2017-04-02 – John 3:16-18 & 13:34-35 – Book Overview – Theme of Love
Good morning everyone. I am so happy to see you all here today.
Welcome visitors, so blessed to have your company, please fill out one of the visitor cards if you haven’t already done so, and let me know if you have any questions or comments or needs, and we will surely get back with you.
Yesterday I went to a men’s conference called Iron Sharpens Iron. We had nearly a thousand men under one roof in Davenport. What a blessing to hear so many men singing in harmony and lifting up prayers to our Lord.
One of the initial illustrations that was given was about Coca-Cola. [I have a couple old cans from around the world here]
How in the late 1980s they were the leaders of the beverage market. Then remember when they changed the formula and they spent millions of dollars marketing a new flavor called New-Coke or Coke II. Then after they had lost a lot of the market share, they turned it around and brought back the original recipe and called it Coca-Cola Classic. That story is similar to many Christian’s walks over the past couple decades, and that of many new-age type of churches. What they are finding is that you can put a lot of wiz bang in your church experience, but if you take out the main ingredient, the Bible, God’s Word from the recipe, you threaten the viability of the church. We need to stay in God’s word to stay healthy. The Bible is the key. I am proud to say that we teach and preach the Bible here in this church, and for that I am proud. Not to say we won’t adopt new methods or technologies as is prudent to complement the Bible, but we will remain in the Word, Amen?
Please turn in your Bible to John 3:16-18 Pg94 in the Pew Bible. Which is the Inspired, Infallible, and Living Word of God [PRAYER]
Before we get into the scripture verses today, you should know that the theme and purpose of today’s message is about this whole book of John. Over this past year, we have read and studied and applied this Gospel book of John through sermons and illustrations covering all the chapters. Last week we read through the last paragraph of the final chapter 21. Over the year we caretakenly discovered what God had written through the Apostle John to us about the birth of John the Baptist, the birth of Jesus, the choosing of the twelve Disciples, Jesus teaching them and us on many topics. Jesus was then arrested, tried, persecuted, crucified, buried and rose from the grave, and finally He ascended into the clouds before the Disciples eyes. Today we are going to look at what makes this last of the four-gospels special and unique.
My father-in-law told me long ago, when you tell a story or give a report, you should tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them. That is where we are at today, I am going to tell you what I have told you as an overview of everything we covered this past year.
First lets start out with some facts, and then we will move into some key theme verses and finally the overarching takeaways from this book of John that we can choose to apply to our own lives and the lives of people we minister to.
Timeline of the book of John
The Author of this Gospel book is the Apostle John, brother of the Apostle James, and sons of Zebedee. They were known as the Sons of Thunder. James and John were two of Jesus’ closest friends, being two of the “inner three” disciples including Peter. James was the first apostle to be killed, while his brother John was the last. John was a Palestinian Jew, and in this book he referred to himself as being “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. John also wrote the books of 1,2,3 John and Revelation. John was the youngest among the 12 selected by Jesus to be His apostles. After Jesus’s ascension, John (along with James and Peter) became the “pillars” of the church in Jerusalem.
This book of John was likely written from Ephesus in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), one of the most important cities of the Roman Empire at the time.
The theme of John’s Gospel is that Jesus is the long-awaited, promised Messiah and Son of God. By believing in Jesus, people can have eternal life in Heaven.
As evidence that Jesus is the Messiah, John relies on witnesses, being the Old-Testament Prophets, testimonies from John the Baptist, Jesus, God the Father, Jesus’ miraculous works, the Holy Spirit, and the Apostles including John himself.
Key claims from John’s Gospel
- About Jesus: Jesus is God in the flesh/incarnate, The Great “I am.” He existed before the creation of the world, and He has supernatural knowledge and abilities. He fulfills the Jewish prophesies as being the sent Son of God. Miracles, signs and witnesses demonstrate that Jesus is the Savior/Messiah.
- About the Trinity: God being theFather, the Son, and the Holy Spirit they are united in their work of revealing God and His plan to the world.
- About Salvation:God is sovereign. Jesus’ death and resurrection are the basis of salvation, which is only obtained through believing in the living Jesus as the Savior and Lord. Jesus said Himself, as written in John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
- About Mission:Believers are called to continue Jesus’s mission to spread the “Good News” Gospel to the ends of the earth, and offer eternal life through Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross as payment for our past, present and future sin. So they too can go to Heaven thru faith in Jesus Christ.
The Setting of John
The events of the Gospel of John take place in Palestine, which was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 63 B.C. Herod the Great ruled until
4 B.C. At the time of Jesus’ birth, Caesar (Octavian) Augustus was the Roman Emperor, followed by Nero in 37 A.D.
Most of the events in the Gospels occurred at these two areas around the See of Galilee and the city of Jerusalem.
There is considerable overlap in all the Gospels books. All of them concern Jesus of Nazareth and His public ministry. All of them lead to the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus in Jerusalem.
The first three Gospel books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are referred to as the Synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in a similar sequence and in similar wording. They stand in contrast to the book of John, whose content is comparatively distinct. John’s Gospel is noticeably different as he uses a simple language — seen in concepts like light and darkness, spirit and flesh, life and death, bread and wine, vine and branches, and so on.
