The book of the Apostle John is an account of Jesus’ life, but from a different perspective than the gospels written by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. John was more concerned with what Jesus’ actions said about him, rather than the actions themselves. John makes reference to Jesus not just being the messiah, but his being God in the flesh. John begins in chapter one, “The Word was God. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone”, (John 1:1, 4). In this text, John illustrates that Jesus existed prior to his life on earth, and not only created life, but is God himself. Here John strongly provides the basis for what has become known as the Trinity, the culmination of God in the forms of three distinct personalities; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In chapter one, John introduces Jesus as God who existed before and was made human as the Son of God.
Throughout his entire gospel, John connects the intricate relationship between Jesus the Son of God and God the Father. Establishing Jesus’ authority as being God in human form gives the basis for his true love and compassion for humanity. His account shows how Jesus came to earth to do the will of God the Father, and how the two are in perfect unity to save mankind. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that no one would perish but have eternal life”. John records many of the miracles and healings that Jesus performed but also captures his compassion for the spiritual condition of those that he healed and taught. In this way John portrayed Jesus’ humanity in union with the all encompassing love of the eternal God.
The importance of faith and belief is a recurring theme that John expresses throughout the gospel. “But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him, you will have life”, (John 20:31). In Chapter 8, Jesus explicitly warns about disbelief being a hindrance to those who wish to receive from God. “For unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins”, (John 8:24). In nearly every healing or miracle that was asked of him, Jesus always required a testament of faith from the receiver. He required faith in some small form, as he attests to a group of skeptics that questioned him in Temple at the Festival of Dedication. “But if I do God’s work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works, even if you don’t believe in me”, (John 10:38).
The Apostle Paul was a Jewish missionary with Roman citizenship. Before his conversion to Christianity, Paul vehemently persecuted the early disciples of Christ. While traveling on a road in Damascus, Paul experienced an encounter with the resurrected Jesus…