The Gospel of John
John was Jesus’ first cousin and His best friend for 3 ½ years. Jesus’ mother and John’s mother were sisters. No man on earth knew the story of Jesus better than John. His gospel is a magnificent treatise to the life of Christ and it’s impact on planet earth.
His gospel is different than the others. Very different! It is written like John is sitting under a shade tree with his feet propped up, just daydreaming about the life of Jesus. He only selects vignettes, short insights or events, from 20 days in the life of Christ.
John uses the simplest words, and a small vocabulary to plunge us into the deepest mysteries of God. John uses the vocabulary of a six year old child. A child learns about 100 words a year and John uses about 600 words in his writing.
The words John selects are powerful words. He uses words like world, father, light, and truth. He uses the simplest words to paint a profound God and His plan.
Matthew writes to the Jew, so he begins his gospel at the lineage of Abraham. Luke writes to the gentile Roman world, so his lineage begins at Adam. John writes to the church, so he reaches all the way back to eternity. He begins with, “In the beginning”.
.John reaches back to the inky blackness of eternity, before there was the brush of an angel’s wing. He reaches back before there was the first blazing shaft of light that shattered the darkness. When there was nothing but God. In the beginning was the logos, the word, the thought, the intent. And the logos was God.
John does not cover the same material as the other three gospels do. The only miracle he repeats is the feeding of the 5000. He writes to the church about 50 years after the other writers. The church was facing many challenges.
When John wrote, there were those who said Jesus never really existed. There were others saying Jesus was not a human, but rather a phantom. Other views at that time proclaimed Jesus did exist but he was just a man with divinity projected upon him by his disciples. It was into this morass that John wrote his gospel.
John writes of no parables, and uses 7 signs to build his story of Jesus. He explains things like no other writer. When he tells a miracle, he often explains why he used that miracle. An example would be the feeding of the 5000. He tells us Jesus is the bread of life. The other three writers did not explain the connection for us. When Jesus heals the blind man, John explains Jesus is the light of the world. It is his explanations that give his gospel an added dimension.
He also includes things of immense importance. Consider how important John chapter three is to the doctrine of the new birth. The story of Nicodemas is the bedrock of salvation. Ye must be born again. That one inclusion validates the day of Pentecost and the doctrine of the New Testament church. Chapter by chapter, John gives the church a gospel for the ages. He delivers the most profound insight into Jesus the man, of any writer of history.
2/3 of John’s book is about the last week of Jesus’ life. Fully 1/3 of his book is about the last 24 hours of Jesus’ earthly life. After 60 years, the need was for a complete record of the importance of calvary. A whole generation had arrived that were not eye witnesses to the events of Jesus’ death. Someone needed to write it down and John succeeded as Heaven’s emissary.
We have the gospel of John and it is indeed magnificent!
Thanks for reading today!