Gospel of John

Lesson 1: Introduction to John

Lesson 1: Introduction to John

As soon as you start reading John’s Gospel, you know you are into something very different. Mark starts with a carpenter having a religious experience and leaving his business and family; Matthew with foreign scholars worshiping an infant the Jewish king is trying to kill; Luke with shepherds of the third shift visiting a son […]

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Lesson 2: Who is God? (John 1: 1-5, 10-13)

Lesson 2: Who is God? (John 1: 1-5, 10-13)

What is John up to? Seems to me he is tackling perhaps the most difficult problem of Christianity: how to explain what it means to proclaim a human being is God. There is no way you can convey how he does this inside the limitations of an electronic blog, so what I’ll offer is theological […]

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Lesson 3: Jesus is the Word Made Flesh (John 1)

Lesson 3: Jesus is the Word Made Flesh (John 1)

What does John mean when he writes, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth…From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came […]

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Lesson 4: Come and See

Lesson 4: Come and See

Throughout his book, John proclaims the Gospel is a love story that features the Word, a rational or spiritual principle, becoming human in order to woo his people. What was once an intellectual concept is now a human life. That means we come to God not through a mental process, but a personal experience. Jesus […]

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Lesson 5: The Bridegroom and the Lamb

Lesson 5: The Bridegroom and the Lamb

In last week’s comments Bob asks the important question about how we should read the differences in the four gospels. Derek responds with his usual critical insights. You can read what they said and contribute your ideas on the site or in my next “Just in Case” email. Let me make a contribution by examining […]

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Lesson 6: God, the Lover

Lesson 6: God, the Lover

In John 3, Nicodemus, a teacher of Hebrew law, comes under cover of night to have a discussion with Jesus. He leaves baffled by Jesus’ words about being “born again,” failing to perceive the deep spiritual meaning. But that is not the end of the story. In 7:50-51, John pictures Jesus reminding his friends, who […]

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Lesson 7: Foreigner, Woman, Adulterer

Lesson 7: Foreigner, Woman, Adulterer

Chapter 4 begins with a tired and thirsty Jesus. John obviously does not think the Incarnate God is a superman. Significantly, his gospel is the one in which Jesus cries, “I thirst!” from the cross. When this Jewish rabbi finds himself alone with a Samaritan adulteress at a well, his conduct flies in the face […]

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Lesson 8: I Am the Bread of Life

Lesson 8: I Am the Bread of Life

John 6 is built around Jesus’ proclamation, “I am the Bread of Life,” John’s working of the Feeding of the Multitude. His presentation of the Feeding almost parallels the reports of the other three gospels in which the mighty work appears five times. It is obviously very important to the early Church; yet all the […]

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Lesson 9: Truth

Lesson 9: Truth

John 7 and 8 picture Jesus constantly on the run, constantly hiding; as just about every group in his society, beginning with his own family, challenges his authority or even attempts to arrest and kill him. Then in the midst of all this, Jesus promises, “The truth shall make you free!” This is certainly a […]

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Lesson 10: Healing

Lesson 10: Healing

John 9 uses the healing of a blind man to support Jesus’ proclamation, “I am the Light of the World.” Its treatment makes clear we are talking about more than restoring sight to eyes, so we can sense and sort out the physical world around us. Healing, also, involves social, mental, and spiritual repair. If […]

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