John’s Purpose in Writing His Account

of The Life of Jesus Christ

Part 1 – February 7, 2021


Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”


The apostle John never intended to write a complete account of The Life of Jesus Christ. We learn this in the very last verse of his Gospel account: Jesus also did many other things. What if every one of them were written down? I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. (JOHN 21:25 New International Reader’s Version) Isn’t that an amazing statement to write about Our Lord’s short Life?? Based on this verse, we can surmise that what John decided to include were the experiences he was inspired to share – the ones he thought were most important from his perspective.


Let’s start this study with some background on John. He is known throughout The New Testament as “The Man Whom Jesus Loved.” How would you like to be known as that??!! The original meaning of his name is “whom Jehovah loves” and John’s remarkable life completely reflected that. He was the youngest brother of James.


He was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee and his parents were probably cousins of Jesus. John’s mother was a follower of Christ. She was at The Cross, and among those who went to anoint Our Lord’s Body with sweet spices after His Death. John’s father was a fisherman who owned his own boat and was prosperous enough to hire servants. John himself was also a successful fisherman and was called to discipleship one day, while casting his nets: One day Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee. There he saw two brothers, Simon Peter and his brother Andrew. They were throwing a net into the lake, because they were fishermen. “Come and follow me,” Jesus said. “I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers. They were James, son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee. As they were preparing their nets, Jesus called out to them. Right away they left the boat and their father and followed Jesus. (MATT 4: 18-22 New International Reader’s Version)


John was the youngest of the disciples, yet despite his age, was one of the select triumvirate – Christ’s inner circle of three – which also included his brother James and Peter. Jesus gave John and James the nickname “Boanerges.” This is mentioned in MARK 3:17: … and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He [Jesus Christ] gave the name Boanerges, which means, “Sons of Thunder”) … We learn that James and John possessed some truly thunder-like qualities when Jesus and His disciples were traveling through Samaria on their way to Jerusalem and ran into trouble. Jesus tried to find accommodations for the night but was met with opposition from the villagers, simply because His destination was Jerusalem — a result of Jew-Samaritan prejudice. LUK 9:54 (New International Reader’s Version) tells us how the brothers reacted: The disciples James and John saw this. They asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to destroy them?” James and John’s response to the Samaritans reveals a fervency, impetuosity, and anger that could properly be called thunderous.


John was treated by Our Savior with greater familiarity than any of the other apostles. He sat next to Christ at the final supper shared with his apostles and he was entrusted with the care of Jesus’ mother, Mary. John wrote the Gospel and three Epistles bearing his name, in addition to the Book of Revelation. He died when he was almost one hundred years old!


An interesting fact is that John wrote JOHN 21(the verse at the beginning of this study), some 30 or more years later than Matthew, Mark or Luke wrote. So we can make the assumption that he expected his readers would already be familiar with one of their accounts of Christ’s Life. John wrote to supplement the other Gospel accounts with material they didn’t include. He did this with the express purpose of presenting the actions and teachings of Our Savior “so that you may believe that Jesus is the [The Messiah] Christ, the Son of God; and that by believing you may have life in His name.” (JOH 20:31) Look at what John so eloquently wrote about The Lord Jesus Christ in JOH 1:14 (New International Reader’s Version): The Word became a human being. He made his home with us. We have seen his glory. It is the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father. And the Word was full of grace and truth. Think about that!


John also wrote about many of the miracles which Our Savior performed. These miracles demonstrate His Deity by showing that Jesus Christ has Authority over nature, disease, demons, and death. Beginning with Our Lord turning water to wine (JOHN 2) and ending with Him raising Lazarus from the dead (JOHN 11), John leads his readers through a series of seven miracles performed by Our Savior. Since John’s Gospel is generally understood to have been directed toward an audience that already believed that Jesus is the Messiah, we may reasonably conclude that the purpose of John’s account of these seven miracles is to deepen faith in Christ.


Another thing John does in his writing is to emphasize the antagonism that existed between Jesus Christ and the religious leaders. The antagonism existed because of Our Lord’s Claim to be The Son of God and the “I Am” who existed before Abraham. Because they wouldn’t believe His claims, they considered Him to be a blasphemer and plotted to murder Him. John also records Jesus’ many appeals to people to turn from their sinful lives and believe in Him. Some of these appeals were private – such as His meeting with Nicodemus, and some were public, such as His teaching and making proclamations in the Temple over the three years of His Public Ministry.


John’s depiction of the intimate fellowship of the disciples is shown through the events of The Last Supper and Jesus’ Discourse to them following Judas’ departure. John’s account of The Lord Jesus Christ’s Trial brings out the Spiritual Nature of His Kingdom. His presentation of The Crucifixion carefully notes several of the prophecies fulfilled by specific events that occurred while Jesus was suffering as The Sacrifice for our sins. John’s detail of Christ’s Death and Burial proclaim that Our Savior truly died because He willingly gave up His Life – not because it was taken from Him. Jesus was not a victim, but Sovereign God.


John’s account of The Resurrection includes Our Lord’s Appearance to Mary and His two Appearances to the disciples who were gathered together in Jerusalem. It also covers his own personal story of running to the tomb himself:  Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, gasping for breath. “They took the Master from the tomb. We don’t know where they’ve put him.” Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The disciples then went back home. (JOHN 20:1-10 The Message Bible)


John presented more than enough evidence to prove that Jesus is The Messiah –

The Anointed Son of God whom the Old Testament prophesied would come to redeem His people. Anyone seeking after God could believe this evidence and place their faith in Jesus and receive Eternal Life. What an accomplishment!

Now, maybe The Book of John could have ended with chapter 20, but there was more that John wanted us to understand, because gaining Eternal Life through faith in The Lord Jesus Christ is not the end of the story. Life in Christ has a purpose. John uses chapter 21 to point out that purpose.

{to be continued}


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