JOURNEYS THROUGH THE BIBLE

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1 JOURNEYS THROUGH THE BIBLE #6. THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 1. Accrding t Jhn is the way the ldest manuscripts preface the furth Gspel. Over time, The Gspel was added t give us the present title. This Gspel was written after the Fall f Jerusalem, but almst certainly befre the Epistles f Jhn and the Bk f Revelatin. Thugh Jhn is nt specifically named as the authr, there are several strng arguments attributing the wrk t Jhn. Testimny f the early church leaders Jhn discipled Plycarp (70-160AD), wh in turn discipled Irenaeus ( AD). Plycarp tld Irenaeus that Jhn wrte his Gspel in his ld age while living in Ephesus (Against Heresies2.22.5; 3.1.1). Accrding t Eusebius Ecclesiastical Histry (lc ), Clement f Alexandria ( AD) gave testimny that under the Spirit s aninting, Jhn wrte a spiritual gspel as a cmpanin t the Synptic Gspels. Internal evidence Jhn identifies himself nly as that disciple whm Jesus lved. This shuld nt be understd as a criticism f ther disciples, as thugh they were nt als lved, but rather is t be understd as a statement f humility n the part f Jhn. It is as thugh he felt unwrthy t mentin his name in the same sentence with Messiah. Hwever, Jhn is identified frequently by name in the three Synptics, and the final chapters f the Gspel clearly reveal Jhn s identity by prcess f eliminatin. Acceptance by the earliest Christians Frm the earliest days, the Gspel f Jhn was attributed t the Belved Disciple. It is prbable that Jhn s Gspel is an attempt t supplement the Synptic Gspels with a unique perspective n the life f Jesus. Over 90% f Jhn s material is fund nly in the furth Gspel. Als, Jhn s material clarifies sme settings in the Synptics. Fr Dr. J. Stephen Chitty 1

2 instance, in Jhn we learn that Jesus ministry began in Judea and Samaria, befre His dminant ministry in Galilee began (chapters 3 and 4). We als learn the reasn fr Jesus hasty withdrawal after the feeding f the 5,000 and His insistence that the disciples crss the Sea f Galilee tward Bethsaida (Mark 6:45). Jhn explains the cmpelling cmmand was given because the crwds wanted t make Jesus King by frce (Jhn 6:26). 2. Jhn s name means Gd is gracius. He was the sn f Zebedee and the yunger brther f James (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:17). He was als ne f the riginal Twelve Apstles (Luke 6:12-16). He was ne f the three disciples in the inner circle and became a strng leader in the Jerusalem Church (Galatians 2:9). In later years, he went t Ephesus where he eventually died, the nly ne f the Twelve t die a nn-vilent death. Jhn s Life Jhn and his brther James prbably met Jesus as a result f Jhn the Baptizer s ministry (Jhn 1:35-37). They left their father s fishing business and fllwed Jesus fr ver three years (Matthew 4:21, 22). After Jesus ascensin, he wrked with Peter t establish the Jerusalem Church (Acts 3, 4). During a banishment t Patms, Jhn received and recrded The Revelatin f Jesus Christ. Church histrians recrd that Jhn s last years were spent in Ephesus. Traditin als indicates that Mary, the mther f Jesus, spent her remaining years in the care f Jhn. 3. Jhn s emphasis is a thelgical apprach t the life f Christ. He fcuses n: Seven I AM statements In at least 23 passages, we see the Greek wrds eg eimi, which is translated I AM. (4:26; 6:20, 35, 41, 48, 51; 8:12, 18, 24, 28, 58; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 13:19; 14:6; 15:1, 5; 18:5, 6, 8). This is reminiscent f the wrds t Mses I AM THAT I AM. In Dr. J. Stephen Chitty 2

