12.16.12: The Greatest Story Ever Told: John Part 1
This Sunday we began our study of the Gospel of John! This book is among the most loved and well known books of Scripture.
This week was an introduction to John. We asked three questions about the book:
- What is the book of John?
- John is a Gospel. It tells the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
- John is eyewitness testimony. At the end of John, the beloved disciple, who has been with Jesus throughout the gospel, writes, “This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things and wrote these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true” (21:24).
- John is inspired by the Holy Spirit. During the Passover feast Jesus told his disciples that after his ascension he would send the Holy Spirit and that the Spirit would bring to their remembrance all that Jesus said (John 14, esp v. 26). This means that the book of John is not only human testimony but God’s very words.
- Who wrote the book of John?
The Gospel of John was written by John, the son of Zebedee. Interestingly, John is mentioned by name no less than three times in Matthew; he is mentioned no less than ten times in Mark; and he is mentioned no less than seven times in Luke. In John, however, his name doesn’t come up once! In this book John simply calls himself the disciple Jesus loved. He appears five times (at least) in the book:
- The upper room (13:23)
- At the cross with Mary (19:26)
- At the empty tomb with Peter (20:2)
- In the boat with Peter (21:20)
- On the shore with Peter and Jesus (21:7)
- Why was the book of John written?
John can’t be read passively! John has a purpose for his reader and he tells us this purpose at the end of the Gospel: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (20:30-31). Earlier in John Jesus says, “this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (17:3). The purpose of the Gospel of John is that we would know God!
Read one chapter of the Gospel of John every day. When you sit down to read it, pray and ask God to show himself to you. He wants you to know him!