The Gospel of Matthew was written by Matthew the apostle, one of the twelve commissioned by Jesus. The Gospel of Mark was written by John Mark, a close associate of the apostle Peter. The Gospel of Luke was written by Luke the physician, a friend and traveling companion of the apostle Paul.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke cover many of the same events in Jesus’ life—most of them from Jesus’ ministry in Galilee—in much the same order. Nearly 90 percent of Mark’s content is found in Matthew, and about 50 percent of Mark appears in Luke. All of the parables of Christ are found in the Synoptics. The Gospel of John contains no parables.
The synoptics are written from a third person point of view, describing the events as if the authors had personally observed all of them and were reporting what they saw at the time. Thus they are basically descriptive in their approach. John’s Gospel, on the other hand, although also written from a third person point of view, is more reflective, clearly later than the events he describes.
Even the wording of John is different. For example the use of the word Kingdom is found in the synoptics more than 30 times on average, is largely missing in John where he only used the term 6 times. Another example is where John uses the term life or eternal life better than thirty times, but the other authors use life or eternal life only 6 times on average.
JOHN IN COMPARISON TO THE SYNOPTIC Gospels
- John, no doubt familiar with the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark and Luke), created his Gospel (about 90% new material) as a spiritual supplement to complement the others. John’s Gospel is more theologically profound and less historical.
- John draws mainly upon events not found in the other Gospels to prove explicitly to his readers that Jesus is God in the flesh.
- John’s gospel is topical, not merely chronological like the others.
- The Synoptics focus on the Galilean ministry, whereas John focuses mostly on the Judean ministry.
- Only two of John’s recorded miracles are found in the Synoptics (walking on water, feeding 5,000), the other six listed are unique to John.
- John records the best eyewitness description of the Last Supper meal.
- John mentions 3-4 Passovers (not just the last one), showing that Christ’s ministry was 3+ years.
- John omits most of the parables, genealogies, the Transfiguration, Jesus’ childhood and temptation and many sayings of Christ found in the Synoptics. However, John includes much material not mentioned in the Synoptics (Lazarus’ resurrection, the reinstatement of Peter, the work of the Spirit and many extended dialogues).
UNIQUE CONTRIBUTIONS OF JOHN TO BIBLICAL TEACHING
- In reporting the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus from a different perspective, John adds to the overall portrait of this highly significant event.
- John elaborates the Sonship of Christ in His subordination and obedience to the Father.
- John describes in detail as to what it means to be a people of God (election, origin, witness, sufferings, fruit-bearing, prayer, love, unity, nature).
- John’s extended use of key biblical words (“believe”-98x’s, “love”-57x’s, “world”-78x’s and “Father”-137x’s) adds much to these specific studies.
- The doctrine of election makes this a primarily evangelistic book. John deals with the mystery between personal faith and God’s sovereign choice.
- John teaches the superiority of Jesus Christ as He replaces revered figures and institutions from the old covenant (i.e. temple, Passover).
- No other gospel better preserves the ways in which Jesus was misunderstood by His contemporaries, including His own followers.
- John helps to explain the tension between the present blessings of these “last days” and the fullness of the hope which is yet to come.
- John presents numerous unique teachings on the person and work of the Holy Spirit, The deity “I am” statements and humanity of Christ.
- The doctrine of the Trinity finds its clearest New Testament explanation in John.
Those are the vital details of this Author and Book. Now we will go over a few of the theme verses of this book. I will call this the Who, What, and How from Jesus as it is written in the Gospel of John.
Who? Page 94
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
What? Page 107
John 13:3 – Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4 got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.
12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
How? Page 108
John 13:31 – When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Here are a couple Graphics on the Miracles and Parables of Jesus. You can see the distinct nature of the Gospel of John compared to the Synoptics here.
There is so much we could continue to dig into these Gospel books. It is so interesting to compare and contrast the different inspired authors in these book’s.
Just like I illustrated at the start of our message today that there will only be one Coca-Cola Classic, there is only one Truth and it is found in the Bible. Read your Bible daily, even if it is only one verse. It is that important.
There is so much to learn from the Bible, this book of John is my favorite. I pray you learned with me over this past year about who Jesus is, and what He did for us; how we can trust His Word, His truth, His life and His mission. And we most assuredly how we need to stay in His Word. As a church, we need to be about doing His mission, sharing the love of Jesus with our neighbors through conversation and through works. Reach out to the unloved and the untouchables around us and make a difference for them and Him.
Friday night I was called out by the Coal Valley Fire department to meet the ambulance at the Hospital. A man had passed away and they wanted me to be there for his loved ones when they got the hospital. I got there and I waited, and I waited, but sadly nobody showed up. Finally a fellow with a clip board came, he was a neighbor who had power of attorney. I asked him about this man’s family and friends, but he said there was none in the area. I left feeling sorry for this man. Although he was living in a rich man’s house right next to the golf course, he was poor in many ways that count.
Maybe you know somebody like that. Somebody that needs fellowship, that needs to hear about God’s love. As we prepare for the coming Easter Sunday, I want to challenge you to extend out into your comfort zone. Start a new relationship with your neighbors and others God puts into your path. Share your testimony, be an Ambassador for Christ. Take Godly risks for Christ’s sake.
But maybe first you need to get yourself right. And that is why we offer an Alter call…
Did you hear what they are going to call the next version of Coke? Pepsi is buying out Coke and they are going to call it Pepsi-Cola..