Every week I am going to take a question and answer it. If you have a question or questions feel free to submit it here: https://servantsofgrace.org/contact/ and it will be answered either on the website or privately.
This week’s question is, “Why do many people tell new converts to begin reading the Gospel of John? and why is the Gospel of John so attractive to Jews?”
Dr. Hughes said, “John is unique in his powerful presentation of Jesus as the great Creator-God of the Universe. His massive vision of Christ has been used countless times to open the eyes of unbelievers to who Jesus is and the way of redemption. This Gospel’s continuing effect on Christians is equally profound because in John’s account believers find an ongoing source for expanding their concept of the Savior’s greatness.”
John’s Gospel account is simple to understand but its simplicity also gives us its greatest strength, which is its depth. The Apostle John is known for his ability to paint a picture. As an artist John takes his paint brush and paints a panoramic picture of Jesus. He also takes us into the life of Jesus but continues to weave the story so that we gain intimate knowledge of Jesus. John’s writing is easy to understand but plumbing the depths of his thought requires great effort. New converts are told to begin reading John because of this simplicity and because it is a key to understanding the other Gospels.
Dr. Andreas J. Kostenberger said, “Although it is the Gospel of Matthew that is widely known to focus on Jesus’ fulfillment of OT messianic expectations, John’s Gospel, too, roots Jesus’ mission firmly in OT conceptualities and specific texts. From the very beginning and throughout the prologue of his book, the Fourth Evangelist operates within a salvation-historical framework. In his references to the OT John spans the entire range from explicitly quotations to verifiable allusions and thematic connections. In keeping with John’s purpose statement, Jesus is identified as the Christ and Son of God and is set in relation to major figures in Israel’s history, whether Abraham, Jacob, or Moses, as well as the Prophet, by citations of or allusions to Scripture.”
John’s purpose in this Gospel is to show both Jesus’ public ministry and his cross-death fulfilled scriptural patterns and prophecies. The Gospel of John begins with the story of Creation, and grounds all of history in the person and work of Jesus. John wants people to see that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. While Matthew is aimed at the Jews; John is aimed at the world. John is attractive to the Jews because it spends considerable amount of time relating in one way or another to various Jewish religious festivals.
Hughes, R. Kent. John: That You May Believe: Crossway Books, 1999.
G.K. Beale, D.A Carson. Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, Baker Academic, 2007.