Some Tips on How to Read the book of John
The Gospel of John is considerably different from the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke). Why would John, a disciple of Jesus, write another gospel unless he saw the need to do so? What was the need? The author himself stated, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:30-31)
Being the last to write the gospel, John could choose to repeat the stories already mentioned in the synoptic gospels AND to add what would have been important to bring across his point. As such we find will ‘longer’ speeches of Jesus recorded here for us. When reading Jesus’ speeches, ask yourself, “Why did Jesus said this?”
The suggested divisions below includes day for reviewing chapters read previously. The ‘review’ days are more crucial in that you pause to reflect “How does this help John build the case of who Jesus is”
|Day 1||John 1|
|Day 2||John 2|
|Day 3||Review John 1 & 2|
|Day 4||John 3|
|Day 5||John 4|
|Day 6||Review John 3 & 4|
|Day 7||John 5|
|Day 8||John 6|
|Day 9||John 7|
|Day 10||John 8|
|Day 11||Review John 5-8|
|Day 12||John 9|
|Day 13||John 10|
|Day 14||John 11|
|Day 15||Review John 9-11|
|Day 16||John 12|
|Day 17||John 13|
|Day 18||Review John 12 & 13|
|Day 19||John 14|
|Day 20||John 15|
|Day 21||John 16|
|Day 22||John 17|
|Day 23||Review John 14-17|
|Day 24||John 18|
|Day 25||John 19|
|Day 26||Review John 18 & 19|
|Day 27||John 20|
|Day 28||John 21|
|Day 29 & 30||Your own review of John|
A Cornerstone AND a Stumbling Block
In reading John, it is seems that to the people the stumbling block to believing in Jesus was that he was so human (1:18, 6:42, 7:5, 8:57). So much so that John opens with, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (1:1-3)
He points back to the divinity of Christ. As the story unfolds, Jesus performed signs and said things that revealed he was sent here (8:42). Jesus was on a God sent-mission (12:27). Even then, John writes that people were still divided as to who Jesus was (7:43, 10:24).
The central question the audience asks of Jesus then, “Who are you?” (8:25).
John writes about what Jesus did and what Jesus himself said, and so turns the question back to the audience, “Make up your mind whether Jesus is God the Saviour or not!”
The people found Jesus teaching to be hard and many left (6:66). Many saw the signs yet still not believe Jesus’ claims that he is sent from God and is equal to God (12:37). Jesus’ claims was blasphemy (5:18) and hence the Jews wanted to kill him many times (7:1, 8:58-59, 10:31, 11:50).
Jesus’ roundabout way of saying things instead of being direct can be perplexing. Perhaps precisely there are no words that can aptly describe that the Trinitarian God has come in the flesh, to do what man could not do, so that our relationship with our Creator God is restored.
“No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” (1:18)
John testifies to us that Jesus indeed who he said he is and was the climax of the salvation story unfolding and to ignore Jesus then, it is to our own peril (16:7-11).
Yet in the last chapter of the book it talks about the restoration of a disciple who failed Jesus, giving us hope and a glimpse of the heart of God.