Today we begin a new sermon series – The Gospel According To St. John.
During the week of Christmas & New Years, we will break from our series to consider the Christmas accounts from The Gospel According To St. Luke, and then we will return to John’s Gospel.
God the Holy Spirit has chosen to record the life of our Savior in four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each of these accounts pursues a different angle. Even the casual reader sees something unique about John.
The style of language is different. John uses very simple words – words such as light and darkness, life and death, truth and lie. These are words we learned as little children, but as we grow older we discover that these waters run deeper than we ever imagined. John’s Gospel is profoundly simple, and yet simply profound.
The first three Gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke – are sometimes called the “synoptic” Gospels, that is, “viewed together.” They record many of the same events in Christ’s life, although aiming at different audiences.
John’s Gospel has come to be called the “autoptic” Gospel, that is, “viewed by itself.” As the youngest and last surviving of the 12 apostles, John wrote his Gospel much later than the first three. By this time, the other three Gospels were already widely known.
So John does not need to tell us about the birth of Christ, or the Sermon on the Mount, or the parables, or the institution of the Lord’s Supper.
But John does tell us about things not included in any of the other three Gospels, such as:
- Jesus changing water into wine at the wedding in Cana
- The midnight conversation with Nicodemus
- The woman at Jacob’s well
- The healing of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda
- The Bread of Life sermon
- The healing of the man born blind
- The Good Shepherd sermon
- The raising of Lazarus
- The “discourses” in the upper room (Chapters 13-17)
The aim of John’s Gospel is clear – to show that Jesus Christ is true God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit from all eternity – and yet fully, perfect Man – our Brother in the flesh.
The ancient church often used the eagle as a symbol for St. John who soars as on eagle’s wings to the very Godhead of Christ. We invite you to be blessed by reading ahead at home and following along with us each week!