Given the historical debate over the Christian symbols of the evangelists, they lend themselves quite easily to a Bible study, and overview of the gospels.
Explain the various interpretations of the lion as found above. Then have your class read Mark 1, Matthew 2.1-12, and John 1.1-18. Ask your class to debate the merits of the various interpretations, and vote on their favorite, siding with Jerome (Mark), Irenaeus (John), or Augustine (Matthew).
Naturally, these Christian Symbols are a great way to preach from Ezekiel 1 or Revelation 4. It could be fun to use this image when preaching from one of the above passages, when talking about Christ as Lord or King, or when discussing John the Baptist (by siding with Jerome).
The most obvious time to use this image would be on Christ the King Sunday, especially if you are comfortable siding with Augustine. And let's be honest, throughout history, Christians have been pretty comfortable siding with Augustine in many areas.
This ancient christian symbol is often thought to represent the Gospel of Mark. This designation is connected to the opening words of the Gospel, which portray "the voice of one crying out in the wilderness." This voice is said to be reminiscent of a roaring lion.
Irenaeus uses the winged lion to signify the gospel of John, which is bold and "princely," like a lion. Augustine, on the other hand, disagrees, saying that Matthew focuses more on the kingly nature of Christ, and thus the winged lion should symbolize Matthew.
Ultimately, it is the Gospel according to Mark that is most frequently associated with the winged lion, and it is this interpretation that you are most likely to find
The ancient Christian symbols of the four evangelists appear in many places. They may be found on pulpits, in Bibles, on stained glass windows, or at the ends of a cross. The Christian symbol of the winged lion appears frequently on churches bearing the name "St. Mark."
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