John writes his gospel to present the life of Jesus so that unbelievers will come to faith in him, believers will grow in their faith in him as the Messiah, and the Son of God descended from heaven.
In John 1:1-18, John announced that the incarnation of Jesus, when the light broke into the darkness, was a new beginning. The Gospel of John has uses contrasting concepts and themes such as light and darkness (1:4-9), love and hatred (15:17-18), from above and below (8:23), life and death (6:57-58), and truth and falsehood (8:32-47) among others.
John 1:19-12:50 follows Jesus’ ministry. Jesus spent most of his time ministering to people in different areas, especially around the time of Jewish feasts, which took on special importance because of the way in which he related his own work to what the feasts signified. However, his own people still did not recognize him. John 7:37-39
John the Baptist and Jesus’ first disciples recognized Jesus as the Messiah from above. Jesus performed his first sign in Cana and later returned there to perform his second. Meanwhile, several important events introduce some of the dramatic changes Jesus brought to the world. In chapter 5, Jesus performed a sign and faced conflict in Jerusalem regarding his relationship with his father.
In chapter 6, Jesus’ signs and teachings in Galilee correspond to Israel’s experiences of Passover, crossing the sea and receiving manna during the exodus of Egypt. Jesus performed signs and taught in Jerusalem around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles. Many still rejected him. Jesus revealed himself as Israel’s shepherd, but he was rejected in John 10:22-42. Jesus entered Jerusalem, performing signs and disclosing the reality of his future death and resurrection. Gentiles generally admired him, but only a few Jews received him.
In his last days, Jesus focused on ministry to his disciples, preparing them for his departure by serving, comforting, and praying.
Jesus’ death and resurrection were climactic events that show him to be the Messiah and the Son of God.
After Jesus’ death, his disciples, empowered by the Spirit, were sent forth, just like Jesus was sent by God, to evangelize and “bear much fruit”. After his resurrection, Jesus established an order in the church for future generations to follow. John’s Gospel presents Jesus as the Lamb of God who gave his life for his people. Although he died for his people, he did not leave them alone. Before his death, Jesus promised to make his home in their hearts through the spirit, who would bring peace and teach them all things.
Watching the movie The Gospel of John before reading the actual book was beneficial in visually being able to understand Gospel. It allowed me to better understand what John was saying and to be able to read through without stopping to reference what something meant. The portrait of Jesus as a Caucasian groomed man probably was not an accurate view of the real Jesus. However, it was interesting to see a directors interpretation of Jesus as well as the Bible’s stories of Jesus’ humanity and divinity. John’s use of contrasting themes made it very simple to understand what Jesus was speaking about. When you look at the Bible, with all its themes and parables, it really is rather simple to understand. Jesus’ repetitive questioning of Peter and Simon stood out to me. He openly asked them if they loved Him, to which they replied yes every time. Today, Christians are constantly being tested by the World to see if we will deny our beliefs in order to fit into societies mold. As Christians, if asked do we love and believe, we should answer with a resounding, “YES!”.