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John’s Gospel

As a child I remember new believers being instructed at church to read John’s gospel. Copies of his gospel are available for distribution, separate from the Bible. The reason? John’s gospel is simple to read and clear in purpose.

Simple and Profound

One commentator compared John’s Gospel “to a pool in which a child may wade and an elephant can swim.” It is both simple and profound, good for both new believers and mature followers.

John’s purpose

The Apostle stated the purpose for writing the gospel was, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (20:31).

Greeks and Hebrews

John attempts to unite Greek and Hebrew thinking. Hebrews understood Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, a Jew who spoke Hebrew and came as the Messiah. Gentiles, filling the early church, did not speak Hebrew, knew very little about a messiah, but loved Jesus. Their Greco philosophy understood the Word as something reconciling all things together in harmony. John brings the Hebrew and Greek worlds together within his book.

A different gospel

John’s gospel is different in style and story than the other three. Matthew, Mark and Luke appear to give accounts of Jesus public ministry, while John incorporates the informal teachings that took place in private. He includes the public ministry of Jesus but more often dives into His private conversations with the Twelve.

John

Photo credit: jimforest (cc)

John 1:1-2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. “

A new beginning

Genesis opens with the phrase, “In the beginning” (Gen. 1:1). By replicating this phrase, John announces a new beginning, a new creation in Jesus. Genesis 1 described the first creation; John 1 declares the new creation.

The Word

Verse one is written in a way that denotes there never was a time when the Word was not. There is not a thing that does not depend on him for its existence. “Beginning” also indicates “origin”. In other words, the Word existed before creation and was not created. The Word is greater than all things. He is greater than time and is as changeless as eternity.

Revealing God

Words are how people communicate thoughts or issue commands. Words formulate communication with others. “The Word” reveals God, by His very nature, seeks to communicate with His creation. He is not far off or indifferent. God is revealing Himself through Jesus, the Word.

With God

A direct translation of “the Word was with God,” is “the Word was toward God.” The Word exists in the closest possible connection with the Father. The Word and God are not identical but are one.

Was God

The phrase is not, “the Word was a god,” or “the Word was like God,” but “the Word was God.”

Jesus is not simply divine but is God. John refers to Jesus as God before coming to earth, in 1:18 he refers to Jesus as God after becoming a man, and in 20:28 he refers to Jesus as God after rising from the dead.

Unity

The “Word” was one with God, rather than “a god” or another divine being. Unity of nature is implied, rather than similarity or likeness. Jesus is one with God.

The challenge

Put your faith in Jesus, the Son of God. Examine Jesus, the Word, for a better understanding of God.

In what ways has Jesus, the Word, spoken to you? Share your comments below.

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Comments

  1. He continually directs my steps and turns negative situations into learning experiences which helps me grow as a believer.

  2. That’s a great perspective to maintain. The Bible talks about being put through the refiner’s fire, molded like clay, and pruned like a branch. Jesus is in the business of character development so that you can be a more accurate reflection of Him to the world.