For the next three months or so, we will study the book of John. The Apostle John adds a different perspective from Matthew, Mark, and Luke (known as the Synoptic Gospels). John includes stories that are not found elsewhere. He emphasizes the incarnation of Jesus as something we should wrap our minds around. The word incarnation is not one we use in everyday conversation, at least I don’t, but it’s an important concept to consider. Here’s how John defined it:
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Jesus was at the beginning as the Word, with God, and with the Holy Spirit. He was eternally present, rather, He is eternally present. (The whole notion of not being bound by time is hard to get my mind around.)
Incarnation means that Jesus, the Word, stepped into time and took on human flesh. John will invest quite a bit of energy trying to help us appreciate the importance of this distinction. I hope you’re willing to take the journey with me!
Different Perspective, Same Story
As mentioned early, John’s perspective is different, but this is all part of the same story.
While ninety percent of Mark’s stories appear in either Matthew or Luke, ninety percent of the Fourth Gospel—the Gospel of John—is unique. The Bible Project
Having read through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts, we now get to take a distinctly different view that should give us a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Messiah as fully human and fully divine.
Here’s a sketch of the Book of John that provides an insightful overview of his account of the life of Jesus.
That’s pretty intense! I made a poster of this to help as we study the Gospel of John and I hope it’s helpful for you. Here are links to The Bible Project’s videos that provide a great overview: Part 1 Part 2.
This will be an exciting journey as we learn about the life of Jesus through John’s personal encounter with the Son of God. Expect to be challenged. This is going to be fantastic!
Things I’ve Learned Along the Way
One of the many things I’ve paid particular attention to this time through the Bible is that Luke and Acts were written by Luke and can really be considered one continuous story. The Bible Project suggests there are five books, based on our modern Bible divisions, that are considered “the Gospel of Jesus.” Essentially, they combine Luke and Acts and refer to it as Luke-Acts. As I was blogging through Luke, it only seemed fitting that the post after Luke 24 should be from Acts 1. I didn’t read The Bible Project’s introduction before, but I definitely support their perspective now.
If I had read this statement a year ago, or if you asked me in a game of Bible Trivia, I would have said there are four books that form the Gospel. I would have been wrong.
It’s important not to win a trivia contest and miss the opportunity to hear the voice of God through His word. This is not to suggest that we should merely swim on the surface, skimming over the deep details that make up the Bible. Nor am I suggesting we need to strap on some deepwater diving gear and go down to the bottom of the Mariana Trench to understand every pixel in every image portrayed.
Let’s meet somewhere in the middle. The internet provides links to a seemingly endless stream of information, but we only need so much to make sense of the context of the stories we read. I’m in awe of those who have dedicated their lives to add to the body of knowledge to support the biblical accounts.
My present effort is mostly focused on finding sources that appear trustworthy to help me understand the narrative better, especially as it seems to relate to our contemporary context. This is what I like to call the “so what” portion of every post. If my words don’t add to a better understanding of the passage, they fail the “so what” test. As I type the blog, I take lots of notes. Fortunately for you, there are many thoughts that get deleted when I review what’s written before hitting the “publish” button. Hopefully.
Some days I probably don’t review the words enough. That’s where you come in and that’s why there is a space for comments. My prayer is these words will inform and challenge, but when I leave a gap, please take a moment and fill it with your thoughts. That’s the challenge.
For those who prefer to listen to the posts, the podcast is available here: https://anchor.fm/dave-r-phillips. I’m still recording the posts, but it’s a start.
