Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Gospels part 4

This is the last in the series where I'm sharing from an overview on the Gospels. I’ve used this as an introduction to Bible Studies when they were taken from the Gospels.

John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” is the writer of the fourth gospel. John was the brother of James and the son of Zebedee and Salome. Along with James, they were known as “the sons of thunder.” It is believed by many scholars that James and John were actually cousins of Jesus (along with John the Baptist.) Many believe that Salome was Mary’s sister. Compare the women who were at the cross. Matthew names “the mother of Zebedee’s children.” Mark names “Salome” herself, and John names “Mary’s sister” It is consistent for John’s writing style to avoid identifying his mother by name, as he never mentions his own name either, and only mentions his brother as a “son of Zebedee.”

It is also understandable then, when Salome asks Jesus for her sons, James and John to sit one on His left and one on His right when he comes into His Glory. Who else but a relative would have the nerve to ask such a thing of Jesus? It is also logical in that case that Jesus would entrust the care of His earthly Mother to John, her nephew, at the cross, since His brothers did not believe in Him as of yet.

John’s gospel was written to the Greeks who were known for their lofty thought and great philosophies. Indeed, one could not get more “lofty” than “the Word made Flesh!” It is considered by many to be the deepest and most spiritual book in the Bible. It has been said that the Synoptics are presenting theology from a historical point of view, while John writes history from a theological point of view. And Augustine is quoted as saying that “John’s Gospel is deep enough for an elephant to swim, but shallow enough that a child would not drown.”

With John’s portrait of Jesus rendering Him as the “Word made Flesh” which “was in the beginning with God” he shares no earthly genealogy, for the Creator “was, is, and ever shall be.”

The Apocalyptic Creature of John’s Christ is the Eagle, which shows the Divinity of Jesus. (Anytime an eagle is mentioned in the bible, it is representative of the Divine Nature of God.)

In John, Jesus gives a more complete revelation of Himself and of God than either of the Synoptic Gospels. The manifestation of Christ’s Divinity to the world is accomplished by a six-fold witness or testimony. That of John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit, the disciples, Christ’s own works, that of the Father, and the Scriptures. The “law” requires only 2 or 3.

John’s newspaper depicts the “editorial section.” More than half of the book of John is given to the events of Jesus’ life and His sayings during His last days.

Betty Newman 2003


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