Summary: First of 32 messages from John Introductory remarks and Jesus as the word
Chico Alliance Church
October 10, 1999
The new fad these days sports the letter W.W.J.D. The letters stand for “What Would Jesus Do” This is not new at all. A whole wave rushed through the church years ago generated from the book “In His Steps” whose whole focus was doing what Jesus did. The problem in our culture today is that many have no clue what Jesus would do because they don’t know who Jesus really is let a lone what Jesus did. The only reliable source of information concerning who Jesus is and what Jesus did that would enable us to do today what Jesus would do today is found in the written record of his time on earth. I have not taught through a gospel since I have been here and have sensed the Lord’s direction that it is time to focus on the person of Christ as presented in the gospel of John. God’s vision for Chico is that we become a family who powerfully speak the words and passionately work the works of Jesus. It is my desire that by exploring John’s record of the words and works of Jesus we once again gain a new appreciation for the person who spoke those words and did those works and stir within our hearts a desire to become more and more like Him. Before we tackle the text, it might prove helpful to deal with a few introductory issues related to the Gospel of John.
John is one of four, what we call gospels. The name gospel comes from an old Anglo word meaning godspell or good story. The Greek word was understood as “good news”. The story of the most central figure and culmination of every Old Testament prophecy certainly stands as not just good news but great news. God chose to record the events of this point in history through four specific individuals who each approach the presentation of Christ to a different audience focusing on a specific view of Christ.
Matthew written to Jews with a focus on Jesus as the King of Israel.
Mark written to Romans with a focus on Jesus the effective servant.
Luke written to Greeks presenting Christ as the perfect or ideal man.
John writing to the general Christian world pointing to Christ as the divine Son of God.
The gospels contain at least half of the content of the New Testament. Much debate has raged over the years concerning the source material for the gospels. Even an attempt to color code the “actual” words of Jesus in contrast to made up stuff. After all the debate fades and theories formulate I come to rest on the testimony of the text itself.
I bank on the fact that God fulfilled His promise and so what the writers of the gospels recorded as their account of the works and words of Jesus is what the Holy Spirit brought to their remembrance as important for all to know.
So who wrote John? Sources outside of the writing itself point to John the apostle. Church Tradition points to John the apostle. Although the author is not named in the book, the fact that it is the apostle John seems clear.