Kevin Edlefson - April 2, 2017

John - 13

JOHN

The last thing Jesus does before he is betrayed and heads to his brutal death on the cross is to pray. John gives us a glimpse into the relationship between Jesus and the Father.

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The fourth gospel, written by John, the beloved disciple, is different from the other three gospels. Matthew, Mark and Luke, the synoptic gospels, include many of the same stories, often word-for-word. They arrange the material a little differently, but each seeks to tell the historical account of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. John is not trying to give another historical account, though he uses many stories from Jesus’ life. He’s not compiling all of Jesus’ sayings and stories, though he presents Jesus’ teachings in a clear and straightforward manner. He’s not cataloguing all of Jesus’ miraculous actions, though he does include seven miraculous signs that Jesus performed. John is not just telling a story – he is building a meticulous case. His gospel is a testimony to who Jesus is – filled with legal language of witness and authority, clear statements of identity and powerful signs legitimizing his claims. John’s gospel is also filled with eyewitness details and littered with the personal testimonies of those who have encountered this Jesus and been transformed (John the baptist, the disciples, Nicodemus, Samaritan woman, man healed at the pool, woman caught in adultery, man born blind, Martha, Mary & Lazarus, Malchus, the high priest’s servant, Caiphus and Pilate). All of this to state one bold claim: Jesus is the Messiah, come that we might have life. John saw and heard all of this as a first-hand witness. His feet followed Jesus down dusty roads and were washed by the humble Lord. His hands passed out bread to thousands and dipped bread in the cup while reclining next to Jesus at the table. His ears heard the high priest’s accusations in the courtyard and the crucified man’s last words from the cross. His eyes saw Lazarus come out of the tomb wrapped in linen and peered into another empty tomb strewn with unbound linen cloths. In reading John’s gospel presentation, we, like a member of the jury, must decide what we will do with this testimony.

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