An Introduction To John
In the beginning... — John 1:1
So to kick off this new series, I want to give you a quick and high-level overview of the Gospel.
The book is a narrative, which is easy to read. It begins with this beautiful poem about Jesus. And then, after that, we jump right into the story of John the Prophet and Jesus the Savior. The author skips right to the good stuff, which is the launch of Jesus's ministry. And I love this because The Gospel of John makes a seamless transition for us from Malachi's prophecy about a Prophet and Savior into the life of the Prophet and Savior.
The first eleven chapters focus primarily on the story of Jesus's life and all the miracles he performed, establishing him as the Son of God. Yet we learn that these miracles stir up all this controversy for some groups of people. And at the same time, the miracles seem to increase in frequency and impact until they crescendo into one of Jesus's most stunning miracles — the raising of Lazarus from the dead. And then, the last ten chapters focus primarily on his final days, like his last words to his disciples, death, and resurrection — which I believe is the crescendo into the ultimate miracle — Jesus's defeat of sin and death.
So as we read this Gospel together, I want you to see this story through this lens. But we need to keep in mind this story is written with a single purpose in mind. And this purpose statement is found toward the end of the book. John 20:31 reads:
"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."
This means that every interaction, every miracle, every teaching, every story, and every devotional I am going to share with you were written down as evidence of one thing — Jesus lived, died, and rose again because he was God and came to defeat death so that you can have life by faith in him.
So brothers, get ready for a journey through John that will lead you to greater belief and conviction.
ASK THIS: Do you believe Jesus worked miracles and, in doing so, proved he was God's Son?
DO THIS: Believe and have life.
PRAY THIS: God, thank you for giving us, Jesus. I believe he is your Son.
PLAY THIS: I believe.
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I always get frustrated with us, American gentiles using the word, “believe” so loosely. I get frustrated (maybe incorrectly) that Jesus was talking to Jews initially that, for alot of them, were doing their best to obey God, to the point of adding all of their own man made laws, in order to please God even more abundantly them He had commanded?! i.e. place a towel over mirror on sabbath because it’s “work” to look at yourself? My point is alot of Jews were already doing their best to please God and Jesus came with the fulfillment and new covenant to people who were already doing great in their own eyes. What do we do that is great in Jesus eyes? We lazily say we believe, maybe convince ourselves that saying a prayer with someone on their death bed works (I hope so), yet the Word and their decisions have been written to follow for 2k years… I just returned from a missions trip and really want to up my obedience and gratefulness and looking forward to John, were it all started for Jesus, and for myself several years ago. I love how the beginning of John mimmicks Genesis. We, like the Jews, need to up our game on that we need a savior, and show him our great fulness more each day. I try hard to discern legalism vs obedience….
I know. But life moves on. Jesus is still king.
Looking forward to your take on John. This is a book of the Bible that tells Jesus’ story. Let’s go!
God, thank you for giving us, Jesus. I believe now and forever he is your Son.