For the longest time it used to bother me to read the phrase “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23 and 21:20). I wondered if this meant that this disciple was loved more than the others? I asked myself, did this disciple receive extra favoritism shown by Jesus? But then I realized it is not about Jesus showing more love but about that disciple tapping into Jesus’ love more than any other disciple. I believe that Jesus being the impartial one reached out in love to all of them equally but this disciple (whom we understand to be John) rested more confidentially in Jesus’ love for him. He would rather be known for being loved by Jesus than other title such as perhaps “John the great” or “John the thunderous one”. All of his accomplishments paled in comparison to the simple yet very important fact that he’d be nothing without Jesus loving him and calling him to be His disciple.
So this week as we journey along by reading this unique gospel penned by the disciple who had whole heartedly embraced his identity in Jesus’ love I sincerely pray that our lives too would be transported to the very place of wonder at who this Jesus was and is today so that we too may abide and rest in Jesus’ love for us.
In the very introductory verses, John dives straight in to shine the light on who Jesus really is. With parallels to Genesis 1, he makes it very clear that Jesus is God incarnate, who existed from the beginning and was part of creation.
And throughout the book, we continue to see powerful analogies that repeatedly sear into readers’ minds that Jesus is God Himself including the I AM reference. God revealed Himself to Moses as the I AM (Exodus 3:14). And in John’s gospel we see the following seven I AM references to Jesus Christ as follows:
- I AM the bread of life (John 6:35)
- I AM the light of the world (John 8:12)
- I AM the gate /door (John 10:9)
- I AM the good shepherd (John 10:11)
- I AM the resurrection and the life (John 11:25-26)
- I AM the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6)
- I AM the vine (John 15: 5)
Besides the obvious reference to God’s self proclaimed name in these phrases, each of these attributes also point to the character of God. That will have to be a separate study in an of itself.
Apart from the above John also notes seven miraculous signs that are part of Jesus’ ministry:
- The miracle of changing water into wine at the wedding at Cana (John 2:11)
- The miracle of the healing the royal official’s son (John 4:54)
- The miracle of healing the paralyzed man (John 5:1-15)
- The feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:14)
- Walking on water (John 6:19-21)
- The miracle of the healing the man born blind (John 9:67)
- The miracle of Raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:41-44)
I think this is about all I can summarize for now. Time for you to dig into the word yourself as you walk through the book of John this.
Jesus is God who existed from the very beginning and became flesh to wholly reveal Himself to humanity and conquer death once and for all.
Weekly Reading Plan
And now here is the weekly plan for you to read through this section.
If you want to dig deeper here are some of my suggestions:
- Use the above schedule to read through all of the text
- Do your own study on the 7 I AM sayings and the 7 Signs mentioned in John’s gospel.
- Optional (if you want to really read through the Bible in a year): Read Psalms 106-108.
And that is it for week 37!
Happy Bible Learning!