The Word Is Alive

The Gospel of John

The forth Gospel, like the other three, is anonymous, giving only the fact that the author was the disciple whom Jesus loved. However, it was accepted by the early church fathers that it was the youngest apostle John Zebedee, a Galilæan fisherman who wrote the book. It is also accepted that he wrote it much later than the other three Gospels, certainly after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in AD70 and most likely sometime between AD90-100.

At that time John was an elder in the church in Ephesus, the leading city in the Roman province of Asia, where he had travelled with Jesus’ mother Mary probably around the start of the Jewish-Roman war of AD67-70. A short time after writing this Gospel, John was exiled by the Romans to the Island of Patmos, where he would receive the Revelation of Christ; the last book in the NT canon.

What is most striking about the Gospel of John is not so much what he includes but also what he omits in relation to the synoptic Gospels. He makes no mention of the birth narrative; there is a brief reference to his baptism, nothing on his temptation by Satan or accounts of him driving out evil spirits. In addition, he omits the transfiguration of Jesus and his ascension.

John does include a number of miracle stories, many of them new and mostly focusing on healing and raising the dead, but all the time the focus is on the person of Jesus, clearing illuminating him as the Son of God. This self-revelation was the major cause of conflict between Jesus and the Jewish authorities in particular. It also caused division among the ordinary people who were polarised by what they saw in this man with extraordinary powers. Was he the Messiah or not?

His telling of the Last Supper is the most detailed account available, yet he does not focus much on the supper itself or the agonising prayer in Gethsemane that marks the other accounts. His focus is on great teaching that occurred during the evening and early morning, including the most detailed prayer that Jesus prayed for himself and for his disciples.

From start to finish, this Gospel account is compelling and can leave even the most sceptical reader knowing that this was the most significant moment in the history of mankind. It is pivotal, calling the reader to make the choice either to accept Jesus as God incarnate, or to reject him. The latter option leaves the reader with nowhere else to go!

Regional Map

Book Youtube Date
Introduction Watch 11 Jul 14
Chapter One Watch 19 Jul 14
Chapter Two Watch 22 Jul 14
Chapter Three Watch 25 Jul 14
Chapter Four Watch 27 Jul 14
Chapter Five Watch 30 Jul 14
Chapter Six Watch 06 Aug 14
Chapter Seven Watch 08 Aug 14
Chapter Eight Watch 12 Aug 14
Chapter Nine Watch 13 Aug 14
Chapter Ten Watch 17 Aug 14
Chapter Eleven Watch 22 Aug 14
Chapter Twelve Watch 25 Aug 14
Chapter Thirteen Watch 26 Aug 14
Chapter Fourteen Watch 29 Aug 14
Chapter Fifteen Watch 02 Sep 14
Chapter Sixteen Watch 06 Sep 14
Chapter Seventeen Watch 08 Sep 14
Chapter Eighteen Watch 16 Sep 14
Chapter Nineteen Watch 19 Sep 14
Chapter Twenty Watch 22 Sep 14
Chapter Twenty One Watch 30 Sep 14
Summary Watch 19 Sep 14

There is some supplementary material for this Gospel and a mind map of its structure that may prove useful for study.