Reading The Gospel of John

Assuming that we have interpreted the evidence correctly and that tradition is right, John the son of Zebedee wrote the gospel which bears his name, but nowhere mentions him by name. We have in the gospel of John, a book about Jesus — a book written by inspiration by the man who was perhaps closer to Jesus than any man while Jesus was on earth. John was one of Jesus twelve chosen apostles (Luke 6:13-16) and was one of the three that went with Jesus and saw things the other apostles did not see; John was one of three apostles who accompanied Jesus to Jarius house when Jarius daughter was raised from the dead (Mark 5:35-38); who witnessed Jesus transfiguration and heard the voice of God say, This is My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased. Hear Him (Matthew 17:1-5); and who accompanied Jesus farthest into the garden where Jesus prayed the night of His betrayal (Matthew 26:36-37). John is believed to be the disciple whom Jesus loved , who leaned against Jesus at the last supper , and the one to whom Jesus, at His death, entrusted the care of His mother (John 13:23; 19:26). John writes about Jesus from a unique perspective and furnishes his readers with information not found in the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. For those who want to know more about Jesus and increase their faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, the gospel of John is a must read !

The gospel of John begins with what is often called the prologue ; in this prologue John avows that In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1-2,14). The Word who became flesh was Jesus (John 1:17). John wants us to see the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father and to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Near the end of his gospel, John, himself, declares, And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are 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 centers around seven of Jesus miracles and various theological discourses spoken by Jesus. From these encounters and discourses come the seven great I am statements made by Jesus and recorded by John. (Can you name the seven miracles and the seven I am statements?) There is also in the gospel of John a lengthy account, John 13-19, of a period of time in Jesus life that is less than twenty-four hours long and that culminates in Jesus crucifixion. Furthermore, John relates to the reader four of Jesus post-resurrection appearances; perhaps, none is more powerful or dramatic than Jesus post-resurrection encounter with Thomas.

Read the gospel of John, and you will discover some of the most loved and oft-quoted verses of the Bible — John 3:16; 14:1-3. Read the gospel of John and pay special attention to the feast days, and you will get a better sense of the time and movement of Jesus during His ministry. Read the book of John, and you will gain insight into such Bible topics as the new birth, discipleship, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Most importantly, read the gospel of John and learn or be reminded of the love, glory, and work of Jesus and be convicted or renewed in faith; Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God!

John s purpose in writing his gospel was not to share everything Jesus said or did while He was here on earth — that would be an impossible task (John 21:25). John s purpose was to methodically choose and write, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that which would most effectively accomplish his purpose — to declare Jesus to be the Son of God. The gospel of John was written to be read and believed!

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