3 seven f these statements, He expands t include metaphrs which illustrate His saving ministry t the wrld: I AM the Bread f Life - (6:35-51) I AM the Light f the Wrld - (8:12) I AM the Dr f the sheep pen - (10:7, 9) I AM the Gd Shepherd - 10:11, 14) I AM the Resurrectin and the Life - (11:25) I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life - (14:6) I AM the True Vine - (15:1, 5) Seven special miracles designated as signs Water is changed t wine - Jhn 2:1-11 The nbleman s sn is healed - Jhn 4:46-54 The man at the pl is healed - Jhn 5:1-18 The miraculus feeding f the five thusand - Jhn 6:1-14 Jesus walks n the water - Jhn 6:16-21 A blind man is healed - 9:1-41 Lazarus is raised frm the dead - Jhn 11:1-44 There are 26 interviews in the Gspel f Jhn. Each f the encunters resulted in acceptance r rejectin f Jesus by the persns invlved. Participants include Peter (2 Dr. J. Stephen Chitty 3

4 times), Nathaniel, Mary, a grup f Jews (7 times), Nicdemus, the Disciples (4 times), the nbleman, a Samaritan wman, the man at the pl, His brthers, the blind man, Mary and Martha, the High Priest, Pilate, Mary Magdalene, and Thmas. There is an extensive use f symbls by Jhn. There is extensive use f light, darkness, life, vine, water, shepherd, dr, and bread. With the exceptin f darkness, each f these symbls was used t illustrate the ministry f Christ. 4. The Date f writing is prbably 80-90AD. 5. Key Chapters Chapters 1:1-2:12 discuss the eternal preexistence f Jesus, which sets the stage fr understanding the significance f His birth. Jesus was fully Gd and fully man. This means He was as fully Gd as thugh He were nt human, yet as fully human as if He were nt Gd. Chapters 2:13-12:50 features selected glimpses f the message and ministry f Jesus. Chapters 13:1-21:25 is material that deals with the death and resurrectin f Jesus. 6. Key Verses Jhn 1:9-13 NASB -The true light, which gives light t everyne, was cming int the wrld. 10 He was in the wrld, and the wrld was made thrugh him, yet the wrld did nt knw him. 11 He came t his wn, and his wn peple did nt receive him. 12 But t all wh did receive him, wh believed in his name, he gave the right t becme children f Gd, 13 wh were brn, nt f bld nr f the will f the flesh nr f the will f man, but f Gd. Jhn 3:16-18 NASB - Fr Gd s lved the wrld, that he gave his nly Sn, that whever believes in him shuld nt perish but have eternal life. 17 Fr Gd did nt send his Sn int the wrld t cndemn the wrld, but in rder that the wrld might be saved thrugh him. 18 Whever believes in him is nt cndemned, but whever des nt believe is cndemned already, because he has nt believed in the name f the nly Sn f Gd. Jhn 20:30 NASB - Nw Jesus did many ther signs in the presence f the disciples, which are nt written in this bk; 31 but these are written s that yu may believe that Dr. J. Stephen Chitty 4

5 Jesus is the Christ, the Sn f Gd, and that by believing yu may have life in his name. Jhn 21:24-25 NASB - This is the disciple wh is bearing witness abut these things, and wh has written these things, and we knw that his testimny is true. 25 Nw there are als many ther things that Jesus did. Were every ne f them t be written, I suppse that the wrld itself culd nt cntain the bks that wuld be written. 7. Key Peple Jesus the Messiah - The Messiah (the same term as Christ - the aninted ne). In Mark, Jesus is seen particularly as Gd s Servant; a true man n a missin. Nicdemus - a ruler f the Jews wh came t Jesus by night in a quest t understand the nature f Jesus missin. The great teaching f the New Birth is presented thrugh Jesus cnversatin with Nicdemus (Jhn 3). The Twelve Disciples (the riginal Apstles) Andrew Nathaniel (als called Barthlmew) James, the Elder James, the Lesser r Yunger Jhn The Belved Judas Iscarit Jude (als called Thaddeus) Matthew (als called Levi) Simn Peter (als called Cephas) Dr. J. Stephen Chitty 5

