Beholding the glory of God finds its sharpest focus in the Gospel of John where the Word becomes flesh and fully exegetes the Father. The Apostle John highlights 7 key Sign Miracles where Jesus takes the opportunity to develop His Messianic message in responding to the diverse reactions of His disciples, of the crowd, of the Jewish religious leaders, etc. The great “I AM” passages sprinkled through the Gospel emphasize His claims to Deity as the all-sufficient provider of every need of mankind. The combination of profound Christology couched in the simplest of Koine Greek language makes this a masterpiece of theological communication.
Jesus’ Special Sign Miracles Point Us To Faith In Him As The Promised Messiah, The Son Of God – Who Alone Can Provide Spiritual Life.
John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”
John 20:31 “but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”
1. (1:1-51) Introduction Of Jesus As The Promised Messiah, The Son Of God
2. (2:1-12:50) Public Ministry To The Jews: Performance Of 7 Special Sign Miracles (With Reaction / Accompanying Teaching) Setting Forth The Claims Of Christ – Culminating In Rejection
3. (13:1-17:26) Private Instructions To The Disciples And Intercession Before The Father
4. (18:1-20:29) Dramatic Key Events: Arrest, Trial, Crucifixion, Burial, Resurrection, Appearances
5. (20:30-31) Theme: Jesus’ Special Sign Miracles Point Us To Faith In Him As The Promised Messiah, The Son Of God — Who Alone Can Provide Spiritual Life
6. (21:1-25) Epilogue – 2 Key Responsibilities Of The Great Commission: Evangelism And Discipleship
WHY STUDY THIS BOOK?
• Beholding the glory of God in the person of His divine Son Jesus Christ unlocks the key to life – both initiating life and faith in those God is sovereignly drawing to Himself, and reinforcing faith in those who are genuine disciples.
• Nowhere is the Deity of Christ presented more fully and eloquently.
• The special sign miracles (in fulfillment of OT prophecies of the Messiah) are viewed not just as isolated, awe-inspiring supernatural acts, but as part of the essential tapestry of the revealing of the true nature of Christ.
• The variety of reactions to the clear testimony of truth illustrate the different types of soil we find today as we sow the seed of the Gospel.
• The great “I AM” statements point us to the sufficiency of Christ to meet all of our deepest needs.
• The sovereignty of God in both revealing and hiding truth is developed at every turn.
• The impact of the resurrection and the great hope that lies ahead for all believers of a heavenly home are both illustrated and clearly taught.
Bob Deffinbaugh: The Gospel of John is deceptive in that it appears to be simple. When I was in seminary, John was the first New Testament book we were to translate because it was thought to be the simplest Greek. We often translate the Gospel of John into the language of an unreached people first, so that they will have access to the message of the Gospel. We encourage the lost and new Christians to read John first, because it is so clear and simple. In spite of this apparent simplicity, there is a depth of profound meaning that scholars note, even after years of study.
I like the comparison of John’s Gospel to a pool in which a child may wade and an elephant can swim. It is both simple and profound. It is for the veriest beginner in the faith and for the mature Christian. Its appeal is immediate and neverfailing.
Foundations for Freedom: Each step, each encounter, leads to unexpected revelations of the glory of Jesus Christ. What else would one expect from knowing the only Son of God, the eternal logos? We see this same progressive revelation of Christ in His seven ‘I am’ statements. Each of the seven “I am” quotes in the Gospel of John reveal some significant aspect of Christ. No man would say such things, but Jesus could say them without questions from His disciples or even His enemies!
Harrison: John’s Gospel is structured quite differently to the Synoptics. It is less documentary and more meditative, though it does contain a lot of narrative material. John intermingles themes, ‘signs’ and discourses, so that his Gospel develops in much the same way that a fugue does: themes are stated, then combined, first with one theme, then with another, then put aside for a while and taken up again in yet another combination, and all interwoven with signs and discourses. You can only get the best out of John’s Gospel by mulling it over at leisure – and even so, you will never get right to the end of it. Broadly speaking the structure is built to 7 themes, 7 ‘signs’ and 7 claims.
J. Sidlow Baxter: Is there anywhere a more exquisite compound of infinite profundity and lingual simplicity? Was there ever a sublimer subject more ingenuously interpreted?
But its priceless preciousness, of course, lies in its Divine revealings and spiritual values. Gleaming over its portal is the inscription: “No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.”
John’s raison d’etre, also, flashes like a torch all the way through his Gospel and finds final expression at the end: “That ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through His Name” (xx. 31). The three synoptists simply set forth the facts, and leave them to make their own impression on the reader. Not so John: all is statedly selected and directed to the securing of a verdict. He is concerned not only with the facts but with the issues.