An all round picture of John
He starts out as the son of thunder. He has a brother, an older brother named James. They are called boanerges, “sons of thunder.”
They want to call down fire from heaven on some people who are mistreating Jesus.
They needed to be tempered. And obviously, over the years, John was wonderfully tempered–so much so that he is known in history as the apostle of love.
And the reason he’s known as the apostle of love is because he makes reference to love eighty times in his writings, eighty times.
So he is genuinely to be identified as the apostle of love. It’s also true about John that he was concerned concerning the truth.
He mentions truth twenty-five times in his gospel and twenty times in his epistles. So forty-five times he talks about truth, eighty times he talks about love. But one hundred times in this gospel he uses the word believe, believe.
Book of John – the holy of holies
Now the gospel of John is in itself identified by many through the centuries as the holy of holies of the New Testament.
It’s the most sacred place you can go.
In fact, if there’s a most sacred chapter in the entire Bible, it would be the seventeenth chapter of John where our Lord Jesus prays to the Father in that intimate inter-Trinitarian prayer, the likes of which appears nowhere else in Scripture.
That might be considered to be the very mercy seat of the holy of holies.
But John is often called the holy of holies, because in this gospel the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ is fully displayed. And what was not accessible to people in the Old Covenant, namely the Holy of Holies, has become accessible to us in the New Covenant because the veil is down, the way is open, we come boldly into the presence of God. And as we enter the gospel of John, we–like a priest of old on the Day of Atonement–have access to the Holy of Holies to see the glory of Christ.
John’s main message
John’s message is simply this: the eternal God Himself has become human.
That is John’s message.
There are four gospels that tell the story. Three of them, Matthew, Mark and Luke, give us the earthly history. Three of them look at the birth and the life and the experiences and the travels and the calling of Jesus upon His followers, and the teaching and the parables and the events of His life, including His arrest and His trial and His execution and His resurrection–and many of the features with which we are so familiar in those so-called Synoptic Gospels, because they’re the synopsis of His earthly life.
Jesus is God
The message of the New Testament, the message of the Old Testament, as we saw from Isaiah 52, is that Jesus is God. He is nothing other than God, nothing less than God. He is not a created spirit-brother of Lucifer and Adam as the Mormons say. And there are many, many other aberrant views of so-called Jesus Christ.
The New Testament is full of evidence that He is God. I don’t need to parade all that before you; you know that. It’s everywhere in the New Testament. Philippians 2 would be a good place to start. “He thought it not something to hold onto to be equal with God, but humbled Himself, took on the form of a man.” You know that great passage.
We just read from Hebrews chapter 1 that He is the exact representation of God, that God says to Him, “O God, Your throne is established in heaven,” as we read in Hebrews 1.
The Scripture is loaded with evidences that He is God.
If you just take titles given to Jesus and also given to God, you can see the equality there.
The father and son share the same names
God and Jesus are both called Shepherd, both called Judge, both called Holy One in Scripture, both called First and Last, both called the Light, both called the Lord of the Sabbath, both called Savior, both called the pierced one (in the same verse, Zechariah 12:10), both called Mighty God, both called Lord of Host, both called Alpha and Omega, both called Lord of glory, both called Redeemer, and I can go on.
Titles are given to Jesus that belong only to God.
Our Lord Jesus is described as eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, immutable, unchanging, sovereign, all glorious, and eternal. Jesus did works that only God can do–He created; He raised the dead; He overpowered the kingdom of darkness; He forgave sin; He received worship on many occasions through His life and ministry.
He declared that He had a right to be worshiped after His resurrection. He says in John 14 that He is the one who is the qualifier for all prayer, that is to be accepted by God and answered by God: “If you ask anything in His name, He hears and does it.” He answers prayer as God alone can do.