Summary: First of 48 messages from John. Introductory remarks and Jesus as the word
Chico Alliance Church
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.
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26
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.
Writer was a Jew
Writer was a Jew from Palestine
Writer was an eyewitness
Writer was an apostle
Writer was one of the inner circle of Peter, James and John
Writer must be the apostle John
So what is so important about knowing the author. Which do you think would warrant more credibility, an eyewitness account of the events or something written hundreds of years later by someone who want there.
John was an eyewitness. John was in the inner circle. John continually calls our attention to the fact that he touched, heard and saw Jesus and bore witness that Jesus was who he said He was.
Time and place
Probably written sometime in the later part of the century 85-90 AD from Ephesus.
Unlike many of the writer of the New Testament, John clearly proclaim the purpose for writing the book.
Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may (continue to) believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:30-31
• The things in John are only a limited representation of actual events and teachings
John only cites 8 of the 35 signs recorded in the gospels. Why? Purpose
• The events and teachings were witnessed by the other disciples as eyewitnesses.