John – Jesus, God the Son
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
Like Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the Gospel of John seems to have a thread of emphasis that once noted is easily seen throughout the book. In John the focus is the Divinity of Jesus Christ, that is, the fact that the man Jesus of Nazareth was at the same time the only begotten Son of God, literally God incarnate – God and man. And John sets forth this truth from the very first verse, “… the Word was God.”
It was late in the first century when John wrote the Gospel. Just sixty or so years removed from the world-changing occurrence of Jesus’ death on the cross, His burial, and victorious resurrection. Jesus life, death, and resurrection were historical facts attested to by hundreds of people (1 Corinthians 15:6).
But that was sixty years prior to the time John began to write. With all that had transpired in the interim, not the least of which was the invasion and decimation of Jerusalem by Rome and the temple being reduced to a pile of rocks, with over a million people dead and another 100,000 or so taken captive (circa 70 AD). It would be understandable if some were wondering if Jesus was who they thought He was, the Lord and Savior, the Messiah. Satan was giving them daily reasons to doubt their faith through the circumstances they were living in. Sound familiar?
So the Apostle who had walked by Jesus’ side through the Savior’s entire earthly ministry and had experienced Jesus' death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. Experienced the Holy Spirit descending on the first Pentecost, experienced the expansion of the church to the Gentiles through Paul, and yes, experienced the destruction of Jerusalem, exactly as Jesus had predicted. (Matthew 24:1-2)
And at the end of the first century, by God’s grace, the old man sat down to set the record straight about His Lord.
John explains the love of God in Christ Jesus. Love so profound that God became a man to save men, save every human being from the consequences of their sin and make each person whole, embracing each one with holy, unfailing, never-ending love.
You recall that when Moses was called by God to demand that Pharaoh let the Israelites leave Egypt to return to their homeland, Moses asked, “Whom shall I say sent me?” And God replied, tell him “I AM” sent you. And God added, “‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.” See Exodus 3:14-15.
John's Gospel quotes Jesus invoking this same name, I AM, about Himself. In fact, when the soldiers finally came to arrest Him, Jesus stepped forward and asked, "Who do you seek?" and they replied, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus answered, "I AM." All the soldiers fell to the ground at the sheer power of the name. (John 18:8). And in many other instances in John, Jesus declares Himself to be God by use of the Divine Name, "I AM":
I AM the bread of life (6:35,48)
I AM the light of the world (8:12, 9:5)
I AM the door (10:9)
I AM the good shepherd (10:11)
I AM the resurrection and the life (11:25)
I AM the way, the truth and the life (14:6)
I AM the true vine (15:1)
In so many ways, provision (bread), clarity (light), access (door), guidance & protection (shepherd), hope (resurrection), direction (way, truth), nutrition for fruitfulness (vine), and more, Jesus Christ is Lord and God.
Jesus was a man. Flesh and blood. Just like me and you. With one exception. He was also God. "… the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God*…"
Down through the centuries, the truth of Christ has been passed along from generation to generation. Many along the way have questioned these truths about Jesus or wonder about them based on the circumstances they are living in. Many others have sought Him and found life.
This was the simple goal of the Apostle John. To set forth the truth about Jesus. And while revisionists will challenge these words their arguments will fail, they weren't there, they didn't see, they didn't know him. John did. He saw it all, and here it is, the Gospel of John, for all who have ears to hear. Will you receive his word of truth?
"And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 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." John 20:30-31
Dear ones, you may do well to tell family and friends, "If you only read one book in your life, make it the Gospel of John, it was written especially for you."
*from the Nicene Creed