Gospel of John
The Profoundness of the Gospel of John
John wrote his Gospel long after the other three, as the Church came increasingly under the influence of Antichrist, both from within and from without. If you read John’s Gospel you will find that it is harmonious with Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but it is also quite apart from them. There is a profoundness there that is not present in the others.
Profound – Means showing great depth, understanding and knowledge.
1) The Four Gospels (Imagery/Parallel)
We know that John is also the writer of Revelation. Note this verse in Rev 4:7.
(Revelation : 4:7) “The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature was like an ox, the third living creature had the face of a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.”
• It is interesting to note that the heavenly beasts John saw before the throne seem to represent the four Gospels.
• The first was like a lion, representing the King, or the Gospel of Matthew.
• The second was like a ox, representing the Servant, for the ox is a beast of burden. This represents the Gospel of Mark.
• The third has the face of a man, and this is representative of the Son of Man, the theme of the Gospel of Luke.
• The fourth is like a flying eagle, representing the Son of God, who is exalted and seated in the heavenly places where only the eagles may soar.
This is the theme of John, that Christ is the Son of God. John specifically says his Gospel was written that we may know that Jesus is the Son of God and that we may have Life through His Name (John 20:31).
2) Prologue ( John 1:1-18) : In the beginning …
Prologue: Is an introduction or an act that leads to a more important event.
(John 1:1,2,14) “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…. the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”
John commences his account with a prologue, which sums up the contents of the entire Gospel with a simplicity, clarity, and profoundness that is beyond the human mind to imagine. Only divine inspiration could have produced such incomparable and inconceivable wisdom.
• The very first phrase “In the beginning” reminds us of the first words of Moses in Genesis 1:1. It refers to the first creative act of God, the creation of heaven and the earth, and evening and morning becoming the first day.
• But instead of looking forward from there, John faces in the opposite direction, and looks back into eternity before time was. He goes back into history further then the other Gospels. This is because:
- a) Matthew is demonstrating Christ as King and Messiah, & so he begins with Abraham and traces the line through King David.
- b) Mark is demonstrating the Suffering Servant who has no genealogy to speak of, so he simply begins with John the Baptist and records no genealogy at all.
- c) Luke, demonstrating Christ as the Son of Man, traces the ancestry of Jesus all the way back to Adam.
- But John goes back even further ie. “In the beginning … “.
God communicates with us through His word which is the Lord Jesus Christ. And verses 1 & 2 went in depth to explain His pre-incarnation creation existence.
Thus, in the prologue, we can observe the earliest illustration of the depth and deepness of John’s presentation of Jesus as the pre-existent and pre-eminent Son of God.
3) Eternal Invisible Truths
John’s Gospel is particularly unique because it deals with internal and eternal truths more so than external things.
A few miracles are recorded insofar as they represent some overriding truth and revelation into the very essence of Christ.
- For example, the raising of Lazarus from the dead is related to demonstrate that Christ is Resurrection and Life to all who believe into Him. It is included not just to show that Christ can raise the dead, but that He Himself is Resurrection and Life (John11:1- 46).
- In the healing of a man born blind, the miracle is included to demonstrate that Christ is the Light which is come into the world, Who is sent to make the blind see and to make the ones who think they see, blind (John 9:1- 41).
- John goes beyond the miracle of the bread and fish and provides us with a lengthy discourse which demonstrates the significance of the miracle: that Christ Himself is the Bread which came down from heaven (John 6:1-59).
So we see in John’s Gospel more than just the relating of facts and evidences. Grand, eternal, invisible truths are presented. All the miracles are presented in such a way to give us insight into the Person of Jesus Christ, and not just the miracles as something in and of themselves.
4) Simple Words – Profound Thoughts
At first glance, the vocabulary of this writer is remarkably simple. Yet the more we think about it, the deeper and fuller it appears. Simple words like light and darkness, follow, believe … etc become charged with a very profound meaning in this Gospel.
Let us look at one particular example: The Gospel in John 3:16:
- It says in, (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.
a) There is probably no verse in the Bible more well known than John 3:16. Sometimes, however, over familiarity can be a disadvantage. There is a tendency to overlook the words and as a result miss the fullness and profoundness of these words spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ.
b) This wonderful verse has rightly been described by Martin Luther as: “The Bible in miniature.” There are exactly twenty five words in (John 3:16). Never has so much been said in so few words. In these twenty five words we learn:
- “FOR GOD” = THE DECLARATION OF A DIVINE PERSON ( That God exists ).
- “LOVED THE WORLD” = THE DECLARATION OF DIVINE LOVE ( God loves us).
- “SO LOVED THE WORLD” = THE DEGREE OF DIVINE LOVE.
- “THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON” = THE DEMONSTRATION OF DIVINE LOVE (God proved his love by sending His only begotten Son).
- “THAT WHOSOEVER” = THE REACH OF GOD’S SALVATION (anyone and everyone).
- “BELIEVETH IN HIM” = THE REQUIREMENT OF GOD’S SALVATION (all we need to do is believe).
- “SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE” = THE REWARD OF GOD’S SALVATION (if a person if not saved, they will perish eternally).
The last words John reports in his Gospel coming from the very lips of our Lord are “You follow me”(John 21:22). And so, He speaks not only to Peter but to all of us.
God desires that we believe and obey His will and follow Him.