Recently I taught my adult Sunday school class and did an overview of the book of John. In this post, I’ll simply share some key points.
John has a clear purpose statement as revealed in John 20:30-31.
“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
- Christianity, at its core, is a…
book: “these are written” – the Bible
person: Jesus Christ – “the Messiah, the Son of God”
experience: “life in his name” – spiritual life, eternal life, a way to live
Believe is used 98 times in John, and it is never a noun but always a verb. It is not presented as a concept (belief) but as an action (believe).
The book of John is not so much a biography as an “argument.” John handpicked content to demonstrate that Jesus is unlike any man who has ever lived; he is the unique Son of God.
Although Matthew, Mark and Luke record miracles, John goes a step further and calls them “signs.” A sign points to something. Jesus refused to perform miracles to simply dazzle the crowds, but used them instead as object lessons to teach about himself. Nothing “just happens” in John; everything underscores the theme of John 20:30-31.
A series of “7s” in John point to the deity of Jesus.
Seven witnesses make a statement about Jesus:
“This is God’s Chosen One.” John the Baptist, John 1:34
“You are the Son of God.” Nathanael, John 1:49
“You are the Holy One of God.” Peter, John 6:69
“I am God’s Son.” Jesus, John 10:36
“You are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Martha, John 11:27
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas, John 20:28
“Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.” John, John 20:31
Seven signs point to his divine nature:
Turning water into wine, John 2:1-11
Healing the royal official’s son, John 4:46-54
Healing the man at Bethesda, John 5:1-47
Feeding the 5,000, John 6:1-14
Walking on Water, John 6:15-21
Healing the blind man, John 9:1-41
Raising of Lazarus, John 11:1-57
Seven “I am” sayings…are descriptions Jesus gave of Himself to help us better understand his divine nature.
I AM the bread of life, John 6:35
I AM the light of the world, John 8:12
I AM the door/gate of the sheep, John 10:7
I AM the good shepherd, John 10:11
I AM the resurrection and the life, John 11:25
I AM the way, the truth, and the life, John 14:6
I AM the true vine, John 15:1
**I used several sources when I prepared for my Sunday school lesson: BE 105, The Gospels (personal notes from a class with Dallas Theological Seminary), Jensen’s Survey of the NT, Survey of the Bible (Henrietta Mears), Notes from the Zondervan Student Bible (1994), and a couple others.