Gospel of John: A Biblical History
The Gospel of John is one of four gospels in the Holy Bible and is the fourth book in chronological order presented in the New Testament. The Gospel of John is a unique perspective of the life of Jesus Christ. It varies from the other three gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke (also known as the synoptic gospels), by focusing more on spiritual themes rather than historical events. The author of this gospel was the disciple John, one of the twelve disciples that followed Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry. The author identifies himself in the last chapter of the gospel: "This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true" (John 21:24). John was also known as "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (see John 13:23, 19:26, and 21:7.). Perhaps this explains the uniqueness of John's record of the life of Jesus. The book is filled with first hand accounts of experiences with Jesus Christ that occurred during Christ's 33 years of life on earth. Scholars generally accept that the Gospel of John was written between 50 and 85 A.D.
Gospel of John: The Outline and Structure
The Gospel of John is organized into 21 chapters. The book begins with a foundational truth from God with a poetic style of presentation. "In the beginning was the Word (Jesus Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God." (John 1:1-2). The accounts of Christ's life begin in chapter one with John the Baptist confirming prophecy and identifying Jesus as "the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). In the first chapter, Jesus also calls His first disciples to follow Him.
In the second chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus performs His first miracle by changing water into wine. In John 2:19, He also predicts His resurrection after three days. Chapter 3 contains two of the most popular verses in the entire Bible, John 3:16 and 17, which summarize the significance of Jesus Christ and His purpose for the world. "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.""
The rest of the book contains vivid lessons and instructions from Jesus Christ on how to live according to God's will and what priorities are important in life. Jesus used many parables to teach people effectively. For example, in chapter 15, Jesus explains the significance of having a relationship with Him and the true difference that it can make in life. He describes Himself as the vine and His disciples as the branches that sprout from the vine. He describes God as the gardener that prunes the vine to maximize the harvest. There are many other illustrations from Jesus spoken through parables in the Gospel of John.
Gospel of John: What's the Significance?
The Gospel of John presents many important lessons for living life on earth and determining our eternal destiny after we die. First, the book clearly establishes that Jesus Christ is the Jewish Messiah that was prophesied in the Old Testament of the Bible. Second, the book substantiates the purpose of Jesus Christ and the reason He was sent to earth by God. In addition, the Gospel of John distinguishes itself from the other gospels by focusing less on events and more on spiritual themes. Lastly, there is a clear message in the Gospel of John that helps us understand the truth about God, the truth about eternity, and the truth about making a choice to accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. Of course, a summary of this Gospel can only provide highlights to the actual text and cannot replace it. We absolutely encourage you to read the Gospel of John to learn more about Jesus Christ and His plan for your life.