For each of the five questions, choose the answer that fits best.
I. If your life was a story, what kind of story would it be?
- An action/adventure story in which the hero defeats the bad guy
- A detective drama in which an investigator uncovers a mystery
- A romantic story involving conflict and eventual reconciliation
- A deep psychological story which is open to interpretation
II. If a conflict arose within your friendship group, how would you respond?
- Try to ascertain who was in the wrong and ensure that they make amends
- Quiz everyone for details so you can try to piece together exactly what happened
- Try to make sure no-one gets hurt and everyone gets along
- Listen carefully to each person’s side of the story without taking sides
III. What do you see as the main purpose of learning?
- Figuring out how to repair everything wrong with the world
- Gaining insight into the deeper truths about reality
- Understanding other people better so as to bridge differences
- Learning should be an end in itself, learning for the joy of learning
IV. If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
- How can a good God allow injustice to exist?
- Why don’t you reveal yourself more clearly?
- Why do some people inflict so much hurt on others?
- What is the meaning of life?
V. It’s important for children to be taught…
- The difference between right and wrong
- How to think for themselves and evaluate evidence
- To look out for people who are different from them
- To discover themselves and to live in the moment
Scroll down for the answers…
If you answered:
- Mostly 1: Matthew
- Mostly 2: Mark
- Mostly 3: Luke
- Mostly 4: John
Matthew (the lion)
You’re someone who is passionate about justice. For you one of the biggest problems in society is the suffering and injustice all around. Perhaps you struggle with the question of how a good God could exist alongside such evil.
Matthew’s Gospel portrays a violent and deeply unjust world. We learn of king Herod who, in his attempt to kill the young infant Jesus, slaughtered all of the infants in the town of Bethlehem. We learn of the Pharisees who plotted to murder Jesus and of the chief priests and elders who succeeded in doing so. We also wrestle with the hard message of Jesus that evil isn’t just ‘out there’ in the world, that it dwells inside each one of us. And above all, we hear the words of Jesus himself, justice personified, crying out as he felt abandoned by his closest friends and forsaken by God.
Mark (the bull)
You’re someone who is passionate about truth. One of your greatest concerns is understanding why things are the way they are. Most of all, you want to know the answers to the big questions – about God and the universe. Perhaps you wonder why God doesn’t reveal himself more clearly.
From the opening chapters of Mark’s Gospel, we are immediately thrust into the story and left to work out the meaning for ourselves. The Gospel raises a number of provocative questions about the identity of Jesus. When Jesus forgives a man’s sins, people ask “Who can forgive sins except God alone?” When Jesus calms a storm, his disciples ask “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him.” And when praised for his goodness, Jesus himself responds “Why do you call me ‘good’? No-one is good except God alone.” Along with his disciples, we might be tempted to ask just “who is this man”?
Luke (the human)
You’re someone who is passionate about harmony. For you one of the biggest problems in society is the exclusiveness and inequality all around. Perhaps you don’t understand why some people can seem so intolerant of others who are different from them.
Luke’s Gospel resonates with some of these concerns. At a time in history when women were often considered inferior, Luke begins by paying special attention to the songs and hopes of women such as Mary and Elizabeth. He highlights the fact that Jesus came to rescue the poor and to ransom slaves from captivity, to teach people to love their enemies, and to reach out to those considered unclean. Luke shows us a Jesus who modelled the full depth of God’s grace in reaching out to the most unworthy and wicked people, forgiving a murderer even in his greatest moment of suffering and betrayal. Near the end of the Gospel we hear of two men who had lost all hope, whose hearts were warmed once again by the presence of Jesus among them.
John (the eagle)
You’re someone who is passionate about experience. For you one of the biggest problems today is the constant distraction which prevents people from experiencing the fullness of what life is about. Perhaps you spend a lot of time considering the question of how to fully experience the divine.
John’s Gospel addresses these sorts of questions. It’s full of rich and contrasting imagery, including themes such as darkness and light, water and wine, flesh and spirit. As we move through the Gospel, we begin to discover that these themes are ultimately centred around Jesus. He is the light that shines in the darkness, the true vine which bears fruit, the one who gives the divine Spirit and overcomes the flesh. Above all, we encounter his glory, the glory which he had with his Father before the world began, which he shares with those who become his disciples.