The Gospel of John • Eusebius quotes his teacher and mentor, Clement of Alexandria. • He says that the Gospels containing the genealogies were written first and that the Gospel according to Mark was composed in the following circumstances: • Peter having preached the word publicly at Rome, and by the Spirit proclaimed the Gospel, those who were present, who were numerous, entreated Mark, in as much as he had attended him from an early period, and remembered what had been said, to write down what had been spoken.
The Gospel of John • On his composing the Gospel, he handed it to those who had made the request to him; which coming to Peter's knowledge, he neither hindered nor encouraged. But John, the last of all, seeing that what was corporeal was set forth in the Gospels, on the entreaty of his intimate friends, and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel.
A famous Catholic mystic claimed this house to be Mary’s in EphesusCharred coal dates to the time of John
The Gospel of John • The Apostle John moved to Ephesus with Mary, the Mother of the Lord. • This city eventually became his hub and where he returned from his exile on Patmos. • The Gospel of John was very likely written in Ephesus as the Apostle received support from the congregation.
Introduction • The Date: The Early Date. • In support of an early date of authorship prior to the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem is the fact that Jerusalem and its Pool of Bethesda are described in the present tense: Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. (John 5:2). • The problem with this is that the Pool of Bethesda can still be seen in Jerusalem today, nearly 2000 years after the fall of Jerusalem and this same statement could be accurately made today.
The Gospel of John • The Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. • John writes a tremendous amount of detail about Jerusalem and the Temple that someone would know first hand. • Why? • John is probably pointing out that the faith did not end with the destruction of earthly Zion. There is a heavenly and spiritual one – the prophecy in Ezekiel’s vision.
The Gospel of John • Jesus was the prophet who announced its desolation. • Prophets had announced its desolation some six hundred years earlier by the Babylonians. • Many may have asked who the prophet was that announced it present desolation.
Date: Around 75–92 A.D. • Needs to be after Temple destruction. • Needs to be while in established Ephesus congregation. • Needs to be after the first Three Gospels are widely known and distributed. • A defense against a newly conceived heresy: Gnosticism. • Needs to be before exile to Patmos and writing of Revelation (96 A.D.).
Seven Signs We are meant to see these signs through the eyes of the disciples. They are said to be growing in their belief as they see the signs and we (The Church) are meant to grow with them.
The Ultimate Message of John • John 20:30-31 “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” • We often misinterpret this line to mean, “That you may come to faith” • “ina pisteusate”, meaning “in order that you may definitely believe”, not “in order that you may come to believe”. • John is not thinking that his readers are just unbelievers; this Gospel is meant to affirm and shore up what believers have already read in the other three Gospels. • His message is meant to shore YOU and ME up in OUR Faith today!! • This is why in our Liturgy today, The Church sings, “These things are written…”
Does John address early Gnositicism? • GNOSTICISM. • Material is bad. • Enlightened knowledge saves. • GOSPEL • Divine knowledge without indebtedness or dependence upon the Messiah / Christ is useless.
Things to Look For… • John shows Jesus saying He is GOD • John quotes Jesus’ teaching with the words, “I SAY”. This is huge because if a Rabbi wanted to prove his teaching, he would usually say, “Rabbi so-and-so says from Rabbi-so-and-so”…Jesus quotes HIMSELF as the authority! • Jesus clarifies and even OVERRULES OT Law – only God can do that! • Jesus presents Himself as the “self-revelation” of God (He who has seen me HAS SEEN THE FATHER) • Jesus says “I AM” – a direct reference to Daniel 7 and Psalm 110 – the Son of Man and a play on Yahweh • John parallels Jesus with fulfilling the Biblical Feasts • Jesus’ healings juxtaposed to the OT plagues of the Exodus (Water to Blood / Water to Wine; Death of First Born / Raising of First Born, Lazarus) • John omits the Last Supper, where the other three include it. This tells us that John had nothing more to add – the Gospels stood on their own.
Chapter One Recap • John’s introduction is unique. He does not begin with the ministry of Jesus or with His birth or even with His genealogy. He takes us instead all the way back to the creation. • These first 18 verses of Chapter One form a prologue. This prologue is possibly the most important part of John’s book, for it reveals John’s purpose in writing the Gospel. • Attacks Gnosticism head on. We’d heard the birth narratives – now John hones in on the ‘big picture’ – what does it all mean that God came to earth? What are the implications?
