The Gospel of Light and Love

John's Gospel MemeThe Gospel of Light and Love

“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 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.” John 20:30131

“The fourth Gospel does not aim at a complete biography of Christ, but distinctly declares that Jesus wrought ‘many other signs in the presence of the disciples which are not written in this book’ (John 20:30; comp. 21:25). The author plainly states his object, to which all other objects must be subordinate as merely incidental, namely, to lead his readers to the faith ‘that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing they may have life in his name’ (20:31).”

This includes three points:

First, “The Messiahship of Jesus, which was of prime importance to the Jews, and was the sole or at least the chief aim of Matthew, the Jewish Evangelist.”

Second, “The Sonship of Jesus, which was the point to be gained with the Gentiles.” Webster says, “son of pride, sons of light, son of Belial. These are Hebraisms, which denote that persons possess the qualities of pride, of light, or of Belial, as children inherit the qualities of their ancestors.” Sonship implies representation and characteristics. Jesus Christ represents God because He is the Son of God. The centurion, fully understanding the power of Caesar, knew the implications when he declared Jesus as the Son of God.

“Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.”

This soldier was confessing that Jesus is the great Emperor of the Universe – the representative of the one true and living God.

Third, the practical benefit of such faith – life. Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, is commissioned to replace death with life wherever death is found. The Lord Jesus reverses the harm brought into the human race through Adam. Jesus Christ is greater than Adam!

“The style of the fourth Gospel…is altogether unique in the history of secular and religious literature, a fit expression of the genius of John: clear and deep, simple as a child, and mature as a saint, sad and yet serene, and basking in the sunshine of eternal life and love. The fourth Gospel is pure Greek in vocabulary and grammar, but thoroughly Hebrew in temper and spirit, even more so than any other book, and can be almost literally translated into Hebrew without losing its force or beauty. It has the childlike simplicity, the artlessness, the imaginativeness, the directness, the circumstantiality, and the rhythmical parallelism which characterize the writings of the Old Testament. The sentences are short and weighty, coordinated, not subordinated. The construction is exceedingly simple: no involved periods, no connecting links, no logical argumentation, but a succession of self-evident truths declared as from immediate intuition. The parallelism of Hebrew poetry is very apparent in such double sentences as: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you;’ ‘A servant is not greater than his lord; neither one that is sent greater than he that sent him;’ ‘All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that hath been made.’  Examples of antithetic parallelism are also frequent: ‘The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not;’ ‘He was in the world, and the world knew him not;’ ‘He confessed, and denied not;’ ‘I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.’”

“We look in vain for such important words as church, gospel, repentance…He does not even use the noun ‘faith (pistis), which frequently occurs in the Synoptists and in Paul, but he uses the verb “to believe” (pisteuein) ninety-eight times, about twice as often as all three Synoptists together. He applies the significant term Logos to Christ as the Revealer and the Interpreter of God (1:18), but only in the Prologue, and such figurative designations as “the Light of the world,” “the Bread of life,” “the Good Shepherd,” “the Vine,” “the Way,” “the Truth,” and “the Life.”

“The best comes last. The fourth Gospel is the Gospel of Gospels, the holy of holies in the New Testament. The favorite disciple and bosom friend of Christ, the protector of his mother… was pre-eminently qualified by nature and grace to give to the church the inside view of that most wonderful person that ever walked on earth. In his early youth he had absorbed the deepest words of his Master, and treasured them in a faithful heart; in extreme old age, yet with the fire and vigor of manhood, he reproduced them under the influence of the Holy Spirit who dwelt in him and led him, as well as the other disciples, into ‘the whole truth.’”



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