“Without question, John’s writing style, like his selection of content and themes, differs noticeably from that of the Synoptics {The first three Gospels}. As was perfectly acceptable in his day, he would have written his account of what others said in his own distinctive style, being faithful to their meaning if not to their exact wording. His sense of being led by the Holy Spirit would have given him the freedom to couch things in his own words, believing he was being faithful to history at the same time. A list of themes that receive distinctive emphasis in John, as compared with the Synoptics, includes a strong belief in the full deity of Jesus as well as His full humanity, an emphasis on the availability of eternal life to all who believe in Jesus (beginning already in this life), miracles as signs meant to elicit faith in Christ, the beginnings of Trinitarian thought, the unity of disciples, the election and security of the believer, the death of Christ as exaltation and glorification, the Holy Spirit as Comforter (Counselor, Advocate), a playing down of the role of John the Baptist and of the baptism and the Lord’s Supper and a strong polemic against unbelieving Judaism.” (HCSB)

1:4-5, 16: “Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not conquer it. Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness.” 3:19-21, “This, then, is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.” 8:12, “Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” These are fascinating verses. The darkness mentioned in the verses applies to two different yet same categories. There is the darkness of sin, which we conduct “behind closed doors” so that no one knows how we act. There is also the darkness of trouble. The reason that both categories are one of the same is that any sin we perform will lead to trouble sooner or later. It is important to realize that just because we may face troubling times, it may not be due to any sin, more on that later. Right now, just understand that there will be times when we will face dark days in our life. Jesus promises us that we will not walk in the darkness alone. He will always be there to light our path.

Craig L. Blomberg pointed out that in regards to 2:6-7, “Creating this much wine would seem to encourage drunkenness. Worse, this miracle seems to be frivolous from start to finish, hardly meeting any acute human need. On the other hand, wedding festivities often lasted for a week and an entire village could have been involved, so the amounts consumed by any individual at one time may have been quite moderate. Furthermore, one of the points of the miracle was to stress the new joy associated with Jesus’ ministry and the kingdom He was inaugurating.”

3:5-7, “Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again.” These verses indicate the need for believers to be baptized. Our natural birth is through the flesh that is originally sinful from the seed of Adam. The purpose of baptism is to acknowledge a new birth through Jesus Christ in which we receive the Holy Spirit to guide us on our journey through the Christian faith.

3:16, 18a, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned.” 5:24, “I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.”
8:10-11, “When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin any more.” 8:31-32, 34-36, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…I assure you: Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in the household forever, but a son does remain forever. Therefore if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.” There are certain transgressions that can easily be turned into a routine in life. A few popular examples that fit well in today’s society would be those of lust, self-gratification, and selfishness. If we carry out those offenses long enough, we will literally become slaves to those sins. If we put our hope in Jesus Christ, then we will be able to become free from those transgressions. For it was Jesus who overcame every temptation, who was bruised and crucified for our iniquities and rose again so that we may follow Him to righteousness.

Newsboys (I Am Free): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR7bBEBIC9g

3:27, 30 “John responded, “No one can receive a single thing unless it’s given to him from heaven. He must increase, but I must decrease.” These verses lead to an excellent perspective of keeping God first in our lives. He may not give us everything we want, but He will give us everything we need. It is important to keep this in mind and be thankful for all the blessings God has given to us. When we keep God first in our hearts, then His character will be shown through us and that will allow Him to increase in our lives and we will decrease our own natural desires.

It is interesting to note that in regards to 4:4, “Jesus didn’t have to go through Samaria. Jews in fact preferred to cross over and travel north on the eastern bank of the Jordan to avoid Samaria. But the compulsion was a theological one; it was God’s will that Jesus go this way to have His appointed encounter with the woman at the well.” (Blomberg) A good question one may have concerning to 4:26 would be, “How could Jesus reveal Himself so plainly to this Samaritan woman when He was so coy with the Jewish leaders in Israel, especially as seen in the other three Gospels?” Blomberg provided excellent insight to this question: “Because the Samaritans were not looking for a militaristic ruler but expected a Messiah who would be more like a prophet and a teacher.”

Jesus announced in 5:36, “But I have a greater testimony than John’s because of the works that the Father has given Me to accomplish. These very works I am doing testify about Me that the Father has sent Me.” If this verse is not a Bible smack in the head, I am not sure what is. Believers in Christ have the obligation to share their faith to those who do not know. When I read this, I could not help but wonder if I am doing all the works God wants me to do at my current point of life. These works are not to earn anything, rather they are a response to the love that has already been given.

6:68-69, “Simon Peter answered, “Lord, who will we go to? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that You are the Holy One of God!” There have always been other options to choose when it comes to religion. In these verses, Simon provided excellent faith when he proclaimed that Jesus is the only true way to God and eternal life.

7:6, “Jesus told them, “My time has not yet arrived, but your time is always at hand.”
Jesus followed the Father’s timing, not the commands of His own family. We are encouraged to do the same. This obviously leads to some difficulty and controversy because we have been commanded to honor our father and mother. It is important to note that if our parents are not following God, then we must continue to respect them, but cannot follow their ways. As long as we are still living on this earth, we will always have the time to serve one another and have opportunities to show our faith more than tell about it. 9:3-5, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. We must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” I am going to assume that Jesus was referring to death when He said night. These verses put more weight on the importance of serving one another through love.

