Journey through the New Testament: John

John 1-5

Jesus is the Word of God, the Lamb of God and the Son of God (1:1,29,34).   ‘You are… You shall be…’ (1:42).  Jesus looks beyond what we are now.  He sees what we will become through the transforming power of His grace.  We must never forget the true purpose of God’s House – ‘My House shall be called a house of prayer’ (Matthew 21:13). We say, ‘I’ll turn over a new leaf’.  Christ says, ‘You must be born again’ (3:3,7).  Our way of thinking begins with ‘I’.  Christ’s way of salvation begins with ‘God’: ‘God so loved the world…’ (3:16).  Jesus brings the Samaritan woman into the joy of His salvation. This is not simply the story of one woman. It’s the story of ‘many Samaritans’ coming to faith in Christ (4:39). Through Christ, we receive ‘eternal life’ (5:24). Listen to ‘the voice of the Son of God’, believe and ‘live’ (5:25). ‘Search the Scriptures’ – and make sure you ‘come to Christ and receive life’ (5:39-40).

John 6-9

Jesus is more than a ‘prophet’. He is ‘the Bread of God… which comes down from heaven’ (6:14,33). He is not merely a human ‘king’. He is the divine King – ‘Lord of lords and King of kings’ (15; Revelation 17:14). Feed on Jesus Christ, ‘the Living Bread’ (6:51). Jesus’ words are ‘spirit and life’. They are ‘the words of eternal life’ (6:63,68). ‘Rivers of living water’: This wasn’t only for Jesus; it’s also for us (7:37-39). ‘As He spoke thus, many believed in Him’ (8:30): Responding to Jesus in faith, we are set ‘free’ (32,36; Romans 8:2; Galatians 5:1). ‘One thing I know… I was blind, now I see’ (9:25). We say, ‘Lord, I believe’, and our spiritual ‘eyes’ are opened (9:38; 2 Corinthians 4:6).

John 10-13

The devil ‘comes only to steal and kill and destroy’ (10:10). When Satan attacks us, we must remember this: Satan will be defeated (Revelation 12:9). The raising of Lazarus (11:43-44) points forward to Jesus’ own resurrection (Acts 2:24). ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die – Do you believe this?’ (11:25-26).  The crucifixion draws near. God is to be ‘glorified’ in the defeat of Satan and the salvation of sinners (12:28,31-32). Jesus had ‘come’ for this ‘hour’ (12:27). ‘For fear of the Pharisees’, many remained silent, ‘loving the praise of men more than the praise of God’ (12:42-43). Whatever the opposition, Jesus calls us to believe in Him and confess Him (Romans 10:9). The ‘hour’ of Jesus’ suffering draws near. It is the ‘hour’ of His love. We are ‘washed’ in His precious blood (13:8; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 7:14).

John 14-16

Jesus assures us that the best is yet to be. He is preparing a place in His ‘Father’s House’ for us. He will come again to take us to Himself (14:1-3). He is the Way to this place, the true and living way (14:6). We are called to a life of obedience – keeping His ‘commandments’, keeping His ‘Word’ (14:21,23). We cannot live this life in our own strength.  Christ must make His home in us (14:23). ‘In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’ (16:33). Here, we have realism and faith. The world is trying to squeeze us into its own mould (Romans 12:2). Sometimes, we feel like faith is slipping away. Sometimes, we feel like giving up. What are we to say to all this? ‘Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?’ – This is our faith’ (1 John 5:4-5).

John 17-21

Jesus prayed for His first disciples – ‘that they may be one’ (17:11). He prays the same prayer for us (17:20-23). Jesus is ‘drinking from the cup which the Father has given Him’ – He drinks from the cup of our condemnation that we might drink from the cup of His salvation (18:11; Matthew 26:38-39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Jesus did not only take the place of one sinner, Barabbas – ‘He took the place of many sinners’ – ‘The Lord made the punishment fall on Him, the punishment all of us deserved’ (Isaiah 53:12,6). ‘It is finished’ (19:30). These are not words of despair. They are words of triumph. This is not the end of the story. Something else had to happen – ‘Jesus had to rise from the dead’ (20:9). For our salvation, Jesus died ‘and was raised to life’ (Romans 4:25). Jesus asks each one of us: Do you love Me? (21:15).

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