John’s gospel is unique from the others. Matthew, Mark and Luke are referred to as the synoptic gospels because they are similar to each other. They contain many of the same stories with different details. We have looked at their differences—Mark—written first basically to a Roman audience, Matthew—written to a Jewish audience, Luke—written for the Greek mind by a highly educated Greek believer. Lastly, we come to the gospel of John. John focuses on Jesus as the Son of God. He is writing to both Jews and Greeks.
John is my favorite gospel writer. His gospel contains seven miracles (not necessarily in chronological order but miracles that demonstrate that Jesus was the Son of God) and half of his gospel’s content covers Jesus’ death and resurrection. John highlights Maundy Thursday through Sunday and shares a few relevant stories after His resurrection. I love John most because of the way he refers to himself and others in his writings—which include John, 1-3 John, and Revelation—as the disciple whom Jesus loved. He taught me to see myself this way. Who I really am is a dearly loved child of God.
You won’t be surprised to find out that John doesn’t mention Jesus’ parents’ names, his place of birth, or the miraculous birth announcement by angels. John focuses on the miraculous purpose of Jesus’ birth. All those other facts pale in comparison to the purpose of Jesus’ birth. He explains that Jesus is the WORD made flesh. In Genesis we are informed that God spoke the universes into existence and John reveals that the Word was Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was not created when He was born on earth; rather He has always been with God. He is the Author and Creator of life.
John defines the mysterious, too-good-to-be true, reality of Jesus’ birth. Jesus took on human flesh to make it possible for us to take on God’s Spirit. He also reports the fact that many do not recognize that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Any who do not recognize this fact will not have the right to be called the child of God and be reborn. God created the world; our sin separated us from God. God loved us and provided a way for us to be reunited with Him eternally. The provision was sending His Son to take on human flesh and die without sin to cover the sins of the whole world. Try to wrap your mind around that thought.
John had never seen God but he had seen God’s glory. He saw the glory of God contained in the human flesh of Jesus Christ along with Peter and his brother James at the Mount of Transfiguration. He also had visions of the Risen Christ that he recorded for us in the book of Revelation. John had deeper spiritual experiences than we have and he teaches us that God is revealing the mystery of His love and grace by sending Jesus. Moses gave us the law which revealed God’s holiness and our inability to become holy through our own actions. God has made a way for fallen humans to be made holy by accepting His grace and truth, which are embodied in Jesus Christ.
John summarizes the facts of Jesus Christ’s birth in this: “From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another” (John 1:16). Do you believe? Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God—the Word that spoke creation into being made flesh through the union of the Holy Spirit and the seed of Mary? Do you believe that the blood and sinew that formed to make a human man contained the fullness of God?
Believing in Jesus Christ’s purpose in taking on human flesh so that He could be a holy blood sacrifice for your sins is the most important decision of our entire lifetimes.
Luke and the Gospels
Advent and Matthew
Advent and the Gospels