Summary: The first few verses of John's Gospel clearly reveal Jesus' Eternality, His Person, and His Deity: This message provides a clear understanding of the original text.
“The Eternal Word”
We begin a study on the Gospel of John today, which was written between 80-90AD, about 50 years after the Apostle John witnessed Jesus’ earthly ministry. It is the only gospel which is written anonymously by John, the son of Zebedee, one of the most prominent of Jesus’ disciples, (not John the Baptist but the disciple John) “John” is the only name NOT mentioned in this Gospel, although the writer is described as the disciple “whom Jesus loved”. (13:23)
The Gospel of John is Evangelistic in nature:( Gr. “Euaggelizo”, εὐαγγελίζω: John brings the good news of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.) He uses the word “believe” 100 times, half as many times as the other Gospels. The theme of the book is stated in John 20:30-31- “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”
The book is Apologetic in purpose (Gr. “Apologia”, ἀπολογία) John “defends” the Good News, providing reasons for SAVING FAITH and assuring readers that they can receive the divine gift of eternal life in the Lord Jesus Christ. He writes to convince readers of Jesus’ true identity as the Incarnate God-Man whose divine and human natures were perfectly united into the ONE person who was prophesied to be Christ, the Messiah, the Savior from sin for all who would BELIEVE and TRUST in Him alone for salvation.
Last week Pastor Troy mentioned that, as a guest here, he did not know where people were in their spiritual maturity and also that chronological age doesn’t necessarily correlate with spiritual maturity, and he was correct. Maybe you’ve heard ABOUT Jesus and know many facts about Him, but you aren’t convinced of the Biblical TRUTH about Jesus: in that case, pray that the Gospel of John will convict you and turn you into a BELIEVER in the Biblical Jesus.
Maybe you’ve been a follower of Jesus, either for a short time or for a long time. In your case, pray that God will cause you to grow in the knowledge of the Savior and cause you to be a better DEFENDER of the faith: In the words of 1 Peter 3:15, that you would “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense (an apologia) to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”
I have always loved the crucial first verse of this Gospel, as it answers the most important question of all time and eternity: Who is Jesus? This is the beginning of the prologue of the Book of John, the God-breathed out word John 1: 1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with (the) God, and the Word was God. 2 He (the WORD) was in the beginning with God.”