The gospel of John differs from Matthew, Mark and Luke in many respects. The Holy Spirit has deliberately selected certain aspects of the life of Jesus (John 20: 30-31) in this Gospel. If we neglect to pay attention to the unique writing of the Gospel of John we will miss much of what God intends to reveal to us.
John is very clear in stating his aim for writing:
Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:30-31)
John's Gospel sets out to make us believe in Jesus and give us life in Him.
As we explore this wonderful book expect the breadth and depth of your life in Christ to increase.
The Gospel of John opens dramatically with 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God' -(John 1:1).
In this staggering statement the basic tenet that sets Christianity apart from every other religion in the world is established - her founder is fully God and fully man.
The Gospel of John then goes on in the next three chapters to establish that 'God loved us so much that he came down from heaven to save us'.
While the latter is not unique to the Gospel of John the presentation and language certainly is. Also exclusive to John's gospel is Jesus turning water into wine (John 2), the encounter with Nicodemus (John 3), the Samaritan woman (John 4), and Lazarus (John 11), just to mention a few.
When we consider this in the light of the voluminous teachings John's Gospel brings us on the Holy Spirit, more than any of the other three Gospel's, coupled with the generous use of metaphors engaged to reveal to us the person of Christ - we would do ourselves an injustice if we neglected to embrace this gospel in depth.
Have you noticed how none of the parables appear in John's gospel! Yet it still unfolds a deep and profound portray of who Christ Jesus is.
In John chapter one alone Jesus is presented as:
Well, just in chapter one we already have enough material for seven separate articles. Like the author of John, selectivity will have to be exercised in choosing what to comment on.
In John's Gospel we encounter seven 'I am' sayings of Jesus and only seven signs (or miracles), among the numerous Jesus performed prior to his death, are emphasised. There is one more miracle after his resurrection (John 21).
Already you can appreciate the contrast between John's Gospel and the other three. Indeed it is because of John's Gospel mentioning the three annual Passover events (2:23; 6:4; 11:55 - 12:1) that we are aware that Jesus' ministry lasted three years. None of the other Gospel accounts mention all these Passover events.
Needless to say, it is vital that we get to grips with what the Holy Spirit wants to teach us from John's Gospel.
I hope this has wet your appetite and prompts you to start reading the Gospel of John. Keep your heart and mind open as you read through these words of life.
There is much that God wants to pass across to you. Much that will bring life and light into your life.
More essentially, with John's Gospel the Holy Spirit highlights to us a vital truth in our walk with God - no one has a monopoly on truth. We all need to learn from one another. I can imagine one of the disciples reading John's gospel and pondering to himself - what a revelation, I never saw that before!
Keep an open and willing heart, always ready to learn from others about Christ: no matter how far you think you have grown in the Lord - you might just learn something new.
Living Word Library
29 June 2007