- Religion and Philosophy
The One Special Apostle
The Apostle Jesus Loved
One Thing Matters -- Believing Jesus was Sent by God
While other Gospels begin slowly to show how Jesus' life evolved, John begins his gospel emphatically and fantastically proclaiming that Jesus really was the Word of God, made man. Quickly, John launches into descriptions of miracles performed by Jesus, and declares absolutely that Jesus was really the Son of God. John impatiently insists that all people who have known Jesus must believe He was sent by God in order to be saved.
In the description of Jesus stopping at the well of Jacob (also called Israel, who lived over a thousand years before Jesus) John tells how Jesus converts an entire town of Samaritans after telling a woman prophetically that she'd had five husbands, and that the one she had presently was not her own. The conversation between Jesus and this Samaritan woman was interesting in that Jesus told her, "Salvation is of the Jews," and "You worship what you do not know," and "We know what we worship." At this time in history, the Jews typically hated the Samaritans.
John relates how Jesus told doubters in no uncertain terms that He's the Son of God and those who believe in Him will have eternal life. The gospel depicts Jesus hammering home his point repeatedly, saying very clearly that He was sent by God the Father, and that all who believe this will live forever. Jesus, in a metaphor prompted by a discussion of the bread from heaven sent to Moses' followers, told people it was far more important for them to eat his flesh because the bread sent to Moses' followers didn't give eternal life, but Jesus' flesh and blood could. This confused some people and discouraged them from following Him.
Jesus completely offended most of the pharisees and high priests by stating that He'd come from God. He insulted and shocked these leaders of religion, telling them they didn't know God, and that Jesus had existed before Abraham.
Jesus very definitely told those who believed He was the Son of God that their faith had saved them. But he told those who rejected Him that they were sinners. Jesus made it clear that He was like a shepherd caring for the sheep who trusted him. John's gospel was straight to the point and very clear in the demands made by Jesus.
The leaders of the temple accused Jesus of blasphemy for claiming to be the Son of God and implying He was equal to God. After Jesus became famous for bringing Lazarus back to life, the high priests vowed to kill Him because He'd convinced so many people that He really was the Son of God.
Repeatedly, Jesus declared this Himself, telling everyone that He was the Son of God and all who believed in Him would have eternal life.
At the Last Supper, Jesus said goodbye to the apostles and even washed their feet as an example of humility. Jesus said accurately that one apostle would betray Him.
Jesus assured His apostles that because they'd seen Him, they'd also seen God, since God the Father was with Jesus. He prepared the apostles to expect persecution by those who hated Him. But he told his apostles that a Spirit would guide them, and that anything they ever asked in Jesus' name would be granted by God.
Jesus prayed for the apostles to have unity, and prayed generally for all those who believed in Him.
After His capture, Jesus was taken to Pilate, who wanted to release Him, but the people who hated Jesus prevailed. John's gospel does not dwell on the crucifixion, but does note that Jesus died after telling the disciple he loved (John himself) to care for Jesus' mother.
After Jesus arose from the dead, apostle Thomas doubted this fact until he saw Jesus and had to believe then that He really was alive. Jesus observed that the blessed believe without seeing.
Jesus' final appearance was for a breakfast of fish and bread with Peter and John on the beach.
As I read John's gospel, I felt there would be no arguing with John, if I had known him in real life. He was very excited and wanted to tell the whole world that Jesus really did come to us from God, that anything we ask in Jesus' name will be granted by God, and that all we have to do to get eternal life is to believe this is true. Do you?