TODAY’S READING: JOHN 5-7
Christ and the Jewish leaders (5:1-47); Christ and the multitudes (6:1-71); the conflict over Moses (7:1-8:11).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
As we saw in yesterday’s comments, John clearly identifies in chapter 20, verse 30 and 31, that the purpose of this Gospel was to reveal the signs Christ gave during His earthly ministry to prove His deity, so that the gift of life (both eternal and abundant – John 10:10) can be ours.
It is important to know that the first three Gospels have been referred to historically as the “Synoptic Gospels.” The word “synoptic” comes from a Greek world meaning “to see together.” These three Books, as we have seen, cover the same basic material. Over 90 percent of the material covered in John’s Gospel is not covered in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. While these first three Gospels deal primarily with the “events” in the life of Christ, John deals primarily with the “meaning” of these events. Perhaps the clearest example is the feeding of the 5000. While all four gospels record the event, only John follows the miracle with the sermon of Christ being the “Bread of Life” (John 6), which provides the explanation of the miracle.
But not only does John emphasize the meaning of the events in the life of Christ, He also emphasizes the PERSON of Christ. John records key sermons that Jesus preached in which He identified WHO He is, and WHAT He came to the earth to do. It is significant that in John’s coverage of these sermons, John records the seven “I AM” declarations of Christ. “I AM” is significant in the fact that it was the name Jehovah God used to reveal who He was to Moses in Exodus 3:14. As we have noted on previous occasions, seven in the Bible is the number of “perfection” and/or “completion.” Remember, John’s purpose in this Gospel is to reveal that Christ is “perfectly” and “completely” God (20:30-31)!
1. I AM the Bread of Life. (6:35, 41, 48, 51)
2. I AM the Light of the World. (8:12; 9:5)
3. I AM the Door of the Sheep. (10:7, 9)
4. I AM the Good Shepherd. (10:11, 14)
5. I AM the Resurrection and the Life. (11:25)
6. I AM the Way, the Truth, the Life. (14:6)
7. I AM the True Vine. (15:1, 5)
Do note that there are other occasions in John’s Gospel when Jesus refers to Himself as the “I Am” in reference to His deity (4:26; 8:28, 58; 13:19; 18:5, 6, 8), but the above seven are unique in that they are not only descriptive of His deity, but of how He as God provides life (20:30-31).
Another very distinct, unique and interesting quality of John’s Gospel is that of the many miracles Christ performed, John chose (under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, of course) to record seven. And in keeping with his purpose in everything that he recorded in this Gospel (20:31), these seven were specifically chosen to reveal that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” Not only, however, were these miracles specifically chosen, but they are revealed in a very specific order because they form a “perfect” and “complete” picture of salvation.
The first three show the MEANS of salvation:
1.Water into wine (2:1-11) – Salvation is by the WORD of GOD.
2.Healing the nobleman’s son (4:46-54) – Salvation is by FAITH.
3.Healing the paralyzed man (5:1-9) – Salvation is by GRACE.
The fourth miracle stands by itself to teach that dedicated disciples must give the Bread of Life to lost sinners.
4. Feeding the 5000 (6:1-14) – Salvation is brought to the world by HUMAN MEANS.
The last three show the RESULTS of salvation:
5. Calming the storm (6:15-21) – Salvation brings PEACE.
6. Healing the blind man (9:1-7) – Salvation brings LIGHT.
7. Raising of Lazarus (11:38-45) – Salvation brings LIFE.
It is also significant to note that each of these seven miracles actually introduced the discourse that followed. For example: the discourse with Nicodemus was the direct result of the miracles that Nicodemus had witnessed (3:2); the healing of the paralyzed man (5:1-9) led to the discourse in 5:10-47; the feeding of the 5000 was the backdrop of the discourse concerning the Bread of Life (6:1-59); the healing of the blind man in 9:34 that led to him being cast out is what led to the discourse concerning Christ being the Good Shepherd Who never casts anyone out (10:1-41).
As we did for each of the other gospels, the following will provide an overall analysis of the Gospel of John:
1. Information About The Author
His name: John.
His name means: “Jehovah” (The Lord) is a gracious giver.”
He is referred to in scripture as the disciple whom Jesus
loves. (Jn. 21:20-24)
His father’s name is Zebedee. (Mt. 4:21)
He has a brother named James. ( Mt. 4:21)
He was intolerant of others. (Lk. 9:49-56)
He is one of the two Sons of thunder. (Mk. 3:17)
His initial ministry was limited to Jews. (Gal. 2:9)
He was imprisoned on an island called Patmos. (Rev. 1:9)
He also wrote the books of Revelation, and I, II, III John.
2. Facts About The Gospel
Approximate date of writing: 85-90 A.D.
Written from: Ephesus
Dates of recorded events: 26 A.D. – 33 A.D.
Theme: Deity of Christ
Christ is seen as: Son of God
Key verse: John 20:31
Key word: Believe (99 times)
3. Features Of This Gospel
The gospel that identifies Christ as the Son of God more than any
The gospel that has the least number of events recorded in the
other gospels. (7)
Contains 15 fulfilled prophecies
4. A Simple Outline Of This Gospel
Witness #1 - of His words and works. Chapters 1-12
Witness #2 - to His witnesses. Chapters 13-17
Witness #3 - to the world. Chapters 18-21