The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
What has been the most exciting event in your life?
Here is the incredible news of the most exciting event in the universe: the infinite God, the eternal and unchangeable Holy Lord Creator came down to earth be one of us, to pay the debts of sin for finite man, and give him/her undeserved eternal life! This is "The Event" that shook and shattered the world and brought true healing, reconciliation, and redemption to all who receive it.
This is an incredible Gospel, the very words of God portraying the love, power, and compassion of Christ given to those who are faithful. We have His vivid voice, life, and lessons as our prime template on what and who to believe, how to live, and what our priorities in life and ministry should be. In the midst of God's power, purpose, and love is His call for us to first learn who He is and what He has to say, and then to trust and obey Him.
Jesus is God, who comes and cares and is our Forerunner and Lord. He has set up directives for us to live by that are meant to help us facilitate a good, contagious life as we are guided, molded, and shaped by Him for Him. He enables us to grow, be spiritually mature, and create community and fruitful living. But, before we can be illuminated more in faith, we have to escape the roadblocks that hold us back, like hurts and fears, our sins and frustrations, and barriers made from our doubts, worries, and erroneous ideas. Christ gives us real faith with which we can know, grow, serve, glorify God, and grow in faith. The Gospel of John shows us what our Lord has done and what we can do to move through the barriers of life to achieve a life of purpose, glory to God, and contentment for eternity.
But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. John 10:38
The Gospel of John is divided into four main parts; first the prologue, then the Gospel message and ministry of Jesus, then Jesus' personal ministry to His disciples, and finally, the Passion. The first half of John takes place over three years; the last half, one week.
John 1:1-18, The Prologue. The Eternal Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is fully God who took on human form to become also fully man.
A. The Creator, "logos," God of Eternity. The summary of the significance of Jesus Christ and His purpose (1:1-18)
a. The Forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist (1:6-8)
b. The Light of the World (1:9-13)
c. The Incarnation (1:14-18)
John 1:19-12:50, The Gospel. The message and ministry of Jesus to the world, the calling of the Disciples, miracles and teachings that demonstrate He indeed is God and the long awaited Messiah.
A. The Beginnings of Jesus' Ministry as the Son of God to the World (1:19-51)
a. The Forerunner, John the Baptist (1:19-34)
b. The introduction of Jesus to Disciples (1:35-51)
c. First Miracle: changing water to wine (2:1-11)
B. The Manifestation and Ministry, Signs and Conversations as Jesus Encounters People's Faith Barriers (Chaps. 2-11)
a. Cleansing the Temple (2:12-25)
b. The Encounter with Nicodemus (3:1-21)
c. The Parallel Ministry of John the Baptist (3:22-4:3)
d. The Woman at the Well (4:4-42)
e. Jesus Heals the Official's Son (4:43-54)
f. Jesus at the Annual Feast in Jerusalem (chap. 5)
g. The Feeding of the 5,000 (chap. 6)
h. Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles (chaps. 7-8)
i. Jesus Heals the Blind Man (chap. 9)
j. The Parable of the Good Shepherd (10:1-21)
k. Jesus Debates the Hostile Pharisees and Ministers (10:22-42)
l. Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead (chap. 11)
m. Jesus is Anointed (12:1-11)
n. The Triumphal Entry (12:12-19)
o. The Greek's Quest to Know Jesus (12:20-36)
p. Jesus Encounters Unbelief (12:37-50)
John 13:1 - 17:26: Jesus' Personal Ministry and Prime Instructions to his Disciples as He Prepares Them for His Death, the Coming Struggles, and Their Ministry to Come
A. Farewell Discourses (chaps. 13-17)
a. Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead (chap. 11)
b. The Prelude to Passion Week (chaps. 12-19)
B. The Last Supper and Betrayal (chaps. 13-14)
a. A Lesson of Servant Leadership (chap. 13)
C. Jesus' Final Discourses and Gethsemane (chps. 15-16)
a. Jesus Gives us Love (chap. 14)
b. Jesus is the Vine in Whom We Abide (chap. 15)
c. The Prayer of Intercession (chap. 17)
John 18:1 - 21:25, the Passion of the Trial, Execution, and Resurrection of Jesus to Redeem Us and the Final Instructions and Call for the Disciples
A. The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus (18:1-12)
a. The Trials of Jesus (18:13-19:15)
b. Jesus' Crucifixion and Burial (19:16-42)
c. The Resurrection (20:1-29)
d. The Gospel of John's Purpose Statement (20:30-31)
B. Epilogue (chap. 21)
a. Jesus' Post Resurrection Appearances (21:1-14)
b. Jesus Reinstates Peter (21:15-23)
c. The "Colophon," John's last thoughts (21:24-25)
Who is God? and what is He like? are resounding questions for humanity down through the ages. Philosophers and theologians have pondered this since we were created. And, we can know these things for sure-who He is, what He is like, and how He expresses Himself to us. We know Him by His love and others know Him by our love; God's love is defining, because it is who He is. It is a central character and attribute of His that made and saves us. His Love confirms our authenticity as His followers, because it is an attribute He calls us to emulate. Jesus never fails!
Taking to heart the precepts of the Gospel of John will give us an understating of who and what our Lord is and in turn give us the Christ-centered life empowering confidence for daily life and ministry. So, I can be loved and give love; I can be kind and help build His Kingdom and not seek to tear it down by pettiness and hurts. This is the model we are to use to show God's love to the world! The character of love indeed counts, and it is the loudest broadcaster of what we are! So, what is your character proclaiming about you?
As Jesus came to show, our greatest purpose is to build relationships both with Him and with others. When we ignore this, we fail in the most important aspect in life, including our relationships in Him! He came to show and tell that real, impacting, effectual faith will have results. It will be lived out! Faith is received alone, but it does not just stand alone; it is to be shown. Faith will be backed up by the proof that it is present in a person. If there is no proof, there is a good chance that the vessel is empty of faith.
Have you surrendered to the authority and command of Jesus as He called you to be His disciple by how He lived and what He taught (Gal. 2:20-21)? If so, how are you living? If not, what is in the way?
For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Do not be the one who chooses to harden your heart! Embrace His Word with passion, so you take His truth, understand its clarity, and believe with conviction, so it endures; by this, you can also make it known to others in the same way.
Dr. Richard Joseph Krejcir is the Director of Into Thy Word Ministries, a missions and discipling ministry. He is also the theologian in residence at the Francis Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development.
© 2010 Richard J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.intothyword.org/