[please click on YouTube link below--will make your day]
How do you ‘wrap up’ the book of John? From its start, John is quite different from the other three gospels, the synoptic gospels. The first verses penned by the beloved disciple launch us into the deity of Jesus Christ--his divine nature—
“In the beginning the Word [Jesus Christ]already existed.
The Word [Jesus Christ] was with God,
and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him …”
And after months of study and reflection, John now draws us to a close: “This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these things is accurate.
Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” John 21.24-25
While the other gospels are essentially historical records of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, John writes to strengthen the faith of believers and to bring others to faith in the One whom he loved so deeply. John stated his purpose in writing in John 20.31, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
John had a personal style--I am so moved by the personal encounters between Jesus and people like you and me. Remember when Nicodemus came to him at night—not wanting to risk being seen by anyone who might recognize him as a prominent Jewish leader, putting his position in peril—and Jesus was willing to show him his heart? No judgment, just answers~you must be born again.1
Then there was the woman at the well … you know, the Samaritan who felt the compassionate warmth of the rabbi Jesus, instead of the scorn of her townspeople … We come to realize that no one who encounters Jesus remains the same.2
He healed people who were without hope--the paralyzed man3 and the blind man4--he raised Lazarus from the dead5, and he fed more than 5000 people from one boy's lunch.6
We watch and listen as Jesus taught his disciples, those who knew his story was life changing and forever; we count ourselves among those disciples! All the while, the threatened Jewish leaders look to trap Jesus in various scenarios, and they think they eventually won. Not so. In Jesus' timing, he informs his men that he will be leaving, going before them to ready a place for them.7 John takes special pains to paint the Passion of the Christ [the week of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus] with details not attended by the other gospel writers--his close relationship with Jesus giving us great insight.8
Indeed we have been with Jesus – in life, in his friendships, his teaching, suffering, death and ultimate triumph over the grave. There has never been another like Jesus Christ of Nazareth, one deserving of our study, devotion, love and commitment while we yet draw our breath. And no one ever described him as the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved.’
This captures my heart: King of Kings, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09azEfx71rc, new artist: Chandler Moore.
1 - John chapter 3
2 - John 4
3 - John 5
4 - John 9
5 - John 11
6 - John 6
7 - John 14
8 - beginning in John 12.12