Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Testament survey (04): John

He was born in an obscure village, a child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three years, he was an itinerant preacher.

He never had a family. He never owned a house. He never set foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place he was born. He never wrote a book or held an office. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness.

While he was still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends deserted him. He was turned over to his enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying his executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had, his coat. When he was dead, he was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave.

Nineteen centuries have come and gone and today he is still the central figure for much of the human race. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this one solitary life. (One Solitary Life, by Rev. James Allan Francis, 1926)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1,14)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. (John 10:28)

Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26)

Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name”. (John 20:31)


[1] John, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee ©, with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3), Behind the Black Curtain in the Upper Room (PDF), He is Coming Again! (PDF), The Man Behind the Mask (PDF) New Jerusalem: The Eternal Home of the Church (PDF), The Secret of Service (PDF), This is His Life (PDF), When God Became Man (PDF), Why Four Gospels? (PDF)

It is generally assumed that the Gospel of John is easy to understand. Often you hear the cliche, “The Gospel of John is the simple Gospel.” And the simplicity of the language has deceived a great many folk. It is written in monosyllabic and disyllabic words. Let me lift out a couple of verses to illustrate. Notice how simple these words are: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:11–12).

We have no problem with the words themselves, but actually we’re dealing here with the most profound Gospel. Take an expression like this: “ye in me, and I in you” which appears in John 14:20. Seven words—one conjunction, two prepositions and four pronouns—and you could ask any child in the fourth grade the meaning of any one of those words and he could give you a definition. But you put them together—“ye in me, and I in you”—and neither the most profound theologian nor the greatest philosopher has ever been able to probe the depths of their meaning. “Ye in me” we know means salvation; “and I in you” means sanctification, but beyond that none of us can go very far. We think, sometimes, because we know the meaning of words that we know what is being said. The words are simple, but the meaning is deep.

The Gospel of John is for those who already believe. When you come to chapters thirteen through seventeen you can write a sign over it, For Believers Only, and you could put under that, All Others Stay Out. I don’t think that section was ever meant for an unbeliever. Jesus took His own into the Upper Room and revealed to them things that enabled them to grow. And no other Gospel writer gives us that. Why? Because they’re the evangelists who are presenting Christ as the Savior of the world. Somebody asks, “But doesn’t John do that?” Yes, he does, but he is primarily writing for the growth of believers.

John gives more about the resurrected Christ than does any other Gospel writer; in fact, more than all the others put together. Paul said that, though we have known Christ after the flesh, we don’t know Him that way anymore. Rather, we know Him as the resurrected Christ. For this reason John attempts to give the appearances of Jesus after His resurrection, and he mentions seven of them. (Read the complete article)
[2] Gospel of John, from (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese- Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
John 20:31 cites the purpose as follows: "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." Unlike the three synoptic Gospels, John’s purpose is not to present a chronological narrative of the life of Christ, but to display His deity. John was not only seeking to strengthen the faith of second-generation believers as well as bring about faith in others, but he also sought to correct a false teaching that was spreading. John emphasized Jesus Christ as "the Son of God," fully God and fully man, contrary to that false doctrine which saw the "Christ-spirit" as coming upon the human Jesus at His baptism and leaving him at the crucifixion. (Read the complete article)
[3] The Gospel According to John, from Blue Letter Bible
John presents man as either belonging to one of two things: the darkness or the light. There is no in between. The darkness is associated with death, while the light is associated with life. This theme is developed throughout the Gospel. In John 1:4-9, John portrays Jesus as being the light of men and demonstrates that the darkness does not understand the light. John the Baptist came to bear witness of the light in order that men would believe through him. In the third chapter (John 19-21) Jesus states that the light has come into the world, but men have loved the darkness instead of the light because their works were evil. Evildoers hate the light and are afraid to go into the light lest their works be exposed. On the other hand, the ones who practice the truth come into the light so that it can be seen that their works were done through God.

The Gospel of John also develops a Christology that is unique from the other Gospels. One of the overriding themes throughout the New Testament is that Jesus is the Messiah. In presenting this, John's Gospel also makes it clear that Jesus is God. In the opening verse (John 1:1), John plainly declares that in the beginning Jesus (the Logos) was with God and was God. Throughout the Gospel many references are made to Jesus' deity. Most notable of these are John 8:57-58 where Jesus declares, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” (Read the complete article)
[4] John, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
WRITER: The fourth Gospel was written by the Apostle John John 21:24. This has been questioned on critical grounds, but on the same grounds and with equal scholarship, the early date and Johanean authorship have been maintained.

