INTRODUCTION TO OUR STUDY OF JOHN’S GOSPEL
In a day where faith in Jesus as the Son of God, the Source of hope and salvation is questioned, and ridiculed, there needs to be an open study of that book which in itself claims to be written “that you might believe” (John 20:30-31).
The “Gospel of John”, is the favorite of many, not only because of it’s many ‘proofs’ (“signs”) (miracles) that point to Jesus as the Son of God, but also because John develops topics either only ‘touched’ by the other Gospel writers, or omitted altogether.
I will be using dad’s (unpublished, as far as I know) notes in this study along with other sources (which will be notated for further study), as well as adding my own thoughts.
John received a vision… Revelation 4:7 says, “The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.” Revelation is of course highly figurative, and the figures are tied largely to the Old Testament… Here are a few thoughts on these four ‘faces’. Dad compared these four “living creatures” with the four Gospels. However, in the end, they all speak of the Christ(!), who is our Champion(!) forever…
1.) “The face of a man” shows us Jesus the ‘son of man’ who identifies with us all…
the Gospel of Mark (the PLAINEST MOST STRAIGHT FORWARD OF THE
GOSPELS) speaks of this as well…
2.) The “face of a lion” = The Gospel of Matthew (THE LION = THE TRIBE OF
JUDAH) speaks of the royalty of King Jesus!
3.) The “face of an ox” = the Gospel of Luke (THE OX IS AN ANIMAL OF SACRIFICE
AND SERVICE) as well as the strength of our Master seen in His service (Jno. 13
as well as on the cross).
4.) The “face of an eagle” = Speaks of the all knowing, swift judgment of our Lord…
The Gospel of John (THE EAGLE “LOOKS THE SUN IN THE EYE” IT IS THE
GREATEST OF THE GOSPELS.)
The Gospel of John is different in several ways:
1.) John omits the birth, baptism, temptations of Jesus as well as the last supper.
2.) He doesn’t mention Gethsemane or the Ascension of Christ.
3.) He tells nothing of Jesus’ healing any one being healed of demon possession or
4.) There are no parables which Jesus used so often while teaching his disciples and
multitudes as well.
Matthew wrote with the Hebrew or Jewish nation in mind.
Mark‘s style seems to be with the Roman in mind.
Luke, he wrote to Theophilus (not only in Luke but also when writing the book of Acts.
Evidently he was a well respected friend of Luke). He writes of the compassionate
Physician, the Perfect Jesus Christ.
John wrote about Jesus’ ministry in Jerusalem and Galilee. His focus is proving that Jesus the Son of God. Here are some of the Apostle John’s proofs offered to support this.
1.) The marriage feast at Cana (Jno. 2:1-11)
2.) The conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus (Jno. 3:1-15)
3.) The woman at the well – Samaria (Jno. 4:1-26)
4.) The woman taken in adultery (Jno. 8:1-11)
5.) Jesus washing the disciple’s feet (Jno. 13)
6.) Jesus teaches about the Comforter (Holy Spirit) (Jno. 14-17)
7.) John reveals Thomas (Jno. 11:16; 14:5; 20:24-29)
8.) John reveals Andrew (Jno. 1:40-41; 6:8; 12:22)
9.) John reveals Philip (Jno. 1:44-46; 6:5-7; 14:8-9)
10.) John reveals Judas (Jno. 12:4)
John’s Gospel never mentions the writer (John) by name. He only refers to himself, as the “disciple whom Jesus loved”. He wrote this book from Ephesus about the year 90 AD, (of course this is just an estimate based on the manuscripts and fragments found, but it is close). He wrote after the Gospel had spread to the Gentiles. He writes to those of a Greek or Hellenistic background and perspective. Which may explain his approach in his Gospel record. John did not write as an historian, he wrote about Someone he loved, and would die for and ultimately did. He wrote about the good news of Jesus.
John refers to the Deity of Jesus Christ.
1.) The PRE-existence of Jesus (Jno. 8:58)
2.) Jesus was before the world even began (Jno. 1:1-3; 17:5)
3.) Jesus “coming down from Heaven” (Jno. 6:33-38)
4.) Jesus is all knowing (cf. Jno. 4:14-16 and 6:61-64)
For 70 years, John thought of Jesus, and the things he had seen and heard about and from him. He wrote WHAT JESUS MEANT to him, not just words that Jesus spoke. This is not just a record about Jesus… John had so much he could have written down (I wish he had)… John had a real purpose and he pulled out of all the things he knew of his Master, and best Friend, and wrote… He wrote so that all who read it, all who sit and think about his writings…. will come to one and the same conclusion – JESUS IS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD.
John wrote, but these were not just words and memories… the Holy Spirit Himself was at work here. “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:12-13).
26 “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
John, called the Apostle of love, (but first he and his brother were known as ‘sons of thunder’ (wonder why? Luke 9:51-55). John evidently lived the longest of the Apostles, and died a natural death, (according to ‘tradition’)… He wrote so that you might know and believe what he did… that Jesus is alive!
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”