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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).

-He was likely Jesus’ COUSIN.

Church history says that Mary was the sister of James and John’s mother…this “family tie” would make it very appropriate for Jesus, from the CROSS (in John 19) to entrust his mother to him.

-Referred to as “the disciple JESUS LOVED”.

John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 21:20

(John 13:21-25) 21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me." 22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means."

25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?"

His insights are UP-CLOSE and PERSONAL. He was one of the 12. Of the twelve he was one of the “inner 3”…and he was in a position to SEE and HEAR as much as anyone of Jesus’ LIFE and MINISTRY.

-If there were FLAWS…he would see them.

-If there were INCONSISTENCIES…he would discern them.

-If anyone could have DETECTED that Jesus was a FRAUD…it would have been him.

But he didn’t waiver…he stood with Jesus to the end.

-He was in the court of the High Priest when Jesus was on trial & Peter was denying.

-He was the only male disciple at Jesus’ cross.

-He went with the church through decades of persecution…and maintained his witness that Jesus was exactly WHO HE CLAIMED TO BE to the end!

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