“It would be well if professing Christians in modern days studied the four gospels more than they do. No doubt all scripture is profitable. It is not wise to exalt one part of the Bible at the expense of another. But I think it should be good for some who are very familiar with the epistles, if they knew a little more about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Now why do I say this? I say it because I want professing Christians to know more about Christ. It is well to be acquainted with all the doctrines and principles of Christianity. It is better to be acquainted with Christ Himself … This is one secret of eminent holiness. He that would be conformed to Christ’s image, and become a Christ-like man, must be constantly studying Christ Himself.
Now the gospels were written to make us acquainted with Christ. The Holy Ghost has told us the story of His life and death — His sayings and His doings, four times over. Four different, inspired hands have drawn the picture of the Saviour.
… Ought not the sheep to be familiar with the Shepherd? Ought not the patient to be familiar with the Physician? Ought not the bride to be familiar with the Bridegroom? Ought not the sinner to be familiar with the Saviour? Beyond doubt it ought to be so. The gospels were written to make men familiar with Christ …
Surely we cannot know this Christ too well! Surely there is not a word, nor a deed, nor a day, nor a step, nor a thought in the record His life, which ought not to be precious to us. We should labour to be familiar with every line that is written about Jesus.”
(J.C. Ryle, Holiness, p. 196-97)