One of the first Bible-based books I read as new Christian was a tiny little tome entitled, "Why Four Gospels?" by Arthur W. Pink. I was amazed at the way Pink demonstrated the Gospels' undeniable divine inspiration by pointing out how God's Spirit had guided the writers to add or omit details from each Gospel, to form a perfect composite of Jesus. Pink presents the four Gopels as a composite portrait of Jesus--like a photo taken of each side of a house: each photo portrays the same house, while depicting details common to all four sides, and unique details not seen in the others. Pink points out the distinguishing characteristics of Jesus specific to each Gospel, as well as those which dovetail precisely into a harmonized narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus. Here are a few highlights:
Matthew, emphasizes Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, and traces Jesus' genealogy back to Abraham, showing Jesus' earthly claim to the throne of David. Matthew also cites more OT prophecies fulfilled by Jesus than the other four Gospels combined. The link between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, Matthew's Gospel breaks the 400 years of silence after Malachi. Just as Moses was sent as the deliverer after four centuries of no word from God, Jesus was sent 400 years after the final prophecies of Malachi were given--prophecies that were fulfilled by both He and John the baptizer.
Mark emphasizes Jesus the servant, skipping over His birth and genealogy, to reveal the hard-working minister of the Gospel. The majestic imagery that so marks Matthew's Gospel is not to be found in Mark. Rather the picture of a man laboring tirelessly for the sake of His Father's kingdom is in view. Only in Mark for instance, do we read of Jesus being so exhausted at the end of a day of ministering, that He had to be physically helped into a boat by His disciples. This exhaustion is why He was sound asleep in the storm-tossed ship until the disciples woke Him with their fearful cries. (Mark 6:36-39).
Luke portrays Jesus as the Savior not only of Israel, but of all mankind, which is why Jesus' genealogy is traced all the way back to Adam, rather than stopping at Abraham. And if Luke was indeed a Gentile as many Bible scholars believe, than that is another reason that "the beloved physician" and companion of Paul was chosen to record this Gospel. Rather than the Jewish character we see in Matthew, Luke showcases the humanity of Jesus. For instance, it's only in Luke that we see the parable of the Good Samaritan, in which Jesus seeks to show that those generally considered outcasts by the Jews were not outcasts to God--Who is no respecter of persons, but is ultimately the Savior of all mankind.
Finally, John presents Jesus as He was before He was Jesus--as the very glory and likeness of God Himself, before the creation of man. As with the other Gospels, there are passages peculiar to John that accentuate traits not highlighted in the synoptic Gospels. Matthew, Mark, and Luke convey a composite picture of Jesus' humanity, but in John, it is the deity of the Word of God robed in that humanity that is portrayed. "To wit that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself."
I've owned a copy of "Why Four Gospels?" for some 30 years, and have garnered insight from it, into the meticulous guidance of the Holy Spirit in the formation of the Gospels--both in choosing who would record the words, how they were worded, and what was included or omitted in each one. And I learned also that, Pink only scratched the surface with regard to his observations. Like finding the surface streaks of gold in a mine, the promise of even greater riches lie below for those willing to dig for it. I was thrilled to find that the text is now freely available on the internet. I highly recommend it as an asset for the diligent workman who does not already have it in his library: