The Gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ. It is the glory to glory story. John's account of Jesus is the story of all stories. Who is Jesus Christ? This is John's main question and he invites us to join him as we read his gospel. Jesus is more than a humanitarian, a teacher or a compassionate miracle worker. John highlights the main theme of the entire Bible in his gospel, the person and the work of Jesus Christ. Once Jesus asked His disciple a personal question" Who do you say that I am?" (Matt 16:15). Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Peter recognized the deity of Jesus Christ because it was supernaturally revealed to him. Natural man can never understand Christ because He is a mystery to him (1 Tim 3:16). Mystery can't be understood apart from divine revelation. History is incomprehensible without Christ. Someone has said "History is His story". The four gospels are the historical account of Jesus Christ. In fact the gospel is Jesus Christ. The force of the Gospel is revealed in the book of Acts and the clear interpretation of the Gospel is given in the Epistles. The central theme of the Bible is Jesus Christ. Someone has said "Christ is predicted in the Old Testament, revealed in the Gospels, preached in the Acts, explained in the Epistles and anticipated in Revelation". There is no study greater than the study of Jesus Christ. Do you know Jesus as your Savior?
Authorship and Date:
John the apostle wrote this gospel. He was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. He wrote his gospel to silence the philosophical speculation that denied the deity of Christ and to prove that Jesus is the Son of God (20:31). Matthew presents Jesus as the promised Messiah and the hope of Israel (Matthew 1:21). Mark presents Jesus as the Servant of God (Mark 10:45). He was a close associate of Peter. Luke presents Jesus as the Savior of the world (Luke 19:10). He was with Paul. John was an eyewitness of Jesus Christ and present him as the Son of God (John 1:1,14). John is the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23). The church fathers often quoted from the John's Gospel and attributed its authorship to apostle John. Scholars suggest that John wrote his gospel between A.D 85 and 95 from Ephesus.
Apostle John identifies the purpose of writing his gospel Chapter 20:30-31. He wrote it to show that Jesus is the Son of God. John presents eight miracles and reviews the seven “I Am" claims of Jesus to prove His deity. The three key words in this gospel are Sign, Believe and Life. The first three Gospels are called synoptic Gospels because they look similar in the chronological account of Christ’s life. But John's Gospel is different from other Gospels in many ways. It was written in a narrative format. John’s Gospel is the interpretation of the historic account of the life of Jesus Christ. Scholars suggest that ninety percent of its content is not discussed in the synoptic Gospels. The heartbeat of John’s Gospel is evangelism (John 1:29). This gospel highlights the central themes of the entire Bible including creation, the fall and the redemption of sinners. John describes the most crucial period of the last week of Jesus' life than other gospel writers (12:1-20:25). Some consider John's gospel as the most amazing book ever written. It is commonly recommended to new believers. John 3:16 is the best-known Bible verse. John begins his Gospel in eternity past (1:1). There is no genealogy of Jesus in this Gospel because God has no genealogy. Jesus' story is the story of all stories. God became man. Yet Jesus never ceased being God (Matt 1:20). His birth was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies (Isaiah 7:14). The incarnation of Christ is a very important Christian doctrine. Christ's conception was supernatural but His birth was natural. Thus the eternal being invaded the fallen world to redeem sinners (Luke 19:10).
Matthew begins his gospel with the legal genealogy of Jesus through the line of Joseph to prove that He is the promised Messiah. Luke gives His natural genealogy through the line of Mary. It was not a customary practice to include names women in the Jewish genealogy. The inclusion of women with questionable background shows how gracious and merciful is our God. This reminds us that God accepts sinful people and removes all the man-made barriers. God wants to save Jews and gentiles, male and female, good and bad. Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost in their sins (Luke 19:10). In the Messianic line there was a curse pronounced upon king Jeconiah that his descendant shall never reign in the throne of David (Jeremiah 22:24-30). Since Jesus was supernaturally conceived and came through the line of Mary this curse was removed and did not affect Jesus.
Jesus was born in the fullness of time:
Jesus was born in Bethlehem according to the prophecy (Micah 5:2). It was a spiritual and mental awakening period in the history. The Greek culture and language united people in the world. But there was a spiritual vacuum among people. The philosophers and reformers couldn't fill that vacuum. Roman Empire was in its prime time. Roman law brought law and order in the society. Roman roads linked people everywhere. Christ's birth was not an accident but a divine appointment. He was born in the fullness of time (Gal 4:4). We are all born to live but Christ was born to die (Mark 10:45). Jesus came to His own creation and His own received Him not (John 1:11). Jesus said, “Foxes have holes, birds have nests but the Son of man has no place to lay His head". Someone has said "The Son of God became Son of Man that sons of men could become sons of God. Those who receive Jesus as Lord and Savior are the children of God.