We are going to start studying the Gospel of John in our 20s & 30s class starting tomorrow. I will probably end up posting a few things on it as we go. There are a couple of things that stand out from the very beginning. The biggest thing, of course, is the differences between John and the synoptic gospels (Matthew ,Mark, & Luke). John leaves out many of the main stories of the other three gospels (Jesus’ baptism and subsequent wilderness temptations, Peter’s confession, the Last Supper. He leaves out many of the miracles and even the parables.
Mark leads up to the revelation that Jesus is indeed the Son of God halfway through his Gospel. Up to that point, Jesus urges people not to talk about him as the messiah. John hits us with it in the very first sentence – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” Surprise! Without this piece of knowledge on the front end, the reader would left to struggle through Jesus’ teachings from that point on. Jesus makes no bones about it – he is divine.
I am also struck by the simplicty of John’s words (his Greek is among the simplist in the NT) and the complexity of his meaning. Several of John’s major themes and words are used in several different ways. There is also a lot of confusion over Jesus teaching as Jesus shifts the meaning of his teaching from earthly things (water at the well or being born again) to the heavenly things (living water or born of water and of Spirit).
What has stood out to you about the Gospel of John?