Yay, we have arrived to the Gospel of John! And congratulations to all of you who have persevered in the Bible Reading Challenge 2018!
The Gospel of John is often recommended as the first gospel for seekers and young Christians to read. But it is far from being a beginners-only gospel. Indeed the vocabulary is simple, but the truths are many-layered and very profound.
In the first half of his Gospel the Apostle John relates seven “signs” of Jesus, witnessed by the disciples. Being signs mean that they are not mere works of supernatural power but signify spiritual truths about the Lord Jesus. Five of these miracles are not recorded in the other gospels. The seven signs are as follows:
1) He turns water into wine at a wedding in Cana. (John 2:1-11)
2) He heals an official’s son. (John 4:46-53)
3) He heals a man paralyzed for 38 years. (John 5:1-29)
4) He feeds the multitude. (John 6:1-14)
5) He walks on water. (John 6:16-24)
6) He heals a man blind from birth. (John 9:1-12)
7) He raises Lazarus from the dead. (John 11:1-44)
John also records many “I am” statements made by Jesus. These statements stand out because “I am” is related to God’s name in the Old Testament (YHWH, from “I am who I am”). For example, “I am He” (John 4:26; 8:24,28; 13:19; 18:5-6) and especially, “before Abraham was I am” (John 8:54-59). There are seven statements in the form of “I am the ____”. They are…
1) I am the bread of life (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51)
2) I am the light of the world (John 8:12)
3) I am the door of the sheepfold (John 10:7, 9)
4) I am the good shepherd (John 10:11, 14)
5) I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25)
6) I am the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6)
7) I am the true vine (John 15:1, 5)
Chapters 13 through 17 are called the “upper room discourse”. It is the tender and encouraging conversation that the Lord has with his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion. There are many promises recorded there for the encouragement of believers of all time.