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Introduction: Emily and I attended her great uncle Paul Hemphill’s funeral this week. We found out that on June 1st, he and his wife Betty celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary in June. Now, we might imagine that spending 71 years with the same person might bring some familiarity. When a couple are married that long they grow to know each other so much that they can hardly breathe without knowing something of what the other person is thinking. I've heard it said that after being with one another in this beautiful God created way for such a long time, even facial features begin to look alike because the couple share the same facial expressions and form a similarity appearance. Emily, for your benefit I hope that I learn to take on your expressions and not the other way around!
At any rate, isn’t it interesting that after we have spent a lot of time with a person, or been in an area for a long time, or lived in the same home for awhile, we become very accustomed to these things. So much so, that often we miss some essential aspects of the person or don't even notice the paint has faded because we have grown too familiar.
In the same way, often we have heard so much about Jesus that we miss the essential elements of who He is. Too often we become obese with information about Christ because we are familiar with Him. Church, we do not desire to be a body of Christ that has grown so acquainted with our Savior that we rarely are given to wonder in amazement at His beauty. We should be careful to remain fresh in our praise and adoration and knowledge of our King so that we would obey Him and serve Him from a heart of love. And so…
Transition: Today, we begin a new teaching series studying through the gospel of John, which is going to reintroduce us to the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Follow with me as we read 1:1-5)
Transition: Prayer, I have three observations to focus on today as we embarque upon a brief bird’s eye view of the entire book. The human author, The purpose, and the major theme...


The beloved Disciple: 21:20-25, 13:21-25, 20:1-5
Significance: This evidence verifies John, the son of Zebedee, brother to James, a son of thunder, the eyewitness of the ministry, life, death, burial, and Resurrection of Christ, the apostle of the church who was with Christ from the beginning as the author of this gospel. In other words, the human author of this book validates the information and instruction of the book. This is not an arbitrary collection of first century writings that a group of so called religious gurus decided to slap together a an authoritative document. No, the book of John, along with the other 65 books of the old and new testaments, is the very words of God breathed out through God’s man. We must be reminded that one of the criteria for New Testament Scripture is that the human author must be an apostle or person under the care of an apostle. The result being, what we have in the gospel of John is a primary source document from the first century, translated into English, that authoritatively reveals to us the theological interpretation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Why is this important? It’s good for us to understand that the cultural context we live in today was very much like the time when John was writing this book. Most likely, John was writing this somewhere between 80-90 AD. The way He emphasizes Jesus as the fulfillment of the Temple incline us to think that the Jersualem place of Worship for the Jews, the Temple, was probably already destroyed by the time John wrote this book. We know that the destruction of the Temple occured in 70 AD. The aftermath of that persecution upon the Jews also pervade this new sect that were called Christians. The Christian church was growing, but under great distress. They were being scattered across the world as the sought refuge from governmental oppression. Not only that, but there were false teaching siring up false theology among the churches. Even Ephesus, the church where John the apostle served before he was exiled to the Island of Patmos for the remained of his days, was not exempt from the slow fade of misplaced love. And so we too are realizing something of persecution, false teaching, and fading love and distorted devotion. The gospel was written to correct and encourage those living in such a context. We will do well to have our hearts and minds stirred by the same truth.
Transition: Which takes us to our next point.. The purpose of the book. What is Johns thesis? What is God trying to accomplish by having John write this book?


Purpose: 20:30-31 : Evangelism for those not yet believers, and Edification for those who are. John is writing in order to break down the barriers of faith for those who will believe, and uplift and encourage of those who already belong to Christ.
Illustration: When we were in Kenya this past May, the missionary hospital, the theology school, and the missionary housing complex which consisted of probably 15-20 homes were all supplied by a water source that flowed from a spring in the mountain forests. While we were there, the water supply suddenly stopped one day, and so our lives, which depend on water to survive, was momentarily hindered. So, “Felix’ the guy who was the maintenance foreman, had to go off into the forest to discover what was hindering the flow of water. He found the place in the pipe that was broken, repaired it, and then the water started flowing again.
In a similar way, Often, the sin in our heart causes break downs, or log jams, that plug up our faith. John is writing this book in order to repair those broken pipes, to remove the sin of doubt and offer a clear reality of Jesus Christ so that those who believe in Him would have life in His name.
Example of how he does this… He describes many people who oppose and doubt Jesus as the authentic Messiah. Some like the Jewish religious leaders oppose Jesus and continue to oppose him to the point of demanding his death. However, even among them, some like Nicodemus, came seeking Jesus in the night and end up believing in him. A Samaritan woman drawing water is very skeptical, but ends up becoming an evangelist for Christ. Water is turned into wine. Blind men are made able to see. Dead men are made able to live. Not to mention that even His own disciples betray, deny, and doubt Him. Judas, dies in his betrayal, Peter and Thomas are restored. All of these historic realities that are written by John reveal the nature and purpose of Jesus Christ the Son of God, and will either prove us as those who receive or reject Jesus. there will be no passive response to Jesus!
Briefly, the structure of the gospel of John reveals this unveiling of this purpose. In the coming weeks we will notice the division of Chapters 1-11 presenting Jesus ministry proving Him to be the Messiah through signs and teachings. After the introduction there is a focus of Jesus’ four days of ministry in and around Cana. (See map) Then, Jesus is framed within the context of Jewish feasts and the miraculous signs He accomplishes over the next three years covered in chapters 2-12. (See Map) chapters 12-21 proving how Jesus fulfilled His role as Messiah by focusing on His final week on earth. Chapters 1-11: The Son of God who came. Chapters 12-21: “The Son of God who returns.”
Transition: Which takes us to our third and final observation concerning the theme of John.


Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Faith in Him is the only way to have eternal life. Uniqueness of John’s gospel to Matthew, Mark, and Luke. He is intentionally specific and unapologetic theological. He submits a historical, logical, Biblical interpretation for who Jesus is, why you should believe, and the results of belonging to Him.
Throughout the gospel Jesus is the key focus. Specifically, as the Son of God, He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises of Messiah. As the Messiah, He is the hope of all who will trust in Him for eternal life.
John is presenting Jesus as both an actual historical figure, and the interpreting what that means for either receiving or rejecting Him.
Example: Historical narrative and Theological treaty. The reason this is so important for us to observe is because John is revealing a Biblical worldview informing a substantial faith. Example: “In the beginning”, connecting to Genesis 1:1. To reject Jesus is to reject the creator of this world and your very existence. To receive Him is to receive the God who spoke all things into existence and became flesh and dwelled among us.
Connected to the Old testament of how Jesus explained and interprets Scripture. Example: The outline of feasts that John presents Jesus following in chapters 5-12. This requires us to make a connection to the Jewish calendar of feast celebrations in order to understand what is being revealed about Jesus. For example: The feast of passover is mentioned three times in John. (read.. 2:13, 6:4, and 11:55)
As we read through the gospel you will notice the repetition of key phrases and words like; Faith and unbelief, Rejection and reception, light and darkness, life and death. These all emphasize the main point of the entire gospel, One verse that encapsulates this theme is 3:16. (Read) A theme verse to be memorized.
Transition: So we close with a question...

Who is Jesus?

A goal for this study: And if we believe He is the Christ Son of God then we aught to be enjoying the life provided in His name. Specifically, that we who belong to Christ Jesus would live a life that would be provoked to worship and praise to Jesus the Christ the Son of the living God. Intentionally, John doesn’t present everything that Jesus said or did. However, enough to ignite faith and celebration and wonder at our awesome Savior. Let’s stand amazed at Jesus the Nazarene.
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