Series: Best Book In the BibleEvery Christian knows the importance of reading their Bible, but many are overwhelmed with the task of devouring such a monstrous book! Often times, when Christians lose steam in their yearly reading plans, they can become frustrated and feel defeated. It is for this reason that individual book studies can be a lifesaver. The Best Book in the Bible series will provide entry points into faithful study and encourage you to fall in love with various books of the Bible.
Perhaps no single book of the Bible has done more to bring about saving faith than the Gospel of John. However, this book is not just for saving the lost, but also for strengthening the faith of believers through studying the words and works of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you want to deepen your love for God, stir up your affections for Christ, and be filled with the Holy Spirit of Truth, then the Gospel of John might be for you.
Main themes: belief, love, the deity of Jesus Christ
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
“I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another, by this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
John clearly states his entire purpose for writing his Gospel: “These have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (20:31) Perhaps the most evangelistic of the four, John’s Gospel is an air-tight theological case for the divinity of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Nearly ninety percent of John’s material is unique to his book, and are not included in Matthew, Mark, or Luke.
The first four chapters present Jesus to the audience, first through a masterful 18-verse prologue, then through the ministry of John the Baptist, and then to Nicodemus (ch. 3) and the Samaritan woman at the well (ch. 4).
Chapters 5 through 12 highlight the ministry of Jesus through His relentless preaching and His dynamic power. The Gospel of John has been referred to as “the Book of the Seven Signs”, as it is built on the miracles of Jesus which culminates with the raising of Lazarus in chapter 11.
Chapters 13 through 17 all take place on the Thursday evening before His crucifixion, and make up what we call “the Upper Room discourse”. In this didactic section, Jesus imparts His final words of comfort and instruction to the disciples before His death.
The remaining four chapters constitute Jesus’ arrest, trial, death, burial, resurrection, and post-resurrection appearances. As with the rest of the book, John is faithful to include various details not included in the synoptic Gospels.
What Makes This Book So Great:
John wisely noted that all the world could not contain the written record of Jesus’ works (21:25), and the same goes for the reasons why this book is amazing! The Gospel of John has been the favorite book of many believers, but even greater than this; this book has led countless believers to faith in Christ. And so, to immerse yourself in a book that is engineered to strengthen your faith is an absolute joy! So much of Jesus’ humanity—His tenderness, His pain, His physicality—are put on display, along with His deity—His power, His omniscience, His majesty; The Gospel of John showcases the glory of the mystery of the hypostatic union of Jesus Christ. You simply cannot study this Gospel and walk away unchanged!
“What’s your favorite book?”:
@NatePickowicz @SoGoSwell Gospel of John.Just feel t intimacy with Jesus.He lays open his heart ; & deep look at rltship w father.(Ch17)— Duane Thoennes ن (@ThoennegDuane) July 14, 2015
Tips: While there is tremendous blessing in the discipline of reading the whole Gospel in one sitting, you might do well to break the book up into three equal parts (1—7, 8—14, 15—21) for easier reading and studying. Take special note of the vast theological teaching: the eternality of the Lord Jesus Christ, regeneration, true worship, election, judgment, Resurrection, the Holy Spirit, etc. R.C. Sproul has said that in order to truly grasp biblical narrative, you must “find the drama.” So, endeavor to place yourself into the narrative and listen to the voice of Jesus as He lives, works, and teaches.
- Homer A. Kent, Light in the Darkness: Studies in the Gospel of John. BMH Books, 2005.
A general introduction to John, filled with keen insights from a seasoned Bible scholar.
- R.C. Sproul. John: St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary. Reformation Trust, 2009.
A helpful one-volume commentary from a solid Bible teacher.
- John MacArthur, John 1-11. Chicago: Moody, 1996.
John MacArthur, John 12-21. Chicago: Moody, 1996.
A verse-by-verse commentary that is helpful for any thinking student.
- D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990.
A popular go-to commentary; the standard for modern scholarship.
Note: Find the rest of the Best Book in the Bible series here: EntreatingFavor.com/BestBookSeries