“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
God willing, from January 2020 we will begin a new extended series of sermons on the Gospel of John. The fourth Gospel holds peculiar significance to me for many reasons, but especially because it is written by the disciple closest to our Lord.
When you read the Gospel of Matthew, you are reading the record of our Lord as seen through the eyes of a devoted disciple.
Mark and Luke, of course, were dedicated Christians who knew and loved Jesus Christ, though they learned about him largely through the testimony of others.
But John is one who leaned upon his breast. He was of that inner circle which included Peter and James, who went with our Lord through the most intimate circumstances of his ministry and heard more than any of the others.
The history of John the disciple of Jesus was well known. He was the son of Zebedee, brother of James and called a "Son of Thunder." The book of John was written after the destruction of Jerusalem, in A.D. 70 and before John's exile to the island of Patmos.
Of the eight miracles recorded in this book, six are unique, (among the Gospels), to John, as is the "Upper Room Discourse" (John 14-17). Over 90 percent of John is unique to his Gospel - John does not contain a genealogy or any record of Jesus birth, childhood, temptation, transfiguration, appointment of the disciples, nor any account of Jesus parables, ascension, or great commission.
In every chapter, Jesus deity is revealed and Jesus identity is understood by the titles He is given. The titles of Jesus in the gospel of John includes Son of God, Messiah, the Word, the only Son, Lamb of God, true bread, life, resurrection, and vine. And the formula is "I am."
When Jesus uses this phrase, He affirms His pre-existence and eternal deity.
Jesus says, I am the bread of life (John 6:35);
I am the good shepherd (John 10:11, 14);
I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25);
I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6);
and I am the true vine (John 15:1).
John makes it clear that Jesus is not just a man; He is the eternal son of God. Because Jesus is God's Son, we can perfectly trust what He says. By trusting Him, we can gain an open mind to understand God's message and fulfil His purpose in our lives.
The main theme in the Bible book of John is to prove conclusively that Jesus is the Son of God and that all who believe in Him will have eternal life.
The key verses of the book of John are John 20:30-31 where we are told,
"Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."
No book in the Bible has a more sustained focus on the glory of Jesus Christ than the Gospel of John. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (John 1:14).
In this series, we will open this book with a sense of anticipation. For the greatest possible blessing of the Holy Spirit on our church, the good of the world and above all for the glory of God in Christ Jesus.