Why are there four different Gospels
Lesson #4 (The Book of John)
In this lesson we will conclude our series on why are there four different gospels by looking at the gospel of John. The gospel of John will present the Lord Jesus Christ as the son of God, and therefore it will be a lot different from the other three gospels.
One of the first things we see is the fact that John was the closest of the disciples to the Lord Jesus Christ. John referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus Loved many times in scripture and it was John who was at the cross and was chosen to take care of Mary by Jesus himself (John 19:26-27). Therefore it is fitting that John was the one who would present the Lord Jesus Christ as the son of God.
We also see that at the end of the gospel of John we are given a specific reason for why the book was written (John 20:30-31).
Verse 31 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ , the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
John is the only gospel to have something like this in it but even in the reason it was written we see the fact that it was written to show that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that salvation is only going to be found in him.
Since that gospel of John presents the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God we would think that in the gospel John there would be many statements where Jesus is showing his deity, and in the gospel of John there are many. (John 1:1-3 ; 1:14 ; 1:34 ; 3:16 ; 5:21-23 ; 6:35 ; 8:58 ; 10:30 ; 14:9 ; 17:5)
As we have stated before sometimes what is not in a particular gospel is important also in showing us the correct presentation of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the gospel of John there is no genealogy because God has no beginning. John 1:1 simply says that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The word is obviously Jesus and therefore if God has always been then so has he. There is also no reference to the birth because God has always been. There is no account of the temptations as we see in Matthew and Luke, but remember God cannot be tempted with evil (James 1:13). Now we know that Jesus as a man was tempted but it is interesting that the book that shows him as the son of God leaves that out, just more overwhelming proof that the Holy Spirit was behind the inspiration of the word of God! The mount of transfiguration is also omitted from John but remember the book itself is presenting him as the son of God.
One of the most unique things we see about the gospel of John presenting the Lord Jesus Christ as the son of God is the “I am” titles that are found in John’s gospel. In John 8:58 Jesus declares himself as “I am”. This was God’s title from Exodus 3:13-14. But in the book of John we see 7 other times where Jesus said I am _________ and then filled in the blank. We will them below and remember that 7 is God’s number for completion or perfection.
1) John 6:35 (I am the bread of Life)
2) John 9:5 (I am the Light of the world)
3) John 10:9 (I am the Door)
4) John 10:11 (I am the Good Shepherd)
5) John 11:25 (I am the Resurrection and the Life)
6) John 14:6 (I am the Way , the Truth, and the Life)
7) John 15:9 (I am the True Vine)
Other things that show Jesus as the Son of God in John :
1) The very first public miracle that Jesus did is only recorded in John.
- In John 2:1-12 we see Jesus turning water into wine. As with this miracle and many others found in John we see Jesus just have to speak and the miracle takes place. Note we have the Word at work.
2) The conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus in only recorded in John.
- In John 3:1-21 we see Jesus speaking to Nicodemus about the new birth and that Salvation would come through him alone.
- This passage is unique to the book of John.
3) The account of Jesus and the woman at the well is only found in John.
- In John 4:6-39 we see the woman at the well being told about living water, and this is not found in the other gospels.
4) Jesus washing the disciples feet is only found I the book of John.
- In John 13:2-20 we see Jesus washing the disciple feet and note that it is the word at work again when we compare this with Ephesians 5:26. In Ephesians we see that the word of God keeps us clean and that is the principle that Jesus is showing here.
5) The prayer in John 17.
- In John 17:1-26 we see a prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ and it is found only in the book of John. When one considers information found in the prayer it is plain to see why it is only recorded in John’s gospel.
There are many other ways in which we see Jesus presented as the Son of God in the Gospel of John, just as there are with the other presentations in the other Gospels. We hope you see from these studies that it is not random or just the memory of man but it is the Holy Spirit of God that deliberately wrote the Gospel the way he did for the purpose of showing Jesus Christ in a four-fold presentation of King, Servant, Man, and Son of God.