Index with Links to blog posts on John
I’ll update this list as we go through the Gospel of John
- Introduction to the series (this post)
- Prologue John 1:1-18
- The Voice of One Calling in the Wilderness John 1:19-34
- First Disciples Follow Jesus John 1:35-51
- Wedding in Cana, More Than a Miracle John 2:1-12
- Jesus Clears the Temple Courts John 2:13-25
- Jesus Teaches Nicodemus John 3:1-15
- For God So Loved the World John 3:16-21
- God Did Not Send Jesus to do His Dirty Work John 3:16-21
- The Baptist Teaches About Jesus John 3:22-36
- Jesus and the Woman at the Well — Part 1 John 4:1-15
- Jesus and the Woman at the Well — Part 2 John 4:16-26
- The Disciples at the Well John 4:27-42
- Take Jesus at His Word John 4:43-54
- Healing at the Pool: Do You Want to Get Well? John 5:1-15
- Jewish Leaders Begin to Persecute Jesus John 5:16-18
- Jesus Responds – The Authority of the Son John 5:19-30
- Testimonies About Jesus – The Canal John 5:31-47
- Feeding Thousands John 6:1-15
- Jesus Walks on Water – Don’t Be Afraid John 6:16-24
- Jesus is the Bread of Life John 6:25-59
- Who Can Accept This Hard Teaching? John 6:60-71
- Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles John 7:1-13
- Jesus Teaches at the Festival of Tabernacles John 7:14-24
- Division Over Who Jesus Is John 7:25-44
- Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders John 7:45-52
- Woman Caught Committing Adultery John 7:53-8:11
- Jesus Declares, “I Am the Light of the World” John 8:12-20
- Many Believed and Picked Up Stones to Stone Him John 8:21-59
- Blind From Birth Now Healed, Part 1 John 9:1-7
- Blind from Birth Now Healed, Part 2 John 9:8-34
- Blind from Birth Now Healed, Part 3 John 9:35-41
- Reflecting on “Blind from Birth” John 9
- The Good Shepherd John 10:1-21
- The Controversy Intensifies John 10:22-42
- Jesus Wept John 11:1-44
- Jesus Wept, Another Point of View John 11:17-37
- The Plot to Kill Jesus Brews John 11:45-57
- Jesus Anointed at Bethany John 12:1-11
- Palm Sunday John 12:12-19
- Jesus Predicts His Death — The Hour Has Come John 12:20-37
- Belief and Unbelief Among the Jews John 12:37-50
- Jesus Washes Their Feet John 13:1-17
- Jesus Predicts His Betrayal John 13:18-30
- Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial John 13:31-38
- Jesus Comforts His Disciples John 14:1-14
- Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit John 14:15-31
- The True Vine and Branches John 15:1-17
- The World Will Hate You Because of Jesus John 15:18-25
- The Promise of the Holy Spirit John 15:26-16:4a
- Unless I Go, the Advocate Will Not Come John 16:4-15
- Grief Will Turn to Joy John 16:16-33
- Glorify God By Doing The Work John 17:1-5
- Jesus Prays for His Disciples John 17:6-19
- Jesus Prays for All Believers John 17:20-26
- Jesus Arrested John 18:1-14
- Jesus Questioned by the High Priest and Peter’s Denials John 18:15-27
- Pilate’s Problem John 18:28-19:16a
- Jesus Crucified John 19:16b-42
- The Empty Tomb John 20:1-10
- Jesus Appears John 20:11-29
- The Purpose of this Gospel John 20:30-31
- Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish John 21:1-14
- Peter is Reinstated by Jesus John 21:15-25
- 1 John Introduction and the Word of Life 1 John 1:1-4
- Light, Darkness, Sin, and Forgiveness 1 John 1:5-2:2
- Obedience in Love 1 John 2:3-11
- Why John Wrote this Letter 1 John 2:12-17
- Who is the Liar? 1 John 2:18-27
- Children of God Don’t Keep On Sinning 1 John 2:28-3:10
- Love With Action and Truth 1 John 3:11-24
- Jesus in the Flesh is a Huge Barrier 1 John 4:1-6
- Whoever Does Not Love Does Not Know God 1 John 4:7-21
- The Command to Love 1 John 4:20-5:4
- Whoever Has the Son Has Life 1 John 5:5-12
- Conclusion of 1 John 1 John 5:13-21
- 2 John – Walking in Truth 2 John 1
- 3 John – Greet the friends by name
The Synoptic Gospels: The word “synoptic” comes from the Greek word synoptikos, meaning “able to be seen together.” Source: https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/synoptic-gospels/
I’m working on a Podcast to go along with this series. Stay tuned in at the following link if you enjoy listening on the go!