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Summary: An introduction to John’s Gospel. How and why is it different from the synoptic Gospels?

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“The Jesus Files”

An introduction to John’s Gospel

“Jesus: He is a path, if any be misled. If any are hungry, He is bread. Those in bondage, He can make free. If any be weak, how strong is He! To the dead, He is life. To the sick, He is health. He is the truest source of joy, and peace, and spiritual wealth.

***Have you ever written a BOOK? No? Me neither!

I look at books…especially LONG books and NOVELS and wonder: “How does anyone ever sit down are think through this progression…so that they start the process and “unfold-unfold-unfold-unfold” until it comes to a CONCLUSION and it MAKES SENSE and it KEPT YOUR INTEREST all the way through??!!

***WHY do people write the books they do??

John tells us exactly why he wrote this book:

John 20:31

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 is a VERY IMPORTANT book…with a VERY IMPORTANT purpose!

Purpose of Matthew’s Gospel: “Jesus the King” (offspring of David…King of the Jews)

Purpose of Mark: “Jesus, the suffering servant” (no genealogy…who cares. Can he accomplish the work he came to do?)

Purpose of Luke: “Focus on Christ’s humanity” (“Son of Man”, his life of prayer)

Purpose of John: “Focus on Christ’s Deity” John wrote, INSPIRED and GUIDED by God’s Spirit, to show that Jesus SAID and PROVED that He was God…and his ultimate purpose was that the readers would believe IN Christ and RECEIVE eternal life.

***By the time we’re done…we’ll end up spending about 40 weeks in this book. I’m really excited about this study, and it would be a GREAT study to share with a friend (by inviting them to our church or…this is easy…let them know they can listen on the church’s website)

Let’s get the INTRODUCTORY or BACKGROUND information on this book:

1.) The AUTHOR of John’s Gospel: NOT John the BAPTIST.

***Although the author does not name himself in this book, the early church had no problem identifying him as John the Apostle. The other Gospels indicate that the disciples most intimately associated with Jesus were Peter, James and John. Peter is referred to in this book “in the third person”, and James was martyred too early to be a possible author.

BY PROCESS OF ELIMINATION……..John the SON of ZEBEDEE.

Mark 1:19-20

When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

-Brother of JAMES.

Mark 3:17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder

-A FISHERMAN by trade when Jesus called him.

-Close friend of PETER.

In Matthew, Mark and Luke- John appears with Peter more than with any other, and in Acts they are companions in Jerusalem (Acts 3 – 4) as well as in Samaria (8:14). In the Gospel of John, there are INSIGHTS and INCIDENTS about Peter’s ACTIONS and WORDS the other Gospels don’t contain…like what Peter said at the Last Supper…and the RESTORATION of Peter after Jesus’ resurrection (in John 21).


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