Today is Day 80 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days – only 10 days left!
The book of John is packed with killer truths, amazing stories, and a beautiful picture of God’s love for us. It contains the most well-known verse in all of Scripture (John 3:16), the shortest verse in the Bible (John 11:35), and it is often pointed out as the place for a new Christian to begin reading. It goes without saying that the book of John is a very valuable resource!
The Gospel of John isn’t John’s only work – he also wrote 1, 2 & 3 John, as well as the book of Revelation!
Although John is considered one of the 4 Gospels, it is not considered a “synoptic” Gospel. The word “synoptic” is from a Greek word meaning “seeing the whole together.” It refers to how similar Matthew, Mark, and Luke are. John, however, stands out.
The book of John is also one of the rare books in the Bible that record the exact reason that the author wrote it…
“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the 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.” – John 20:30-31
His whole purpose of writing was to help people be fully convinced that Jesus was truly the Son of God who died to set people free from sin. Of course it’s not possible for the book (or any book, for that matter) to be exhaustive on this subject. John even mentioned that too…
“Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” – John 21:25
As you read, you might have run across a few times where John referred to a guy as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Although it may sound a little arrogant, most believe that John was referring to himself. I would say it’s not arrogant at all – it was very accurate. He wasn’t saying that Jesus didn’t love the other disciples as much – he was personalizing Jesus’ love for him. It’s the same for us – YOU are the disciple whom Jesus loved! Jesus didn’t only think in mass quantities of people (dying for the whole world), but He’s also very specific and personal in His love for us as individuals!
John dedicated a large portion of his book to the final week of Jesus’ life – it was obviously a main focus for him as he wrote. Beginning with Chapter 12, he dedicates 9 of 21 chapters just to those final few days of His life. It’s a good reminder to us of the purpose behind Jesus becoming a man in the first place. Had He come with the sole purpose of being a good teacher, setting a good example, and living a good life, there wouldn’t be a need to focus so much on the days leading up to His death. However, although He was a good teacher and did set a great example, He was born with a different purpose: to die. That little baby, born in a tiny, over-crowded city called Bethlehem, was born with the sole purpose of being sacrificed on our behalf! What a thought!
Not only was John focused on His actual death, but also the timing of it. Many times throughout the book, he points out that He was not killed or arrested yet, or that He told someone not to openly proclaim who He was because His hour had not yet come (John 8:20). After all, John points out years later that Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). Jesus wasn’t murdered – He gave His life. After all, Jesus said it (and lived it) best…
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13
I hope you enjoyed the Gospels. The remaining 23 New Testament books are the proof of what happens when God steps in and changes lives – the world has never been the same!