Friday, January 14, 2011

John understood the miracles of Jesus would never end...

I've really enjoyed reading the post of my fellow Kingdom Bloggers this week and seeing the book from God's word each chose to write about. Genesis, Ephesians or Philippians could have easily been my choice also because each book has had a profound impact on my life at some point.

When I helped pick this topic several weeks ago, I spent several moments reflecting on the Bible as a whole then began to think about the individual 66 books. I just finished a series on James in my Sunday School class which has been a blessing. Before that, there was a series on the Lee Strobel book Case for Christ, and an in depth study of Genesis preceded even that.

The Gospel of John is the book that I must admit captures just a little bit more of me than the other 65 books. I don't intend to discount or disrespect any part of God's word with that statement, but just as most people have a favorite story or character from the Bible, I believe having a favorite book comes just as natural.

Why John for me? My first response to that question comes as early as the book's first passage:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  John 1:1-5 (NIV)

Now I'm no Rhodes scholar, but John makes it simple and clear enough for anyone, including me, to understand.  Jesus was with God from the very start...or at least the beginning as our finite-thinking minds can comprehend. 

John differs from the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke with 90% of the material being unique to his inspired writings. I think that's another reason John is a favorite. He establishes the Christology of Jesus being God and doesn't mask the fact He is the only way to God:

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6 (NIV)

John gives far more focus to the relationship of the Son to the Father than the other gospels and is often used by Christians to better understand the Holy Trinity. John includes far more direct claims of Jesus being the Son of God than the Synoptic Gospels. The gospel also focuses on the relation of the Redeemer to believers, the announcement of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter (Greek Paraclete), and the prominence of love as an element in the Christian character...all great stuff too.Christians know John is referred to as 'beloved' by Christ and was one of the three men closest to Jesus during His ministry on Earth. I like to believe John saw and accepted Jesus for who He really was before any of the other disciples, and Jesus shared intimately spiritual truths with him before anyone else because of this. Maybe that is why the Gospel of John appeals to me so much and has been the book I go back to time and time again for examples of the love Jesus spread and demonstrated while here.

Scholars believe John's Gospel wasn't penned until around 90 A.D. But why so far after the death of Jesus? John was busy going about the business of Christ's ministry, and during a time when word of mouth was far more common than writing with the many limitation it imposed, maybe he didn't see the urgent need to author what he had learned. I can't help but personally believe from varies comments in the Gospel of John of other writings from the time that John also sincerely felt Jesus was coming back in his lifetime.

I'm thankful God inspired John to write down what he had been taught by Jesus. I'm most thankful that God so loved the world...   


1 comment:

Tracy said...

Me too Tony! John is such a cool look at Jesus - how can one not adore this book?! Jesus attracts; He is so honest and clear and loving and kind and powerful - truly what a God we serve.