Today we began the Gospel of John, to many their favorite Gospel and according to some polls like Biblegateway.com’s poll the favorite book in all the Bible with none of the synoptic Gospels in the top 10. John is not my favorite of the four Gospels (Luke is my current favorite, it used to be Mark, so one day it could be John :)), but it does possess some of my favorite passages in all of scripture like John 3:17…yes I know everyone else talks about John 3:16 also great, but I love John 3:17.
One of my favorite stories, a story that some scholars doubt that it should even be in the Bible or the veracity of it, I embrace it as a true part of the canon, John 8:2-11.
And of course John gives the most clear picture of the role of the Holy Spirit in all the Bible (John 14-16)
The Gospel of John is a great book and you’ll be blessed reading a portion of it every seven days for the next several weeks.
In all the Bible there is much we can spiritualize, which is not always a bad thing, it helps us add personal application, but at times we should address what is really being said because those perspectives can add great application as well, just such a topic appears in the first chapter of John,
“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” -John 1:11
I have heard and I have applied and I do apply this to myself and really all humanity. Since we were all made by Him John 1:3 in a true since we are all Jesus’ “own people.” But that application is really a spiritualization of the text. The literal idea/intent John is expressing is that Jesus, came as a Jew, came to the Jews–first–His own people–His remnant, and they rejected Him. Now John is not talking about individual Jews, he is speaking of the corporate system of Judaism. Why do I even point this out? It is not to pick on the Jews, but to point out Jesus was not a Jew exclusively for Jews. His mission in the book of John is very clear, He is a global Savior. The very next two verses reveal this,
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” -John 1:12, 13
“To ALL,” who are the “ALL”? Those that were not born simply as Jews by blood/flesh/will of man, though this does not eliminate the ability of a individual born Jewish to be saved, but that salvation is no longer and should no longer be perceived as a matter of birth, but as a matter of heart!
Then we see again in John 1:29 a mission statement for Jesus and we see again it is global not localized to the Jewish nation,
“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” -John 1:29
Jesus’ mission is for all humanity and His desire is that all humanity will receive Him as their Savior. We are all invited to be part of the remnant of His seed.
Tomorrow’s Reading: The book of 2nd Thessalonians