Dr. Lawrence Butler, The Bridge Church, Pembroke.
The author of this gospel seems almost certainly to be the Apostle John. He was the younger son of Zebedee, a fisherman who lived near and worked on the Sea of Galilee (Mark 1:19-29). His mother was Salome, possibly the sister of Mary the mother of our Lord (Matt. 27:56, Mark 16:1).
He and his brother James seem to have been partners with Peter (Luke 5:7-10), and also may have followed the Lord together (Mark 1:20). He was in the inner circle with Christ.
John’s purpose for writing his book is to present Jesus as the Son of God. Listen as he quotes Jesus: “I and my Father are one” (10:30), and “… because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10:36). John’s purpose is revealed in 20:31, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God….”
John’s gospel has a hinge – meaning that there are two very different sections in this book.
Chapters 1-12 reveal and focus on Jesus’ public ministry, covering about 3 years. Chapters 13-21 transition to His very private ministry as a result of growing opposition to His message, and Jesus is rarely seen in public. No great miracles are performed. Perhaps not even 2 months are covered as Jesus teaches those close to Him.
He talks to them about heaven (14), fruit (15), and promises (16).
His prayer is recorded (17), He reassures the disciples after the resurrection (20), then talks to them about their future (21).
Notice the powerful miracles that occur, ending with a crescendo. He turns water to wine (chap.
2), heals an official’s son (chap.4), heals a man (chap.5), feeds over 5,000 and then walks on water (chap.6), heals a man of congenital blindness (chap. 9) and then raises Lazarus from the dead (chap.11).
John wants those who read his accounting to see the Son of God in the miracles.
Let’s unlock the book with John’s key from 16:28. “I came forth from the Father,” the prologue (1: 1-9), “and am come into the world” (chap. 1-12). “Again, I leave the world” (chap. 13-19), “and go to the Father” (chap.2021). There is another side door outline tucked away in chapter 1:11-12. “He came unto his own, and his own received Him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John’s message is this, those that receive God’s Son, those that believe on Him, become God’s children.