Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gospel in John

Continuing the series looking for 'the gospel' in the gospels. Six posts in this series here:
  1. Gospel in the Gospels - introduction and some thoughts to consider 
  2. Gospel in Matthew - verses related to the term gospel in Matthew 
  3. Gospel in Mark - verses related to the term gospel in Mark 
  4. Gospel in Luke - verses related to the term gospel in Luke 
  5. Gospel in John - verses in John that that make similar points 
  6. Gospel in the Gospels - Summary

This time considering what John has to say. If John was asked "What is the gospel?", how do you think he would respond?

Keep in mind, I don't think John would have assumed his readers had access to all the books we have in our New Testament. We should assume the gospel according to John highlights what is essential.

OK, I'll admit up front this one is a bit harder to answer. The other 3 gospels frequently use the terms gospel and good news with an emphasis on teachings about the kingdom of God. John doesn't take this approach.

However I think John still supports the same theme. He just doesn't use the words gospel or good news to link to the theme that Jesus is king, savior and Lord.

Christ = Messiah = Anointed One or Anointed King



1:17 "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ"
1:41 "The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ)."

4:25 "The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (the one called Christ); “whenever he comes, he will tell us everything.”

4:29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Surely he can’t be the Messiah, can he?”

7:31 "Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”

11:27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

17:3 "Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
20:30-31 "Jesus performed many other 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 Messiahthe Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

Lord, King, Kingdom, Son of God

1:23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

1:49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

3:3-5 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.

8:33-38 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

9:38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

12:13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!”

13:13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.

19:15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.

19:19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Theme Deity and Humanity of Jesus Christ

1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

3:13-17 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

I think this fits well with the good news of the reign, rule, and authority of God that the other gospels emphasize. God/Jesus is King. Jesus is God's Son. Jesus is the Savior and Messiah of the world.

Theme Light vs Darkness

1:4-5 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

1:9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.

3:19-21 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

12:35-36 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

To me this light vs darkness analogy fits very well with the good news of the reign of God. There is a kingdom of light, and a kingdom of darkness. Which kingdom do you want to be in? It brings similar imagery as is portrayed in this video.

Theme: Bread

6:32-35 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

6:48-51 I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

6:58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

Theme: Believe

The word believe shows up more in John than in Matthew, Mark, and Luke combined.

I did an earlier post on this here.

According to John, what do you think are the essential beliefs to be a believer?

I find it interesting there is never a list of all our common essential beliefs in one verse or passage.

John gives a picture of a simple belief or trust in Jesus. John described people believing in Jesus' name, trusting Him as savior, the Messiah, the Son of God, or Lord.

Are you a believer? Do you believe in Jesus' name, that He was/is the savior, the messiah, the Son of God, our Lord?  Are you walking in the light?  Are you being sustained by the bread of life?

John writes in 20:31
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (NIV)
Can we assume John accomplished this purpose? Did John share the gospel in this book?

Related Posts:

1 comment:

covnitkepr1 said...

Good spiritual blog.
I’ve been following and enjoying your blog for a while now and would like to invite you to visit and perhaps follow me back. Sorry I took so long for the invitation