The Gospel of John in a Word

The Gospel of John in a Word

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.  John 20:30-31

Matthew begins his account with Jesus’ genealogy and then proceeds with a linear record of the life and ministry of Jesus. Mark just jumps right in with little explanation and mostly action in his recounting Jesus’ ministry from His baptism until His resurrection.  Luke explains his purpose in writing “an orderly account” at the very beginning and then follows the detailed account.  John’s account is a completely different approach than the others that is not explained until after Jesus’ resurrection.  However, after noting the signs and teaching of Jesus, he explains that the purpose in his writing is that people would believe that Jesus is the Christ and that by being brought to faith that they would have “life.”

The life that John desires for his readers is not simply physical life, but the gift of eternal life.  He intentionally weaves this theme of life, eternal life, throughout the Gospel.  From the opening, John notes that “In Him was life and that life was the light of men (1:4).  To Nicodemus, Jesus explains that God sent His Son so that whoever believes in Him would have eternal life in Him (3:16).  He goes on to describe Jesus as living water and water welling up to eternal life, bread of life, the resurrection and the life, the way, the truth and the life.  From the signs of Jesus that he includes to Jesus’ teaching that is included, it all serves John’s ultimate goal of people reading His Gospel and believing in Jesus and thereby having life in His name.

John’s approach remains instructive for Christ’s Church today.  Such singular intent and purpose should undergird everything that congregations and schools do.  The goal is that everything that is done is about proclaiming the Gospel so that all who hear may believe and that by believing may have life in Christ.  If that goal is not clear then why are we doing it?  However, every service, every class, every song, every activity, everything comes back to this singular purpose so that those whom we encounter may hear and believe the Gospel so that they may have everlasting life.  May God grant us such unity and purpose in Christ!

Prayer - Almighty God, grant that we who have celebrated the Lord’s resurrection may by Your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen. 

Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan






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