Updated: Mar 14, 2022
INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF JOHN
AUTHOR: According to tradition, St. John the Apostle (also called the Theologian because of the profundity of his gospel) was also assisted by St. Prochorus in writing this gospel: John, was a beloved disciple of Christ- (JOHN 13:23; JOHN 21:7, 20), served as the leading authority of Ephesus for most of his ministry and wrote his gospel there: He was nearly one hundred years old when he died- AD 96-100
DATE: This gospel, was written about AD 96, it is considered the last of the four gospels to be written while supplementing the other three!!!
MAJOR THEME: The eternal Son of God has come in the flesh: The Gospel was written that you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name- (John 20:31):
THEOLOGICAL THEMES IN JOHN'S GOSPEL
1: THE TRINITY
2: GLORY-THE GLORY OF GOD
3: THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION
4: THE SACRAMENTAL DIMENSION
5: THE CHURCH
6: THE PASCHAL THEME
7: THE REDEMPTION OF THE WORLD
THE WORD IS GOD
1:1: IN THE BEGINNING: is recalling the creation found in Genesis, this is speaking more directly to the Creator Himself: Genesis, spoke of the first creation this Prologue of John (vv. 1-18) is revealing the new Creation in Christ- (see Ezekiel 1:10): WAS THE WORD: (Greek logos): The Word is the eternal Son of God: was is indicating existence without reference to a starting point and emphasizes the Word's eternal existence without beginning: Logos can also mean "wisdom", "reason", "action" as well as "word" , All are attributes of the Son of God: THE WORD WAS WITH GOD: With shows that the Word-The Son of God-is a distinct Person from Son of God-is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father; He Himself is God with the same divinity as the Father: Some teach and twist and mistranslate this phrase "the Word was God" in order to propagate their heresy that the Son of God is a created being, a creature not fully divine: such a translation is unsupportable, false, dishonest and extremely deceptive!!!
1:3: THE WORD IS THE CO-CREATOR: with the Father as well as the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1; Psalm 32:6,9- Hebrews 1:2) which is not an instrument or even a servant used by the Father: Will, operation, and power are one in the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit: So the heavens and the earth are the works of the One who made them, while the Son was not made but is eternally begotten of the Father!!!
1:4: ONLY GOD HAS LIFE IN HIMSELF: The Word being God, is the source of life, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit: THE LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OF MEN: John is now introducing mankind as a receiver of the Divine Light: By all of us participating in the life of the Son, believers themselves become children of the light (John 12:36; Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5): Moses saw the divine light in the burning bush (EXODUS 3:2); The whole nation saw it at the Red Sea (EXODUS 13:21); Isaiah saw it in his heavenly vision (Isaiah 6:1-5); and three apostles saw it at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-5)
1:5: DARKNESS: indicates both spiritual ignorance and satanic opposition to the light: those who hate truth prefer ignorance for themselves and strive to keep others ignorant as well (John 3:19): THE WORD TRANSLATED COMPREHEND means both "understand" and "Overcome": The darkness can never overpower the light of Christ, nor can it understand the way of love!!!
THE BAPTIST'S WITNESS TO THE WORD
1:6: THIS JOHN is John the Baptist, who is not the author of this gospel
1:9-11: CHRIST OFFERS LIGHT: to every person, but THE WORD and even many of HIS OWN refuse to RECEIVE HIM; they can neither KNOW nor recognize Him: Those who accept Him have His light: In a hymn sung at the end of Orthodox Liturgy, after hearing the Gospel and receiving Communion, we sing, "we have seen the true light, we have received the heavenly Spirit..."
1:12: RIGHT: also means "AUTHORITY" and indicates a gift from God, not an inalienable right: Those who receive Christ become CHILDREN OF GOD by adoption (Galatians 4:4-7) and by grace inherit everything Christ is by nature- (see the article "Deification" in 2 Peter): TO BELIEVE IN HIS NAME means to believe and trust in Him who in His humanity took the name of Jesus as Word, Son, Messiah, and Savior!!!
1:13: ADOPTION AS A CHILD OF GOD: is not a matter of ethnic descent (of blood) as it was in the OT; nor are we children of God simply by natural birth (The will of the flesh) nor by man's own decision (the will of man): Becoming a child of God is a spiritual birth by grace, through faith, and in the Holy Spirit: This is accomplished and manifested in the sacrament of Holy Baptism- (see- John 3:5-8; see Titus 3:4-7)
THE WORD BECOMES FLESH TO REVEAL THE FATHER
1:14: THE WORD BECAME FLESH: clarifies the manner in which the Son and Word of God came to His people (vv. 9-11)- this pointing directly to the Incarnation: The Word became fully human without ceasing to be fully God: He assumed complete human nature: body, soul, will, emotion, and even mortality -everything that pertains to humanity except sin: Being both God and Man in One Person- Christ pours out divinity into all human nature, those not in Christ can't be healed!!! DWELT AMONG US: In the OT, God's presence dwelt (tabernacled) in the ark of the covenant and later in the Temple: Here, the eternal Word comes to dwell in and among humanity itself: HIS GLORY: refers both to His divine power shown by His signs and wonders (JOHN 2:11; JOHN 11:4, 40), and to His humble service to mankind, shown most perfectly on the cross (John 12:23-32; John 13:31): In both ways, Christ reveals that He is the One sent from the Father!!! ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER: The Son has no beginning, but has the Father as His source from eternity: He is called only begotten because there is no other born from the Father: (The Holy Spirit exists eternally from the Father through another mystery called "Procession"; see John 15:26): FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH: This phrase is for both the Word and His Glory: Grace is Christ's uncreated energy given to us through His love and mercy: truth also includes His faithfulness which is Great, His promises and covenants and to the reality of His Words and Gifts!!!
