
.     but anyone who believes, is a lamp.  It is
.     an awesome honor and privilege to serve God
.     in this way.

HOST  Wow!  Well, I do want to thank the four of you
.     for joining us today to talk about your books,
.     and especially for – “enlightening” us
.     with this unique challenge.  Gentlemen!

(HOST leads the applause, and they all exit.)