Dear Crossway Family,
I am excited to start this journey together in the gospel of John. We will be going through this book until Easter. There are so many wonderful features of this gospel. Let me share with you some highlights and distinctives of this book:
- First of all, John is theologically deep. From the first words, “In the beginning,” to the various themes throughout we learn some deep truths about Jesus, his identity and mission. We see how the Old Testament is being fulfilled this the life of Christ. The study of this book would be a lifelong endeavor.
- Secondly, as deep as John is, it is at the same time very simple. Many will agree that this book is one of their favorites in the whole Bible because of the stories and how easy it is to understand. Frequently through the book you’ll see John’s words in parentheses explaining to the reader what he meant (1:38).
- This book will help us grow in our faith. John tells us the reason for writing this book was to help the reader grow in faith and ultimately have life in Christ (21:25). The Greek root for “believe” and “faith” shows up more in John than in all the other gospels combined. Our faith will be stronger by the time we finish this book.
- We get to understand who Jesus is through his 7 “I am” statements. His pronouncements teach us who he is in relation to us. The I am statements points us back to the book of Exodus where God calls himself, “I am.” These metaphors not only explain Christ, but teaches us about our condition and relationship with God.
- Lastly, John is a book of signs. There are 7 signs, starting with turning water into wine at Cana (John 2) and culminating with the raising of Lazarus (John 11). You can see the progression of the signs becoming greater and finally points to the greatest of signs, Jesus’ death and resurrection. It’s as if Jesus is guiding us along and feeding us a little more until we can grasp the final sign.
Lord, I pray that the eyes of our hearts will be opened (Ephesians 1) so that we might grasp how great your love is for us in this wonderful gospel. Help us to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In his name,