By Rick Cowman
This week we begin a new series in this column walking through the gospel of John. John’s gospel is one of four in the New Testament which gives the account of Jesus’ life and ministry while He walked on this earth. Gospel means good news! And these gospels present to us the “good news” that Jesus Christ came to live a life we couldn’t live, die for the sin we couldn’t pay for, and rise again from the dead that we might have eternal life through faith in Him. And that gives us purpose for life!
The other accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke) were written to relate specifically to the Jews, Romans, and Greeks; but John’s gospel was written to the whole world, telling the world of God’s plan of new life through a relationship with Jesus. Probably the most quoted verse in all of the Bible is John 3:16, “For God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (NASB)!” The key verse of the book of John is found in chapter 20, verse 31: “These things have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His Name (NASB)!” The gospel of John was written as proof that Jesus is God’s Son, in fact, God Himself in the flesh! John does this by recording His WORDS (what Jesus said about Himself), His WORKS (the miracles Jesus performed), and His eye WITNESSES (what others testified about Him). The only conclusion that can be reached after seeing His works and hearing His words and the words of the witnesses is: Jesus is God in the flesh! Yet, many people missed who He was. Have you?
Some interesting parallels are found between the Genesis account of creation and John’s account of the new creation Jesus came to give us. In Genesis 1:1 it says, “In the beginning God...”; and in John 1:1 it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being…(NASB).” These verses are, of course, talking about Jesus Christ being that “Word” who was there in the beginning. In Genesis, as we read about God’s creative acts we see that God “spoke” everything into existence through His “word”; and in John, Jesus is the “living Word” spoken to us. In Genesis, the first creative act on earth was “light”; and in John 8:12, Jesus calls Himself “the Light of the world”. Jesus was there in the beginning when life began, and because of this, He is able to give us a new beginning by trusting in Him!
As we walk through this gospel together, remember this: What we read here is God’s WORD to you, it is God’s WILL for you, and it is what God wants to use to WORK in you! As you and I decide to believe it, choose to receive it, and are determined to see Jesus in it, we will never be the same! My prayer as you read this column in the many weeks to come is that they will be encouraging words to you, God will use His Word to speak to you wherever you are in your life and walk with Him, and you will find His wonderful purpose for your life. That purpose begins with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and it continues as we choose each day to follow Him and let Him make adjustments in our lives!
Why don’t you take some time and read through this gospel and prepare yourself for a great adventure through God’s Word?