John’s Gospel

Bob Berry, Amersham

The charge brought against the Lord was that He made Himself equal with God, 5. 18. Every evidence of His deity is found in the book: His omnis­cience, 1. 48; 4. 17; His omnipotence, 10. 18; 17. 2; His omnipresence, 1. 18, 48; His eternalness, 1. 2; 8. 58, His preeminence, 1. 15.

In this gospel the enemies of God are dealt with: the world, the flesh and the Devil. In 16. 33 we learn that the Lord has overcome the world. In 3. 6 we see the need to be born of the Spirit: that which is born of the flesh is flesh. There are no castings out of demons, but the prince of this world is cast out.

While John's gospel is evangelical, his epistles are pastoral and his Revelation is prophetic. In addition to these writings, Ezekiel is also a companion scripture. The vine, the shepherd and the sheep, and many other parallels may be found. In the gospel there are two immoral women who are restored - one from Samaria in chapter 4 and one from Jerusalem in chapter 8: these may be compared with Aholah and Aholibah of Ezekiel 23.

Sevens abound: the seven witnesses, the seven pre-resurrection signs, the seven sayings of the Lord to the woman at the well, the seven 'I am' comparisons; seven times the disciples are described as those 'that the Father giveth me/hath given me'. The seven sign-miracles are in definite order; hence 'this beginning of miracles', 'the second miracle'. A climax is reached at the seventh miracle. The man of chapter 9 says, 'Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind'; and they that stand beside Lazarus' grave say, could not this man have caused that even this man should not have died?'. But little did they imagine that the Lord could restore Lazarus to life.

The Lord is seen as walking to the cross, after which we no longer read of Him walking. God once walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden. In Daniel 3. 25 one like the Son of God walks in the fiery furnace.

John contrasts abstract things such as light and darkness, life and death, joy and sorrow, peace and tribulation, love and hatred, the truth and the lie.

Much is said of Moses, with whom the Lord may be compared and contrasted. Unlike Moses the Lord would not come into the public eye hastily, chapter 2; but He would finish the work, 17. 4, while Moses, though he finished the tabernacle, did not bring the children of Israel into the promised land. Moses turned the water into blood - the emblem of death, but the Lord turns the water into wine - the emblem of joy. Moses spoke of that Prophet that should come, and through the book we see the Lord depicted as the Prophet.

The Lord is also seen as Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher. In the prayer of chapter 17 He is seen as the Apostle and High Priest, as the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls.

If Luke says that the Lord has come to bring division, John shows that division, 'some said, he is a good man'. others said, Nay; but he decieveth the people', 7. 12; 'so there was a division among the people because of him', 7. 43; 'And there was a division among them', 9. 16; 'There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings', 10. 19. Throughout the gospel, from John the Baptist to Pontius Pilate, we find the evidence of who the Lord is being brought challengingly and personally before individuals, culminating in a challenge to the reader himself, 19. 35; 20. 31.

Not to learned Nicodemus, but to the morally bankrupt woman atthe well does the Lord show that the Father seeks worshippers in spirit and in truth. 'And such were some of you', says Paul 1 Corinthians 6. 11.

The burnt offering is seen here. There is no anguished prayer in the garden; only the steady going forth, knowing all things that should come upon Him. 'The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?' The voluntary offering, He said 'I am': how different from Peter who said 'I am not'.