John just launches straight in, there’s no warm up…
In the beginning was the Word… in Him was life… it was the light of men… the Word became flesh… we are born of God. It’s full-on, we feel like our heads are spinning with new concepts… and were only up to verse 14.
The Gospel of John is unlike the other 3 ‘synoptic’ gospels. It’s like Matthew, Mark and Luke were written from ‘time looking toward eternity’, whereas John was written from ‘eternity looking toward time’.The first 3 gospels prepare us by clearly showing us the life, teachings, miracles, death and resurrection of Christ. Then the book of John takes all of that information and presents it afresh from the perspective of the heavenly realm.
Luke says in 1:3, the purpose of his work is “to write an orderly account for you, after careful investigation”. John says in 20:31, the purpose of his work is “these words are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name“.
Of course all the gospels are words of life inspired by the Holy Spirit himself… but I just find myself constantly drawn back to the book of John for it’s insight into the realm of the Spirit. In John we go beyond what Jesus was saying and doing and teaching, to what was the source of life that energized him, what was going on between Him and his Father, we even get a glimpse of the intimate union that enabled Him to complete His work.
The book of John contains no parables – (which were intended to ‘veil the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God’), instead it is very direct and confronting… Jesus said to Nicodemus ‘I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak to you of heavenly things?’ There is a challenge in the book of John to move beyond understanding - (based simply on what we can observe with our natural eyes), to beginning to see with the eyes of our heart, to perceive life on earth from the greater reality… the eternal truths of the Spirit.
Ok, I’ve nearly finished this blog without actually discussing any of the content of the book of John – but I want to end with perhaps the most radical concept in the bible, John 14:20 “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you”.
Mind blowing stuff,.. more tomorrow…