DATE: The date of John's Gospel falls between A.D. 85 and 90. Probably the latter.

THEME: This is indicated both in the Prologue ( 1:1-14), and in the last verse of the Gospel proper ( 20:31), and is: The incarnation of the eternal Word, and Son of life; (2) that as many as believe on Him as "the Christ, the Son of God" ( 20:31) may have eternal life. The prominent words are, "believed" and "life."

The book is in seven natural divisions:

1. Prologue: The eternal Word incarnate in Jesus the Christ, John 1:1-14.
2. The witness of John the Baptist, John 1:15-34.
3. The public ministry of Christ, John 1:35-12:50.
4. The private ministry of Christ to His own, John 13:1-17:26.
5. The sacrifice of Christ, John 18:1-19:42.
6. The manifestation of Christ in resurrection, John 20:1-31.
7. Epilogue: Christ the Master of life and service, John 21:1-25.

The events recorded in this book cover a period of 7 years.

Click here to watch the movie[1] Key verses: John 1:1,14, 29; 3:15-18; 6:29; 10:10; 11:25-26; 13:35; 14:6, 9; 17:17; 20:29)

[2] These things are recorded to beget faith in the heart of man. Believe is used over 100 times in John’s Gospel. It occurs fewer than 40 times in the Synoptic Gospels. The noun faith does not occur in John but is used in the other Gospels. Eternal life occurs 35 times in John, but only 12 times in the Synoptic Gospels. (John, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee)

[3] Miracles of Christ recorded only in John:
  • Changing of the water to wine (John 2:1-11)
  • Nobleman's sick son (John 4:46-54)
  • Paralyzed man at pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-17)
  • Blind man (John 9:1-41)
  • Lazarus raised from the dead (John 11:1-45)
  • Second catch of fish (John 21:1-14)
[4] The seven “I Am” plus metaphor statements of Christ recorded in John:
  • “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35; compare with Exodus 16:11-36)
  • “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12; compare with Isaiah 30:26, 60:19-22, and Revelation 21:23)
  • “I am Good Shepherd” (John 10:14; compare with Psalm 23:1, 80:1, Jeremiah 31:10, and Ezekiel 34:23)
  • “I am the door of the sheep” (John 10:7, 9))
  • “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)
  • “I am way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6; compare with Isaiah 35:8 and Zechariah 8:3)
  • “I am true Vine” (John 15:1, 5; compare with Romans 9:6)
[5] Christ’s claims to deity recorded in John
  • “Before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:57-58 )
  • “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30-33)
[6] The name Jesus is used almost entirely to the exclusion of Christ in this Gospel. That is strange because the emphasis is upon the deity of Christ, and you’d think that he would use the name Christ. Then why does he use the name Jesus? It is because God became a man. (John, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee)

Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Series Title: Commentary on the Gospel of John, by W. Hall Harris III

[2] The Gospel of John: Introduction, Argument, Outline, by Daniel B. Wallace, Th.M., Ph.D.

[3] Series Title: Studies in the Book of John, audio series by Dr. Kenneth Boa

[4] Introduction to the Study of the Book of John, by Bob Deffinbaugh, Th.M

[5] Summary - I AM Statements of John, by Robert J Smith

[6] Believe And Live – The Gospel Of John (Study of the seven special sign miracles and the “I AM” claims of Christ to deity) by Paul G. Apple

Sermons on John 11:25 (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] The Real Thing, by Thomas C. Black

[2] Life's Question Introduction, by James G Arthur

[3] I AM the Resurrection and the Life, by Scott Sjoblom

[4] Lent 99 4 - The Via Dolorosa: Jesus Wept, by Richard DeRuiter

[5] The Conquering of Death, by Samuel Valencia

[6] When God takes too long, by Rev. Taurus L. Myhand

[7] Life, by David A. Green

[8] Like a Rolling Stone, by Aaron Bogan

[9] The Answers to Our Deepest Questions, by David E. Holden

For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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