“John’s gospel is deep enough
for an elephant to swim
and shallow enough
for a child not to drown.”
(attributed to St. Augustine)

The purpose of John’s gospel is to prove conclusively that Jesus is the Son of God and that all who believe in Him will have eternal life.  It is sometimes referred to as The Love Gospel.

The Apostle John probably wrote his gospel between 85 and 100 A.D.  Tradition tells us that John’s friends and family urged him to write this gospel. John only agreed to write it after they had all fasted and prayed for 3 days.  John’s gospel is different from all three other gospels (Matthew, Luke, and Mark) in many ways.  In fact, 90 percent of John’s gospel does not appear in any of the other 3 gospel accounts.  Since the other 3 gospel accounts already existed, perhaps John chose to concentrate on sharing the things that had not yet been written down so that we might know the truth as John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” knew it.

The following accounts are included in the other gospels, but they do not appear in the gospel of John:
Jesus’ genealogy
Any events of Jesus’ childhood
Jesus’ baptism
Jesus temptation
The Sermon on the Mount
The account of John the Baptist’s doubts
Any casting out of demons
Any healing of lepers
Any parables told by Jesus
An account of Jesus’ transfiguration
The selection and sending out of the 12 or the 70
Any eschatological (prophetic) address
A pronouncement of woes on the religious leaders (Matthew 23)
The institution of the Lord’s Supper
An account of Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane
The giving of the Great Commission
An account of Jesus’ ascension

The following accounts are found only in John’s gospel:
Jesus as the Creator (John 1)
Jesus as the “only begotten” of the Father (John1)
Jesus as the promised “Lamb of God” (John 2)
Jesus revealed as the great “I Am”
Jesus turning the water into wine (John 2)
Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus (John 3)
Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well (John 4)
Jesus and the woman caught in adultery (John 8)
The raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11)
Jesus washing the disciples’ feet (John 13)
The Upper Room discourse (John 14-17)
Jesus’ teaching on the coming of the Holy Spirit
Jesus high priestly prayer (John 17)

We are in for a challenge and a blessing as we study John’s gospel together this year.

An Introduction to our Study of the Gospel of John