Lesson 1: Introduction to The Gospel of John

This Lesson is part of John’s Gospel Easy Notes Series. 

Come and See!

Two disciples: “Rabbi, where are you staying?”

Jesus: “Come, and you will see.” – John 1:38, 39.

Jesus is inviting you to have a personal relationship with him. The gospel of John will help you to do so. Can you imagine: It is the Son of God inviting you to shake hands with him!

John’s gospel is so deep in thought that scholars still keep writing books on it. But it is simple enough for a child to understand. You can read this gospel in one week if you finish 3 chapters a day. It will be a blessed experience.

In the Beginning Was the Word

John looks directly at the Son of God just like an eagle looks at the sun without blinking its eye. Therefore he begins at the beginning. His opening statement reminds us of Genesis 1:1.

He says Jesus was Logos (the Word). Just like we need words to communicate our thoughts, The Word became flesh to tell us who God really is.

God in Jesus became someone who could be seen and touched (so lovingly expressed in 1 John 1:1). The cry of John to all is to believe in Jesus. He had both Jews and Greeks and all other people in mind when he wrote the gospel. Therefore “whoever” believes in Jesus will have eternal life (John 3:16, the most widely translated and well-known verse in the Bible)!

Logos—the Word

Logos was a term that was known to both Jewish and Greek audiences.

To the Jews, Logos or the Word of God first of all meant the creative power of God in action as in Genesis 1:3—“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Thus Logos represented God’s power.

In another sense Logos was the Word of the Lord that came to the prophets—to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos and so on. “The Word of the LORD came to me” (see for example Jeremiah 1:11). Thus Logos represented God’s wisdom.

To the Greeks, however Logos was the controlling Reason of the universe or the Mind behind everything in the universe. But when John used the term Logos he was not referring to an idea of intelligence commonly understood at that time but to the person of Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate Fact and Truth of the universe!

Jesus Explains the Father

Jesus is the greatest revelation of God. Read Romans 1:1—3, Colossians 1:15—20 and Hebrews 1:1—3.

In Jesus we find the wisdom and power of God (1 Cor. 1:24) made flesh (John 1:14) who made his dwelling among us. In simple terms that verse says the glory of God which the Israelites had seen fill the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:34) “pitched his tent” or “tabernacled” among us. It suggests a temporary dwelling.

We can understand this by saying that Christ dwelling in flesh was God’s Presence among men. Jesus, by becoming man, has “explained” God the Father to us (John 1:18).

Therefore to Philip who asks Jesus to show us the Father, Jesus replied: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?” Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ (John 14:9).”

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