7:24 “Stop judging according to outward appearances; rather judge according to righteous judgment.” This verse is more easily said than done, especially in today’s society. From childhood, we have learned from our peers to judge others by their appearances. Instead of judging a book by its cover, God has directed us to take the time to read it before making any kind of judgment. If we continue to judge by appearance, than we will miss out on some truly great friendships.

9:39, 41: “Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind. If you were blind, you wouldn’t have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see’—your sin remains.” Blomberg mentioned that in regards to 9:41, “All people are sinners, but if these Pharisees acknowledged their spiritual blindness, they would not be guilty of the specific sin of claiming to be innocent when they were not.” To be more straightforward, no one is perfect in this life, nor will anyone be perfect. We all have skeletons in our closets. Even when we accept Christ in our lives, we will still sin because it is through our nature to do so. Jesus states in 10:9, 27, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand.” If we acknowledge that we are perfect, then we are blind. If we humble ourselves and admit that we are guilty sinners who need Christ’s salvation on a daily basis, then we will truly see the truth.

11:35, “Jesus wept.” If I am not mistaken, this is the shortest verse in the entire Bible, however, it contains an enormous significance. The context this verse comes from is the story of Lazarus, who had become very ill and had recently died as Jesus was on His way to see him. When Mary and some of the Jews went to meet Jesus to give him the news of Lazarus’ passing while crying, Jesus became angry in spirit as well as deeply moved by the emotional response of the crowd. He wept. Jesus still weeps: He weeps for the people who refuse to put their faith in Him. He weeps with the people who have broken hearts. Later in John, Jesus tells us in 14:1-4, 6, “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. You know the way where I am going.” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

12:42-43, “Nevertheless, many did believe in Him even among the rulers, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, so they would not be banned from the synagogue. For they loved praise from men more than praise from God.” Acceptance is the number one human desire to have, which makes praise from men all the more tempting. The question is, what sacrifices do we make to be accepted and whom are we trying to get to accept us? The Bible teaches us that God accepts us for who we are, however, He loves us too much to keep us the way we are. He wants to change our lives for the greater good. Sure, it is easier to obtain praise from our peers, however, those praises are short-lived and most likely come at a cost. If we humble ourselves and give God all the glory, then we will truly see the splendor of that reward for eternity after we have lived out our lives.

13:34-35, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” 14:12a, 13, “I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14:15-18, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.” 14:26-28, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful. You have heard Me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.”

15:9-18, “As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My command: love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you slaves anymore, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. This is what I command you: love one another. If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you.”

15:22-24, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin. Now they have no excuse for their sin. The one who hates Me also hates My Father. If I had not done the works among them that no one else has done, they would not have sin. Now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father.” In regards to these verses, “There are different kinds of guilt. Unwitting sins can be excused more readily than intentional ones. All people sin and are guilty in God’s eyes as a result, but not all are held equally accountable.” (Blomberg)

16:20, 22-24, 33, “I assure you: You will weep and wail, but the world will rejoice. You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy. So you also have sorrow now. But I will see you again. Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will rob you of your joy…I assure you: Anything you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be complete. I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world!”

In regards to 14:14; 15:16; and 16:23, “These are not “blank checks”—promises to supply everything anyone requests. “In My name” corresponds to “according to My character” and thus is parallel to other texts that require us to leave room for God’s will to overrule ours.” (Blomberg)

In regards to 17:21-23, “Obviously, believers cannot be one with either the Father or the Son in every way the persons of the Godhead are one with each other, for we are not God. On the other hand, the unity among Christians is more than the invisible oneness of all believers; it is something that demonstrates itself in outward, tangible, loving cooperation for powerful evangelistic purposes and results.” (Blomberg)

In regards to 20:11, “Mary obviously went back to the tomb, this time probably alone, for this separate special encounter with Jesus. That so much emphasis is placed on her witness (vv. 2, 18) is doubly significant, since women’s testimony was not often admitted in ancient law courts. Early Christians, if they were making up a story about Jesus’ resurrection, would not likely have had a woman, and especially not one with a history of being demon possessed (Lk 8:2), as their primary witness. (Blomberg)

In regards to 20:25-29, “This story depicts Thomas in so poor a light that it was not likely invented by the disciples. It also portrays the disciples cowering behind locked doors for fear of the authorities, hardly in any psychological frame of mind to receive visions of a resurrected Christ. The text also confirms that Jesus was genuinely, bodily raised from the dead. Two theological themes coalesce: This kind of miracle (or sign) should have been adequate to convince people that Jesus was truly Lord and God (v. 28), and the testimony of the disciples should have been adequate to demonstrate that even without firsthand empirical proof (v. 29).” (Blomberg)

21:25, “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which, if they were written one by one, I suppose not even the world itself could contain the books that would be written.” I found this verse to be mind-blowing. The New Testament gives us the story’s of: Jesus being born, being at the temple at the age of 12, His baptism at the age of 30, glimpses of His three years of ministry, then His death and resurrection. Logically, Jesus had to do more, but the amount of work He did while living on this earth is unimaginable. I look forward to the day, whether that is when He comes back or when He calls me home when I can see Him face to face and be familiar with everything that He and His followers have done.

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