The OG on the Book of John

On Monday, for the next few months I will write an Interruption in summary of one book of the New Testament. Today it’s the OG (Old Guy—that’s me) on the Book of John.

The Gospel of John opens with a great sentence:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (1:1, ESV).

But the Gospel also has a unique ending. 

The book reads from God becoming flesh (chapter 1) to Jesus forgiving Peter (John 21). From the God of the universe to a simple scene on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus asks three times, “Simon, do you love me?”

One question for each of the three denials of Peter.

This is the heart of John (who Jesus loved) writing in his Gospel about our Jesus who forgives even betrayal. It’s a message we need to hear as we all betray God.

In a middle-of-the-night discussion between Jesus and the pharisee Nicodemus, the Gospel of John quotes Jesus with the most important statement of any religion… 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (3:16).

This verse has such an impact that most followers can quote it from memory.

But the familiarity of John 3:16 often obscures its meaning—it turns religion upside down. Our relationship with God is based upon righteousness motivated by love and not agonizing works!!!

Not only does the Gospel of John contain the most important religious statement of all time, but John also writes the most succinct thought in all philosophy…

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

Philosophy seeks purpose, truth, and eternity. Jesus summed it with the way (purpose), the life (abundant), and truth (knowledge and wisdom). Jesus didn’t quote another scholar. He said simply… 

I am the way, the truth, and the life!  

The Gospel of John is the last book of the Gospel narrative and one of the last books written in the New Testament. John was thinking as he wrote this Gospel, “I know what Matthew, Mark, and Luke wrote, now what can I add for all the believers who will come after us?”

So, John focuses on the last 24 hours of Jesus’ life. 

From John chapter 13 to John chapter 17, we enter the room of the Last Supper. There is no greater scene of intimacy than Jesus having a last dinner with his friends before His death.

What Jesus said to His disciples is just as relevant to us today. Below are a few of His comments…

If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it (14:14).

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you (15:12).

It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you (16:7).

Thanks, John, for recording these words of Jesus in your Gospel—love, Spirit, and praying in the name of Jesus.

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