Introduction to the Gospel of John

One of my joys during the COVID-19 lockdown was to read and meditate on the Gospel of John, which led to this email series.  God’s Word and its author, the Holy Spirit, can do that!  Now that I have launched The Light of Life, I am excited about you potentially experiencing that same joy.

The Gospel of John is largely a narrative of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.  It is replete with words of wisdom, words of life, supernatural miracles and accounts of new believers.  But, it is also filled with conflicts with the religious establishment and even the disciples’ fledgling missteps.  The Gospel concludes with Jesus’ trial, crucifixion, resurrection and his post-resurrection appearances.

In addition to what you might expect, here are some of the questions we will answer as we explore the Gospel of John.

Chapters 1-4

  • What is essential in understanding the Trinity?
  • What do the Bible and Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity have in common?
  • How is it that Jesus “was the true light which . . . enlightens every man”?
  • What is so significant about the two cherubs on top of the Ark of the Covenant?
  • What are God’s perfections and of what does God’s glory consist?
  • What was significant about the calendar day Jesus was crucified?
  • What does it mean to be “born of water and the Spirit”?
  • How was Jesus’ meeting with the woman at the well a divine appointment?
  • What does it mean to worship God “in spirit and truth”?
  • Why did the men of Sychar, Samaria declare that Jesus is the Savior of the world?
  • What is the difference between hope and saving faith?

Chapters 5-8

  • What’s wrong with this picture: the lame man waited beside the Pool of Bethesda?
  • How do you square the good and evil being resurrected to life or judgment with salvation by faith alone?
  • Is there reliable testimony/evidence that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God?
  • How did the crowd that followed Jesus respond to his tough love?
  • What did Jesus say that caused many of his close followers to reject him?
  • Why did Jesus’ unbelieving brothers encourage him to be more public in his ministry?
  • Is it true that Christians should not judge?
  • Of Nicodemus, the Sanhedrin, the officers and the crowd, who were the skeptics, and who were the cynics?
  • The Pharisees thought judging others was their strong suit. Was it a losing hand?
  • How is the statement, “The truth shall set you free,” countercultural?
  • Why do people exposed to the same set of facts end up with different opinions?
  • What was the “verbal slugfest of cosmic proportions” like? Who won?

Chapters 9-21

  • Who sinned, the blind man or his parents?
  • What was the ultimate cancel culture act in New Testament (NT) times?
  • What was the covenant the Trinity agreed to before the beginning of time?
  • Why did Jesus delay going to his dear friend Lazarus whom he knew was deathly ill?
  • What did the evil High Priest Caiaphas prophesy that was of God?
  • What three aphorisms did Jesus pronounce in preparation for his death?
  • Why was Jesus represented in the Old Testament (OT) as a snake?
  • What is the basis of one of Jesus’ most enduring examples of leadership?
  • What did the thorns in the crown Jesus wore to the cross represent?
  • Why did Pilate write “Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews” on the cross?

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

Technical Notes: Unless, otherwise indicated, all biblical quotes are from the English Standard Bible (ESV). Biblical quotes that are not from the passage of the day have citations, e.g., (Psalm 23:1). Within quotes, words in [brackets] are used to help clarify the meaning of a verse relative to the context.