SLG: The Gospel of John

Publish Date

This modules runs from April to June of 2021 and will be led by Rev. Paul Chan.

INTRODUCTION

The Gospel of John was one of the last books of the Bible written and it begs the question:

“Why would the Holy Spirit inspire the Apostle John to write yet another book of the Gospel when three rather complete books of the Gospel (the Synoptic Gospels) had been in circulation for some 30-40 years already?”

Many have attempted to answer this question, including Clement of Alexander (150-215 AD.) who said that the Apostle John wrote it at the urge of his disciples to compose a “spiritual gospel”. While we shall attempt to find out what that means, it is more profitable to consider the purpose plainly stated by John in 20:31:

“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.”

And if we carefully study this book of the gospel, we shall discover indeed how John seeks to accomplish this purpose which includes

  • The accounts of seven miracles performed by Jesus, which John purposely termed, “signs” that prove that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God
  • Many of these signs so performed, together testimonies given (or even argued) by Jesus as to Who He is have various Jewish festivals at t their settings, the understanding of which would serve to convey how powerful Jesus testimonies are—and on that note, John’s gospel differs from the Synoptic gospels in that it gives far more details of Jesus’ ministries in Jerusalem and how open He is with his identity as the Messiah and the Son of God;
  • Jesus’ emphasis on the giving of Eternal Life whish he at least mentions 14 times in John’s gospel, many times more than the Synoptic Gospels and that perhaps, explains why it is called a “spiritual gospel” (as opposed to a non-spiritual gospel); and
  • In Jesus’ open declaration of Who He is, John records Jesus’ self-declaration using the “I AM” formula many times to identify Himself as “YHWH”;

Since John writes as the only surviving apostolic witness some 60 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus to a generation who had not heard and seen Jesus themselves, we cannot miss his repeated emphasis throughout the gospel that his testimony was given based on what he saw, and his “testimony is the truth, and he testifies so that you many believe.” (19:35) Since we belong to those who have not heard and seen Jesus personally, it is indeed a book of the gospel written for us.

COURSE MATERIAL

COURSE NOTES: Notes will be released weekly as they are provided by the instructor.

Course Outline for The Gospel of John (PDF)

DEVOTIONAL GUIDE – Participants are recommended to make use of the weekly devotional guide concurrently with the module as they study the Gospel of John together. Weekly devotional guides will be made available each week below :

Week 1 Devotional Guide

Week 2 Devotional Guide