John’s Gospels is somewhat unique compared to the other three. While the other Gospels usually referred to together as the synoptics, seem to be using the same or similar sources for their material, John is in a category of his own. He appears to take a different trajectory. Perhaps because it is written later, closer to the end of the 1st Century, he has a more theological perspective and seems to address different issues than the other Gospels. There are fewer miracles but each is more significant as each stands in stark contrast to the gods of his age. He doesn’t just heal a man’s eyesight, he heals a man born blind. He just doesn’t raise up sick people, he raises the dead! He has complete mastery over nature.
John is written by the beloved disciple. His name is not mentioned in the Gospel, he only describes himself as the one whom Jesus loved. That in itself tells us something about John’s attitude toward Jesus and the Gospel he preaches. Love is an important theme in John’s writings. “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16). John has an evangelistic heart. In 20:31 John tells us that he has included the accounts of Jesus’ miracles so that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ and have life in his name.
The first chapter of John echoes the creation and exodus stories. In this way John forewarns us that Jesus is about to unleash a new creation. Just as Jesus was in the beginning creating the world so now he is creating a new kingdom, new light and new life. For those who believe, God’s creation is renewed. The problem of sin and death has been overcome and new hope is realized in the fact that God has come down to live among us. Just as Yahweh was present in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple, so Jesus has come to live among his people. But even better, he lives in us by the power of his Spirit. You cannot get closer than that.
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