By Tim Sullivan

Gospel of John

Matthew, Mark, and Luke are sometimes referred to as the Synoptic gospels because of their similarity in structure, content, and wording. The Gospel of John’s account stands apart from those three. As stated in Nelson's Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts (probably my favorite and most-used reference book), "Although the Synoptics are full of the raw material for Christological doctrine, John portrays a more intense conviction of the centrality of the Person of Christ. For John, the activity of Christ is not understandable apart from the fact that He is the Messiah, the Son of God, and God Himself (1:1-18)."

John’s gospel proves to all who have eyes to see that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. (Of course, nothing can be proven to those who are spiritually blind. As 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, "The things of the Spirit of God are foolishness unto him.")

John 20:31
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Jesus came to earth born of a dual nature, the Son of God and the Son of man. In his humanity, he was “in all points tempted like as we are.” But in his divinity, he was “yet without sin.” In that way, he is set apart from all of mankind.

Hebrews 4:15
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

The Gospel of Luke testifies of the conception and birth of the Son of Man. John goes all the way back to the beginning. The Gospel of John and Genesis are the only books in the Bible that start with the phrase, “In the beginning.” In fact, the opening of John uses this phrase twice.

Genesis 1:1  
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

John 1:1-2  
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.

The following passage from the book of Hebrews binds Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 together, and affirms both the deity of Christ and his role in the creation. The Son is referred to as "O God," and his Father is "God, even thy God."

Hebrews 1:8-9
8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 
9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

It is noteworthy that only John records Christ's magnificent statement, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). Truly the Son was born "after his kind."

John does more that simply state that Jesus is the Son of God. This is a book of proofs. These proofs come in groups of seven. In the Bible, the number seven is associated with divine perfection.

John records seven witnesses to the truth that Jesus is the Son of God:

1. The witness of the forerunner

John 5:32-33 (Spoken by Jesus)  
32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 
33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.

2. The witness of his works

John 5:36 (Spoken by Jesus)    
But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

3. The witness of the Father

John 5:37a
And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me …

4. The witness of the written Word

John 5:39   
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

5. The witness of the Son himself

John 8:14a
Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true …

6. The witness of the Holy Spirit

John 15:26
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

7. The witness of his disciples

John 15:27
And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

John records seven individuals who testify that Jesus is the Christ:

1. John the Baptist

John 1:32-34  
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

2. Nathaniel

John 1:47-49  
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! 
48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. 
49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

3. The woman at the well

John 4:28-29  
28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 
29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

4. The Samaritans

John 4:41-42   
41 And many more believed because of his own word; 
42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

5. Simon Peter

John 6:66-69
66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

6. Martha

John 11:25-27  
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 
27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

7. Thomas

John 20:27-28  
27 Then saith [Jesus] to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

John records seven wonders done by Jesus:

1. Jesus turns water to wine (2:1-11)
2. Jesus heals the nobleman’s son (4:46-54)
3. Jesus heals the lame man of Bethesda (5:1-16)
4. The miraculous feeding of the 5000 (6:1-14)
5. Jesus walks on water (6:19)
6. Jesus heals the man born blind (9:1-41)
7. He raises Lazarus from the dead (11:1-45)

Seven discourses disclose the sign behind those wonders:

1. That a man must be born again (3:1-21)
2. That Christ is the Living Water (4:3-27)
3. That Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (5:19-47)
4. That Christ is the Bread of Life (6:37-71)
5. That Christ offers living water (7:14-39)
6. That Christ is the Light of the World (8:12-59)
7. That the Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep (10:1-18)

Most important, John records the seven declarations of "I AM":

When God appeared to Moses, Moses asked his name:

Exodus 3:13-14  
13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 
14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.  

God the Father began the sentence, and God the Son finished it SEVEN ways:

1. I AM the bread of life (6:35)
2. I AM the light of the world (8:12)
3. I AM the door of the sheep (10:7)
4. I AM the good shepherd (10:11)
5. I AM the resurrection, and the life (11:25)
6. I AM the way, the truth, and the life (14:6)
7. I AM the true vine (15:1)

In Conclusion:

Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." Yes, Jesus came into the world exactly as foretold in Isaiah 7:14: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." The eternal Word was made flesh.

John 1:14  
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

This is Jesus, my Lord and my God. Of him and to him we sing these lyrics from the wonderful Christmas song, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing":

Born to raise the son of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"


Presented December 2, 2018 in French Settlement, Louisiana