This Saturday, October 15, the Armenian Church commemorates the Holy Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the authors of the four Gospels.
Matthew is the patron of the Church’s mission. The Gospel attributed to him closes with the command by Jesus to His disciples and followers to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Mark had significant influence on the advancement of Christianity. Although the Gospel according to Mark is a narrative of the life of Jesus, theologians consider it to be a handbook of discipleship. The dominant message is that being a Christian is not only believing in Jesus Christ, it is also living according to the example set by Jesus. According to tradition, Mark was the first bishop of Alexandria. One of the most magnificent cathedrals in the world is named after him in Venice, where his relics are kept.
Luke is the author of the third Gospel and the Book of Acts. He is considered to be the patron of physicians and artists. The Gospel according to Luke describes Jesus as “the healer of a broken world.” Luke is also noted for his concern for the poor, the marginalized, women, and social outcasts. His Gospel does not end with the Resurrection, but rather continues to Pentecost and the eternal presence of Christ in the world. Traditionally he is believed to be one of the Seventy and the unnamed disciple in Emmaus.
John, often called the “beloved disciple,” is the author of the fourth Gospel and the book of Revelation. He was one of the twelve disciples who remained with Christ, standing in front of the Cross. Jesus entrusted his mother to John’s care on the day of the Crucifixion. The best known verse in his Gospel is, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). According to tradition, John left Jerusalem after attending the first ecumenical council and went to Asia Minor and settled in Ephesus. He was exiled to the island of Patmos where he wrote the book of Revelation.