John’s Gospel Chapter 1

“Fourth “ Gospel.–The latest of the four Gospels and different in many respects from the other three; e.g. in its chronology, its greater emphasis on our Lord’s ministry in Jerusalem, and the manner and matter of His teaching.
When it was written Christianity had spread far from the land of its birth, and one of the aims of this “ Gospel “ is to commend the new faith to thoughtful people in a wider world (ch. 20. 31 ; 1 Jn. 5. 13). In it the writer brings his own spiritual experiences to bear on the “ selected “ incidents from the life and work of the Lord Jesus, with special emphasis on the Eternal Life He came to give as a present possession, with reference to quality and character as well as duration.
Note the manifoldness of these “ Gospels." “ Each evangelist, writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has given one phase of revelation." (a) Matthew portrays the King; {b) Mark, the Servant; (c) Luke, the Son of Man ; and (d) John, the’ Son of God. In this connexion the four living creatures of Rev. 4. 7, are not without significance, the Lion suggesting the King of Matthew; the Calf (ox) the Servant of Mark ; the Man, the faultless Man of Luke ; the Eagle, the Son of God of John. It seems to set forth His Dignity–the Lion of the tribe of Judah ; His Service–His patient service for others; His Human Sympathy–” I drew them with the cords of a man, with bands of love” (Hosea 11. 4) ; His Deity and Inscrutability–” The way of an eagle … is too wonderful for me “ (Prov. 30. 18, 19).
Note further, how the “ writers “ are perfectly suited to the revelation committed to them. Matthew, a Jew, publican and official of the Roman Empire, represents the Lord Jesus as the Son of Abraham (as to his seed) and the Son of David (as to his kingdom).Mark, who represents the servant character of the Lord, was himself a servant–a servant of the Apostle Paul. “ They had John (whose surname was Mark) as their minister’ (servant) (Acts 13. 5). Luke, a doctor, knowing man as such and able to sympathize with him. And, lastly, John the “ apostle of love.” Fittingly this apostle, who leaned on the bosom of the Saviour, represents Him as being in the bosom of the Father, the Eternal Son of God.
Note also how the character of the revelation increases in depth–as “ the man with the measuring line “; first the waters were to the ankles, then to the knees, then to the loins, then they were “ waters to swim in “ (Ezek. 47. 3-5). Matthew, the King commanding–” I say unto you “; Mark, the True Servant in His deeds as well as words; Luke, the Man coming between God and man. He “ was made in the likeness of men : and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself “ and took our place. John the Heavenly One.
(1)Its purpose. “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book : but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God ; and that believing ye might have life through his name “ (John 20. 30, 31). Note, (a) The Signs, (b) The Selection, (c) The Significance.
(2)Its Prologue. This from verse 1 of chapter 1 to verse 18. Not merely a Preface, but a Declaration of the contents of the entire Gospel.
” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God “ (ch. 1. 1).
(a)A Great Fact–In the beginning … the Word.
(b)A Great Fellowship–the Word … with God.
(c)A Great Fulness–the Word … was God.
” And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled amongst us (and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth “ (v. 14).
(a)A Great Fact–the Word became flesh.
(b)A Great Fellowship–tabernacled among us.
(c)A Great Fulness–full of grace and truth.
” No man hath seen God (yet) ; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him “ (v. 18).
(a)A Great Fact–No man hath yet seen God.
(b)A Great Fellowship -the only begotten Son in the bosom of the Father.
(c)A Great Fulness–He hath declared Him.
(3) Its Pattern.From ch. 1, verse 19 to 36, and 37
to 51.The Witness of, (a) John theBaptist (19-36) ; {b) the Disciples (37-51).
Note :(i) Seven Signs.
(1) In Cana of Galilee (ch. 2. 1-11).
(2) The Healing of Nobleman’s son (ch. 4. 43-54).
(3) The Pool of Bcthesda(ch. 5. 1-15).
(4)Feeding of the Five Thousand (ch. 6. 1-14).
(5)Walking on the Sea(ch. 6. 15-21).
(6) Healing of the Blind Man(ch. 9. 1-41).
(7) Raising of Lazarus (ch. 11. 1-46).
(ii) Seven Wonderful Sayings of the Lord Jesus.
(1) “ I am the bread of life “(ch. 6. 35).
(2) “ I am the light of the world “(ch. 8. 12).
(3) “ I am the door of the sheep “(ch. 10. 7).
(4) “ I am the good shepherd “ (ch. 10.11).
(5) “ I am the resurrection, and the life (ch. 11. 25).
(6) “ I am the way, the truth, and the life “(ch. 14. 6).
(7) “ I am the true vine “ (ch. 15. 1).
(iii) Three Conversations.
(1) With Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin
(2) With the Samaritan woman, an outcast despised by the Jews (ch. 4. 1-30).
(3) With unbelieving Jews(ch. 8. 23-58).
(4) The Last Days
The Feast at Bethany (ch. 12).
The Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem
(ch. 12). The Coming of the Greeks(ch. 12).
The Washing of the Disciples’ Feet(ch. 13).
The Last Words of Jesus (ch. 14).
The Promise to the Disciples of the Comforter(ch. 15).
The Prayer of Consecration.(ch. 17).
(5) The Passion
Glory through Suffering(chs. 18, 19).
The Resurrection (ch. 20).
Chapter 21. Not anything of inferior or secondary value, but written after the scheme of the Gospel had been completed. The key to this chapter is to be found in the words : “ He manifested himself “ (Jn. 21. 1, R.V.).