Summary: The Gospel of John deals with signs and miracles which Christ performed to prove His deity. John’s message is that men ought to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and receive new life through His name.
“The Anatomy of John’s Gospel”
Pastor V. P. Oliver
John 20: 30, 31
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
The writer of this Gospel is the Apostle John, the son of Zebedee, the brother of the Apostle James. One of the original 12 disciples, John was one of the inner-circle disciples of Jesus, known as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” This Gospel, which was written in the city of Ephesus around 90 AD, was addressed to the local churches of the Roman province of Asia, and to the sinners of the early church age. Therefore it still has great significance to those who read it today. John’s writes this book as a supplement to the three synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. John’s Gospel is also viewed by many to be a soul-winning or evangelistic Gospel. Our text, John 20: 30, 31 are the key verses of the entire book. Why? Because they capture the theme of John’s Gospel, which is Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God. His book deals with the signs or miracles Christ performed during His ministry, signs that prove His deity. These signs were seen by dependable witnesses, namely His disciples, but others as well. So what is John’s message? John’s message is that men ought to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and receive new life through His name. So for little while I want to talk about “The Anatomy of John’s Gospel.”
First I need to say a word about “signs.” In referring to miracles, John uses the word “sign.” But he does not use the Greek word “tera,” which means “wonders.” He does not use the Greek word “paradoxom” which means “a paradox” (contradiction). John uses the Greek word “sameion” which means “ a sign” or message of divine authority. He uses this word “sign” instead of the word “miracle” because a “sign” is a miracle that carries a message with it. And the message that accompanies the signs in John’s Gospel is that Jesus is the Christ, the divine Son of God.
I. JOHN’S GOSPEL DEALS WITH SIGNS
So the first observation is that John’s Gospel is miracle-centered – it is filled with SIGNS. Because “signs” deal with the deity of Christ and His work, they demand a decision on the part of the witness. Can I show you what I mean?
- When Jesus turned water into wine in John 2: 1-11 He didn’t do it just because His earthly mother requested it of Him. No, John 2: 11 tells us why, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested (demonstrated) His glory; and His disciples believed on Him.”
- When Jesus healed the nobleman’s child in John 4: 46-54, after the man arrived home and realized that Jesus had really healed his son verse 53 says this of the nobleman: “And he himself believed, and his whole household.”
- In John 5: 1-9 when Jesus healed the impotent man verse 16 tells us that something else happened as a result of this, “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day.”
After each miracle or sign people had to make a decision. Verse 31 of John 20 says this, “But these are written, that ye might believe.” When Jesus performed these signs, those who witnessed them were compelled to respond with belief or non-belief. So John’s Gospel deals with SIGNS; miracles with a message.
II. JOHN’S GOSPEL IS SELECTIVE
Not only is John’s Gospel filled with SIGNS; secondly, John’s Gospel is SELECTIVE. Look at verse 30 of John 20. “And many other signs truly did Jesus.” Of the many other signs performed by Jesus in the other three Gospels, John records only eight. Why? Because these particular signs most clearly reveal the person and the work of Jesus Christ. John is SELECTIVE with his Gospel. Can I help you with this one?
- You will note that all of the other Gospels report the miracle of Jesus feeding 5000. (Mt. 14 13-21, Mk. 6: 30, Lk.9: 10-17) But John tells us something that the other writers fail to mention. In John 6:35, after Jesus feeds the 5000, John reports that Jesus delivered a sermon in which He declared, “I am the Bread of Life.”
- After He gave sight to the blind man Jesus later declared, “I am the Light of the World.”
- Then just before He brought His friend Lazarus back from the dead Jesus declared to Martha “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”