Good morning Monday readers! How did I get so lucky to get to introduce not one but two of our gospel authors this year? I’m very excited for all of us to dive into John’s words in this Easter season. God’s timing couldn’t be more perfect for us! The apostle John wrote his Gospel around 85 AD after the destruction of Jerusalem and before his exile to the island of Patmos. John’s Gospels are different from the three previous synoptic Gospels in that over 90 percent of its material is unique. Rather than focusing on miracles, parables and the public words of Jesus, the Gospel of John emphasizes the identity of Jesus as the Son of God. Research suggests that the most likely place of writing was Ephesus.
John’s main purpose in writing his gospel is to prove Jesus’ true identity as the Son of God. In fact, he reveals Jesus’ deity to us in the very first verse:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…” John 1:1
How many times have you breezed over those words in your reading? I know I have! John gives us the plot line to one of the best true stories ever told in verse one! Together with the Gospel of Matthew, John provides what I think is the most compelling proof of Jesus as the messiah. I’m not afraid to admit that there have been times in my journey with Christ that I have doubted power of Jesus. The Gospel of John is an opportunity for us as Christ followers to truly walk with Him and see the Messiah that John knew. Chapter 2 reveals the seven messianic signs beginning with the wedding at Cana. In Chapter 6 we hear his first of seven “I am” phrases:
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and who believes in my shall not thirst.” John 6:35
John goes on to reveal Jesus through six more powerful “I am” statements throughout his Gospel:
“I am the light of the world”
“I am the door of the sheep”
“I am the good shepherd”
“I am the resurrection and the life”
“I am the way, the truth, the life”
“I am the true vine”
Of course what comes at the end of this beautiful and powerful writing is the death and resurrection of Jesus. I invite you go deep in your study of this last Gospel. I know that we will all find evidence of our Savior there. Perhaps more than any other writing about Jesus, it will be painful. When we allow ourselves to calm the voices of this world in order to enter His, we’ll see Jesus for the man and Messiah he truly is. We’ll see and hear his closest disciples betray him. We’ll have the opportunity to see ourselves as disciples and understand how we betray him with our everyday sins. We’ll also have the opportunity for redemption in Him.
May you be blessed by this season of quiet, intentional study of the Gospel of John.