Chapter One Recap • The Gnostic Gospels were all written much later than the Four Gospels and can be easily disproven. They attempt to show Jesus as an esoteric philosopher. • This stuff is really popular today, because our world wants us to ‘discover who we REALLY are’ (i.e. Oprah), and the Gnostic Jesus talks that way. • But Jesus didn’t come to earth to help me ‘discover who I really am’. He came to TELL me who He knew I ALREADY was – and came to do something about it!! • That’s what John is getting at in his Gospel.
Chapter One Recap • Here’s what the Prologue looks like: • John 1:1-5 - The Word in Eternity and among Men • John 1:6-13 - The Word in History and among the Jews • John 1:14-18 - The Word in History and among Believers • Out of creation, man is chosen. Out of mankind, the Jews are chosen. Out of the Jews, believers are chosen.
Gnostic warning??? • NIV 1 John 4:3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. • Acnowledge = OMOLOGEO • Indebted acknowledgement. • Head knowledge alone doesn’t save.
Apostolic Rule on Bearing the Name of Christ in Vain • NIV 1 Corinthians 5:10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
John, chapter 1 • NIV John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
John, chapter 1 • NIV Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
John, chapter 1 • The Word reveals God mighty working for us. • Jesus is the Word. • Jesus reveals God’s mighty working for us to give us true life.
John, chapter 1 • The Word. • The greater spiritual reality of God’s revelation is Jesus. • Christ created all things material (against Gnosticism).
John, chapter 1 • Life. • All life came and comes from Christ. • We are living but not living. • In Christ is true living. • NIV Genesis 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
John, chapter 1 • 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
John, chapter 1 • Light. • NIV Genesis 1:3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. • Christ is light. He allows us to PERCEIVE and ACKNOWLEGE the true Lord.
John, chapter 1 • 6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
John, chapter 1 • John’s ministry was to prepare people to be able to PERCEIVE and ACKNOWLEDGE the Lord in their own personal lives.
John, chapter 1 • 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
John, chapter 1 • 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
John, chapter 1 • The WORD. • Present reality – faithful preaching. • Greater reality – Jesus. • In fact, both realities are one and the same.
John, chapter 1 • The LORD • Earthly reality – Humble Galilean. • Spiritual reality – The GREAT “I AM”
John, chapter 1 • 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
John, chapter 1 • NIV Isaiah 53:2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
John, chapter 1 • 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
John, chapter 1 • Children. A heartfelt relationship both ways. Not just “knowing of” God but “familiar” with as one’s Father.
John, chapter 1 • Against Gnosticism. • One’s own enlightenment does not save (syncretism). • Revelation is the work of God alone. • A heartfelt relationship exists.
John, chapter 1 • 14 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 is packed with detail • Flesh – Not just a body (soma), but fallen flesh (sarks). Again, this is against Gnosticism. • Dwelt – Tabernacled (skae-as-en). A temporary dwelling looking forward to a more permanent one. • The Mono-ge(n)-nous. This is a unique word devised solely for this Gospel. “The only one coming forth from the substance of the Father.”
John, chapter 1 • Grace. A special revelation of God’s love. • Truth. Honest with pure motives. • Jesus inspires us with joy for the Lord’s presence and will. • Again, we see an attack against Gnosticism.
John, chapter 1 • NIV 2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
John, chapter 1 • 15 John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'"
John, chapter 1 • The present reality of Jesus is humble. • The eternal reality of Jesus is the He is the Lord.
John, chapter 1 • 16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.
John, chapter 1 • The LAW reveals sin and would lead us to dread it. • The GOSPEL reveals the work of restoration and delight to be in the Lord’s presence again.
John, chapter 1 • NIV John 1:19 Now this was John's testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, "I am not the Christ."
John, chapter 1 • The Christ = The Anointed One • John is not the fulfillment to all the prophecies of the divine Messiah who would save His people. • The Jerusalem Jews may not have considered John to be the Christ, but may have been trying to ascertain who John thought he was.
John, chapter 1 • 21 They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" He answered, "No."
John, chapter 1 • ELIJAH? • NIV Matthew 11:14 [Jesus said] And if you are willing to accept it, [John] is the Elijah who was to come.
John, chapter 1 • NIV Malachi 4:5 "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.“
John, chapter 1 • The last verses of the Old Covenant speak of return to the zealous faith of the renown patriarchs of old. • We are not talking about the physical return of Elijah but the nature of his ministry.
The Spirit of Elijah • NIV 2 Kings 2:9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?" "Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit," Elisha replied. • NIV 2 Kings 2:15 The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, "The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha." And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.