This Sunday, our church will begin a new series through the Gospel of John. For weeks, I have been anticipating the transition into this series. With a few breaks in the fall and early spring, it should take us a little over a year to walk through the twenty-one chapters. In getting ready for this series, I thought it would be helpful to identify some theological themes found throughout the book that we will uncover in the weeks and months ahead. This is not a complete list, but a beginning nonetheless. Can’t wait to begin the journey of You, Follow Me this Sunday.
- John’s presentation of who Jesus is, lies at the heart of all that makes John’s gospel distinctive. Titles like Lamb of God, Word, and I am are distinctive to only John’s works. Christ is functionally subordinate to him, and does only those things that the Father gives him to say and do, but he does everything that the Father does, since the Father shows him everything that he himself does. This is certainly a mouthful, but it’s one of the reasons John’s Gospel is so great. It is richly theological and requires more than a surface reading to understand at times.
- John’s gospel has an incredible emphasis on the role of the Holy Spirit in salvation. At the baptism of Christ, the Spirit was given. He, the Spirit, is referred to as the paraklete, which has been described by some as the most pregnant expression to the substance of the Spirits’ work as any in the New Testament.
- The complexities that bind together election, faith, and the function of signs deserves some reflection. John holds men and women responsible for believing; unbelief is morally culpable. If faith is present in our lives, it is a consequence of what has been revealed.