We will consider the Gospel of John for the next two weeks.
Synoptic Gospels and John: Matthew Mark and Luke are referred to as the “synoptic Gospels.” Synoptic is a Greek work that means “seeing together.” The title is given to them because of the great deal of overlap there is in the material they contain. By contrast, John’s Gospel has many unique features.
In the synoptic Gospels, Jesus primarily teaches using parable; in John He teaches in plain language sermons. The synoptic focus on His ministry in Galilee; in John His ministry in Jerusalem. The synoptic contain many miracle; John contains only seven. The Kingdom of God is the primary subject of the synoptic Gospels; the unity between the Father and the Son is the main subject of John. Similarly, the humanity of Jesus is emphasized in the synoptic Gospels; Jesus’ divinity is highlighted in John.
Oneness with God: The primary purpose for the Gospel is “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30). The primary message is that “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). This is consistent with Deuteronomy 6:4 which states, “Hear, O Israel! Yehovah is our God, Yehovah is one.” In Hebrew the word translated as “one” means “unity” and not the number 1. Jesus is stating that He has perfect unity with Yehovah.
Jesus supports His argument by explaining that He says nothing except what God has taught Him and directed Him to say: the word you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me (John 14:24). Likewise, Jesus actions are directed by Yehovah. “For the works which the Father has given me to accomplish p the very works that I do – testify about me that the Father has sent me (John 5:16).
Jesus draws these points together in an exchange with Philip. Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father.” Jesus said to him, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works (John 14:8-10).
Structure of John: The Gospel of John is divided into two sections. Chapters 1-12 contain the details of His public ministry with its signs and sermons. The second half, Chapters 13-21 take us through Him being glorified and ministering privately to His disciples. Jesus receives human recognition when He enters Jerusalem riding a donkey. He is ultimately glorified through His obedience to the Father by His death, burial and resurrection.
The Gospel also is built around the number 7. Jesus is called by seven titles in Chapter 1. He performs seven miracles He gives seven sermons. There are seven “I am” statements that establish his deity and claim to be the Messiah in this unique Gospel.
[Note: These articles are going to vary slightly from the weekly readings. They will address all the content but the chapters discussed will be grouped in a different manner.] For Daily Readings go to: thebibleproject.com. Listen Sunday Mornings: KJLP 88.9 FM at 8:00 am or KATB 89.3 FM at 9:30 am