A Devotional Commentary on the Gospels

Arranged for family devotions, for every day in the year.
By Favell Lee Mortimer (1802 - 1878)


Can there be any account in the world so interesting to us as the history of our Lord and Savior, while he spent thirty-three years upon earth? There were people with him who heard his sayings and observed his actions. Four holy men, as you are aware, wrote accounts of his life. It might well be supposed that these histories would not contradict each other, for they were all true. But the writers not only wrote what they knew to be true—the Holy Spirit instructed them what to relate. They were inspired of God. When we read their writings, we read the words of God himself. With what reverence should we attend! As some of these four Evangelists related one event, and some related another, it is interesting to place their accounts together, endeavoring to observe, as well as we can, the order of time in which the events occurred. Such an arrangement is called a "Harmony of the gospels."

We shall begin with the words of John, because he speaks of Jesus before he came into the world, even when he was with his Father in heaven. We shall find that the Son of God made the world. He did not appear in it as a man, until four thousand years had rolled away; but long before he came, he was promised by God, and described by the prophets, such as Moses, David, Isaiah, and many others—of whom Malachi was the last.

At length he appeared, and fulfilled all that had been said of Him.

Let us read of Him, as of one that came into the world to save us. Everything that concerns him is of the greatest importance to us; for if we do not believe on him, and love him above all, we shall perish forever. Let us, therefore, always before we read, lift up our hearts to God in prayer. "O Lord, grant unto us your Holy Spirit, that our souls may be saved by the knowledge of your blessed Son!"

We shall not always meet together to worship God as we do now. A day will come when each of us will unite with the rest in reading and prayer for the last time.

But if we believe in Jesus, we shall not part forever. We shall meet again in Heaven. Then how delightful it will be to look back upon the time, when as one family, we used to assemble to hear about our beloved Lord. Many hours which we spent below may then be remembered with regret; but not those precious moments devoted to hearing about Him, whose presence will make us happy through eternity!