6 Philip Simn the Zealt Thmas (als called Didymus) 8. Key Places - the events f Jhn s Gspel cmprise less than tw weeks, s the varied lcatins are limited. Bethany - a village near Jerusalem; the hme f Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. A city f retreat and refuge fr Jesus frm time t time. Glgtha - a hill just utside Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified. It is als knwn as the place f the skull. Jerusalem - the scene f intense cnfrntatin between Jesus and the civil and religius leaders f Israel. Galilee - a large lake regin in nrthern Israel; several lcatins were the scene f many miracles and teaching events by Jesus. The Judean Cuntryside - a muntainus regin in suthern Israel, knwn tday as the West Bank. 9. Key Themes Jesus Christ is the divine, preexistent, eternal Sn f Gd - In 3:16, Jesus is described as uniquely Gd s sn. 1:1-14 are testimny t His eternal divinity. Eternal Life - the result f belief in Jesus is the gift f eternal life. Belief - a strng emphasis is placed n ne s persnal respnsibility t believe the Gspel. The Hly Spirit - is the One wh will fill and empwer the Believers after Jesus is glrified. Dr. J. Stephen Chitty 6

7 10. The Cntents f Jhn The Incarnatin - 1:1-18 Pre-Incarnate existence - 1:1-5 The Ministry f the Frerunner - 1:6-8 The Rejectin f Jesus - 1:9-11 The Acceptance f Jesus - 1:12, 13 Jesus Deity - 1:14-18 The Presentatin f Jesus - 1:19-4:54 Jesus is presented by Jhn the Baptist - 1:19-34 Jesus is presented t His Disciples - 1:35-5 Jesus in Galilee - 2:1-12 Jesus in Judea - 2:13-3:36 Jesus in Samaria - 4:1-42 Jesus in Galilee - 4:43-54 Jesus is Oppsed - 5:1-12:50 Oppsitin at the feast in Jerusalem - 5:1-47 Oppsitin during Passver - 6:1-71 Oppsitin at the Feast f Tabernacles - 7:1-10:21 Oppsitin at the Feast f Dedicatin - 10:22-42 Oppsitin in Bethany - 11:1-12:11 Oppsitin in Jerusalem - 12:12-50 Jesus Ministry t the Disciples - 13:1-17:26 In the Upper Rm - 13:1-14:31 Jesus washes the Disciples feet - 13:1-20 Dr. J. Stephen Chitty 7

8 Jesus annunces His betrayal - 13:21-30 An explanatin abut His departure - 13:31-14:31 Enrute t the Garden f Gethsemane - 15:1-17:26 Jesus teaches His Disciples - 15:1-16:33 Jesus prays - 17:1-26 The Crucifixin f Jesus - 18:1-19:37 The rejectin f Christ The arrest f Jesus - 18:1-11 The illegal trial f Jesus - 18:12-19:16 The Death f Jesus - 19:17-37 The Resurrectin f Jesus His Burial - 19:38-42 His Resurrectin - 20:1-10 His Pst-Resurrectin Appearances - 20:11-21:23 T Mary Magdalene - 20:11-18 T the Disciples (withut Thmas) - 20:19-25 T Thmas and the ther Disciples - 20:26-29 Excursus - The Purpse f The Gspel - 20:30, 31 T the Disciples in Galilee - 21:1-14 T Simn Peter - 21:15-23 Cncluding Statements - 21:24, 25 Dr. J. Stephen Chitty 8

9 Wrth nting Of the eight miracles recrded in Jhn, six f them are recrded nly in this Gspel accunt. The Upper Rm Discurse (Jhn 14-17) is unique t Jhn s Gspel as well. The Synptics are primarily cncerned with Jesus relatinship t Israel, while Jhn s emphasis is n the universal savir. When reading the Gspel f Jhn: Remember this Gspel is written frm the perspective f a pst-resurrectin decades. It is clearly the mst thelgical f the Gspels. With the exceptin f the prlg in chapter 1, Jhn s Gspel is an accunt f less than tw weeks in the life f Jesus. The scene is primarily in Jerusalem, nt in Galilee as with the ther Gspels. We see Jesus in Jerusalem during several feasts: Passver (2:13, 23) An unidentified feast, prbably Passver, Pentecst, r Tabernacles (the three festivals requiring attendance in Jerusalem - 5:1) Passver (6:4) Feast f Tabernacles (7:2) Feast f Dedicatin (10:22) Passver (11:55, 12:1; 13:1) Dr. J. Stephen Chitty 9

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