I think of the Gospel of John as an overview of the New Testament. The aged apostle wrote his gospel many years after all of the other books of the NT were written. The only older writings are 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John, also written by this author. John was certainly familiar with all of the other previous writings. He had decades to read, think about, and teach what he had learned from other NT authors.
The Gospel of John is akin to a “closing statement” like an attorney would make after presenting his case with all the nuances and details of evidence. It is a summary statement hitting every important mark on the person and work of Jesus Christ the Son of God. Some writers have called John the “spiritual gospel” and it is. I call it the “Gospel of Grace” and along the way I think you too will see this important book as spiritual and filled with grace.
This book is focused on Jesus Christ. “What He said, what He did, and who He was is the final and decisive statement from God to the human race.” (John Piper) This statement mirrors Hebrews 1:1-2
1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
John opens his book with one thing in mind, to confirm the deity of Jesus. The first verse of chapter one begins with “In the beginning”. Most believers will recognize those three words right away. Genesis 1 begins with the same words. The Greek translation of those Hebrew words in Gen 1 and the words John penned in Greek are precisely the same exact words.
Before “In the beginning” there was no time, no earth, no stars in the heavens, nothing…but God and His glory. John makes the case that before time and before creation Jesus was there.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.
“Word” in verse one is the English translation of the Greek word “logos”. It is the root word from which we get our word “logo”. A company has a company “logo’ and that symbol embodies the idea of who the are and what they offer.
Another way to think about “word” in this passage is our common use of words. For example, when you see this arrangement of letters, a p p l e, you immediately think of the fruit. When you see the letters c a r, you at once know exactly what is being spoken of and have some image in your mind. A word embodies an idea. Well, Jesus is the “Word” of God in the same way.
He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. Heb 1:3
Want to see what God looks like, what He is like, what he does? Look at Jesus. Over and over Jesus made the case, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father”. (John 14:9)
Read this book through carefully, paying attention to every word recorded and you will learn about God, because this gospel book is about the Word who is God.
May you be blessed as you read the Word.