The beloved disciple, John, writes a profound story that is both simple and deep. He doesn’t tell us much about himself, but he tells us plenty about who Jesus is. What a beautiful picture of the life we are to lead on this earth.
It’s 2019, and I pray that throughout this year you would pursue Him more than ever before. If you’re new to verse-by-verse studies, then you’ve come to the right place. We study a book of the Bible from beginning to end, one verse at a time. You can also listen to similar teachings online or subscribe to the Open Door Fellowship (Springfield, MO) podcasts. I know you will grow as you intentionally seek Him.
Now, back to business. The Gospel of John was most likely the last written of the four-fold gospel and it’s probably why John’s account of the life of Jesus is in many ways different than Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
There are significant events of Jesus’ ministry that are not part of the book of John:
- Jesus’ birth.
- Jesus’ baptism.
- Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness.
- Jesus’ parable teachings.
- The Last Supper.
- His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.
- Jesus’ ascension.
So, if all these momentous events are left out of John, then what does this book offer? William Barclay provides this insight:
“John was interested not so much in the mere facts as in the meaning of the facts, that it was not facts he was after but truth. John did not see the events of Jesus’ life simply as events in time; he saw them as windows looking into eternity, and he pressed towards the spiritual meaning of the events and the words of Jesus’ life in a way that the other three gospels did not attempt.”
As we study the book of John you can expect to find truth, to find windows looking into eternity (perspective), and to find spiritual meaning. The first three gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are known as the “synoptic” gospels, which means “see together.” These gospels are focused mostly on what Jesus taught and did. John, on the other hand, fixates on who Jesus is.
As believers (whether new or well-seasoned) we must constantly seek to understand the true character of Christ. We have so much in our culture—news, social media, movies, books, and especially “churches”—that taint our views and beliefs. We may think we know who Jesus is, but unless we’re continually studying His Word and evaluating our thoughts against what His Word says, we will live in lies.
The fourth gospel is essential because it gives us a direct look into the heart of Jesus. It was a book that was written for one purpose: that we might believe. John 20:31 tells us, “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
As we embark on a fresh year, let’s not waste these next 361 days. Let’s invest each day into knowing more of who Jesus is. He wants you to believe and experience life in His name.
“I believe, Lord, help my unbelief. Amen” (Mark 9:24).
I thought it’d be fun to start the year off with a groovy GIVEAWAY. I’m currently reading The Beloved Disciple: Following John to the Heart of Jesus by Beth Moore. Beth’s style offers additional insights and thoughtful perspectives. I’ll provide a copy of this read (either Kindle, hardcover, audiobook, or CD—your pick!) to 5 students of the Word!
Here’s what you need to do:
Sign-up to receive the weekly Bible studies via email (scroll down to bottom of this page). You can also use the Sign Up button on Facebook. Hint: if you’re receiving this post via email, you’re already signed up…because you’re awesome.
“Like” the giveaway photo,
Tag two people…#done.