The Gospel of John
Oct 10, 2020 · Courtney Jacob
Do you ever question how it’s possible for Jesus Christ to be both fully God and fully man? Or have you ever felt puzzled trying to make sense of Jesus’ miracles and teachings?
Whether you feel like you’re just beginning to know Jesus Christ, or whether you’ve been walking with him in faith for awhile, join us as we grow in our understanding of Jesus Christ and his purpose. Discover what it means to be a disciple of Jesus by exploring the themes and nuances of John’s gospel in our Groundwork series, “The Gospel of John.”
A Unique Gospel
The gospel of John is the fourth gospel in the New Testament. Although the author never directly identifies himself, it is commonly believed that the Apostle John, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, wrote this gospel account.
The gospel of John is distinct from the first three gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These three synoptic gospels tell the story of Jesus using similar stories, in a similar order. In contrast, John shares very little content with the three synoptic gospels and even the stories it does share with the synoptic gospels often occur in a different order.
For example, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, share the parables Jesus used to teach. John does not record any of Jesus' parables. Instead, he carefully curates and records signs and teachings that point to Jesus Christ’s identity as the Messiah, both fully God and fully human.
Another difference is their organization. While Matthew, Mark, and Luke recount the events of Jesus ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection in more or less a chronological order, John instead organizes the events aroundt clear themes, to help his reader see and believe important truths about Jesus Christ. As a result, scholars often describe and organize the flow of John’s gospel as a prologue, book of signs, book of glory, and an epilogue.
A Fervent Message
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:31
John makes his purpose perfectly clear. He does not record the events of Jesus’ life and ministry for historical purposes. No, he fervently desires those who read this gospel to believe in Jesus and to find new life in him. Every sign, every story, every testimony intentionally recorded in this gospel points to the truth of Jesus’ humanity and divinity, to the truth that he is the Messiah who saves God’s people.
The gospel of John proclaims this truth immediately in a prologue, then moves directly into telling his account of John the Baptist, Jesus’ earthly ministry (focusing on stories of the signs and miracles Jesus performed and his teachings), then recounting the events surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.
Recognize Jesus Christ, the Messiah
I invite you to get to know Jesus Christ better by studying him from John’s perspective through our Groundwork series, “The Gospel of John”:
- Jesus Christ is... - John 1
- Signs of Christ's Glory - John 2-4
- Signs of Christ's Power - John 5-11
- Christ Glorified: Love and Humble Sacrifice - John 12-14:14
- Christ Glorified: the Holy Spirit and Growing in Christlikeness - John 14:15-17:26
- The Final Events of Jesus' Earthly Life - John 18-20
- Jesus Christ Restores - John 21
…and together we’ll remind ourselves who Jesus is and why we can believe and find life in him.