Summary: Who was the Word, and what is His significance in knowing God the Father? John starts his book by making the subject very clear.
The Word Revealed
* John, the beloved disciple of our Lord, is the author of this fourth Gospel in our New Testament.
* He is also the author of three letters--First, Second, and Third John--and the book of Revelation.
* John wrote his Gospel and letters around A.D. 85-90, approximately twenty years after the Apostle Paul died.
* Later, around A.D. 90-95, he wrote Revelation.
* Almost all scholars agree that John’s works were the last of our Bible to be completed, and most believe John’s books are the only ones written after the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
A. What do we know about the man John?
1. John was one of the first disciples to be called by Jesus, and he remained with Him throughout His ministry.
2. We learn from John’s Gospel, that John was an ambitious, intolerant, boisterous man when he first met Jesus.
3. But walking close to the Lord, being taught by Him, John changed.
4. His attitudes, values, direction in life all developed.
5. John became the dearly beloved disciple.
6. John attributed these changes to his Lord Jesus Christ, who at His death honored John by asking him to care for His mother (John 19:26-27).
B. Once Jesus ascended to heaven, John’s motivation for living was to share all he had learned about the Lord.
1. His name, with Peter’s, headed the list of apostles (Acts 1:13).
2. Peter’s task was to establish churches, but John’s work was of a much more contemplative nature.
3. Possibly John wrote his Gospel and his Letters at Ephesus where he pastored the Christian church.
4. Late in his life, during persecution of Christians by the Roman Emperor Domitian, John was imprisoned on an island called Patmos in the Aegean Sea.
5. There he wrote the book of Revelation.
C. John’s writings reveal his deep perception of the innermost thoughts and emotions of the Lord Jesus.
1. After years of living the Christian life, perhaps he understood more than any other writer the teachings of Jesus:
a. concerning sin and forgiveness,
b. the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit,
c. and the tender love of the Lord who calls us to full commitment.
2. John does not leave us in doubt about the purpose of his Gospel:
"...but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." (John 20:31)
D. The word "believe" is a strong theme in the book of John.
1. To accomplish his purpose, John presented Jesus as the Word of life, the Light in a world of darkness.
2. He is God, who came to draw us to Himself through love.
* God is personified in His word.
* His word has power and authority, and it will accomplish what He sends it forth to accomplish (Isaiah 55:11). So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
* But we get even more than personification when we read in John’s Gospel, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God" (Jn 1:1-2).