John’s gospel is my favorite. Each chapter is filled with much to learn and embrace. Rather than force myself to select one example, I thought it best to provide a sampling of some of the rich teaching found in this amazing gospel. If something spurs your interest, feel free to pursue it a bit and see what else the Lord might show you.
Jesus’ Submission to the Father: John 5:19, 30, 7:16-18, 8:29-20
Over and over again we hear Jesus speak about His desire to honor the Father, to give glory to the Father and to please the Father by doing and saying only what the Father tells Him to do and to say. When you read these words together the picture becomes clear; when we see Jesus, we are looking at the very character and heart of God (see John 14:9-11)! What is your picture of God and how closely does it resemble the life of Jesus revealed in the gospels? Where are the similarities? Where are the differences?
The Shepherd Seeks the Sheep
It wasn’t until recently that I finally connected John 5:14 and 9:35, two different stories where Jesus sought out common people to follow up on a work He had done in their lives. Imagine Jesus scanning the large temple crowd, looking for one face, one person that He wants to engage with so that He might finish the work He started. Imagine Jesus searching the crowd…for you! Do you feel important enough to grab Jesus’ attention? If not, what blocks you from believing how deeply you are loved by God?
Division among the people: John 7:12, 9:16 and 10:19
John’s gospel shows the division that Jesus brought among the leaders and the people. (Matthew 10:35; Luke 12:51-53). Chapter 7 states that there was “widespread whispering” about Jesus. Some said He was a good man while others called Him a deceiver and no one dared say anything publicly about Him for fear that the leaders would throw them out of the synagogue (9:22). The division even impacted the temple guards! Imagine the disruption it caused when the temple guards (who had been sent to arrest Jesus, 9:22) came back empty handed. They failed in their duty because “No one ever spoke the way this man does” (9:46). Where do Jesus-caused divisions exist today? Do I find myself whispering about Jesus and not willing to speak publicly about Him? If so, why? What is my fear? What is it about Jesus’ teaching that causes you to stop and take notice?
Finally, consider how Jesus purposely framed two famous messages.