The 5th Gospel

21 May

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We state those names in perfect order when we think about the Gospels. As Christians we believe in the words of those books and honor the story they tell and the model for living that they put forth.

Have you heard about the 5th Gospel? There is a book by this title that was written by Bobby Conway. I will admit I have not read it. The notion is intriguing though, and it is challenging! The idea is that WE are the 5th Gospel. It puts forth this image: people read the four gospels to know how to live as a Jesus follower. Those of us who follow Jesus are also “being read” as people with whom we interact have moments of reading into our words and actions.

Wow! Do I really want that much responsibility?

I listened to a sermon broadcast the other day offered by Rev. Tony Evans on this very subject. Pastor Evans leads a sizeable church in Dallas. In the message I heard he wanted his listeners to realize the importance of being ambassadors for Christ. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. We were created to be in relationship with the Lord and to go out and show this to others.

Now, I do not purport that we will do this with perfection and that we will even be comfortable and/ or ready to be the 5th Gospel, but I dare say it is a cool opportunity. What’s wrong with others looking in on our lives and thinking , “I want that.” Oh not that they should want our homes, our cars, our clothes, our jobs, our families and friends, but rather that they should want what God gives– that intangible love, peace and light. When we do our best every day to show God’s love in a tumultuous and frightening world we are fulfilling God’s will for our existence and for the world. Why wouldn’t we want to be that light in an otherwise dark world?

Remember this children’s song: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!” What a brave message that is.

Is your lamp covered by a blanket, a bushel basket or a bowl? Does taking your light out and about seem boastful or centered on self? If done well, it will actually be centered on others. Will you try to be the 5th Gospel somewhere soon?


Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill  cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket,  but on

2 Responses to “The 5th Gospel”

  1. Sue Broska May 21, 2021 at 3:52 pm #

    I love the idea of a 5th gospel and that we ARE that gospel. I need to read that book. The words in the song call us “A Little Light”. That is a lot less intimidating than being a SpotLight but it is still a difficult task. We may not be able to light up the world like Mother Teresa, but let’s try to light up our neighborhood, church, school. Lots of little lights can burn very brightly when they glow together!

    • dar1124 May 21, 2021 at 4:53 pm #

      Thanks Sue, for your inspiration. Absolutely if we all light up little spaces together we can make things brighter. I appreciate you and your comment!

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