Good Shepherd, stained glass window at All Saints Church, Alburgh, Norfolk, UK, by Powell of London (1872). Photo ©by Simon Knott. Used by permission.
Good Shepherd, stained glass window at All Saints Church, Alburgh, Norfolk, UK, by Powell of London (1872). Photo © by Simon Knott. Used by permission.

I love John's Gospel, and I hope that you will love it too! St. Augustine once said about the Gospel of John, that,

"It is shallow enough for a child not to drown, yet deep enough for an elephant to swim in it."

The most memorized verse in the New Testament is found in the Fourth Gospel:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16, ESV)

Some of the greatest truths of the Christian faith are taught in the Fourth Gospel, perhaps more than in any New Testament book. For example:

  • Jesus Christ is the only-begotten, fully divine, Son of God;
  • The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, guides, teaches, and empowers us to carry on Jesus' miraculous ministry;
  • The Father loves us as He does Jesus;
  • Eternal life vs. the wrath of God;
  • And much more....

John shares some of the same incidents that we find in Matthew, Mark, and Luke (the Synoptic Gospels) and offers his own insightful perspective from the point of view of one close to Jesus, a perspective that helps us understand the deeper significance of these events. But John's Gospel also contains a lot of material not found in the other Gospels:

  • Changing the water into wine (2:1-11),
  • The woman at the well of Sychar (4:1-26)
  • Healing of the invalid at the Pool of Bethesda (5:1-15)
  • "I am the Bread of Life" (6:25-51)
  • The woman taken in adultery (8:1-11)
  • "I am the light of the world" (8:12)
  • "The truth shall set you free" (8:32)
  • Healing the man born blind (8:48-9:41)
  • "I am the Good Shepherd" (10:1-42)
  • Raising Lazarus from the dead (11:1-44)
  • Washing the disciples feet (13:1-38)
  • "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (14:6)
  • "I am the vine, you are the branches" (15:1-17)
  • Jesus' "High Priestly" prayer (chapter 17)
  • "As the Father sent me, so send I you" (20:19-31)

... and much, much more.

I'm sure you've read the Gospel of John before -- perhaps many times -- but with these lessons I've prepared, I hope this time we can study it with special depth and mine its riches for ourselves -- you and I together. It is a long study. John's Gospel itself spans 22 chapters of rich material. My focus will be on how we can learn to be better disciples and walk more closely with Jesus.

I look forward to studying John's Gospel with you.

 

Yours in Christ,
Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Loomis, California
August 1, 2014


Copyright © 1985-2017, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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