1:16: IN SAYING WE HAVE ALL RECEIVED OF HIS FULNESS: The Scriptures confirm that God's grace can fill human nature to the extent of actually deifying it: In Christ, God's children become gods by grace (John 10:34-35) without ceasing to be human: As metal in fire takes on properties of fire (such as heat and light) without ceasing to be metal, so human nature preheated with God takes on properties pf the divine nature: GRACE FOR GRACE is a Semitic expression signifying an overabundance of grace!!!
1:18: NO ONE HAS SEEN GOD AT ANY TIME: No one can see the nature, or essence, of God, for to see God is to die (Exodus 33:20) : Only One who Himself is divine can see God, and the SON is the only One who can DECLARE HIM: This revelations of God's energies can be received by the faithful: Moses saw the back of God (Exodus 33:21-23): Isaiah saw His glory (see- Isaiah 6:1, John 12:41)
WHO IS THE JOHN THE BAPTIST???- See also (Matthew 3:1-6; Mark 1:1-6; Luke 3:1-6)
1:19-2:12: I WILL EXPLAIN MORE IN MY VIDEO:
1:21: JOHN THE BAPTIST IS A PROPHET BUT NOT THE PROPHET, The Messiah, whose coming Moses foretold (Dt 18:15-19):
WHY DOES JOHN BAPTIZE???- See also (Luke 3:15-18)
1:26: ON JOHN'S BAPTISM, see my notes- Luke 3:3 and Luke 3:16-17
THE BAPTIST'S TESTIMONY TO CHRIST- See also (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22)
1:29: JOHN'S DECLARING JESUS AS THE LAMB OF GOD: is recalling Isaiah's "Servant of God" who dies for the transgressions of His people (Isaiah 53:4-12): Christ, the true Paschal (Passover) Lamb, offers Himself for our deliverance from darkness and death- (1 Peter 1:18-19): St. John Chrysostom teaches that Jesus came to John this second time in order for John to make this declaration and therefore stop anyone from thinking that Jesus needed baptism to wash away sins!!!
1:32: THAT THE SPIRIT REMAINED UPON HIM: was a sign that Christ possesses the Spirit in His fulness from all eternity: Christ did not receive the Holy Spirit at His Baptism, rather, this vision that John SAW revealed the truth that the Holy Spirit has always rested on Christ!!!
THE BAPTIST'S DISCIPLES FOLLOW JESUS- See also (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11)
1:35-45: THE LORD'S FIRST DISCIPLES: had been followers of JOHN THE BAPTIST: They were ANDREW (v. 40); SIMON, who was also known as Peter, or CEPHAS (vv.41-42); PHILIP (v. 43); NATHANAEL (v. 45), Who was also known as Bartholomew; and unnamed disciple (vv. 35-40), who some say was John, the author of this Gospel: It was common for writers during these times not to give his own name (see- Luke 24:13)
1:47: NO DECEIT: means both having a pure heart and being straightforward with others!!!
1:48-50: WHAT EXCATLY OCCURED UNDER THE FIG TREE: is not stated: St. John Chrysostom teaches this was the meeting place of Philip and Nathanael (vv. 45-46) and that Jesus was praising Nathanael for being so diligent and careful in His search for the Messiah: Christ's foreknowledge and His ability to see into Nathanael's heart stir him to this confession of faith (v. 49)
1:51: THE TITLE SON OF MAN: is the title of the Messiah that had a level of mystery in its meaning, indicating a man of heavenly origin who would usher in the Kingdom of God - (Daniel 7:13-14): OT prophecy, Jacob dreamed of a ladder connecting earth to heaven, upon which THE ANGELS OF GOD were ASCENDING AND DESCENDING (Genesis 28:12-15): Jesus is this ladder who unites earth to heaven, and therefore is this Son of Man!!!
"The Word is God and Word dwelt among us and the Word was with God in the beginning, and the Word the Son of Man was hidden in time waiting for His Time!!! His mysteries are amazing but also great power but His Greatest Power is His Love, He never leaves us- we must chose our redemption because by His Grace our salvation was given as a gift!!!
-Tomorrow is John 2 & 3, we will try and cover 2 chapters this go around-once we are out of John-the rest of New Testament goes very quickly- Shalom!!!
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THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD